COVID-19 Applicant FAQs

Guidance for applicants and offer-holders

We are putting a variety of measures in place to minimise the risks posed by Covid-19 for new students intending to join us in September 2020 or January 2021. We understand that some of you will be concerned and we want to offer you every reassurance about starting your studies with us.

If you were not awarded the A level result you expected, or are anxious that you may not be able to travel to Buckingham for the start of the new academic year, please don’t worry: we are developing solutions now that will work for you.

We will continue to provide you with updated information on this page. If you have an immediate concern or question please contact our friendly Admissions team, who are here to help:

Tel: +44 (0)1280 820227Email: admissions@buckingham.ac.uk

Visiting Us

Can I still visit the campus?

Not at the moment. In line with government advice, we are suspending all University public events, gatherings and visits. To help you find out more about what it might be like living and studying in Buckingham, we are running virtual Open Day events. You will be able to participate in a live Q&A with our students, as well as watch the welcome talk with our Vice-Chancellor, Sir Anthony Seldon. There will also be the opportunity to talk to our academic staff through our chat service.

Our next virtual Open Day will be held on 10 October 2020. Please continue to check our Open Day page for further information.

To find out more about life at Buckingham, you can take a look at our videos about campus life, student resources, accommodation and much more.

Can I still talk to current students about studying at your University?

Yes. When you visit our website you will see a pop-up box in the right hand corner of the screen. Click on this box to start a conversation with one of our current students using the secure Unibuddy system.

Your Application

Should I still apply even if I can’t arrive on time?

You are encouraged to apply to us even if you are unable to travel to us and meet usual timelines. We continue to welcome applications from home and international students for our programmes commencing in September or January. Buckingham is one of the few universities in the UK that offer a genuine January entry point for most of our courses (as well as the standard September entry point).

We are supporting any students who can’t join us on campus due to Covid-19 related reasons with high-quality online learning for up to 12 months. 

If you are successful in securing a place to study with us, we will be in touch regarding the next steps leading up to registration. We will continue to follow public health guidance and will be sure to notify any affected applicants should alternative arrangements be required.

I recently submitted an application to study at the University of Buckingham. Will it still be assessed?

Yes. We are continuing to process applications and send out offers as normal, so you will hear from us shortly. If you have any immediate questions, please contact admissions@buckingham.ac.uk 

Can I defer my place?

We are continuing to process new applications and are preparing to welcome new students in September 2020. However, we also offer a January entry point for many of our degree programmes. If you have been accepted to commence your studies with us and are no longer wanting to start September 2020, you will be offered a January 2021 start if your course is eligible.

If you wish to defer your entry until January 2021, please contact your Admissions Officer (admissions@buckingham.ac.uk).

Is my degree the same if I defer to start in January?

Yes. You’ll study the same course content in the same timeframe as the students who start in September.

We are one of the only universities in the UK who have wholly embraced a January intake, with almost all of our courses (including both undergraduate and postgraduate programmes) available to start in either September or January. That means no matter which entry point you choose, you will be part of a whole new student cohort.

If you apply or defer to January now, we can guarantee your place on a course so you can relax knowing your study future is secure. Find out more on our January intake page.

If I pay a deposit but can’t commence my studies with you due to Covid-19 related reasons, will I get a full refund?

Yes. We’ve changed our usual policy in this regard, as we know the next few months still hold a lot of uncertainty. If you can’t begin your studies with us in September 2020 or January 2021 due to the pandemic, then let us know (outlining the reasons why the situation has impacted your ability to commence your course) and, providing you have a valid reason, we will refund any money you have paid.

What will happen if I am unable to take my final exams?

If you find yourself in this situation, please contact us (admissions@buckingham.ac.uk). We will review each case on an individual basis, but rest assured we will work with you to identify a suitable solution.

What if I can’t provide all of the documentation you require to support my application?

We appreciate that delays in obtaining some of your supporting documentation may be unavoidable and we will be as flexible as possible. Should you need extra time to gather requested information, just let your Admissions Officer know so that we are aware there will be a delay. We strongly advise you to send documents electronically wherever possible. Letters and other documents that are submitted by post may take some time to reach their destination.

I am having problems being able to take the English Language test that is a condition of my offer, what should I do?

At the moment, many IELTS testing centres are closed. Below is a list of alternative assessments / qualifications that we can accept:

Should you be unable to access any of these testing options, please contact your Admissions Officer (admissions@buckingham.ac.uk) as we may be able to arrange for you to take an in-house English Language test.

Visa Information

What about my Tier 4 visa application?

The government is working to ensure that existing processes are as flexible as possible, so that international students who are planning to study in the UK can do so. 

Any international students who are considering studying in the UK will be able to apply for, and will receive, their Tier 4 visas in good time before commencing their programme of study. 

Despite some COVID-19 disruptions to visa processes and exam timetables, you can still get started with the process. For example, you can familiarise yourself with UK visa requirements and talk to your chosen universities about evidence you may need to supply for a visa application. We continue to monitor worldwide border, travel and public health restrictions and are resuming normal services as soon as we are able. Some Visa Application Centres have reopened, with more to follow over the coming weeks. The UK recognises the importance of international students, and as local restrictions lift, and application centres begin to reopen we will look to process applications as quickly as possible.

 

Can I work in the UK after I’ve completed my studies?

The new Graduate Route (also known as the post-study work visa)  will be available to international students who successfully complete their degree at undergraduate level or above at a UK Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance by summer 2021, or after.

International students who present in the UK before 6 April 2021 will still be eligible for the two year Graduate Route, if you meet the other requirements, even if you begin your course online before travelling to the UK in person. More information can be found on the government website. While studying at Buckingham you will also have access to our Careers and Employability Hub who are dedicated to helping you prepare for the workplace and find the right career for you.


Your Student Experience

What will happen if I start in September?

We are working towards having the majority of our campus facilities fully open by this September (UK government guidelines allowing). There have already been staged openings of campus facilities since June and we are putting extra safety measures in place wherever possible.

You can find out more in our September 2020 booklet.

What resources will be available?

Our library staff are still hard at work supporting our students and physical libraries were allowed to open in the UK after the 4July. The team has made sure that the majority of core textbooks are available as e-books for our students. Students are also able to take advantage of the online databases and ebook resources such as Cambridge University Press, JSTOR, Proquest, EBSECO, IEEE, Project Muse, Vitalsource, Sage Journals, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, Bates Visual Guide and LWW Health Library, Springer Nature and Bloomsbury.

Software, like Microsoft Office, will also be provided for free.

How will you help me to feel part of the University?

We are home to students from over 100 different countries, and one of the reasons why many of our students enjoy studying at Buckingham is because they are able to experience lots of cultures and to make friends from all over the world. There are still lots of ways to get involved, even if Covid-19 safety measures are in place.

The Students’ Union has been working with societies to host lots of different virtual events such as Netflix parties, TikTok competitions, live concerts, language lessons, quizzes and fitness challenges. There are also daily riddles, photo competitions and tips shared through the SU Instagram (bucks_su) and Facebook pages. In September the SU are planning to run in-person events with appropriate social distancing measures in place while still also hosting virtual events.

We are proud that our personal tutors operate an open-door policy so students can access any help or support that they may need. Our personal tutors are still available anytime: students are simply reaching out to them via Microsoft Teams (no appointment necessary). By September, one on one sessions should be able to take place between yourselves and your lecturers and personal tutors, either face to face or online. 

The student welfare team, Students First, will be available if you need their support. The team provides personalised support and can help you with university life, mental fitness and wellbeing. Throughout the pandemic students have even been logging in to say a quick virtual hello to our therapy dogs, Millie and Darcie.

Campus Safety and Healthcare

Is the UK safe?

The UK cares immensely about the health and wellbeing of all its students, and ensuring they are safe is our number one priority. We would like to reassure you that all governments across the UK are adhering closely to the most up to date scientific advice and guidance, which is available publicly online.

As this changes, our advice has, and will continue to change to match the level of the threat of the virus. 

What safety measures are in place at Buckingham?

Our cleaning teams are regularly attending to student accommodation and University buildings throughout the week and deep cleaning spaces to ensure a hygienic environment.

There is free car parking across campus, including in four dedicated University car parks, so you don’t need to take public transport. Many of our students choose to live locally and find it easy to walk or cycle to campus. All our University accommodation is either on campus, or within walking distance.

In line with government guidelines, to keep all students and staff as safe as possible, the wearing of face coverings is currently mandatory when walking through all buildings where it is not possible to keep a 2-metre distance from others (e.g. corridors and staircases), so please carry a face covering or face mask at all times. Coverings or masks can be removed where social distancing measure are in place and 2 meters distance can be achieved. 
 
We ask that you also show respect to one another and remember that there are some individuals who are unable to wear a mask due to medical reasons. Clear visors may also be used. A limited supply of disposable face masks are available through the University.

More details can be found in our September 2020 booklet.

Will I need to self-isolate on arrival?

Before arranging to travel please ensure you have visited the government website for the latest details on entering the UK.


Should you need to self-isolate have chosen to live in a University owned property, you will be provided with a designated room within our student accommodation facilities on arrival. It is likely that this room will be based on your personal choices and will be the one you will live in for the duration of your time in accommodation. There is however, a small chance you may be required to change room after your self-isolation period. Our estates team will be on-hand to help you move into your room when you arrive and will assist with any relocation if needed.

If your visa terms allow, you are welcome to travel to campus from 7 September in order to ensure you have completed your self-isolation period before term begins on 28 September. If you decide to do this, there will be a charge of £100 per week for your room up until the start of term. If you would like to arrive early, please contact the accommodation team to arrange: accommodation@buckingham.ac.uk.

Whilst in self-isolation, we will provide you with a written guide to help you organise any food or medication deliveries you need. Those who are unable to secure a food delivery slot when they first arrive, will have access to an emergency essential groceries box, which can be requested through the SU. If you are self-isolating in a shared facilities household with a group of other students, the SU will supply you with games to play and organise a free pizza night for everyone to enjoy together. In addition to this, you will be invited to join online social events.

What extra hygiene measures should I be taking on-campus?

We are asking that all students sanitise their study areas and equipment. We will be providing sanitisation equipment, so please wipe down your seats and desk areas before and after use. Another good practice is to wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds.

Can I be tested for coronavirus (Covid-19)?

If you are displaying any symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) while you are studying with us please self-isolate straight away and let your tutor and household know immediately. You and your household will all need to self-isolate.

The NHS are offering free swab tests for those who:

• Display Covid-19 symptoms

• Are living with someone displaying Covid-19 symptoms

• Have been asked to take a test by their local council or medical professionals

• Are taking part in a government pilot project

You can get a test online or arrange to visit a testing centre on the government website. There is a dedicated page to help you with understanding your test result.

Can I still apply for University accommodation?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for accommodation as normal after you have received an offer to study.

Buckingham is unique: unlike most universities, we own and manage all of our student accommodation. So when we offer you a room, you can rest easy knowing it is guaranteed. All of our University accommodation is close to town and either on campus or no more than a 20 minute walk away.

We guarantee student accommodation for all first-year students (application deadlines apply).

To apply for University-managed accommodation please complete the accommodation application form. For more general information, head to our accommodation page.

What if I need healthcare?

The UK is immensely proud of its amazing National Health Service (NHS). NHS services are available to both domestic and international students. International students will always be able to access treatment that clinicians consider is immediately necessary or urgent at no upfront cost.

No charges apply to testing for coronavirus, and as an international student in the UK, you will also be able to access specific COVID-19 advice through a new COVID-19 online service www.111.nhs.uk/covid-19

Accommodation

Can I still apply for University accommodation?

Yes, you are welcome to apply for accommodation as normal after you have received an offer to study.

Buckingham is unique: unlike most universities, we own and manage all of our student accommodation. So when we offer you a room, you can rest easy knowing it is guaranteed. All of our University accommodation is close to town and either on campus or no more than a 20 minute walk away.

We guarantee student accommodation for all first-year students (application deadlines apply).

To apply for University-managed accommodation please complete the accommodation application form. For more general information, head to our accommodation page.

We know it is a stressful time for many of you right now, so our friendly Admissions team are happy to talk through your options with you. You can phone them on: +44 (0)1280 820227 or email admissions@buckingham.ac.uk.

Alternatively, our current students are available around the clock via live chat on our website. You can ask them a question at buckingham.ac.uk/ask-a-student/Alternatively, if you’ve decided to defer your offer to our next intake for your course, you can ask us to carry over the money you’ve paid – it’s your choice.