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Coronavirus (Covid-19) Updates for Prospective Students

Information and advice for applicants following the global Coronavirus outbreak

We know that many applicants and enquirers will have questions or concerns about their planned studies at Northumbria, and we hope that these frequently asked questions will help reassure our new students who are yet to join us. Please note that we will be updating this page regularly, as we receive new guidance or as the situation changes. We are here to support you, so please do not hesitate to get in touch if you have any questions at all or you would like to chat. We will communicate regularly with all students who have applied to us, or who have enquired to Northumbria and registered for our communications.

If you were looking for general information for updates related to Covid-19 from the University they can be found here and current Northumbria students can find up to date information on your student portal.

London applicants can find updates here

Applicants and Enquirers

Below you will find information for the following groups.

- Northumbria Applicants – General Information

- Applicants whose examinations have been cancelled/affected

- Information for New and Prospective Applicants

Northumbria Applicants

We are aware that you will have many questions about your recent application to Northumbria. You will find below a list of useful FAQs. 

Northumbria Applicants

If I start online will it be the same fee

In line with Ministerial guidance our course fees will not change regardless of whether you are attending on campus or studying fully online, as we are delivering the same course content with the same academic staff online as on campus, albeit delivered remotely.  You will be able to access the same high quality teaching materials, observe the same sessions and interact with your classmates, although virtually rather than face to face. As soon as you are able to join us on campus we will be glad to welcome you. In September 2020, we will be teaching both online and on campus.

I have been asked for documents but I cannot access them as my institution is closed

We understand that institution closures may mean that you cannot provide the requested information. If you are experiencing difficulties, please use the contact us button on the applicant portal and the team will advise you directly on next steps.

Will an absence of work experience on my application impact the likelihood of getting an offer

Due to the impact of Covid 19 and the likelihood that this has affected the ability for applicants to undertake work experience, it will not be expected for applicants to have work experience as part of the selection process for any of our undergraduate courses.  If you are able to undertake relevant work experience, we would encourage you to do so if possible, but no candidate will be disadvantaged if they have been unable to do so.

I am unable to book an English Test due to Test Centre Closures?

We are aware that many applicants are unable to book tests. Northumbria accepts a wide variety of English tests and exemptions that may be an alternative. If you have any specific queries relating to evidence of English language, please contact us directly via the contact us button on the applicant portal

Covid-19 updates for English Language Tests can be found on the links below.




Trinity College London



I have been invited to an interview - will this be affected?

We have already made alternative arrangements for interviews in March and April and many are still going ahead virtually. You will receive an email and phone call if your interview has been affected. All interviews beyond April will now also be conducted virtually.  Applicant Services will contact you with alternative arrangements.  Any travel costs will be reimbursed if Northumbria has cancelled an on-campus interview due to Covid-19.

Can I still apply for student finance

New and existing Undergraduate students in England, Wales and Northern Ireland can apply for student finance and they are working to process  applications as quickly as possible .

Postgraduate and part-time undergraduate student finance applications for academic year 2020 to 2021 are scheduled to open later this year

SFE have an applicant FAQ page to keep you up to date. and talk you through the process.


How can I prepare for the transition to the university

In  August, if you have met the conditions your offer and accepted your pace  you will be given admission to our I AM Northumbria Transitions site, where you will be able to access a wider range of resources to help you to hit the ground running, including:                                                          

• Interactive ‘Getting Started’ Guides introducing you to your learning environment including your library, your online platform, your support teams

• ‘Building Your Skills’ modules covering, digital skills, learning skills

• A welcome and overview from your programme leader

• A chance to meet and chat to your fellow students online


How can/will I find out more about my course?

Over the coming weeks and months, we will share regular opportunities to engage and get to know our staff and students, sample our outstanding learning experience, and find out what it means to be part of our fabulous Northumbria Community.  Here are just a few of the I AM Northumbria opportunities on offer:                                         • Engaging with academic staff and students from your course online, through live events or on mobile

• Reading, viewing and listening recommendations from tutors

• Taking part in subject challenges and getting ahead with ‘how to’ films

• Getting to know your fellow students through social media groups linked to subjects, clubs or societies

• Information from our Student Union about Welcome Week

• Updates on how we are adapting our campus in response to government advice

When does teaching begin?

Our courses begin teaching on the 28th September 2020* but there will be an induction week from the 21st September 2020, to help you settle into your course, either on campus or online. 

*This is our standard start date, if your course has an alternative start date you will be informed of any alternative dates directly. 

When is induction and enrolment

There will be an induction programme, commencing the 21st September*. This is a chance for you to settle into your course and meet the academic team.  Even if you begin your course online, there will still be an induction programme to help your settle in and find out more about the course and how it will be delivered. 

*This is our standard induction date, if your course has an alternative start date you will be informed of any alternative dates directly. 

Will courses be delivered on campus in September

Health and safety is paramount and we take all our decisions based on the latest guidance from Government. As such, if it is safe to do so, our campus will be open for teaching in September with social distancing measure in place. If you are able to travel safely on campus, then you can join us on campus.  If you are unable to travel to the University, you will be able to start your course online and then join us on campus when you are able to. 

What will the learning experience be like at Northumbria this September?

In recent years, we have made a significant investment in the technology, training, and support that enables us to deliver flexible, interactive, and engaging learning and teaching. So, whether you are joining us on campus, online or both, we will continue to deliver outstanding interactive, research-informed teaching

You will:

  • Be welcomed at Newcastle and join a student community that comes together in the classroom and online.
  • Have access to digital hubs, classrooms, laboratories, studios and clinics, and the University Library. And, as social distancing rules relax the opportunities for face to face learning will be stepped up.
  • Work with leading academics and fellow students, in inspirational and supportive learning communities - both face to face and online – enabling you to develop your critical thinking, challenge each other and apply your learning.
  • Engage actively in online learning designed specifically for a virtual experience, tailored to you and your subject, and delivered through our advanced user-friendly virtual learning environment – Blackboard Ultra
  • Participate in online lectures – with interactive activities, webcasts, and discussion groups, with access to virtual classrooms, laboratories, studios, clinics, and our library online.
  • Have a mix of scheduled, real time and any time sessions and access to your online learning environment 24/7, on your mobile, laptop or computer.
  • Be supported every step of the way with regular communications from your tutors outlining what you need to achieve and how you will be assessed, together with online material provided before and after teaching . You will also be allocated a personal tutor to support you throughout your Northumbria journey.

I may not be able to arrive by the start of the programme; can I arrive late?

At present our start dates for programmes remain unchanged, we are monitoring the situation daily and will update this page regularly. If you are due to start a course in March or April and are worried about arriving late due to travel restrictions, then please use the contact us button on your applicant portal and the team will get in touch with you directly.

If I pay my deposit and am unable to attend will it be refunded?

Our standard deposit refund policy, which can be found in the Terms and Conditions of your Offer continues to apply and we will of course refund your deposit in those scenarios. In addition, if you are adversely affected by Covid-19, which impacts your ability to meet the conditions of your offer or your entry to the UK due to travel restrictions, we will also refund your deposit and discuss possible deferral options with you. 

Should I apply for university accommodation?

If you plan to be able to come to campus in September and you require Northumbria University accommodation, you should apply for it in the usual way.  There will be no penalties or fees charged to students who are unable to come to campus due to issues in relation to Covid 19. If you have paid a deposit and are then unable to take your room, you will be refunded your deposit. Please note that if you choose to arrange accommodation with a private provider, they may not be able to offer the same flexibility, so you should discuss your options with them directly.

You can book accommodation once you have made Northumbria your firm choice institution. You can find out more about our range of accommodation and how to apply here.

How would social distancing and lockdown work if I am in student accommodation and lockdown rules apply?

When you join us in September, you will move into the room you have selected in your chosen residence as normal. Then, in lockdown terms, the people within your individual household, the people that you share a living space with, become your new ‘family’.  These are the people you can cook with, eat with, and socialise with.  So, while you might have to distance yourself from your neighbours for a while depending on the guidance at the time – you can quickly build a community within your own household. 

You can even start building that community before you get here through our accommodation Facebook pages.  Each residence has a Facebook page and we can see that already many of our future residents are using the Flatmate Friend Finder to make contact with others who have booked rooms in your household.

If I pay my accommodation deposit and I am unable to travel to the UK, will it be refunded?

If you have booked Northumbria University accommodation and have paid your advanced rent, we will refund this if you are unable to attend Northumbria due to Covid-19 travel disruption or restrictions.

If I can't make it in September, will I have the opportunity to defer my place until January?

If you are unable to make our September Intake, we offer a range of courses in January which we can consider you for.  Alternatively we offer a number of Distance Learning courses starting in both September and January. These can be found by filtering by Distance Learning on the course search. If you need to defer your application please contact us via the Applicant Portal, and the team will get in touch to discuss your options. 

Are University staff available to advise me? Who can I contact?

Yes. If you are unable to find the answer to your query on this page, staff are available to help via Social Media and Live Chat or you can contact Applicant Services via your Applicant Portal.  

I have been requested to provide a portfolio of creative work, but I do not currently have access to my work.

If you do not have examples of final pieces of your work, please do not worry. You can provide examples of any previous work or work in progress, it does not have to be a finished piece of work. In the covering statement that you provide with your portfolio submissions please explain what work you are unable to currently access and the academic team will bear this in mind when reviewing your work.

I have already received an offer from Northumbria, will this be affected?

Please do not worry, any offers that have already been issued will not be withdrawn and we very much hope that you will decide to join us here at Northumbria. If you are worried that you may not meet the conditions of your offer, further information can be found elsewhere on this page. 

Undergraduate Applicants (UK examinations)

My exams have been cancelled. What next?

The government is developing a process for all students who are no longer able to sit their final qualifications, to allow them to receive a grade in the summer of 2020 without sitting exams. These grades will be recognised by all universities (including Northumbria) as equally valid to those we have received in previous years. The exact detail of this process is yet to be confirmed but is likely to include consideration of academic performance from previous years, and teacher assessments. When we receive these results, assuming you meet the terms of your offer, you will be confirmed at Northumbria in line with our usual processes and practices.

Northumbria University typically makes offers based on UCAS tariff points rather than grades and we accept all Level 3 qualifications that attract tariff points. 

Please refer to the UCAS Tariff calculator to work out what tariff points your qualifications attract. 

Please check the UCAS web page or government guidance for updated information related to exams.

What if the grade I am awarded is not a fair reflection of my performance?

Northumbria will be as flexible as it possibly can in supporting its future students. As we understand it, students will have an opportunity to appeal against the grade awarded, and will be given the chance to take their final exams in the next academic year when it is expected that schools and colleges will be open and running as usual.

Is anything changing about my offer? Will you be waiving any of my conditions?

We have a duty of care to you to ensure that you are properly prepared to study at undergraduate level at Northumbria. We are aware that some universities have been waiving academic conditions in light of the cancellation of A Level exams and changing offers from conditional to unconditional. We do not believe that this is in the interest of supporting freedom of student choice, and that it places unfair pressure on students, at what is already a highly unpredictable and stressful time. In line with UCAS, OfS and OFQUAL recommendations, Northumbria will be waiting for the approved grades to be released and will then follow standard UCAS processes.

NU Entry Scheme

Any applicants who are part of our NU Entry scheme for September 2020, we can confirm that the scheme is running as normal and we will continue to accept these for entry.

Where can I find out more information on the latest changes to the GCSE, AS and A Level examinations?

The government have released a guide for A level, AS and GCSE students and their parents which has detailed information on how grades will be awarded in the Summer.

I am an Access to HE student, where can I found information on how my grades will be awarded?

The latest information on any changes to Access to HE examinations due to COVID 19, can be found here.  Further information is expected to be released soon, so please check these pages regularly.

Postgraduate Applicants

I am currently studying at undergraduate level. What happens if I don't get my degree award when I expected to? Will I lose my place at the university?

We understand that many students who were due to complete their studies will be concerned by the impact that Covid-19 has had to their final year. We will be as flexible as we can be to support you, and will ensure that all candidates are treated fairly. We will communicate with you regularly to make you aware of any timescales as and when the national picture is confirmed to us by the government. 

I am due to commence the Bar Course but the BCAT test centres are closed. How will this affect me?

The Bar Standards Board have published FAQs for applicants.  The BCAT will be conducted online, and registration is expected to be available in June 2020. You can find out more here.

I am a current NU student and have applied for a Master's Programme but I am unsure what will happen with my degree results?

You can find information on your assessments and results on the student portal here.

Applicants to Northumbria at Amsterdam

Do I qualify for a student loan on your courses?

All students on our courses that have previously had a college education of at least a month at a Dutch university or university of applied sciences may qualify for a loan to cover tuition and fees. Any student that has not yet used up all their time for the student loan can use the remainder for our courses. Northumbria University Amsterdam Campus is currently classified as a 'foreign University' by the Dienst Uitvoering Onderwijs (DUO) for student funding purposes, regardless of the campus's geographical location in the Netherlands. Our programmes are considered post-initial masters. Further eligibility criteria can be found online at . Students must make their own enquiries. All decisions on funding will be made by DUO and not by Northumbria University.

How do I find out more about studying in Amsterdam?

We will not be holding any information sessions on our campus in Amsterdam during the current crisis. However, as an alternative we will hosting interactive webinars where are our academics will be available to answer any questions about our master programmes. Please register your interest here to find out when we will be having these sessions. In the meantime if you have any other queries please email

If there is a delay in receiving my final bachelor grade can I still apply?

We will be as flexible as we can be given the unusual cirucmstances. We would advise you to apply and then work with the Applicant Services team to update them when your final grades are likely to be available.

Will the campus still be based in AUAS Campus?

Yes, we are continuing our collaboration with AUAS and are working with them to house all our programmes in their buildings. We will most likely be housed in different AUAS buildings, depending on the affiliation with their faculties.

Will you still be doing the in-house English Language test at AUAS?

Yes, an English language test will be provided for applicants who require one.  We are working on an online version where appropriate and will work with applicants directly to process this.

New and Prospective Applicants

Information for those considering Northumbria for their studies.

New and Prospective Applicants

Will it take longer to process my application?

We are processing applications as normal, although there may be a slight delay due to the high volume of applications and enquiries at this time.

We continue to welcome applications. You can apply for courses starting in September 2020 and January 2021. We will keep in contact with you throughout your application journey and make sure you have relevant information and are notified of any updates to your application.

I wanted to talk to you at a UCAS fair but the one in my area has been cancelled. How do I ask my questions?

We are very sorry not to have met you at your local UCAS fair. However, we are still here to support you and answer any questions you may have. If you email with your name, which fair you were due to attend, and a phone number to contact you on, one of our Graduate Ambassador’s will be in touch with you as soon as possible

I was planning on attending your open day in June. Will this be going ahead?

If you registered for our June Open Day please check your email account. We are now running a number of subject virtual events and you have been registered on one of these.  You will be able to explore our campus, experience subject talks, live Q&As and live chats from the comfort of your own home. For more information on these events visit  If you had not registered for our June Open Day you will be able to pre-book a virtual event place at

I want to find out more about Northumbria to help me decide if you are the right place for me. How do I do this?

We may not be able to welcome you face to face to our campus in Northumbria, but we are still here to welcome you virtually! Our virtual open day is in development and will launch shortly with a range of exciting new information to help you decide if Northumbria is the place for you. In addition, we are running extra specialist Live Chat sessions through our website, and we will be running a series of live events to showcase our fantastic courses and our brilliant staff. We will be in touch with you regularly to highlight all of the opportunities to find out more to help you make an informed choice. We are also ready and waiting for any questions you might have about studying at Northumbria – please do get in touch! We would love to hear from you. Please note that as we are running the majority of our services through team members working from home, there may be a delay on some our responses. Finally, our website is the best and most up to date source of information on all things Northumbria – so please check back regularly for updates on the university, your course and information to help you make your decision.

I am due to attend a NU event in my country. Will this still be going ahead?

We are in the process of developing a range of virtual events and opportunities to enable us to stay connected to our enquirers, applicants and offer-holders. We will be communicating with you soon via an online survey to see how you would like to engage with us during this time.  If you haven’t enquired but would like to hear more from Northumbria University please complete this enquirer form.

Is it possible to study a Northumbria course via distance learning?

Northumbria offers a range of Distance Learning programmes, which can be found by selecting Distance Learning in the Mode of Study section of our course search. 

Applicants for Pre-sessional English Programmes

Is Northumbria still delivering Pre Sessional English?

Due to the current situation Northumbria will be running our summer pre-sessional programmes fully online through our virtual learning environment

I already have an offer/have accepted an offer for pre-sessional English, what do I do?

If you have already applied for pre-sessional, or already hold an offer, our Applicant Services team will be in touch with you directly to ensure you have all the information you need. They will re-issue any offer letters that may be required.

Does Northumbria offer online Pre Sessional English?

Yes we are offering online pre-sessional through our virtual learning environment.  There is an 11 week option in June and a 6 week option in July.  The course you will require will depend your current level of English and how much you need to improve to reach your target degree.

I have received an offer for pre-sessional course, when will I get my CAS?

As the programme is entirely online you do not need a visa to study online, so you do not need a CAS.  Our team of experts will work with you throughout the pre-sessional to ensure you have all the up to date information you need to join your target programme.    

Can I apply to pre-sessional without a SELT/UKVI IELTS?

Yes, as you do not need a visa to study online you therefore do not need a SELT for online pre-sessional.  Please note, if your target programme following the pre-sessional requires a SELT you may still need one for that depending on the current UKVI guidance. Our team of experts will work with you throughout the pre-sessional to ensure you have all the up to date information you need to join your target programme.    

How will the online presessional courses be delivered

The courses will be delivered through our electronic learning platform, Blackboard, and will be a mixture of live teaching, guided learning and tests.

Do I need a certain level of English to apply for the online pre-sessional English?

We would expect applicants to have the minimum equivalent of IELTS 5.5 to join our summer programmes. We would also recommend that if applicants need to improve their English level by 1 point that they join the 11 week June programme. If you only require to improve your English language by 0.5 then you can join our 6 week July programme

How much are the courses ?

Our course fees for pre-sessional are the same as our on-campus English Programme, as it is the same programme that you would have studied on campus, albeit delivered remotely.

Will the dates for the Summer Pre-Sessional change?

We are planning to run the pre-sessional courses at the advertised time. However, if the current situation means we have to amend any aspect of that, including dates, we will contact all applicants accordingly. 

Do I have to pay my deposit to do the online Pre-sessional?

For Pre-sessional courses you are required to pay the full tuition fee in sterling before you enrol. Details of how to do this will be in your offer letter.

If you are studying a course after the English programme, you may be required to pay a deposit for that programme.  You do not need to pay this at the time of enrolling on the online pre-sessional.  Our team will work with you to ensure you have all the information you need on when you would need to make this payment.

Do you accept online English tests for evidence of my English language ability?

Due to the current situation Northumbria is expanding the number of tests that we recognise as evidence. We are currently accepting TOEFL Home Edition and from mid-May we will be accepting IELTS Indicator.  We also recognise Duolingo as evidence for entry onto our online/distance learning programmes. 

What is the application deadline for the online Pre-sessional course?

Applications should be received by :

11 Week June Pre sessional – 31 May 2020

6 Week July Pre Sessional – 30 June 2020

Will there be an induction programme?

Yes, there will be an online induction programme, which will introduce you to the course and to the academic team. This will also cover how the course will be delivered and how you will access learning materials. It is important that you attend these inductions to really ensure you are prepared before the teaching begins.

Will I need any specialist equipment for the online Pre sessional?

To get the best out of this programme we recommend that you have access to a laptop or PC and also a good stable internet connection. In addition headphones may also be beneficial.

What is the latest I can join the online programme?

Due to the nature of the programme, applicants are expected to join the course for the induction and will not be permitted to enrol late.

International Applicants

Do I need a visa if I start online

No you will not require a visa when you study online, but you will need a visa to join us on campus.   If you require a visa to travel to the university you will need to make sure you make all the necessary preparations for this before travelling.  You can contact us to let us know you are now able to join us on campus and we will make sure you have all the information you need - Details on how to do this, will be provided to your with your induction information.

I have almost met the English requirement for my programme. Is there any flexibility?

Please upload your results or use the contact us button via the applicant portal to provide us details of your results. The team will then contact you to discuss your options directly.

I have taken an IELTS test but do not have the certificate yet. What should I do?

If you have already taken a test you should receive your Test Report Form (TRF) by email.  If you do not have the certificate you can provide the TRF number to the admissions team and we can verify your results online. Please upload a copy of your Test Report via the applicant portal.

Important- for all international students from the UK Education and Universities Ministers


This letter provides information, relevant resources and reassurance that all international students are welcome to study in the UK in the Autumn.  It includes:                             


1. The new two-year graduate route


2. Application for Tier 4 visa


3. Health and wellbeing of international students in the UK


4. Useful resources for international students

I have booked an IELTS test but I am not sure if I will be able to undertake it?

You should email the test centre directly if you have queries about an upcoming test. More information can be found here.

My visa centre is closed. Can Northumbria help me get my visa?

We are aware that a number of visa centres are closed in many countries. We hope that centres will open before students are due to apply for their visa, but we are monitoring this situation carefully and will update this page with any new information.

My institution in my home country is closed. Will this affect my chance of coming to Northumbria?

The University is aware that a number of countries are facing institutional closures and cancelled or delayed examinations. We understand you may be anxious about the effect this has on your ability to study at Northumbria.

We are continually monitoring this situation and are receiving updates from the British Council, examination awarding bodies, our regional offices and agents. Information can be found below for some examinations. This will let you know in more detail how the awarding bodies are managing the examinations and assessments for students.

Cambridge International

International Baccalaureate


College Board

I am an International Applicant. Where can I find up to date advice on studying and living in the UK?

UKCISA has a range of information and advice for International Applicants and Students, including a Covid-19 FAQ section which is regularly updated.

Is the Northumbria Regional Office still open in my country?

Northumbria has a number of regional offices located overseas. Due to the ongoing pandemic staff are working to support students remotely. Regional Office contact details can be found here.

What will happen if the quarantine for travellers entering the UK is still in place?

The UK Government regulations currently require all travellers arriving from overseas to self-isolate for 14 days. If this is in place when you are ready to join us, we strongly encourage you to plan your travel to the UK so that you arrive 14 days before the start of teaching, if visa arrangements allow. Whilst these regulations remain in place, we want to ensure that this process is as comfortable as possible for you. So, we will:

- Allow you to move into your University-managed accommodation 14 days prior to your original start date, free of charge over this period if you book a full annual tenancy with us;

- As part of a welcome pack provide you with food and drinks to suit cultural preferences,  bedding, towels, toiletries, and kitchen equipment;

- Offer continued support throughout the 14-day period.

We recommend you check the latest UK government advice before you travel.

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