FAQS for graduate offer holders (2021/22 entry)

Information for offer holders looking to begin graduate courses in the 2021/22 academic year

We recognise that the current situation regarding coronavirus (COVID-19) is causing uncertainty and difficulties, but we remain committed to limiting any impact this will have on your ability to take up your place. We will support you in the best possible way through the admissions process, and are committed to the highest standards of education, despite the ongoing pandemic. Scholarship award processes are also continuing, and it is expected that the vast majority of scholarships will be awarded by the end of June.

Please find below answers to some of the frequently asked questions. As soon as we have further information, updates will be posted to this page as well as shared via the Preparing for Oxford emails, and we would encourage you to check this page regularly.

Meeting conditions

I cannot complete my undergraduate course because my education has been disrupted or my university has closed. What do I do?

Most institutions have put plans in place to enable students to complete their qualification as expected, so we would expect most students to be able to finish their qualification. If you are offered a place on a course at Oxford, you will normally be set a condition of achieving your current qualification with a minimum score and providing a final transcript by a specified date (if you have not already completed your current degree). The deadline may vary by department, but, for entry in October 2021, the latest date you can provide this information is 31 August 2021 (although this may need to be earlier if you need to apply for a student visa).

If the completion of your current course will be delayed because of personal circumstances or other reasons, and therefore you will be unable to take up your place at Oxford by your course start date, please contact your academic department who will provide further guidance.

I have received an offer from Oxford with an academic condition to achieve a certain score in my current qualification, but my institution has made changes to my examinations, and is going to issue me with an unclassified degree as a result of the pandemic. Will it be accepted as sufficient evidence to meet academic conditions?


If your institution’s assessment and examination processes have changed since you have been made an offer, please contact your academic department with details of the changes your institution has made and a copy of your final transcript, together with any further information your institution is making available to you to accompany your degree, for example, revised assessment/examination/marking schemes. The academic department will assess this information, and let you know whether this is sufficient.

I’m a current Oxford student, and have received an offer with an academic condition to achieve a certain score in my Oxford qualification, but I am unable to undertake my assessments and will be issued with a Declared Award. Will this be accepted to complete my academic condition?

Where offer holders are no longer able to obtain their qualification as originally expected as a result of the pandemic, and you are being issued with an Oxford Declared Award in 2021, this will be accepted for completion of academic conditions for admission to graduate programmes at Oxford due to start in 2021-22.

Please email your academic department with a copy of your final degree results including any marks/scores once they are available, together with any further available information about your Declared Award, for example, an enhanced reference. 

I cannot book an English language test because test centres are currently closed where I live. What do I do?

Many test centres are now open and you can check on the IELTS website and/or on the TOEFL website if your region is included.

We accept the online TOEFL IBT (Special Home Edition), alongside the other accepted tests. Please check whether this is available to you where you live. You will need to achieve the same scores as for the standard IBT, as detailed on our website.

Alternatively, you can use the University’s English language pre-sessional course to meet your English language condition provided you have an English language test result within the past two years, which is no more than 0.5 IELTS points lower overall than the Standard or Higher level, as required for your academic course (further information about equivalencies for other tests can be found in the Application Guide). The course runs from Monday 19 July 2021 - Friday 27 August 2021 and costs £2,400. Further details about the pre-sessional English course are available on the Graduate Admissions website and on the Language Centre's website. If you wish to use this route to meet your English language condition, please contact your department.

One of my offer conditions is to provide evidence of my final transcript. Is a scanned copy acceptable?

Please do not post any documents to your academic department due to disruption to postal services.

You will be asked to provide a secure electronic copy of your final transcript or a scanned/digital copy emailed directly to us from your institution. If this is not possible, you can email a high-resolution photo or scanned copy of your final transcript. Please note that if you email your transcript evidence to us, we may subsequently verify this with the awarding institution or ask you for a hard-copy original.

I’m an offer holder and I need to post a document/have already posted a document to meet the conditions of my offer. Have you received it?

Please do not post any documents to your academic department or college due to disruption to postal services.

If you need to send documents to your department or college as evidence to meet conditions, please scan them and email them to the email addresses provided in your offer letters. If you have already posted a document, please email an electronic copy to your department or college (as relevant).

Please see also the FAQ above about transcript evidence.


Arrangements for the 2021-22 academic year

What will the impact of COVID-19 be for courses starting in September 2021?

We are fully committed to delivering an outstanding academic experience to our students, to maintaining our focus on personalised teaching, and to the safety and wellbeing of our entire community. It is too early to say exactly what the situation will be in September 2021. However, we will update these FAQs and send regular updates on our plans in line with government guidance and health advice.

What health measures will be in place at the University?

It is too early to say exactly what measures will be in place next year. However, the health wellbeing of its students and staff is the University’s number one priority. A wide range of health measures are currently in place, including protective measures in our buildings, a dedicated COVID-19 testing centre which is free to access for all University members; and an ongoing health campaign. Detailed information on health and wellbeing measures are available on our coronavirus webpages for current students.



Will all student accommodation be available to students, and when will I find out if I have a room? 

Offer holders may be eligible for college accommodation, and your college will provide further information, and if relevant, explain the process for applying for its accommodation.  If your college is not able to provide accommodation, the University's Graduate Accommodation Office may be able to help, or you may need to seek accommodation in the private sector. You can find out more about the different accommodation options for graduate students on our website.


Fees and Funding 

Is the University still awarding scholarships for postgraduate students who will be starting new courses in the 2021-22 academic year?

Yes, scholarship award processes are continuing as planned and it is expected that the vast majority of scholarships will be awarded by June. We would encourage you to explore also the other options such as loans, external scholarships and external funding which may be available to you.

Will there be any changes to courses fees or funding arrangements due to COVID-19? 

No – course fees and funding arrangements will not be changed. We will ensure that students are able to take advantage of our world class academic teaching and meet the educational objectives of each programme.

University staff continue to work strenuously to ensure our high-quality teaching, assessments and examinations go ahead while minimising impacts for students. Other University services (e.g. student welfare, careers support) continue to be provided even though staff may still be working remotely. Find out more about fees and funding.

Will there be any changes to fees and funding for EU students?

You can find out more about changes to fees and funding as a result of the UK’s departure from the EU on our dedicated webpages. We are as committed as ever to welcoming the brightest students from all over the world for graduate study at Oxford and around two-thirds of Oxford's graduate students come from outside the UK.



I live outside the UK. Will I have to self-isolate when arriving in the UK?  Do I need to arrive before the start of term? 

It is too early to say exactly what the situation will be in September 2021. However, students will need to follow national and international travel guidance including advice on how to quarantine when you arrive in England. Further updates will be shared in the coming months.


Immigration and visa applications

I'm preparing for my Student Route visa application, where can I find support and information?

Please refer to our visa and immigration information for further details. We will be in contact with offer holders in July with further detailed support. Please contact student.immigration@admin.ox.ac.uk with any queries in the meantime, including requesting information in alternative formats. 


I need to apply for a visa but my local visa application centres is closed. What should I do?

Nearly all visa centres are now open subject to any temporary local restrictions in your home country. We recommend checking with your local visa application centre for the latest information on the services they are offering. If you are applying for your visa from outside the UK the earliest you can apply is 6 months before the course start date. You can read the information on the visa and immigration webpages to prepare in advance.


I’m an EU/EEA student. Will I need a visa because of Brexit?

If you are currently living in the UK, or you left the UK temporarily before 31 December 2020 but plan to return, you might still be able to apply for the EU Settlement scheme before 30 June 2021. If you are not eligible to apply for the EU Settlement Scheme, you will need to apply for a student visa and pay the immigration health surcharge. Please refer to our visa and immigration webpages including details about applying for the EU Settlement Scheme if you are eligible.

If I become unwell, what access will I have to healthcare?

Students from the UK and Ireland have access to the NHS. If you are an EU, EEA, Swiss national who has pre-settled or settled status granted under the EU Settlement Scheme you will also have access to the same NHS healthcare services. If you are from outside the UK and need a student visa you (and any dependant family members) will need to pay the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) as part of a visa application to access the NHS Services.

If you are coming for a period of 6 months or less on a visitor visa, note that this does not cover medical care so you will need private health insurance. However, the NHS does cover treatment needed if you developed COVID but you should still take our private health insurance for all other possible medical treatment (not related to COVID) if coming as a visitor for six months or less.

What does the Immigration Health Surcharge cover? Should I take out private health insurance?

Paying the compulsory Immigration Health Surcharge as part of your visa application means you can access NHS treatment on the same basis as other UK residents for the duration of your time in the UK. Find out more information on what is provided under the NHS. The surcharge covers all essential health care needs with most treatment being free though there are standard charges for prescriptions. Taking out private health insurance on top of this is a matter of individual choice, it does not exempt you from paying this charge.



Can I defer my place?

You can request a deferral if you have met all your conditions (academic and financial), and have experienced individual, exceptional, unforeseen or unforeseeable circumstances, such as ill-health/bereavement. Please refer to our standard policy on deferrals. Please contact your academic department with your reasons and evidence. Note that generic reference to the coronavirus pandemic will not be considered an acceptable ground for deferral.

Joining the University

I have completed all my academic and financial conditions, and am ready to enrol. Will the University accept scanned copies of University Card Forms for next academic year?

Offer holders who have fulfilled all their academic and financial conditions will be sent a University Card Form by their academic department which they will have to complete and return to confirm their intention to enrol at Oxford. For Michaelmas (Autumn) term 2021, you should email a scanned copy of your University Card Form instead of posting it. Full instructions will be emailed to you by your academic department.

When will I receive a University card / gain access to key systems?

Once your department has confirmed to you that you have met all the conditions of your offer, you should return your completed University card form in line with the guidance provided by your department. We will then be able to create your University card (student ID) and your Single Sign-On (SSO) account and provide you with a username and password to access many services at Oxford, including your email account, the student self-service portal and virtual learning environments. This may take some time, but you will receive this information in time for the start of your course. 

For more information and step-by-step guidance for setting up your essential IT accounts, visit our Getting Started web pages. The next step will be to complete your online registration before your course starts. You will be provided with relevant information to your Oxford email in due course.


Further information

Who should I contact if I have a question?

  • If you are an offer holder and you have a question about meeting your academic conditions, please contact your academic department via the contact details in your Certificate of Offer.
  • If you are an offer holder and you have a question about meeting your financial conditions, please contact your college via the contact details in your college offer letter.
  • If you are currently applying for a course or have a general enquiry, please use this online form to contact the Graduate Admissions and Recruitment Office.
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