FAQs for current students

Last updated: Friday 30 July 2021

Before reading these FAQs, you should first refer to the following pages, as the information you are looking for may already be available elsewhere on this site: 

Jump to: 

Teaching, learning and assessment
Exams and assessments
Research fieldwork
Academic impacts
Specific information for postgraduate research students
Fees and funding
Student life
Health and wellbeing
Colleges and accommodation
Travel and visas
Ceremonies
Further questions

Teaching, learning and assessment

What changes are being made to the arrangements for students in the 2020/21 academic year?

Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the University is having to make important changes to teaching, assessments and other services - to maintain our world-class learning experience for all students, and to minimise risks of infection for students, staff and the wider community. The information on these webpages outlines the changes that will be made. You must read this information, along with any details of changes sent by your College or Department.

Under the terms of your student contract this information, together with the updates provided to you over the summer of 2020, are notifications of material changes under the ‘Changes to Courses’ provisions. When you registered with the University, you have been asked to confirm that you have read this information and that you have consented to the changes.

Exams and assessments

How will I sit my exams this year, and will they be in-person or online?  

Your department will confirm full details of the arrangements that apply to you. There is support available for students taking all types of exams – whether in-person or online.

What arrangements are in place to ensure that in-person exams will be COVID-safe? 

Full details of the safety measures being put in place are available in the In-person Exams Guide for the current term. They include reduced venue capacities, the wearing of face coverings throughout, later start times to allow for socially-distanced arrival and only one sitting per day to facilitate enhanced cleaning.

What happens if I can’t do an in-person exam because I am in self-isolation or unable to return to Oxford? 

In exceptional circumstances, such as the need to self-isolate or you are unable to return to Oxford, it may be possible to sit an in-person exam remotely, under the online observation of a remote invigilator. If your circumstances change and you are unable to sit your exam in-person, please contact your College office immediately for further advice (or your department if you do not have a college).

What if I feel that COVID-19 has adversely impacted my academic performance in the 2020/21 academic year?

If you believe your academic performance has been seriously affected by the COVID-19 situation and/or a medical or personal issue you can submit a mitigating circumstances notice to your examiners (MCE) via your college (or your department if you do not have a college). You can find more information on the Examinations guidance page.

I don’t think I’ll be able to submit my coursework or dissertation on time because of COVID-19. What should I do?

Students are able to self-certify an extension of up to 14 days for reasons of short-term illness. Longer extensions are available based on the circumstances and supporting evidence via your college. See the Problems completing assessment page.

How will I submit my assessments in the 2020-21 academic year?

This year all assessments for taught degrees subjects should be submitted online via WebLearn, or via the anonymous submissions platform approved for your department. If you have any questions about submitting your work, please contact your departmental administrator.

The Submissions Desk in the Examination Schools will not be open to any submissions before the end of the 2020/21 academic year (unless otherwise indicated).

For postgraduate research students

Research Degree submissions will still be via the Research Thesis Digital Submissions portal.

You will not need to submit a hardbound copy of your DPhil thesis to the Exam Schools in order to graduate, following being granted leave to supplicate, during the 2020/21 academic year. This also includes any students who were unable to submit a hardbound copy due to COVID-19 in the 2019/20 academic year. However, all candidates do need to submit an electronic copy to the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) a minimum of five working days prior to your graduation date. You will not be able to attend a degree ceremony (even in absentia) without doing so. If access to your thesis needs to be restricted, a hard copy of your thesis will still need to be submitted to the Exam Schools. It is anticipated that it will be possible to submit these from October 2021, but this will be subject to confirmation. Hard copies should not be printed and submitted to the Exam Schools or arranged for print and delivery via print services in the meantime, before it is confirmed when it will be possible to receive them.

Research fieldwork

I plan to take part in research fieldwork. What should I do?

When government restrictions allow it, all research fieldwork and overseas travel will be subject to a suitable and sufficient risk assessment which must include consideration of the COVID-19 risk – and in line with your department’s policies. Further information, including COVID-19 specific fieldwork risk assessment templates, can be found on the Safety Office website.  

Where you plan to travel to a country or region to which the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) advises against travel (either because of COVID-19 concerns, or any other reasons), your risk assessment will need to be reviewed by the University Safety Office. Such travel must be academically essential, and approved by your Head of Department / Faculty Board Chair.
 
International travel to all other destinations must be academically justified and your Head of Department/ Faculty Board Chair may delegate approval (e.g. to a supervisor or course director). There is no need for Safety Office review.
 
If you are taking part in research fieldwork, you should speak to your supervisor in the first instance.

Academic impacts

What support is available for students impacted by COVID-19 in the 2020/21 academic year?

The University is committed to supporting all students during the pandemic, given the disruption we all face. 

Financial support includes the COVID-19 Assistance Fund, as well as the COVID-19 Scholarship Extension Fund for postgraduate research students.

We have also put in place a comprehensive package of mitigation measures, designed to ensure all students receive fair grades, in light of this year’s exceptional circumstances. Please refer to the teaching and learning page for more information .

Declared awards will remain in place for the very small number of students who are unable to complete their assessments, and who are unable to suspend their studies in order to return in the following academic year.

I need to complete a log to record how my studies are being disrupted due to COVID-19. What should I include?

You can include a note of any disruption which is linked to the pandemic. Examples of what you might include are:

  • Your own illness
  • Illness of family members
  • Increased caring responsibilities (whether due to illness or due to eg the impact of COVID-19 on your or your family members’ employment, or the impact of school/nursery closures)
  • Impact on your mental health
  • Impact of COVID-19 if you are a student with disabilities/long-term health conditions, eg you are at higher risk of COVID-19, or you are having difficulties with accessing support which would normally be available
  • Financial impacts
  • Inability to pursue your planned studies at present due to lack of access to facilities such as laboratories or libraries; inability to travel to undertake fieldwork; or inability to meet with research subjects, where alternatives are not available and the impact on your studies cannot be mitigated (you should discuss with your supervisor tutor whether alternatives are available)
  • Difficulties with your environment for remote study, eg poor-quality internet connection, lack of IT facilities, lack of study space
  • Impact on the availability of your tutor(s) which is affecting your progress (eg due to supervisor illness or caring responsibilities)

This list is not exhaustive, so please also record in your log any other disruption you have experienced due to COVID-19.

IS there a ‘no-detriment' policy in place for the 2020/21 academic year?

The University continues to believe (in line with other Russell Group universities, and their student unions), that a formulaic policy for all students is not the right approach, and that a more considered and tailored solution is required. The reasons for this are set out clearly in the Russell Group statement.

Instead we have put in place an assessment support package, comprising a set of mitigation measures designed to ensure all students receive fair grades, in light of this year’s exceptional circumstances. Go to the teaching and learning page for more details.

Will students be able to opt for declared awards in the 2020/21 academic year?

Declared awards’ were introduced in 2020, to account for the COVID-19 pandemic. They will still be available for students in their final year in 2020/21, including students on one-year Masters who started in Michaelmas term 2020. Like last year, the declared outcome is intended only for those students who cannot complete their assessments and who are unable to suspend and return the following year. If you have concerns about your ability to complete your assessments this year, you should talk to your college or department about the options available to you. As in previous years, you can submit a mitigating circumstances notice to examiners if you have particular issues with completing assessments, which you wish to bring to the attention of examiners, both for COVID-19 and non-COVID-19-related reasons.

Specific information for postgraduate research students

Disruption to study

My research has been disrupted because of coronavirus. What should I do?

We know that research may have been disrupted because, for example, students have not had their normal access to laboratories, or to archival material which they need. If this applies to you, you should discuss with your supervisor what alternative work you can undertake, depending on the stage of your research (eg literature review, work with remote data, writing up), and how your research project might be adjusted. We know that it will not always be possible to adjust your project, but if it is possible to any extent you should aim to do so.

We advise that you record the disruption you experience in the log provided by your division/department, to help ensure that you receive any extensions/suspensions/deferrals of Transfer or Confirmation of Status you may require at a later date. Keeping a log will act as a reminder for you in the future, but is not intended to require very extensive or frequent recording of details.

It is suggested that logs should include brief details of disruption experienced and dates (eg lack of access to archives during Trinity term 2020, working at 50% rate due to childcare responsibilities during Hilary term 2021), and should be detailed enough that it will be possible for the purpose of future applications for you to look back at them to write an account of how your study was disrupted. Logs should be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that they are updated when necessary (but they may not need to be updated at every review).

We have also introduced a process that may allow for some of the disruption caused by the pandemic to be taken into account at Transfer, Confirmation and Viva examinations. Each division has produced specific guidance about how to apply and the criteria which would still need to be met to obtain your degree. If you wish to explore this option you should discuss this with your supervisor.

Please also see the guidance on extensions to funding.

I need to complete a log to record how my research is being disrupted due to Coronavirus. What should I include?

Your division/department should provide you with a log to record any disruption to your research which is due to Coronavirus, to help ensure that you receive any extensions, suspensions, or deferrals of Transfer or Confirmation of Status you may require, at present or in the future.

You can include a note of any disruption which is linked to the pandemic. Examples of what you might include are:

  • Your own illness
  • Illness of family members
  • Increased caring responsibilities (whether due to illness or due to eg the impact of Coronavirus on your or your family members’ employment, or the impact of school/nursery closures)
  • Impact on your mental health
  • Impact of Coronavirus if you are a student with disabilities/long-term health conditions, eg you are at higher risk of Coronavirus, or you are having difficulties with accessing support which would normally be available
  • Financial impacts
  • Inability to pursue your planned studies at present due to lack of access to facilities such as laboratories or libraries; inability to travel to undertake fieldwork; or inability to meet with research subjects, where alternatives are not available and the impact on your research cannot be mitigated (you should discuss with your supervisor whether alternatives are available)
  • Difficulties with your environment for remote study, eg poor-quality internet connection, lack of IT facilities, lack of study space
  • Impact on the availability of your supervisor(s) which is affecting your progress (eg due to supervisor illness or caring responsibilities)
  • Redeployment to clinical work or Coronavirus-related research

This list is not exhaustive, so please also record in your log any other disruption you have experienced due to Coronavirus. You may also wish to record details of any disruptions as part of your student report in GSR. Keeping a log will act as a reminder for you in the future, but is not intended to require very extensive or frequent recording of details.

It is suggested that logs should include brief details of disruption experienced and dates (eg lack of access to archives during Trinity term 2020, working at 50% rate due to childcare responsibilities during Hilary term 2021), and should be detailed enough that it will be possible for the purpose of future applications for you to look back at them to write an account of how your study was disrupted. Logs should be reviewed at regular intervals to ensure that they are updated when necessary (but they may not need to be updated at every review).

I don’t think I will be able to submit my thesis on time because of coronavirus. What should I do?

You have two options available: you can apply for an extension (see below) or, if your work is sufficiently progressed, you may be able to submit your thesis with an explanation of the ways in which the pandemic has impacted upon your planned research, for the examiners to take into account. You will still need to meet the qualitative requirements of your DPhil, but the examiners may be able to take into account the impact of the pandemic on the volume and/or type of research produced. Each division has produced guidance for their research degree students about how to apply for this and the criteria which will still need to be met to obtain your degree. If you wish to explore this option, you should discuss it with your supervisor.

You can apply for an extension if you have reached your maximum submission deadline (the end of your 12th term if you are a full-time DPhil student).

You will be granted an extension if you cannot submit due to the impact of coronavirus.

Extensions due to coronavirus will not count towards the normal limits on the number of terms of extension which can be granted.

If you have not yet reached your maximum submission deadline (i.e. for a full-time DPhil student, you have not yet reached your 12th term), you should not apply for an extension yet. If you later reach your deadline and are unable to submit on time, you should apply for an extension at that point. This will be granted if the reason you need the extension is the impact of coronavirus. You will be able to use your log of the disruption you experience as evidence for the extension.

I don’t think I will be able to submit my work for Transfer or Confirmation of Status on time because of coronavirus. What should I do?

You can apply for a deferral of Transfer of Status or Confirmation of Status if these are due.

You will be granted a deferral if you cannot complete Transfer or Confirmation of Status due to the impact of coronavirus.

Deferrals due to coronavirus will not count towards the normal limits on the number of terms of deferral which can be granted.

If your Transfer or Confirmation of Status is not due, you should not apply for deferral yet.

If you later reach your deadline and are unable to complete Transfer or Confirmation on time, you should apply for a deferral at that point. This will be granted if the reason you need the deferral is the impact of coronavirus. You will be able to use your log of the disruption you experience as evidence for the deferral.

If you do not wish to apply for deferral of Transfer or Confirmation you may wish to have the disruption to your research caused by the pandemic taken into account by the examiners. Each division has produced guidance about how to apply for this and the criteria which will still need to be met to obtain your degree. If you wish to explore this option you should discuss this with your supervisor.  

If you do decide to apply for deferral of Transfer or Confirmation this will not prevent you from also applying to have disruption to your research taken into account.

I’m unable to study at all at the moment due to coronavirus. What should I do?

If you are unable to work on your research at all, you can apply to suspend study. You should discuss with your supervisor how your research project might be adjusted (see ‘My research has been disrupted because of coronavirus. What should I do?’). If the needs of your research mean that you cannot undertake any significant work due to coronavirus restrictions, you might decide to suspend.

You might also decide to suspend because the impact of coronavirus means that you are unable to study due to health issues or caring responsibilities, or other personal circumstances.

You will be granted suspension if you cannot study due to the impact of coronavirus.

Suspensions due to coronavirus will not count towards the normal limits on the number of terms of suspension which can be granted.

You should apply to suspend study once it becomes clear that you will be unable to work on your research at all during a particular term. We know that in some cases this might not become clear immediately, and that you might need to apply later than would normally be the case.

For funding information see the separate section on fees and funding. Student visa holders should see the separate section below about visas.

Assessment and thesis submission

I need to attend my viva, or my interview for Transfer or Confirmation of Status. What should I do?

Both PGR vivas and milestone assessments (Transfer or Confirmation of Status interviews) can be held remotely online via videoconference.

Your Director of Graduate Studies can give permission for this in exceptional circumstances, which of course include reasons related to Coronavirus restrictions. You should agree in writing to the arrangements; and the remote viva should comply with guidance available in Annexes D and E of the Policy and Guidance on Research Degrees

 You can be remote from both examiners/assessors (i.e. three-way remote vivas are permitted). You do not need to wear sub-fusc when attending a remote viva (and neither do your examiners).

Most vivas/milestone assessments are likely to be held remotely online during the Coronavirus pandemic. However, in-person vivas/milestone assessments are not forbidden if they can be conducted within government public health requirements and guidance applicable at the time of the viva/milestone assessment, and if both you and the examiners/assessors wish to meet in person.

If you have concerns regarding remote attendance which relate to disability, your department should explore with you if there are adjustments which could be made which would allow you to feel comfortable in attending remotely. Guidance on adjustments to vivas/milestone interviews is available at Annex C of the Policy and guidance on research degrees. If you have a disability which means that you require an in-person viva/interview, but there will be a delay until this is possible, you should not be required to attend a remote viva/interview instead. Your department should discuss with you the implications of the delay for your work, and any mitigations which can be put in place.

I’ve already attended my viva, but I’m unable to resubmit my thesis with minor or major corrections at the moment, due to Coronavirus. What should I do?

Some PGR students need to resubmit their thesis with minor or major corrections after their viva.

If you are not able to resubmit your thesis to your deadline, and you have been granted the extensions normally allowed, you may be granted a further extension if the reason you are unable to resubmit is due to Coronavirus.

You should contact your Graduate Studies Assistant or departmental graduate administrator to ask about this.

Fees and funding

Is there any hardship funding available to me?

The University has set up two financial support schemes for students in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. This funding is provided in addition to the usual financial assistance programmes which are available to students. 

Please follow these links for more information: 

  • The COVID-19 Assistance Fund (CAF) provides grants of up to £5,000 to students whose finances have been negatively affected by the pandemic since they began their studies at Oxford. Students must be facing exceptional and unexpected financial need which has led to a shortfall in their finances that they are unable to meet through other sources. The closing date for applications in the 2020/21 academic year was Friday 4 June 2021 (6th week, Trinity term) and the scheme has now closed. Further details about support available for the 2021/22 academic year will be published later in the summer. 

  • The COVID-19 Scholarship Extensions Fund (CSEF) has been established to support postgraduate research students who hold university scholarships and who wish to apply for additional time to complete their programme because of COVID-19. 

I am a graduate student funded by a Research Council or Oxford Scholarship – will my funding be extended because of the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Postgraduate research students will be able to apply either for funding extensions or hardship support, depending on your current funding arrangements. The latest details are available on the COVID-19 Scholarships Extensions Fund page on the Oxford Students website.

Will there be any changes to fees or funding arrangements?

No. Course fees and funding arrangements will not be impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. We are ensuring that students are able to take advantage of our world class academic teaching and meet the educational objectives of each programme. For these reasons it is not appropriate for course fees to be waived. 
 
The current circumstances are exceptional and well beyond our control, yet University staff are working strenuously to ensure our high-quality teaching, assessments and examinations, go ahead while minimising impacts for students. Other University services (eg student welfare, careers support) will continue to be provided even though staff are working remotely. 
 

What is the University position on refunds during the pandemic?

We recognise that the COVID-19 pandemic has affected students’ university experience in a variety of ways. We have done everything in our power to respond in a way that supports students and optimises their education within the constraints of the pandemic and the various restrictions imposed by the Government to control the spread of the virus. We have continued to provide teaching, assessments and services at the usual high standard, albeit by different means because of the pandemic. Therefore, the University fully intends to meet all key learning outcomes and to continue to provide excellent teaching and other services, meaning that fee reductions or refunds will not be appropriate. Of course we are continuing to monitor developments affecting students generally.

This position does not affect your right to seek redress through the University’s established complaints procedures if you believe that the University’s academic, administrative or support provision has fallen significantly below that promised in the student contract. You can raise concerns under the University’s Student Complaints Procedure about the academic services provided (such as teaching or supervision) and non-academic matters (such as support services, accommodation, facilities etc.).

If you wish to make a complaint, you should address this to ​the relevant University department or service in the first instance ​(for example, your Department or Faculty if your complaint is about your course). Please refer to the Complaints and academic appeals guidance on the Oxford Students website for more details. Further information about making complaints can also be found in the Course Handbook for your course, in the University Student Handbook, on your Department or Faculty’s website, or by contacting the Department’s head of teaching support.

Please note that in the context of the pandemic, some rescheduling of activities may be essential. It may therefore be difficult to judge the extent to which the University has met its contractual obligations until towards the end of the academic year. You should bear this in mind when considering making a complaint. ​You should also be aware that there is a three-month time-limit from when the matters you are complaining about occurred, for raising complaints with the Proctors, although this can be extended in certain circumstances. If you are in doubt about when to complain you should seek advice from your Department and/or the Proctors' Office.

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

There will be no changes to fees or funding arrangements as a result of the pandemic. For information about changes resulting from the UK’s departure from the European Union please refer to our Oxford and the EU FAQs page.

How do I open a bank account as a new European or International student?

See the Oxford bank guide for European and International Students with information about how to open a bank account this year. Most banks will now open accounts online and allow you to upload documents online as proof of your identify and your student status. If they require further identity checks, they may ask to do this on a telephone call or arrange an appointment at the bank for you.

If I am attending my course online, will it affect eligibility for funding, for example, US loans?

The exact terms and conditions of funding will vary by funder, and the University has sought to address any issues arising from changes of format in teaching for specific funding. We can, for instance, provide supporting material to request that funding is continued despite any changes in format.

For US Loans, there is temporary provision in the CARES Act which permits US Loans to be used for courses which are delivered online due to coronavirus.

For UK government funding, the Student Loans Company have provided guidance for students from England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Further guidance is also provided for students who have moved back home in the January term. Guidance for students from Scotland is provided by the Student Awards Agency Scotland.

Oxford scholarships and bursaries are unaffected by any online teaching and will be paid as normal.

I am a graduate student funded by a Research Council or Oxford Scholarship. Will my funding be extended because of the COVID-19 pandemic? 

Postgraduate research students who began their programme of study before the 2020/21 academic year will be able to apply either for funding extensions or hardship support, depending on your current funding arrangements. The latest details are available on a new COVID-19 Scholarships Extensions Fund page on the Oxford Students website.  

Student Life

Student events

What can my club/society/group do socially?

Online events allow you to be as certain as possible that your events will be able to go ahead, and can reach members wherever they are geographically. Suggestions for online events can be found in Oxford SU's information document, which has been updated in the light of ideas and experiences to date this academic year.

In-person events must take place in accordance with local and national guidance in place at the time.

What resources are there available for me to help plan an online or in-person event?

Oxford SU and the University have developed support for students organising events this academic year.

A comprehensive interactive resource is now available from Oxford SU for you to complete, with support on what you need to think about when organising either an online or face-to-face event, along with lots of ideas.

Further information can also be found in the SU's information document.

A risk guidance tool and templates for in-person events, when permitted, has been published by the University.

We also encourage you to promote your events on the Love Oxford events page.

Can I arrange an in-person meeting for my club/society/group in College?

It is essential that you speak to your College before organising the event.

Our club/society/JCR/MCR is a registered charity. Is it exempt from restrictions on events and mixing households in Government regulations?

Only if you are delivering your clear charitable purpose. For example, if you are a registered charity with the charitable aim of tackling homelessness in Oxford, you could use the exemption to deliver frontline services eg giving out food. However, this would not extend to fundraising events such as bingo nights etc. You should speak to your College before proceeding with such events.

Please note that if you are a University-registered club, you cannot use the University’s charitable or education status to exempt you from the restrictions.  

Health and wellbeing

Do I need to wear a face covering?

All students and staff are required to wear face coverings during in-person teaching and in indoor shared spaces, with exceptions for both individuals and settings where they are not appropriate (for example on grounds of disability). For more information about face coverings, please refer to the face coverings policy.

Do I still need to self-isolate if I have a COVID-free certificate?

COVID-free certificates are not valid in the UK. You will still need to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival.

I consider myself to be vulnerable (for example, I have an underlying health condition). What support will be available to me?

The University is implementing a range of measures to ensure that students can be safely taught in person, where government guidance and local health and safety circumstances allows. We will ensure that all learning can be conducted remotely if necessary for the health and safety of individual students. This includes students in high risk categories who are not able to return to the University. If you have any concerns, you should speak to your GP and/or hospital specialist in the first instance, and discuss with your college or department as appropriate.

Are there any additional safety measures in place for part-time students?

The same safety measures will apply as for full-time students. However, you should wait for information from your department about how your teaching will be delivered as there may be some adaptations (such as the ability to participate remotely in teaching that would normally only be delivered face-to-face).

Will there be a Student Responsibility Agreement in place in the next 2021/22 year?

The Student Responsibility Agreement was introduced in the 2019/20 academic year to set out the behaviours expected of students and protect the health of the whole Oxford community. Given the ongoing pandemic, you will still be expected to follow the behaviours set out in the Agreement in the next academic year. However, these will be outlined as health and safety instructions, rather than in a specific agreement that you need to sign. More information will follow soon.

Colleges and accommodation

What support is available for students who will need to quarantine in college on arrival in the UK?

Colleges will support all students who are required to self-isolate or quarantine. Provision will vary by college and students will be accommodated either into temporary small household groups, or singular ensuite rooms with meals provided based on college availability. Please speak to the Accommodation Manager in your college for specific information.

What support is available to me if I am living out?

College welfare support extends to all students within that college, regardless of where they live. Students will be supplied with important contact information from their college and staff will stay in touch with students living in private rented accommodation, especially with students who are unwell or self-isolating. Students in private accommodation and students in college accommodation are each considered to be in separate and distinct household groups. Separate household groups cannot merge because our populations are too high and locations densely populated. 

Will students be grouped into ‘households’ in colleges in the 2021/22 academic year?

Households were very effective at helping to contain the spread of COVID-19 in the 2020/21 academic year. However, it is too early to say whether it will be necessary to operate them in the next academic year. This will depend on government guidance and on the public health situation. Colleges have made detailed contingency plans so that, if necessary, a households system can be put in place.

Travel and visas

Travelling to and from Oxford

If I need to travel internationally, can I use the Oxford COVID-19 test as proof that I am negative for the virus?

Regrettably, the University’s Early Alert Service cannot be used for this purpose. The University’s Early Alert Service uses NHS services and is not available for any purpose other than the testing of people with COVID-19 symptoms, or as a way of managing an outbreak. As such, it does not produce the correct certification accepted for international travel. If you need to have proof of a negative test for international travel you will need to take a test through a private provider. Please be aware that COVID-19 entry requirements vary from country to country, and individuals may wish to contact their airline or travel agent for further information before arranging a test.

Will I be tested on arrival in the UK?

You will need to have proof of a negative test result taken in the 3 days before travelling to the UK. See the government guidance on coronavirus testing before you travel to England for more details. Depending on whether you are coming from a green, amber or red list country you will also need additional tests after arriving, as explained on the UK Government website.

If you are coming from a ‘red-list’ country you will need to quarantine in a managed hotel. You will only be allowed to enter the UK if you are a British or Irish National, or you have residence rights in the UK. For up-to-date information see the UK Government website.

Will I need to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

Please refer to the UK Government website for the latest information on entering the UK, including full details of COVID-19 testing, quarantine rules and the public health passenger locator form that everyone entering the UK must complete before travelling.

If you hold a student visa or other ‘residence rights’ and are from a ‘red-list’ country you will need to quarantine in a managed hotel; note that visitors cannot travel to the UK from these countries. 

You should also consider this for any future travel plans during this academic year as you will need to quarantine again if you travel outside the UK and return again.  

For more information about self-isolation, please refer to the colleges and accommodation page.

Visas

Where can I get further help for Student visas, EU Settlement Scheme or other visa queries?

The Home Office has published new guidance for Student visa holders (PDF) with the University as your sponsor and also additional information for short-term students. 

What type of visa should part-time offer holders apply for?

This is likely to vary depending on your course attendance pattern, as each course at Oxford can be quite different in the expectations of whether you need to be in Oxford for the entire course, or to only come for very short periods. In the first instance you should talk to the course administrator and then if necessary they may refer you to Student Immigration for further advice. 

BRPs need to be collected within 10 days of arrival, but I need to self-isolate for 10 days. What should I do?

When your Student visa is approved you will receive an initial travel vignette/sticker in your passport to come to the UK, which will be valid for 90 days. You need to travel during the period of its validity. If this is not possible contact student.immigration@admin.ox.ac.uk. The Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) is your visa for the full duration of your course. The 10 day timeframe for BRP collection has been relaxed and your BRP will be kept for you but you should aim to collect it as soon as you can (for instance after the 10 day isolation period).

My nationality means that I need to register with the Police on arrival within 7 days, but I need to self-isolate for 14 days. What should I do?

Some nationalities are required to register with the Police on arrival, see the Police Registration page for a list of nationalities. You are only required to complete the online part of Police registration within 7 days and you can do this online form while in quarantine. At a later date, you will also need to book an appointment with the Police but this can be done within a few months of arriving and depending on the availability of appointments. The Thames Valley Police are currently not offering any appointments during the pandemic but will contact you when the appointments become available again, if you have completed the online form that it is all you need to do for the moment. 

For international students

My student visa is expiring and I cannot return home because of travel restrictions. What should I do?

The Home Office has published guidance for those who cannot return home because of travel restrictions. The UKCISA website has a helpful summary of this for international students and a link to the free Home Office helpline and email address for immigration queries. If you need help contact student.immigration@admin.ox.ac.uk.

Has the Government changed the work permission for student visa holders?

If you are working for the NHS as a doctor, nurse or paramedic you can now work unlimited hours, see the updated Home Office guidance. Otherwise, your work permission remains the same. Note that if you suspend your studies your work permission usually no longer applies. For any further queries, contact Student Immigration directly.

Ceremonies

Will my degree ceremony go ahead?

The University has confirmed that degree ceremonies are planned to resume from September 2021, subject to Government guidelines at the time. We are working hard to accommodate as many graduands as possible to the ceremonies – whether they are current students, or those who have already left the University. There will be places at the ceremonies taking place between September and November 2021 for current students in their final year, as well as those who have already had their ceremonies postponed. Additional ceremonies will also take place from early 2022.

Current finalists will be contacted in early July to invite them to book on to an upcoming ceremony. Colleges are also in the process of writing to those graduands who they can accommodate in the 2021 ceremonies.
 
If you have an urgent cause to attend a ceremony in 2021 (for example because you may be travelling back to your home country), you should speak to your college before 15 July 2021.

I have already left the University, but have not yet had a degree ceremony due to the pandemic. When will I be able to attend a ceremony?

There will be places at the ceremonies taking place between September and November 2021 for students who have not yet attended a ceremony; as well as at the additional ceremonies expected to take place from early 2022.

Colleges are in the process of writing to those graduands who they can accommodate in the 2021 ceremonies.
 
If you are waiting for a ceremony, and you do not hear from your college by 31 July 2021, it is likely you will be contacted once arrangements start being made for the ceremonies taking place from 2022.
 
Graduands who need to have their degrees conferred urgently can always do so by having their names added to existing ceremonies, to attend in absentia. Please contact your college if you wish to do this.
 
If you have already registered to have your degree conferred in absentia, this process will continue as normal – so no further action is needed. If you need to have your degree conferred urgently then please contact your college to request this to be done in absentia at the next available ceremony.

I am a current final year student. When will I be able to attend a ceremony?

Current finalists will be contacted in early July and, if eligible, invited to book on to an upcoming ceremony. If invited, we encourage you to attend a ceremony in 2021 if possible, but there will be an opportunity to apply in needed.
 
If you have a later exam board date, you will be contacted when the 2022 ceremonies open for bookings. If you have an urgent cause to attend a ceremony in 2021 (for example because you may be travelling back to your home country), you should speak to your college before 15 July 2021.

I would like to attend a rearranged ceremony in the future, but I would like my degree certificate sooner. Is this possible?

No. You will not be able to receive your certificate until you have attended your degree ceremony in person or in absentia. However, you will be able to receive an electronic degree confirmation letter, which can be ordered for no additional charge by from Degree Conferrals.

Further questions

Who should I contact if I have a question that is not answered by the information on these pages?

If you have a question that is not answered by the information on this page, please contact your college (for undergraduate students) or your department (for graduate students) in the first instance.

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