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, although the majority of scholarships for 2021/22 have now been awarded.

Please find below answers to some of the frequently asked questions. Updates will be posted on the webpages for current students and offer holders, and we would encourage you to check our website 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). Please refer to your offer letter which will tell you the deadline by which this information is required.  

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.

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. More information on teaching and learning in Michaelmas (autumn) term 2021 is available on our coronavirus webpages for offer holders and returning students

When will I find out the details of how my course will be taught/delivered? When will I find out about any changes to my course?

Departments and faculties are now carrying out detailed planning in preparation for the start of term. They will provide more information direct to you in line with the latest government advice. If there have been major changes to your course, you will be informed of these by your department/faculty. If you have any questions about your course, course timetables or assessment arrangements, please contact your department/faculty.

When will I receive my SSO/University card?

Once your department/faculty 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/faculty.

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. For more information and step-by-step guidance for setting up your essential IT accounts, visit our Getting Started web pages.

Once you have activated the SSO you will then be able to use it to access your Oxford e-mail, Student Self Service and other online resources. This access isn’t dependent on a University card being physically received. You will then receive your University card when you arrive in Oxford.

What health measures will be in place at the University?

The University’s health guidance was updated in early September, and you can find full details of the current health guidance on the coronavirus webpages

 

Accommodation

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.

What other accommodation options are available for students? When is the best time to look for accommodation?

If your college isn't able to house you, you will need to make alternative arrangements for your accommodation.

For more information on University-owned graduate accommodation and how to apply, visit the University's Graduate Accommodation Office website.

The Oxford University Students Union (Oxford SU) provides guidance on living out and can help you if you have questions or concerns about accommodation. You can also search for properties to let on the Oxford SU Accommodation Service website.

You may find it useful to search external websites, such as the Daily Info website and specialist student accommodation websites such as Rightmove for students or Student Accommodation UK.

If you are not already looking for accommodation, you should start your search for accommodation as soon as possible.

Is there any support available to help with finding accommodation?

A short-term signposting service has been set up to direct full-time, graduate students to potential sources of accommodation in Oxford. The initiative involves the colleges, the University’s Graduate Accommodation Office and the private sector.

If you require assistance in finding accommodation for the coming academic year, please email graduate.admissions@admin.ox.ac.uk. We hope this service will help you in your search for accommodation, but please note it will not direct you to specific accommodation, nor arrange accommodation on your behalf.

 

Fees and Funding 

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

Scholarship award processes are continuing as planned and the majority of Oxford’s scholarship funding opportunities have now been awarded for the 2021/22 academic year. If you’ve not been offered a scholarship, or have only secured partial funding, you should now proceed with taking up any alternative support that may be available to you to enable you to finalise your funding arrangements and complete your Financial Declaration. Information about other sources of funding is available on our external funding or loans webpages.

Applications for UK Master’s and Doctoral loans are open via the Student Finance website. Eligible students who wish to take up this funding should apply as early as possible to ensure this is in place for the start of their course.

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.

What funding is still available? I can’t meet my financial condition because I have lost my source of funding. What options are available to me?

Look at the Oxford funding page for an overview of the funding opportunities available; at this stage we recommend you research external funding and loans for which you may be eligible.

Do not wait until you get here to sort out funding for future years. Funding options for on-course students are extremely limited. You should therefore be confident that you can fund your whole course, including living costs.

What are the possibilities for working alongside my studies?

Do not assume you can earn your way through your studies. If you are a full-time student, there will not be much time to take on paid work, and if you are a part-time student, you will need to ensure that work does not impact on your studies. See our Policy on working whilst studying. Within the Paid work guidelines, the following may be possible within the University: teaching opportunities (please contact your department for more information), demonstrator opportunities (in the experimental sciences, demonstrators are sometimes required for practical classes); Research Assistantships; and Junior Deans (these positions involve providing pastoral care to other students). More information is available on the Employment tab of the External Funding webpage.

How do I pay my course fees (in instalments)?

Your course fees are normally collected by your college, or in a few instances, by your department/faculty. They can provide detailed information about their fee collection arrangements and opportunities to arrange phased payment schedules. Fees should normally be paid at the beginning of the academic year.

 

Travel

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? 

The UK Government is currently operating a ‘traffic light’ system for those arriving from overseas, with differing levels of restrictions for countries on the ‘green’, ‘amber’ and ‘red’ list countries.  If you arrive in the UK before Monday 4 October, you must follow the current UK Government rules.

On Monday 4 October, the UK Government’s international travel rules system will change. At that point there will be a single list of red list countries, and simplified travel measures for arrivals from the rest of the world.

The new rules will also reduce restrictions for some individuals who have been vaccinated outside the UK. Go to the UK Government website for detailed information about the changes to travel rules.

Please also refer to our coronavirus webpages for the latest information on travel and when to arrive: https://www.ox.ac.uk/coronavirus/students
Rules are subject to regular change, so it is vital you carefully review both local travel advice in your own country, and the UK Government website.

Red list

If you live in a country which is on the red list and are unable to travel to Oxford for the start of the academic year, you will qualify for an exemption from residency requirements. but you must complete an online application form as soon as possible. If you plan to travel to the UK, you should first review the red list rules on the UK Government website, and will need to book a quarantine hotel package. You may also find this PDF document about the Government’s Managed Quarantine Service useful.

You should be aware that the University and colleges will not routinely meet the quarantine costs for students arriving from red list countries (currently £2,285).

Will the University cover PCR test and quarantine costs for international students arriving in the UK?

The University and colleges will provide welfare support for students who need to self-isolate in Oxford.

However, we will not routinely meet the costs of COVID-19 PCR tests taken or booked before travelling back to the UK, or quarantine costs for students returning from red list countries (currently £2,285).


Immigration and visa applications

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

Please read this visa information for offer holders and keep it for reference for when you begin your visa application. The student visa webpages also have further information about applying for your visa and a detailed Oxford guide about completing all the steps for the online visa application form. Please contact student.immigration@admin.ox.ac.uk with any queries, including requesting information in alternative formats.  

I need to apply for a visa but my local visa application centre 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.

If you are experiencing disruption or delay with your visa application and think you may not be able to arrive in person in Oxford by the start of your course, please contact your department who will be able to discuss with you whether any alternative arrangements can be put in place. 

 

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 there are reasons why I need to study remotely (for example, my country is on the red list), will it affect my visa?

We encourage all students to take up their places in Oxford from the start of the academic year. However, if your college and department/faculty agree to an exemption from residency, and you do not arrive in the UK from the start of the year, it will not affect your visa and it will remain valid but under current guidance you would need to come to the UK before 6 April 2022.
 

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

You will receive an initial travel vignette to come to the UK, these are usually valid 30 days but due to the pandemic may 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. You can collect it from either your college between 27 September and 5 October (if you have used code 2HE627 when applying for your visa); or from the Post Office in Oxford if you are arriving much earlier than 27 September. The ten-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 period if you need to self-isolate).
 

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.

 

Deferrals

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.

If I cannot travel/my country has restrictions that mean I cannot travel and take up my place, can I defer/start my course in January?

We recognise that arriving for the start of Michaelmas (autumn) term may not be possible for some students (for example if you are unable to travel). If you believe this might not be possible, you should speak to your department in the first instance who can discuss the different options with you.

I consider myself to be vulnerable (for example, I have an underlying health condition). Can I defer my place?

If you have any concerns, you should speak to your department in the first instance, and they will discuss the different options with you. Deferral may be possible depending on your individual circumstances – please note you may be asked for medical evidence.

What happens with funding if I defer?

If your request for a deferral is approved, you will not be considered again for Oxford funding and scholarship opportunities. If you have already been offered an Oxford scholarship, you should consult the office which awarded it (e.g. Student Fees and Funding, the college or the department) to find out whether or not your scholarship can also be deferred.


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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