A message from our Chief Student Officer, Lucy Evans
Lucy Evans discusses the changes that we are making at the University of Surrey in response to the Covid-19 pandemic and shares advice for prospective students who might be starting out on their university research journey, or transitioning from school or college to university for the first time.
How we have adapted our way of life at Surrey
We understand that the Covid-19 crisis has created uncertainty for everyone, with many of you wondering what University life will look like for the 2020/21 academic year, and beyond.
At Surrey, our number one priority is the health and safety of all who work and study here. We are committed to providing you with an excellent learning experience, enabling you to have ongoing access to your University studies, campus facilities and support services.
We have adapted our teaching for 2020/21 to ensure all of our students continue to have an exceptional student experience, with a blend of online and campus-based learning. Our facilities and laboratories are open, but with added safety measures, along with our bars, restaurants and social spaces.
Our Accommodation team has worked hard to ensure our future and current students are comfortable from the moment they step foot on campus. There is signage and Covid-19 guidance in all of our student accommodation, including information about Wardens and Peer Supporters who can provide support on a wide range of housing, student life and wellbeing matters.
If students need to self-isolate at any point, the University's Rapid Response team is here to offer advice, match you with a self-isolation buddy to make sure you're OK, and we’ve created a dedicated MySurrey self-isolation support guide too.
You can read our full Covid-19 University health and safety policy, as well as details about the new signage we have implemented across campus, enhanced cleaning measures, risk assessments and our policy on face coverings on our general 'advice for all' page.
We want to ensure that you have a supportive, diverse and vibrant learning experience, but we must adapt the way we teach to ensure we all stay safe, so we have moved to 'hybrid education' for Semester 1 and 2 of 2020/21 – a blend of online and campus-based learning which involves face-to-face teaching wherever possible for most seminars, workshops and practical sessions, supported by online lectures and assessments.
The Executive Deans of our three faculties have shared their own enthusiastic welcomes – focusing on the great learning experiences to come, but also reassuring students on the health and pastoral sides. We’ve also built on the exceptional efforts made to deliver online learning from a standing start back in March 2020 – we’re proud to share the positive feedback we received – to develop our hybrid learning approach for this academic year. Large lectures are delivered online, with on-campus learning for seminars and practical work.
We can ensure you that your studies with us will be academically challenging and rewarding, meeting the learning outcomes you expect, as well as having access to safe and helpful services to support your course and your university life.
We are committed to enabling students to study successfully in a digital environment, and all taught students will be provided with free, personal, digital copies of their essential textbooks.
The Prime Minister announced that England will enter a lockdown from Tuesday 5 January to reduce transmission of the coronavirus. We are considering this latest guidance, and any further changes over and above last week's announcement, and will update you as soon as possible.
We’re also so very proud of all our students and staff who have contributed to the Covid-19 response in so many different ways – from research to combat the virus and it’s impacts to a wide range of community contributions. Our final year nursing students are a particular source of pride, sent to the NHS frontline earlier than they expected, and serving with distinction in extraordinary circumstances.
Postgraduate taught courses - Feb 2021 starters
Please do visit our Welcome Website for more advice and information about how to prepare and what to expect when you join the University of Surrey.
Accommodation is guaranteed for PG February 2021 starters as long as you applied by the deadline of 11 December 2021. If you applied after 11 December, we may be able to provide accommodation but cannot guarantee it.
In accordance with UK government guidelines, students are strongly encouraged to stay at their current address until at least mid-February.
In exceptional circumstances where travel plans cannot be altered, or you need to arrive on campus earlier, you should do so in a safe and Covid-Secure way and we will ensure that you have the support that you require. In these circumstances, you will be able to move into accommodation on Saturday 6 February. We will amend your move in date once you confirm your arrival date at the university.
Yes, you can move into accommodation early, subject to availability, so that you have time to complete any period of self-isolation before you start face-to-face teaching. Please email accommodation to request an early move in. If you need to self-isolate on arrival, we will provide up to 10 days rent-free, up to your approved arrival point.
We recognise that current travel restrictions may delay your arrival to the University, so we have introduced Late Arrival Points to allow for a period of online-only study for students who are not able to get to Surrey straight away.
When requesting a LAP, you must ensure this date allows you time to travel to the University AND complete the 10-day period of self-isolation if required. The available LAPs are:
- Monday 1 March (for students whose programmes are due to start on 15 February)
- Monday 8 March
- Monday 19 April
If you plan to arrive on a LAP, you may do so for one of the following reasons:
- if you have symptoms of Coronavirus or you are being asked to self-isolate due to any Government track and trace initiative.
- where travel restrictions in the country or local lockdowns in a region of the UK that you are currently living in mean that you are unable to travel to get to campus.
- if you have a disability or long-term health condition and online learning only and could be considered as a reasonable adjustment following review from our Disability and Neurodiversity team
- for any other reason where your arrival on campus is delayed due to the impact of Covid-19.
Once your request is processed, you will be able to study fully online prior to arrival on campus.
To apply for a Late Arrival Point you must complete this form before Monday 25 January 2021. You will need to log into your University account to be able to access the form.
If you have any questions about the LAP process, please email the LAP team and we will respond as quickly as possible.
When completing the LAP form, you will be asked whether you have been allocated University-managed accommodation – this includes halls of residence on campus and University of Surrey Lettings (USL) properties in Guildford.
Once you have an approved LAP, we will change the start date of your accommodation to reflect this. You will only need to pay for your accommodation from that new start date. If you need to arrive ahead of your LAP to complete a period of self-isolation before your face-to-face teaching begins, you will not need to pay rent up for that period (max. 10 days) up to the Late Arrival Point.
Yes, all rooms will be deep cleaned prior to new students moving in.
You will form a new household, but in line with current government guidelines you can join a current household if moving into an occupied flat.
Your end date will be stipulated in your offer. Normally PG taught programmes last for one year and this remains the same for deferred starts, so the programme should not be more intense.
Students who joined their programme in February will not miss out on modules taught in September. Students will either start semester two modules at the same time as students who started in September and then continue to the semester one modules or start the course from the beginning and continue onto semester two in October 2021.
Students joining programmes in February 2021 should reasonably expect to graduate in April 2022 (this is obviously dependent on the successful completion of assessments).
Most of these will remain valid, however as your English Language document evidence needs to be dated within two years of completion you will need to check this.
In this case we would ask you to reapply as this would be for study in a new academic year.
Where modules are being taught alongside students starting the programme in September the assessment for those students would be the same. Where modules are being taught more than once in a year (i.e. repeated in both Semester 1 and Semester 2), examinations would likely contain different questions to those asked previously.
Before you arrive on campus it’s important that you run through the Covid-19 checklist below.
- Complete the essential Covid-19 Health and Safety induction. You can watch it online and it only takes 15 minutes.
- Book an asymptomatic test. You are required to take a test before you start face-to-face teaching to help us protect each other. Make sure you activate your IT account before you book a test.
- Play your part and download the NHS Covid-19 App. It helps the NHS to understand where and how the virus is spreading.
- Visit our coronavirus website to learn about the Covid-secure measures we have in place. Bookmark this link as it will be important to stay up-to-date.
- Developed Covid-19 symptoms? Need to self-isolate? Notify the University’s Rapid Response team so that we can keep in touch.
- Find out about our self-isolation support. There's lots of support available for students who need to self-isolate, including our student buddy scheme.
- Collect your free reusable face covering when you attend main registration.
International students arriving on any of the following dates will be collected from either Heathrow or Gatwick airport and transferred to their Guildford-based accommodation for free:
- 20 January
- 3 February
- 19 February
- 26 February
- 1 March
- 8 March
- 9 April
- 19 April
To book a place on the Meet & Greet scheme, please follow the link here.
For International Students, there will be an online Orientation Programme on 4 and 5 February 2021. For further information on the kind of events that will run on those days or to make a booking, please see here. All students will also have a subject specific welcome talks, a University welcome session and events put on by our Students' Union.
For all students there will be a series of welcome talks and events as part of your first week here with us. These will all be accessible from the Welcome Week website.
We are aiming to have timetables ready for students by 22 January for students joining us in February. Please note that timetables can be only released once students have successfully pre-registered and provided information on their option choices (where applicable). Students deciding to join us closer to the start of Semester may receive their timetable later.
We are expecting several hundred students to begin their course in February, so you will be in good company, including subject specific welcome talks, a University welcome session and events put on by our Students' Union. We also have a Facebook offer-holder group and a community on WeChat that students are able to join once they have an offer with us. We will be posting regular information about Welcome Week in these as well.
Please be aware that changes to visa regulations which also affect your study. Please contact email@example.com for all deferral requests.
Applicants may request to defer their offer of a place, but must meet the conditions of their offer and be Unconditional Firm (UF) with Surrey by 31 August of the year that their programme begins.
It is not possible to defer an application for our Acting, Actor-Musician, and Musical Theatre, Health Sciences, Dietetics and Veterinary Medicine and Science programmes. This is due to the limited number of places available each year and possible changes to the professional requirements each cycle.
We do not normally permit applicants to defer entry for more than one year. Applicants who defer for more than one year are usually expected to make a new application through UCAS.
Applicants can request to defer their application to another start point within the same cycle. For example from a September 2021 start to a February 2022 option where this is available.
Please note it is not possible to defer an application for our MA Acting or MA Musical Theatre programmes.
Applicants may be able to defer their offer for up to one calendar year. Applicants still need to meet our entry criteria and fees for the year, which may be different from the original offer. Also note that it may not be possible to transfer studentship funding to the next academic year. Deferrals must also be agreed by the supervisor.
After lengthy consideration, we have taken the difficult decision that, where applicable, if we do not have final exam results on which to make an acceptance decision where exams were cancelled during the summer of 2020, we will require private candidates to resit their examinations.
We recognise this will be disappointing, but in the absence of final assessments/exam results or a ranking from Heads of Centre, we feel it is the most fair and transparent approach when we have to take into account the many thousands of offer holders we have. If you would like to discuss this further, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Yes, we welcome applications from students who are looking to transfer from another university.
When applying, please indicate whether you would like to join year one, year two or year three (please note that not all courses can accommodate transfers into year two and three due to professional requirements and/or capacity).
- For entry into our first year, we will need to review your academic background and check you meet our standard entry requirements.
- For entry into year two/three, we will additionally require you to also have undertaken relevant previous study and we will map the content of your first year and/or second year with the first and/or second year of our programme.
Please note that visa restrictions may also apply. If you have any questions about transferring, please do get in touch with us via email email@example.com.
The University is monitoring the situation carefully on an ongoing basis. Please continue to complete the application process as normal and we will provide an update for your specific start date closer to the time.
Postgraduate research students starting their programme in January 2021 can complete their registration with the University entirely online. The decision about your presence on campus will depend upon your specific research project and will be decided on a case by case basis with your supervisor. In line with government guidelines, we are requiring all PGRs to work from home wherever possible. The situation will be kept under review for future cohorts.
If appropriate, and with agreement from your supervisor, it may be possible to start your doctorate remotely.
Applications for postgraduate research are currently being processed as normal. If you have any questions about your application, please feel free to contact firstname.lastname@example.org. We are happy to help.
We are still recruiting postgraduate research students, so do continue to approach potential supervisors.
We are still recruiting postgraduate research students, so do continue to approach potential supervisors.
We are currently not open for visiting postgraduate research applications. This will be reviewed when restrictions change. Please continue to check our website for updates.
Although you will still need to meet our English Language requirements, please be aware that the University accepts a variety of English Language tests, SELT and non-SELT. Please view our English language requirements page for further information.
If you cannot book an IELTS test, you might be able to use an older IELTS result to support your application to academic study at the University. We can accept an IELTS test providing it has been taken within two years prior to the start of the course start date, we will require evidence of the most recent test results. Alternatively you may be able to take the IELTS test in a few months, and your application can still be processed while you are awaiting your exam.
Please be aware that the University accepts a variety of English Language tests, SELT and non-SELT. Please view our English language requirements for further information.
Our Open Days will take place online as virtual events. Our #AlwaysOpenDay is a great opportunity to find out more about Surrey. Our inspiring Surrey community are waiting to meet you. Creating moments, creating the future, join us at a time convenient to you and discover what it's like to live and study at the University of Surrey! Book your place now.
If you have any questions about studying at Surrey, we would love to hear from you. Our team are available to chat live.
Our campus tours are postponed until further notice. We are sorry that we can’t invite you to look around our campus at this time, but you can get a taste for life at Surrey by joining our #AlwaysOpenDay - our inspiring Surrey community are waiting to meet you. Creating moments, creating the future, join us at a time convenient to you and discover what it's like to live and study at the University of Surrey!
Yes, we are pleased to be able to attend university fairs and other school events again. Whilst the majority are still taking place virtually, we are now able to come into schools and deliver our university information, advice and guidance sessions again. For more information, please do contact us via email@example.com or visit our post-16 schools and colleges activities page
- If you are an applicant:
- If you are an agent: please contact the international team via firstname.lastname@example.org.
- If you are a parent/guardian: unfortunately we cannot discuss the details of individual students with other parties, but do encourage any dependants you are responsible for to read the information provided by the University.