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Student Advice Covid-19 FAQs

The COVID 19 outbreak is generating lots of concerns, questions, and issues for many people. We're receiving a lot of queries related to the virus outbreak and we hope to be able to help you navigate these as best we can.

We have created a list of FAQ’s. If your question has not been answered below and you need further advice, you can book an appointment with an adviser using the booking form at the bottom of the page. Appointments are primarily through Microsoft Teams (all University students have an account): Chat, Call, or Video.  Please bear in mind the situation changes frequently and there is not a response that fits all scenarios.  You can remain up to date on government guidance announcements by signing up to receive email alerts here 

Keep reading to see our top FAQs on housing, finance, academic, and personal issues - these are specific to Student Advice Centre queries, but you can also read through the University's FAQ's here.

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Housing Advice

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Last updated 18 February 2021

Generally speaking if you have decided to move out of your accommodation, this does not mean the contract is now null and void.  Unless a surrender/termination of the tenancy has been expressly agreed with your landlord or provider then the contract continues along with all its’ responsibilities and liabilities.  Try not to compare your situation to another student.  Circumstances might seem or be unfair, but we are dealing with a situation that could not have been predicted or planned for and given the complex and diverse nature of the housing market the various responses were never going to be equal or the same.  Whilst the stereotype of a landlord being out to take advantage of a tenant might be very entrenched in our culture, please try to remember that landlords have their own commitments and families to support.  Unless the landlord or housing provider has denied you something in regards to your tenancy, they haven't actually done anything wrong and the situation should not be used to renege on what has been agreed between the parties.  All parties – that includes landlords and tenants or prospective tenants should not be disadvantaged by something outside of their control. This is the Student Advice Centre view on housing at this current point in time and this is not a legal perspective and anyone is free to seek out legal advice.  A solicitor can be found via the Find a Solicitor search on the Law Society web page.

With most housing queries it is important that you contact your letting agency first as they may have steps in place to help you.

Everyone involved in the moving process must follow social distancing to minimize the spread of the virus.

We always hear that students aren't completely happy with their private housing experiences, but we need you to tell us about them through our online form if you want us to make a difference. You can let us know here. Let's not forget about all our students who can’t get home to be near their families and loved ones or are distanced from people because of self-isolation. Support each other remotely where you can.

If you've read through our FAQs and your question has not been answered, please use our booking form.

 

 

A:  No.  The Student Advice Centre staff cannot change contract law and legislation.  We can only advise on what your current position is and what options you might have.  

A. Firstly try not to panic. Before you decide to commit to a legally binding contract decide on whether you are definitely proceeding with the course regardless of how much face to face teaching may be on offer. If you decide to defer, suspend or withdraw form your course, in most cases with private accommodaiton you will still be bound to your contract.  Usually a private civil tenancy arrangement has no bearing on your study or student status. You also need to be aware the contract will remain intact regardless of whether you continue to occupy in the event of further lockdowns/student travel windows. 

You may need to decide between not to committing to anything, in order  to save money if you can study online/commute for the limited face to face teaching, and  feeling you have missed out/feel less integrated should the restrictions be lifted later in the academic year. It is quite possible that you could still seek out accmmodation at a later point however – it is not a now or never decision. This could be purely an assessment on risk if you are in a vulnerable category, or an economic or experience decision. Certainly the experience currently  is not  the typical one but many students have proceeded with tenancies in 2020/21. Newcastle is fortunate in that it has an excess of accommodation, so even if you leave it  to see how things progress, you are likely to get something sorted. 

You should be shown the tenancy agreement before you pay a holding deposit/booking fee but in many cases this will not be offered. Be sure to request this first as once the deposit is paid you are contractually bound. We advise you to think carefully and check the Tenancy Agreement/T&C’s of any provider. You may wish to seek reassurance/flexibility about what happens in the event the course remains online or does not commence or you cannot move because the guidelines change again. We are aware some private hall providers are offering applicants ‘free cancellation’ options or ‘flexible tenancies’. However on closer look these are usually only in specific circumstances so are limited/restricted, so we advise you to be clear on what your commitment is. 

You are advised to only conduct physical viewings of a property you are very strongly interested in and to adhere to guidance on doing these safely by following the ‘Viewings – section 2’ of the government guidance for Landlords and Tenants on moving home. 

A. University owned Accommodation only :

It depends on why/when you left. If you have left your studies at the University and notified the Accommodation Service that you have officially withdrawn, they will charge you until the end of the termly billing period unless you find a replacement sooner.  

If however you left for the winter break during the student travel window and have remained elsewhere since, due to the most recent lockdown, and you are still waiting to return, you might be entitled to a rent rebate for some of the time you have not been in occupation and depending on when you return to your accommodation following the current lockdown.   

Currently the University, in line with government guidance, is only permitting in-person teaching and learning of students on practical and creative courses who need access to specialist equipment and facilities, to return from the 8 March 2021.  The Government will review the return of other students by the end of the Easter break. 

Therefore those students who have not returned should complete the Return to Campus form and you will receive a rebate from 5.1.21 until the date of your return. YOU MUST COMPLETE THIS BEFORE 3.3.2021. You can find more information on these links about the University Rent rebates for lockdown and winter break.

If you are still studying and have just decided to leave and have removed your belongings/handed back your keys then you remain liable for the rent. You can try to find a replacement for your room and should discuss this with Accommodation Services but until such point this is in place you are liable for the rent as contracted.     

Other Accommodation:

If you live in student accommodation which is not owned by the University (even if they arranged it for you when you first applied) you will need to contact the  provider directly to see if they will release you from your contractual liability for the remainder of the contract term. They do not have to do this and many will not unless a replacement is found. If they have not advised you to leave this is not an entitlement.  

A:  If you have a tenancy agreement it is legally binding. Unless there is a cancellation policy or break clause that you can invoke, you cannot simply decide you no longer require the tenancy.  The government has given no indication that tenancy agreements no longer apply because of the pandemic and/or because you have accommodation for the purposes of your study.  Therefore, in general terms you are still liable and you still have to pay, but there may be a minority of exceptions.  You could ask them to re-let the property and if this happens then the liability may cease. Speak to your landlord/agent/provider in the first instance.

A:  If you have a tenancy agreement it is legally binding. Unless there is a cancellation policy or break clause that you can invoke, you cannot simply decide you no longer require the tenancy.  The government has given no indication that tenancy agreements no longer apply because of the pandemic and/or because you have accommodation for the purposes of your study.  Currently there is confusion around whether students can return.

A:  Because of the changing position relating to face to face teaching and occupation of accommodation, student loan entitlements for the current term will not be reassessed if they are still incurring accommodation costs away from home, meaning that students in receipt of the ‘living away from home’’ loan will retain the maintenance loans paid at the start of term, which will be repaid in the usual way. This should help to ensure students have the financial support they need during these exceptional circumstances. Students who are no longer incurring accommodation costs away from home (e.g. because they have exited their contracts, or moved home permanently), or who no longer wish to receive the higher rate of loan, can request reassessment. 

A:  The University has a range of Wellbeing self-isolation support in place to support you from activities and events, mental health support and counselling to various online resources.  There is also lots of links to resources on the NUSU Covid 19 hub

A:   NUSU have started starting a ‘Find a Flatmate’ webpage, where students can find other students who share similar interests/personalities/characteristics and housing preferences. More information and tips on this can be found on the webpage.  

If you're in First Year you can also participate in the University's  Find a Flatmate events. 

It is vital that you do not rush into anything, accommodation in Newcastle does not run out, and there is no ‘perfect’ time to look so if you’re not sure, wait. You might want to book in with a Housing Adviser to discuss this more.  We are also hosting zoom drop ins every Wednesday in March 1-2pm for basic queries 

NUSU Article: How to find a Flatmate for 2021/22

A:  In line with the current government’s advice, you are a group that is more at risk than others you are currently advised to stay at home as much as possible, avoid unnecessary contact and stay 2 metres apart from those outside of your household/bubble. You still need to consider carefully your own personal health situation and the circumstances of your move and you may wish to seek medical advice before deciding whether to commit to go ahead with a move. The government has said people can move if it is safe to do so. You are also advised to discuss arrangements with the landlord/housing manager/agent, especially if you are moving into shared accommodation as the need to keep socially distanced might be much more difficult. Some moves are likely to be lower risk - for instance if the home is empty; if you can travel in your own transport; and avoid contact with others. You should also be sure that anywhere you move to has be adequately cleaned and prepared to minimise any additional risk. 

We would encourage everyone in these categories who does intend to move, to make clear their status to all of the professionals involved in the process. They may be able to implement additional precautionary measures to further protect you. 

A:  Generally speaking no.  However, if you are in University owned and managed accommodation, then their contract and Terms and Conditions are slightly different, and you will usually be charged until the end of the current termly billing period in which you withdraw from study, unless you find a replacement before that time. Please do not assume your school will notify the Accommodation Service – you will need to do this.  Whereas in managed partnership accommodation (i.e.allocated by the University but not managed by them), private halls or private properties let via landlords or agents, you are likely to be held to the full duration of your contract.  Always check the terms of your contract, any terms and conditions or cancellation policy.  The terms and conditions of your contract might permit a replacement to take over your tenancy but charges might apply for this.  Any charges that do apply, are restricted by the Tenant Fee Act 2019 – see guidance for tenants.  

A:  First of all check your contract and terms and conditions and and cancellation policies. Purpose Built Student Accommodation often has a cancellation policy whereas houses and flats let via landords and agents do not. There is an argument to say that if you have not been able to arrive by virtue of having a VISA denied or being unable to apply for one and/or your home and host governments preventing travel, that the contract might be frustrated.  However you will need to prove this.  Simply not having applied for a VISA or having decided not to come is not the same and you would be liable for the contract.  This can be complicated and you might want to book in with an Adviser.  

A:  We can’t tell you whether to sign, or when the right time is for you to do this.  Just make sure you do your reasearch about the property, provider and any agent involved.  You could ask them if they will permit an individual contract in a shared house as opposed to a joint tenancy agreement where you will be jointly liable in the event of damage or default by other tenants.  If you are required to provide a guarantor you might also want to ask for this to be limited to the liability divided by the number of tenants.  The provider can refuse these requests but it might be worth asking before you decide whether to make that commitment. 

A. If you have a contract you are liable for the rent.  If your landlord has not agreed to a surrender of the tenancy or a delayed/reduced rent payment then you could be pursued for the unpaid rent and breach of contract.  The maintenance loan is paid for you to pay for these types of outgoings.  

A: No. If you pose a direct risk of transmitting Covid-19 you should not move. People who have coronavirus or are self-isolating with their family members should not leave their homes to either move home, or undertake property viewings.

Even if you are contractually committed to moving home, you should delay your move until all members of your household have come to the end of their self-isolation period. All parties involved in the moving process are asked to make arrangements and to consider changing move dates for individuals, or where someone in a chain or their family member is self-isolating or has tested positive for coronavirus. If the dates are not able to be changed then the contract might have to commence without you moving in and you will still be liable for the rent.

Should a move be essential for people in this category, for instance due to an urgent health and safety risk, please contact Public Health England/local public health teams for advice.

A: The guidance is likely to change depending on whether the situation improves/deteriorates.  The current guidance continues to allow moves to go ahead but indicates this needs to be done safely and with the necessary precautionary measures outlined in the guidance.   Anyone who is clinically at risk should consider their particular circumstances and risks around moving and if necessary seek medical advice.  If you or anyone you live with are self-isolating or have coronavirus, you should not move.  If you are going to move you are advised to continue to stay alert and socially distance wherever possible. Pack things yourself, clean things that are likely to be handled by others beforehand and communicate with all other parties involved to ensure everyone is acting inline with the guidance

In respect of Houses of Multiple Occupancy (HMO’s), or Halls, the practicalities of these situations are more complicated to manage. The process of finding and/or moving into a new home is likely to be different from the norm, as measures will need to be in place to ensure that the risk of the spread of coronavirus is reduced as far as possible. It is vital that everyone stays alert and safe.

'Students often move in much later than when their tenancy starts so the situation may have changed again before many student tenancies are due to start. Whenever your tenancy starts this needs to be managed very carefully' to Students often move in much later than when their tenancy starts so the situation may have changed between these two points so this needs to be to be managed very carefully and relate to the current guidance at the time

Make contact with the people managing your housing –whether that is the University, Private Hall Manager, Managing Agent, or Landlord –for guidance on how to proceed.  All those involved should give consideration on how or whether this can happen safely to reduce risk and consider anyone who may be at particular risk and need support. In these circumstances it is likely to require a case by case approach. If you are intending on living in shared accommodation this is particularly important. 

If you have been ill with the virus, have had symptoms, have self-isolated at any point before the move, then make this clear to all involved in the process.  

A: You can proceed with viewings as long as they are conducted in line with the guidance on viewing. Ideally and normally we would always advise you to do this in person before making any final commitment.  Practicably this might be more difficult especially for groups of students wanting to live together. Consider if you all need to be there or go in smaller groups. It is advised:

  • Initial viewings should be done virtually wherever possible. Any physical viewing should only be requested if you are seriously considering taking the property. 
  • If any member of the household being viewed is showing symptoms or is self-isolating then physical viewings should not be conducted. 
  • All physical viewings restricted in numbers to allow for social distancing
  • If physically viewing, wear a face mask unless exempt, avoid touching surfaces, wash your hands before and after the viewing  and take your own hand sanitizer. 
  • If you really need to take small children, try to keep them from touching surfaces and ensure they wash their hands regularly. 
  • The guidance on moving home includes information on how viewings should be conducted.  Virtual viewings should be used before visiting a property in person where possible.    
  • If any agent, manager, member of either the household being viewed or the household undertaking a viewing is showing symptoms of coronavirus or is self-isolating, then a physical viewing should be delayed. 
  • Agents with notice are able to visit in order to take photos/videos of the property whilst socially distancing and using a face covering.   
  • Before any viewing open all internal doors and windows, and ensure surfaces, such as door handles, are cleaned after each viewing with standard household cleaning products. 
  • Where possible vacate your property whilst viewings are taking place to minimize contact with those not in your household. If you cannot vacate practice social distancing in line with public health advice. 
  • You may want to discuss determining the number of viewings in a given period with whoever is managing the property. 
  • Ensure the person conducting the viewing has informed anyone coming into the house of what to do.  

A: Yes. You need to ensure you follow the government guidance on moving home for Landlords and Tenants  and approach cleaning/decontamination of non-health care settings as appropriate.   

If you are moving into new shared accommodation you can do so if this accommodation is going to be your permanent home. This will form your new household.   

Tenants’ safety should be a landlords/agents top priority and you may wish to discuss with them the risks any previous tenants may have posed and if any cleaning has been undertaken.  If properties have been empty for some time you should also enquire about how Legionella risks have been managed and assessed. 

You should still ensure you follow guidance on meeting people from outside of your household and follow the latest Coronavirus guidance, especially if you are sharing facilities or common areas.    

If this is moving into a Hall or block type accommodation you should discuss with the provider or manager in advance to see what measures they require/recommend to do so safely and minimize risk to yourself and anyone currently living in the hall/block. 

When moving between properties, you (and if relevant those in your household) should try to do as much of the packing yourself as you can. If you are particularly worried about the risk of infection, then speak to the professionals involved, your landlord and/or estate agent as they may be able to put in place extra measures.  

Be prepared to be flexible and to change plans if circumstances change. If you, someone in your household, someone you intend to live with or someone in their household develops symptoms or has to self-isolate, plans will have to change. 

A: This is a very difficult question to answer as it depends on individual circumstances/preferences. Some people have felt paying for accommodation this year has not been worthwhile whilst others still see the benefit of living independently or in a new place.  We advise you to think very carefully before you decide what to do. We have seen throughout this crisis an expectation by students’ that rents and contracts should be waived because of the situation but this is simply not the case. If you sign a contract now you can reasonably be expected to understand that the pandemic may continue to affect your commencement/occupation of that property due to a variety of factors. If you intend to sign a contract we advise you to discuss and agree on the terms very carefully. Flexibility policies and clauses that would allow you to change your contract start date might be an option along with the ability to cancel should you not move in but these are not something you can demand.  These are more likely to be offered in Private Halls rather than individual houses and flats.  You could try to negotiate an early break clause into your contract so you could end your contract earlier than an agreed term, You can book in with a Student Adviser if you wish to discuss this more.

A: Letting agents may also want to consider obtaining landlord and tenant consent for inventory check-in /out arrangements to occur before a tenant moves in or out during vacant periods if possible. A copy of all documents should then be sent to the incoming/outgoing tenant for comment along with supporting dated photographs and where necessary documentary evidence. It is very important this process is not side-lined or missed entirely as deposits could be at risk.

A: Tenants’ safety should be Housing managers / Letting Agents’ and Landlords’ first priority. There is government guidance on coronavirus and renting for landlords, tenants and local authorities, which explains protections in greater detail.  Any visits to a property must be made in accordance with government guidelines on working in other people’s homes and social distancing

Steps should be taken to ensure any properties are prepared ready for new tenants, this may include cleaning to minimize any potential spread of the virus in line with government advice and management of legionella risks. Ask your landlord or agent what steps they have taken to minimise risk to coronavirus. Standard documentation and processing for sign up and pre-tenancy should be done remotely/electronically wherever possible 

A: Sadly the Leave Newcastle Happy campaign is not up and running currently.  Some local charity collection points and bins are open but these are limited. Newcastle City Council has  3 Household Waste Recycling Centres (HWRC) - be sure to follow a number of specific coronavirus measures in place to ensure social distancing, reduce the spread of Covid-19, and keep both staff and visitors safe. 

ID is required – Visitors will have to show both a passport or other photo ID (student ID would suffice) and a recent council tax or utility bill to be allowed in. A photocard driving licence with address on is acceptable on its own. If you do not live in Newcastle then you will be turned away.

Any resident showing symptoms should not attempt to access a HWRC and follow Government guidelines on?self isolation. If you have rubbish from a household where someone is suspected of having had COVID19, please double bag potentially affected items, such as cloths, tissues, and masks, and leave for 72 hours before disposal in your green general waste bin or at a HWRC. 

If people don’t have access to transport to get to waste/recycling centres but have excess waste that won’t fit or is unsuitable for the domestic bins, you can arrange for bulky waste collection at a charge. Find out more Newcastle council Bulky Waste Collections page. 

Please do not fly tip/abandon items in streets or back lanes as you could be fined. 

A. The government has provided stay at home guidance  and an illustration on what to do if you or someone you live with starts to display symptoms or gets sick from Coronavirus. 

This guidance also applies to people in your support bubble or childcare bubble.  If anyone you live with has symptoms or tests positive, stay at home and self-isolate. Do not go to work, school, or public areas and do not use public transport or taxis. 

Your isolation period includes the day the first person in your household’s symptoms started (or the day their test was taken if they did not have symptoms) and the next 10 full days. This means that if, for example, your 10 day isolation period starts on the 15th of the month, your isolation period ends at 23:59 hrs on the 25th and you can return to your normal routine. 

If you do not have symptoms of COVID-19 yourself, you do not need a test. Only arrange a test if you develop COVID-19 symptoms or if you are asked to do so as part of a testing programme for people without symptoms. If for any reason you have a negative test result during your 10 day isolation period, you must continue to self-isolate. Even if you don’t have symptoms, you could still pass the infection on to others. Stay at home for the full 10 days to avoid putting others at risk. 

If you develop symptoms while you are isolating, arrange to have a COVID-19 PCR test. If your test result is positive, follow the advice for people with COVID-19 to stay at home and start a further full 10 day isolation period. This begins when your symptoms started, regardless of where you are in your original 10 day isolation period. This means that your total isolation period will be longer than 10 days. 

If other household members develop symptoms during this period, you do not need to isolate for longer than 10 days. 

You may also be identified as a contact and asked to self-isolate by NHS Test and Trace, including by the NHS COVID-19 app and this will need to include your household. 

Failure to comply with self-isolation may result in a fine, starting from £1,000. 

This guidance in other languages is currently being updated but keep checking on the link as this will display there. The Coronavirus and renting guidance also advises on this.  You should also adhere to the decontamination of non-healthcare settings guidance.     

We are aware that many students have lost their part time jobs or other sources of income as a result of the Covid-19 pandemic. Technically you have signed a contract and unless you have been allowed to surrender this you are required to make all payments as usual. Firstly contact your landlord, agent or provider to see what they suggest – they may reduce the payments and/or allow you to pay over a longer period. They might even consider reducing the tenancy term if they won’t release you. If you are experiencing financial difficulties, including living costs as a result of the current disruption, you may be eligible for support from the University’s Student Financial Support, often referred to as the Hardship Fund. Universities have been a higher allocation this year to deal with hardship related to Covid.  The team are receiving a high number of applications but they aim to respond within 10 working days. If you don’t pay they may decide to pursue a legal route so it is always best to negotiate. 

A. If they have their own mortgage commitments they might be able to apply to their own lender for a mortgage break or ‘holiday’ and the government intended for this flexibility to be passed onto tenants. However a mortgage break simply delays or extends the period over which the mortgage has to be paid and can result in a higher payment later on. It does not mean those months do not have to be paid at some point. All parties – that includes landlords and tenants or prospective tenants should not be disadvantaged by something outside of their control 

A. No.  If you remain in your accommodation you are advised to notify your landlord/agent/housing provider. Follow any guidance or instructions you are given to stay safe in addition to safety guidance provided by the government and Public Health England (PHE).  Guidance has been released on the management of all residential educational settings

A. Withholding rent is a breach of contract.  In some circumstances in the current situation, this might be understandable and acceptable but it would depend on why you were withholding it.  If your finances are affected and you are unable to pay we suggest you discuss this with your landlord and seek advice on either how to optimise your income or seek out support.  Withholding rent just because of the situation would not be advisable.    

A. IIn theory, for any breach of contract, yes.??This is quite rare in student lettings although not unheard of. The government has been clear that it expects landlords to be flexible with regards to situations that are caused by the virus outbreak and where possible to try and negotiate with each other or seek mediation. The process is different depending on whether this process was started before pandemic started or since.  You can find more specific information on this in Understanding the possession action process: A guide for private residential tenants in England and Wales and in Section 1 of the Guidance to Landlords and Tenants .  The stay on possession proceedings expired on 20.9.2020 and since 29 August 2020, the Coronavirus Act 2020 requires a 6 month notice period to be given in the majority of cases.   There are some exceptions to this including Anti-Social behaviour so be careful. In all cases where there is a risk of eviction you should act quickly and seek advice from the Student Advice Centre  or another advice service.

 

A. Possibly but probably not! It will depend on exactly what has been agreed/signed. If you are a prospective tenant and have viewed a house and paid a holding deposit but are yet to sign a tenancy agreement, you have effectively entered into a verbal commitment for the tenancy. Some may hold you to the tenancy until it is re-let, some will re-let the property and simply retain the holding deposit. Check your paperwork and speak to the landlord/agent to see what the position is. Either way please get what has been agreed in writing. You can still negotiate with your landlord to see if they will re-let the property but they do not have to. Also if they are not able to find a replacement tenant they may hold you to the contract.

A. No the deposit cannot be released until the tenancy ends, so unless your landlord is agreeing to a mutual surrender of the tenancy then the deposit must remain protected by the scheme and cannot be used as part payment or rent or to offset against rent arrears.

A. Yes UKCISA have provided a lot of information and support which can be found here.  Newcastle University also have up to date information on how they can specifically support International Students. If you have a specific housing question please contact the Student Advice Centre but please note we cannot advise on anything related to Immigration.

Section 2 - guidance to Landlords and Tenants.

A. The government updated the advice on home moving with a section on tradespeople being allowed into homes to undertake repairs, replacements, decoration and improvements. Visits to the property should only be undertaken if it is safe to do so. The updated guidance outlines what is expected of tradespeople and their requirements for working safely

Landlords, Agents, and accommodation providers and their employees and/or contractors must continue to take precautions where they are having to attend, with the government guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19) in mind.  It will be important to ensure that Public Health England guidelines, including maintaining a two-metre distance from any household occupants, are followed to ensure everyone’s safety. Precautions might involve asking occupiers to leave or stay in another room whilst work is completed. 

Additionally, the government has provided information on repairs, maintenance and health and safety within Section 3 of the Landlord and Tenant guidance. 

Landlords are legally required to ensure regular gas and electrical safety inspections are conducted and failure to do so could lead to them being prosecuted. They are required to provide relevant certification at the beginning of a tenancy and carry out all scheduled inspections and tests where required. If a Landlord cannot do this due to difficulties with access they must be able to demonstrate they have taken all reasonable steps to comply with the law. Guidance can be found on the Gas Safe Register and in the government guidance for Landlords and Tenants

A. You should definitely let them know. They need to know why you have left – whether this is virus related or something else and if you have left your belongings in the property and intend to return or if you have left for good and removed your belongings.

Your tenancy agreement might also have a clause stating a specified period of non-occupation where you are required to notify them so please refer to your agreement. If you are in shared housing you should indicate who has left/remains. This is important for a number of reasons; for health and safety, clarity on surrender or abandonment, for maintenance access and not least for security. There may be an increased risk of burglary with empty homes so if you have left your belongings make sure you are insured.

A. Speak to your Landlord, Agent or Accommodation provider in the first instance. In the case of Halls or blocks there may be specific requirements or arrangements for access/belongings retrieval.

If you can arrange to retrieve your belongings please continue to adhere to government guidance and ensure it is safe to do so. If you are unable to get back to Newcastle yourself, you might need to make alternative arrangements such as removal firms or storage which might take time to arrange or book and will have additional costs for you.

A. It’s not fair but lots of things are not fair.  Unfortunately nothing about this situation is fair or equal.  The University made this decision but they have no control over what other providers decide to do.  Landlords and providers are not required to act identically. If you decide not to pay, you or your guarantors run the risk of being pursued for that at some later point.  

 

A. The government guidance has remained the same in relation to moving house.  Please speak to your landlord/agent/provider in the first instance. All parties are encouraged in the Government guidance to adapt and be flexible to alter their usual processes in respect of moving home. Currently, the guidance is to follow measures for?staying alert and socially distancing?whilst avoiding contact with anyone who is presenting symptoms, self-isolating, or shielding. Prioritising the health of individuals and the public must be everyone’s priority. For summer moves this will depend entirely on what the position is nearer the time and what Government guidance is at that point? It might require your tenancy to continue as a periodic tenancy. You can find more information about this on the Shelter web pages. We will endeavor to keep these pages updated.

 

 

Financial Advice

Last updated 7 May 2021

 

A. Once during a course lifetime you can apply for a Change of Circumstances in your student finance. If your parents or your income has reduced by at least 15% then you can request a reassessment of your funding from your funding source i.e SFE, SF Wales, SF Ni, or SAAS.

  • So if your household income changes - your parents or partner must:
  • correct any mistakes relating to their household income;
  • tell your funding source (e.g. SFE) if they think their household income will be at least 15% lower than the tax year they submitted details for;
  • this can be done on the Student Loan portal

Students can also apply to the university hardship fund* (the Student Financial Support Fund) whilst your change of circumstance is being processed. When applying you should state that is what you are doing. *you can only apply once you are a registered student*

A. Student Finance Support Fund (Hardship) applications already submitted are being fast-tracked. Larger emergency loans are being issued to those who apply if needed. They are paying out all the remaining bursaries, scholarships and scheduled payments in one go.  Here is the application form.

A. Yes the bills still have to be paid such as gas, electricity, water etc as these all have a standing charge for the service provision. However, these may be lower due to smaller usage. within the property

A. Yes the loan will be paid as usual

A. Yes students still have to pay fees as teaching is still happening and the support staff are still working to help students i.e. Student Advice Centre – the link below has a statement on tuition fee refunds from UUK 20.4.20 : https://www.ncl.ac.uk/wellbeing/coronavirus-updatedinformation/support-for-students/#fees.

A. Up until August 2021, an EU student loan status stays the same, and will continue to stay the same as long as no changes occur like a suspension or deferral or course change, until the end of the course duration.

However after this deadline any new EU student will be classed as an overseas student , and will not be eligible to apply for student loans

If you are a current student who has a change in the year up to and including after August 2021 you will also lose your right to EU funding.

If you need guidance on EU status with regards to Brexit changes please contact https://www.ncl.ac.uk/international/visa/  as the SAC cannot give Immigration advice

(the guidance changes frequently as the legislation updates – this is current as at April  2021)

A. Yes if you still fulfil the criteria and you will be subject to continuous checks from SLC for the remainder of your course. However any new students will be unable to apply as this scheme is being abolished as from August 31st 2021.

.

 

A. Unfortunately, most students (lone parents/disabled students have different rules) are excluded from claiming benefits. This means that, even if you have lost your job:
- You cannot claim Universal Credit and therefore;
- You should not claim the Universal Credit Advance Payment – it will become a debt you are expected to repay. 

Similarly, Legacy Benefits (such as Housing Benefit) cannot be claimed by most students and they cannot accept new claims anyway.

Student Lone Parents: are able to claim Universal Credit (including an amount to help with Rent).

Student Couples (Both Students): You will only be able to claim Universal Credit if you have care of a Child.

If you wish to discuss benefit issues please fill in the booking form to make an appointment with the finance adviser.

A. Yes, students apply for their finance as normal. There will be however no need to swipe a smartcard for years 2 upwards as the online registration will be sufficient to release your loan. See link below for what is happening on campus once students do return to studies and the link to apply for finance. Student Finance, What's happening on Campus? .

A. Yes , due to the pandemic Newcastle University classes are mainly online for term 1, thishas no connection to your accommodation contract and the rent is still payable whether it is a Private Landlord or University halls.

 

 

 

Academic Advice

Updated 01 February 2021

Academic queries are at present the same as usual, however as this is an unprecedented situation this is subject to change, we will try our best to remain updated. Any specific queries relating to your assessments should be directed to your school office (not your personal tutor) - please be patient with them and try to email rather than phoning as staff will be working remotely from home - view more here.

 

A. Due to the ongoing Covid -19 pandemic and its disruption to learning, the university has introduces a number of measures which recognise the impact of Covid-19 on assessment for UG, Integrated Masters and PGT students. These measures include:

- The scaling up of marks

- The profiling of marks

- Increasing the marks included in the zone for discretion by Board of Examiners in relation to Final Classifications

- The Introduction of a revised policy for the late submission of assessed work

- A streamlined approach to PEC

- Improved timing of deadlines for the submission of assessed work

- Increased entitlement to resits for taught postgraduate students

More information is set out in the FAQs below.

A. The scaling up of marks means that where the results of the current cohort are significantly below what would be expected compared to the marks of previous cohorts who studied the same modules, schools will scale these marks up to bring them in line with past performance.

The profiles of marks of 2020-21 cohorts will be reviewed against the profiles for all students for the last four years. There will be particular consideration for those students who may have been especially impacted by the pandemic, such as our Widening Participation students and those with caring responsibilities. The university has also set up a Student Carers Group, if you would like to join this group please contact kevin.johnson2@newcastle.ac.uk. More info can be found here.

A.  The Board of Examiners (BoE) have always had the ability to apply discretion to a final mark in order to uplift it to the higher classification when appropriate to do so (eg. when there is significant evidence of performing at the higher classification). Usually the discretionary zone is within 2 marks of the classification boundary. Due to the disruption caused by Covid 19, the university is increasing this discretionary zone from 2 marks to 3 marks, for this academic year (2020/21). This does not mean that your degree classification will be automatically uplifted if you are within this zone. It simply extends the zone for which the BoE will be able to consider a mark for discretion. The BoE will make an academic judgement whether to uplift your classification. Discretion can only be used for the benefit of a student eg, uplifting a 69.6% student (2:2) to a 2:1 classification it is not used to award a lower classification.

A.  From the start of Semester 2, penalties for the late submission of work will operate on a sliding scale, with students losing a set number of marks for each day after the deadline an assessment is submitted. The sliding scale for late submission works on the following basis:

• A fixed penalty of a 5% deduction of the final agreed mark, for every calendar day that the work is submitted late.

• Deductions will accrue daily for either a 7 day period, or until the mark reaches the pass mark (40 for undergraduate modules, 50 for integrated masters and PGT modules, and the relevant pass grade for non-modular programmes).

• Work submitted after 7 calendar days should be given a mark of zero.

• 1 day is considered 24 hours after the orginal deadline, for example, if the assessment deadline has been set for 12 noon on Tuesday 23/2/21 a piece of work submitted at 11:59:59 am on Wednesday 24/2/2021 will be deemed to be one day late; a piece of work submitted at 12:00:00 pm on Wednesday 24/2/21 should be deemed to be two days late. This principle will be carried into future years too, although some adjustments might be made after Semester 2 if necessary

A.  You do not need to submit documentary evidence for any health, bereavement or Covid-19 related PEC request for the 2020-21 academic year. However, you must explain the issues they have faced, the impact this has had on your studies and a rationale for the requested adjustment, which will be will be taken on trust for Covid-19 related issues to streamline the process. A PEC can also be considered for unexpected IT issues or software failure issues which impact on your access to, or completion of, online learning and assessments.

A.  Two actions have been taken to try and reduce the negative impact of bunching assessments and you should contact your individual academic unit if you have concerns.

- Academic units/subject areas may not set a single deadline date in any single Semester for the submission of summatively assessed coursework. For example, a school cannot set the same deadline for all assessed elements within a module. This will be in place for Semester 2 and 3 for the current academic year.

- All academic units will be required to review their schedule of deadlines for Semester 2 and Semester 3, 2020-21, in consultation with their student representatives. Schedules for the submission of assessed work should be confirmed to students by the end of Teaching Week 2, with any changes specifically highlighted to the students affected.

 

A.  The university is has adjusted its regulations for 2020/21 for PGT students to be permitted a single resit attempt for all their taught modules and to allow them to progress to the dissertation/final project carrying fails from the taught modules

A.  There are some courses with professional recognition where the requirements of the relevant Professional and Statutory Regulatory Body (PSRB) or programmes with non-standard structures, which do not allow this Safety Net to be applied in whole or in part. In those cases, is working with the relevant school to secure a feasible accommodating approach.

A.  Your SSP will be taken into account as usual and adjustments to your learning will still be made in line with your SSP. The Safety Net does not replace your SSP.

A.  On 5 January 2021, the UK Government moved into a national lockdown, with everyone encouraged to stay at home unless travel is absolutely essential to limit the spread of coronavirus. In order to keep both our students and community as safe as possible, current guidance urged you not to return to campus as planned in January unless it is absolutely necessary for your course, your research, or your wellbeing. The courses where return to present-in-person teaching is necessary to complete the learning outcomes of your course and can return to campus in January 2021 are listed below .

a) Students on practical courses of study

If you are a student studying a practical course of study such as:

-Medicine and Dentistry

-Subjects allied to medicine/health including but not exclusively: pharmacy, dental hygiene, physician associates, speech and language therapists.

-Education (Initial Teacher Training)

-Professionally accredited courses with practical placement and present-in-person activities scheduled in January which cannot be rescheduled (If you fall into this category, your school will contact you w/c 4 January 2021.)

The list of programmes expected to return from January 2021 can be found   link. .

If you are studying on one of the programmes listed, you are still permitted to return to campus despite the introduction of the latest restrictions, and you should make arrangements to do so, including for testing (see below). If you are studying on one of these programmes and you are not in a position to return at this time, you can request remote study by completing an absence request form via the Student Self Service Portal (S3P).

Due to the professional regulators involved, the Schools of Medicine, Pharmacy and Dentistry have already been in touch with students studying with them to give specific detailed instructions on the return procedures and this bespoke School information should be followed.

b) Research students requiring access to facilities

-If you are a research student who requires access to specialist facilities on campus for your research.

c) Students with a compelling reason to be on campus

In addition, if you have remained in Newcastle over the break or if you have a compelling reason to return to campus, you may do so. This includes:

-Students without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in your vacation

-Students who have remained in their university accommodation over the winter break

-Those requiring additional support, including students with mental health issues, which can only be met by returning to campus.

-Students on placements where the placement provider has COVID-secure measures in place, is permitted to open based on the relevant local restrictions, and is content for placements to continue

Students returning to campus, should make arrangements to take two Rapid (LFD) asymptomatic tests, 3 days apart, prior to your return to campus or access University facilities, including placement. The University’s Covid asymptomatic testing centre is now open and you can book your tests via this   link. For all other students, your teaching and learning will be continued to be offered online as restrictions on Higher Education have been extended to 8 March 2021, and we encourage you to stay at home until further notice following Government national lockdown measures.

A. Some students will be unable to return to campus due to individual circumstances. There are, however, certain programmes where attendance in person on campus or at a professional placement location is required for Semester 2 (e.g. MBBS, PGCE) in order to meet learning outcomes and/or accreditation requirements. If you are studying on one of these programmes and you are unable to return, you will be required to interrupt your studies until a time when you are able return to campus or your professional placement location. If you find yourself in this situation, please contact your personal tutor to discuss this.

For other programmes where attendance in person on campus is expected rather than required, it will be possible to submit a request for an exemption if your individual circumstance prevent you from returning to campus. Prior to submitting a request to study remotely in Semester 2, you may wish to discuss this with your personal tutor.

To request remote study please complete an absence request form via the Student Self Service Portal (S3P) by 11 January 2021 at the latest. When accessing the form please follow the instructions below:

· choose the absence reason ‘other’ from the dropdown selection

· indicate in the text box this is due to ‘Covid’ along with confirmation you will study remotely and details of your particular circumstances

· Enter the date range for your proposed absence from Campus i.e. 01/02/2021 - XX/XX/2021 (to indicate that you wish to study remotely for all, or part of Semester 2)

· Once submitted, the form will be sent to your school for consideration and, if approved, your student record will be updated to show that you are studying remotely.

A. Yes, Newcastle University will be offering a rapid testing programme from 4th January 2021 as students return to campus. Students will be encouraged to take two rapid tests, three days apart. You can book your slots from 4th January 2021 now via this  online booking link.. These tests are being offered to give you some reassurance that you can resume your in-person activities safely and you are not unknowingly spreading Covid-19 to others on campus and in the wider community. If you cannot get a test, you should self isolate for 10 days to reduce the risk of transmission between home and university.

A. Rapid Tests will be in Venue in NUSU.

A. If you test positive after taking a rapid test, you’ll be asked by the NHS to undergo a PCR test (the regular NHS Covid-19 test) to verify that you have contracted the virus.

You should also inform anybody that you live with and any close contacts as they will also need to self-isolate.

You should also inform the university that you have tested positive, and are self-isolating through  this form to ensure that you are supported through your period of self-isolation.

Students must follow the rules on movement and self-isolation after a positive test:

• (i) If a student tests positive for coronavirus (COVID-19) they are required by law to self-isolate for a period of 10 days

• (ii) If a student has been identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive but can access testing via the mass testing programme, they should seek a test. If they test negative, they must still self-isolate for 14 days but this can be done at home if they wish to do so, taking into account the risk of transmission to their family. Students should only use public transport if they have no other option. They should strictly follow  safer travel guidance for passengers . Where mass testing is not available, students must self-isolate in their current accommodation and not return home.

• (iii) If a student tests negative and is NOT a close contact of someone who has tested positive, they can travel home by any mode of transport and do not have to undertake any further periods of self-isolation. If, after travel, they subsequently develop symptoms of Covid-19, or are alerted by NHS Test & Trace that they are a close contact of a case, they should immediately self-isolate at their new location and get tested.

Important notice:

You should let us know as soon as possible if you are having to self-isolate by completing?this  online form.

If you have an urgent need that cannot wait until the next working day (Monday-Friday) – call the university:

• Between 10am and 4pm (Monday - Friday) call the COVID Enquiry Line on 0191 222 5101

Outside of these hours call Security on 0191 208 6817 (available 24/7)

 

A.  You don’t need to have a rapid LFD test if you’ve already had a positive Covid test within the last 10 days. These tests are for asymptomatic individuals only. If you have symptoms or know that you currently have Covid-19, you must seek a test through local testing sites.

A. The university has made no plans to refund tuition fees as all teaching is being provided until the end of term, either online or on campus for select students

A. As the cyber attack has impacted S3P, you are unable to submit a PEC form the usual way. Instead, you should contact your school for information on submitting a PEC form manually.

A. Newcastle Students who intend to travel home for the Winter break are encouraged to travel during 3-9th December, unless you know your studies will continue due to a placement beyond 9 December. If you have Present-in Person Teaching up to and including the 6th Friday, you should try to arrange your travel after this date. The travel window dates have been selected to allow enough time for students to complete a self-isolation period should they need to at University before Christmas. Adhering to the UK Government guidance around the student travel window will help to reduce the risk of transmission to family and friends as students return home for the winter break.

A. Yes, teaching will continue online until the end of term (18th December). You should try to arrange your travel around timetabled teaching.

A. . Newcastle University is working alongside UK Government to develop a testing programme for those who are not showing Covid 19 symptoms ahead of 9 December 2020 for anyone who wishes to have a test. Getting a test before the 9th means that if you do test positive, you can complete your isolation in time to travel for winter break. You can book a rapid test  here Testing will take around 10-15 minutes. It should only take an hour for you to receive your result, however it could take up to 24 hours. You don’t have to be present for this as the result will be sent to you via text message.

A. No, you should remain at your Newcastle address until you complete your 14 days of self isolation.

A. Dates for rapid testing have initially been released until 9 December 2020. There are Postgraduate Research students and students on Clinical placements who may be required to travel home after 9 December. The university is currently working to ensure that they can keep the rapid test centre up and running until 18 December to support students who are required to travel outside of the travel window. You should keep checking your university email account for more information.

A. The University is working with the Government, Northumbria University and major transport providers to try and ensure that there is sufficient transport provision in place, however this will be limited.

A.  Before booking your travel, you should check the testing and self-isolation requirements in place in your destination country and factor these into your travel plans. You should also consult the  Government’s safer travel guidance for passengers.

You should not plan to travel before 3 December, while national restrictions are still in place. Ideally, you should arrange to travel during the ‘student travel window’ which will run from 3-9 December. You should check with your school if there are any present-in-person teaching during the travel window. Students on clinical placements should continue on placement as planned.

When planning your journey back to the UK you should remember that, unless your country of departure, and any countries that you will transit through during your journey, are on the Government’s list of exempt countries, you will need to undergo a 14-day period of self-isolation on your return to the UK.

You may find it useful to refer to the travel advice in the AIG Travel Assistance App (accessible via  www.mylifeline.co.uk) when planning your journey. The App provides a source of information to support students who are planning international travel and you can also use it to monitor developments whilst in your home country. Please be aware it does not provide travel insurance cover for holiday travel – you will need to arrange your own cover if you are returning to your home country for the winter break.

Once you have downloaded the  App you will need to register using the appropriate policy number:

Undergraduate students: 0010628134

Postgraduate students: 0010628132

Students undertaking international travel may require a Polymerise Chain Reaction (PCR) test or other Covid tests. Please check the requirements of your destination country. More information on how to access Covid testing will be sent to students during the week commencing 23 November 2020.

 

 

 

A. In order to complete your registration, you need to complete a registration form by the 21st September 2020.

  Undergraduate Registration Form

 

  Postgraduate Registration Form 

In order to complete registration, you must ensure that you have arrangements in place to complete your tuition fee payment. You can find up to date guidance regarding Student Finance here 

If for any reason you don’t think you can complete the form by 21st September, please don’t worry just let the university know on student-registration@ncl.ac.uk 

 

A.  For all programmes of study, learning opportunities will be made up of a mixture of online and in-person, on-campus activities.

There are a small number of programmes where students on particular stages cannot meet the learning outcomes without attending in-person, on-campus teaching and/or physical placement activities. These programmes are  listed here 

There are factors which may prevent some students from coming to campus in person for the start of the new academic year such as government travel restrictions, clinical vulnerabilities/severe health conditions and additional caring responsibilities because of Covid-19. If you have chosen to study on one of the programmes listed and are unable to be present in person on campus/at your placement for the start of the new academic year it is vital that you let the university know by completing  this form so that they can look at options to best support you.

UPDATE 08/10/20: In response to the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in Newcastle, the university has decided to deliver all teaching online for the next 3 weeks with some exceptions for courses which require face to face teaching, an updated list of these courses can be found here by the end of w/c 5/10/20. This decision will be reviewed on the 23/10/20.

 

A. If you believe that your study or ability to complete an assessment has been affected as a result of unforeseen and unavoidable personal extenuating circumstance, including COVID-19, you should complete the on-line PEC form accessible via your Student Self Service Portal (S3P). PECs relating to COVID-19 and all other health related issues will not require additional medical evidence due to high demand on medical services at present.  Please note that the request for extension or other adjustment to your assessment needs to be before the submission deadline. If you are submitting a PEC, try to include how your circumstances have directly impacted your studies.

A. The university has introduced a Safety Net Policy for taught UG and integrated Maters students. This means that you cannot be disadvantaged by your performance in your semester 2 of 2019-20 assessments. The Safety Net will therefore take all appropriate marks up to and including Semester 1 assessments in 2019-20 as being a secure measure of student attainment.  We will then calculate your individual ‘baseline average’ based on those marks and guarantee that each student’s end of current stage average is no lower than this. You will still need to pass your remaining modules for the Safety Net to apply at the end of the academic year. You can find how the university calculates your baseline average on the university FAQ page.

A. The University’s programmes are accredited by a wide range of professional accrediting bodies, and schools and the University have been liaising extensively with these professional regulatory bodies.  Several of these professional accrediting bodies have already confirmed that they are willing to consider supporting the type of measures the University has agreed to include in our Safety Net but some professional accrediting bodies have not yet confirmed their position, or have told us that this is not possible.  There are also some professional accrediting bodies who have yet to confirm either way, and we are continuing to work with those bodies to get confirmation of their stance on our Safety Net.

If you are studying an accredited programme, further details will be confirmed to you as soon as possible following discussion with the relevant accrediting bodies – this communication will be sent to you by your School.  Students on accredited programmes are asked to remember that these decisions are not in the University’s control, but the University will do what we can to act in your best interests.

A. The university has a dedicated email address for baseline average related questions: BaseLineAverage@newcastle.ac.uk.

A. You should expect to be assessed but no assessments/examinations will take place on campus. At present, you will not be required to return to the campus for any teaching or assessment before the end of this current academic year.

The university is working on alternative assessment formats and you will receive more information on this from your School in due course.

A. Yes, you can request to defer all Summer assessments to the August resit period, which has been extended by a week (17th August- 4th September). The decision to defer is therefore one with significant potential consequences and students are advised to consider carefully the implications before applying for a deferral, and to discuss any such decision with academic tutors, the Careers Service, family and friend.

You will also need to think about the following when making your decision:

  • These ‘pre-approved’ deferral requests are only available if you are seeking to defer your first attempt for all your remaining assessments.  If you wish to request to defer some but not all assessments, you will need to submit a PEC form setting out your reason for making the request and each form will be considered on a case-by-case basis by the PEC committee.
  • If you defer your first attempt to the August assessment period, you will undertake the same form of assessment as other students on your modules did in the Summer Term.  In order to ensure fairness for all students across a module we will not be reverting to the ‘normal’ type of assessment in the August assessment period.  In particular you should note that the University will not be conducting face-to-face invigilated examinations in the 2020 August assessment period.
  • There will be no additional tuition for students if they elect to defer their assessments, moreover students are likely to find staff availability more limited at this time of year.
  • If you defer all your assessments to the 2020 August assessment period, you will still be entitled to one resit for any failed modules in line with the University’s regulations and subject to any additional normal regulations for your specific programme.  If you are an undergraduate or integrated masters student and fail more than 20 credits you will be entitled to resit all failed modules, but you may be required to take a year out of your studies and undertake your resits as an external student during the 2020-21 academic year – this is in line with University regulations 2019-20.

You need to think very carefully about whether to request to defer all your assessments, taking all these issues and your own personal circumstances into account.

A. Depending on your individual circumstances, you may need to submit more than one form to inform the university of your situation. The university has put together a table explaining the differences between the mitigating forms and when they should be used. Read through each carefully in order to help you make a decision on which is the most appropriate.

A. The university has launched an online service which gives access to popular cluster PC software and your University files. The student Windows Virtual Desktop (WVD) has most of the software that is available on a standard University cluster PC.  You can log in to it from a PC, laptop or tablet that is connected to the internet via https://go.ncl.ac.uk/itservice/wvd.

A. Impact on your research degree can usually be dealt with either by instigating an interruption to studies, or by giving an extension to your thesis submission deadline. Your Supervisor and/or Graduate School will be able to guide you on the most appropriate option for your circumstances.

In order for the university to understand how best to support you, you are encouraged to complete the online form for your relevant Faculty.

Further information on the options available to PGR students can be found on the PGR FAQs. These FAQs outline the support available to you during this time as well as answer any questions relating to travel, teaching, APR, viva etc.

A: Any student with a thesis submission deadline up to 30th September 2020 is eligible to apply for up to 3 months of fee free extended submission.

If you are in this situation, you do not need to take any action at present, your Graduate School is collating details of the relevant students and will be contacting you (normally using your University email address, unless you have already provided us with additional, alternative contact details.

The ‘30th September 2020’ date will be reviewed on the 31st July 2020 as part of a rolling programme of review and provide an update during the week commencing 3rd August 2020.

A: In accordance with the UKRI guidance issued on the 24th April 2020, if you were/will be in receipt of a UKRI funded studentship between the 1st March 2020 and 31st March 2021, you may be eligible for an extension of up to 6 months of funding. Colleagues responsible for UKRI studentships in all 3 Faculties will be in contact with relevant students shortly to confirm the process for requesting this funding extension.

A: APRs will continue as normal this academic year, where possible. This will provide you with an opportunity to provide information on the progress you have made, as well as detailing the impact that the current situation has had on your research project.

If your APR is due before the end of this academic year, this will be arranged by your School as usual.

If you do not have an APR scheduled during this timeframe, your School will be asked to arrange an extraordinary APR, which will be an ‘impact review’ (using the APR process) to consider the impact of the Covid-19 disruption on your research degree.

This will ensure that all students have a review of the impact of Covid-19 disruption before the start of the 2020/21 academic year.

Your School/Institute will provide you with further details on dates and specific arrangements as these are finalised.

A: Vivas will be carried out remotely. To facilitate remote vivas, the Deans of Postgraduate Study have approved a blanket concession for MPhil and PhD vivas to take place via video link, subject to confirmation that the viva is conducted via a professional Zoom link.

Your Graduate School will be providing guidance directly to your academic unit/supervisors about how vivas by video link can be supported and are currently identifying students who have a viva scheduled in the next three months and advising the relevant Supervisors. If you are a student in FMS and required to undertake a pre-viva presentation, this is likely to be done via video link to just the Examiners.

If you are a creative practice student, you may have different arrangements for your examination which may include elements in addition to a viva, e.g. a performance, installation, etc.  If you are concerned about the arrangements for an upcoming examination in the next three months, please contact your Supervisor and/or Graduate School to discuss this and determine the options available to you.

A: Please contact your Graduate School Office:

HaSS and SAgE students: gradschool@ncl.ac.uk

FMS students: medpg-enquiries@ncl.ac.uk

The new academic year will start as planned on 28 September 2020. Teaching will begin for the majority of students on 19 October 2020. For some courses (Medicine, Dentistry and many taught postgraduate programme), teaching may start at different times. If your teaching is likely to start at a different time and you are an offer-holder, you will be contacted directly about this.

Arrival dates on campus will be phased by stage and level as follows:

New students

28 September 2020 – New Undergraduate students on their first year of study

5 October 2020 – New Postgraduate Taught students and new Research Masters Students

Start dates for new Postgraduate Research students will be provided soon.

Students with programmes that rely on access to third party provision including Medicine, Dentistry, Speech and Language Sciences and PG Education may have induction and programme teaching start dates, which are different to those given above. Students on these programmes will receive information on start dates directly from their School.

For the first term, at least, there will be a limit on the number of people on campus.

In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, lecture materials will be delivered online as will many tutorials, seminars, workshops and labs. The university’s current plan, where it’s possible and safe to do so with 2 meter physical distancing in place, is to deliver up to three hours of in-person labs, seminars and tutorial teaching per week. We will review this at key points in the semester and these reviews will inform our approach to semester two teaching.

For all programmes of study, learning opportunities will be made up of a mixture of online and in-person, on-campus activities.

There are a small number of programmes where students on particular stages cannot meet the learning outcomes without attending in-person, on-campus teaching and/or physical placement activities. These programmes are listed here.

There are factors which may prevent some students from coming to campus in person for the start of the new academic year such as government travel restrictions, clinical vulnerabilities/severe health conditions and additional caring responsibilities because of Covid-19. If you have chosen to study on one of the programmes listed and are unable to be present in person on campus/at your placement for the start of the new academic year it is vital that you let the university know by completing this form so that they can look at options to best support you.

UPDATE 08/10/20: In response to the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in Newcastle, the university has decided to deliver all teaching online for the next 3 weeks with some exceptions for courses which require face to face teaching, an updated list of these courses can be found here by the end of w/c 5/10/20. This decision will be reviewed on the 23/10/20.

 

You can apply for deferred entry on your UCAS application, or you can request to change your year of entry after submitting your UCAS application by contacting the central Undergraduate Admissions Team.

Some courses at Newcastle may allow you to change your year of entry after receiving your results and accepting your place at Newcastle in summer.

All change of year requests are dealt with on a case-by-case basis and should be forwarded to ug-admissions@ncl.ac.uk

New students will able to access our extended induction programme and discover all you need to know about your University, including how to access online learning. You can find out more about the support that has been put in place to induct you to your online learning through this useful blog.

The University have also launched a set of resources for all offer holders which you can access here. This library will support you as you prepare to start your studies at Newcastle University with sections including; learning online, reading lists, virtual tours of our campus and accommodation and where to find further help and support. There’s also information and tips on making the most of lectures, how to prepare, making notes and practical recommendations for taking part in online seminar. This pre-entry support, and our comprehensive transition and induction programme once you start at Newcastle will cater for this, and help will always be on hand.

The Start of Term for most new students will be 28 September, but the university is asking continuing students to prepare to return to campus on the following dates:

Monday 5 October 2020: Undergraduate and Integrated Masters finalists

Monday 12 October 2020: Other returning Undergraduate, Integrated Masters, Postgraduate Taught and Research Masters students

Teaching for the majority of students will commence on Monday 19 October.

Please note: Students with programmes that rely on access to third party provision including Medicine, Dentistry, Speech and Language Sciences and PG Education may have induction and programme teaching start dates which are different to those given above. Students on these programmes will receive information on start dates directly from their School.

For all programmes of study, learning opportunities will be made up of a mixture of online and in-person, on-campus activities.

There are a small number of programmes where students on particular stages cannot meet the learning outcomes without attending in-person, on-campus teaching and/or physical placement activities. These programmes are listed here.

There are factors which may prevent some students from coming to campus in person for the start of the new academic year such as government travel restrictions, clinical vulnerabilities/severe health conditions and additional caring responsibilities because of Covid-19. If you have chosen to study on one of the programmes listed and are unable to be present in person on campus/at your placement for the start of the new academic year it is vital that you let the university know by completing this form so that they can look at options to best support you.

UPDATE 08/10/20: In response to the increasing COVID-19 infection rate in Newcastle, the university has decided to deliver all teaching online for the next 3 weeks with some exceptions for courses which require face to face teaching, an updated list of these courses can be found here by the end of w/c 5/10/20. This decision will be reviewed on the 23/10/20.

 

All continuing students will be asked to register online via S3P before they restart their programme. The dates on which you can access S3P to register for 2020-21 are as follows:

From 19 August onwards – MBBS and BDS students in the Faculty of Medical Sciences

From 31 August onwards – all students registering on the final year of Undergraduate and Integrated Masters programmes

From 7 September onwards – all other continuing students on taught programmes

The online registration process will remain unchanged. When you log into S3P you will be asked to complete a number of steps that are listed on the registration status screen to complete your registration.

For those students who are in receipt of a student loan there will no longer be a requirement to swipe your smartcard on campus to confirm your attendance. As long as you have been notified by Student Finance that your loan for 2020-21 has been approved and you complete your online registration via S3P before you restart your programme, we will confirm your attendance to the Student Loan Company and they will release your loan, usually within 3 working days.

Further details about registration will be available nearer to the time.

 

 

Personal Advice

If you've read through our FAQs and your question has not been answered, please use our booking form.

 

A: There are many organisations and services that are there to support you or someone you care about at this very difficult time. Our personal webpages have a section on bereavement where we list some of these along with links to support within the University.

Newcastle University Grief and Bereavement Guide - This guide is intended to provide some support to help you negotiate the next steps in your bereavement.

YOu can also check out the bereavement resources the Student Advice Centre has put together here.

Download Bereavement Support

A. There is a lot of support out there to help you.  

Mental Health during Covid-19: A Guide to looking after yourself and others

Suicide Prevention

Student Minds 

Mind

Newcastle University Wellbeing and on line CBT with Silvercloud

Student and Staff Wellbeing – Corona Virus Updates

Public Health England guidance for the public on the mental health and wellbeing aspects of Coronavirus

Coronavirus: How to Protect your mental health (BBCNews)

Every Mind Matters NHS

Information about how to look after your sexual health during lockdown

A new page on Newcastle City Council’s website – www.newcastle.gov.uk/sexualhealthinlockdown – brings together all the places in Newcastle that you can contact for sexual health advice and support, including access to free condoms, emergency contraception, testing and treatment of sexually transmitted infections and termination of pregnancy. There is also a new Facebook page, Sexually Healthy Newcastle, sharing information about these services, as well as other ways you can look after your sexual health and relationships.

Streetwise will now be delivering sexual health medication to young people’s houses during the COVID19 lockdown.  All you have to do, is contact New Croft on 0191 229 2999 for your repeat contraception and you will be given the option to go and collect it from New Croft or have it delivered to your door by Streetwise.

They also are able to deliver other forms of sexual health medication such as tablets for young people who have tested positive for Chlamydia as well as full STI testing kits.

HealthWorks resources

HealthWorks have developed a list of online resources to help families keep active, healthy and happy. More information is available here.  

Citylife Line

Citylife Line is a new service that has been launched by Newcastle City Council, in partnership with the community and voluntary sector, for residents wanting to volunteer their time whilst also providing a service to support residents in need due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. To register to offer support or to request support, visit the Newcastle City Council website or phone 0191 277 8000.

Health & Well-being

Newcastle City Council have a website page with advice on how to look after yourself and your family during this time, particularly when staying at home, given that some people understandably find social distancing or self-isolation very difficult. At this time more than ever, emotional and mental wellbeing should be considered. The Coronavirus: Looking after yourself website page includes some helpful information and advice on how to do this, much of this from the Mental Health Foundation website.

A. Nightline is running its online chat service, so if you're wanting to chat with someone anonumously and confidentailly click here.  Their service runs from 6pm to midnight during term time.

A. Not all students have been impacted equally by the pandemic. As part of the Student Space programme, Student Minds are launching a new range of innovative, tailored services for students. This includes support for:

Black students, Punjabi students and other racialised and minoritised communities

Trans and gender questioning students

Students from working class backgrounds 

Students who have OCD or BDD (body dysmorphic disorder)

Students who hear voices 

Students with disordered eating

A. Please take a look here at a full list of domestic abuse information. 

A. If you, or someone you know, has recently experienced a loss due to alcohol or drug misuse, there are various support services available to you.  

 DrugFam is a drug and alcohol addiction support website, which primarily provides a lifeline to families, friends and partners affected by someone else’s addiction to drugs and/or alcohol, and in particular, those who have experienced bereavement as a result of substance misuse. 

 The University's Student Health and Wellbeing Service are available for support if you need it. They also have a new mental health support network  TalkCampus  where you can talk to other students from around the world 24/7 about how you are feeling, and to know that, however you may be feeling, you are not alone. You can also email support services at the University using the emails below:

Student Support from pastoral.support@ncl.ac.uk   

Additional support for students also continues to be provided by the Student Counselling Team sws.therapyappointments@ncl.ac.uk   

A. Drugs can be a difficult topic to discuss, especially if you believe someone you know has a problem.  FRANK  has great tips on how to approach your friend/family member with your concerns, and also advice on  what to do in an emergency  if someone is having a bad reaction as a result of taking drugs.  

The University's  Student Health and Wellbeing Service iare also available to offer advice if you are concerned about a student, but please be aware that they are not an emergency service. If you are with someone who needs medical help as a result of taking drugs, call an ambulance immediately. They won't tell the police, and it could save their life. 

You can also email support services at the University if you feel you need support as result of someone else’s drug/alcohol misuse using the emails below:

Student Support from pastoral.support@ncl.ac.uk   

Additional support for students also continues to be provided by the Student Counselling Team sws.therapyappointments@ncl.ac.uk   

 

 

 

Immigration Advice

Updated 23 November 2020

The Student Advice Centre cannot advise on any Immigration related queries.  In the first instance, Newcastle University Visa team web pages have a lot of information that is regularly updated including their contact details.

The UK Government has also provided guidance for anyone applying for a UK Visa

The Home Office’s Coronavirus Immigration Helpline remains open: 0800 678 1767 (open Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm – calls are free of charge if made from within the UK).  The Home Office asks that customers check gov.uk first as that is the central source of information, but if individuals remain concerned about their immigration status they can contact: CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

If you've read through our FAQs and your question has not been answered, please use our booking form.