Last updated: 29 May 2020

Applicant FAQs

The University is preparing to re-start in-person teaching in September, under a careful plan to Save Lives; Protect the NHS; Live; Learn. Professor David Green CBE, Vice Chancellor and Chief Executive, has outlined the plans in this message to applicants:

Studying and the Campus in the new academic year (Fri 29 May)

Dear applicant,

I hope you and your loved ones are well, despite this difficult unhappy time of the Covid-19 pandemic.

Many congratulations on receiving an offer to study at the University of Worcester. This letter is for you on the assumption that you decide to take up your place and meet all the necessary requirements for your specific course of study.

In these uncertain times, you will understandably have questions about your application and your studies next year.

At the University of Worcester, we are working hard to support the studies and all-round progress of our existing students and graduates as well as to prepare the new academic year for you. We know that you will have many questions about your teaching and learning as well as wider opportunities and campus safety in the new circumstances created by the pandemic.

I am writing to provide answers to some of those questions now. In addition, over the next few weeks, we will update you with specific arrangements for your course, accommodation, when and how you should arrive on campus, and other essential information.

The University of Worcester intends to start the new academic year as planned in September 2020. We look forward to welcoming you to our community here in Worcester. We intend that our campuses will be open, following all UK government safety and World Health Organisation guidelines appropriately.

Of course, life on our planet has been deeply affected by Covid-19.

At Worcester we are well advanced in our planning to ensure that your opportunities and experience as a student will be enriching, purposeful and enjoyable, despite the impact of the pandemic on everyday life. We have learned a great deal about carefully managing our campus as we are amongst those universities who have honoured our commitment to keep our Halls and other essential facilities open to those students who feel it is their home and wished to remain here. Over 200 of our resident students chose to stay with us throughout the national lockdown, which began on 23 March. This means that our campus never closed throughout the pandemic. As a result, we are able to benefit from our ongoing experience to inform our practical approach to next year.  

For many years, the majority of our teaching has taken place in small group settings such as seminars, laboratory classes, tutorials, clinical simulation and other practical sessions. We are planning to continue to teach these in person, while strictly following the Government safety guidelines in place at the time. Our aim is to ensure you have every opportunity to become a skilled professional and to meet in person with your lecturers, university professional staff and your fellow students.

Many of our courses at Worcester benefit from professional accreditation and extended professional placements in companies, Health Trusts and community organisations as well as hundreds of schools and educational settings. As you may know, Worcester is in the top ten universities in England for employability one, three and five years after graduation, according to official government data (Longitudinal Educational Outcomes). One of the reasons that our graduates are so successful in gaining jobs is this practical placement learning, so we consider that it is vital that these placement opportunities continue to be available to Worcester students. We are in discussion now with our partners to consider how this practical learning will continue, to the benefit of students and society as a whole.

Next year, lectures will typically be delivered through a blend of in-person and online learning, depending on the course size, government regulations and other factors at the time. What you can be certain of is that we’ll be doing our best to make sure that every session is high-quality and effective for you.  

Worcester has a strong reputation as one of the UK’s most inclusive universities, where all those with the determination and ability to succeed are welcomed and supported. If you have declared a disability on your UCAS application form, our Student Services team will be contacting you in the coming weeks to help you plan for September. You can find out more about our outstanding student support on our website and if you have a specific question, please get in touch at firstpoint@worc.ac.uk 

Many colleagues across the University are working intensively now so that we can begin our new academic year on campus and in the spirit of community. This spirit, which makes Worcester so special, has guided and will continue to inform our response to the coronavirus pandemic.  We have done our best to support the NHS locally and to contribute to saving as many lives as possible by providing specialist equipmenthelping our third-year nursing students join the NHS if they so wished, and in other practical ways, as well as by working closely with the Students’ Union in promoting volunteering in particular.

In practical terms, social distancing and other public health measures will be in place across our buildings, accommodation and public spaces alongside the dedicated entrances, one-way systems and distance markers that have become a familiar feature in other areas of national life. We will also make full use of the teaching day in order to avoid busy ‘peaks’ on campus.

Our campuses already benefit from being spacious, self-contained sites within a relatively small city. You can easily walk or wheel between our campuses and into the city centre. We have affordable student parking permits available, as well as plenty of cycle hoops and a bicycle-share scheme for students.

We are working closely with the Students’ Union to develop new leisure, training and sporting programmes as well as volunteering and other opportunities that will help you settle into University life. Meg Price, our newly elected Students’ Union President is looking forward to welcoming you: ‘We are so proud of how our students and student groups have been supporting each over the past few months, with the kindness and empathy that Worcester is known for.  We realise the unknown is hard and we’re here to support you as one Worcester community.”

I hope that you find this information helpful. We will of course keep all of our plans under continuous review, ready to act if the situation changes and to make full use of scientific advances.

There is a lot of detailed work to do, and we will keep you updated throughout the summer. Please continue to follow the latest information on our webpages  and stay in  touch with us online through social media and our digital student ambassadors

If you have questions about your application, please do not hesitate to contact our Admissions team on admissions@worc.ac.uk. You may also find it helpful to refer to our Applicant FAQ page, or to visit us through a Virtual Open Day

In the meantime, I wish you all good health and every success.

 With all best wishes,

 

Professor David M A Green CBE
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive
University of Worcester

Frequently asked questions about the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, for those who've applied to study at the University of Worcester.

Have you changed the deadline for applying for a guaranteed place in University-managed accommodation? (NEW - 29 MAY)

Yes, we have extended the deadline this year.

If you’re applying to be a first year undergraduate student in 2020, and accept a conditional or unconditional offer as your first choice by 18 June and apply for student accommodation before 30 June, you are guaranteed a place in our University-managed accommodation.

Places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis, so the earlier you apply, the better chance you have of securing one of your preferred accommodation options.

The Applicant Day has been postponed. How can I find out more about the University?

You can find out more about the University on our virtual open day pages. Over the next few weeks we will be adding more videos to these pages, these will give you a feel for what it's like to live and study in the beautiful city of Worcester.

You can also chat to our current students

Some subjects have already held virtual events and others are planning to do so in the future, we will keep you updated about these events via email.

How is the University responding to the summer exams, such as A levels, being cancelled?

Firstly, please try not to worry. We know that this is a worrying time especially given the government’s announcement that school and college exams will not go ahead this summer.

We are doing all we can to provide you with the answers you need about your studies next year as soon as we can.

In light of the unprecedented challenges you are facing at the moment, we will be as flexible as we can in relation to applicants fulfilling the terms of their offer. We recognise potential – in terms of the qualifications which you have already achieved, your predicted grades, and your reference – and will always take these factors into account.

If you hold a conditional offer and have made Worcester your firm choice, then we’d like to reassure you that this offer to study with us still stands. While the current circumstances mean things are changing every day, the conditions of your offer are unchanged and we very much hope to welcome you to Worcester in the autumn. 

Will Worcester make unconditional offers to students whose exams have been cancelled?

We have been told by the Universities Minister that we are not able to make any unconditional offers at the moment, unless you have already got your qualifications. If this changes, of course we will let you know.

Michelle Donelan, Universities Minister has said: "Unconditional offers from universities might look attractive during this uncertain time, but it is worth spending time considering all your options and reflecting on which is the right university, college or other higher education provider, and which is the right course for you."

Once your grades have been released to us in August, we will use your calculated grades to check that you meet our entry criteria in the usual way. We will be as flexible as we can in relation to applicants fulfilling the terms of their offer. We recognise potential – in terms of the qualifications which you have already achieved, your predicted grades, and your reference – and will always take these factors into account.

My course requires an interview. Will that now take place?

We are contacting all applicants scheduled to attend an interview to advise them of how we will proceed with their application.

In some subjects, particularly for courses such as nursing and teacher training, we will invite you to a remote interview (by Skype or over the telephone). In some subject areas, a decision may be reached by considering solely the information on the UCAS application. We will contact you directly about the arrangements that will apply for your course.

How do I make a decision about my firm choice?

We hope you choose Worcester as your university but we know that it’s an important decision. Make sure your firm choice is your preferred choice for the right reasons.

There is still time for you to make sure you’ve fully thought about which university would be the right place for you to study. Together with other universities across the UK, we have been working hard to make sure there are many opportunities for UK students, whose education has been so severely disrupted by the Covid-19 crisis, to see what we do – this might be through virtual open days, for example. We hope that you join in and get to know Worcester better – this is a great way of helping you to decide where you want to go to university.

We always put our students at the very heart of our University. We will always do everything we can to support your choices about which university is right for you and smooth your transition to university life.

Most of us are working away from the campus right now, but we are still here to answer your questions, to act on the latest government advice and to share further information with you as soon as it becomes available.

Please stay in touch with us online through email, social media and our digital student ambassadors.

If I’ve received an offer, what date do I have to respond by?

To give you more time to make your decision, UCAS has decided to extend the deadline (known as the ‘decline by default’ decision deadline) for all applicants who have already received an offer, or do so by 4 June. The new decision deadline for applicants to reply to offers is Thursday 18 June by 6pm. If you haven’t decided by this date, your application will be automatically declined. If this happens and you change your mind, please don’t worry. You can still get in touch with us and we can discuss next steps with you.

For more information, visit the UCAS website or contact us at admissions@worc.ac.uk if you have any questions.

When will I receive my results? What if I don't receive them in time to start university in September?

Ofqual, the examinations regulator, has stated that they intend to provide calculated A level grades for students in England on 13 August 2020 and it is likely that other awarding bodies in the UK will adopt similar timescales. We are monitoring the situation in terms of other international qualifications closely.

The current UCAS deadline for applicants to meet the conditions of their offer is 31 August 2020. In light of the recent announcements regarding the timing of examination results there are currently no plans for this deadline to change but UCAS are continuing to review the situation.

Read more about the Government’s approach to qualifications.

Can I contact UCAS for further advice?

Yes, UCAS are continuing to update applicants, advisers and universities as information becomes available. Further details about the UCAS process and updated information is being published on the UCAS website.

I am considering making an application for 2020 but have not submitted it yet. Are you still considering applications?

Applicants who have not yet applied to Worcester for 2020 are welcome to apply through UCAS. Applicants who are waiting for their calculated A Level results will be made a conditional offer in the normal way.

If you’d like to speak to an academic member of staff about a course, contact us at communications@worc.ac.uk and we can help put you in touch with the right person. If you’d like guidance on making an application, you can email our Admissions team at admissions@worc.ac.uk.

Can I defer my offer to 2021 entry?

While we appreciate that the situation with coronavirus is changing quickly and some offer-holders may be considering deferring their offer, we would suggest that you hold off on making any final decisions on this until the situation becomes clearer over the coming months. This is so that your decision is an informed one. 

Provided the national situation continues to improve, including the effective implementation of the Government’s proposed test, track and trace programme, we hope to be able to move most of our learning back on campus by the start of the term. You can read more about our plans in the below question, 'Will I still be able to start my course in September 2020?'

We do recognise that individual circumstances change and many of our courses may be able to consider deferring your entry to 2021.

Will my application to the UK Student Loans Company be affected by the outbreak?

No. UK and EU applicants to courses starting in September 2020 can apply for student finance online as normal.

Will I still be able to start my course in September 2020?  (UPDATED - 22 MAY)

The next academic year (2020-21) will begin as originally scheduled.  You can see when the semester will start and all other term dates for 2020/21.

Provided the national situation continues to improve, including the effective implementation of the Government’s proposed test, track and trace programme, we hope to be able to move most of our learning back on campus by the start of the term.

We envisage running many in-person lecture programmes, often with smaller groups, strictly respecting physical distancing guidelines, with simultaneous online broadcast where possible and appropriate.

We will aim to deliver the majority of other teaching, including tutorials, workshops, lab work and practicals on campus as long as this can be done in a ‘Covid-19 secure’ way and fully in accordance with Government regulations and World Health Organisation guidance.

This will mean some significant changes – particularly making full use of the teaching day with the timetabling of more late afternoon and early evening classes in particular, in order to avoid busy ‘peaks’ at campus, which would make social distancing difficult. In addition, groups will be split into ‘bubbles’ who will have more teaching together. In some courses we will also use a buddy system for tasks which need to be carried out together.

A great deal of work is currently underway to ensure that our campuses are carefully prepared for the safest possible, socially distanced return to in-person study. Our actions will be guided by science and entirely up-to-date best practice and will likely include, for example:

  • The creation of student residential, study and activities ‘bubbles’, where students are organised into groups;
  • Full use of the contract tracing ‘app’ system. We will aim to be an exemplar generally of the national programme to ‘test, trace and isolate’, ensuring that any case of Covid-19 is quickly identified and that there is the minimum transmission;
  • A further enhanced cleaning regime and the installation of facilities such as outdoor sinks, as well as easy access to hand sanitisers and wipes for computer equipment, desks and other frequently touched items;
  • Careful management of the timetable, making full use of the teaching day, to minimise ‘peak density’ on campus;
  • Physical distancing within our campuses, including increasing the distance between study spaces in such facilities as the Peirson Study and Guidance Centre;
  • One-way circulation within buildings, wherever possible and appropriate;
  • The creation of covered outdoor space for dining and informal learning;
  • The creation of more cycle hoops and car parking spaces and continued access to a bicycle loan scheme;
  • The availability of equipment, such as face shields, to help improve the safety of the whole community as well as managing occasions where social distancing is difficult, such as using public transport.

Acting in this way, we will be highly responsible, aiming to provide outstanding educational opportunities in which you will be able to both learn and live on campus, as well as virtually. We will of course comply with all relevant government regulations and the latest World Health Organisation guidance and will keep all of our plans under continuous review, ready to act if the situation changes and to make full use of scientific advances.

Together with the Students’ Union, we will continue to gather feedback, questions and ideas from our students to inform our approach. Of course, the safety and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors to the University will remain our primary concern and will be the foremost consideration in our decision-making. There will be a special programme of support for students who are unable to come to campus due to their own health condition.

There is a lot of detailed work to do, and we will keep you updated throughout the summer.

Where can I get further information?

If you have questions that haven’t been answered on this page, please get in touch with us in the Admissions Office on admissions@worc.ac.uk

Further information for staff about the coronavirus, and our response, can be found on our main coronavirus information page.

Submit a question

If you have a question that hasn’t been answered here, you can submit a question through our online form. If you are a student and you have a specific question about your course, you should contact your Course Leader or Personal Academic Tutor in the first instance.