How to come onto our campuses

Coming onto campus is a little different at the moment and we all have a part to play in reducing the risk of COVID-19 spreading. When travelling to the University avoid, where possible, public transport. If you have to use public transport, wear a face covering and try to avoid rush hours.

We’ll be keeping an eye on the latest Government and scientific advice so we can respond quickly to any changes and update you. 

We need to support each other at this time so let’s be patient as we all learn to change our behaviour on our campuses. Also, if you are worried about the health and wellbeing of someone you know please let someone know.

Keeping safe on campus

We’ve completed a full risk assessment and are implementing control measures to reduce the risk of transmission and protect our community. We've also produced guidance that we all need to follow to keep safe on campus which includes information on face coverings, social distancing, signage and cleaning.

Returning to continue your studies

Returning to campus to study

Essex is a campus university, and we will continue to offer a transformational on-campus experience. The changes we have made to support you and protect your health and wellbeing mean that, for most of our courses, this will include blended learning – with lectures, classes and other teaching taking place both online and face to face. Much of this teaching is offered “live” (even if online/ virtual) but is also be available to access at times that suit you.

We know that your learning experience is about more than just attending classes, and our campuses can provide you with all you need to make the most of your studies. This includes private space to study in your on-campus study bedrooms as well as in PC labs and other spaces on our three campuses for self-study. We can also offer you access to laptops on loan and access to our library services; as well as enhanced wifi provision across our campuses.

The pandemic has provided an opportunity for us to rethink what really matters to our students in the current circumstances. We are taking the opportunity to adapt how we support you to enjoy a transformative student experience, whether you are studying on one of our three campuses, or wherever you are. We have been working in partnership with our Students’ Union to ensure that you can enjoy our clubs, societies, activities and services. We have built in flexibility to enable you to access support and activities, and to shape your experience around your life.

If you can’t arrive by the time your course starts

We recognise that some students may have difficulty travelling to campus in time to start their course. So if for any reason you are unable to travel to campus to start the academic year, all teaching will be available virtually. This means that once you have completed your registration online you can start, or continue, your programme off-campus, wherever you are, with full flexibility to transfer to on-campus learning as soon as you are able to.

In this way we will support you to study in a way that suits your needs in this difficult time. Our flexible approach is also designed to support you to continue learning if further outbreaks of infection occur during the year. This means you can join us in full confidence that you can continue and complete your programme of study.

Things are a little different for those studying at our East 15 Acting School. You can find out more information on the East 15 website.

Studying remotely

We know that some of you may need or want to start the term by accessing your learning wholly remotely (either because you have chosen not to/been unable to arrive on campus for the beginning of term or you have arrived on campus but, for COVID-19 reasons, need to move temporarily to remote learning). It is important you tell us if you need to access your learning wholly remotely and if, at any point, your circumstances change.

You can tell us how you plan to study by going to your My Essex portal and completing the Student Study Form. We will update your timetable with the links so that you can access your classes and lectures online.

How to join us when you're able to travel

When you are able to travel to campus you should do so, making appropriate arrangements relating to quarantine if necessary. You should update your student portal when you arrive so that we can adjust your timetable to enable you to take part in small group face to face teaching, with social distancing.

All new students must also attend a Right to Study check with your ID documents so we can confirm you have the right to study in the UK, and that your identity is correct. At this point, we’ll give you your student registration card.

Studying off campus for the whole year

Even if you are not able to travel to join us for the start of the year, you can still benefit from a transformational Essex education. We hope and expect that you will join us when you can to take full advantage of our on-campus offer, but if you need to study remotely, we will work with you to support you, whatever your circumstances.

Please note that whether you can study online for the whole year is dependent on what department and course you are applying for. To find out more please visit our department pages which have further details about how teaching will be delivered.

We appreciate that our students are living through changed circumstances, and we are absolutely committed to doing all we can to help you to continue learning through this period.

Important information for non-UK nationals

If you aren’t able to arrive in time for the start of the Autumn Term here are a few things you need to be aware of:

New Student Immigration Rules

Please be aware that the UK’s Immigration Rules are changing, the new rules for students will apply to:

  • Non-EEA nationals submitting an application from 9am on the 5 October 2020 and;
  • EEA/Swiss nationals who aren’t able to arrive in the UK by 31 December 2020 and don’t already have settlement in the UK

Please read the UKCISA news page and the government website for more information about the new ‘Student’ route.

Before you apply under the new rules please ensure you understand the requirements and can make a valid application. If you need further guidance regarding the new rules please read the UKCISA guidance and contact the UKCISA student advice line.

Our immigration pages will be updated as soon as possible but there may be a delay as the introduction of the new rules co-insides with the start of the Autumn term.

European and Swiss students

If you don’t already have settlement in the UK, we recommend you arrive to live in the UK no later than 31 December 2020. You’ll then be able to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme and won’t need to apply for a visa to study. Please read the extensive UKCISA guidance for EEA/Swiss nationals and contact their student advice line if you have any questions.

If you plan to arrive on or after 1 January 2021, you will need to apply for a visa to study with us under the UK’s new Immigration Rules. Please read the section above ‘New Student Immigration Rules’ and follow the links for more information.

Students issued with a CAS or a Tier 4/Student visa 

The Home Office introduced temporary Covid-19 concessions to the Tier 4 Immigration Rules which enable sponsored students to study via blended learning (a mix of in person and online) in 2020-21.  Under these concessions it is also possible for current students with a Tier 4/Student visa to study remotely from overseas and for new students we issue a CAS to, to start their course by distance learning overseas provided you are intending to come to the UK to continue your course on campus as soon as it is possible to do so. If your department have agreed that you can study remotely from overseas initially and come to campus when your in-person teaching starts, there’s some important information you’ll need to read and actions you’ll need to take if you would like to retain our sponsorship.

We are required to monitor your engagement and attendance from the start of the Autumn term and withdraw our immigration sponsorship if you aren’t engaging with your studies, this includes whilst you are studying remotely from overseas.

If you apply for your visa from 9am 5 October 2020, you will be applying under the UK’s new ‘Student’ immigration rules and will be issued with a ‘Student’ visa rather than a ‘Tier 4’ visa, please read the section above ‘New Student Immigration Rules’ and follow the links for more information.

If you are interested in staying in the UK under the new Graduate route when you complete your course, please be aware that the Home Office have stipulated that eligible students must be in the UK studying by 6 April 2021 and, must complete their last semester inside the UK. You must also be able to meet all the other Immigration Rules in force at the time. The Graduate route immigration rules are due to be published in the Spring of 2021 and will apply to eligible students graduating from the Summer of 2021, guidance on working after your studies is available from UKCISA.

Other UK immigration permission

If you are from outside the European Economic Area/Switzerland, you will need to hold UK immigration permission that allows you to study your course with us from the start of the Autumn term and for the duration of your course. You’ll be able to register for the 2020-21 academic year online from 1 September. If you are in the UK, even if you are studying online initially, you must attend a right to study check before you can attend your teaching events either in person or online.

If you are starting a new course or, continuing a course but your immigration documents have expired, we will need to see your immigration documents before you can start the 2020/2021 academic year.

Read our immigration pages for information about applying for a visa to study with us including our news page for updates.

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