International Student

COVID-19: Applicant advice

Support available to International applicants affected by COVID-19

We are aware of the disruptions caused by COVID-19, including IELTS test cancellations, Visa Centre closures and suspended teaching at schools and universities in the UK and around the world. We have put in place measures to mitigate these difficulties and ensure you get the information and support you need during the application process.



I have an offer of a place to begin my studies in September. Are programmes still starting in September?

Yes. Term will begin as planned on September 21st 2020. Arrivals weekend is 19/20th September and orientation week will begin on 21st September.

I’m still thinking of studying in the UK in September but I’m not sure if I would make an application or not. Are you still assessing applications for 2020 entry?

Yes. We are still accepting applications for September 2020. Applications for undergraduate Bachelors programmes should be made through Clearing from the homepage of our website. The deadline for Postgraduate Masters programmes is 31 July but please contact us if you would like to apply after this date as it might be possible depending on your circumstances and availability of places.

Can I take a Pre-Sessional English programme if my English level doesn’t met the entry requirements?

Yes. We are now offering the Pre-sessional programme online. You will join in sessions held by University of Kent English language tutors and will be helped to reach the level of English required for your main programme of study. Please see here for more information

I would like to take an International Foundation Programme (IFP) but I’m not sure if I will be able to come to the UK in September 2020. What can I do?

We have several options available for students wishing to take an IFP. You can:
  • Complete the whole course in person,
  • Complete the whole course online,
  • Complete term 1 online September to December 2020 and then join the in-person delivery in January 2021
  • Join the February-start IFP

For further details please check our IFP webpage.

I am unable to get hold of completed qualifications to meet the condition of my offer at Kent.  Will Kent accept my partial transcripts instead?

Yes, Kent will accept officially verified partial/interim transcripts with a calculated final grade on a case by case basis.  However we are unfortunately unable to accept any unofficial/unverified transcripts and predictions, nor applicants without a final predicted grade.

I may have difficulty providing my English language qualifications required to meet the conditions of my offer. Will there be any flexibility from the University?

Many IELTS and other testing centres have been unable to operate as usual so we will accept other English language qualifications on an individual basis. See here for further information: Undergraduate   Postgraduate  

The University of Kent is also offering an online English test which, provided the required level is achieved, we will accept for entry on to our Pre-Sessional, Undergraduate and Postgraduate programmes. Please see our English test webpage for further information.

I am unable to come to the UK to begin my programme in September 2020. Can I defer my offer until September 2021?

We understand this is an uncertain time and you may wish to postpone your course for a year. We will try to make this as easy as possible for you. Please contact International Recruitment for further advice.

I have paid my deposit but now I am unable to come to the UK due to Coronavirus. Can I ask for a refund?

Yes. You can either:

  • Request a refund via your Kent Portal by sending a message via ‘Ask Admissions’.  You will then be sent a Refund Form to complete
  • Contact International Recruitment who will send you a Refund Form to complete

How will my studies be different this year?

The majority of our teaching and services will be delivered in a blended way – both online and in person. Which parts of your studies will be online and which will be in person will vary according to the course you are on, government requirements and our health and safety assessments. We are planning the details of this now and your academic school in the university will be able to update you in the coming weeks.

  • Online lectures will be complemented with face-to-face and/or online interactive sessions.
  • Lecture theatres will be used for smaller face-to-face group-based activities.
  • Lab classes, and other activities where you physically need to be there, will take place in strict compliance with health and safety requirements.
  • Some modules, or parts of modules, may need to be rescheduled to later in the academic year when social distancing restrictions are eased.

If I am unable to come to the UK for the start of term in September, can I begin my programme online in my own country and come to the UK at a later date?

We understand that due to various reasons you might not be able to travel to the UK. We are doing all we can to ensure you can begin your course online. Although this should be possible for the majority of programmes, please contact your academic school in the university or the International Recruitment office for details regarding the arrangements for your programme.

If I am unable to come to the UK for the start of term in September, can I begin my programme in January 2021?

We currently have some Postgraduate taught programmes with January start dates. These are our courses in the Brussels centre, the LLM programme in Kent Law School and MSc Project Management at our Medway campus.

What is the deadline for accommodation applications?

31 July 2020. However, it is still possible to apply for accommodation after this date and you will be allocated a room depending on availability.

When do I have to pay for my accommodation?

We do not ask for a deposit or payment before you arrive for accommodation on our Canterbury campus. You will need to pay in 3 termly instalments for undergraduate students and 4 termly instalments for postgraduate students.

If I confirm my accommodation but am unable to come to the university in September 2020 because of Covid-19 will I be able to get a refund?

As soon as you have confirmed your accommodation you are entering into a legal agreement. However, this year we understand that your situation may change between now and September so we will look at each case on an individual basis. Please contact the accommodation office or International Recruitment as soon as you are unsure if you will be able to come in September.

How do I know if the visa application centre in my country is open?

Please see here for details of which centres are open:

If I begin my programme online in my country, do I need a visa to begin my programme?

You will not need a visa to begin your programme if you are not coming to the UK. If you require a visa for study in the UK you must make sure that you apply for this prior to coming to the UK at a later date.

I am interested in the Graduate Immigration Route (Post Study Work) visa. Will I be able to apply for this if I begin my course online?

You will still be eligible to for this visa if you spent some time studying outside the UK due to Covid-19. You must enter the UK before 6 April 2021 and complete the final semester of your studies in the UK. You will still need to meet other eligibility criteria to be eligible for the route when it launches in 2021.

Will I have to quarantine when I travel to the UK from overseas?

If you are travelling to the UK from overseas, you should read the latest UK government advice about what to expect when you arrive. You must self-isolate for 14 days when you arrive in the UK, unless you have travelled from one of the countries with exemption.

If I come to the UK and need to have a period of quarantine, can I do this in university accommodation?

Yes. We are making arrangements so you can stay in a room with en-suite facilities on campus where you will stay for 14 days quarantine before moving into your accommodation for the remainder of the year.  We are making this available from 5th September 2020. The accommodation will be provided free of charge but a small charge will be made for food. Please contact the Accommodation Office if you would like to reserve this accommodation.


International Development - © University of Kent

The University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent, CT2 7NZ, T: +44 (0)1227 764000

Last Updated: 24/07/2020