Coronavirus (COVID-19) information

Discover Uni is working with its UK partners and with universities and colleges to ensure you have the information and guidance you need. This is a changing situation and our aim is to keep you as up to date as possible. Further information will be added as it becomes available so keep checking back.

This page focuses on information about higher education.

If you are a current student, your university or college should be your first port of call with queries about your course, accommodation, or immigration status.

As of 6 January 2021, UCAS have decided to extend the application deadline until Friday 29 January at 18:00 (UK time). For additional information please refer to UCAS deadlines.

For information on the application process, please refer to the UCAS website.

Take a look at our 'how to choose a course' section for details of things you might want to consider when applying to uni.

Check back regularly for updates, as information on this page may change.

England:

The government has announced that A Level and GCSE exams will not go ahead this summer. They are working with Ofqual to confirm alternative arrangements for assessment and awarding grades. Please keep checking this page for further information as it becomes available.

Arrangements for vocational exams (including BTECs) have also changed and may vary depending on your school or college. Please contact your school or college for advice. For more information, please refer to the Department for Education.

It has been agreed that vocational and technical qualifications, such as BTECs, should continue to take place in February and March where an in-person exam is required for a student to complete an apprenticeship or go into a job. This only applies to examinations which must take place in person to meet health and safety standards requirements for the qualification. More information can be found in this letter. Alternative arrangements will be put in place for students expected to sit in person assessments who can no longer attend in person.

All other vocational and technical qualifications that do not require in person assessment in February and March, such as written examinations, will not take place. Alternative arrangements will be consulted on by Ofqual, the exams regular in England, and the Department for Education by the end of January.

Wales:

The Welsh government has cancelled next summer's GCSE, AS and A-level exams. Grades will be awarded based on:

  • Non-examination assessment
  • Assessments planned and marked by your teachers and lecturers, which will take place from the 22nd of February until the 23rd of April
  • External assessments planned by the Welsh qualifications body WJEC, which will take place between the 17th of May and the 29th of June

More details can be found in the latest government guidance.

Scotland:

Higher, Advanced Higher and National 5 exams will not go ahead in 2021. They will be replaced with awards based on teacher judgement of evidence of pupils’ attainment.

For more detail please refer to the latest government announcement on gov.scot.

Northern Ireland:

The Education Minister for Northern Ireland has confirmed that all GCSE, AS and A2 exams due to take place in January, February, May and June 2021 will be cancelled, and the government are currently working on alternative awarding arrangements.

Please keep checking this page for updates. Further information can be found on the Education NI or CCEA websites.

International applicants – Prospective Students

You may have a lot of questions about studying in the UK. For information see the UK Council for International Student Affairs.

For information on changes to English language tests, visas and where to get advice and support visit the British Council Study UK website.

If you have applied via UCAS and there are any other significant changes that will affect you, or your application, UCAS will email you using the email address on your application – you can update it in Track.

More information on applying to university can be found on the UCAS website.

Our student support pages provide information about the additional support available for students at university. We have listed additional links below if you are experiencing issues that have been impacted by the coronavirus pandemic.

The BBC is providing free teaching resources for primary school and secondary school students with online learning materials arranged by age group and subject.

Care Leavers and estranged students

If you are care-experienced, or estranged from your family, you may be feeling anxious about coronavirus (COVID-19). Things can feel quite overwhelming, especially if you do not have any family around to talk to.

You can get information, advice and support from the designated link person at your university. If you are a care leaver you can talk to your PA or Leaving Care Worker. Each local authority has different types of support for care leavers, so it is worth talking to them directly.

If you have any questions around the impact of coronavirus on the care you are receiving, or want some personal advice, or just need to talk to someone, you can contact:

Become Charity on 0800 023 2033 or [email protected] .

If you live in Scotland, you can contact Who Cares Scotland on 0141 226 4441 or [email protected] .

If you are estranged from your family you can visit www.standalone.org.uk for advice and guidance.

Students with disabilities

If you are a student with disabilities and you need advice, you can call the Disabled Students Helpline on 0330 995 0414. The opening hours are 11am – 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays.

Alternatively, you can email them at: [email protected].

Mature students

If you are a mature student taking the Access to HE course, QAA will continue to provide updates for all Access to HE students on the section of the Access to HE website and will share the latest information with Access Validating Agencies, course providers and higher education providers.

You can also read the FAQs on the QAA website.

If you need help or further support, please speak to your course providers.

Mental wellbeing

For students who are struggling with mental ill health, please talk to your student support team at your provider. You can also contact student minds or the Samaritans or phone them free on 116 123

The Office for Students has information relating to coronavirus and FAQs for students in England.

Universities Wales details advice given to universities relating to the coronavirus pandemic. The Welsh government has released guidance for educational settings as well as specific guidance for Higher Education settings and student support.

Students who live or study in Scotland should refer to the official Student Information website.

Students who live in Northern Ireland can look at their official coronavirus information.

Student Minds can offer mental health support and guidance.

Universities UK has released guidance on policy relating to the Coronavirus pandemic.

For further information about coronavirus, such as advice about the precautions you should be taking, and what to do if you think you may have coronavirus, please read the government advice for England, Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

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