Applicants and offer-holders information and updates concerning coronavirus

Last updated: 27 May 2020

We understand that our applicants and offer-holders will have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. We are following the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, ensuring the welfare of our students and staff is our absolute priority. We have taken the action to temporarily move our teaching online and to close all non-essential areas of our campus. In addition, we have cancelled on-campus events for prospective students and applicants for now. We will continue to review this and will provide further updates on this page.

This is a very unsettling time for all applicants but please be assured that we will do all we can to ensure these changes won't affect your opportunity to attend our University in the coming academic year. Again, any updates will appear on this page as soon as they are confirmed.

If you have any questions you can contact us, but please check the FAQs below first where we have aimed to answer your queries.

UK undergraduate International undergraduate UK postgraduate International postgraduate

For postgraduate taught and research students, we're following government advice and working closely with all government agencies to ensure admissions timelines are similar to previous years and where possible, we will take a flexible approach to our admissions. If you're from outside the UK, we're aware that education systems around the world have been disrupted by the current pandemic. If you’ve any questions regarding your application/offer from Manchester you’re welcome to contact us, but please check our FAQs below first where we have aimed to answer your queries. Any updates will appear on this page as soon as they’re confirmed.

Applications and offers

Last updated: 15 May 2020

Will the coronavirus outbreak affect my application to Manchester?

We're doing everything we can to limit any impact coronavirus may have on current applications to study at Manchester.

Currently, our academic Schools and admissions teams are working hard to process all applications as normal and provide decisions as soon as possible. However, there may be a delay in decisions due to the present situation and admissions teams working remotely. 

Do I need to send you mitigating circumstances regarding the coronavirus outbreak?

No. We're aware that due to the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus outbreak that all applicants to The University of Manchester will have faced some disruption this year and we don't require applicants to submit individual mitigating circumstances. 

Are you still accepting applications for September 2020?

We're still accepting applications for September 2020 entry. Students who wish to apply for a postgraduate taught course should make an application online. Students who wish to apply for a postgraduate research programme can find further information online.

We're continuing to monitor this situation closely and will update our FAQs with any changes  please check back here to make sure that there haven’t been any updates to our position before you make your application.

Additionally, you should also check that the course you would like to apply to is still open – as we receive many more applications than we have places for every year, some of our courses close early in the application cycle. 

Do you anticipate any travel restrictions for students coming to the UK?

We'll be closely following the UK government’s advice with regard to any quarantine requirements for inbound travellers to the UK in order to understand any impact it may have upon our new and returning students by September/October 2020. We're working hard to make sure that any appropriate arrangements will be in place to support our students.

What measures are in place to ensure that students can continue their studies as planned?

We understand that widespread disruption to studies around the world will be a cause for concern for applicants and prospective students due to begin University studies in 2020.

We'll do our best to extend deadlines for the receipt of transcripts and other application documents wherever possible. As the extent of the disruption becomes clearer, we'll be in a better position to update you on other related policies.

Please be assured that we're considering this as a matter of urgency and you will be updated by email as soon as possible. 

My exams may be cancelled or postponed. What should I do?

We understand that this will be a big worry for you and suggest that you contact your school/university/college/agent in your country for further information on the impact this may have on your studies.  

Can conditional offers be issued without sight of official transcripts/certificates?

Yes in some cases, but please note that conditions will need to be met before a confirmation of acceptance of studies number can be issued. Please contact the admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department for advice: 

My teaching and assessment have been disrupted by coronavirus? What should I do?

We're aware that education systems in the UK and around the world have been disrupted and we're monitoring the situation. We'll be as flexible as we can where applicants aren't able to meet the conditions of their offers in the way they expected, or at the time they expected.

At this stage, you don't need to let us know of any closures that affect you. We'll be in touch if this changes and will keep this page updated as well. 

I can’t travel back to my home country to take exams. What do I do?

We understand that travel may not be possible at the moment and how this will be a concern. We suggest that you contact your school/university/college/agent in your country for further information on the impact this might have on your studies.

Will the new academic year still start in September?

Postgraduate taught students

We understand that the current COVID-19 crisis has created real uncertainty for all our students, particularly those who need to travel from outside the UK to take up their place in Manchester. We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at Manchester and we're very much looking forward to seeing you on campus as soon as we can; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

We're currently planning for every eventuality in order to follow UK government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online. What this means is that you'll still be able to engage with your programme effectively, and receive the highest-quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

We're committed to providing the most up-to-date information about your studies and can confirm that we've put back the start of the new term to allow more time for students to make all the necessary arrangements to prepare for their postgraduate study at Manchester.

The confirmed start of year schedule for postgraduate taught students in 2020/21 is: 

  • Week commencing Monday 5 October and 12 October: University welcome and induction programme
  • Week commencing Monday 19 October: School and programme induction activities
  • Week commencing Monday 26 October: Teaching starts including an online option

If you have any specific queries, please contact your academic School/Department, but more details about the precise timetable during this period will follow and we'll keep in touch with students regularly over the next few months.

Postgraduate research students

We're aiming for all PGRs to be able to commence their postgraduate research programmes with us from September 2020 and we're working tirelessly to bring our new PGRs the best possible research experience under the current circumstances. We're really looking forward to welcoming PGRs onto campus as soon as it is safe to do so; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

As social distancing measures may be in place for some time, we're recommending that you keep in regular contact with your supervisor and your local PGR support team over the initial stages of your research programme. We're planning for every eventuality and, in order to follow the government advice, we may either begin all research remotely, or deliver some activity on campus.

Will there be a University induction/welcome programme for new students?

Postgraduate taught students 

This year students will also benefit from an extended and enhanced period of induction, welcome and development activities. This will focus on University welcome, employability kick-starter sessions and English language top-ups for international students who may have lost out on expected instruction and testing will also be available. This will also be an opportunity to catch up on any curriculum essentials that students may have missed due to the current crisis and not completing their prior studies. All this activity is specifically designed to support students in their postgraduate studies and get the most out of their time at Manchester.

Postgraduate research students

We're absolutely committed to delivering the high-quality PGR experience that PGRs expect at Manchester and we are very much looking forward to seeing our new PGRs on campus as soon as we can. The Manchester Doctorial College will be in contact with PGR offer-holders with regard to University induction/welcome programme for new PGRs as soon as possible.

I'm unable to complete my course and/or provide my transcript. How will this affect my admission?

If you've received an offer to study with us, you would normally have been set a condition to achieve your qualification at a certain grade and to provide your final certificate and transcript to us. If you'll be unable to provide these documents due to the coronavirus outbreak, please keep checking these pages as we will provide guidance on how to proceed when we have more information. We continue to monitor the situation closely and updates will be provided here as and when they become available.  

Can I post you my transcripts/I've already posted my transcripts?

Please don't send us any documents by post until further notice. Please send scanned copies of your documents via email to the admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department: 

There may be a delay in processing documents, please continue to track your application via self-service. If you've already posted your transcripts please re-send these as an electronic copy via email or contact the relevant admissions team if you don't have access to an electronic copy. 

Can I defer my offer?

Postgraduate taught students

We appreciate that the situation with coronavirus is changing quickly and some offer-holders may be considering deferring their offer. The option of deferring will vary from one course to the next but requests are welcome; applicants wishing to discuss deferring their application should contact the admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

We can confirm that we've put back the start of the new term for postgraduate taught students to early October to allow more time for students to make all the necessary arrangements to prepare for their postgraduate study at Manchester. We're really looking forward to welcoming students onto campus as soon as it is safe to do so; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

As social distancing measures may be in place for some time we're committing to delivering all lectures for semester one online. We're also planning for every eventuality so that we can follow government advice and either begin semester one wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus while still providing our lectures online. 

Postgraduate research students 

We understand that the current COVID-19 crisis has created real uncertainty for all our PGR students, particularly those who need to travel from outside the UK to take up their place in Manchester.  While we appreciate that the situation with coronavirus is changing quickly and some offer-holders may be considering deferring their offer, we would ask you to hold off on making any final decisions on this until the situation becomes clearer over the coming weeks. This is so that your decision is an informed one. A lot of initial research activity in the first 6-12 months of your programme can be conducted remotely and you'll have close contact with your supervisor to support and guide you through all stages of your programme. We're working hard to ensure that PGRs have the best possible research experience.

We're really looking forward to welcoming PGRs onto campus as soon as it is safe to do so; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.  We're planning for every eventuality so that we can follow government advice and either begin all research remotely, or deliver some activity on campus. Postgraduate research applicants wishing to discuss deferring entry to 2021 should email the admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department.

Can I get a refund on my tuition fee deposit if I'm unable to attend/travel due to coronavirus?

The University will refund the £1,000 tuition fee deposit/acceptance deposit to any student who is unable to take up their place because of ongoing disruption associated with coronavirus.

Can my application fee be refunded if I no longer want to apply/attend due to coronavirus?

Unfortunately not; the application fee is non-refundable. However the University will refund the £1,000 tuition fee deposit/acceptance deposit to any student who is unable to take up their place because of ongoing disruption associated with coronavirus.

I can't submit my ATAS application as the scheme is closed to new applications. What can I do?

We understand that this is a worry and have made the Foreign and Commonwealth Office aware of our concerns. During this period, we would advise that you still prepare all the information that you'll need so that you're in a position to submit your ATAS application as soon as it is possible to do so again. You can use our ATAS Application Guide to help you with this. We'll update this page as soon as any further information is available and/or the application portal reopens so we’d encourage you to keep checking back for new information.

Can I have an extension/use a professional reference if I can't contact my university academics?

We understand the current disruption and will try to be as flexible as possible around the documentation we require and the deadlines to submit this by. To discuss your particular circumstances please contact the admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department for advice.

Can you explain what you mean by ‘online teaching’ and ‘on-campus’ activities’?

‘Online teaching’ will take place where it involves large groups of students or we're unable to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. For example: we've made the decision for all lectures to happen online for the first semester due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students. Lectures are likely to happen online at set times, with some live components such as quizzes, small group sections, or Q&As.

‘On-campus teaching’ will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. We hope that these will take place face-to-face on campus to allow for discussion and interaction with your teacher/academics as long as government guidance allows for this.

We're currently planning for every eventuality to ensure that we deliver the highest-quality learning and student experience and ensuring that we follow UK government information and advice. We'll ensure that more details about the format of teaching and learning for the first semester are shared with our future students regularly over the next few months.

If my lectures are online, does this mean I won’t have any teaching in person at all?

We've made the decision for all lectures to happen online for the first semester due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students. Lectures are likely to happen online at set times, with some live components such as quizzes, small group sections, or Q&As. We're actively planning for seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses to take place face-to-face on campus to allow for more discussion and interaction with your teacher/academics as long as government guidance allows for this.

If some elements of my teaching are online, will I be charged the full published tuition fees?

Students will be charged the full published tuition fees for 2020 entry.

We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at Manchester and are very much looking forward to welcoming students onto our campus as soon as we can. We're currently planning for every eventually in order to follow UK government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online.

We're confident that students will still be able to engage with their programme of study effectively, and receive the highest-quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

Accommodation

Last updated: 15 May 2020

Will I be able to move into University accommodation in time for the start of the year?

We very much hope to be able to welcome students to move into their University accommodation ahead of the start of the academic year but this is subject to UK government guidance and a full University risk assessment.

It's understandable that you may have concerns over your University accommodation, so we're happy to confirm that contract terms are being adjusted to provide maximum flexibility for any further disruption that may occur during your time in Halls. With our accommodation guarantee you can apply for a place in Halls with the reassurance that your Advance Licence Fee Payment is fully refundable should you be unable to take up your offer to study at Manchester.

You can apply for University accommodation by completing an online application. Applying is free but if you wish to accept an offer of accommodation you'll need to make an Advance Licence Fee Payment to secure your room. Further information can be found on our accommodation webpages.

Will accommodation still be guaranteed if I come later or defer the offer?

Yes, accommodation is guaranteed if the application is received by the Accommodation Office before 31 August of the year of entry.

If I check-in late, can I get a refund for the part of the tenancy period that I missed?

Technically no, there isn’t a refund for the part of the tenancy missed. If you think that you're going to arrive late (a week to ten days past your contract start date) it is better to let the accommodation office know of your expected arrival date. The existing offer of accommodation will be removed and a new offer made for when you plan to arrive and in that way you will only pay from the date your new contract starts.

How do I apply for University accommodation?

You can apply for University accommodation by completing an online application. Applying is free but if you wish to accept an offer of accommodation you'll need to make an Advance Licence Fee Payment of £400 to secure your room. You'll need a valid email address to complete the application and a valid University of Manchester ID number which will be on your offer letter. Further information can be found on our accommodation webpages.

Is my deposit/Advance Licence Fee Payment fully refundable if I'm unable to take up my offer?

It's understandable that you may have concerns over your University accommodation, so we're happy to confirm that contract terms are being adjusted to provide maximum flexibility for any further disruption that may occur during your time in Halls. With our accommodation guarantee you can apply for a place in Halls with the reassurance that your deposit/Advance Licence Fee Payment is fully refundable should you be unable to take up your offer to study at Manchester.

You can apply for University accommodation by completing an online application. Applying is free but if you wish to accept an offer of accommodation you'll need to make an Advance Licence Fee Payment of £400 to secure your room. You'll need a valid email address to complete the application and a valid University of Manchester ID number which will be on your offer letter. Further information can be found on our accommodation webpages.

English language

Last updated: 20 May 2020

I've taken my English language test for my Tier 4 visa, but haven't received the results?

Check the test provider’s website as this should provide details around what arrangements are in place and although some test centres are closed it may still be possible to contact them via email.

Will the pre-sessional course be taught online?

Due to the ongoing global situation, a decision has been made that the six and ten week pre-sessional courses will now be delivered online. Unfortunately, the three week pre-sessional course has been cancelled. Further details on how the course will be delivered online can be found on the pre-sessional website.

Can you extend the pre-sessional course application deadline?

We've reviewed the situation and are able to offer a one week extension to our usual deadline.

Will there be any flexibility on the latest start date for pre-sessional courses?

The online pre-sessional courses are scheduled to start on the dates published on our website. Students will attend live classes and so will be expected to start on the following dates:

  • PS10 – 6 July
  • PS6 – 2 August

Can I apply to the University without an English language test?

Yes, you can apply to the University without an English language test. You may be considered for a conditional offer where you have English language (and/or academic qualification) conditions outstanding.

Can the University test my English language in order to receive an offer?

The University recognises a number of English language tests, including TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE and IELTS. In addition to these tests, in response to disruption caused by COVID-19, we're now able to accept the following online tests for 2020 entry: 

  • TOEFL iBT Special Home edition
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator / C1 Expert 

Given the ongoing disruption to global English language testing centres because of the coronavirus pandemic, the University is continually reviewing additional and/or alternative forms of confirming prospective students’ levels of English for entry in 2020. We'll announce further information on this area in due course, and our applicants and offer-holders should please check email regularly, as further individual guidance from admissions teams will follow as soon as possible.

If you have an English language qualification that isn’t listed here, please contact your admissions department who will be able to advise you on the acceptability of this English language qualification. Students from certain European countries may be able to demonstrate their English proficiency using alternative means. Please contact the admissions team in the relevant academic School or Department for further advice.

If not, can deadlines be extended?

We'll seek to be as flexible as possible with respect to deadlines for English language conditions.

Can the University contact IELTS for my certificate information?

Yes, please provide us with your IELTS TRF number and we can use this to verify your results via the IELTS results portal. 

Visa guidance

Last updated: 20 May 2020

I need to apply for a visa but my nearest visa application centre is currently closed. What do I do?

Please check for updates on when visa offices (services) in your country are expected to re-open.

Find out more

We'll be providing regular updates on our website and we encourage you to review this periodically. If we anticipate the need to make any changes of a significant nature applicants will also be notified via email as early as possible.

Please also note the following website which is regularly updated with advice and information:

UK Council for International Student Affairs