Studying at university in 2021/22: FAQs

On this page, you'll find information about studying at ARU, accessing classrooms, libraries and other campus facilities, and making use of our student support services.

Our first priority is to keep you safe, and to make sure you're supported to start (or continue) your studies.

Student experience

Will I have to be vaccinated to study at university?

We continue to follow Government guidance around vaccinations and encourage our staff and students to get vaccinated as soon as possible to help stop the spread of COVID-19. We do also recognise, and respect, that there may be valid medical, cultural, or other factors why individuals may not want or be able to be vaccinated.

Some of our health care courses may require students to be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 to be placed within certain settings, such as care homes, as vaccination is both for students' own protection and that of their patients. This is subject to legislation being passed and if it does, will be implemented from October 2021. If you’re planning on studying a health care course, please contact us so we can put you in touch with a Course Leader to discuss this further if required.

If Government or sector vaccination guidance changes, we will contact all our students to explain what this means for them.

The NHS website has more information about vaccinations for students in higher education.

What steps will be taken to keep me safe on campus?

Our campuses are safe and inclusive. We ask students and staff to continue to wear face coverings (unless exempt) and to respect other’s personal space. We also provide lateral flow test kits, which can be collected from our campuses – and we encourage everyone to test regularly.

What happens if there is another lockdown in future?

In the event of a future lockdown, we will follow guidance from the Department for Education and our local public health authorities, and keep you updated on arrangements.

What will ARU do to ensure students feel part of a learning community?

Regardless of whether you're studying online or taking part in an in-person activity, our teaching staff will always ensure that you are learning in a partnership between them and the students on your modules or course. Canvas will be closely monitored by staff and emails will be responded to within five working days.

Will the Students' Union be open?

Yes – the Students’ Union will be running face-to-face and online services. Our independent, confidential advice service will be available to all students, regardless of where you are, to help you through any questions or challenges you might have. Student-run societies will continue to hold events and activities; all our students are welcome and there'll be something for everyone.

The Students’ Union spaces in Peter Taylor House (Cambridge) and Tindal (Chelmsford) will be open 24/7 for you to use in a way that complies with socially distant health and safety guidelines.

I'm a level 3 student. Are there any specific requirements that affect me?

All level 3 students will be studying their first year with ARU College. These FAQs apply to ARU College level 3 students with the additional specific requirements below:

  • students will use Moodle, ARU College’s Learning Management platform to access teaching resources
  • ARU College will communicate with students via Zoom, ARU College website, email, telephone and face to face by appointment.

Teaching and learning

If I've chosen face-to-face teaching, will I have to be on campus every day?

No; we'll do our very best to ensure that you are on campus for a continuous block of teaching at a time and we will consolidate your learning so that you don't have to travel to campus every day.

If everyone chooses face-to-face teaching, how will you ensure social-distancing is possible?

Our timetabling team is working to make sure we can safely observe social distancing across our campuses, in all our classrooms and in specialist teaching spaces. It's likely that you'll be taught in much smaller groups and or in larger spaces.

If I miss a face-to-face teaching session, can I join the online teaching instead?

This is unlikely as the face-to-face teaching and online teaching will, wherever possible, take place at the same time. You will of course be able to access teaching resources via Canvas, our learning management system, and your course leader will support you if you ask for help.

If I chose face-to-face teaching, can I change my mind and learn online?

Depending on your course you may, at certain points during the year, be able to swap from face-to-face teaching to online only, but should only do this in full consultation with your course leader as permission will be needed from your faculty.

If I chose online learning, can I change my mind and join face-to-face teaching?

You may, at certain points during the year, be able to swap from online only to face-to-face teaching, but should only do this in full consultation with your course leader as permission will be needed from your faculty. You must wait for the change to be approved before arriving on campus so we can manage social distancing measures

How will you ensure that online students get the same value for money?

Staff are working hard across our University to share best practice for online learning. We're confident that, if you're learning fully online, you'll receive the same level of learning and support opportunities as those learning face-to-face.

If I can only attend my course online, will it be equivalent to being there in person?

All students will be engaged and supported equally and, as far as is possible, we will do our utmost to make sure everyone has the opportunity to enjoy and succeed in their academic experience. This reflects our Student Charter where we share expectations of each other for ambition and responsibility.

What opportunities will I have to collaborate and learn alongside my peers?

At ARU we're committed to creating an active and inclusive learning experience. Working with, alongside and learning from other students is important in our teaching approach. It provides greater insight to the problems and ideas that are discussed on your course and helps you to develop skills that will serve you well in your future career.

What software can I use if I'm studying off-campus?

Our students will have access to a variety of curriculum software off-campus with no additional licence requirements.


AutoCAD Microsoft Office 365 (OneDrive, Word, Excel, Powerpoint)
Autodesk Revit NI Labview
Autodesk Maya NI Multisim
Ansys (limited to 512K cells/nodes) Nvivo
ArcGIS Packet Tracer 
Autopsy Praat 
Blender QGIS 
Cryptool R
CostX Reaper 
Eclipse JEE Rhino (up to 90 users) 
FTKImager Substance 
HXD SuperCollider 
IBM SPSS Unity 
JGrasp Unreal Engine 
Matlab Visual Studio Community 
Microsoft Azure  

Assessments

How will assessment deadlines be affected? How about resits?

Set deadlines will largely remain unaffected. We know that it is important for you to finish your course on time wherever possible and so we aim to keep to current assessment deadlines. We do however recognise the challenges that COVID-19 is presenting, so if you need an extension or have to re-sit an assessment, we'll support you to do this.

Learning resources and contact time

How can the University support me if I'm studying from home?

Your course team and Personal Tutor/Personal Development Tutor will support you. You will be able to book tutorials with them online and meet them virtually via our online meeting facility. Please make your Personal Tutor/Personal Development Tutor aware as soon as possible so that we can put support in place to help you.

What kind of IT/computer equipment will I need to learn online?

Whether you're studying entirely online or through a blend of face-to-face and online learning, you'll need a computer and reliable internet access to successfully engage with your course. We recommend that you check our technical requirements for online learning.

If you're studying an art, design or creative course, you'll be working with software applications that need a higher specification of computer than we would ordinarily recommend. You may also need some specialist equipment and materials. These are detailed on our Technical requirements for online learning page. We don't expect you to buy software for the academic year 2020/21; it will be provided for you.

What if I do not have access to the equipment I need at home?

If you have a computer, you will need to have a bandwidth capacity that enables you to take part in live-streaming events. This isn’t usually a problem if you have a reasonably good internet connection.

If you're studying an art, design or creative course, you'll be working with software applications that need a higher specification of computer than we would ordinarily recommend. You may also need some specialist equipment and materials. These are detailed on our Technical requirements for online learning page. We don't expect you to buy software for the academic year 2020/21; it will be provided for you. Students in the Faculty of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences will also have access to Adobe Creative Cloud.

Can I use the library and the computer rooms when I am not in timetabled sessions?

Yes, although social distancing guidelines will need to be followed in line with Government advice. This is likely to mean that room capacities – including library and open-access computer areas – will be lower than usual, and we may have to limit the number of people using these facilities during busy periods.

General advice and support

How can I access advice and support from Student Services?

You can access all support teams online:

  • library resources and digital support online
  • campus libraries (with reduced opening hours and seating to allow for social distancing)
  • all student services – including counselling and wellbeing, disability and dyslexia support, employability and placement services, ARU Temps, and Study Skills – online
  • the iCentre (open on campus 10am-1pm and 1.30-4pm, Monday-Friday, or email icentre@aru.ac.uk)
  • open access PC areas, with some computers available on a drop-in basis, and some bookable in advance
  • access to support from key contacts if your studies involve a placement.

Is the iCentre open?

The iCentre is open on campus from 10am-1pm and 1.30pm-4pm. Social distancing measures are in place.

You can also contact the team on email: icentre@aru.ac.uk.

What support is available for financial hardship?

If you'd like advice and guidance on finances or financial support, our Money Advice Service can help; email the team on moneyadvice@aru.ac.uk.

If you pay your tuition fees in instalments and have concerns about making payments, please email our Credit Control Team: creditcontrol@aru.ac.uk.

Health and wellbeing

Our Health and Wellbeing Hub has details of all the resources available to you.

If I feel I need additional support for my mental health, is there a service available to support me?

Our Counselling and Wellbeing service offers one-to-one counselling or mental health advising for ARU students. You can register and find guidance on booking a consultation at https://angliaruskin.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/counselling-and-wellbeing-register.

If one-to-one support isn't what you need right now, we also have a variety of online resources and bookable workshops.

Will you have a sports programme?

Our campus gyms are open and Team ARU encourages you to enjoy social and competitive sports in a safe and socially distanced way

Study skills

Is the Study Skills service available?

Yes, all our student services – including Study Skills – are available online.

You can book an appointment online, and should receive a confirmation email once you've booked.

Disability and dyslexia support

Our Disability and Dyslexia Support Service offers information, advice and specialist support to students with disabilities.

I have a health condition/physical disability. What Covid-19 arrangements are in place for me?

In the first instance, we strongly recommend that you seek advice from your medical practitioner before deciding to study on campus or live in student accommodation. We have taken a number of steps to reduce the risk of viral transmission on our campuses. These include ensuring staff and students can socially distance around campus buildings and implementing hand/surface hygiene protocols. We also ask staff, students and visitors to wear a face covering in most indoor settings on campus.

If you have further individual concerns, our advisers in the Disability and Dyslexia Support team would be happy to talk these through with you. Please email disability@aru.ac.uk to arrange an appointment.

I am unable to wear a face covering due to a health condition/disability. Can I study on campus?

Yes. As a university committed to inclusive practice, we recognise that some staff and students will be unable to wear a face covering, or may require others to remove a face covering in order to communicate effectively. This message will be re-iterated to staff, students and visitors. We also support schemes such as the sunflower lanyard and the government assets for digital or printable exemption cards should you wish to use these.

How can the Disability and Dyslexia Service support me?

If you have a disability or a specific learning difference, our Disability and Dyslexia Support Service can support you in a range of ways.

We can help you develop your independent learning skills such as organisation or academic writing, and provide advice and guidance on applying for Disabled Students' Allowance.

We will also work with you to create a set of reasonable adjustments that inform your teachers and other key staff members of your needs. We will liaise with academic schools and other departments to ensure these adjustments are appropriately met.

I have a diagnosed disability/specific learning difference, but I cannot get evidence at the moment. What should I do?

We understand obtaining evidence is difficult at the moment. If you are unable to get evidence before your course starts please let us know; we'll put your reasonable adjustments in place on a temporary basis, usually until the end of the first trimester. We'll review the situation with you before the start of the next trimester.

I think I have dyslexia. What should I do?

Please email disability@aru.ac.uk and we will arrange for you to have an initial consultation with one of our advisers.

If we feel that it is likely that you are dyslexic, we will start working to support you though one-to-one appointments immediately.

We will also refer you to a full diagnostic assessment for dyslexia should you wish. If the diagnosis is confirmed, we will create a Summary of Reasonable Adjustment to provide you with things like extra time in exams.

Accommodation

I’m unsure about University accommodation. Will it be safe?

There are measures in place in our accommodation to ensure it remains safe, along with guidance on how to stay safe while on campus. This will change and evolve as Government advice changes.

What accommodation choices will I have?

ARU accommodation is now full for January 2022. Our accommodation team may be able to help you find alternative accommodation when they re-open on Tuesday 4 January 2022. Please contact househunting@aru.ac.uk for help and advice.

If you're an international student, you must not travel to the UK if you have not arranged accommodation and you should defer your place to September 2022.

Accommodation booking for September 2022 opens on Tuesday 22 February 2022. Accommodation will, as in previous years, be allocated on a first come, first served basis. Find out more on our accommodation pages.

Travelling to campus

Can I still commute to university, or move into accommodation?

Yes, but please do not travel or return to campus if you are feeling unwell.

Work experience and placements

How can I get help finding a graduate job, work experience or some careers advice?

Our Employability Service can help with that – contact us onemployability@aru.ac.uk between 9am–5pm Monday–Thursday and 9am–4.30pm Friday during term time, where an Adviser will be on hand to answer your questions. Take a look at the ARU Temps website for temporary work and AREA for business start-up support. You can also see our upcoming events and further FAQs on the Career Centre.

Studying abroad

I wanted to study abroad as part of my course. What are my options for this now?

We're following UK Government guidance and will only allow international travel to resume for our students when it is safe. We're hopeful that our students will be able to travel to our international partners at some point in the academic year 2021-22. We will keep you updated as circumstances change, but please contact studyabroad@aru.ac.uk if you have any questions.

Advice for current EU and international students

This information is for you if you are already a student at ARU, and will be continuing your studies in January 2022.

If you would like to discuss any of the information below, please contact our International Office.

I am overseas and have a Tier 4/student visa. Can I still study online in Trimester 2 (January 2022)?

Yes, you can study online (if your course permits online study). However, if you are planning to apply for the two-year Graduate route work visa in the future you do need be in the UK by 6 April 2022. We are therefore encouraging our students to study face-to face and to arrive in the UK in time for teaching week 1 (from 17 January 2022) to avoid disruption to your studies.

Please email visacompliance@aru.ac.uk to check your eligibility and request to study fully online.

I am overseas and have a Tier 4/student visa, but my course is only available by face to face delivery in Trimester 2. What do I do?

If online teaching is not possible for your course in Trimester 2 you will need to travel to the UK to continue your studies.

If you wish to take a break from your studies (intermit) next trimester your visa will be curtailed, and you will need to apply for a new visa to return to the UK in the future.

For advice on intermission please contact studentadvice@aru.ac.uk and for visa advice contact internationaladvice@aru.ac.uk.

Can I continue to study online if I don't have a student visa?

If you are an international student and have a different immigration status, eg dependant visa, skilled worker etc, it may be possible for you to continue your ARU studies online next trimester.

To check if this is possible, please see our course list.

I have a student visa and am resident in the UK. Can I study fully online in Trimester 2?

No, if you have a Tier 4/student visa and are currently resident in the UK, you must continue your studies in Trimester 2 via face-to-face delivery. It is not possible for student visa holders to study totally online from within the UK.

You will need to make sure that you live close enough to ARU so that you are able to attend all your face-to-face classes to meet the UKVI (UK immigration authority) attendance requirements.

I am travelling over the winter holiday. Will I need to take COVID-19 tests and quarantine when I return?

We know the rules relating to travel can change at very short notice.

Every country has its own entry requirements, which may include:

  • having a COVID-19 test before travelling
  • only allowing fully vaccinated travellers to enter
  • taking a COVID-19 test on arrival
  • entering quarantine.

We recommend you visit the UK Government website and search by country for the latest information on coronavirus, entry requirements and any travel warnings. Check the guidance regularly as countries introduce new measures such as new quarantine rules and border restrictions at very short notice.

We also recommend that you check with your airline or train operator for the latest developments, and plan ahead to avoid busy times when travelling to airports and train stations. You should also check your airline or travel operator’s COVID cancellation policy in case your plans are disrupted.

When travelling to the UK you will need to follow any testing and quarantine requirements in place at that time. All testing package to be taken on arrival in the UK must be pre-booked through the UK Government website before you travel. All travellers to the UK must complete a passenger locator form.

Travellers from specific countries (the red list are required to pay for hotel quarantine for ten days. Hotel quarantine costs £2,285, so please think carefully about this extra cost before you make any travel plans.

If you have to quarantine on arrival you can join a range of social and wellbeing events online. Let us know that you have arrived by emailing myhealth@aru.ac.uk.

As UK Government rules can change at any time we recommend you check the UK Government website regularly for the latest guidance.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated before I travel to the UK?

No, but you must follow any quarantine requirements and pay for testing on arrival in the UK. As UK Government guidance can change very quickly we always recommend that you check the UK Government website for the most up-to-date information before travelling.

Are international students eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes, anybody aged 16 or over in the UK is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

We are strongly encouraging our students to receive their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

The NHS website has more information about vaccinations for students in higher education.

Do international students need to be registered with a GP/doctor to get a vaccination?

No, but we always recommend that international students register with a doctor (GP) in the National Health Service on arrival.

You can request a COVID-19 vaccination appointment as an unregistered patient through a local GP/doctor surgery or you can attend one of the walk-in vaccination centres. Further details of the location, dates and times of the walk-in vaccination centres will be available on arrival in the UK.

I would like to register with a doctor (GP) in the UK. Is it too late?

It’s not too late. For information on how to register with the National Health Service visit our International Student Advice Service pages.

I have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad. Can I get my second vaccination in the UK?

If possible, try to be fully vaccinated before you travel. If you have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, you should receive the same vaccine for your second dose in the UK. Remember to bring details of your first vaccination with you (type, batch number and date).

I have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad and it is not a vaccine that is being offered in England. What should I do?

If the vaccine you received for your first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered. Contact your local doctor/surgery where you are a registered patient in the UK to ensure you receive an appropriate vaccine for your second dose.

If you still need to register with a doctor in the UK, please visit our International Student Advice Service pages for information.

I have been fully vaccinated. Do I need to bring any evidence?

Yes. If you use a vaccine certificate as proof of vaccination, it must be issued by a national or state-level public health authority, be in English, French or Spanish, and include as a minimum:

  • your forename and surname(s)
  • your date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer.

Do I have to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

How long you need to quarantine for and what you need to do when you arrive in the UK depends on your vaccination status. These rules have recently changed, so please make sure you continue to check the Government website for full details.

If you are fully vaccinated and your country's vaccination programme is on the approved vaccination list, and you haven’t arrived from a red list country you:

  • must quarantine at home or in the place you’re staying
  • take a PCR test before the end of day 2 after you arrive (lateral flow tests will not be accepted)
  • can end quarantine if your PCR test result is negative.

If you were fully vaccinated in a country or territory that is not on the approved list, or with a vaccine that is not listed, you do not qualify as fully vaccinated. You will still need to take a test three days before departure, quarantine and pre-book a test on day 2 and day 8. Please visit the UK Government website for information.

You should familiarise yourself with the UK Government’s COVID testing requirements which include information on a pre-departure COVID-19 test, completing a passenger locator form plus booking and paying for the extra COVID test(s) on arrival. These requirements can change at short notice, are a legal requirement and depend on where you are resident before travelling to the UK.

Even if you’re fully vaccinated, if you’re arriving into the UK from a country or territory on the red list, you will be required to follow the government guidelines. The red list is under constant review and countries and territories can be added to the red list at any time. Please keep an eye on the red list if you are planning to travel overseas.

All travellers to the UK must complete a passenger locator form.

If you are required to quarantine on arrival you can join a range of social and wellbeing events online. Let us know that you have arrived by emailing myhealth@aru.ac.uk

Is the country I am travelling from on the UK travel red list?

You can check the countries on the red list on the UK Government website.

What are the rules for travel from a red list country?

Before you travel to England:

You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated. Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

When you arrive in England you must quarantine in a managed hotel, and take 2 COVID-19 tests. You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.

You can find all of the latest guidance relating to travel from red list countries on the UK Government website.

Advice for new EU and international students

If you are a new student starting a course at ARU in January 2022, this information is for you.

ARU is closed for the holidays from 1pm GMT on Thursday 23 December 2021 until Tuesday 4 January 2022. Visit our contact page for international students for additional information about preparing for your arrival at ARU, and our government announcements page to keep up to date with any changes to travel advice, teaching delivery, or other covid related measures.

Can I come to the UK and start my course on campus (face to face) in January 2022?

Yes, you can. We have been working hard to ensure we’re ready to welcome you to an exciting, stimulating and supportive student experience this January.

Can I start my course online-only this trimester and travel to the UK later?

No. All new students are expected to come to the UK and study face-to-face in January 2022.

Do I have to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

How long you need to quarantine for and what you need to do when you arrive in the UK depends on your vaccination status and the country you are travelling from.

You should familiarise yourself with the UK Government’s COVID testing requirements which include information on any pre-departure COVID-19 test, completing a passenger locator form plus booking and paying for the extra COVID test(s) on arrival. These legal requirements can change at short notice, and depend on where you are resident before travelling to the UK.

If you’re arriving into the UK from a country or territory on the red list, you will be required to follow Government guidelines, even if you’re fully vaccinated. The red list is under constant review and countries and territories can be added to the red list at any time.

All travellers to the UK must complete a passenger locator form.

If you have to quarantine on arrival you can join a range of social and wellbeing events online. Let us know that you have arrived by emailing myhealth@aru.ac.uk.

Is there quarantine support available in ARU accommodation?

If you need to quarantine on arrival in the UK, please let us know when you arrive by emailing internationalarrivals@aru.ac.uk. We will make contact with you.

Please note: ARU accommodation is now full. Our accommodation team may be able to help you find alternative accommodation when they re-open on Tuesday 4 January 2022. Please contact househunting@aru.ac.uk for help and advice.

Student accommodation typically costs £120-£180 per week. You must not travel to the UK if you have not arranged accommodation and you should defer your place to September 2022.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated before I travel to the UK?

No, but you must follow any quarantine requirements and pay for testing on arrival in the UK. As UK Government guidance can change very quickly we always recommend that you check the UK Government website for the most up-to-date information before travelling.

Are international students eligible for the COVID-19 vaccination?

Yes, anybody aged 16 or over in the UK is eligible for a free COVID-19 vaccination, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

We are strongly encouraging our students to receive their COVID-19 vaccination as soon as possible.

The NHS website has more information about vaccinations for students in higher education.

Do international students need to be registered with a GP/doctor to get a vaccination?

No, but we always recommend that international students register with a doctor (GP) on arrival.

You can request a COVID-19 vaccination appointment as an unregistered patient through a local GP/doctor surgery or you can attend one of the walk-in vaccination centres. Further details of the location, dates and times of walk-in vaccination centres will be available on arrival in the UK.

How can I register with a doctor (GP) in the UK?

Information on how to register with the NHS will be given during the International Orientation Programme online at the beginning of January. Further details about the Orientation Programme will be emailed to you.

I have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad. Can I get my second vaccination in the UK?

If possible, try to be fully vaccinated before you travel. If you have received a first dose of a COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK, you should receive the same vaccine for your second dose in the UK. Remember to bring details of your first vaccination with you (type, batch number and date).

I have received the first dose of a COVID-19 vaccination abroad and it is not a vaccine that is being offered in England. What should I do?

If the vaccine you received for your first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered. After you have registered with the NHS (UK Health Service) on arrival in the UK you should contact your local doctor/surgery for advice. Your doctor will ensure you receive an appropriate vaccine for your second dose.

Further details of how to register with the NHS will be included in the International Orientation Programme. Further details about the Orientation Programme will be emailed to you.

I have been fully vaccinated. Do I need to bring any evidence?

Yes. If you use a vaccine certificate as proof of vaccination, it must be issued by a national or state-level public health authority, be in English, French or Spanish, and include as a minimum:

  • your forename and surname(s)
  • your date of birth
  • vaccine brand and manufacturer
  • date of vaccination for every dose
  • country or territory of vaccination and/or certificate issuer.

Is the country I am travelling from on the UK travel red list?

You can check the countries on the red list on the UK Government website.

What are the rules for travel from a red list country?

Before you travel to England:

You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated. Read more about taking a COVID-19 test before you travel to England.

When you arrive in England you must quarantine in a managed hotel, and take 2 COVID-19 tests. You must do this even if you are fully vaccinated.

You can find all of the latest guidance relating to travel from red list countries on the UK Government website.

Will ARU help with quarantine hotel costs?

Yes, ARU will contribute £1,000 towards your quarantine hotel costs if you are travelling from a red list country and have to quarantine in a managed hotel. £1,000 will be reimbursed to you after you complete your registration on campus and upon completion of a refund request form and evidence of payment from the quarantine hotel.

This is for new students only and not applicable for exchange and one-semester Study Abroad student, or current students returning to the UK.