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Coronavirus update: Advice for applicants

This page provides information for both UK and international applicants and offer-holders following the outbreak of coronavirus (also known as COVID-19) and the University’s response. We will continue to update this regularly. 

If you can’t find an answer on this page, please get in touch by completing our enquiry form or chat to a member of our course enquiries team who are available Monday – Friday, 10am-4pm.

 

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Starting at Hallam this September

Sheffield Hallam is committed to providing both excellent teaching and a campus experience for new students starting with us this autumn.

Term dates

Term will start on 28 September 2020 for the majority of students. We will be in touch with those students who have different start dates.

Teaching

We will provide you with a combination of an on-campus and online digital learning experience. This extended campus offer will involve large lectures being delivered online, where you can access materials in our virtual learning environment, whenever and wherever you like.

We are intending to deliver small group teaching and seminars through a combination of online and on-campus learning activities, with workshops, labs and practical sessions social distancing measures in place to ensure a safe learning environment.

Our academic teams are working hard to develop and prepare engaging course materials, including plans for specialist practical, laboratory and research activities.

We will also provide timetables and a guide for your learning as soon as possible and this is likely to be at the start of the semester.

You will be able to access lecture materials through our virtual learning environment, Blackboard, where you will be able to watch lecture videos whenever and wherever you like and, if you have questions, you will be able to ask those via Blackboard or during online sessions with your lecturers.

Your online teaching will be supplemented by access to an array of online resources to support your study.

Placements and work experience

Applying your learning through work experience and placements is a key component of your success as a graduate. We are working closely with employers to ensure you can still gain these invaluable experiences in a safe and meaningful way.

We are reviewing how we design and deliver work experience opportunities and placements to offer more flexibility in how, when and where placements are undertaken. All sandwich year placements will have a minimum of 24 weeks and a maximum of 48 weeks.

Accessing the campus

Our campus will be open for the start of the 2020–21 academic year and you will have access a full range of learning facilities and social spaces.

Our plans for re opening the campus are being guided by government regulations and advice about restrictions including the easing on the 2m social distancing rules and advice for public settings.

  • Limiting the numbers of students and staff on campus to help us to maintain social distancing wherever possible
  • New controls at building entrances and exits to help us manage those inside buildings
  • An enhanced cleaning programme to ensure the highest standards of Hygiene
  • Hand sanitiser stations located around campus
  • The provision and use of face coverings, especially in ares where social distancing is more difficult
  • Temperature monitoring at building entrances
  • Protective screens in customer service and other appropriate settings
  • Clear guidance to students, staff and visitors which will be regularly updated and easy to use

We recognise that some of our students with protected characteristics are associated with greater vulnerability to Covid-19, including in relation to race, age, gender, pregnancy and underlying health conditions. We are putting plans in place to ensure that students’ individual circumstances are discussed and appropriate support is available to access both learning and our wider services. We will provide more information on how we will do this.

We are putting plans in place to ensure that students’ individual circumstances are discussed and appropriate support is available. 

There will be access on campus to meet with friends. We aim to have a range of food and drink outlets open, together with safe and bookable social and group learning spaces.

Support

You will have access to our unique student support triangle, with three dedicated advisers for every student, providing support and advice for personal, academic and career development

You’ll also have free access to our student wellbeing teams, disability support, life skills workshops, financial support service, Multifaith Chaplaincy and an on-campus student health centre recently judged outstanding by the Care Quality Commission (CQC). We will reintroduce face-to-face support in line with guidance.

Our ‘Hallam Welcome’ will help you move into accommodation and deliver a range of online induction events, which will move to face-to-face, if guidance allows. Our Students' Union is planning a range of safe social activities for new and returning students.

If you are an international student, have no family support or declare a disability, we will be in touch to provide more specific information, advice and guidance.

Accommodation

If you hold a course offer to study with us, you can still apply online for accommodation and you will receive an accommodation offer once your status has changed through UCAS to an unconditional firm, as per the usual process.

We are working closely with all our accommodation providers to ensure as much flexibility and support as possible for students starting this September.

If you book your accommodation through us, all our halls are offering flexible tenancy start dates, deferred contracts, and have amended booking policies if you aren’t able to start your course due to coronavirus travel restrictions.

We’re also working with our accommodation providers to ensure that all government guidance is followed to provide you with a safe and comfortable living environment.

We would encourage any students still seeking accommodation to do so through the University’s accommodation service so that we can support you in this way.

Some residences are proving more popular than others so we would encourage you to apply as soon as possible if you have a specific property in mind.

If you would like to speak to someone in the accommodation team regarding a booking, queries about specific properties or room switches, you can call them on 0114 225 4512 or by email on accommodation@shu.ac.uk 

The safety of students and staff will remain our top priority. We will continue to be guided by government regulations and advice about restrictions, public gatherings and social distancing.

Social activities and Welcome Week

We are continuing to work closely with the Students’ Union to provide an extensive range of social activities for our students for the start of term. Look out for more information from the Students’ Union over the next few days and make sure you check their website

We are also finalising our plans for Welcome Week 2020. Whilst Welcome Week activities are particularly aimed at students who are new to Hallam, it’s an important opportunity for all students, so we want to let you know what we’re planning.

The aim of Welcome Week is to help students settle into and back into University life, encourage social activities and develop a sense of belonging to the Hallam community. We aim to provide a vibrant and engaging on-campus and online experience this year.

Welcome Week 2020 will include activities that appeal to all students, and which are inclusive and accessible for all, including those who are self-isolating or are vulnerable due to Covid-19. Throughout Welcome Week you will have the opportunity to attend a wide range of both online and face-to-face campus-based events, provided safely and within government guidelines.

Welcome Week will take place between 21st and 25th September 2020. Each day will provide themed activities, including a wide variety of events in our ‘Welcome to Sheffield and Hallam University’ day, Students’ Union Societies and Events Take Over, Sports and Lifestyles Day (including ‘look after yourself’ activities and events), and everything you need to be Study Ready. The week will end with the ‘Celebration Day’ where the Hallam community can come together and celebrate university life, Sheffield and our students.

Please look out for more information as we confirm the details of Welcome Week 2020.


Information for UK applicants

Will I still be able to start university this September now exams are cancelled? 

We appreciate that you may be feeling anxious following the cancellation of this year’s examinations, which includes GCSEs, AS Levels, A Levels and other vocational qualifications such as BTECs. We’d like to reassure you that we are working closely with UCAS, the government, and with schools and colleges to ensure we can help you to join the University as planned. 

The government has confirmed that GCSE and A-level students will still receive their exam results as planned this summer. A-level results will be published on Thursday 13 August and GCSEs on Thursday 20 August. Grades will take into account a range of evidence and data including performance in mock exams and non-exam assessment.

Ofqual have also confirmed that grades for vocational and technical qualifications (including BTEC Nationals) will be calculated and awarded on Thursday 13 August 2020. Students will receive these results alongside outcomes for A-levels.

The government website provides further information about exam cancellations and details of how qualifications will be graded and awarded in summer 2020 (published 3 April).

The Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education have also released guidelines on how Access to HE students will be assessed for the awarding of qualifications this summer (published 3 April).

We know you may be worried that the grade you will be awarded may not be the grades you had hoped for, had you been able to put in the additional work you were planning. We’d like to reassure you that we will seek to offer the utmost flexibility when considering your results. We understand this is not a normal year and will take this into account when confirming places at Sheffield Hallam.

Will my application to University still be processed? 

Yes, we will be continuing to process your applications (including any new applications) and answer your calls and emails as quickly as we can. We are still making offers for 2020 entry based on our normal entry criteria but will continue to review these requirements in line with the changing environment and government regulations. Any updates to our criteria will be clearly communicated to applicants and prospective students. 

We do ask you to bear with us as we are experiencing a higher than usual volume of enquiries currently and may be a little slower than usual in responding to your calls and emails. Please don’t send us any items through the post as we won’t be able to access them.

If you haven’t yet applied, you can apply directly to Sheffield Hallam through clearing.

If I’ve received an offer, what date do I have to respond by?

If applied before 30 June, you will receive a decision by the 13 July.  If you received all decisions by 13 July the deadline for responding is 20 July.

If you applied from the 1 July through clearing we will make you an offer and send you an email with more details. You have to accept this on UCAS track.

For more information, visit the UCAS website or contact our enquiries team if you have any questions.

Are you still holding open days this year? 

In light of advice from the government about the current coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, our undergraduate open days will now take place online. We’re sorry we can’t meet you in person right now, but the health and safety of our visitors, students and staff remains our top priority. You can register your interest to receive information about the upcoming online open days.

Unfortunately our selection events and weekly student-led campus tours in person are currently cancelled but we are running weekly live chat sessions online every Wednesday.

We will be in touch prior to any event should it be postponed or cancelled and will let you know about alternative ways to find out more about studying at Sheffield Hallam University.

You can also call us on 0114 225 6464 for any open day and event queries.

How can I find out more about studying at Sheffield Hallam if I can’t attend an open day? 

You can still find out information about studying at Sheffield Hallam and what courses we offer on the Sheffield Hallam website. You can also chat one-on-one with our students and find out everything you want to know about life at Sheffield Hallam, from studying our courses to living in Sheffield and everything in between, or if you have any specific questions contact our enquiries team

Are selection events for applicants taking place? 

In light of the updated advice from the government about the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, we have suspended all face-face selection events. We are therefore making the following changes: 

Health and social care application support sessions

These preparation sessions have been cancelled. If you have any questions, get in touch with us on 0114 225 6464.

Health and social care interviews

We are conducting interviews via Zoom (online one-to-one platform) and we will contact you soon if we haven't already been in touch. Please don’t worry if you have not used Zoom before, we will give you details of how to use it.  

Teacher education interviews 

The department will be in touch with applicants shortly to arrange an alternative method of interview, for example via Skype.

Portfolio reviews for art and design

We are no longer currently offering face-to-face portfolio reviews. If you’ve been invited to submit a portfolio for review, you can submit it online. Visit our portfolio review information pages to find out how to submit your portfolio.

Applying for a Degree Apprenticeship

Try to keep in contact with your employer, especially if you’ve not started working with them yet and don’t hesitate to get in touch if you need anything from us. Your employers are also facing unprecedented times – so please be mindful of this and expect delayed communication.

We want our future apprentices to feel supported through this period of uncertainty. We are here for you and will be continuing to process your applications, answer your calls and emails as quickly as we can.

The deadline for apprenticeship applications for Autumn 2020 starts is Friday 31 July 2020. Please contact the Apprenticeship Team on 0114 225 5000 or email business@shu.ac.uk to find out how to apply.

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Information for international applicants

Will my application to University still be processed?

Yes, we will be continuing to process your applications (including any new applications) and answer your calls and emails as quickly as we can. We do ask you to bear with us as we are experiencing a higher than usual volume of enquiries currently and may be a little slower than usual in responding to your calls and emails. Please don't send us any items through the post as we won't be able to access them.

Will I be able to start in January 2021 instead of September 2020?

Where possible we are introducing a January start date across our postgraduate courses and some of our undergraduate top-up courses. If you have applied to study on one of these courses, you will be contacted to explain the options available to you.

We do not plan to offer January start dates for undergraduate courses unless there are any changes implemented across all universities.

If I am unable, or no longer wish, to start my course in September, will I be eligible for a refund or be able to defer my place?

All applicants who confirm their place and pay their deposit for September 2020 or January 2021 will be able to review their situation, and will be entitled to a full deposit refund on request until 1 January 2021 if unable to take their course place. Or, you can choose to defer your place to a course start date up to September 2022 regardless of any previous deferrals.

You can visit our paying for your course and deposits page for more information.

All students will be kept regularly up to date with all the latest news and developments in plans for teaching, learning and support and staying connected to the University, whether you choose to start in September or January.

What if I want to change the course I am interested in?

We are committed to being as flexible as we can with students in making the right choices for them and will support applicants to change the course they have applied to, to a suitable alternative in the run up to their start date, or as part of the deferral process. Full details of specific course entry criteria and eligibility can be found on our course pages.

Will the process for issuing visas be delayed or modified?

To ensure that our teaching approach for semester one of the 2020/21 academic year is compliant with UKVI rules, we have liaised with the Government at every stage of our planning. The Government have confirmed that our applicants will be able to secure a tier 4 visa to travel and study at Sheffield Hallam. 

We will be issuing Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) with course start and end dates, reflecting the date you would be expected to be based within the UK to study. This will be confirmed with you via email, relating to your specific course and making you aware of any changes to the delivery mode of study.

We are aware that in some countries, UK Visa processing centres are re-opening, so please keep informed of the arrangements of your local centres in processing your visa application.

More information about Covid considerations relating to Visas can be found here, with more detailed standard student visa guidance here.

I have taken an online pre-sessional course in summer 2020 but now want to defer my place to January 2021. Will I be able to progress with this pause in my study?

We want to support you to progress to a course start date that is right for you, so we will accept 2020 online pre-sessional courses for entry up to two years from the date of the award.

If you undertook your pre-sessional course whilst domiciled in the UK, you will need to ensure you can make this deferral under your visa arrangements.

What do I do if I need to provide proof of my English Language requirement but test centres are closed?

The position of test centres in certain countries is rapidly changing. We recommend checking qualification providers’ websites for the latest advice. A list of our English language entry requirements is available on the website.

We are currently accepting a range of alternative tests should an applicant be unable to take an IELTS test. You can view details of the english language qualifications we are accepting on the website.

If you need to study a pre-sessional English language course before starting your degree, we are now offering a range of online pre-sessional English courses.

Will I be able to find suitable accommodation?

We guarantee that accommodation will be available and you will be able to choose from a wide range of property and budget types close to the university campuses. With advance notice, most of our accommodation partners will be able to support flexible start dates and variable contract lengths. By applying through us and our accommodation partners, you will ensure that you are receiving the flexible offer outlined above.

Your accommodation deposit will be refunded with no penalty if your course is no longer running, or you are unable to travel to the UK due to travel restrictions being in place.

We are committed to supporting you with appropriate accommodation should Government advice be that you need to undertake a period of quarantine upon arrival in the UK. We are currently working with our providers to ensure that, if quarantine measures are still in place on your arrival, you will have a safe and supported environment to be able to do that while you continue to learn and study.

What support is available as I prepare to travel to the UK to study at Sheffield Hallam University?

In the lead up to September we will be delivering an extensive transition and induction programme to ensure that our new students are welcomed into the Sheffield Hallam community and feel at home in Sheffield.

This will include our airport pick up and orientation service, a schedule of welcome events to allow you to meet people from all over the world, pairing you with a mentor as part of our Culture Connect scheme and a number of social activities delivered by the Students’ Union, allowing you to join societies, sports teams and see what studying in the UK has to offer.

Find out more about the support available for our international students.

 

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General information

Can I still post mail or deliveries to the university?

Many of the University buildings are currently closed and staff are working remotely, so please avoid posting anything to the University as we cannot guarantee it will be received. Where possible get in touch by emailing the contact directly, or by emailing enquiries@shu.ac.uk 

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