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.
Topics on this page
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 will start on 28 September 2020 for the majority of students. We will be in touch with those students who have different start dates.
We are planning a mixture of face-to-face campus-based and online teaching for the first semester of the 2020/21 academic year.
Lectures and assessments will be mainly online. On campus we intend to provide socially distanced small-group teaching, laboratory experience, access to arts studios and specialist teaching facilities, libraries and social spaces.
Timetables will be adjusted in line with government advice to limit the number of students on campus at any one time.
Your teaching will be supplemented by Blackboard, the libraries and access to an array of online resources to support your study.
Accessing the campus
It is our intention that 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. There will be access on campus to meet with friends, and our food and drink outlets will be available.
We will be guided by government regulations and advice about restrictions, public gatherings and social distancing – the safety of students and staff will remain our top priority. We will have measures in place to ensure safe practices for getting around campus and in accordance with all guidance; please be assured of our commitment to health and safety at all times.
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.
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 continue to work closely with all our accommodation providers to ensure as much flexibility as possible for students in light of the current context and would encourage any students still seeking accommodation to do so through the University’s accommodation service.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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, with students receiving 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 still apply through UCAS until the end of June or you can apply directly to Sheffield Hallam through clearing from 1 July.
If I’ve received an offer, what date do I have to respond by?
To give you more time to make your decision, UCAS has decided to extend the decline by default (DBD) decision deadline for all applicants who have already received an offer, or do so by 4 June. The new decision deadline for applicants to reply to offers is Thursday 18 June 6pm (UK time).
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 day in June 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 are currently cancelled.
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 on email@example.com or by calling 0114 225 5533.
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 throughout March, April and May 2020. We are therefore making the following changes:
- Health and social care application support sessions (to prepare for a selection event)
These sessions have been cancelled. If you have any questions, feel free to 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
If you’ve been invited to submit a portfolio for review by members of staff from your course area, we are no longer currently offering face-to-face portfolio reviews but are instead accepting portfolios through digital submission and through online. You can 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 firstname.lastname@example.org to find out how to apply.
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?
Whilst we expect courses to start in September as planned we are currently considering the possibility of additional January start dates for some of our postgraduate courses and will provide further information on this when we can.
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 will be able to review their situation after 1 June, and will be entitled to a full deposit refund on request if unable to take their course place, or can defer their place (for up to a year).
If travel restrictions have been lifted but you have changed your mind about studying here due to the coronavirus outbreak, we will also defer your place (for up to a year) or refund your deposit.
You can visit our paying for your course and deposits page on the website for more information.
Will the process for issuing visas be delayed or modified?
We have not yet started to issue Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to students starting this September but we plan to do so shortly and we anticipate that the visa process will operate in the usual way, subject to any changes by UKVI.
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.
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 email@example.com