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Coronavirus information for prospective Brunel students

Our campus is now closed, but our education and support services, including Admissions, Accommodation Centre and Brunel Language Centre continue to operate remotely.

See how we are supporting the coronavirus effort #WeareBrunel


Information updated: Wednesday 27 May

Important changes to this guidance issued today:  



General coronavirus information

What is coronavirus and what effect could it have on me? 

Coronaviruses are a family of viruses common across the world in animals and humans; certain types cause illnesses in people.

COVID-19 is the name of the disease seen in people infected with a new strain of coronavirus not previously seen in humans. The virus that causes this disease is “severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2)”.

Based on current evidence, the main symptoms of COVID-19 are a cough, a high temperature and, in severe cases, shortness of breath, however for the majority of people, the symptoms are mild.

As it is a new virus, the lack of immunity in the population (and the absence as yet of an effective vaccine) means that COVID-19 has the potential to spread extensively. Among those who become infected, some will exhibit no symptoms. Data suggests that the great majority will have a mild-to-moderate, but self-limiting illness and will not require any medical treatment.

It is, however, also clear that a minority of people who get COVID-19 will develop complications, most often pneumonia, severe enough to require hospital care. The data suggests that the risk of severe disease and death increases amongst elderly people and in people with underlying health conditions.

Illness is less common and usually less severe in younger adults. So far, there has been no obvious sign that pregnant women are more likely to be seriously affected.

When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection. 

How well prepared is Brunel to respond to COVID-19? 

The University is well prepared. We are working closely with the NHS and closely monitoring the latest advice to ensure a best-practice response to limit the risk of the spread of coronavirus. Brunel's senior leadership team meets regularly to ensure that we have appropriate plans in place. 

We have set up our Coronavirus Helpdesk for all enquiries from prospective students, parents, teachers and advisers. You can contact the Helpdesk on c-virus@brunel.ac.uk

Campus services and events

Is the University campus closed? 

Brunel University London campus has closed, but some services remain open and education and support services, including Admissions, Accommodation Centre and Brunel Language Centre continue to be delivered remotely. These arrangements remain in place following the Government update on 10 May. 

The Eastern Gateway reception is closed, however the switchboard will remain fully operational between 9am and 5pm.

What plans are Brunel making to ensure I can start my studies safely next year?

Brunel is currently developing plans to ensure that those due to join us in September can do so with as little disruption as possible, whatever the level of restrictions in place due to Coronavirus.  We want our new and returning students to feel confident that they can study with us and continue towards their career and life goals, despite the uncertainty of the current situation.

Our plans include:

  • Developing a dual-delivery approach for our programmes. This means that our programmes will run in parallel tracks online and on campus, and students will be able to move between the two tracks, depending on travel or lockdown restrictions.  Each track will be taught to the same high standard and will be fully supported. We are aiming to take this approach for all programmes but there may be a few exceptions where it is not possible to teach online.
  • Reorganising some elements of practical teaching, to introduce online demonstrations and in-person summer schools in 2021 
  • Introducing a new January start for some of our larger undergraduate and postgraduate programmes for international students who may not be able to travel in September
  • Supporting our new students who may have been out of education for some time with a ‘return to learning’ programme to ease the return to study
  • Ensuring that our campus is a safe place to study and live, by establishing protocols for building use, hygiene and social distancing

These plans are being developed on a programme-by-programme basis in consultation with our staff and students and will be shared as they are confirmed.  If you have a question about plans for a particular programme, please ask it here and we will come back to you as soon as we can.

What are the terms dates for the 2020/21 academic year? 

Autumn term

*Term 1: 21 September 2020 - 18 December 2020

Spring term

Term 2: 11 January 2021 - 23 April 2021

Summer term

Term 3: 26 April 2021 - 2 July 2021                                                                                                     

Term 4: 5 July 2021 - 17 September 2021

You can view a list of the week numbers here.

*NOTE: Teaching for Postgraduate students begins 21 September alongside enrolment for Undergraduates. Undergraduate teaching begins on 28 September.

Is the Brunel Language Centre open? What are the terms dates for the 2020/21 academic year? 

We are offering fully interactive online tuition for our pre-sessional English courses, at which students will have intensive English training before commencing academic studies at Brunel. The online course content is exactly the same as our face-to-face course, and includes one-to-one tutorials, assessment and an online social programme. Find out more here.

How will Applicant and Open Days be delivered? 

Applicant Days and Open Days will be replaced with virtual open days and other online events. Click here to register.

Application process

Are you still accepting applications?

Brunel is continuing to accept applications as usual, regardless of the location of the applicant. 

Are you still processing applications and are any delays expected?

The Admissions team is working hard to ensure all applications are being processed as normal. The team is able to work remotely, so there should be minimal impact on the progress of your application. Our phone lines are currently closed, but you can still contact our admissions team by email or through our live chat on our website.

How do I contact admissions? 

As the campus is currently closed, our admissions team is working remotely and you can contact them at admissions@brunel.ac.uk, using our live chat or via Twitter @BrunelAdmission

Is there a deadline by which I need to tell the university if I want to accept my offer to study at Brunel?

If you have applied for an undergraduate or PGCE course through UCAS or UTT, then you will need to meet your deadlines for responding to offers through UCAS. UCAS have recently extended many of these deadlines at this stressful time, so take some time to think about your options and don’t feel rushed into making a decision. You should be able to see your personal deadline on UCAS Track.

If you have applied to Brunel directly, then there is no specific deadline to accept your offer but we would recommend that you do this as soon as you are able. If you are international student who requires a visa to study in the UK, alongside meeting other conditions on your offer, you will need to have firmly accepted your offer before we will be able to issue you with a CAS. If the situation has improved, we will be issuing CAS from the end of June for our September intake, so we recommend that you make your decision by that time so that you have plenty of time for your visa application.

I’ve applied for a programme starting in 2020 but I would like to postpone or defer my place, is this possible?

All our applicants are welcome to defer their offer from Brunel for one academic year. You can request a deferral at any point until the registration deadline of the course, so there is plenty of time to see how the current situation progresses and to think about what you would like to do. If you defer your offer then there is no need to reapply to Brunel.

If you would like to defer your offer, please email the admissions team and include your Brunel ID or UCAS ID number and a member of our team will update that for you as soon as possible. Please note, if you have an English Language test which will have expired by your new start date then you may need to provide a new test. If you defer your place into a new academic cycle (for example deferring from 2020/21 entry to a 2021/22 entry) then please note that any scholarship you have been awarded will not be deferred and you would need to reapply for the scholarship for your new year of entry.

If you have deferred your offer previously, but need to defer it again due to the impact of Coronavirus, please email admissions and we will look at your individual case to see if we can arrange that. We will endeavour to be as flexible as possible at this difficult time.

What is the situation regarding selection days and interviews which were due to take place on campus?

Following the closure of campus, all of our on-campus selection days and events have been cancelled. 

For many courses, the admissions tutors will now be carrying out online interviews and selection events using Skype. For some courses the interview component of our assessment has been removed for this year only, due to the exceptional circumstances. Once you have submitted your application, if you are successful at this initial stage, we will contact you with details of the process for the next stage. Please feel free to contact the admissions team if you have any questions.

Will Coronavirus affect my Student Finance application?

The Student Loans Company and Student Finance England are currently encouraging applicants to apply for their student finance online as usual for undergraduate courses. You can find their latest news here or on their social media.

As normal we would encourage applicants for undergraduate courses to apply for any financial support as soon as possible to minimise the impact of any delays.

Applications for student finance for part-time undergraduate courses and postgraduate courses are currently still due to open later in the year, but we would advise you to check the Student Loans Company or Student Finance England’s webpages or social media for the latest updates.

Has Brunel changed any of its term dates or schedule for September 2020 entry due to COVID-19?

Currently, no changes have been made to our term dates or registration dates for the new academic year. We are closely monitoring the situation and will try to be as flexible as possible if any student’s arrival is delayed due to Coronavirus. Our usual registration runs for two weeks from the start date of the course, but this will be reviewed as the situation evolves.

How and when do I book accommodation and is it guaranteed? 

Although the campus is currently closed, you can still book your accommodation online here. You can also take a virtual tour.  The deadline for applications is 31 August 2020, but we would encourage you to apply as soon as possible. Accommodation is guaranteed for all first year students and all international non-EU students, as long as you have booked your accommodation online and have firmly accepted an unconditional offer from Brunel by 31 August 2020. 

My course requires a DBS check, will it be possible to get that arranged in time? 

Our DBS team are getting regular updates regarding the situation for DBS processing and we are pleased to confirm that this process can go ahead safely. From late May our DBS team will contact applicants who need a DBS to explain what you will need to do. There are different options available depending on your circumstances, but please contact our DBS team if you have any queries. 


My exams have been cancelled, what should I do?

UK based students
Following the closure of schools and cancellation of exams across the UK, we will be using the grades awarded by your exam boards in the summer to assess your academic achievement. We will be as flexible for possible for our applicants, as we are aware of the stress caused by the current situation. The latest information and updates can be found for each of the nations; EnglandWales, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

International students
We are aware that a large number of international applicants have also had their exams cancelled.

For applicants taking qualifications awarded by UK exam boards (such as IGCSEs or I A-levels): we understand from exam boards that they will be awarding grades in the same way as for the UK students. If you have any questions regarding this, please check with your school, college or exam board. Once your results are released in the summer, you should send us a copy of your final results.

For applicants taking the International Baccalaureate (IB): we understand that IB will be awarding diplomas and course certificates as usual in the summer, which we will use to assess your application. Once the results are released, you should either choose to share your results directly with Brunel or send us a copy once you receive them.You can visit the IBO website for further information about how the IB results will be calculated. 

For applicants taking a local qualification, for example your home country’s high school or school leaving qualification or a university degree: please be assured we will do everything possible to support you. We are working closely with our international team and our international advisors to determine how to proceed. If you have any queries, please feel free to email us.

Please be reassured that we will do everything possible to ensure your application to study at Brunel is not disadvantaged by the Coronavirus outbreak.

I have been given a deadline to provide further documents or a portfolio to support my application but I am having trouble providing the documents, can I get an extension?

We completely understand that many of our applicants will need more time or find it difficult to provide documents that have been requested during this time. You just need to let admissions know by email that you are having difficulties and we will extend your deadline so you can provide the documents as soon as they are available.

The closure of my school/university has severely disrupted my academic performance. Would the University make any adjustments to account for this?

We understand that many of our applicants will have been significantly affected by the outbreak of coronavirus, even if they have managed to complete their qualifications or exams. We are aware that many institutions have been closed for part of the year and students have been studying from home individually.

In the first instance you should follow any mitigating circumstances process offered by your exam board, school, college or university so that your circumstances can be considered during the awarding process. If this isn’t available, then please email our admissions team with the details of your situation, including a supporting statement from your school, college or university tutor, and we will consider the circumstances alongside your results when we review your application.

I've completed my qualifications, but I am unable to get my transcripts or results due to COVID-19. What should I do?

You should try to contact your school, university or exam board to get your results or transcript posted to you. If the organisation is currently closed, there is plenty of time to get a copy to Brunel for many of our courses, so please just contact them when they reopen. If you are unable to get a copy within a month of your course start date, then please contact our Admissions team and we will review your situation and advise you appropriately.

International students

I am unable to book or take an English Language test as the test centres are closed in my country. What should I do?

Brunel accepts a whole range of English Language qualifications for entry to our programmes. In addition, the Government has also confirmed that Tier 4 sponsors with a good track record of compliance will be able to self-assess students, providing some welcome flexibility. Further details on this can be found in this updated guidance.

Brunel Language Centre is pleased to offer our own Brunel English Language Test (BrunELT) for entry programmes online, free of charge. Further information is available here

Brunel is also running all our summer pre-sessional English courses online so that you can continue to study in your own country. We are offering 6, 10, 12 and 16-week courses depending on your current level of English. Our pre-sessional English programmes help to improve your English and provide some extra tuition and practise as you prepare to study in the UK. At the end you will take our BrunELT test that can be used for direct entry to Brunel's programmes. Further information is available here. 

Brunel will also accept the following English Language qualifications, which can be taken online: 

In addition, Pearson PTE and IELTS are still operating in some countries or are beginning to reopen centres for in-person testing. Please check their websites for updates. 

For some countries we can accept the English you have studied in your High School qualification or in your degree. If you have taken English at High School or University, please send a copy to international-admissions@brunel.ac.uk and we will confirm if you are eligible for an English Language waiver. 

I am due to complete a pre-sessional English course but I can't come to the UK for the start of the programme, what should I do?

Our Language Centre have been working hard to support all our applicants and it is now possible for you to study your pre-sessional English course with us online. Please see their webpage for further information.

If you learn with us online, you can see your teacher and they can show you what is on their screen. Your teacher will send you documents to download and you can access a whole range of extra materials on our virtual learning platform, Blackboard Learn. You will break into chatrooms for small group activities and your teacher can listen to you as you work and there are plenty of opportunities for speaking and listening.

If you have any further specific queries, please contact us by email.

I have paid my tuition fee deposit. Will I get a refund if I am unable to start my course at Brunel due to COVID-19?

If you are unable to travel to the UK for your course due to travel restriction related to Coronavirus, then a full refund of your tuition fee deposit will be issued. If you are planning to start a course in September, we advise all applicants to wait and see how the situation develops in the UK and in your home country. We are also working hard to put alternative options in place to enable all our applicants to start their education with Brunel as planned. 

Are you still issuing Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to students who need a visa to study in the UK?

Brunel University London has temporarily closed and teaching and assessment is being delivered online. For this reason, we have decided to temporarily stop issuing any Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) to students overseas.

Although we are keen for our international students to come and study with us, we regrettably cannot issue CAS' while the University is closed. Furthermore, Visa Application Centres are closed in many countries where it is not possible to make a Tier 4 visa application, and travel restrictions are in place elsewhere. However, we are monitoring the situation closely and when it becomes clear that Brunel can offer on-campus teaching for upcoming courses, we will start issuing CAS' again. We will be in contact with you about this in due course.

if you have a place on a Pre-sessional English course starting in May 2020, we will not be able to issue you with a CAS but the course will still run online. We will be in frequent contact with students to confirm if and when on-campus teaching can resume and we can issue a CAS to support a Tier 4 application. Any students who do not hear from us should contact BLC-Admissions@brunel.ac.uk for further information.

Please be aware that this will also affect applications for Short Term Study Visas and we strongly recommend that you do not apply for a Short Term Study Visa to study with us at the moment.

For any other information relating to visas and immigration, we ask that you look at our webpage, which can be found here.

If you need a Tier 4 visa to study on one of our research degree courses, please be aware that your department knows we are not currently able to issue a CAS to students overseas and we are working with them to ensure our students are able to start their course as soon as possible. If it is not possible to come to the UK for the start of your course, the best option  may be for you to defer to our next research degree start date, which is in October 2020. This would be the best option as you would be starting with another group of research students meaning we will be able to help you have the best start to your time at Brunel. But some departments may allow research students to begin their courses remotely in April 2020.  

If you would like to defer your start date you should get permission from your research supervisor, research director and research programmes office in writing and forward this permission to admissions@brunel.ac.uk. If you need any more information on this, including who these persons are, please contact your Research Programmes Office using one of the email addresses below:

We will consider these requests on a case-by-case basis as we will want to make sure that your department can support you to start the course successfully and that you will be able to get your visa and travel to the UK.

For any other information relating to visas and immigration, we ask that you look at our webpage, which can be found here

What will happen if my visa application is delayed or there are travel restrictions and I’m unable to travel to Brunel by the registration deadline?

We understand that you and many of our applicants may be worried about obtaining your visa and travelling to Brunel in time for your course. We are currently looking at ways to support you if your arrival in the UK or at Brunel is delayed, including alternative options to enable you to start your course as planned. We will provide further information about this as soon as possible. For courses starting in September, we advise applicants to wait and see how the situation develops in the UK and in your home country initially. 

If nearer the start date of your programme it is still not possible for you to commence the programme, please be reassured that you can defer your offer to study at Brunel for a full academic year. Also, some of our postgraduate taught courses have a January start date, so you can check your course on our website and contact admissions if you would like to defer to January 2021. There will be a range of options available for you and we advise you to take you time to think about which is the best option for you.

If I travel to the UK to start my course at Brunel, will I need to self-isolate? 

From 8 June 2020, most people entering the UK will be required to self-isolate for 14 days. Please visit the Home Office website for further information. We do not currently know how long these rules will be in place but they may still apply if your course starts at Brunel later this year (eg September 2020). We will keep our international students up to date with any developments but please take this into account before you travel to the UK.