Advice for current students

If you're a staff member or prospective student, please visit our other advice pages for the latest information.

The questions and answers below are relevant to current students. We'll continue to issue any further advice and guidance as it becomes available, so we encourage everyone to read this information carefully and regularly.

At all times, please continue to follow the latest government guidelines on coronavirus.

Read the latest information for the autumn term

University access

Health and Safety on campus

The health and safety of our students, staff and entire University community will always be our top priority. The University has undertaken comprehensive health and safety risk assessments across campus.

The following safety measures will be in place for our staff, students and University community:

  • Sanitisers will be in place at key points across campus
  • Clear signage around social distancing will be in place across campus
  • Fewer people will be moving around campus at same time, minimising cross over in corridors and hallways
  • One way systems will also be in place
  • All teaching will follow guidelines around social distancing
  • Face coverings will be required in teaching spaces and we advise you to wear face coverings around campus. Please remember to bring your own face covering to campus. While supplies last, we will be offering free face coverings from most reception desks in campus buildings, for those who need them.
  • Corridor doors will be held open magnetically and automatically close in the event of a fire alarm activation.
  • Touch points and heavily used areas will be prioritised for cleaning throughout the day.
  • Toilets along with other frequently-used facilities will be subject to multiple cleans each day.

The University will continue to closely monitor this and we will adapt our plans to protect the safety and wellbeing of both our students and staff at all times.

If you're unsure or concerned about your personal health, please contact your GP or the Disability and Dyslexia Support Service for advice.

Access to University services and buildings

To learn about how we’re making our campus Covid secure, check our Autumn semester pages for the latest updates.

Services or facilities available online include:

  • Library facilities: We're supporting your learning and research through our full range of online resources. You can access books, journals and databases through StarPlus, via MUSE and without a VPN connection. If you have any questions, speak to one of our librarians directly through our chat service on the University Library homepage. You can also email library@sheffield.ac.uk.
  • Students' Union services: The majority of services are available online, including the Student Advice Centre.
  • The Student Services Information Desk (SSiD) will continue to operate an email and live chat service.
  • If you are living in University accommodation, we plan to keep facilities and services open, including the Village Shop in Endcliffe. Our Residence Life Team is keeping in touch with students who are self-isolating on campus to offer support and check on their welfare.
University Library

Please see our library webpages for latest information regarding opening hours, bookable slots and building access.

The University's extensive digital library remains open as usual. Our online service has almost a million ebooks and over 60,000 journal titles along with a virtual library team and specialist librarians ready to support you to ensure your studies are unaffected as much as possible.

If you have any questions, please visit the Library FAQs page or contact the library online via live chat or email: library@sheffield.ac.uk

Support services

We will continue to offer an extensive range of student support services online.

These services include:

  • Disability support
  • Support for obtaining specialist equipment
  • Wellbeing advice
  • Mental health support and counselling
  • Financial advice
  • Religious and spiritual support
  • Information services on anything you need to know about studying at Sheffield via our Student Services Information Desk

Access support services

Will I have to wear a face covering around campus?

Face coverings will be required in teaching spaces and we advise you to wear face coverings around campus. Please remember to bring your own face covering to campus. While supplies last, we will be offering free face coverings from most reception desks in campus buildings, for those who need them.

What’s open in Sheffield?

Subject to changing guidance, shops, bars and restaurants are open in Sheffield.

Safety measures are in place at establishments to ensure social distancing.

We have dedicated secure cycle storage on campus and at the residences.

If you need to use public transport, social distancing will be observed and face coverings are required while travelling.

Learning and teaching

2020/21 Undergraduate and Integrated Masters course start date

We are currently planning for Undergraduate and Integrated Masters courses to start and continue from 28 September 2020.

2020/21 Postgraduate Taught course start date

The majority of Postgraduate Taught courses will begin (including for students who are continuing their studies) from the revised date of 26 October 2020. There will be some exceptions to this start date for professional or health related Postgraduate Taught courses. If you study one of these courses or are a returning part-time student, your department will have contacted you directly to confirm your start date.

We hope that the delay to the start date will allow, particularly our overseas students, time to ensure that you have met any outstanding conditions to your offer, apply for visas and put plans in place for your arrival in Sheffield. Currently there are no other planned changes to the semester dates.

The teaching year is structured differently for postgraduate taught students, with final exam boards in the autumn, unlike undergraduate students who have these in the summer. As a result, full use can be made of the summer period, which is commonly used for research projects. This longer teaching year means that, while the start of teaching will be delayed, and there will be some changes to delivery, the course will not be truncated.

Do I need to be in Sheffield for my studies?

The campus will be open for the 2020/21 academic year and, where reasonably possible, you will be expected to attend. Our aim is to teach in small groups wherever possible. This will be supported by the best possible online alternative. This means that, in the Autumn term, large lectures will be delivered solely online.

We expect all programmes will include an element of face to face teaching, although the amount and frequency will vary depending on the discipline. Your department will provide further detail about what this will be like for you.

Despite these safety measures, we understand that some students may be temporarily unable to attend on campus, due to international travel restrictions, medical reasons or a disability. We are committed to ensuring that you are not excluded or disadvantaged for this reason. You will be able to access all our digital learning online, until you are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

How will learning, teaching and research work?

You’ll be taught through a blend of face-to-face teaching in small groups in Sheffield, where social distancing can be maintained, supported by digital delivery. This means that, in the Autumn term, large lectures will be delivered solely online.

Laboratories, studios, clinical spaces and practical areas will also be open and social distancing measures will be in place.

We expect all programmes will include an element of face to face teaching, although the amount and frequency will vary depending on the discipline. Your department will provide further detail about what this will be like for you.

Your timetable will be provided ahead of your studies and will include details of both on campus and online classes so that you can plan your time effectively. The timetable is being prepared to ensure that you can move between classes in the safest possible way and to support social distancing.

We are dedicated to ensuring the quality of your education, development and graduate opportunities, despite the challenges posed by the pandemic. While we will be operating slightly differently in the 2020/21 academic year, we will always be here to support you and ensure that your Sheffield student experience remains excellent.

Extended teaching day

We will be temporarily extending the teaching day in the autumn semester in order to safely carry out face-to-face teaching:

  • Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays: 8am to 8pm teaching day
  • Wednesdays: 8am to 1pm for Undergraduates, afternoons can be used for Postgraduate Taught teaching as usual
  • Fridays: 8am to 6pm teaching day

Your academic department will aim to complete face-to-face activities in the current timetabling slots, 9am to 6pm, where possible, only using the extended hours where needed.

More information about the Autumn Semester

Can I take a leave of absence or delay my studies?

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students

The University recognises that the Covid-19 pandemic may give rise to medical or personal circumstances that may mean that you wish to explore the possibility of pausing your studies, and take a period of leave.

If this is the case, please first discuss your options with your academic department to ensure that this is the most appropriate course of action for you. If, after consideration of your options, you feel that you would prefer to take a break from your studies, you can apply to take a leave of absence for a set period, and return next year, for example, at the start of the second semester. The University will be supportive of requests that are made on the basis of coronavirus impacts.

More information about applying for a Leave of Absence

Postgraduate Research students

Postgraduate research students are entitled to take annual leave each year and the University's guidance follows that of the UK Research Councils, which is 30 days' leave.

We recognise that some postgraduate research students will have additional childcare commitments or other caring responsibilities at the present time. There are a range of flexibilities which can be explored, including annual leave, changing candidature to part-time, pro-rata leave of absence. If your funder allows these flexibilities, the University will work with you to help you to balance your home and study commitments.

If, after consideration of your options and discussion with your supervisor and, where relevant, your sponsor, you would prefer to take a break from your studies, you can apply for a leave of absence from your degree.

PGR Leave of absence information

The University will be supportive of requests that are made on the basis of the impact of coronavirus on your ability to engage with your research project. You should be aware that this may have implications for your funding and, where relevant, your visa.

How do I study or work from home?

To assist with online learning, please read:

How to study remotely

Advice for online learning

If you think you may have issues accessing your University Gmail account from home, you should set up automatically forwarding Gmail messages to your personal account. Contact IT services for more information and help.

The University offers a range of software for you to work and study from home.

Download University Software

Advice for PGR students who have caring responsibilities

If you have caring responsibilities that prevent you from engaging fully with your research programme, you should discuss your options with your supervisor and to explore the feasibility of remaining engaged with your studies and research.

My internet connection or my IT equipment is not good enough to fully engage with my course

IT Services have information online to help you access online learning - see the information above.

If your internet connection is not good enough and you decide to upgrade your broadband with an increased cost that leaves you in financial difficulty you can apply for Financial Support, the University's hardship fund.

If you cannot afford an internet connection or are unable to access one because of where you live please contact us to discuss your options.

If you are concerned that you might not be able to afford equipment to study remotely the University can provide laptops on long term loan or a grant depending on your circumstances. Further information is available on our web pages.

Online Writing Advisory Service

The English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) have set up an Online Writing Advisory Service where you can submit a piece of your writing online for a tutor to comment on and return.

To to book an appointment slot please use the booking form on the Writing Advisory Service webpage. The date of the appointment slot will be the time and day by which your writing will be returned and commented on.

After booking an appointment you will be sent a form to add your name and email to, and then you will be sent a document to add your text. Please do this as soon as you receive the document to make sure you get your comments back in time.

Please be aware that the Writing Advisory Service does not offer proofreading services. We try to point out general areas for improvement around writing issues you are having problems with rather than check every word. Tutors provide advice on aspects such as language use, sentence and paragraph structure, organisation and linking of ideas, or referencing conventions.

Find more information and book an appointment:

Online Writing Advisory Service

If you have any questions or problems about the Online Writing Advisory Service please contact: eltc.support@sheffield.ac.uk

Will I still receive my student loan payments?

The Student Loans Company has confirmed that Maintenance Loan payments will be made as originally scheduled. Please refer to your Student Finance entitlement letter for the exact date.

You can find more information on the Government website.

Tuition fees 2019-20

In line with advice from Public Health England, the University moved all teaching online from 16 March 2020. Library and other services are also available and do not require a VPN to access. While the need to take these steps is the result of government advice to protect the health and wellbeing of staff and students due to the Covid-19 pandemic, and beyond our reasonable control, the University is committed to taking all reasonable steps to mitigate the impact on its students.

The University believes that the provision of such services online will enable it to continue the provision of learning opportunities and outcomes during this difficult time. We are confident that the steps we are taking are appropriate in the circumstances and will enable your continued progression on your degree unaffected. Therefore the University is not offering any tuition fee refunds in this context.

Graduation 2020

Graduation 2020

Due to the ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus (Covid-19) the University had no choice but to postpone its July 2020 graduation ceremonies. Graduation is an important part of the university experience, and these ceremonies will be rescheduled. All students will be given the opportunity to graduate in person at a future date. Students from the class of 2020 will be informed of the new dates for our graduation ceremonies when they become available.

However, it is crucial final-year students are clear that they will still be able to graduate, in absentia in the Summer, as expected.

Accommodation

If you are currently in University accommodation and need advice, please contact accommodation services on accommodationoffice@sheffield.ac.uk.

Visit the accommodation webpages

What Covid-19 measure will I need to follow once moved into University accommodation?

The flat, property or student living on the same floor who share a kitchen and/or bathrooms will form the household. It will not be the entire block or property and will be in the region of 6 or less, but in some University Accommodation can be a greater number depending on where you live.

If you are living in a household, due to the accommodation configuration, which is greater than 6, then this is permitted and the household will therefore be greater than 6. You must not gather in groups of more than 6 people who are not in your household either inside or outside.

For full information please see the governments webpages.

For accommodation support:

Keep up to date with developments around Covid-19.

Can I claim Universal Credit to help with my living costs?

Universal Credit is a monthly payment from the government to help with your living costs. You may be eligible if you’re on a low income or out of work.

You cannot usually get Universal Credit if you’re studying full-time, but there are some exceptions in certain circumstances.

You can find out if you are eligible to claim on the Universal Credit web pages. Read the information there carefully before submitting any application.

The benefits system is under unprecedented pressue at the moment, please do not put in an application unless you are eligible, so they can concentrate their efforts to helping those most in need.

Postgraduate research students

Please also check the information in the other sections, which is relevant to all students.

Are my research programme or activities cancelled?

Face-to-face Postgraduate Research (PGR) programme supervision is also suspended. Where PGR students can conduct their research programmes remotely, they should continue to do so. Heads of departments are considering how essential programmes can be adapted so that PGR student research can continue to move forward.

In the context of the current pandemic and government advice, qualitative research which requires face-to-face contact with participants must not continue. Alternative approaches to undertaking this kind of research remotely must be considered where possible, for example via telephone or video conferencing.

Please discuss arrangements with your supervisor, including how you will stay in contact for regular supervisory meetings and plan activities for the immediate future. PGR students should also check with their sponsor to see if there are any arrangements in place for their studentship if they self-isolate. PGR students have been sent separate communications about working remotely with their research programmes.

We understand some research cannot be undertaken remotely and there may be a small number of postgraduate research students whose role has been deemed business critical.

These decisions will be managed by individual departments and Faculty Directors of Learning and Teaching are cascading guidance to postgraduate research staff and students to advise on the process for this. Postgraduate research students whose role has been deemed business critical will be contacted by their PI or Head of Department.

Support for UKRI-funded students

Please check the following for information relevant to your fee-paying end date:

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date is between 01/03/20 - 31/03/21
Students who have not yet submitted their thesis and whose work has been affected by the pandemic are eligible to apply for a funded extension of up to 6 months.  Requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to set criteria. The additional funding is to cover stipends and fees (fees only for students who do not receive stipend support).

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date is after 01/04/21
Funded students whose end date is after 31/03/21 may also be eligible for an extension due to disruption caused by the pandemic. Extension requests will be considered on a  case-by-case basis. Extensions do not need to be requested until closer to the end of the funded period,  when the full impact on the research project is better understood.  However, the current impact of Covid-19 on the research project and mitigations put in place to reduce those impacts, should be documented now so that the information can be used to support any future extension requests.

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date expired before 01/03/20
UKRI is not providing additional funding to students who were already beyond their funded period by 01/03/20.  Such students can still submit outside their funded period, but should aim to submit within their overall time limit.  Where this is not possible, students may apply for a time limit extension, details of which can be found in the Code of Practice.

UKRI updated its guidance on Covid-related sickness as of 28/05/20

The revised guidance states that should a student experience mental health issues or an exacerbation of an existing mental or physical condition as a result of the response to the COVID-19 pandemic, then they are encouraged to discuss this with their doctor and access support available at their institution.

Those with disabilities and chronic illness should continue to seek support through existing support mechanisms, such as the Disabled Student Allowance (see the additional costs - homeworking section), as well as talking to supervisors and other university staff about the specific impact of COVID-19 on them and their research as part of discussions on extension requirements.

TGC 8.2 of the UKRI standard Training Grant Terms and Conditions on sick leave normally requires a medical certificate and provides for costed extensions for sick leave upto 13 weeks in a 12 month period. Recognising the exceptional circumstances of the COVID-19 pandemic this condition will not be applied to COVID-19, or new or exacerbated conditions linked to the pandemic and the government response to it. This ensures those who are ill due to the pandemic are not disadvantaged compared to those experiencing other disruptions such as shielding or additional caring responsibilities.

The sickness period of students who are ill with COVID-19 or a COVID-related condition (for example increased mental health issues due to lockdown) should therefore be considered separately from TGC 8.2. Instead, it should form part of an extension case. Universities are asked to satisfy themselves that there is enough evidence that the student has had a period of sick leave without putting an undue burden of proof on the student (it may not be possible for the student to obtain a medical certificate at this time).

Application process for UKRI-funded students

Applications are already in process and students in their final year of funding will have already received information by email regarding the application process.

Students who are not yet in their final year of funding will be contacted directly when we have more information about the process for them.

Support for Sheffield-funded students

Please check the following for information relevant to your fee-paying end date:

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date is between 01/03/20 - 31/03/21
Students who have not yet submitted their thesis and whose work has been affected by the pandemic are eligible to apply for a funded extension of up to 6 months. Extension requests will be considered on a case-by-case basis according to the same criteria as those for UKRI-funded students. Eligible students will be invited to make an application when they are within 3 months of the end of their funded period.

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date is after 01/04/21
We are aware that the greatest impact of Covid-19 may not be on students in their final year of funding and we are keen to ensure that, where we can offer additional support, it goes to those PGR students who are in greatest need, whatever the stage of their research programme and the source of their funding.  We are continuing to explore the support that can be provided to non-final year students, but in the meantime have agreement to establish a ring fenced hardship fund for all PGR students who are currently experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date expired before 01/03/20
In line with the additional funding offered to UKRI students, the University’s scheme is open to students who were still in their funded period up to 01/03/20. 

The University offers a grace period during which no continuation fees are charged which applies to students who submit their thesis within 3 months of the end of their funded period (if they are funded for 3 years) or 6 weeks of the end of their funded period (if they are funded for 3.5 years). Students who are already writing up their thesis should aim to submit their thesis by their original time limit, where possible.  Where this is not possible, students may apply for a time limit extension, details of which can be found in the Code of Practice. Students may also apply for a leave of absence (see FAQ below).

Application process for Sheffield-funded students

An email has been sent to University-funded students whose funding end date is between 01/03/20 - 31/07/20 inviting those who have not yet submitted and whose work has been affected by the pandemic to apply for a funded extension by the closing date of 05/06/20. 

Students whose funding ends between 01/08/20 - 31/03/21 will be contacted in due course.

Support for self-sponsored students

Students who are responsible for paying their own tuition fees, and whose ability to pay has been impacted by Covid-19, may apply to the University’s Personal Payment Scheme, which aims to make individual arrangements to support students with the timeline for paying their tuition fees.

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date is between 01/03/20 - 31/03/21
Students who have not yet submitted their thesis and whose work has been affected by the pandemic are eligible to apply for an extension to their tuition-fee paying period of up to 6 months to allow them to complete their research programme before entering the final period of writing up.  During this period no additional fees will be charged.  However, students should still aim to submit within their original time limit, where possible.

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date is after 01/04/21
We are aware that the greatest impact of Covid-19 may not be on students who are in the later stages of their degree and we are keen to ensure that, where we can offer additional support, it goes to those PGR students who are in greatest need, whatever the stage of their research programme and the source of their funding.  We are continuing to explore the support that can be provided to non-final year students, but in the meantime have agreement to establish a ring fenced hardship fund for all PGR students who are currently experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.

Stipend/Tuition fee-paying period end date expired before 01/03/20
In line with the additional funding offered to UKRI students, the University’s scheme is only open to students who were still in their tuition fee-paying period up to 01/03/20. The University offers a grace period during which no continuation fees are charged which applies to students who submit their thesis within 3 months of the end of their tuition fee-paying period (if that is 3 years) or 6 weeks of the end of their tuition fee-paying period (if that is 3.5 years). Students who were already writing up their thesis should aim to submit their thesis by their original time limit, where possible. Where this is not possible, students may apply for a time limit extension, details of which can be found in the Code of Practice. Students may also apply for a leave of absence (see FAQ below).

Application process for self-sponsored students

Self-sponsored students whose tuition fee-paying period end date is between 01/03/20 - 31/03/21, whose work has been affected by the pandemic and who wish to apply to extend their period of research by up to six months during which time no tuition fees would be payable, should contact pgr-scholarships@sheffield.ac.uk.

Requests will be assessed against the same criteria as for UKRI and University-funded students.

Support for externally-sponsored students

Unfortunately, the University is unable to extend financial support to students who are sponsored by other funders. The University is, however, actively discussing with other funders whether and how they might provide funded extensions to their students.

If you are funded by a source other than the University/UKRI, you should contact your sponsor to seek guidance regarding extended funding. Your supervisor may be able to assist you in discussions with your sponsor. In addition, it has been agreed to establish a ring-fenced hardship fund for all PGR students who are currently experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic.

How do I know if I am eligible to apply for a funded extension?

Students who are eligible for a UKRI or University of Sheffield funded extension will be contacted by the University and invited to apply.  If you are in any doubt as to who funds you, please ask your supervisor in the first instance.

Can I apply for an extension to my current time limit?

All students are encouraged to submit within their original time limit wherever possible. However, we recognise that this may not be possible under current circumstances and therefore time limit extension requests as a result of delays caused by the pandemic will be considered sympathetically.

You may apply for a time limit extension, in line with normal procedures, which should be made no earlier than three months prior to your time limit.  Please note that a monthly extension fee is normally payable.

Holiday entitlement

You are entitled to take annual leave each year and the University's guidance follows that of the UK Research Councils, which is 30 days.

Oral examinations

During the lockdown period, oral examinations are being conducted remotely, please see the University’s guidance. You may wish to describe in the relevant thesis chapter the changes to your programme and result of those changes.

Support for students whose unfunded writing up period has been disrupted by the pandemic

We recommend that you try to submit your thesis within your overall time limit. Where this is not possible, students may apply for a time limit extension, details of which can be found in the Code of Practice.

Information about the PGR Covid-19 Hardship Fund

The University is acutely aware that the Covid-19 pandemic has had significant impacts on its PGR community. Many PGRs are able to seek additional funding from their funder or sponsor or from the University, depending on the existing source of their  funding.

Some students are not able to seek such support so the University Executive Board agreed to ring fence a small PGR hardship fund to enable PGRs who are suffering financial hardship as a result of Covid-19, so they can apply for a bursary payment to offer some support towards their costs.

In order to apply for financial support from the PGR Hardship Fund, you will need to meet the following criteria:

  • Be a current postgraduate research student on a full or part-time research degree programme within your tuition-fee paying period
  • Have no existing financial support from a sponsor or funder
  • Be facing financial difficulties specifically related to Covid-19. Examples might include, but are not limited to:
    - Loss of income due to redundancy or other work-related issue
    - Additional costs due to childcare commitments related to Covid-19

Please note that not all applications will be successful. The fund is limited and is unlikely to be able to cover all your costs. Completing a money plan may help you to understand the shortfall in your income and you may only make one application to the PGR Covid-19 Hardship Fund.

The scheme will not fund tuition fee costs. The Fees Team can discuss payment plans and recognises that the current situation may require adjustments to scheduled payments.

If you require research materials, IT-related hardware or software, you should speak to your department to discuss your requirements and how they might be supported.

If you believe you are eligible to apply to this fund, please follow the link to the application form.  You will need to supply evidence to support your application, such as bank statements. You will also need to complete the Money Planner to enable your case to be considered.

Applications will be treated with the utmost confidentiality and will never be shared with departments, unless you give us permission to do so.

We anticipate that we will be able to respond to requests within two calendar weeks. If you have any questions please contact financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk

Continuation Fees

All postgraduate research students on 3 year programmes have their continuation fees waived if they submit within 3 months of the end of their tuition fee-paying period. Students on 3.5 year programmes will have continuation fees waived if they submit their thesis within 6 weeks of the end of their tuition fee-paying period. Read the full details.

Exams and assessments

What's an Examination Board?

Examination boards (often referred to as exam boards) are where universities look at students' results and make decisions about whether they have done enough to be awarded the 'credits' they need to progress to the next level of study, or to be awarded a degree.

All UK universities operate exam boards and there is a reciprocal arrangement whereby academics sit on exam boards at other universities as 'external examiners' to make sure that decisions are fair and standards maintained across the sector.

The role of the exam board and the external examiner is to make sure that any Safety Net Policy is applied fairly and consistently and that there is a record kept of any decisions made.

As the University's General Regulations set out very clearly what is needed for a student to progress or graduate, the Exam Board will tend to focus on borderline cases or where there are extenuating circumstances that need to be taken into account for a particular student.

How exam board operate at Sheffield

How will I sit my exams?

All formal invigilated exams in the autumn term will be replaced by online forms of assessment. You will not be required to be on campus for final assessments.

Please speak with your department about the specific arrangements for online assessments. 

I’m due to submit my PhD or MPhil thesis and/or undertake a viva or confirmation review, what should I do?

If you're preparing to submit your PhD or MPhil thesis and/or undertake your viva or confirmation review, we have procedures in place to undertake these remotely using video conferencing if required; with approval from your faculty. Your supervisor will be able to discuss this with you, so please contact them in the first instance.

Who to speak to about exams and assessments

If you have any questions, please contact your academic department, or for general enquiries please email exams@sheffield.ac.uk

Why can’t I see some Level 1 grades in myResults or on my HEAR?

The Safety Net Policy states that Level 1 Spring Semester and Academic Year (i.e. “affected”) modules would be assessed on a Pass/Fail basis only. For a small number of programmes first year students will still receive marks as normal, for example where there is a regulatory requirement to do so. If you are on one of these programmes your department will let you know.

All students can expect to receive feedback on their performance over the year.

Please contact your department if you would like more information about your performance in affected Level 1 modules.

Extenuating circumstances

I am unable to complete an assessment because of Covid-19 or other circumstances

If you think that you have symptoms of Covid-19, or you have been in close contact with someone with symptoms, please follow the guidance on self-isolation and do not visit your GP surgery.

If you have to self-isolate or your circumstances affect your ability to complete assessments, you should contact your academic department in the first instance – they will be sympathetic to your situation and support you in using the extenuating circumstances process if required. You do not need to get supporting medical documentation and you do not need a medical professional to authorise the form.

Please also let the University's support services know that you are self-isolating by completing this Google form. The form will signpost you to the sources of welfare support available during this time. If you are simply following government guidance and staying at home in order to halt the spread of the virus, you do not need to complete the google form.

It is important to stress however that your health and wellbeing and those of your fellow students is the first priority. As such, self-isolation for those too unwell to engage in online learning as stated by Public Health England is vital and doing so will not harm you academically, nor will it impact any Tier 4 visa restrictions for international students. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has indicated that it will work to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the situation.

How long can I use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to self-certify for?

You can use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to self-certify for the full duration of the period covered by your extenuating circumstances.

Do I need evidence of extenuating circumstances?

No. You can use the Extenuating Circumstances Form to self-certify.

You do not need to provide evidence and you will be automatically be considered for mitigation in line with the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Procedural Guidance.

Extenuating circumstances which are not related to Covid-19

For the 2020-21 Autumn Semester, you can self-certify for any valid extenuating circumstances, not just Covid-19 related difficulties using the Extenuating Circumstances Form.

You do not need to get supporting evidence and you will automatically be considered for mitigation in line with the University’s Extenuating Circumstances Procedural Guidance.

The University will review the procedure again before the Spring Semester.

International travel

International students: advice before you travel

Before you travel to the UK from any country, you are required to provide your contact details to the UK government online.

You must complete the above form, even if you’re travelling from a country where you do not have to self-isolate when you arrive in the UK.

If you do not complete the form before you arrive in the UK, it might take you longer to enter the country. You cannot submit the form until 48 hours before you’re due to arrive in the UK.

Read our Travel and Self-Isolation information

International travel: what is affected

The University has taken the decision to postpone or cancel all University-related international travel with immediate effect.

For students, this means that:

  • all international field trips are cancelled
  • all international travel for placements is cancelled
  • all students already overseas are being strongly advised to travel home with no detriment to their studies
  • the decision to travel back to the UK should be taken with reference to the local advice from the government where the student is based students already overseas will be contacted with further information
I've paid for a field trip, will I get a refund?

You may be able to get a refund. If you paid separate or additional fees for the field trip, your department should be able to identify those and carry out a refund.

If the cost of your field trip was part of your overall tuition fee, a refund might be possible where your academic department or school is unable to offer a suitable alternative. Please contact your department for more detailed information. Should you have any queries, please contact the Student Fees Team.

Advice for students currently on a work placement or studying abroad

Follow the advice and guidance of your host institution (where relevant), and keep up to date with national guidance in your host country. 

If you have any questions please contact your academic department or globalopps@sheffield.ac.uk

My host university has suspended teaching or my work placement has asked me to work from home

If you cannot return home, you are encouraged to continue with your studies as far as possible while universities are closed so that you get the most you can out of your time abroad. Make sure you engage fully with online teaching where possible.

In addition, your departmental tutor will be able to assist you with queries you may have which relate to academic matters and the impact on your time abroad.

If you have been asked to work from home, or your work placement has been suspended, it is very important that you follow the advice from your host organisation. If you feel unwell, then you must follow the instructions received from them for advice. Also, remember to look for any messages from the University of Sheffield.

In addition, your departmental tutor will be able to assist you with queries you may have which relate to academic matters and the impact on your time abroad.

Due to travel restrictions, I can't get back to the UK to continue my studies

We know that some students may be unable to travel to Sheffield, due to international travel restrictions, visa delays, medical reasons or a disability. We are committed to ensuring that you are not excluded or disadvantaged for this reason, and you will not receive a penalty if you cannot attend. You will be able to access our induction activities and all our digital learning online, until you are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

Should you be a current, or new student, and you believe you are not going to be able to return to attend University due to travel restrictions, please contact your academic department directly.

If you have accommodation secured at the University you won’t be able to use, please contact Accommodation Services, or if your contract is for private accommodation then the Student Advice Centre can provide you with advice about your circumstances.

If you have University of Sheffield insurance and have questions about your cover or whether you will be eligible to make a claim for travel or accommodation expenses or refunds, you can email insurance@sheffield.ac.uk or call +44 (0)114 222 1510. If you have taken out private insurance, you should check your coverage with your provider.

I am meant to be studying abroad soon, can I still go?

If you are registered on a programme with study abroad in the 2020/21 academic year as a mandatory and integral part of your course, then this may continue, subject to risk assessment (including Foreign Office travel advice) and restrictions in place at your host university. You will have been allocated a host university, and should liaise with your Department about the necessary arrangements. This includes having university insurance in place before you travel. We appreciate that there may be insurance exclusions around Covid-19, and are putting appropriate safeguards in place should there be further outbreaks.

The continuing risk posed by Covid-19 means that optional study abroad and international placements are cancelled for the 2020/21 academic year. Your department will advise you of alternative arrangements as soon as possible. If you have any questions or concerns please contact your academic department.

We will continue to review the situation and adjust our guidance accordingly, so it is important that you stay in regular contact with your academic department.

I have secured a placement abroad, can I still go?

To ensure the health, safety and wellbeing of our students and allow departments to make alternate arrangements all optional placements abroad have been cancelled for the first semester in the 2020/21 academic year. Your employer may be able to support you working remotely or delay your start date so do discuss this with them. For year-long placements, as long as your placement duration is at least 24 weeks, your placement will meet the minimum requirements. Your department will contact you with further details if this affects you.

Check the latest updates from our Careers Service

Can I still consider an overseas placement next year?

The University is unable to permit overseas travel for placements during Semester 1, so travelling overseas may not yet be an option. At the moment, there is a lot of uncertainty across the globe, with different countries responding to COVID-19 in different ways with some countries in lockdown longer than others. As a result, many employers are cancelling overseas placements or deferring start dates. There are, however, a wide variety of opportunities out there for you to continue to develop yourself and your skills albeit not via a year long placement abroad. Investigate UK-based placements, virtual placements or internships and other ways that you can develop your language skills or global awareness.

My study or placement abroad plans have been cancelled or
changed, what should I do?

Study abroad
If you were due to study abroad in 2020/21 and these arrangements have been cancelled or changed, you should speak with your departmental study abroad or Erasmus lead contact in the first instance.

Your department will also be able to provide further guidance on module choice for the
2020/21 academic year.

Work placements
If you were due to begin a work placement abroad and your placement arrangements change, for example your start date is delayed, your placement duration is shortened or you will be working remotely rather than on-site, please notify your departmental placement contact. If you submitted your placement details on Career Connect, please also notify placements@sheffield.ac.uk.

If your Year in Industry/with work experience placement has been cancelled, please notify your departmental placement contact and, if you submitted your placement details on Career Connect, please also notify placements@sheffield.ac.uk. If you do not find an alternative before the start of the next academic year, you will simply transfer onto a Programme without a Year in Industry/year with employment experience and will return to your studies to undertake your next year of formal education.

Check the latest updates from our Careers Service

Accommodation
If you are now expecting to live in Sheffield, University Accommodation is still available. If there is a need for you to arrive earlier or later than the start of your University Accommodation Contract, accommodation will be available to you. Payment plans can be arranged to assist you with managing your finances with flexible start dates as needed.

Learn more about University accommodation

For accommodation concerns which are not covered above, please email the accommodation office, who will be able to assist you with more information:
accommodationoffice@sheffield.ac.uk

Further accommodation information can be found on the Students’ Union website and you can email the Student Advice Centre with specific questions advice@sheffield.ac.uk

Finance
If you are facing any financial difficulties due to unforeseen costs, you may be able to access support through the University’s hardship fund.

For further information contact the Financial Support Team: financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk

Further student finance information can be found on the Students’ Union website and you can email the Student Advice
Centre with specific questions.

Placements and field trips

At the moment it is unclear the full extent to which restrictions will impact on travel and placements. It is however reasonable to expect that these will be impacted significantly.

Our staff are working together and planning for differing scenarios and further guidance to support this is being prepared.

Fees and finance for undergraduate study abroad students

Tuition Fees

Studying in Sheffield in 2020/21, where you have expected to be abroad for the full year

If you are still completing the Year Abroad module, whilst in Sheffield in 20/21, the 20/21 tuition fee will be protected at the Full Year Abroad rate of £1385 for Home students. If you are an overseas student, please check your tuition fee rate: Year Abroad - 2020/21 Fees

If you are not completing the Year Abroad module, whilst in Sheffield in 20/21, and intend to complete your Study Abroad in 2021/22, and are studying a full year curriculum from Sheffield, your tuition fee in 20/21 will be £9,250 (Home students). If you are an Overseas student you will be charged the same full-time rate as when you started your course. If you are not studying abroad in 2020/21 or in any future year of study and intend to complete your course studying standard curriculum from Sheffield for the duration of your degree, you will pay the standard full-time tuition fee, each year. Home students will pay £9,250 each year and Overseas students will pay the same full-time rate as when they started their course.

Studying in Sheffield in semester 1 2020/21, and studying abroad for semester 2, where you have expected to be abroad for the full year

If you are not completing part of the Year Abroad module in Semester 1, whilst in Sheffield in 20/21, and are studying a standard curriculum from Sheffield in Semester 1, your tuition fee in 20/21 will be £5,318 for Home students. If you are an Overseas student, please check your tuition fee rate: Year Abroad - 2020/21 Fees

If you require further advice, the Student Fees Team is here to help. Please email us at studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk.

Maintenance loans

Your maintenance loan entitlement will be based on the information you provide in your loan application. If the information changes, your entitlement may change. For further advice, please contact Student Finance directly via the GOV.UK Student Finance web page.

If you require further advice, the Student Fees Team is here to help. Please email us at studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk.

Guidance on applying for a tuition fee loan/maintenance loan with Student Finance England

Apply for your 20/21 Student Finance loan(s) now. If it transpires that you are not spending a Full Year Abroad in 20/21, you can contact Student Finance later to let them know but you must apply now. Further information can be found on the GOV.UK Student Finance web page.

If you change your course shortly before or after the start of term, for example from studying a year in industry/abroad to a year studying in Sheffield, the University will notify Student Finance.

You will receive your Maintenance Loan and the University will receive your tuition fee on the basis of the initial application. It could take six weeks for Student Finance to process the change and update your entitlement to take into account the change of circumstances.

If you require further advice, the Student Fees Team is here to help. Please email us at studentadmin@sheffield.ac.uk.

Information only for international students

Please also check the information above, which is relevant to all students.

Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan MP, has written to international students at higher education providers in England.

The letter sets out key messages from the Minister to international students at this challenging time, and provides an overview of the latest relevant guidance and links to a set of resources for further information.

View or download the Universities Minister's letter

I am an international student, if I have returned to my home country, will the University cancel my Tier 4 visa?

In order for the University to carry on sponsoring your Tier 4 visa, you must remain actively engaged with your studies and in contact with your department. If you are concerned that you will not be able to return to the UK to resume studies on time for the next academic year you must discuss this with your department. They can advise you about whether you can study remotely for a period of time or whether your course requires you to be in the UK.

If you are able to engage with online study, submit your assignments, and you plan to return to the UK in the future then the University will not report your visa for cancellation. However, this has to be monitored carefully as the UK authorities may change their rules during this period.

If you cannot return to the UK by the start of next academic year and your department advises that you cannot continue to study remotely on your particular course then your visa may be affected. You should discuss this with International Student Support Team.

Similarly if you are unable to access online teaching from home and submit assignments due to unreliable internet access or resources, you will need to consider taking a leave of absence during this period, so that you are able to resume study once normal teaching resumes.

There is information on applying for leave of absence and the impact on your Tier 4 visa available on our website here: How to apply for a leave of absence. If taking a leave of absence will impact on your ability to complete your studies within the original course end date, the University will have to report your visa to UK Visas and Immigration. When you are due to return to the UK, the University will be able to support you by providing you with a CAS and help you in applying for a new Tier 4 visa.

The Home Office has also set-up a helpline for international higher education staff and students if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus, including questions about urgent, compelling, compassionate cases where an international student or other visa national based abroad needs to travel to the UK. The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission. Call 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, calls free of charge) or email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

If I have already left the UK, is there anything I need to do with my visa?

We understand that during the current situation with coronavirus, you may have decided to leave the UK, or you may have been asked to leave the UK by your home country's government.

Please ensure that you complete the online form to notify the International Student Support Team of this.

There is no need for you to return your BRP card to UK visas and Immigration (UKVI), unless the 'Valid Until' date has passed, or you have received specific written instructions from UKVI asking you to do so. You can find information on how to return your BRP card to UKVI on the SSiD webpages. 

If you have previously registered with the police, you must inform the police if you will be absent from the UK for more than two months. You can do this by sending an email to: overseas.visitors@southyorks.pnn.police.uk

Please note that you only need to do this if:

  • you are a national of a country that requires police registration and
  • you have completed the online registration with the police and are awaiting your police registration certificate, or you have completed the online registration and have now got your police registration certificate as well.

In the email, please include your name and date of birth and let them know if you created your online account with a different email address from the one you are currently using.

My visa is due to expire, but I am unable to leave the UK.

If your visa expires between 24 January 2020 and 31st July 2020 and you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self isolation related to Covid 19 and have no other grounds to extend your visa, you can request an extension by updating your records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT). If you have already had your visa extended to 31 May 2020 via this concession, you visa will be extended automatically to 31 July 2020.

If you are still studying at the University you may also be able to extend your Tier 4 visa in the UK. You are strongly advised to submit a Tier 4 visa application before your current visa expires, instead of emailing the Coronavirus Immigration Team in the first instance. Please contact International Student Support if you need further assistance.

If you are eligible to submit a visa application in a different visa category, you can contact the Student Advice Centre for help.

Individuals who cannot leave the UK due to travel restrictions or self-isolation and wish to stay in the UK in the long-term can also now apply from the UK for a visa switch. Please see the Home Office guidance for details.

You should not rely on this UKVI concession being extended, and should try to leave the UK or make a new visa application (if you are eligible) before your amended visa expiry date. If you cannot do this please contact International Student Support with details of your individual circumstances so we can advise you further.

The Home Office has also set-up a helpline for international higher education staff and students if they have immigration queries related to coronavirus, including questions about urgent, compelling, compassionate cases where an international student or other visa national based abroad needs to travel to the UK. The helpline can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about individual cases. If a third party wishes to speak on their behalf, they must have the visa holder’s permission. Call 0800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm, calls free of charge) or email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

I am a postgraduate research student and have returned home, what are the implications for my Tier 4 visa?

We understand that some international students may have returned home to their families, or because their sponsors requested they do so. If you are confident that you can engage with your research whilst at home, please follow this guidance:

  1. Discuss your proposal to continue your research at home with your supervisor, who will guide you on whether it would be practicable for you to continue your research from home. This will depend on a number of factors such as the point you are at with your research, your subject discipline and whether you have ongoing laboratory or experimental work. You must also have the approval of your supervisor to continue your research project remotely.
  2. Ensure that you have the resources available to continue your research from home and regularly keep in contact with your supervisor.
  3. If you have left the UK and are continuing your research remotely, please notify the International Student Support team by completing the online form. Tier 4 students can remain sponsored by the University but the University would need to keep a record of this.

This has to be monitored carefully as the UK Visas and Immigration may change their rules during this period but the government have so far indicated that the Home Office will not consider it a breach of sponsor duties to offer distance learning to existing Tier 4 students in the UK, or those who have chosen to return overseas but wish to continue their current studies.

If your supervisor cannot support your proposal to continue your research from home, you may wish to consider taking either a short absence by using your annual leave or take a leave of absence. These options will mean that you will stop work on your research.

A leave of absence may have an impact on your Tier 4 visa but this will be reviewed on a case by case basis. This will be dependent on whether the period of absence will have an impact on your original submission date.

I can't access my University inbox in my country, how do I receive course notifications? If you are in a location where you have problems accessing your University email, you now have the option to receive important course and departmental notifications from Blackboard to a personal email address.

If you need to do this, add your personal email address to Blackboard and you will receive any Blackboard notifications from your academic department directly to that address.

Other University communications, including emails from your department and tutors, will not be sent to that address, so you should continue to check these webpages for the most up to date coronavirus information.

To use your personal email address, follow the steps on the web page here: How to change your email address in Blackboard.

I currently have a short term student visa, what happens when I return to the UK?

If you obtained your visa at the port of entry (i.e. a stamp on your passport), the short term student visa is only valid for a single entry use.

If you decided to go home as face-to-face teaching has been suspended, but plan to return to the UK at a later date, you will need to apply for a new short term study visa.

Otherwise, if you applied for entry clearance and obtained the visa before you arrived in the UK, the short term student visa should be multi-entry. This should be confirmed on the vignette (sticker) on your passport. For more information please visit the University’s Short Term Student webpage or contact the International Student Support team at international.students@sheffield.ac.uk.

I have an appointment to register with the police as an overseas visitor, do I still need to attend this?

South Yorkshire Police have cancelled all registration appointments until further notice. This includes appointments for new registrations and changes of details. Please do not attend Snig Hill Police Station as you will not be seen.

At this moment in time they cannot state when any new appointments will be released. They will liaise with the University to keep us informed of any changes as and when they may happen. They have advised that you do not need to worry about your police registration requirement during this time.

Whilst they cannot see anyone in person they can still be contacted via email at overseas.visitors@southyorks.pnn.police.uk. Therefore if you have been advised by International Student Support to email them of any changes to your course or other details, you can still do so.

If you already have a police registration certificate, you can log back into your online account and update your details online. They can then update the details on your police registration certificate when they are able to see you.

If you have registered online, but have not been given your police registration certificate yet, you will not be able to log into your online account. Instead, you can contact them via email at overseas.visitors@southyorks.pnn.police.uk. They can then then include both the new and old details on your certificate when they are able to see you.

I am being threatened and abused, or I have witnessed an incident. What should I do?

We take all allegations of abuse and harassment very seriously and have a zero tolerance stance to any associated behaviour. You can report the matter to the University by telephoning Security Services on 0114 222 4085 to raise your concerns, or 0114 222 4444 for an emergency response. You should also report any incident to the police.

If you feel that you have been the target of harassment or bullying then you can use our Report and Support system to make a confidential disclosure or a formal report. This will be addressed within 72 hours.

We understand that this might be a difficult time for staff and students, so we want to thank you  all for your continued support of your friends and peers during this time.