Advice for current students

The following information is for students who may have concerns about COVID-19.

As the COVID-19 pandemic develops, the University's Covid-19 Management Group is continuing to monitor the guidance from Public Health England and adapt as a University. Our top priority will always be the safety of our students and staff. At the same time, we are exploring ways to ensure you receive the highest quality education.

We are doing everything we can to manage the impact of the crisis and prepare for different scenarios, to ensure that your ongoing learning experience is a positive one. We are therefore exploring a range of options for how we can best deliver our courses in the 2020/21 academic year.

The single most important action we can all take in fighting this coronavirus is to stay at home. Please do not access the campus.

We are keen to know which students are still in Sheffield - if you are, please tell us where you are living by completing this form. Please also let us know if you are self isolating via the form:

Tell us if you're in Sheffield


Frequently asked questions - for current students

Latest information

Updated Wednesday 27 May 2020

  • New FAQs relating to Study Abroad 2020/21 added
  • Updated information on accommodation for the 2020/21 academic year

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.

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

Coronavirus information from Public Health England

Latest advice from the University

Learning and Teaching in academic year 2020/2021

How will learning, teaching, and research work in the 2020/21 academic year?

As we expect social distancing measures to be in place for several months, we are considering a range of options for how we can best deliver our courses in the Autumn. This includes face-to-face teaching in small groups, where social distancing may still be maintained, supported by digital delivery.

We are planning particularly carefully for programmes with significant elements of laboratory or practical teaching, where the restrictions that are likely to be in place in September will pose particular challenges.

We will continue to communicate updates with you as the situation develops.

When will the University confirm arrangements for the 2020/21 academic year?

We will continue to keep you updated when we have more details of the approach for learning and teaching in the 2020/21 academic year and what this may look like for particular courses. Please keep an eye on your University inbox in the coming weeks for more updates.

What health and safety measures will be in place for teaching on campus?

Our priority is to ensure that the campus is safe for students and staff and this planning has already begun. Plans for face-to-face teaching and how the campus operates safely will be informed by government guidelines and these are likely to remain subject to change. If the guidelines change the University will adapt its plans to maintain the safety and wellbeing of students at all times.

We are considering a range of options for how we can best deliver our courses in the Autumn. This includes face-to-face teaching in small groups, where social distancing may still be maintained, supported by digital delivery.

How will placements and field trips be affected?

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.

I am a Postgraduate Research student, will I be able to access labs and/or continue my research?

The need for social distancing is likely to continue for the foreseeable future. This means that the University will have to introduce some specific measures to ensure research which requires access to laboratories, as well as other on-campus research facilities such as studios, can be undertaken safely.

The University has already begun to work through the practicalities and is planning for campus research facilities to re-open over the coming weeks. Current students should not come back to campus until your department lets you know that the laboratory or other facility you need to access is available and what the working arrangements are. The national situation is constantly changing and the University is taking this into consideration, along with many other factors, while adapting to the circumstances. However, please be assured that in working through all of these issues our priority will always be the health and safety of our students and staff.

Will I be able to move back to Sheffield for the beginning of the 2020/21 academic year?

Yes, subject to Government guidance. If you have chosen to live in University Accommodation, it will be available for the 2020-21 academic year. We are currently supporting students living with us and we will continue to provide this.

However, your safety and wellbeing is our top priority and we will ensure appropriate safety measures are implemented in line with government advice.

If you will be arriving from outside of the UK, current Government measures mean that you will need to self-isolate for 14 days when you arrive. For more information, read the Government advice page.

Applications are open for September arrival, please visit our Accommodation information pages for more information.

Can I arrive early if I need to quarantine or I want to familiarise myself with the city?

Yes. Our contract start dates are flexible, should you need to arrive early.

If you will be arriving from outside of the UK, current Government measures mean that you will need to self-isolate for 14 days when you arrive. For more information, read the Government advice page.

Please email the accommodation office, who will be able to assist you.

I’m due to live in University accommodation next year. How will this work if social distancing is in place?

Your safety and wellbeing is our top priority and we will ensure appropriate safety measures are implemented in line with government advice.

We plan for our Residence Life team to still be offering a full programme of activities and events to get involved with, as there are lots of green spaces and activity zones which can be used to facilitate this around the residences. In addition, we will continue to support you through our online remote services.

I will be living with a private accommodation provider next year. How will this work with social distancing?

If you have chosen to live in private accommodation, or are thinking about booking for the 2020-21 academic year, please contact your landlord or accommodation provider for information on social distancing. We also recommend you enquire about what provisions they have in place regarding welfare support, so that you are able to make the appropriate decision that’s right for you.

For support with housing, if your property is registered with Smart Move Sheffield, you can reach them on smartmove@sheffield.ac.uk

We also recommend speaking with the Student Advice Centre, who can provide support and advice for your circumstances.

Can I take a leave of absence or delay my studies if my teaching is online in the 2020/21 academic year?

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.

Will libraries and other learning spaces be open in September?

As we expect social distancing measures to be in place for several months, we are considering a range of options for our libraries and learning spaces as part of the wider recovery planning work. Our priority is to ensure that the campus is safe for students and staff and we are continuing to monitor the guidance from Public Health England and adapt as a University.

The extensive digital library will be available as normal and our experts will be able to support you. You will have access to a full range of resources, including e-books, databases and journals through StarPlus via Muse. Resource lists, subject guides and online tutorials will all be available to support your study.

If you have any questions, our specialist Librarians will be ready to help with one-to-one advice. You can chat with us online, or email library@sheffield.ac.uk.

General information for all students

What University services and buildings can I access?

University buildings are closed to all those except business-critical staff. This includes the Students' Union, libraries, Sport Sheffield, plus cafes, bars and gyms at the student residences.

We're urging all students - undergraduate, postgraduate taught and postgraduate research - to follow government advice and stay at home.

Unless you have specifically been asked to do so for business critical reasons, please do not access campus research facilities. There may be a small number of postgraduate research students whose role has been deemed business critical. If this is the case, they will be contacted by their PI or Head of Department.

Although there are some University staff on site providing business-critical services - where there is a significant consequence to health, safety and welfare if the work cannot continue - most services and all teaching is transitioning online as part of a shared goal of keeping everyone healthy and safe.

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 a phone, 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.
Are events still taking place?

In line with government advice, all planned University events - including those at the Students' Union - have either moved online or been cancelled.

We'll regularly be reviewing planned future events as the situation develops, in line with government guidance.

What support is available for students?

For health and wellbeing advice, please see our support for staff and students webpages.

I am going to be studying in Sheffield in 2020/21 when I was expecting to be abroad for the full year. How does this affect my tuition fees?

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

I am going to be studying abroad in Semester 2 in 2020/21 but studying in Sheffield for Semester 1 when I would have expected to be abroad for the whole year. How does this affect my tuition fees?

If you are completing part of the Year Abroad module in Semester 1, 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 for the whole year. If you are an overseas student, please check your tuition fee rate: Year Abroad - 2020/21 Fees

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.

I am applying for a tuition fee loan and/or maintenance loan from Student Finance - what should I tell them?

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

I am completing my Full Year Abroad in Sheffield in 20/21 or I am completing Semester 1 in Sheffield and Semester 2 Abroad, will this affect my maintenance loan?

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.

Teaching, learning and graduation information for all students

Are my lectures, seminars or research work cancelled?

Face-to-face teaching was temporarily suspended from Monday 16 March. This means there are no face-to-face lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals or field courses for the rest of the academic year including the summer period, and all teaching is moving online. This applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate taught learning.

Timetabled face-to-face teaching has been cancelled. This will not impact on your attendance record.

We are making arrangements to teach online and will have materials available for students to access. We anticipate it will be easier to access learning materials online locally and we will continue to keep you updated as this progresses.

Can I take a leave of absence because of the impact that coronavirus is having on my studies and learning opportunities?

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught students

As the University has moved all teaching and assessment online for the remainder of the academic year of 2019/20, you will be able to continue your learning and teaching remotely and progress your academic studies without requiring to take longer to complete this year, or to complete your degree programme overall.

However, it is recognised that the current Covid-19 situation 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

Information for postgraduate research students about taking a leave of absence can be found in the PGR section below.

I'm worried about self-isolating and the consequences on my learning. What should I do?

The University had no alternative option, given the circumstances, but to temporarily suspend face-to-face teaching from Monday 16 March. This means there are no face-to-face lectures, seminars, tutorials, practicals or field courses for the rest of the academic year including the summer period.

We are making arrangements for essential services to be maintained and are transitioning to online teaching. This means that you will be able to continue your studies online if you are well enough to do so.

If you feel unwell and have questions around how to self-isolate, please read the main FAQs.

If you need to self-isolate you should inform 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 should also notify your landlord or residential provider, as well as notifying students support services by filling in this form. They will then be able to signpost you to the support available to you.

If you are University accommodation, you should notify residentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk. You may also find it helpful to talk to the Student Advice Centre for guidance on any related matters personal to your circumstances.

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 do I study or work from home?

Arrangements are being made to move teaching online, so please keep checking your email and ensure that you are set up to work remotely so that you can access resources.

To prepare for 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.

All students now have temporary access to Adobe Creative Cloud to use at home on personal computers. Sign in using your University email address. Then when prompted, sign in with your MUSE login details and you should then be able to select the apps you wish to download.

How to access Adobe Creative Cloud

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.

Can I still access the 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

What if I want to go home while face-to-face teaching has been suspended?

In line with the latest government guidance, if you are currently living in Sheffield and wish to relocate to your family home, you may now do so if your family home is in England.

However, leaving the place you live to visit another home for a short period of time - for example visiting your family or friends for a week - is still not allowed at this time.

Still in Sheffield? Let us know

If you choose to remain in Sheffield, and you have not yet informed the University, please let us know so we can ensure we provide you with all the support you need

Tell us if you're in Sheffield

If you have returned home, the University will continue to support you as best we can including, providing online learning so that this minimises the disruption it will have on your studies. If returning home rather than remaining at the University meant leaving the UK, we cannot guarantee access to online learning from every country.

For those students in our international community who remain in Sheffield, please be assured that you are welcome to stay here with us.

While face-to-face teaching has been suspended for the current semester, students who wish to stay in Sheffield or their University accommodation will still be able to access student support services and other resources online, as campus buildings are now closed.

If you have returned home rather than remaining at the University , please follow the following guidance:

  1. Contact your academic department to advise of your departure and stay in contact with them about your plans.
  2. Ensure that you are able to keep up with your studies. You will need a computer and reliable internet connection which allows access to MOLE (Blackboard). More information can be found on Student Guidance for Online Teaching.
  3. If you are an international student on a Tier 4 visa, you should speak to your academic department to agree how you will be supported to complete your studies. Please also notify the International Student Support team using the online form.

If you are unable to access teaching online from home or submit assignments, this will impact on your studies and for any international student, subsequently your Tier 4 visa also.

If you do choose to go home, you must tell your academic department and Global Opportunities at globalopps@sheffield.ac.uk

I am a final year, or postgraduate taught student due to graduate this summer, will I be able to graduate?

Due to the ongoing global pandemic of coronavirus (Covid-19) the University has 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.

Does the temporary move to online teaching affect my tuition fees?

As previously advised, in light of the most recent 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 present 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.

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.

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

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.

Information for postgraduate research students whose work has been impacted by Covid-19

Please also check the information above, 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.

Will I be able to access labs and/or continue my research?

At the moment only those involved in what has been deemed 'business critical', or 'essential' research are able to access laboratory facilities. This is largely projects related to Covid-19.

The Government has recently issued guidance about how to plan for laboratories and other research facilities to re-open. The University will have to introduce some specific measures to ensure research which requires access to laboratories, as well as other on-campus research facilities such as studios, can be undertaken safely moving forward and this will be a phased process. Not all laboratories and research facilities will open at once.

We have already begun to work through the practicalities of this and are planning for campus research facilities to re-open over the coming weeks.  Current students should not come back to campus until your department lets you know that the laboratory or other facility you need to access is available and what the working arrangements are.  Where research can be undertaken from home, the advice will remain to work from home wherever possible.

The national situation is constantly changing and the University is taking this into consideration, along with many other factors, while adapting to the circumstances. However, please be assured that in working through all of these issues our priority will always be the health and safety of our students and staff.

Can I take a leave of absence because of the impact that coronavirus is having on my research opportunities?

Wherever possible, postgraduate research students should continue to engage with their research degree remotely and should discuss and agree a plan for this with their supervisor.

It is recognised that this may require a change of approach or undertaking parts of your research and/or professional development plan in a different order to that originally envisaged.

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.

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.

I am a UKRI-funded student, what support is available to me?

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.

What is the 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.

I am a University of Sheffield-funded student, what support is available to me?

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).

What is the 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.

I am a self-sponsored student, what support is available to me?

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).

What is the 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.

I am an externally-sponsored student, what support is available to me?

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.

Can I apply for a leave of absence?

Wherever possible, you should continue to engage with your research degree remotely and should discuss and agree a plan for this with your supervisor. It is recognised that this may require a change of approach or undertaking parts of your research and/or professional development plan in a different order to that originally envisaged.

If you have 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. Additional caring responsibilities as a result of Covid-19 is also one of the criteria accepted by UKRI and the University of Sheffield as acceptable grounds for requesting a funded extension.  If your funder allows these flexibilities, the University will work with you to help you to balance your home and study commitments.

If you are ill (with physical or mental health problems) you should apply for a leave of absence in the usual way. This can be on a pro-rata basis.

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.

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.

Can I use my 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.

My research programme has had to be adjusted because of disruption caused by the pandemic. Will this affect my oral examination?

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.

What support is available to 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.

Exams and assessments

What is the University’s safety net policy for exams and assessments?

Given the exceptional circumstances in which exams and assessments are taking place, we have taken the decision to implement a Safety Net Policy, which will recognise the value of marks you have already achieved up to March 2020 for completed modules.

This means that no student who passes the year will receive an average mark or overall degree class lower than their current overall mark or degree class. Summative assessments must be completed for the remainder of this academic year in order for you to finish your degree and can only have a positive impact on your overall mark or degree class.

In June or July, departments hold an Examination Board to look at all student marks and make decisions around progression and the award of final degrees. They also look at things like extenuating circumstances and make decisions about students who fall at the borderline of two degree classifications.

In the first instance the Examination Board will look at whether a student has done enough to progress to the next year of their course or to be awarded a degree, based on actual marks and using General Regulations and Programme Regulations.

The Safety Net Policy may inform a student's progress and/or final award and this is why it is considered at the relevant exam board. If a student has performed better than the criteria to apply the Safety Net Policy, it doesn't change your degree classification/award and won't apply. The Safety Net Policy raises a year average, or moves a student into a higher degree classification, as long as that student has met all the requirements outlined in the regulations for their programme.

To find out more about what this means for you, please check our Safety Net Policy guidance. 

Safety Net Policy guide

What's an Examination Board and what power does it have?

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

Do I have to take my final exams/assessments to complete my degree?

Yes, you must complete all summative assessments for the remainder of this academic year in order to finish your degree.

How will I sit my exams?

All formal invigilated exams will be replaced by online forms of assessment and you will not be required to be on campus.

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 can I speak to about my exams and assessments?

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

Extenuating circumstances

What if I cannot complete my 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.

What if I have extenuating circumstances which are not Covid-19 related?

For the rest of the 2019-20 academic session, 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.

Accommodation

Further information regarding University accommodation is on the main accommodation website.

Can I collect my belongings from University accommodation?

On 21 May 2020 the government updated the information on collection of student belongings from university accommodation. Student living in England who left their student accommodation and now wish to travel back to recover their belongings, may do so as long as they follow the advice from the following website:

Staying safe outside your home

The University Accommodation team have now been in direct contact with students who have belongings in their rooms with regards to collection of items, access to site and social distancing guidelines.

The government guidance in regards to the collection of belongings applies to England only. For students living within Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, we would ask that you adhere to your local restrictions and that you only travel back to Sheffield once local restrictions allow. We will continue to monitor this as we may need to apply an extension for the collection of belongings.

What happens to my £150 damage deposit?

If you have handed your keys in and been released from contract then your damage deposit will be returned in full. Our aim is to refund your deposit within 28 working days after the end of your contract. To ensure this is possible, and refund is directly into a UK bank account please log onto MUSE and select my services and click on bank details.

Further details with regard to this will be sent directly to your email to confirm that you will be released from contract.

If you have questions regarding refund, deposit or cancelling payments please email the University Income Office. The team is available to support you but due to the high volume of enquiries they are receiving, they may not be able to respond immediately.

I have left my accommodation but I still have my room keys, what do I do?

If you have returned home and still have your room keys/fob, please email the Accommodation Office (if you have not already done so, and advise them that you have now left and will return the keys/fobs as soon as possible to the locations below. You should send these by recorded delivery and in a jiffy envelope to ensure they arrive safely and securely.

  • Keys for Ranmoor/Endcliffe/Broad Lane Court/ Mappin Court/St George’s/Studio 300 should be sent to: The Edge (Endcliffe), 34 Endcliffe Crescent, Sheffield, S10 3ED, UK
  • Keys for Allen Court should be sent to: The Management Team, Allen Court, 10 St Georges Cl, Sheffield S3 7HB, UK
  • Keys for St Vincent’s should be sent to: St Vincent's Place, 30 Hollis Croft, Sheffield,S1 4BA, UK
What will happen to my post?

We would advise that you change your address for all your correspondence and this must include delivery and courier companies. We will not be collecting, saving or forwarding letters or parcels for you now that you have left and it is your responsibility to ensure that you arrange for your address to be changed.

I am currently staying in private accommodation, if I have returned home can I cancel my contract?

A number of private student accommodation providers have confirmed they are willing to release students from their accommodation contracts early with no further charges, due to the current situation.

If you have been living in other privately-owned accommodation this year, we advise you to speak to your accommodation provider directly in the first instance. Unfortunately we cannot reimburse any losses for students in contract with a private provider.

Students living in properties registered with Smart Move Sheffield can also contact the Smart Move Sheffield team for support: smartmove@sheffield.ac.uk

The Student Advice Centre can provide support with properties that are not registered with Smart Move Sheffield and general accommodation issues. Further information is on the Student Advice Centre.

If I am unable to go home and my contract expires what will happen?

The University will be able to offer you alternative accommodation and further details will be in this scenario. Please contact the Accommodation Office directly to discuss your individual needs by emailing accommodationoffice@sheffield.ac.uk.

I am still living in University acommodation, what services are available to support me during this time?

Services to students in University accommodation, including daily welfare calls, are continuing. If you would like to use this service please email Residence Life.

I live in accommodation with shared facilities, will cleaning continue to take place?

All cleaning services are now suspended except for communal stairwells and social spaces outside of your flat.

If one of my flatmates is self-isolating, should I do so as well?

Yes. Public Health England, has published detailed advice for people self-isolating and those living with someone who is self-isolating: COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection

If you are in University accommodation, under the current circumstances we cannot provide alternative accommodation when a flatmate is self-isolating due to being symptomatic. However, please contact residentsupport@sheffield.ac.uk to ensure that they are aware you are self-isolating and that everyone involved can be contacted with relevant information and support.

Do I need to evacuate if the fire alarm sounds and I am self-isolating?

Should the fire alarm in your accommodation sound while you are self-isolating, you are required to vacate the property immediately as per the fire evacuation information in your accommodation and assemble at the fire assembly point. When at the fire assembly point, please stand away from the other people that are assembled.

I am returning from a placement or international study and do not have accommodation. What do I do?

For students returning to Sheffield from international study or work placement with nowhere to stay when they return, we are offering 14 days free emergency accommodation in the University accommodation. Contact Accommodation and Commercial Services (ACS) as availability will be limited. For full details and eligibility, please contact ACS on acs-customerservices@sheffield.ac.uk or by phone at +44 (0)114 222 8800 (option 2).

If I want accommodation in the summer what arrangements will there be?

All information for summer accommodation can be found on the Accommodation web pages.

Should I book my university accommodation for 2020/21 and what happens if I can’t move in due to government restrictions?

We will continue to support our current students still looking to secure accommodation and we recommend that you book your accommodation as normal online via your MUSE account.

We will also be offering a release from contract if you have applied and accepted a residence contract and then do not come to Sheffield due to travel restrictions, visa issues, you are taking a leave of absence or are deferring for a year.

If there is a need for you to arrive early or later than the start of your University Accommodation Contract, accommodation will be available and payment plans can be arranged to assist with managing your finances and flexible start dates as needed.

Residences Life are currently working hard on a full programme of events and activities both online and in person to ensure you meet new friends and live as a community where you are guaranteed to be with other University of Sheffield students.

For more details contact accommodationoffice@sheffield.ac.uk

International travel

Advice on international travel for students

The University has taken the decision to postpone or cancel all University-related international travel with immediate effect from the 12 March 2020.

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.

I'm planning to do a year in industry or year abroad in 2020/21. What will happen with my Student Finance if I have to change this at the last minute and study in Sheffield?

You should apply for your Student Finance loans as early as possible to ensure that it is in place for the start of the term, even if you think you might have to change what you are doing.

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.

I am currently on a work placement or studying abroad. What actions do I need to take?

Our travel insurance policy follows the guidance of the Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO). The FCO updated their advice to British travellers on 17 March. They now advise against all but essential travel worldwide.

We therefore strongly advise all students who are overseas to leave as soon as possible and return to the UK.  There will be no detriment to your studies or tuition fees by returning.

Please contact your home department at Sheffield to let them know of your plans, as well as your host university or placement provider and Global Opportunities at globalopps@sheffield.ac.uk.

Please follow the advice of local authorities and also contact the airline or travel company as soon as possible and keep up to date with the latest developments. If local regulations or transport prohibitions mean you are unable to leave, travel insurance will remain in place.

If there is transport available for you to leave and you choose not to do so, against the advice of the FCO, travel insurance will be invalidated.

As this is in line with FCO advice, you should be able to claim the reasonable costs (i.e. standard class fares) of returning against your travel insurance policy. If you have taken out University of Sheffield insurance, our insurers have advised that all claims will be dealt with on their own merit depending on the circumstances. However they have advised the following:

  • If you do leave early and incur additional costs associated with this e.g changing a pre-booked return flight, or booking a new flight if your existing booking cannot be changed, this will be considered by the insurance company. They will not cover the costs of booking a flight home if you do not already have an existing booking. You must keep evidence that you could not change or get a refund on your existing flight.
  • Cost of unused accommodation may be considered if you have evidence that you could not get a refund under the terms of your contract. This will be looked at on a case-by-case basis.

If you have questions about insurance cover for your particular circumstances you can email insurance@sheffield.ac.uk or call +44 114 222 1510. There is also regularly updated advice on the University's insurance pages.

If you have taken out private insurance, you should check your coverage with your provider.

If you incur additional reasonable costs that the travel insurance does not cover, the University will consider claims for financial support. Please contact financialhelp@sheffield.ac.uk or see the financial information pages.

You can also apply for a Student Loans Company (SLC) travel grant to cover the costs of the fare home. If you have received an overpayment of your maintenance loan, this will be recovered from future payments. If you find yourself in hardship because of this you can apply to SLC to defer repayments. More details are on the financial support pages.

We realise there will be other circumstances for students to consider and non-UK students who may not be able to travel to their home country (non-UK nationals must check the advice from their own government). Our general advice for all students is as above but if you want advice on other individual circumstances please contact your local host University, your academic department or, if you are abroad under the Erasmus+ scheme or the Study Abroad Programme, the Global Opportunities team in Sheffield.

We have had confirmation from the Erasmus National Agency that students will not lose funding due to temporary closures of universities/organisations, and that these days will still be included when your grant entitlement is calculated.

If you choose to formally end your placement early due to coronavirus, you may be eligible to retain funding for the original duration of your placement, but this will be decided by the National Agency on a case-by-case basis. We will keep you updated with any further advice on this as we receive it.

Information for PGR students

PGR students have been sent separate guidance as there, in some cases, may be different arrangements put in place if certain students need to remain on their international placement. If you have the support of your host organisation or institute to do this, please contact your supervisor to discuss working arrangements as a matter of urgency.

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 to a personal email address.

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

Other University communications 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.

My host university has suspended teaching or my work placement has asked me to work from home, what do I do?

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. Please also refer to advice on extenuating circumstances information above in 'I'm worried about self-isolating and the consequences on my learning. What should I do?'.

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, what do I do?

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 as you may be advised to take, or extend a leave of absence.

If you have concerns about how this affects your Tuition Fees, contact the Student Fees team.

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?

Any student due to study abroad in the 2020/21 academic year will still have a host university allocated as planned, however we advise you not to make any travel arrangements or bookings at this stage. Global Opportunities will be in touch with more information as the situation develops.

For affected students, who had planned to return to affected areas for year abroad placements, the University will be providing support with academic matters and with some financial assistance, if additional costs are incurred. For any student with concerns about these issues, please contact your academic department

We are currently not actively progressing summer mobility schemes. If you were planning to undertake a self-organised visit that was part-funded by the University, we are unable to support this at present. Global Opportunities will be in touch with you with more information as the situation develops.

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, we would need to maintain the requirements set by the UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) and continue to monitor your engagement with your studies.

If you have already returned home and are able to engage with online study, submit your assignments, and you plan to return to the UK 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. The University will have to follow the guidance of the UK Government on the continued sponsorship of Tier 4 visa students who have left the UK.

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.

If you have any concerns about your visa please contact the University’s International Student Support Team.

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 before 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.

Otherwise, anyone whose leave expired after the 24 January 2020 and who cannot leave the country because of travel restrictions or self-isolation will have their visas extended to 31 May 2020. Individuals must email the Coronavirus Immigration Team to advise of their situation.

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.

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 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.