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UK study: frequently asked questions

Last updated: 3 March 2021

We are here to help you stay on track and progress to your university degree as soon as possible, which is why we’ve answered some frequently asked questions for you.

On this page you can find:

Important updates

  • NEW: UK national lockdown

    From 4 January 2021, the UK has entered a period of national lockdown. This means that everyone must stay at home, and only travel if it is essential (for example, to buy food or medicine). See the lockdown rules for England on the gov.uk website, and for Scotland on the gov.scot website.

    On 22 February, the UK government announced its roadmap out of lockdown, which includes the re-opening of schools, colleges and universities from 8 March. Most students at our UK colleges will continue to study remotely online — from their accommodation or home country — for the time being, with the exception of those studying practical subjects, such as Art and Design. Thanks to our digital learning offering — which has been used with great success throughout 2020 — students can continue their studies with confidence during this period, and prepare for their future university studies.

    From 8 March, more in-person student support services will be available at our UK colleges, alongside the online support currently on offer. A range of support services and activities will be held online, including for Welcome week. As ever, the safety and wellbeing of our students is our top priority.

  • NEW: Our future intakes (Autumn 2021 and beyond)

    From the Autumn 2021 intake onwards, we plan to be offering in-person teaching at our UK colleges, with flexible blended learning and all necessary safety precautions in place if required.

    We’re confident that you’ll be joining a rich and rewarding learning environment, with innovative, and now well-established, teaching methods in place to help you on your path to educational success.

    We will of course be continuing to follow all UK government guidance as it progresses throughout the year. And, because we understand individuals still may face uncertainty in their own circumstances, we will continue to offer digital learning for students who can’t join us in the UK.*

    With flexible study options and robust learning and wellbeing solutions in place, Kaplan really does allow you to apply with confidence.

    *Please note: this policy will be in place as long as it is permissible by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI).

  • Our Spring and Summer 2021 intakes

    For our Spring and Summer intakes, we’ll continue to offer as much flexibility in our study options as possible. If you travel to the UK to study, you’ll receive all the support you need to live and study with confidence. During the national lockdown, your studies will take place online.

    From 8 March, our UK colleges will begin re-opening to offer more in-person support services and blended learning for students studying practical subjects such as Art and Design and Pharmacy.

    We’ll be following all appropriate guidance from the UK government, and working closely with our partner universities. By putting your wellbeing first, we’ll make sure you enjoy a rich and rewarding study experience in the UK.

    There are a significant number of courses available starting in March and April. You can see all March and April courses on our dedicated flyer.

    If travel restrictions arising from the ongoing pandemic make it difficult for you to study with us in person in Spring or Summer, you’ll still be able to join us remotely from your home country. This ensures that nobody needs to miss out on a great education.

  • Travelling to the UK

    If you are due to come to the UK to start your course during the national lockdown, you can still do so if you wish. We are organising socially distanced airport transfers to help you get directly to your UK accommodation safely and securely. Study will take place online for the duration of the lockdown, and will transition to blended learning once restrictions are lifted.

    From 18 January 2021, you will need to present a negative coronavirus test result to enter the UK from abroad. The test must be taken no more than 72 hours before departure. You will also need to self-isolate for 10 days upon arrival.

    From 15 February 2021, you will also need to take 2 coronavirus tests during your 10-day period of self-isolation.

    If you are arriving in Scotland from this date, your self-isolation period will need to be spent in a hotel booked by the Scottish government, and you will need to cover the cost of your stay.

    You can see the most up-to-date travel advice on the gov.uk website.

    Alternatively, you can choose to start your course remotely from your home country with digital learning. Throughout 2020, digital learning was used with great success at all of our UK colleges, and our extensive experience delivering courses digitally means that you can study with confidence.

    If you are due to travel to the UK to study later this year, you will be able to do so and join your studies with blended learning once lockdown restrictions have been lifted.

General FAQs

  • Can I still apply?

    Yes – you can still apply now and join us for a digital learning experience either in the UK or from your home country.

    Currently, blended learning is not available if you are starting your studies during the UK’s national lockdown (with the exception of subjects such as Art and Design and Pharmacy from 8 March). As soon as restrictions are fully lifted, blended learning will be available again for more subjects.

    You can start your course online and either transfer to face-to-face teaching in the UK when possible, or complete your course online if necessary.

    Apply in the usual way using the online application form, and our expert staff, combined with our flexible admissions process, will help you on your path to university.

  • What do the plans to re-open UK colleges mean for me?

    If you are already studying your pathway course, in most cases you should continue to study remotely online — from your accommodation or home country. However, if you are in the UK and studying a practical subject, such as Art and Design or Pharmacy, then you will be able to begin some face-to-face classes from mid-March, in accordance with the UK government’s guidelines.

    Or, if your individual circumstances require you to come to the UK to study (travel restrictions permitting), our friendly advisers can support you.

    Our academic and support services staff will continue to be available online, and from 8 March you will also be able to go into your College to access additional in-person support services if you are in the UK. We will continue to open up more face-to-face services and courses as the government’s plan progresses and in accordance with the guidance. See more about the plan to open up the UK at gov.uk

  • Can I study in person in the UK in the Spring?

    At the moment, our colleges are delivering teaching online (except for practical subjects such as Art and Design and Pharmacy, which will offer face-to-face classes from 8 March). However, we will reinstate blended learning for more subjects once restrictions are fully lifted. You may therefore need to start your course online and transfer to in-person teaching at a later date.

    You can check the latest travel guidance on the gov.uk website. If you can’t make it to the UK at this time, you can start your course online.

  • Can I still access support services at my college?

    You will continue to have all the support you need from the academic and student services staff at your college. A range of support services and activities will be held online, including for Welcome Week. During the national lockdown, students can contact staff at any time and they will make sure everyone is getting the support they need. More in-person support services will be available for students in the UK from 8 March.

  • What is the difference between blended and digital learning?

    Digital learning is a method of course delivery that takes place entirely online. It allows you to study your pathway course remotely from wherever you are in the world, using digital tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Find out more about digital learning.

    Blended learning is a teaching method that incorporates elements of digital learning, such as remote, online studying, but also includes face-to-face classes that are delivered in person at our colleges in the UK. This mix, or blend, of digital and in-person learning allows you to experience studying abroad in the UK in as safe a way as possible, while improving your digital skills. Find out more about blended learning.

    Please note: all teaching at our UK colleges is currently being delivered online due to UK national lockdown restrictions, except for practical subjects such as Art and Design or Pharmacy, which will offer face-to-face teaching from 8 March.

  • Have academic entry requirements changed?

    If your education institution is closed, the good news is we can consider historical academic transcripts and other indicative documents from your school / university if you don’t have your latest full transcript for the current year. This does not currently apply to applicants to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate at the University of Nottingham.

    Just contact us if you have any questions, and we can advise you on what to send.

  • Can I use an alternative to UKVI IELTS as proof of English language?

    We recognise that it might not be possible to book a UKVI IELTS exam. We can therefore accept the following English language test scores for your UK pathway course:

     

    Starting in the UK through blended learning Starting in your home country through digital learning
    IELTS for UKVI Duolingo
    LanguageCert International ESOL SELT High school English certificate for selected countries*
    PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic UKVI IELTS General or Academic (UKVI or non-UKVI)
    IELTS Indicator
    KITE**
    LanguageCert International ESOL SELT or non-SELT
    PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic (UKVI or non-UKVI)
    TOEFL iBT

    *Excludes the International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol and all programmes at the University of York International Pathway College. If you’re applying to one of these programmes, you’ll need to use another test from this column.
    **Excludes the International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol. If you’re applying to this programme, you’ll need to use another test from this column.

     

    If you transfer from digital to blended learning during your course, you’ll need to take an English test in the left-hand column for your visa to enrol in the UK.

    Students applying to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate at the University of Nottingham will also need to take an English test in the left-hand column, regardless of whether they are starting their course in the UK or remotely.

    If you’re applying to an International Year One course and have an English language level equivalent to IELTS 5.5 or higher, you may be able to submit an English test score from the right-hand column, even if you’re starting your course in the UK via blended learning. See here for more details.

    Accepted English language tests may differ for some Pre-Sessional English courses. Please check the university websites for Pre-Sessional courses for the University of Essex and the University of York.

    Contact our helpful advisers for more information, and we can guide you on your application.

  • Can I come to the UK but still take my course fully online?

    We’re confident that blended learning will enable you to study in person safely and effectively. By coming to the UK, you can take advantage of interactive study in a carefully controlled environment, with the opportunity to meet teachers and other students in person. Though blended learning will involve remote study from your residence, face-to-face teaching will still be required for a certain number of hours to maximise the opportunities being in the UK provides.

    Please note: these face-to-face contact hours will be offered in digital format for the time being in keeping with current government guidelines regarding the UK national lockdown. Students studying in the UK during the lockdown period will do so via digital learning, from their accommodation, unless they are studying a practical subject such as Art and Design and Pharmacy (these subjects will be offered face-to-face from 8 March).

  • What is the enrolment period for the Spring 2021 intake?

    New students starting a pathway course in Spring 2021 can find relevant enrolment periods outlined in the table below.

     

    College / course Enrolment period for Spring 2021
    2.5 and 3.5-term courses with extra Enhancement preparation starting January 2021 11 January to 26 March
    2-term courses starting March 2021 1 March to 26 March
    2.5-term courses starting March 2021 1 March to 15 March
    Other Kaplan-taught courses starting March 2021 1 March to 29 March*
    2- term courses starting April 2021 19 April to 3 May
    Other courses starting April 2021 19 April to 17 May

    *1 March to 22 March for 3-term Pre-Master’s at Nottingham Trent International College

     

    Across many of our study centres, there are a number of undergraduate and postgraduate pathway courses available starting on 19 April, with enrolment open until early or mid-May. This means you have a wide range of study options available to you throughout the start of next year, so you can find a study plan that’s convenient.

    Speak to an adviser for guidance on what you can study and when, to get the perfect study plan for you.

  • Will I be able to catch up if I join my course later than the course start date?

    In many cases, thanks to flexible enrolment, it is possible to join a course later than its actual start date. If you do start your course later, the teaching and support staff at the college will help make sure you catch up, and don’t miss out on important lessons and course content.

    For example, live classes are often recorded for you to access and review when it is convenient to do so. You’ll also have access to small group or individual catch ups with module tutors for your first few weeks as needed. Other measures may include making use of an Applied Learning Week, mock interview preparation and personalised time management sessions. This extra academic support will help you get up to speed.

    Support for late-starting students is highly tailored to individual needs. If it is clear that you might need additional support in certain areas, for a longer period, or leading up to a particular exam or test, your tutors can arrange further sessions and other measures to help your academic development. Whenever you start your course, you can be confident that you’ll get the support you need.

  • What restrictions are currently in place in the UK?

    The UK government has implemented a national lockdown, which means that you must stay at home except to buy food and medicine, and you must stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household or bubble. You can see full details about the lockdown rules on the gov.uk website.

  • Will I be eligible to receive a vaccine in the UK?

    It has been confirmed that international students in the UK will be included in the national vaccination programme. The vaccines are being delivered in a priority system, with the elderly and vulnerable being vaccinated first, and younger people and the least vulnerable last. The lower priority groups, which include most university students, will be able to receive a vaccine once the high priority groups have been vaccinated, and enough vaccines are available. You can find out more about the vaccine programme priority groups on the gov.uk website.

Choose your path to university

There are a number of study options available for you with our UK courses. The option that’s right for you will depend on your personal circumstances, and when you want to start your studies.

While a national lockdown is in place in the UK, you can start your course online with digital learning. Once restrictions are eased, you’ll be able to come to the UK to start or continue your course in person with blended learning.

Our flexible study options mean that you can study the way you want. There’s no reason to put your dreams on hold!

Study options timeline

Please note: completing your course remotely is subject to continued approval by UKVI. 

Start in the UK

You can start your programme in the UK, however, due to the current national lockdown, you may need to begin your studies online. Once restrictions are lifted, blended learning, (a mixture of online and face-to-face learning) will resume.

  • What is blended learning? And what does it mean in practice?

    Please note: our UK colleges are currently delivering all teaching online due to the UK national lockdown, but blended learning will resume after restrictions are lifted. 

    Blended learning is a mix of face-to-face teaching and online classes. It means that you’ll spend some time at the College for in-person lessons, and the rest of your learning will take place remotely using our digital learning solutions. Find out more about blended learning.

    At our UK colleges, we’ll be implementing social distancing measures to ensure your safety. For example, we’ll reduce class sizes so that there are fewer students studying in person at a given time. We will also organise the timetable so that you are able to learn new concepts via engaging digital materials during your private study time, and then consolidate what you’ve learnt through valuable face-to-face support from tutors and classmates.

  • When can I get my CAS?

    In order to enrol at your chosen College in person, you’ll need to obtain a CAS. You will need all the usual required documentation. We will only issue you with a CAS if we are certain that the UK Visa Application Centres are open in your country, or will be within 2 weeks of you receiving your CAS. Once you have it, you can apply for your student visa.

  • When should I apply for my UKVI Student visa?

    You should apply for your Student visa as soon as you receive your CAS and it’s possible to do so in your country. You will not be penalised if you are delayed in travelling to the UK due to visa processing times.

    If you have any general questions about the Student visa application process, please check our helpful visa advice page. You can also contact us and speak to one of our friendly, expert team members, or simply speak to your Kaplan representative. They’ll be happy to advise you and give you all the information you need.

  • Can I get accommodation in the UK?

    If you’re due to start a course, you can book your accommodation now if you’re ready to. Alternatively, you can book later if that’s right for you; you don’t need to book accommodation until you’re sure you can join us in the UK.

    We can advise you on your best course of action, and we will support you in finding suitable accommodation that’s safe and secure, wherever you’re studying. We’ll either walk you through our own accommodation options or, if this isn’t possible, we’ll refer you to trusted third party accommodation providers that we have worked with for many years.

    Find out more about booking accommodation on our dedicated FAQs page.

  • If I plan to study in the UK but my circumstances change, can I start my course online instead?

    We understand that circumstances may change depending on the situation in your home country. If you experience any difficulties obtaining your visa or travelling to the UK, please contact your Kaplan representative and we will advise on the best way for you to begin your course on time.

  • When I arrive in the UK, will quarantine measures be in place?

    We will follow the government guidelines at all times regarding quarantine after international travel. Check up-to-date information about quarantine measures in England and Scotland.

  • If quarantine rules are in effect when I travel to the UK, can I arrive on my scheduled enrolment date or will I need to arrive 14 days earlier?

    For courses taught by Kaplan, you can arrive up to 14 days before the start of your programme if you wish; however this is not compulsory. If you do need to self-isolate then you will be supported throughout this period. Please note that if you arrive in the UK during the national lockdown then you will need to study online until restrictions are lifted and colleges offer blended learning again.

    If you’re studying a non-Kaplan taught course, you can navigate to relevant partner websites for more information here.

Start your pathway course online

You can start your course digitally from your home country, and join us in-person as soon as our colleges are offering blended learning again – we’ll be ready to welcome you.

  • Will I need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) to start online?

    You won’t require a CAS in order to start your course online. Before you transfer from digital to blended learning during your pathway course, we’ll be in touch with you to help you prepare the documents you’ll need to get your CAS from us. This is a vital part of your UKVI Student visa application for coming to the UK to study in person.

  • When should I apply for my UKVI Student visa?

    You should apply for your Student visa as soon as you receive your CAS and it’s possible to do so in your country. You will not be penalised if you are delayed in travelling to the UK due to visa processing times.

    If you have any general questions about the Student visa application process, please check our helpful visa advice page. You can also contact us and speak to one of our friendly, expert team members, or simply speak to your Kaplan representative. They’ll be happy to advise you and give you all the information you need.

  • If I plan to start online but my circumstances change, can I begin my course in the UK instead?

    Absolutely. If your circumstances allow, we would be delighted to welcome you to begin your course in the UK. Simply speak to your Kaplan representative and we give you all the information and guidance you need to prepare for your studies in the UK.

    Please note that if you arrive in the UK during the national lockdown then you will need to study online until restrictions are lifted and colleges re-open.

  • When can I move from digital to face-to-face teaching?

    You can transition to face-to-face teaching as soon as it is possible to apply for a visa in your country and travel to the UK. Contact your Kaplan representative and we will give you all the information and help you need to continue your studies in the UK.

    Please note that if you arrive in the UK during the national lockdown then you will need to continue your studies online from your accommodation until restrictions are lifted and colleges re-open.

  • Can I get accommodation in the UK?

    If you’re due to start a course online, you don’t need to book accommodation until you’re certain about when you can join us in the UK.

    We can advise you on your best course of action, and we will support you in finding suitable accommodation that’s safe and secure, wherever you’re studying. We’ll either walk you through our own accommodation options or, if this isn’t possible, we’ll refer you to trusted third party accommodation providers that we have worked with for many years.

    Find out more about booking accommodation on our dedicated FAQs page.

  • If I start remotely but want to transfer to the UK at a later date, when can I do so?

    If you’re on a course taught by Kaplan, you can transfer from remote learning to blended learning in the UK at any time throughout your programme. We’ll help you make the transition, so that it’s easy and your studies aren’t affected.

    Please note that if you arrive in the UK during the national lockdown then you will need to continue studying online from your accommodation until restrictions are lifted and colleges re-open.

    If you’re studying a non-Kaplan taught course, you can navigate to relevant partner websites for more information here.

  • If I start my course digitally then transfer to face-to-face teaching, will I be given time off from my studies to arrange my visa and travel to the UK?

    Yes, you’ll be given a reasonable amount of time off while you make arrangements. You can take part in asynchronous learning activities if your visa application and travel means missing classes. Remember to stay in touch with your college, especially if you’re going to be absent from classes.

    If you’re studying a non-Kaplan taught course, you can navigate to relevant partner websites for more information here.

Start and complete your pathway course online

You can complete your entire pathway course online if that better suits your situation (subject to continued approval by UK Visas and Immigration).

  • What is digital learning?

    Digital learning is method of course delivery that takes place entirely online. It allows you to study your pathway course remotely from wherever you are in the world, using digital tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Teams. Currently, digital learning is being used around the world so that students can continue with their education without having to travel. Find out more about digital learning.

  • Will I need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) to start online?

    You won’t require a CAS in order to start your course online; you’ll only need one if you decide to start online and transfer to face-to-face learning.

  • Will digital learning students have access to College Services?

    Whether you’re studying from your home country or from your room in the UK, you’ll have access to excellent support from your College Services team whenever you need it. You can contact them online and they’ll be happy to help you.


Information about courses not delivered by Kaplan

  • What will learning be like for the International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol?

    The next available intake for the University of Bristol will be in Autumn 2021.

    Lessons for continuing students restarted on 11 January 2021, to complete the 1st term. Learning is currently taking place online, in keeping with the UK’s national lockdown restrictions. Once lockdown restrictions are eased, the University will evaluate when face-to-face learning can be reintroduced.

    Find the latest information on the University’s own website. If you’re a student planning on applying for Autumn 2021, please note that this information is highly likely to change for that academic year given the ever-changing coronavirus situation.

  • What will learning be like for Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate at the University of Nottingham?

    The University of Nottingham has now finished enrolment for its Autumn 2020 intake.

    For students who started a course in September 2020, studies are now taking place online in keeping with the UK’s national lockdown restrictions.

    For students who started their course in January 2021, studies are taking place online too. Once national lockdown restrictions are eased, the University will evaluate when face-to-face teaching can resume. See more information about the Spring intake here.

    Students’ engagement will be continuously monitored by their tutors. The University is confident that its considerable experience delivering digital learning will help ensure students continue to have a rich and rewarding experience.

    Find out more on the University’s website.

  • What will learning be like at the University of York International Pathway College?

    The University of York has now finished enrolment for its Autumn 2020 intake.

    Students who started a course in January 2021 began their studies online due to the UK’s national lockdown. Online learning will likely be in place at the University of York until the end of March. If restrictions are eased by then, blended learning may be reintroduced. See more information about the Spring intake here.

    The University of York International Pathway College has extensive experience providing students with an enriching and engaging digital learning experience, so you can be confident that you can succeed while studying online.

    Innovative ways for students to engage with one another, with their teachers and with recreational and extra-curricular activities are all in place, ensuring everyone can benefit from an enriching overall student experience.

    Find out more on the University’s website.

  • What will learning be like for foundation pathways at the University of Birmingham?

    For students who apply through Kaplan, the first intake for the University of Birmingham foundation pathways will be in September 2021. Due to the fast-changing events surrounding COVID-19 and international travel, it is not entirely clear what the global situation, or that of the UK, will be like this far into the future. Because of this, the University of Birmingham is preparing for different scenarios. Safety of students and staff will be the University’s top priority.

    The University is making every effort to provide a full, enriching and exciting student experience on campus in September 2021. It is likely that your studies will involve a mixture of face-to-face learning, with some remote, online study.

    You can monitor the latest advice on what learning will be like on the University of Birmingham’s website. It is important to check closer to the time of your arrival in Birmingham for the most up-to-date information, as information currently published may change for the 2021-22 academic year.


Still have questions? Get in touch

We hope you’ve found this information useful. If you are unsure of anything relating to your studies or your future plans with Kaplan Pathways, don’t hesitate to contact us or speak to your Kaplan representative. They’ll be happy to advise you and give you all the information you need.