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UK study: frequently asked questions

Last updated: 15 June 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 information about Kaplan’s courses, as well as those delivered by university partners, such as the University of Birmingham, University of Bristol, University of Nottingham and University of York.

Important updates

  • Returning to the classroom

    Since 17 May, our UK colleges have been able to welcome all students currently in the UK back to the classroom for in-person teaching. We’re so excited to be teaching face-to-face once more, and giving all of our students the opportunity to learn with their peers in their respective colleges!

    Teaching is taking place with blended learning, using a mix of in-person and digital teaching solutions. Students have at least 8 hours a week of time in classroom, but it’s very likely that they will have considerably more. Social distancing and mask-wearing is still required to help ensure the health and safety of students and staff. For those students not in the UK, digital learning is continuing, so they’re still able to study alongside their blended learning classmates.

    As per the government’s roadmap out of lockdown, students currently in the UK can enjoy the benefits of wider society opening back up too. Shops, restaurants, salons and indoor venues such as theatres are now all allowed to welcome the public inside. Groups of up to 6 may meet indoors, and groups of up to 30 may gather outdoors. We’re thrilled that our students can now make more full use of all the fantastic things to do and places to visit in the UK.

    See the latest rules for England on the gov.uk website, and for Scotland on the gov.scot website.

  • Our Summer 2021 intakes

    For our 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.

    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.

    For courses starting in June and July, we will be offering a face-to-face study option with blended learning at our colleges in England, with classroom learning available for all students again since 17 May.

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

  • 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 part or all of your course, as needed.*

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

    *Please note: students should request their CAS only when they are ready to travel and know their travel dates, to ensure they are in good standing with the terms of their visa. Continuing to complete a course online for CAS-issued students is subject to UKVI approval.

  • Travelling to the UK

    If you are due to come to the UK to start your course, you can still do so if you wish and if your circumstances allow. We are organising socially distanced airport transfers to help you get directly to your UK accommodation safely and securely. Study is currently taking place via blended learning, a mixture of face-to-face teaching and online study.

    Since 18 January 2021, you 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 unless you are arriving from a green-list country.

    You also need to take 2 coronavirus tests during your 10-day period of self-isolation.

    If you are arriving in Scotland, 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.

    Please note that some countries are on the UK government’s travel ban red list. If you have been in or through any of these countries in the previous 10 days before travelling, you will be refused entry to the UK. You can see the red list travel ban countries on the gov.uk website.

    You can see the most up-to-date travel advice on the gov.uk website. If you’re travelling to Scotland, you should check the gov.scot 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.

Apply to the UK with confidence

For our upcoming intakes, you can choose to start your course in person with blended learning, start remotely with digital learning, or even complete your course entirely online (subject to continued UKVI approval for CAS-issued students). Whichever option you choose, you’ll be able to keep your studies on track and feel fully ready to start your university degree.

These options will all continue to apply for the Autumn 2021 intake, and beyond.

Don’t put your dreams on hold. Apply to the UK with confidence, and we’ll help you shape your future.

Study options timeline

Please note: continuing to complete a course online for CAS-issued students is subject to UKVI approval.

General FAQs

  • Can I still apply?

    Yes — you can still apply now and join us for a blended learning experience in the UK, or online from your home country through digital learning.

    You can start your course online and either transfer to face-to-face teaching in the UK when you are able to, 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 open UK colleges to more students mean for me?

    If you are already studying your pathway course, you will now be able to join us in the UK for face-to-face learning. This will continue to be via blended learning, to enable colleges to follow social distancing and health and safety best practice.

    If you are in the UK you will be able to go into your College to access additional in-person support services, while our academic and support services staff will continue to be available online for those who need them.

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

    Yes — we have now reinstated in-person learning for more students at our all of our UK colleges, with blended learning and all suitable health and safety precautions in place. You can check the latest travel guidance on the gov.uk website.

    If you need to, you can still study your course remotely with digital learning, and come to the UK at a later time.

  • Can I access support services at my college?

    You will have all the support you need from the academic and student services staff at your college, and a range of support services and activities will be held online for those who need them, including for Welcome Week.

  • What is the difference between blended and 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.

    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.

    Teaching at our UK colleges is currently being delivered face to face via blended learning, but fully digital options are still available for those who need them.

  • Have academic entry requirements changed?

    We understand you may have been affected by school or test centre closures in your country. That’s why we’ve introduced flexible enrolment policies to keep you on track. Just contact us and we can advise you on what documents you need to provide.

    This does not currently apply to applicants to the Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate at the University of Nottingham.

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

    In some cases we may be able to accept alternative English language tests, so you can still start your studies if you can’t get to a secure test centre.

    You can take a look out our Accepted English Tests guide for further details of which English language tests are accepted for which courses.

    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.

  • 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?

    Earlier in the year, the government announced its roadmap out of lockdown, and is currently in the process of gradually easing lockdown restrictions. It is now possible to go to shops, eat and drink at outdoor and indoor venues, visit hairdressers and beauty salons and other establishments. Further restrictions will be lifted throughout the year, in line with the prevalence of the coronavirus in the UK.

    You can see full details about the lockdown rules on the gov.uk website.

  • How is the UK coronavirus vaccine programme progressing?

    The UK has so far had one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the world. As of 1 June 2021, almost 4o million people in the country have received at least one vaccine dose. That’s more than half of the total UK population!

    The UK government has a few different effective vaccines in supply, with the most common being the Pfizer, Moderna or AstraZeneca vaccines. Social groups who are older or have a greater risk from the virus are being prioritised.

    The strength of the vaccine rollout has already had a significant impact in the UK, with coronavirus cases and hospital admissions decreasing enormously since the start of 2021. This means that the government is currently on track to continue its roadmap out of lockdown, allowing the economy and society to fully open back up.

  • 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.

Start in the UK

You can now start your programme in the UK through blended learning, (a mixture of online and face-to-face learning).

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

    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’ve implemented social distancing measures to ensure your safety. For example, we’ve reduced class sizes so that there are fewer students studying in person at a given time. We have also organised 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.

  • CAS issuing for Autumn 2021 intake

    All of our UK study centres started issuing CAS for the Autumn 2021 intake on 4 May 2021.

    The one exception is the University of Bristol International Foundation Programme, for which CAS for Autumn 2021 are being issued from 7 June 2021.

    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.

    You should request your CAS only when you are ready to travel and know your travel dates, to ensure you are in good standing with the terms of your 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.

    We’ve introduced new flexible short-term accommodation contracts so you can decide when you want to arrive and how long you want to stay for (from a minimum of 6 full weeks), from May until the end of August 2021. Therefore, if you need to self-isolate you can build this into your stay.

    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 when you’re ready – we’ll be waiting 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.

    You should request your CAS only when you are ready to travel and know your travel dates, to ensure you are in good standing with the terms of your 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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.

    If you do decide to transfer to face-to-face learning, you should request your CAS only when you are ready to travel and know your travel dates, to ensure you are in good standing with the terms of your visa.

  • Will digital learning students have access to College Services?

    Yes, wherever you’re joining us from 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. For this intake, the University is planning to offer face-to-face teaching with blended learning, with all required health and safety precautions in place to ensure you can study in person with confidence.

    The University is issuing CAS for the International Foundation Programme from 7 June for this intake. If you need to travel to the UK from a country on the government’s ‘red list’, you will need to isolate in a quarantine hotel for 10 days, and will be reimbursed the £1,750 cost of the stay.

    If, however, you are unable to travel to the UK at that time, online study options means that you can study your course remotely until you are able to travel.

    Find the latest information on the University’s own website.

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

    For the September 2021 intake, the University is carefully monitoring the coronavirus situation, and will be following government guidance. It currently expects that teaching in September will be classroom based again, thanks to the strong progress the UK has made through social restrictions and the vaccination programme. Digital technologies will also be utilised to ensure a well-rounded, practical and flexible delivery of teaching for students. Find out more about teaching in semester one.

    As some uncertainty continues, the University will make sure that students whose situation makes it difficult to travel can also join their course, with remote study options available with digital learning.

    Find out more about the University of Nottingham’s return to classroom teaching on the University’s website.

    For students who started a course in September 2020, or January 2021, studies are now able to take place on campus once again with blended learning. Lectures will continue to be delivered online, but face-to-face support and learning is also available. Students can still complete their course online if needed.

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

    For the September 2021 intake, the University of York International Pathway College is expecting to be delivering in-person teaching on campus with blended learning, adhering to all health and safety restrictions. Due to some continuing uncertainty, the University is preparing for two in-person teaching scenarios: one with no social distancing, and one with 1m social distancing in place.

    If you are travelling to the University of York International Pathways College from a country on the UK’s ‘red list’, you will be eligible for the cost of your quarantine hotel to be reimbursed to you by the University. This is worth £1,750 for the mandatory 2 weeks, plus any additional costs for extra days in isolation if you test positive. Read more about arriving at York.

    Students already enrolled are continuing to study online for this academic year; however, some bespoke on-campus activities will be available for students in the UK to augment their online studies with some in-person experience.

    If travel restrictions are still in place, or you are unable to join your course in person, digital learning options and study flexibility will be in place to ensure nobody misses out on their education.

    You can read 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. For the September intake, the University of Birmingham is planning to welcome students for an on-campus study experience. Safety of students and staff will be the University’s top priority.

    While teaching is planned to be on-campus, the University understands that some international students may face difficult circumstances and are unable to travel. If you can’t travel, online learning provision will still be in place to ensure that you can start your studies via digital learning from your home country. This flexibility means that you can apply for a foundation pathways programme with confidence.

    You can read more on the University of Birmingham’s website.

Information for UK University Ready

  • What’s the process for arriving in the UK for my UK University Ready course if I’m travelling from a ‘red list’ country?

    If you would like to take the UK University Ready programme, you should arrive in the UK in advance of the start of the programme to quarantine in a designated “quarantine” hotel, as required by government rules. You can then join the programme at the specified start date.

    In this case, if you have arranged accommodation through Kaplan, the period of the accommodation charge will be reduced by the length of the quarantine duration up to a maximum of 10 days.

    For example, if you wish to take a 6-week programme, and arrive early to complete the 10-day quarantine period in a hotel, you will be charged for 6 weeks of accommodation, minus the 10 days spent in quarantine. The same would apply for the 4-week course and the 2-week course.

    If you have chosen to use a Supplementary Study option allowed once you have your visa approved* to study the 2 week programme in Nottingham or Brighton, you can only arrive in the UK within 4 weeks of the start of your degree programme, so please check to make sure your arrival date, including the time you are on the UK University Ready programme does not exceed this.

    You can see the UK government’s ‘red list’ of countries for international travel on the gov.uk website for the arrivals in England and gov.scot website for the arrivals in Scotland. Please also see guidance to book your quarantine hotel package.

  • What’s the process for arriving in the UK for my UK University Ready course if I’m not travelling from a country on the ‘red list’?

    You can arrive early at your accommodation, up to a maximum of 2 weeks early, so that you can complete the period of self-isolation before the start of their programme, if self-isolation is required from where you have travelled from. You will not be charged for the period of self-isolation in Kaplan Accommodation before the commencement of the UK University Ready programme, but you should book this with Kaplan in advance of arrival.

    If you have chosen to use a Supplementary Study option allowed once you have your visa approved* to study the 2 week programme in Nottingham or Brighton, you can only arrive in the UK within 4 weeks of the start of your degree programme, so please check to make sure your arrival date, including the time you are on the UK University Ready programme does not exceed this.

    You can see the UK government’s guidance on the gov.uk website if you are arriving in England and have not been in a red list country in the last 10 days and on the gov.scot website if you are arriving in Scotland.


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.