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Don't delay your studies: find out how you can apply with confidence this year.

UK study: frequently asked questions

Last updated: 03 August 2020

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

  • Our Autumn 2020 intakes

    For our Autumn intakes, we’ll be restarting face-to-face learning, and we can’t wait to welcome you to study with us in person!

    For these intakes, we’ll be extending the enrolment deadline to November at most colleges, so you’ll have a bit more time to join us. We have intakes this Autumn in September, October and November.

    Over the next few months, we’ll be taking all the steps necessary to ensure we’re adhering to government health and safety guidelines. Social distancing will be in place at all of our UK colleges, and our blended learning approach (mixing digital with in-person study) will ensure that you’ll get a safe and effective study experience.

    We also recognise that, depending on which country you live in, there may be different rules on travel restrictions. We will work with you, taking into account your personal circumstances, to support you and make sure you can begin your studies and follow your path to university.

    And remember, if you can’t join us in person, you can still start a course from your home country via digital learning.

  • Start digital learning without a visa

    If you decide to start your studies online, you won’t need a CAS or a visa, and we are in many cases considering alternatives to UKVI IELTS and full academic transcripts when assessing applications. Read more in the general FAQs section below.

    Find out more about digital learning, how it works, and why it’s a great option for you to keep your education on track.

General FAQs

  • Can I still apply?

    Yes – you can still apply now and join us in person in the UK this Autumn for a blended learning experience. Alternatively, you can start your course online soon and transfer to face-to-face teaching in the UK when you can.

    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.

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

    Yes, and we’re looking forward to seeing you here in person! Unless travel restrictions or other circumstances make it difficult for you to join us, you’ll be able to join us for a blended learning experience in the UK. However, if you can’t make it, you can start your course online.

  • Will colleges be safe environments for face-to-face learning?

    We’ve already started preparing our colleges for resuming face-to-face learning, and we have a range of solutions and innovations ready to make sure you’ll get a fantastic – and safe – study experience. We’ll be able to make sure social distancing measures are in place if needed, and we will, of course, be following all UK government guidance on health and safety.

    When you arrive in the UK, we’ll help you arrange a safe transfer from the airport to your accommodation — all of our coaches and private transfer vehicles will adhere to government guidelines on social distancing and hygiene.

    At the College, you’ll have a full induction where we’ll explain the new rules to everyone in detail, including information on what to do if you feel unwell.

    Further safety measures at our colleges include:

    • Hand sanitiser stations throughout the building
    • Social distancing at all times, with floor markings to guide you
    • Reduced classroom capacity
    • Direction signage to assist the safe flow of traffic around the building
    • Face masks available for anyone who needs one
    • Frequent and thorough cleaning during the day
    • Fully briefed staff who understand what is needed to ensure your safety

    We will also be delivering a blended learning programme: this is a mixture of digital learning solutions and traditional classroom teaching, giving you a truly modern study experience while helping to maintain social distancing.

  • 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 a safe way, while improving your digital skills. Find out more about blended learning.

  • 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)
    KITE
    LanguageCert International ESOL SELT or non-SELT
    PTE (Pearson Test of English) Academic (UKVI or non-UKVI)
    TOEFL iBT

    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.

    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.

Choose your path to university this Autumn

We look forward to seeing you in person when you begin your studies later this year, and our blend of digital and face-to-face teaching will ensure you’re getting the experience that’s right for you.

However, don’t worry if you can’t make it. 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: policies for the University of Bristol’s International Foundation Programme, the University of Nottingham’s Engineering and Physical Sciences Foundation Certificate, and at the University of York International Pathways College may differ. Please see the information below for more details.

Start in the UK

You can start your programme in person; your course in the UK will be a mixture of online and face-to-face learning (known as blended learning) in small groups to ensure you can study safely.

  • 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’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.

  • Will colleges be safe environments for face-to-face learning?

    We’ve already started preparing our colleges for resuming face-to-face learning, and we have a range of solutions and innovations ready to make sure you’ll get a fantastic – and safe – study experience. We’ll be able to make sure social distancing measures are in place if needed, and we will, of course, be following all UK government guidance on health and safety.

    We will also be delivering a blended learning programme: this is a mixture of digital learning solutions and traditional classroom teaching, giving you a truly modern study experience while helping to maintain social distancing.

  • What is the enrolment period for the Autumn intakes?

    As part of our flexible approach to admissions and teaching, we’ve extended the enrolment period for our Autumn intakes this year. You now have until November to start your course, giving you some extra time! That means that you can now enrol in September, October or November.

  • When can I get my CAS?

    In order to enrol at your chosen College in person, you’ll need to obtain a CAS. We will be issuing students with their CAS from 20th July, and 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 Tier 4 visa?

    You should apply for your Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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 in the Autumn?

    If you’re due to start a course this Autumn, 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 in Autumn 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.

  • If I arrive in the UK in September or October, 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 your remote digital learning experience until you can join us for face-to-face teaching at the College.
    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, and join us in-person as soon as you are able and ready to – 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 Tier 4 visa application for coming to the UK to study in person.

  • When should I apply for my UKVI Tier 4 visa?

    You should apply for your Tier 4 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 Tier 4 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 in Autumn instead?

    Absolutely. If your circumstances allow, we would be delighted to welcome you to begin your course in the UK in the Autumn. 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.

  • If I begin digital learning but don’t feel it’s right for me, will I be able to get a refund?

    We are confident that you will feel secure with your digital learning course with Kaplan, but understand that you may feel uncertain about how your course will actually work online. Our digital learning solutions webpages contain a lot of useful information about how you will be able to access course materials, and how college staff will be there to support you throughout your studies.

    Once you have enrolled online at the start of term, you will have 7 days from the day of your first lesson to decide if digital learning is right for you. If you decide that you are unable to continue with your studies online, you can withdraw from the course within the first 7 days without penalty. You can then choose either to defer your studies to a future intake and join us in person, or you can apply for a full deposit and tuition fee refund.

    Please note that the refunds policy for certain courses follow their own terms and conditions, which can be seen below:

    • Foundation in Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Nottingham (allows a 21-day period from your first lesson to withdraw and cancel without penalty, and obtain a full refund)
    • International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol (allows a 14-day period from your first lesson to withdraw and cancel without penalty, and obtain a full refund)
  • 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.

  • Will colleges be safe environments for face-to-face learning?

    We’ve already started preparing our colleges for resuming face-to-face learning, and we have a range of solutions and innovations ready to make sure you’ll get a fantastic – and safe – study experience. We’ll be able to make sure social distancing measures are in place if needed, and we will, of course, be following all UK government guidance on health and safety.

    We will also be delivering a blended learning programme: this is a mixture of digital learning solutions and traditional classroom teaching, giving you a truly modern study experience while helping to maintain social distancing.

  • Can I get accommodation in the UK in the Autumn?

    If you’re due to start a course online this Autumn, 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.

    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

Alternatively, 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 I begin digital learning but don’t feel it’s right for me, will I be able to get a refund?

    We are confident that you will feel secure with your digital learning course with Kaplan, but understand that you may feel uncertain about how your course will actually work online. Our digital learning solutions webpages contain a lot of useful information about how you will be able to access course materials, and how college staff will be there to support you throughout your studies.

    Once you have enrolled online at the start of term, you will have 7 days from the day of your first lesson to decide if digital learning is right for you. If you decide that you are unable to continue with your studies online, you can withdraw from the course within the first 7 days without penalty. You can then choose either to defer your studies to a future intake and join us in person, or you can apply for a full deposit and tuition fee refund.

    Please note that the option of starting and completing your course entirely online is not always available for non-Kaplan taught courses, which are listed below:

    • Foundation in Engineering and Physical Sciences at the University of Nottingham
    • International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol
    • Courses at the University of York International Pathway College
  • 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 this Autumn for the International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol?

    The University of Bristol plans to welcome students to study on campus in the Autumn, with the academic year starting on the 5th October 2020.

    The University is planning to run face-to-face teaching in the Autumn as part of its blended learning approach. This will make use of small group teaching mixed with online learning sessions. This will help ensure that social distancing guidelines are adhered to, while still offering students an engaging education and study experience. For students unable to travel to Bristol, online study options are also available.

    Find out all you need to know on the University’s own website.

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

    The University of Nottingham is following government guidance, and is planning to open as usual for the Autumn intake on the 21st September 2020. If anything changes, applicants will be informed.

    Social distancing will be in place at the University from September, and blended learning at the University will allow students to study on campus safely and effectively.

    This will include learning based around small groups, including seminars, workshops, lab classes and tutorials. On average, 8–10 hours per week of these activities will be taught face-to-face, while adhering to strict health and safety guidelines. Students will have access to lecturing material online including pre-recorded videos, course notes and live sessions.

    Students’ engagement will be continuously monitored through regular tutorial meetings with their personal tutor, attendance at face-to-face scheduled sessions, and coursework submissions.

    If you are unable to join the University on campus, you can start your course online and transfer to face-to-face learning when you’re able.

    Find out more on the University’s website.

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

    At the University of York, the academic year will begin on the 28th September 2020 as planned, and the University will be offering learning solutions based on the most relevant government guidance at the time.

    Currently, the University is preparing to teach cohorts students on campus where possible, but with online study for those who need it, until they can join on-campus learning. All teaching spaces across the University are being assessed for their suitability for small group learning that adheres to social distancing guidance.

    Most lectures are planned to be delivered virtually, and to be recorded for on-going use. The University is also planning assessments that can be carried out both on campus and off, enabling students of all study modes to be assessed fairly.

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

    Find out more on the University’s website.


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.