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UK study: frequently asked questions

Last updated: 29 November 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 and University of York.

Important updates

  • Travelling to the UK

    If you are due to come to the UK to start your course this year, you can rest assured we’ll be by your side. 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.

    If you have been fully vaccinated under a programme recognised by the UK government, you will need to take a PCR ‘day 2’ test once you have arrived in the UK.

    If you are not fully vaccinated under a programme recognised by the UK government, you will need to take a Covid-19 test before you travel, and day 2 and day 8 Covid-19 tests upon arrival in the UK. Once you arrive, you will need to isolate for 10 days.

    Due to the Omicron variant of coronavirus, there is currently a number of countries on the UK government’s travel ‘red list’. This means that there are different rules for entering the UK if you have been in any country on the red list. Please check the travel rules on the government website.

    Please be aware the exact rules will differ slightly depending on which part of the UK you will be arriving in. You can check the relevant rules on the government website for England and the government website for Scotland.

  • Spring enrolment

    Students starting a January-entry course (Spring intake) typically have until 31 January to enrol.

    You can speak with your Kaplan representative to find out exactly when you have to enrol by for your course, or check our important dates table.

    If you do join a little late, you’ll be given additional support to make sure you can catch up. Your dedicated teachers will make sure you don’t miss out on any part of your course, and will provide all the help you need.

  • Intakes for the 2021-22 academic year

    For all intakes for the 2021-22 academic year, we are 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 are going above and beyond UK government guidance on health and safety. And, because we understand that you may not be able to travel due to coronavirus restrictions, we will continue to offer digital learning for part or all of your course for as long as we can. According to current UKVI guidelines, students who have been issued a CAS but are starting online will need to transfer to the UK by 6 April 2022 to complete their pathway course via blended learning. Students without a CAS may continue to study and complete their course online.

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

  • Getting a vaccine

    International students in the UK are included in the national coronavirus vaccination programme. Currently, everyone in the UK aged 16+ can now get vaccinated.

    Vaccines in the UK are free and available through the NHS. You will get two vaccine doses, starting with a first dose (available straight away) to be followed by a second dose at a later date.

    The easiest way for international students in the UK to get their vaccine is through their registered GP. It is also possible to book a vaccine appointment yourself through a local GP or NHS National Booking Service. When you arrive in the UK, staff at your College will be able to give you help and support in making sure you get vaccinated.

    The government has released advice for international students getting vaccines in the UK: read it here.

Apply to the UK with confidence

For current and 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. 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 all 2021-22 intakes, for all UK colleges.

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 is available for as long as permitted by UKVI.

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.

  • Is classroom teaching allowed in the UK?

    Yes, classroom teaching is currently permitted in the UK. We’re going above and beyond government guidance to help make sure our students are studying in safe environments.

    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 policies are still in place 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.

  • 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.

    At our colleges, there are varied measures and resources in place to support your wellbeing, and for you to turn to while you study. For instance, the Student Assistance Programme is a confidential counselling and support programme, with a helpline and translation service that you can use if you feel the need to.

    No matter what you need support with, there will always be someone to talk to at your college.

  • 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 for many of the study options available with Kaplan. Just contact us and we can advise you on what documents you need to provide.

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

    In most 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?

    When you come to the UK, you’ll study with blended learning. Though blended learning will involve remote study from your accommodation, face-to-face teaching will still be required for a certain number of hours to maximise the opportunities being in the UK provides.

    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.

  • 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.

  • How is the UK coronavirus vaccine programme progressing?

    The UK has so far had one of the most successful vaccination programmes in the world. Currently, everyone over 12 is eligible to get at least one dose of the vaccine with the NHS, free of charge.

    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 hospital admissions decreasing enormously since the start of 2021.

    International students are eligible to receive a vaccine in the UK, and can book through their registered GP (local doctor) or via the NHS booking platform. The government has released advice for international students getting vaccines in the UK: read it here.

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 Spring 2022 intake

    All of our UK study centres are issuing CAS for the Spring 2022 intake from 11 October 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?

    Yes, you can book accommodation for courses starting in Autumn, Spring and Summer 2022. Once you have accepted your offer to study, you will be able to choose your accommodation and book it.

    For pathway courses starting in September 2021, we’re offering flexible arrival dates for accommodation contracts. You can choose an accommodation contract starting on 8 January 2022 (subject to availability) to allow you to start your studies at home before transitioning to the UK.

    Find out more about accommodation options at the accommodation web page for each study destination and for other questions 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.

  • 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 earlier?

    For courses taught by Kaplan, you can arrive 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.

    If you’re studying a non-Kaplan taught course, you can find more information here.

  • What support is there if I’m travelling from a ‘red list’ country and need to quarantine?

    If you are coming to this UK this Autumn from a country on the UK government’s ‘red list’, you will need to quarantine for 10 days in a designated hotel before you start your course. Please be aware that under 18s will not be able to stay unaccompanied in a quarantine hotel.

    If you’re studying a Kaplan-taught course, we’ll reduce £1,500 from your tuition fees to help cover the cost of the stay at the quarantine hotel (£2,285 in total). You will also benefit from various support measures, including online social activities and a food delivery voucher, making your isolation period as comfortable and productive as possible. While you’re isolating, we’ll check in on you regularly to make sure you’re happy and healthy, and you’ll even be able to (virtually) meet your tutors before your course starts.

    Once you have completed your isolation period in a quarantine hotel, you can also benefit from 2 weeks of free accommodation, if you are booked into accommodation with Kaplan (availability dependent). This will give you a chance to settle into your new surroundings and explore the local area.

    If you’re not studying a Kaplan-taught course, you’ll also have excellent isolation support policies to rely on. Students on any of the following courses should check the dedicated section below to find the relevant quarantine measures:
    • Courses at the University of York International Pathway College
    • International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol
    • Foundation pathways at the University of Birmingham

    All of these measures mean that you can travel with confidence this Autumn!

  • What wellbeing support is available to me when arriving in the UK?

    Aside from the financial and accommodation support, you’ll receive plenty of care and wellbeing support when you arrive in the UK. While you quarantine, we’ll be sure to keep you connected to Kaplan staff and students.

    For instance, through our buddy system, you’ll be paired with another student so that you have someone to talk to, who can answer your questions and help you know what to expect. Similarly, you can even remotely meet tour tutors before your course starts, and, with Pathways Preview, you can even have early access to your course materials.

    Of course, we’ll check in on you frequently and make sure you’re happy and comfortable while isolating. You’ll be able to join in virtual activities to help you stay active and engaged, and you’ll be supported by our expert staff throughout your time in the UK. And, if you like, you can make use of the Student Assistance Programme, which features a confidential helpline, and is available by phone or via an app. Wherever you’re from, when you arrive in the UK you’ll be well cared for in a safe and secure environment!

Start your pathway course online

You can start your course digitally from your home country, and join us in-person when you’re able to – 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 education agent. 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 education agent or Admissions Adviser who can 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 blended learning in the UK 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 way forward, and we will support you in finding suitable accommodation that’s safe and secure, wherever you’re studying.

    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 have been issued a CAS you will need to transition to the UK to complete your course by the current UKVI deadline of 6 April 2022

    If you’re studying a non-Kaplan taught course, you can find 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. Flexible learning activities are in place and available 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.

Start and complete your pathway course online

You can complete your entire pathway course online at any of our UK study destinations 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.

  • Will the option to complete my course online continue to be available?

    If you are unable to come to the UK due to coronavirus-related travel restrictions, you will be able to start and even complete your course digitally. The option to finish your course online will continue to be available until the UKVI deadline of 6 April 2022 for all students, and beyond that for students who do have not received a CAS.


Information about courses not delivered by Kaplan

  • International Foundation Programme at the University of Bristol

    The current intake for the University of Bristol is Autumn 2021. For this intake, the University is offering 3 different study modes: fully on-campus teaching with some blended learning elements; hybrid study, with students starting their course online and joining on campus later; and fully online, with students completing their course digitally.

    If you chose the hybrid study mode, and have not yet transitioned to campus, you will have the option of 2 dates to transition to the UK: 24 January 2022 or 18 February 2022. You will need to have completed any required quarantine period prior to the course start/transition date.

    Find the latest information on the University’s own website. You can see the University’s quarantine policy on its coronavirus web page.

  • University of York International Pathway College

    For the Spring and Summer 2022 intakes, the University of York International Pathway College is delivering in-person teaching on campus with blended learning, with comprehensive health and safety measures in place.

    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. If you start your course with digital learning, you can transfer to face-to-face learning in the UK at any time.

    You can read more on the University’s website.

  • Foundation pathways at the University of Birmingham

    For the Spring 2022 intake, the University of Birmingham is delivering an on-campus study experience. Safety of students and staff are the University’s top priority.

    While teaching is primarily taking place 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. When you start your course with digital learning, you can transfer to face-to-face learning in the UK at any time. If you wish to start your course online, you have until 21 January 2022 to enrol.

    You can even, if necessary, complete your course entirely online. The option to finish your course online will continue to be available until the UKVI deadline of 6 April 2022 for all students, and beyond that for students who do have not received a CAS.

    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.


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.