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Your future at Southampton

Guidance for University Entry 2020

Our campuses will be open in September - read our statement from Professor Mark E. Smith, President and Vice-Chancellor to find out more.

We understand that the current circumstances may be very unsettling to you and you might have many questions around what your future at University may look like. We want to reassure you that we are working closely with the UK Government, UCAS, exam boards, and our education providers around the world to make sure we can answer any questions you have. The landscape is changing every week, so check in to this page on a regular basis for the latest information.

Your application or offer

We are continuing to assess applications and make offers. If you have already received an offer, we encourage you to respond in line with the UCAS guidance (undergraduate) and deadlines. If you are due to attend a virtual interview, please make sure you book it soon to ensure we can meet with you and make you an offer.

Contact us at admissions@southampton.ac.uk if you have any questions about your application.

Postgraduate students should follow the guidance outlined in their offer letters, but for further information, please visit our own University of Southampton's Postgraduate Applications page.

Here are some frequently asked questions that might be useful to you:

Undergraduate admissions

Find out about any changes to the application process and what to do if your circumstances have changed:

Is Southampton still accepting applications for 2020 entry? 

Yes. Our campuses will be open in September.

You can still apply for most of our courses through the main UCAS cycle. You can check course availability on our course pages or UCAS. We are accepting Extra applications for courses that are open. 

My exams have been suspended/cancelled. How will you assess whether I have met my conditional offer this year?

In the UK, exam boards have taken the decision to cancel, suspend, postpone or amend the format of exams. We are reviewing these decisions and our approach will depend on the qualifications that you are taking as well as the arrangements made by the organisations that award them. 
 
UK qualifications (A levels, BTECs, Scottish Highers, Welsh Baccalaureate, EPQ etc) and International A levels 

For the above qualifications, we will accept the grades awarded as normal this year. Our requirements will not change as a result of the different methods of assessment being employed. 

It’s important for you to remember that places are not decided on grades alone. Information in your personal statement and references are part of our decision-making process, along with your interview, portfolio, audition and any other information that’s relevant to your potential to succeed on your chosen course. 

If you have received a contextual offer, please be reassured that we will still honour these offers. 

You will receive your results in the usual way from UCAS in August. We will not require applicants to sit the autumn exam. 

You may find the following links helpful:

Ofqual (England) 
Qualifications Wales 
CCEA – Northern Ireland 
Scottish Qualifications Agency 
  
Private candidates

If you are taking qualifications as a private candidate, you will receive awards in the same way as other A level students. Ofqual (for England) are continuing to investigate alternatives where a centre assessment grade is not possible and are aiming to make a further statement by Thursday 30 April. 
 
Irish Leaving Certificate 

Currently the scheduled exams for the Irish Leaving Certificate are still due to go ahead. We will monitor this situation and provide more information as decisions are taken and communicated by the Irish government. 
 
International qualifications 

The current global situation means that in many countries there may be changes to how qualifications and grades are awarded. Although the situation in each country will be different, please be reassured that if your exams go ahead, we will assess you based on your results even if they are issued later than normal. Where final grades will be determined in a different way to usual we will continue to consider your grades on the usual basis. 
Please ensure that you send your final results to us as soon as you receive them, and by no later than 31 August 2020 and we will consider the grades that you have achieved. 

We are monitoring the worldwide situation carefully to inform our planning and will bring you more information when we know about the developments. 
 
International Baccalaureate 

We will accept grades awarded this year as normal. Our requirements will not change as a result of the different methods of assessment being employed. 

If you have been unable to complete the Diploma but you have completed individual courses, we will carefully consider your final grades and we may be able to confirm your place. In such cases, we will pay close attention to your grades in your Higher Level courses but will also be considering your grades and your application in full.

More information can be found on the International Baccalaureate webpage.
 
Advanced Placement (AP) Tests

 Following the cancellation of normal AP exams, the College Board have put in place alternative online assessments. If you sit these exams you will be awarded an AP grade. Our requirements will not change as a result of the different methods of assessment being employed, and we will accept these grades as normal. You can also use existing AP grades that fit the conditions of your offer.  
 
 Hong Kong Diploma of Secondary Education (HKDSE) 

Due to the rescheduling of the exams for the HKDSE you will receive your results later than you would normally. We recognise that you may face a delay in providing your results to us and we will  consider them in the normal way once they are available.   

How will you ensure my safety on campus?

We will continue to be governed in our decision making in this area by focusing on ensuring the safety and well-being of our staff and students. We don’t yet have all of the answers but we are undertaking a thorough review of our facilities so we can put in all measures possible to look after your safety.

We have commissioned an executive level group focused on reviewing the physical aspects of building operations, room configuration, patterns of work, travel arrangements and more. We will have full risk assessments in place for each building and we will refresh our risk assessment and other health and safety advice in light of government advice. We will ensure all health and safety and compliance checks have been undertaken before re opening our campus. 

If still necessary we will ensure strict social distancing measures and will further enhance our hygiene and cleaning arrangements. We will increase the availability of hand sanitisation and will remind our employees and students to stay at home if they are symptomatic of Covid 19.

We will ensure out communications channels are kept up to date with relevant guidance so  our staff and students can be reassured of the mechanisms we are putting in place to support a safe return to campus. 

Should I sign my housing contract to live in Southampton or Winchester?

We will try to have as many of our on-campus facilities available as possible, for example, the Library and Sports. You therefore may want to choose to live local to campus in order to be able to physically access these types of facilities.

Any teaching that is delivered on campus will also be made available to all students online. For some of our programmes of study you may need to be on campus in order to meet all the learning outcomes of your programme - for example certain practical assessments or if you need to use specialist on-campus equipment.

You will receive more information on your specific programme by the end of June and whether this applies to you. All on-campus facilities will need to be made available in line with government advice and are therefore subject to change.

It is your personal choice as to whether you wish to move in to a shared property and we would encourage you to ensure you fully understand the terms and conditions of any contract you sign. The Student Union Advice Centre are able to provide independent housing contract advice to you. 

Will halls of residence be open from September?

Our halls of residences continue to remain open to students. For September arrivals all students are welcome to apply to stay in University accommodation.

Please be aware that by applying for halls you are not committing yourself to a contract or financial obligation. You will not commit to anything until you accept a contract with us.

We are currently working through the details on how rooms will be allocated in line with government guidance. We ask that when you apply, you provide us with a range of preferences for accommodation on your application. Further information will be published on how allocations will be undertaken in due course. 

What happens if I don’t achieve the grades required in my offer? 

We understand that the changes in how your grades will be assessed may be worrying for you. We will be mindful of this when reviewing your grades, and where possible we aim to offer some flexibility where you narrowly miss your offer. This will depend on where we have space available as places are often filled by those who achieve their offers.

Will I be able to apply to Southampton through Clearing or Adjustment once I have my grades?

We will list all available courses on our website and UCAS once Clearing opens.  The courses we have available and the number of places will vary depending on how many.

When do I need to reply to my offer from Southampton

The deadlines to respond to your offers have been updated by UCAS. For more information, please see your Track account.

I’m taking a Science A-level, but am no longer able to take the practical requirement- how will this affect me? 

In England, the science practical components attract a separate pass/fail grade. This does not apply to A-levels offered by CCEA and WJEC and some international A level. If your offer includes passing a practical endorsement(s) in a science A-level(s), we will remove this requirement.

I have received an offer that includes the Sixth Term Examination Paper (STEP), but the STEP I examination has been cancelled- will you change my offer? 

Mathematics degrees only 

Following the cancellation of this year’s STEP I examination, we have decided that STEP will no longer be required for any applicant holding an offer from the School of Mathematics for 2020 entry, or with a deferred offer for 2021 entry.

We have contacted Mathematics offer holders to clarify the details of the revised offer terms and conditions. 

I have applied to intercalate; how will this affect me?

We would normally require you to pass all your 3rd year assessments with at least 60% to be eligible for this course. In view of the effect of COVID-19 (coronavirus) on exams, we recognise that you may not have any 3rd year marks for us to consider. To ensure no applicant will be at a disadvantage, for 2020 entry, for both internal and external applicants for intercalation, we will consider all marks to date. 

Postgraduate admissions

Find out about any changes to the postgraduate application process and what to do if your circumstances have changed:

How will I get my degree certificate and transcripts to meet the conditions of my offer?

Where there are conditions to the offer that we have made you, we recognise that you may face a delay in being able to provide us with your final degree certificate or a transcript of your studies. We will be flexible with these requirements and will accept documents that can be accessed through online verification systems and provisional certificates.

As soon as you have these documents, please send them to the email address in your offer letter. Alternatively, you can provide us with the necessary information to log into the relevant online verification site where we can download the documents on your behalf.

Please ensure we have seen the required documentation before your programme commences and contact us if you believe this may not be possible. 

How will you ensure my safety on campus?

Our halls of residences continue to remain open to students. For September arrivals all students are welcome to apply to stay in University accommodation.

Please be aware that by applying for halls you are not committing yourself to a contract or financial obligation. You will not commit to anything until you accept a contract with us.

We are currently working through the details on how rooms will be allocated in line with government guidance. We ask that when you apply, you provide us with a range of preferences for accommodation on your application. Further information will be published on how allocations will be undertaken in due course. 

Will halls of residence be open from September?

Our halls of residences continue to remain open to students. For September arrivals all students are welcome to apply to stay in University accommodation.

Please be aware that by applying for halls you are not committing yourself to a contract or financial obligation. You will not commit to anything until you accept a contract with us.

We are currently working through the details on how rooms will be allocated in line with government guidance. We ask that when you apply, you provide us with a range of preferences for accommodation on your application. Further information will be published on how allocations will be undertaken in due course. 

Visas and language requirements

Guidance on visas and how to meet your English language requirements.

I haven’t been able to take an English language test because the test centres are closed. How will this affect me?

We recognise that some applicants have not been able to take their IELTS, TOEFL and PTE Academic test to meet their English language conditions. To support you in being able to meet your English language requirements, we will now be accepting the following English language tests.

You will need online access, a microphone and camera. 
 
Duolingo English Test (DET)

The Duolingo English Test will be accepted on an interim basis for 2020 entry. The cost of the test is US $49.

It is important that you access the Duolingo English Test using a unique code. This code will be emailed to all applicants with an offer of admissions from Southampton. You must wait for this email before taking the test. We will not be able to accept this test if you do not access the test using this unique code. 
 
TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition

The TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition will be accepted on an interim basis for 2020 entry. The test can be taken from any computer with a Windows operating system (versions, 10, 8 or 7). The entry requirements will be the same as the existing entry requirements for the TOEFL iBT . 
For entry requirement information English Language Proficiency. 

For entry requirement information please see our English Language Proficiency page.

Are you still offering Pre-sessional English courses this Summer?

Yes, the pre-sessional English language courses are the best way to prepare you for study at the University of Southampton. The courses will improve your capability and confidence in using English language in your studies. If you are planning to take one of our Pre-sessional English courses and are concerned about the current travel restrictions, don’t worry - we now have online options available to you.

Our new online Pre-sessional English courses are of the same high standard and cover all the same content as an on-campus experience. Depending on your level of English there are different options available to you.

Online Pre-sessional English courses:

* 11-week online course 
* 6-week online course 

If you’ve already applied for a Pre-sessional English course , we will now convert your application or offer, where applicable, to our online course. You do not need to do anything more. 

If you have not yet applied for one of our pre-sessional courses and would like to, please visit our website for more details.  

I require an ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme) for my course, what does that mean for me?

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office is not currently accepting new ATAS applications. We are monitoring this situation and are in contact with the relevant agencies. Your offer letter will indicate if you require ATAS approval and if so you must receive ATAS clearance before making an application for a visa to study in the UK.

I need a Tier 4 Visa to study, what do I need to do?

The UK’s visa application centres are currently closed. We are monitoring this situation and are in contact with the relevant agencies. When we know more we will update this section.

Undergraduate Virtual Open Day

Undergraduate Virtual Open Day

Join our academic and student community through subject talks and taster lectures, and learn more about our campuses and accommodation

Learn more and register
Postgrad Virtual Visit Afternoons

Postgrad Virtual Visit Afternoons

Talk to academics about the course you are interested in and chat to our current postgraduate students about their experiences at Southampton.

Learn more and register

Better together!

We also want to share with you the brilliance of our student community. At a difficult time, our students and staff community are coming together, finding new ways to interact or showing real Southampton spirit! We are really proud of our student community; they are at the heart of everything we do!

Social distancing

Life in lockdown

One of our PhD students, Elaine talks about her experiences during lockdown

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