Information for prospective students

As a prospective student or offer holder, we understand you may have concerns about Coronavirus (COVID-19) and the potential impact on your enrolment at the University of York.

We want to reassure you that our shared sense of community and compassion puts our students at the very heart of our University, even more so during this unsettling period. Our dedicated team is closely monitoring the situation and doing everything we can to support your choices about which university is right for you and smooth your transition to university life.

In the information below, we’ve tried to address as many of your concerns as possible.

We’re continuing to follow official advice and adapt our response as the situation evolves. For the latest information please regularly check these pages and our prospective student pages.

We thank you for your understanding and patience as we confirm our plans to provide the best possible experience for you, our applicants.

“Never more has the world needed bright, enquiring minds, just like yours” - a message from our Vice-Chancellor, Charlie Jeffery

We are updating these pages as the situation develops, so please check them regularly.

You should also consult these official sources of information:

Arriving in September 2020

The 2020/21 academic year will start on 28 September 2020 as planned in our usual term dates.

We appreciate that you may have questions about what will happen in the next academic year. We'd like to reassure you that no matter how you begin your student journey in September - whether that's online, on campus, or a combination of the two - we'll be here to support you and warmly welcome you into our community.

What will September 2020 look like?

Teaching and learning

We want to deliver as much teaching and learning on campus as possible. This will be combined with as much online support as we need to keep people safe. Exactly how we deliver our courses will depend on UK government guidance on social distancing at the time.

In the meantime, we are preparing for all different scenarios in order to maintain our excellent teaching, award-winning careers service and diverse further study opportunities. Here at York, each course has its own set of distinctive learning outcomes, and this won’t change, whether you receive your teaching online, face-to-face, or a combination of the two.

To accommodate changing circumstances we have put in place the following measures:

  • The majority of larger lectures will be delivered online for the duration of the autumn term (28 September 2020 - 4 December 2020). During this period, all lectures will be recorded and made available for on-demand viewing
  • Assessments of our teaching and learning spaces are being made to determine suitability to accommodate students in smaller groups for seminars and tutorials
  • If your course involves practical work, such as in a laboratory, we will reschedule this portion of learning to take place later in the academic year. This is to increase the chances of being able to work more freely with fewer social distancing restrictions
  • Where possible, we are planning examinations and assessments that do not require you to be on-campus. This could be in the form of an online exam. We will continue to support students taking these assessments and make adjustments to our policies (including exceptional circumstances) where necessary
  • We are assessing how the Library can continue to operate as the heart of our learning community while maintaining safe social distancing. In the meantime, we will continue to increase access to electronic resources.

While this might not be how you imagined starting your first term at university, we hope that these measures can be eased as the situation develops. A York degree is special - it’s a sought-after qualification that is respected across the world. A degree that challenges you to think independently, and an educational experience that will stay with you for the rest of your lives. We’re not about to let a pandemic get the way of this. So we want to reassure you that the value of a York degree will not change and neither will our commitment to your social, recreational and teaching experience.

Unable to travel to campus?

Given the ongoing uncertainty of the current situation, it’s possible that you may not be able to travel to campus for the start of term.

To ensure that all our students have equal opportunities to access teaching and learning, we are preparing for how we can best provide for mixed groups of students based both on and off-campus. This will include alternative ways for you to interact with other students and staff, wherever you are located.

Student support

We know how challenging the global pandemic is for all of our students and we want to reassure you that, wherever you may be currently, we will be here to support you in September. We have never been more determined to support our students and we are continuing to develop and expand our student support services under these exceptional circumstances.

This includes:

  • Changes to our support funding, including the introduction of the Emergency Student Support Fund for students facing unanticipated financial challenges
  • Access to mental health practitioners through video call, email and phone. In addition, you will have access to free online mental health and wellbeing support 24/7 through ‘Big White Wall’. Find out more about our student support services
  • Continued support from our college teams via phone and email. Find out more about college life
  • Improved employability prospects for all of our students. Our award-winning York Strengths programme is now available online for all of our taught students.

Living on campus

Our Estates and Accommodation Services are currently planning for what life on-campus will look like if social distancing measures remain in place. In the meantime, we encourage you to apply for your accommodation as usual.

Student life

We know how important student life is to your university experience. We are currently working to develop a virtual welcome programme to support you in settling into your first year of study.

We are also working closely with our colleges and the Students’ Union to create interactive social events and experiences for students based on and off-campus.

Preparing for university - free online courses

We know from listening to our current students that making the transition from school or college can be challenging, even under normal circumstances. To support you with this we’re providing free online courses, designed by York’s academics to help you prepare for university life. They offer a short, interactive higher education experience, and you can participate from anywhere in the world, totally free of charge.

Our free online courses include:

  • Next Steps to University: From Choosing a Course to your First Assessment, which is now open for registration. Specifically aimed at new undergraduate students starting in September 2020, you can explore topics such as pre-arrival, budgeting, support and transitioning to university learning
  • From archaeology to psychology, art history to engineering, with our subject-based online short courses you can get a head start on your chosen topic or explore something completely new. Watch videos, explore case studies and take part in quizzes and discussions with your fellow learners around the world.


Examination and assessment cancellations

We know that you’ve been working really hard to achieve your goals and come to university, and that the global pandemic is a really worrying and stressful time. We want you to know that we are here to support you and that we are working closely with UCAS ( and other relevant awarding bodies throughout this period.

So far the following has been confirmed:

  • A level results in England and Pearson BTEC Level 3 Nationals (both QCF and RQF) will be released on 13 August 2020
  • GCSE results will be released on 20 August 2020
  • Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) are aiming to release results for Highers and Advanced Highers no later than 4 August 2020
  • In Northern Ireland, CCEA also intends to publish results no later than 4 August 2020.

Further announcements from other awarding bodies and nations are expected in the coming days. As a result we expect the remainder of the cycle including confirmation of results and clearing to run as per the original dates they were planned.

Information for offer-holders

If you currently hold an offer to study at York, we want to assure you we do not plan to amend our offers. Your application is very important to us and the offer we have made you still stands. Here at York, it’s not just about your grades - we consider your whole application because we are interested in the whole person. Our offers are made based on your potential to succeed and develop within our academic community.

If you miss your offer, and we have availability, we'll try to be as flexible as possible given the extenuating and unprecedented circumstances we’re all going through. We always consider applicants who have made us their firm choice first under these circumstances as they’ve committed to coming to us, and we know that they’ll thrive here at York.

Applications for 2020/21 entry

Applications remain open. Your application is important to us and we encourage you to apply as planned.

In line with previous admissions cycles, when we receive your results we’ll compare them to what we’ve asked you to achieve and if you meet the offer conditions, your offer will be automatically confirmed. We expect the remainder of the cycle including confirmation of results and clearing to run as per the original dates they were planned. If we make you an offer, we'll contact you about the next steps.

If you are an international student currently affected by travel restrictions in your home country, we still encourage you to apply. This situation is fast moving and is likely to change in the coming months.

For guidance on how to apply and deadlines see:


Examination and assessment cancellations

If you’re in the final year of a higher education qualification and are planning to continue your studies, you should check with your university to confirm how and when your grade will be awarded.

Postgraduate taught

Applications for 2020/21 entry

We have removed academic reference requirements for the majority of postgraduate taught programmes, with the exception of the following:

Find out more information on what supporting documents you will need.

For guidance on how to apply and deadlines see:

Postgraduate research

Applications for 2020/21 entry

Applications remain open. Your application is important to us and we encourage you to apply as planned.

For guidance on how to apply and deadlines see:


Examination and assessment calculations

If you're an international student, you should contact your school or centre for updates on how and when your grades will be awarded. You can also get updates for some of the most common qualifications by visiting the UCAS website (

English language tests and requirements

  • IELTS testing is still going ahead where it is permitted and safe to do so, with additional precautions in place to help protect the health of test takers and staff. See the latest IELTS updates (
  • If your testing centre is closed or you don’t yet have your test result, you can still apply to study our courses. The deadline for meeting the English language entry criteria for 2020/21 entry is 9 September 2020 (for undergraduate and postgraduate taught courses). Postgraduate research students should contact for more information.
  • If you’ve booked and paid for a test that you can’t take, as you need to take an additional online test, you’ll need to contact your test provider to enquire about their refund policy. It’s not current University policy to reimburse additional online English language tests.

For more details about English language requirements, including information on all the qualifications we accept, see:

Pre-sessional English courses

All our pre-sessional courses will now be delivered online. If you have already have a place, you will be offered a place on one of our online courses. Our Admissions team will contact you with the details.

We have also removed the application deadlines to provide greater flexibility for all applicants. You will still need to apply before the course start date.

Find out more about pre-sessional courses including course dates, fees, course content, how to apply and cancellations.

University events and visits

The health and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors is our key priority and in light of the ongoing situation we have regrettably taken the decision to cancel all university events and visits for the foreseeable future.

This includes:

  • All worldwide visits and events have been cancelled. We are developing a programme of alternative online events and will advertise these soon. Sign up for international event updates via email and we’ll contact you about the alternative arrangements
  • The undergraduate Open Days scheduled to take place on Friday 26 June and Sunday 28 June will be redeveloped as online events. Sign up for undergraduate event updates via email and we’ll contact you about the alternative arrangements
  • The undergraduate Post Offer Visit Day scheduled to take place on Wednesday 8 April has been cancelled and will be developed as an online event. Further communications will follow
  • All postgraduate Open Days and Study Fairs have been cancelled. Where possible these will be developed as online events. Sign up for postgraduate event updates via email and we’ll contact you about the alternative arrangements
  • Undergraduate and postgraduate interviews are in the process of being arranged via video call where possible. University staff will be in touch with further details
  • Campus tours have been cancelled and we're looking at arranging online versions of these events. Get a feel for our campus, accommodation and facilities with our online campus tour
  • The Shine and Roots to Success residential events scheduled for the 23 March onwards have both been cancelled.

We're closely monitoring the situation and planning for all eventualities while we work within the guidance provided by Public Health England (PHE).

Sign up for email updates for the latest announcements and booking information:

Refunding travel and/or accommodation

If you’ve already booked accommodation or travel please contact your provider directly to enquire about a refund.

Who to contact

If you have further questions, please email us:

If you’re an international student, you can also contact Regional Managers for information about your application status.