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International Applicant Coronavirus FAQs

We've put together the answers to some of the most common questions from our international community.

We've broken the questions down into categories to help you find any answers relevant to you.

Can I still apply for a course at St Mary’s?

Yes, we are still accepting applications for most courses. We've put together a step-by-step guide to the application process that you may find helpful.

Can I speak to an academic about my course?

We are organising online alternatives to our open events and you can see the full schedule of online information sessions on our webinar page. More sessions will be added in the coming weeks, but you can also find contact details for our academics on each of our course pages.

Are Open Days still happening?

All University-run events, including our Open Days, have been postponed. We are working on an exciting range of digital St Mary’s experiences that we will be sharing with you soon. Keep an eye on your inbox and our website for further information in the coming weeks.

Are there any events where I can find out more about your PGCE courses?

All of our on campus open events have been postponed, but we are offering a schedule of online information sessions which will allow you to speak to our Tutors about our PGCE programmes.

My planned IELTS exam has been cancelled. What other English language qualifications will St Mary’s accept?

We are now accepting IELTS Indicator, which is an IELTS test that you can take from home. We also accept a range of other English qualifications. Please contact if you have any questions about your English qualifications.

Can you offer an alternative English test?

We would be happy to facilitate an approved English test for you. Please contact the St Mary’s representative for your region or email to arrange this.

What should I do if the results of my current programme are delayed due to COVID-19?

We understand that COVID-19 will delay results for many students. We encourage you to apply anyway, so that we can start to evaluate your application as soon as possible. We will then work with you to meet the conditions of your offer as you get your results.

Will St Mary’s take the effects of COVID-19 into account when evaluating my results?

We’re aware that despite their best efforts, many students have experienced disruption to their studies this year. We’ll be as flexible as we can when considering your application.

Can I defer my offer to a future date?

We understand that due to the uncertainty caused by COVID-19, some students may need to start their courses later than they originally planned. Many of our postgraduate programmes also have January start dates, so that may be an option for you. Students on most of our programmes can also choose to defer their start date until September 2021.

Because your situation may change in the coming weeks, we ask that you take some time to consider your decision before you defer your start date. Please contact us at with questions about deferring your offer.

What financial support is available for international students?

We’re pleased to be able to offer international student scholarships for both undergraduate and postgraduate courses. You will automatically be considered for a scholarship when you apply.

I’ve been awarded an international scholarship. Can I carry it forward if I defer the start of my course to a later date?

Unfortunately, it may not be possible for scholarship recipients to defer their awards if they delay their start date.

Can I take a pre-sessional English course at St Mary’s?

Our pre-sessional English courses are running as planned. However, the first part of the course is expected to be delivered online. You will need to have a laptop and internet connection to join the course. Please let us know that you would like to be considered for a pre-sessional course by sending an email to You should already have taken an English proficiency test, normally IELTS or IELTS Indicator. If you are qualified for the course, we will offer you a place and advise you on the next steps.

What it the latest date I can start my programme?

Our current policy is that the latest date you can start your course is two weeks after it begins. Please note that start dates are subject to change. We advise you to monitor the university’s website for updates nearer the time. We will also e-mail all offer holders if such a change is made. The current term dates can be found on this website.

If your travel to the UK is disrupted due to COVID-19 or if the first part of your lessons is delivered online, we will inform you of the new latest start date in advance.

Will St Mary’s refund international deposit payments if students are unable to start their course due to COVID-19?

In the light of the current COVID-19 pandemic, an applicant who pays a tuition fee deposit on or before 31st August 2020 is entitled to a full refund of that deposit if he/she cannot come to study in the UK, and take their place at St Mary's, as a consequence of the COVID-19 pandemic. The refund request must be submitted in writing before 30th September 2020. This full refund entitlement excludes students that breach UKVI regulations. Details of refunds requested for reasons other than COVID-19 can be found here.

I’m worried that I may not be able to meet my deposit deadline. Is there any flexibility?

We encourage students to pay their deposits as early as possible, as this is one of the conditions that must be met before you can get the CAS you need to apply for your visa. If you need to request an extension, however, please contact us at

Will I be charged if I need to cancel my place in a St Mary’s hall of residence?

We will ask you to pay a £250 deposit when you secure your accommodation. £50 of that is a non-refundable administration fee, but we will refund the £200 damage deposit to you if you need to cancel your place before you move in.

What will teaching at St Mary’s be like in 2020/21?

We are currently investigating ways to give our students the best experience possible in 2020/21. To deliver courses safely, we may consider options such as smaller class sizes and the supplementary use of online teaching. Our decisions will be guided by the evolving advice from Public Health England and the UK Government.

How do I apply for accommodation?

Our Accommodation team will email offer holders when our accommodation application opens and will also post details of the process on the Accommodation portal. When you’re offered accommodation, you’ll get a detailed licence agreement with information about occupancy dates and applicable refund policies.

What requirements do I need to meet to get my CAS?

You will be eligible for a CAS when your offer has been made unconditional. Please check our visa information for the criteria our Admissions team will consider when making your offer unconditional.

The UK visa processing centre(s) in my country are closed. What should I do?

Please continue to check for updates on when visa services in your country will resume. We may be able to extend the latest day of enrolment for students experiencing visa problems. However, this will be on a case-by-case basis. We are prepared to make a reasonable adjustment for students that are affected by COVID-19 closures.

I need to apply to extend my current Tier 4 visa. Can I do that in the UK?

Please check the Government’s guidance on who is eligible to renew their visas in the UK. This site also gives you an overview of the process.

Will students beginning their studies in the UK in September 2020 still be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa?

The return of a post-study work visa was announced in September 2019 with further information to be provided. As the UK Government releases further information, it will be included on reliable online sources like UKCISA.

How will St Mary’s ensure student safety on campus?

The safety of our students is our top priority. We are considering a range of options to protect you as we all adjust to our ‘new normal’. Our decisions will be led by advice from the UK Government and Public Health England, and we may consider options such as smaller class sizes and increased use of online resources. We’re lucky that our green, leafy campus (which happens to be in the safest part of London) gives everyone plenty of room to spread out and socially distance.

What health services can St Mary’s students access?

St Mary’s has a Health Centre on campus that offers a nurse-led health service on weekdays during term-time. The Health Centre is a branch of the York Medical Practice in Twickenham, which students are also welcome to use if necessary. If you won’t be living on or near campus, you can choose to register with a doctor in your neighbourhood instead. Kingston Hospital, West Middlesex Hospital and the urgent care centre at Teddington Memorial Hospital are also within easy reach of campus.

All of the services listed above are run by the National Health Service (NHS). If you are coming to the UK on a Tier 4 visa and staying for six months or longer, you will be asked to pay an immigration health surcharge as part of your visa application. You will then be able to access the NHS in the same way as a UK permanent resident. You are also currently able to access the NHS with a European Health Insurance Card from your home country. If you don’t have to pay the health surcharge because, for example, you’ll be in the UK for less than six months, you will be charged for most non-emergency health services. You should make sure you have private health insurance in place before you arrive in the country. UKCISA is an excellent source of advice about healthcare in the UK.

What mental health support is available to students to help them deal with the effects of COVID-19?

Our experienced Wellbeing Team offers both mental health advice and counselling support to students. St Mary’s students can also access mental health support online at any time through the Big White Wall.

How could my arrival to the UK be impacted by COVID-19?

We’re planning to welcome students to our beautiful campus to begin their courses this autumn. Because the situation is evolving quickly, however, it’s difficult to know what restrictions may be in place at that time. As an institution, we’ll follow the latest advice from the UK Government and Public Health England when planning arrival procedures for our international students. These will accommodate any possible requirements that new arrivals to the UK should self-isolate for a period of time. We’ll update our preparing for university pages as our plans are finalised, and we’ll also contact offer holders directly to keep you informed.

What kind of orientation will international students have?

We know that coming overseas to start your degree can be a big adjustment, and we will support you with a range of orientation activities. Many of these will be available online. Please check our preparing for university pages for the latest orientation information.

If you can't find the answer to your question on this page please email