Quality Manual

Exceptional policy on Covid-19 (Limited) remote study

This page contains the exceptional policy for remote study in academic year 2021/22. This information is only relevant to staff and students enrolling at the UK campus.

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Please note that students in the UK on a Student Route visa are also affected by the University's Policy on Immigration Sponsorship. Where academic policies and immigration policies seem to be contradictory, immigration policies will take precedence. For more information, please consult the following:

Immigration sponsorship 


This policy does not apply to degree programmes marketed as distance learning and is only for use in responding to the Covid-19 pandemic during the period 3 December 2021 to Friday 13 May 2022.

The policy is applicable to those students currently registered at the University of Nottingham in the UK and not the overseas campuses.

This policy is not applicable to:

  • new students enrolling on programmes in January 2021;
  • exchange students starting modules in the UK in January 2021; or
  • current registered students who are not studying remotely in semester one.

However, in exceptional circumstances, the University may consider applications from the above categories of students.

The process for approval of remote study refers to Taught Programmes including Undergraduate, Taught Masters, and Research Masters students. Postgraduate Research students are directed to a different process.

This policy sets out the process for considering applications for Covid-19-related remote study and the grounds on which such applications may be granted, along with relevant guidance.

This policy is set in the context of existing regulations for voluntary interruption of studies, as well as existing routes for short term sickness reporting. The policy is based upon the premise that very few students are expected to study remotely outside of those degree courses designed exclusively for distance learning.

The policy has been reviewed and amended from the previous version. It will be reviewed by the Deputy Registrar periodically and before the close of 2021/22 academic year.


Conditions of the policy

Includes: UK government restrictions on travel; terms of policy

  • Applications for remote study can only be made on two grounds, either that, as at the date of the request:
    • a student’s travel to England is legally prohibited due to Covid-19, either by the UK Government or the Government of the student’s country of domicile. For information, if travel is permitted subject to quarantine and isolation requirements being observed on departure and/or arrival, then that travel is not legally prohibited and requests for remote study will not be granted on this ground; and/or
    • a student has an underlying health condition that places them at greater risk of health complications arising out of Covid-19.
  • Even if made on the above grounds, applications for remote study will only be granted if a student’s School or Department (Engineering) agrees that it is possible from an academic point of view for a student to continue studying remotely.
  • Unless you are legally prohibited by a relevant Government, or a relevant health condition prevents you, from travelling to the UK, you will be expected to study in person on the UK campus from the start of Term 2 or Semester 2, as applicable.

Options for long-term absence

Includes: interruption of studiesrole of Director of ESE; remote study

  • Interruption of studies

This is through the normal route, using the normal guidance.

Services for Students - Transfer, interrupt or withdraw from your studies

  • Other adjustments

Exploring any other adjustments unrelated to disability that might be possible. The Director of Education and Student Experience (ESE) in a student’s School or Department (Engineering) may be able to identify some simple changes that enable a student to still attend. Adjustments for disability should be considered in the normal way, outside the scope of this policy.

  • Study remotely

Remote study of a programme designed to be undertaken in person will mean that students will not have the opportunity to engage in face-to-face learning with their peers and tutors or physically access resources such as the library. Whilst the University will, wherever possible, provide suitable alternatives, some students may, in such circumstances, find it harder to remain engaged. In addition, depending on a course and its requirements, some forms of assessment may not be capable of being conducted remotely (for example, group presentations or lab work).

It is important students carefully think through all issues related to remote study - for example, they may also find they remain liable for contracts they have signed (such as landlord accommodation). The option to study remotely should not be considered lightly. Students should explore what measures, if any, can be put in place to ensure they have the opportunity to meet the learning outcomes of their course.


Process to study remotely (taught programmes)

Includes:  Registry and Academic Affairs, Directors of ESE, communications to student

  1. Students complete and submit application online.
  2. Student Services receive requests and where possible will provide a response to the student.
  3. If required, and in exceptional circumstances only, Student Services will forward requests on to Directors of Education and Student Experience (ESE) or their nominees in Schools or Departments for consideration.
  4. Directors of Education and Student Experience (ESE) or their nominees will consider cases, liaising with students as appropriate.
  5. Decisions communicated to students by email.

For postgraduate research students (PGRs)

Includes:  role of PGR Director, role of PGR supervisors 

For research degree programmes, the supervisors and the Programme Director should discuss the options with the PGR student, confirming any agreement in writing to the PGR student and Student Services.

It is deemed that where a PGR student has no current requirement for physical access to on-campus research facilities and the supervisors and School PGR Director are satisfied that satisfactory remote supervisory and other arrangements are in place to ensure the PGR’s research progress and enable them to engage in relevant training and research activities (for example, seminars, workshops), then remote study can be facilitated.


Important points (including finance) which need to be considered

Includes: timing of activities, tuition fees, accommodation options, immigration and visa, support

  • Activities are scheduled for UK time and whilst the University will endeavour to support students studying within different time zones there is no expectation that any staff members would provide support outside of normal UK hours of work (that is, the timetabled teaching times).
  • Full tuition fees will be payable regardless of any period of remote study and students are responsible for any costs they incur as a result of the University enabling their request to study remotely.
  • Studying remotely may also have an impact on any applicable Student Loan Company (SLC) funding (or other provider). Students are responsible for exploring any reduction in funding that might occur as a result of studying remotely.
  • The student would remain liable for any contractual obligations they hold. Students should consider the financial aspects of remote study carefully.
  • It is important to note that arriving in January and May could restrict accommodation options and/or increase costs.
  • For students who are subject to immigration control, visa requirements will still need to be met which could require the University to cancel the visa sponsorship and in turn require a student to reapply at their own cost for a new visa when returning to normal study. There is no guarantee that a subsequent visa would be issued by the UK Government.
  • To note that the UKVI deadline to be in the UK is 6 April 2022 if students want:
    • To maintain immigration sponsorship of their student visa and/or
    • to retain eligibility for the Graduate Immigration Route where they are on a course of 12 months or less (for example, Masters programme).
  • Studying remotely will not in and of itself constitute grounds for academic appeal.
  • Already having an agreement in place for remote study for semester one of the 2021/22 academic year does not constitute grounds to have it extended. If remote study is not extended, then students should expect to return or to interrupt their studies as the next step.
  • In all cases, the approach is to ensure students attend in person as soon as possible so that they can benefit from the full richness of an in-person experience at the University of Nottingham.

In recognition that students who are currently studying remotely and returning to campus from overseas may incur additional travel costs, the University is offering a number of support packages. For more information, please consult the following:

Services for Students - Remote study for current students


Previous versions and additional links

Includes:  Previous versions of this page; voluntary interruption of studies; Services for Students; Exceptional regulations: Covid-19

The Exceptional policy on Covid-19 (Limited) remote study was introduced in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. Throughout that time, it has continued to be reviewed and adapted to ensure that its contents reflect the current situation.

For more information about the previous wording of this page, please consult the following:

Additional links:

Voluntary interruption of study

Services for Students - Remote study for current students

Exceptional regulations: Covid-19   Flag of United Kingdom   Flag of China   Flag of Malaysia


If you have any problems or queries relating to this page, please email Quality-Manual-Enquiries@nottingham.ac.uk  Email
This content was last modified on 08 December 2021

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