Alert National lockdown from 5 January
Information for applicants
Last reviewed: 7 January 2021
How will the University consider the impact of school closures on applicants taking their qualifications in 2021?
The UK Government has now announced that A level exams in England will not take place, and that alternative arrangements will also be put in place for A levels in Wales and Northern Ireland, as well as for and Scottish Highers. We want to assure you that if you receive an offer from Oxford Brookes, then whatever approach is taken to awarding your grades, your qualifications will count towards the conditions of your offer.
We understand that you may be uncertain about the results that you will achieve in the summer. We want to reassure you that we will be as flexible as possible in ensuring that everyone who has the potential to succeed at Oxford Brookes, is able to study here. We are here to help you.
How can I prepare for starting University next year?
We understand that this is a hugely uncertain and anxious time for anyone wishing to study at university next year.
We would encourage you to continue to engage in your studies to make sure you are well prepared to progress to university. You can also find a range of resources to support you, including interactive online taster sessions, in our Outreach Hub.
Over the next few weeks and months, we’ll be running a range of online events to provide you with practical information and advice on applying to and studying at Oxford Brookes University. To find out more, visit our Applicant Event webpages.
We know that this year has been hard, so to ensure that you feel confident and ready to transition into your chosen course at Oxford Brookes, we will be aiming to provide additional support to our offer holders.
How will you assess my suitability for teaching or healthcare courses if I haven’t been able to complete work experience due to Covid-19?
We know that it may be very difficult to complete traditional work experience, so we won’t be making this a compulsory part of assessment for 2021 entry. We will look for examples in your application of relevant values, commitment to the vocation and an understanding of the professional area. You could reflect on other experiences in your personal life, extra-curricular activities or wider understanding of the subject (e.g. virtual taster sessions or wider reading) to evidence this in your personal statement.
What do I do to provide an English proficiency test?
The University requires all students to demonstrate evidence of their English language ability as a condition of enrolment.
In addition to IELTS, the University accepts a range of alternatives which can be found on our website. We are also currently reviewing additional qualifications.
How can I find out more about studying at Oxford Brookes University?
Our Virtual Events are a great way to find out more about our courses, life at university and how we support our students to successful graduation.
You can also get in touch with us by visiting our contact us webpages. Here you can submit a query about your application, or a more general question about life at Oxford Brookes, as well as accessing Unibuddy, where you can chat to current students.
Students are on campus for individual and small group learning with their peer group and also meetings with their academic advisor. Where social distancing allows, you will be able to use facilities such as our cafes and safe social activity through the Brookes Union clubs and societies. We can reassure you that for all these interactions, appropriate safety arrangements are in place.
How is teaching going ahead?
In line with Government guidance, the semester will start on 25 January 2021 with remote teaching for the majority of students. Face-to-face teaching for most courses will not now commence until 14 February at the earliest. However, there are a number of previously announced exceptions to this and these specific courses will commence face-to-face learning as planned.
Before lockdown, all large lectures were being delivered through high-quality, online learning. However, students were on campus for individual and small group learning. On-campus meetings with academic advisors were available and for all these interactions, appropriate safety arrangements were in place. Teaching methods are likely to vary from course to course
What support will there be for online learning?
If you are unfamiliar with online learning, we can help. We have many years of experience in helping our students develop the skills they need for their studies and we have experienced teams in place that will help you to get the most out of online learning. Our existing students finished the last academic year totally online including exams and assessments.
What is available to students at Oxford Brookes?
The Student Life webpage gives you a good idea of all the aspects of being a student at Oxford Brookes
What if I am unable to travel or be on campus due to my individual circumstances?
Students unable to travel to the UK will receive the same high-quality, online learning and support. Your academic adviser will be an important link to the campus, getting you involved with other students and in small group learning. This will include opportunities to have contact with fellow students and with all the support services we provide such as Wellbeing, Careers and the important Library service. This applies equally to those who need to adhere to stricter social distancing measures which prevent them from being on campus.
What happened to universities during the November lockdown?
As confirmed by the Government, universities continued to operate over this period. In line with the Government’s advice to universities, our campuses, accommodation and student support services remained open, including our libraries. Safety remains our priority: our COVID-secure environment and the measures we have put in place mean that we are well placed to support students in continuing their studies.
What happened to universities during the January 2021 lockdown?
In line with Government guidance, the semester will start with remote teaching for the majority of students. Face-to-face teaching for most courses will not now commence until 14 February at the earliest. However, there are a number of previously announced exceptions to this and these specific courses will commence face-to-face learning as planned.
Our libraries remain open and our student support services are available online. Our accommodation remains open for those students already in place and for those for whom face-to-face teaching will take place and for those who are unable to stay in their vacation accommodation.
My course involves placements. How are these offered currently?
When students are in placement our priority and that of our placement providers is the safety of our students, we'll therefore be closely monitoring the availability and appropriateness of placement during this time.
What preparations is the University making to help keep students and staff members safe on campus?
There is a huge amount of work underway to help keep students, staff and essential visitors safe on campus. This encompasses many different areas - from enhanced cleaning, to social distancing measures and modifications to reduce campus footfall. We work in close partnership with Public Health England (PHE) and the local councils and NHS to ensure the safety of all. This has enabled us to open our campuses and students are back for study and in halls of residence.
Halls of residences
We continue to support students who are isolating in both halls of residence and private rented accommodation. We do not have any ‘locked down’ halls of residence.
My course has a field trip, will this trip still take place?
All field trips will be risk assessed. If the risk assessment is satisfactory, then the trip will go ahead as planned. If risks are identified then the field trip will be modified to mitigate these risks, while making sure the learning outcomes of the field trips are still met.
Do I need my own computer or laptop to study?
Depending on your course, your study preferences and your proximity to campus, you may find it easier to have your own computer. Some specialist equipment and software can be accessed remotely or you can access the on-campus computers so having your own computer is not a requirement.
If you are studying a course that often uses specialist software (eg Architecture, Urban Design, Publishing, Graphic Design, Computing, Engineering) and you are planning to purchase your own computer, we can advise on specifications that you may want to consider.
What if my course normally relies on specialist facilities/equipment/software?
Some courses include modules of a practical nature which take place in specialist facilities such as studios, labs, workshops or technical suites. Practical sessions are a key element to many of our programmes and we have prioritised making sure they can be safely taught face to face on campus in small groups as much as possible. Some practical sessions, such as demonstrations, will also be streamed online.
In some areas independent study in these spaces is popular outside of the teaching timetable. To ensure continued access to these facilities, we plan to implement a booking system to ensure social distancing requirements can be met.
Will I still be able to complete practical skills training as part of my course?
Yes we have COVID safe skills training, with small group training, social distancing and PPE when needed. All skills teaching is fully risk assessed.
Will you still be offering placements as part of my course?
Yes. This is a required part of healthcare training. Depending on external circumstances changes to precise arrangements might have to be made during the programme, but we will try to minimise the impact of any such changes. It is possible, though extremely unlikely, that placements could be delayed beyond the end of the normal academic year in which they occur. This will be true for all HEIs.
Will my progress be affected if I need to self-isolate or observe increased social distancing measures?
No your progress will not be affected. We are used to dealing with such issues as students experience such disruption for reasons other than COVID 19.
What happens if I am an international student and I can't get to Oxford Brookes for the beginning of my first semester?
For students who are unable to travel to the UK you will have the same high-quality online learning and support. This will involve on-line, face to face contact and may involve the use of specialist simulation software.
We will create individual plans for making up anything that you might miss before your arrival at Oxford Brookes. Your academic adviser will be an important link to the campus, to getting you involved with other students and in small group learning.
This will include opportunities to have contact with fellow students and with all the support services we provide such as Wellbeing, Careers and the important Library service.
This applies equally to those who need to adhere to stricter social distancing measures which prevent them from being on campus.