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Study your programme online from home
We will get you to where you want to be
Studying with us in 2021 is about putting your education first. We understand that as excited as you are about beginning your journey with us, you may prefer to start your studies from home. This is why we're created virtual learning opportunities to ensure you stay on track to achieve your dreams.
Flexible study options for starting in, or after September 2021
Study your pathway programme from home and keep your education on track. If you are unable to travel to Durham, you can study online from the comfort of your home and either join us on campus at a later date, or complete your programme online from home*. Studying online you'll benefit from virtual teacher-led learning with our experienced staff and a wide range of learning and social activities.
To ensure you make the right decision for you, you will also benefit from our 21-day money-back satisfaction offer, visa refund policy and a wider range of English language tests accepted (CAS requirements stay the same).
Why study virtually at Durham University International Study Centre?
You will experience the level of exceptional, high-quality teaching regardless of whether you study virtually or on campus.
Supportive community environment
Academic guidance, tutorial sessions, careers support and personal and welfare support is all available virtually from the same specialist staff. You’ll be part of a community of students, connected through live classes and discussion groups, and we’ll be here to support you every step of the way.
Confidently keep your studies on track
Start your studies virtually from home in order to keep your studies on track, achieve your dreams and be ready to progress to university in 2022.
Smooth transition to campus
When you are ready to travel to the UK, you will be supported by our detailed transition plan. We'll ensure you have a smooth transfer to studying on campus and settle in with no disruption to your studies.
How does virtual learning work?
Everything you need to study your programme is delivered through a virtual learning environment. You'll be part of an engaging international community online where you will experience different cultures and make new friends. You will benefit from:
- Virtual teacher-led learning
- Online international community
- Experienced teachers and support staff
- One-to-one support at every stage
- Supportive staff to help you transition to the UK
21-day money back satisfaction offer‡
We want to make sure you are confident on your pathway to academic success. That’s why when you start one of our virtual programmes, you will have a 21-day introductory period to experience learning online.
If, within the 21-day introductory period you choose not to continue your studies virtually, you have two options available:
- Defer your place to a future intake
- Withdraw your place at no extra cost
We'll get you to where you want to be
Frequently asked questions about virtual learning
Can I study my whole programme virtually?No, you may start your course virtually if your country of residence has travel restrictions or you are unable to travel to the UK. However, our current expectation is that you will travel to the UK for face-to-face learning by 6th April 2022.
What do I need to study online?
As some lessons will be taught online, you will need to have a PC or Mac based computer. Whilst it is possible to access and interact with most course content using a tablet or smartphone, these devices will not work for assessments. If you do not have access to equipment, please let us know so that we can support you.
While it is possible to access and interact with most course content using various tablets and smartphones, such as iPads, iPhones and Android devices, these devices will not work for assessments and therefore it is important that you have a PC or Mac based computer available for use.
- Any Microsoft Windows based PC (laptop or desktop, preferably running Windows 10)
- Web Browser: Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium version)
- Installation of Zoom for Virtual Classroom
- Any Apple MacOS based laptop or desktop
- Web Browser: Google Chrome or Microsoft Edge (Chromium version)
- Installation of Zoom for Virtual Classroom
Internet connectivity is required for access to all coursework. Internet connectivity could be in the form of a fixed line connection, 3G/4G/5G, wi-fi or other technologies.
Minimum: 600kbps download and 600kbps upload speed
Recommended: at least 1.5Mbps download and 1.5Mbps upload speed
Zoom Restricted Countries
Zoom is used for access to virtual classroom and is therefore an important part of all courses. Zoom is unavailable or restricted in several countries, with the full restricted list available here. While Zoom may still work from the countries listed, individuals should test Zoom using their own equipment to ensure connectivity.
If I’m under 18 years old, what are my options?
Students under the age of 18 who are on a green or amber list country: You can travel to the UK for the start of your programme; or can start your programme online and join us on-campus at a later date; or you can study your whole programme online.
If you are under the age of 18 and are from a UK red-list country, you are able to quarantine within our Bellerbys college residences, as an alternative to using a UK Government Quarantine Hotel facility. We recommend you utilise this quarantine service for the 10 days prior to starting your course. Please refer to our guidance here: https://www.studygroup.com/study/UK-U18 which includes information about our quarantine support packages.
Is there a deadline to arrive on campus?
If you are issued a CAS to study in the UK, you can arrive on-campus in the UK at any time until the 6 April 2022.
How will online learning be assessed?
- Assessments will be held virtually via coursework submissions. We use Turnitin software which scans for plagiarism and other forms of academic impropriety.
- There may be some skills that we can't assess online such as practical lab skills and we are looking at alternatives for students impacted by this. As government travel guidance is changing regularly, we will provide more guidance on assessments and exams relating to specific programmes of study in due course. These will be in line with approaches taken by our university partners and, as appropriate, with guidance that is due to be issued by the UK government’s Department for Education.
What are the progression requirements?
There has been no change made to this aspect of our programmes. You will continue to work towards the same targets, and we will be supporting you to achieve these through online sessions.
On successful completion of your programme you will of course be supported in your transition to degree programme studies.
Will it affect my visa if I start my studies virtually?
Due to the current travel restrictions, UK Visas and Immigration have issued new guidance permitting international students to begin their studies virtually from their home country without requiring a visa.
If you begin your studies virtually from home, when the situation allows, we will support you in transitioning to in-Centre or College learning and a CAS will be issued to enable you to make your Student visa application to continue your studies. In the unlikely event that you are unable to obtain a visa we have amended our refund policy to include a number of instances when a refund would be payable as the circumstances may dictate.
Terms and conditions apply.
I want to cancel my place. What should I do?
We are committed to working with every student on the options to continue studying with us.
If you cannot travel to the UK for the start of the first term or semester, you can start your studies online from home. Starting your studies online will ensure you can still achieve your academic and career goals and progress to your chosen university degree, on time, from wherever you are in the world.
If you do decide to start your programme from home, you can try virtual learning for 21 days before you make an important choice about how to continue with your education. If, within 21 days, you decide not to continue with your studies online, you can still select to defer your place, or withdraw from your studies with a full refund.* For further details, please refer to the Terms and Conditions page on our website.
*Provided you have an online attendance level of 80% or more.
Do I still need to pay a security deposit if I am starting my studies online?
To accept your offer of a place to study, a confirmation payment is required comprising an administration fee of £235 and a £1,000 security deposit.
Even if you begin your studies virtually from home, we hope you will be able to return to studying in Centre or College during your course and the deposit payment is required in advance to confirm your place as usual. This will minimise the risk of unnecessary disruption to your studies that may be caused by demanding payment at a later date for you to be able to travel and continue with your studies in Centre or College.
The security deposit is primarily held against any damages incurred to Centre or College property and related expenses. It may also be offset against any outstanding fees or debts incurred by you throughout the duration of your course. On completion of your course, any monies left after deductions made for any amount outstanding at that time will be refunded to you within 90 days.
Prior to enrolling to begin your studies virtually from home, you will also need to pay £6,000 of your tuition fees in advance. You can make this payment at any point between confirming your place and enrolling online to begin your studies. It is beneficial for you to make this payment early, as you will then gain access to Prepare for Success – a virtual preparation course designed to give you a head start in your studies.
Can I travel to begin my studies?
When you are able to travel to the UK, we will issue you with a CAS* so you can make a successful visa application that's valid for the length of your course, ensuring you have the flexibility you need.
We’ll ensure that you have all the information and support you need for your move to the UK.
You should check government health and travel advice regularly before making any plans to travel.
*Subject to meeting the entry requirements.
What happens next?
If you have decided virtual learning is for you, you can apply using our online form. Your Student Enrolment Advisor will then contact you and support you every step of the way. Already have an offer? Accept your offer and confirm that you would like to start your programme virtually from home.
No matter where you are in the world, you’re still an International Study Centre student – and we’re here to help you. We’ll support you throughout your studies, and once you travel to the UK, support you in transitioning to campus life.
*Subject to continued approval by the UK Visas and Immigration service or circumstances that are subject to approval under our specific academic regulations.