Skip to content

Open times: Mon Thurs 8.30am - 6.00pm Fri 8.30am - 5pm

Current Student FAQs

We will continue to provide updates as and when we have them on this page. Please see below our responses to key questions raised so far.

University FAQs  |  Applicant FAQs  |  Health and Wellbeing FAQs | Accommodation FAQsLibrary FAQsStudent Finance FAQs

University FAQs

For questions related to the University, including our opening, teaching, visa and assessments information.

Is the University open?

The University is currently open with the vast majority of activity being delivered online in the week commencing 23 March 2020. 

All buildings across both City Campus & Sir Tom Cowie Campus at St Peter’s in Sunderland are now closed effective from 5pm on Monday 23rd March. The only University buildings that remain open after this time are Student residences. Please note we do have essential staff (security, cleaning and maintenance) available support students in our managed residences.

The University nursery is closed in accordance with instruction from HM Government.

Library services have also moved all library provision online.

Teaching will be delivered online from 23 March 2020 with announcements on the detail of how we will carry out assessments to follow.

The University of Sunderland in London campus building is closed with teaching and services being delivered online.

What will happen with my assessments, exams, results and progression?

The University has developed a set of Emergency Academic Regulations in response to the 2020 COVID-19 Pandemic, and the impact of the pandemic on teaching, academic student support and assessment. These Regulations are intended to enable the University to keep upholding academic standards and quality, while trying to lessen the impact of the disruption on you, and to support you in progressing and achieving your awards.

Take a look at the regulations here, along with the FAQs here.

What will happen to my attendance?

If you are engaged in online sessions, there's nothing you are required to do. Although you will not see your swipe, your attendance % will not be affected.

If you are absent from online teaching, please log your absence as usual through the TDS Student Portal.

What will happen with my student loan?

The Student Loans Company announced on 20th March 2020 that “students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provider has made alternative arrangements for teaching”. Therefore, as long as you are still engaging with your course you will still continue to receive your funding.

(However, if you actually withdraw from your course or take Leave of Absence, those changes in circumstances would need to be reported to your Student Finance provider, and your funding entitlement would change in those cases.)

Please take a look at further Student Finance related FAQs

Who can help me with financial support and guidance?

Our Student Financial Guidance Team are here to assist with a wide range of financial support and guidance information. They have put together their own FAQs on the topic of Covid19 concerns. Please take a look here

For further infromation please contact the team at studentfinancialguidance@sunderland.ac.uk or visit their website.

I'm on a placement, what should I do?

If you're placement provider is still open as usual, you should still engage with your placement until otherwise advised, ensuring to follow hygiene advice as per guidance from Public Health England and Government.

Please contact your Placement Support Officer for further guidance.

I study at a partner college, what should I do?

As a partnership student, if your college remains open you should follow the College guidance in regards to attending classes.

If you have any problems, please contact your Partnership Liaison Team.

I am worried about my visa, what should I do?

The University has notified you that all teaching and assessments will be moved on line from 23 March. Therefore if you have returned overseas and plan to continue to study online there will be no impact on your Tier 4 visa. The University will continue to sponsor you. This means that you will be able to return to the UK on your current visa once face to face classroom teaching starts again.

If you are a student with a current Tier 4 Visa, and you have returned to your home country you should also inform us via our Overseas Returner form.

All students holding a tier 4 or other approproiate study visa be contacted in due course you to discuss your plans and whether you want to continue studying using the online provision or if you would prefer to take a longer break from your programme. We will then explain the impact this will have on your Tier 4 sponsorship and whether you need a new visa in order to come back to the UK to pick up your studies at a later date. International Student Support will guide and support you through a new CAS process if you do require a new visa.  This process will be conducted via a Compass enquiry.  

If you have a specific concern in regards to your Tier 4 Visa, please Submit an Enquiry on Compass to our International Student Support Team.

If you are on a Start-up Visa and have returned to your home country please contact the Enterprise Team at enterprise@sunderland.ac.uk so that we can support you through the next few months.

My visa has expired and I am still in the UK, what should I do?

The Home Office have extended their support for those who have not been able to return home due to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic. Visa nationals currently residing in the UK will be able to extend their leave until 31st May 2020, if their previous leave expired after January 24th and due to self-isolation or travel restrictions, leaving the UK was not possible.

Students should email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk and provide;

  • Full name (include any middle names)
  • Date of birth (dd/mm/yyyy)
  • Nationality
  • Previous visa reference number
  • Reason you are unable to return to your home country

The Home Office will respond as soon as possible to confirm the request has been approved and your visa has been extended.

If you have any additional questions on this process, the Home Office have created a helpline to support those who may require an extension; 0800 678 1767.

You can also Submit an Enquiry to our International Student Support team for additional support and guidance. This includes if you have an upcoming visa expiry beyond 31st May 2020, and therefore don’t qualify for the above allowance, but still have questions regarding your immigration status.

Should I travel back to my home country?

The Government’s advice is that students remaining at University in England should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel.

If you are living in student halls, or private rented accommodation, they should remain there and stay indoors while current restrictions are in force. As the Prime Minister said, staying put and remaining indoors are now crucial to slow the rate of transmission of COVID-19, to protect the NHS from being overwhelmed, and save lives.

If you are a student with a current Tier 4 Visa, and you have returned to your home country you should also inform us via our Overseas Returner form.

I am an international student and want to take a break from my studies

The University understands that this is a very difficult time and will continue to sponsor your Tier 4 visa throughout the Easter vacation. 

We will then contact you to find out about your plans and whether you want to study using the on line provision or take a longer break from your programme. We will then advise you on the impact this will have on your Tier 4 visa and whether you need a new visa in order to come back to the UK to pick up your studies at a later date.

I am an international student. How will the University monitor my engagement during this period of on line learning and assessment.

All the University expects is that our student community, including international students, log into Canvas and access the on line learning teaching and assessments that are available for each particular programme.

If you continue your studies on line, even though face to face teaching is not available, then you will be fully compliant with your Tier 4 visa requirements.

Submit an Enquiry

Got a question we haven't covered? Submit an Enquiry to us.

Health & Wellbeing FAQs

For those that have an application pending with us, due to start in April or have interviews coming up, we've put together a range of FAQs below.

What are the main symptoms?

Symptoms to look out for are high temperature (fever), a new continuous cough and difficulty breathing.

What should I do if I have these symptoms?

The NHS advise the following:

If you have either a high temperature or a new, continuous cough and live alone then stay at home for a full 7 days

If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. The 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in your house became ill.

Report your absence to the University by:

Logging your absence through the TDS Student Portal as you would as usual at https://sunderlandlive.tdscloud.ie/studentportal/static/index.html
Please visit here for guidance and links to mobile apps to access the portal

Email us at wellbeing@sunderland.ac.uk and tell us you are staying at home.

Please do not come into University or go to your GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital

If your symptoms do not get better after 7 days or your condition gets worse or you feel that you cannot cope with your symptoms at home then:

Use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service
Please only telephone 111 if you cannot get NHS help online.

For comprehensive information on what to do, visit https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/covid-19-stay-at-home-guidance

I am just really worried about everything and don’t know what to do

There is a lot of information around about Coronavirus – and it seems to be popping up everywhere.  We understand that this outbreak of Coronavirus can be a cause of concern and anxiety.  We are actively following Government advice and guidance and your safety is our top priority.

Please make sure that you are following official Government advice and guidance including the latest Government information for the public https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-information-for-the-public and keep referring back to this FAQ page where the University will publish its latest updates.

Try to keep yourself up-to-date with trusted news sources such as the BBC rather than relying on social media.

There are some useful websites which can help you understand and deal with feelings of anxiety about this outbreak:

Here are some tips about coping with feeling anxious about the outbreak and some more.

You can also access the University’s Silvercloud Health service. We recommend you sign up at www.sunderland.ac.uk/silvercloud and access “Space from Anxiety”.

If you have concerns about the impact of Coronavirus on your assessments or other aspects of your learning then please contact your Programme Leader.

I have been threatened, abused or harassed, what should I do?

The University will not tolerate abuse or harassment and we take all such allegations seriously. If you feel you have been a victim or have seen a student victimised then please report it immediately using the Report It, Get Supported online service here.

We also have a campus police officer who is at hand to ensure the safety and security of our community. For more information, please click here.

What do I need to know about staying at home?

The Government has issued this advice about staying at home, and has useful information about living in shared spaces and with children and older, vulnerable or pregnant people.  It also has useful tips about planning ahead.

Here is some advice about looking after your wellbeing in self-isolation and some further information is here

And here are some tips about coping with feeling anxious about the outbreak.

close tray menu