Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for applicants and offer holders.

You will find details of some of the steps we are taking to help ensure a safe and fulfilling student experience for you from September. We cover the combination of on campus and online teaching and learning you’ll receive, on campus facilities, our plans for welcome activities and student support, and the health and safety measures that we are taking. For a quick overview of our plans, see our animated video at www.qmu.ac.uk/coronavirus/applicants/

If you need more help, please contact our Admissions team.

Last updated: 13 August 2020

How are you responding to the Scottish Government announcement on downgraded exam results?

Queen Margaret University supports the recent Scottish Government announcement to withdraw all downgraded results and replace them with teacher’s recommendations.

Where the new results now meet the conditions of your offer at QMU, we will guarantee a place on the original course you applied to. We are working with UCAS and the SQA to get these changes confirmed as soon as possible.

For help or support, don't hesitate to get in touch with our dedicated admissions team.

We look forward to welcoming all our new students to the @QMUcommunity in September.

When will the autumn semester start, and will teaching be delivered on campus?

We can confirm that our autumn semester will start in September and that we are all set to welcome our new and returning students on campus from then. Our Induction Week will begin for most students as planned on 7th September, with teaching and learning beginning on 14th September. There are a few exceptions which you can find at our applicant FAQs.

More information on our plans for the autumn semester

What is QMU’s route map for returning to campus and re-starting?

Our route map mirrors the Scottish Government’s route map for easing of lockdown and is based on guidance from government and other national sources. It is flexible to allow for any changing circumstances.

Underpinning our route map is our commitment to protecting the health and safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, and our determination to help enable a fulfilling all-round student experience for all students from the very start of the academic year.

We aim to provide a working environment which seems as close to normal as possible.
More information on our plans are available in our message to staff and students of 29 May.

How is teaching being delivered?

All new first year students will receive six hours on-campus teaching per week from the very start of their course, in two to three hour blocks across two to three days a week. All new (full-time) postgraduate students will receive five hours on-campus teaching from the very start of their courses, again delivered in two to three hour blocks across two days a week.

If at any point in the semester Scottish Government health guidelines require it, this activity will be moved online for the required period.

Level 2-4 students will also receive a combination of on-campus and online learning, the balance of which will vary according to programme requirements.

The level of teaching of students in other years (i.e. not first year and PG courses) will be decided by the programme team, working within certain parameters. Where programme teams have questions or concerns about parameters and arrangements, they should contact their Head of Division.

The teaching day will be extended so that it runs from 9am to 8pm, though we will minimise the number of times any student or staff member is scheduled to be on campus in the evening. No student or staff member will be timetabled to be on campus for more than 8 hours on any day. The timetabling team will do everything possible to ensure the best use of space, to avoid, for example classes having to move from one seminar room to another as far as possible.

We will be allowing for physical distancing in our face to face teaching.

I am holding a conditional offer for September 2020, but my exams have now been cancelled, what do I do?

If teaching is suspended at your current institution, you may not know if your exams are going ahead. Many governments and exam boards are making arrangements to ensure that assessments can still go ahead in a different format, or that grades can be awarded, based on previous achievement.

If you have questions or concerns about your exams or assessments, you should get in touch with your school or college, and check the website for your exam board or qualification provider, to see what measures they are putting in place.

Guidance from the Scottish and UK Governments is as follows:

The Scottish Government has confirmed that exams for Scottish school pupils will not take place this year. They have confirmed that school and college students will not be disadvantaged and instead students will be graded on coursework, teacher assessment and prior grades.

The UK Department for Education has confirmed that GCSEs, AS and A Levels have all been cancelled. Ofqual, the independent qualifications regulator, will develop a fair and robust process to calculate students’ grades. This will take into account a broad range of evidence, including teacher assessment and prior attainment. The calculated grades awarded will be formal grades, with the same status as in previous years. Further information is available here.

I have received an offer to join the University in September 2020, but now my school/college/university is closed, what should I do?

We know that in many countries there have been widespread school, college and university closures, so teaching may now be restricted. If your institution is offering online teaching and support we would strongly encourage you to engage with that, so that you will be well prepared if assessments do go ahead at a later date, or in an alternative format.

If you are having issues obtaining documents that we have asked you to provide, please get in touch with our Admissions Office. If you have been given a deadline for submitting documents we will be happy to review this in light of your personal circumstances.

How and when will I hear about my timetable?

Details of on-campus and live online activities in Semester 1 are currently being timetabled and we anticipate that will be able to confirm timetable information to students by 21 August.

What is the extent of activity we are planning for Semester 1?

Induction Week will begin on 7th September (running over two weeks rather than the usual single week) and teaching and learning will start on 14th September (with a few exceptions as set in the message of 29 May).

We will maximise opportunities for face to face delivery in support of the student experience.

We will aim to publish the semester 1 timetable by no later than 21 August. The semester 2 timetable will be planned separately and published on a later date so as to be able to take into account any changes to current and planned restrictions.

Lectures will be delivered online and recorded (by staff, at home). This means that students can access online lectures at a time that suits them, rather than all students having to “attend” a lecture at the same time. As we will have to allow for social distancing on campus, the removal of lectures from the face to face timetable frees up space and time for the other elements of teaching, such as seminars and tutorials, where students will gain more benefit from face to face interaction.

Most seminars and tutorials will be delivered face to face on campus, with practicals generally postponed to seminar 2.

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) will be available for self-development.

From Monday 17 August, the Learning Resource Centre will be open to students from 9am-2pm, with access by student access card. No booking is required, but if you have any specific requirements please contact the LRC staff in advance. From Monday 7 September, it will be open from 8am to 9pm every day. The tiered area of the main atrium, with study spaces, will be open 24 hours a day, with vending facilities available. Access will be via student card, ie no booking required.

Our liaison librarian are available to help you with any queries you might have via email, as they have been throughout the summer.

(It is our intention that those who have timetabled classes will have priority access to the LRC and social spaces on that day.)

Is the LRC (library) open?

From Monday 17 August, the Learning Resource Centre will be open to students from 9am-2pm, with access by student access card. No booking is required, but if you have any specific requirements please contact the LRC staff in advance. From Monday 7 September, it will be open from 8am to 9pm every day. The tiered area of the main atrium, with study spaces, will be open 24 hours a day, with vending facilities available. Access will be via student card, ie no booking required.

Our liaison librarian are available to help you with any queries you might have via email, as they have been throughout the summer.

 

I am a prospective international student who wants to meet with someone from your recruitment team in my country. What advice have you for me?

Where we have had to cancel events or visits to overseas countries due to travel restrictions, we would be very happy to engage online through Skype, email or telephone. You can arrange to chat with us by emailing international@qmu.ac.uk.

I am an international applicant. If I need to start my course online, can I still take advantage of the Graduate Route visa?

The UK government has announced that students on Tier 4 visas commencing their studies in the 2020-21 academic year will be eligible for the new Graduate Route visa (formerly known as the post-study work visa) even if their courses is delivered initially through distance or blended learning.

Students starting their studies under these new conditions will still be eligible to apply for the new Graduate Route visa so long as they intend to transition to face-to-face learning as soon as circumstances allow and they arrive in the UK by 6 April 2021.

To find out more, click here or get in touch with us at international@qmu.ac.uk.

 

What if I am having difficulty making arrangements to be tested for my English language (IELTS)?

For applicants who need to be tested for their English language (IELTS or equivalent) we are aware that most test centres are currently closed. We know that test providers have stated their intention to offer additional testing slots when they reopen, but where it is not possible for you to sit an English Language Test in order to meet the conditions of your offer, the University will review your circumstances nearer to the start date of your programme. If you have any concerns, please contact the Admissions team.

I am due to start at the University and I am having difficulties obtaining my visa. What should I do?

For new students or those concerned about obtaining or renewing their visas, you should contact the International Team

What are the exceptions to the 14 September start of teaching date?

1. New year 1 entrants PDGE Secondary (Home Economics) - Induction will begin on 24th August with teaching commencing on 7th September.

2. Postgraduate programmes in the Business School and in the Institute of Global Health and Development - Induction will commence w/b 21st September, with teaching on those programmes beginning on 28th September.

3. New year 1 entrants - The following programmes will commence on 13th January:

  • MSc Physiotherapy pre-registration
  • MSc Occupational Therapy pre-registration
  • MSc Art Psychotherapy (International)
  • MSc Music Therapy
  • MSc Audiology
  • MSc Speech and Language Therapy pre-registration

4. New year 1 entrants MA Stage Management will commence in April 2021.

What if I can’t get to the campus for 14 September, when teaching and learning begins?

Students who wish to begin their programme in September, but are unable to join us on campus for the beginning of the semester (e.g. because of issues related to their visa, quarantine or self-isolating, or travel delays due to late receipt of exam results) will be able to begin their studies online. If you are in this situation, please contact Registry at registry@qmu.ac.uk.

What support is available to students in these unusual times?

As QMU is a small university, with a strong community focus, students joining us can rest assured that they will receive strong personalised support, and we appreciate this support is needed more than ever at this time. Each student is assigned a personal academic tutor, and we offer a full range of support services ranging from effective learning to wellbeing, and from the library to careers. All services have been available online throughout the pandemic and will also be offered face to face whenever appropriate.

More about our Student Services

If I am unable to attend the campus, will I be able to study remotely?

Yes. Students who wish to begin their programme in September, but are unable to physically join us on campus during semester one (e.g. because of issues related to health, self-isolation, or caring responsibilities for others self isolating etc.) will be able to undertake their studies online. If you are in this situation, please contact Registry at registry@qmu.ac.uk.

If I need to study remotely, will I be disadvantaged because I am unable to attend any on-campus learning activities?

No. We are putting steps in place to ensure that students unable to attend on-campus learning activities have the opportunity to engage in equivalent learning online. The nature of this activity will necessarily vary by programme, but it is likely to include, amongst other things, the ability to join on-campus group discussion activity virtually through our virtual learning environment (the Hub).

If I need to study remotely, will I still be able access Student Services support (finance, wellbeing, counselling, careers etc.)?

Yes. The University has continued to offer students remote access to its range of Student Services support since the lockdown started and will continue to do so for those students unable to come on to the campus when the campus reopens. You can use Student Central to view the resources, book online appointments and view current job vacancies. More detailed information on accessing specific Student Services support remotely is available within the COVID-19 (Coronavirus) FAQs for students.

What other learning resources will I have access to if I need to study remotely?

Our Library (LRC) resources and our Effective Learning Service (ELS) are both accessible remotely. The ELS will continue to offer advice and guidance on writing assignments and developing academic skills to students who need to study remotely.

I have an Independent Learning Plan (ILP), will that be modified to take account of any adjustments to the delivery of learning and teaching in semester one?

Yes. Where necessary, ILPs will be modified to take account of any necessary adjustments to learning and teaching activities in semester one, including for those students who are unable to come on to campus. Students with ILPs will be contacted by Students Services regarding this in due course.

How will you support me if I am joining as an international student this autumn and need to self-isolate (quarantine) when I arrive?

If you have ​accepted a contract to live in our campus accommodation and you are required to self-isolate for 14 days when you arrive in the UK, you can arrange to move into your accommodation early in order to complete the self-isolation period before induction week starts on 7 September. This 14 day stay will be free of charge and we’ll do all that we can to make your self-isolation period as comfortable as possible. Please email accommodation@qmu.ac.uk for full details on how to book your early arrival.

International students in this situation who are not going to live on campus should refer to Scottish Government guidance, and, as ever, you can call on our International Office and Wellbeing teams for more general support as required.

On 8 July, the Scottish Government announced that passengers arriving in Scotland from 57 overseas destinations will no longer need to quarantine. Click here for more information.

How much timetabled on-campus teaching and learning will I be scheduled for in the first semester?

Current social distancing requirements mean that for health and safety reasons the overall number of hours of on-campus timetabled teaching and learning activity we are able to offer on the campus in semester one are reduced. The actual number of hours you will be scheduled for will vary depending on your level of study. All undergraduate level 1 students will receive 6 hours per week regardless of their programme. Levels 2-4 will receive between 2-4 hours per week. All postgraduate students in their first year of study will receive 5 hours of on-campus activity per week. This variation is to take account of students' different levels of familiarity with the University's approach to learning and teaching, its support systems and the requirements of individual programmes, and the extent to which students have already had the opportunity to form social networks with their peers. Digital learning opportunities (such as online lectures and online live discussion) will be provided to compensate for any reduction in standard levels of timetabled on campus learning.

What is intended to take place in semester 2 and what about those courses that are scheduled for delayed start and commence in semester 2?

We currently anticipate that activity on campus will move towards normal levels from January albeit with precautionary measures and hygiene regimes ongoing.

We intend to prepare the semester 2 timetable for publication in November. The semester 2 timetable will accommodate some delayed activity from semester one.

 

What does physical distancing mean for the campus and how will it be implemented?

Timetable planning is central to managing physical distancing on campus as it helps us manage the number of people on campus at any one time for taught, self-development and organised social activities.

We are fortunate in that our modern, airy campus is well suited to enabling physical distancing.

The specific physical distancing measures that we take will be in accordance with Scottish Government guidance and based on a full risk assessment.

Measures will include access control, one way routing, staggered starts to timetabled classes, breaks to enable cleaning etc.

Also factored into our planning is off-campus activity in terms of staff and student travel.

Are we considering the car parking requirements of those for those who wish to avoid public transport?

Through our timetable planning, we are spreading out activity across the day to spread the load on the car park and other facilities and thus maximise the availability of parking space.

What other health protection measures will be in place when the campus re-opens?

Specific measures will depend on government guidance at the time, but, for example, we are installing a thermal camera at the main entrance to monitor the temperature of people arriving on campus. We are also making adjustments to our ventilation systems to optimise air flow.

You can find out more on our Campus Life, Physical Distancing and Hygiene page.

How will we enable social interaction for students on campus when it re-opens, and will students be encouraged to spend time on campus?

This is the focus of the work being undertaken through our Student Experience Business Recovery Work Stream.

We are, of course, acutely conscious that student life is about much more than study. We also know that we must live up to our reputation for providing a friendly learning community, and are determined to do so.

While any requirements for physical distancing will change the way we operate our on-campus Students’ Union, sports facilities and social spaces, we will do everything possible to maximise the facilities available to students.

A couple of examples of our plans are:

  • Catering: click and collect facility to be introduced along with extension of service times.
  • Learning Resource Centre (LRC) - will be open with physical distancing in place

In terms of encouraging students to spend time on campus, it is our intention that those who have timetabled classes will have priority access to the LRC and social spaces on that day.

So in short, we will enable and encourage social interaction - and are prioritising this.

What welcome activities will there be for new students?

We will offer a full four-week ‘Welcome to QMU’ programme focused on fun and forming friendships. Our Students’ Union and RES:LIFE team will, as always, work closely together, and they will run these ‘Welcome to QMU’ events in full partnership. Within their planning, they are taking account of the needs of those students who won’t be on campus to benefit from opportunities for social interaction. To give us more space for physically distanced activities, we have arranged for a marquee to be in place on campus at the start of the semester, to supplement other social spaces.  

Check out our Students' Union website at https://www.qmusu.org.uk/

Are we prepared for any second wave of COVID-19?

Our plans are designed to be flexible so that we can react promptly to any second wave or cluster of COVID cases.

Rest assured  that we have been planning, and continue to plan, for any local outbreak, liaising with Health Protection Scotland, other Edinburgh institutions and council officials. This will help mitigate the impact of any local outbreak on our campus operations and University life, helping us to ensure that we can consistently provide our students with the education and support that they need and deserve.

 

I’m a prospective student on a Health Sciences programme for this coming September, and I believe that I am required to provide an immunisation history and undergo a Health Clearance medical. I am unsure as to what this means and was wondering could you provide me with the details as to what is required?

Once you have Firmly Accepted an Unconditional Offer from the University, you will receive an email from Occupational Health providers (Cohort) containing a web link, a username and password, to their secure online form. Please be aware that this is not an automated process and each email has to be generated manually, and so there may be a delay of some weeks between you accepting your offer and the email being issued from Cohort. Remember to check any ‘junk’ or ‘spam’ folders you may have.

The online questionnaire must be completed and submitted prior to Induction Week. Part of the form will require you to upload your vaccination history; this is normally obtained from your GP/Child Health Record or Paediatrician. The documents should provide evidence of your childhood immunisations, in particular evidence of having two doses of the Measles, Mumps and Rubella (MMR) vaccine.

 

There is no requirement to have any vaccinations in advance of commencing your course of study, and no student is forced to undertake immunisations they do not wish to have; however, it may affect where we are able to send a student on placement.

 

I am due to start a Health Sciences or Initial Teacher Education programme which says I need a PVG and/or a Criminal Record Check. What do I need to do?

If you are currently based in the UK, and you have firmly accepted an unconditional offer to study at Queen Margaret University, you can start the PVG process now.

If you are yet to arrive in the UK, or do not yet have a permanent UK address, you will not be able to complete the process yet, however, you will be able to view the form and start collating the required documents/information required.

Detailed information on the PVG process for all applicants can be found here

Some applicants will have been asked by Admissions for a Criminal Record Check. This is required if you are now, or have ever been, resident at a fixed address outside the UK for more than six months whilst over the age of 18.

 

 

I am an EU student with a course starting in January 2021. Will I need a visa to study in Scotland?

EU students commencing study in January 2021 will be required to have a Tier 4 visa. If you are an Irish national, see separate FAQ. Funding arrangements will remain the same as previously for students starting their course in academic year 2020/21, ie EU students will continue to be eligible for home fees at UG and PG level if commencing their course in January 2021. EU postgraduate students will also be able to access the tuition fee element of the Student Awards Agency for Scotland’s postgraduate loan, subject to the normal eligibility criteria, if starting at this time. (Ministers have confirmed that as a result of Brexit, higher education students from the EU attending university will no longer qualify for tuition fee support beyond AY2020-21.)

I am an Irish national whose course is starting in January 2021. Will I need a visa to study in Scotland?

Irish nationals living in the UK and Ireland whose right to study and to access benefits and services will be preserved on a reciprocal basis for UK and Irish nationals under the Common Travel Area arrangement. So Irish students starting in January 2021 will not require a visa to travel or study in Scotland. Future arrangements for Irish students for the academic year 2021-22 under the Common Travel Area will be published in due course as this is subject to on-going discussion with the Scottish, UK and Irish Governments.

 

More FAQs

General coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for International Students

Accommodation FAQs

Admissions Enquiries

Show Contacts

Admissions Enquiries

Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught - Application Enquiries
0131 474 0000
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