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Coronavirus: update on 2021/22 academic year

A person sits on the floor surrounded by colourful material
Rochelle Saunders in the studio, photo by Alys Tomlinson

We're welcoming students onto campus.

Teaching and learning

We know it’s important to know what your teaching experience will look like next year.

Over the past year, an enormous amount of work has taken place in designing the delivery of your course to give you the best possible learning opportunities. We’ve learnt what works best in different situations for different courses and different groups of students and we have developed innovative ways of doing things.

Engaging with the full mix of on-campus and online learning, will mean you have a comprehensive student experience at UAL.

We know from experience that things can change very rapidly, so we have plans in place just in case we have to adapt to further restrictions or other events.

If there are further lockdowns, we will move our teaching online, as we have done over the last year. We will continue to update you if there are any significant changes to the delivery of your course.

Spring term

It’s essential you attend on site by Monday 10 January 2022 at the very latest – that’s the start of spring term. Your Covid-Related Authorised Absence can’t be extended beyond this date.

Can’t attend by spring term

If you don’t wish to join us on site by the deadline you must take a formal time out (partial year out). You’ll break from your studies until the 2022/23 academic year. If you break before completing a unit or block, you may be asked to return at the start of that unit or block in autumn 2022.

Read our Student guide to taking time out (PDF 250KB) for details.

You must urgently contact your Programme Administration team (PDF 169KB) to notify them of your need to take a time out. 

It’s also essential you contact our Student Advice Service for time out guidance that’s specific to your circumstances.

Xi'an and Yuzhou lockdown

Students affected by the lockdown in Xi’an and Yuzhou may study remotely for the first 2 weeks of the spring term.

We will continue to monitor the situation and this 2-week late arrival permission will be reviewed in January.

Please continue to check this page for further updates.


If you’re looking for a place to live during your studies, remember our Accommodation Services team is there to help.

Whilst our halls of residence are full, we’ve put together a list of available rooms from trusted student accommodation providers within travelling distance of our Colleges. We can also provide guidance on renting privately.

Read our Accommodation advice for students arriving in January 2022.

Rules for travelling to England

You must take a PCR or lateral flow test 2 days before travelling to England, and show a negative result.

You must also take a PCR test within 2 days of arriving and self-isolate until you get a negative test result, even if you’re fully vaccinated.

Check what you need to do to travel to England from another country.

Travelling from a red list country

There are different rules if you have been in a red list country or territory in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

Red list rules apply whether you are fully vaccinated or not.

Financial support for arrivals from the UK government’s red list 

If you’ve been in a country or territory in the UK government’s red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England you must book a managed quarantine hotel for your 10 day isolation period.

We’re providing a financial contribution towards the cost of the managed quarantine hotel for students who are starting or continuing their studies at UAL in the autumn term. We’ll reimburse eligible students with £1,300 once enrolled and the course has started.

Read our Hotel Quarantine Support page for details.

Student visa and Tier 4 visa holders: important information about returning to campus

When your authorised absence has ended you must attend your studies on site. Check your timetable to find out when you're due on site and where to go.

You must attend on site because it’s a condition of your visa. Your visa may be cancelled if you don’t attend when expected.

What to do when you arrive in the UK

1. Within 48 hours of arrival you must email your Programme Administration team. In your email:

  • include your Student ID number and full name
  • confirm when you arrived in the UK
  • tell us if you need to quarantine.

2. Log in to your UAL Portal, go to my Enrolment(s) > my Study Details >  Upload documents, then:

  • upload a photo or scanned copy of your boarding pass or e-ticket as evidence you’ve arrived in the UK. If you have a date stamped entry vignette you must also upload a photo or scanned copy of it.
  • update your term time address.

3. Attend on site when timetabled. Only attend once you’ve completed any required quarantine.

Study Abroad students 

If you’re an Integrated Study Abroad student or a Semester Study Abroad student you must participate in your programme from within the UK (unless your programme is fully online).

Postgraduate Research students (MPhil and PhD)  

Because your study is self-directed and all mandatory elements are online, you’ll only need to inform us of your need to take Covid-Related Authorised Absence if you require a visa to study with us. Notify us of your absence by emailing

If you’re a visa holder you must arrive in the UK on or before Wednesday 6 April 2022 in order to comply with UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) requirements.

Contact us

If you have a query that is not answered here, you can:

  • Academic Support session. Image by G Barton, 2017

    Academic support

    Take advantage of tutorials, workshops and online resources to boost your studies.

  • Image courtesy UAL, Image courtesy UAL

    English language skills

    Use our online tutorials, online resources, guides and take a progress test.

  • Exterior shot of Gardens House hall of residence
    Image courtesy of UAL,

    Halls of residence

    How to apply and get in touch