International Applicants FAQs

Current and future international applicants

We are looking forward to welcoming new students at the start of the academic year and of course we understand that this is a worrying time. The coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is impacting how we live our lives across the world. We understand that you will have questions on how this will affect your application to study with us at the University of South Wales.

USW remains fully committed to welcoming international students, and we would like to reassure you that USW continues to follow UK Government, Welsh Government and Public Health Wales guidance and continues to carefully monitor and provide updates to keep our international community safe.

This page contains important information for offer holders and applicants intending to join our student community in September 2020. We understand you will have questions regarding the impact of Covid-19 and the following FAQ’s aims to address these.

For current students and staff, please refer to our central page FAQ's and updates and internal resources on Connect and Unilife. 

New academic year - September 2020


Your health and wellbeing is our top priority as we prepare to welcome students onto our campuses in September 2020. We are accepting applications and processing offer letters for this intake.

Many of our courses have practical components taught in specialist facilities such as labs, workshops and creative studios. We plan to run as many as we can on our campuses in small groups, in safe environments, from September. We will also deliver as many other face-to-face activities as we can safely, where it can be done in suitably smaller groups.

 For the first term (September to December 2020), we have decided to deliver all of our lectures virtually so as not to breach social distancing guidelines for large groups of people. This blended learning approach will ensure you receive good experiences and high-quality education. You will still interact with other students and academics, and you will receive personal support. We will be letting you know how this will affect your study in more detail before the end of June.

Further queries


USW International is currently working remotely and continues to support students via email, telephone and online chats. For applicant queries please use the dedicated live chat feature on the University of South Wales homepage to speak to our Enquiries and Admissions team.

 For visa and immigration queries, please contact the Immigration and International Student Advice service.

 To speak to our International Officers, please refer to our country specific pages where you will find contact information for the International Recruitment Officer responsible for your country or region. 

 Whilst the following FAQ’s attempt to answer as many of your questions as possible, we acknowledge that this is an evolving situation and will continue to update guidance as it becomes available from the UK Government and UKVI. 

 Other useful resources, general advice and travel information for international students can be found via the UKCISA and Foreign Commonwealth Office websites.

 While the situation is constantly evolving, we have put together a question and answer section to keep you up to date with the latest developments here at USW. If you have a query which is not answered below, please email us at: international.admissions@southwales.ac.uk


Travel Restrictions

At this stage it is difficult to predict what restrictions may be put in place in the coming weeks and months due to the rapidly evolving nature of this situation. Please check the Foreign Commonwealth Office and Public Health Wales page for more guidance.

If there are quarantine controls in place for people coming into the UK when you are planning to travel, then we will get in contact to provide you with further information about how the University will be able to assist and support you.

If you are unable to travel to the UK for the start of the new term in September, either because of government restrictions on travel, or if you would prefer to delay your return because of health or personal circumstances, then provision will be made for you to start your studies for the new term with us virtually. For courses where there are mandatory elements of practice or practical sessions, we will work with you to do all we can to make alternative arrangements and we would encourage you to keep engaging with us when you receive more information about your course before the end of June.

Meeting Us

At this moment in time our team unfortunately cannot travel overseas. However we are able to provide support and information through a range of digital channels In the meantime, please visit your country page to find the relevant staff contact details.
 

Applying to USW

Yes, we will still consider your application to study here at USW for the September 2020 intake and we will be providing a blended learning approach in September You can apply here.

The term dates for the next academic year remain the same. Your health and wellbeing is our top priority as we prepare to welcome students onto our campuses in September 2020. With social distancing requirements expected to continue for some time, we are adapting how we run our courses with a blended and phased return to on-campus learning. 

Yes, all international scholarships, including the Chancellor’s International Development Scholarship will continue to be awarded as normal.

If you wish to study with us but would like to monitor the ongoing situation, you can of course delay accepting our offer until you are ready. You should be aware, however,  that some courses fill up quickly and you will need to formally accept your offer and make your pre-payment of fees before you can apply for a visa. Our advice would be that you should not delay accepting your offer. If you have applied via UCAS, we would advise you to monitor the deadlines set by UCAS. If you have any questions or concerns, our admissions team are available to support you. Email: International.admissions@southwales.ac.uk

As noted above we do still recommend acting as soon as possible, but we do recognise that the priority now is that all applicants and students are safe and delaying an online interview for up to 4 weeks is possible. If you wish to do this then please email international.admissions@southwales.ac.uk so we can add a note to your application.

You will still be required to make a deposit payment or submit a sponsor letter as outlined in your offer letter in order to receive a CAS. Normally we advise applicants to make a deposit payment from April onwards for our September intake to allow you to complete the CAS issuing process, which includes providing evidence of documentation to make your visa application. We recommend that you make the deposit payment as normal, but under the current circumstances, we appreciate that you may choose to delay paying your deposit. However, we still strongly advise you to begin the pre-CAS process of providing documentation should this be required to ensure that once you pay the deposit, you are in a position to make a visa application and obtain a visa as quickly as possible. 

Please Note: Even if you have made a deposit payment, no CAS will be issued whilst there are travel restrictions in place. Your will also be asked to check and confirm your draft CAS before a CAS number is allocated. You will be able to apply for a full refund of the deposit if you do so before a CAS is issued.

Once your deposit payment and/or evidence of sponsorship has been received, the admissions team will prepare a draft CAS for you to review and check. Whilst there are travel restrictions in place the team are unable to allocate a CAS number. Once all restrictions have been removed, a CAS will be issued. 

If you are a current student who is unable to return to the UK in September due to Government restriction on travel and/or personal reasons, you will need to contact the IISA team for advice on your individual situation.

 If you are a new student at USW, please be assured we are continuing to prepare to welcome our new students in September 2020. If you decide to study on campus, we will issue CAS for your Tier 4 visa as soon as Visa Application Centres open and travel restrictions are lifted.

 If you choose to study at a distance for your course, our admissions and faculty teams will provide information on study and enrolment to you directly.

 If you are currently in the UK on Tier 4, or another type of visa, and wish to start a course at the University please contact our IISA team, either by email international.advice@southwales.ac.uk, on the Ask an Adviser service or call +44 (0)1443 482083, for advice and support on your individual situation and circumstances.

We understand that some applicants are now considering a deferral to a future intake. We do not recommend this as we are currently planning for a September 2020 intake. If you do decide to defer, however, the normal process for deferrals will apply. We would advise you to contact us to ask any questions you may have in relation to studying with us and the ongoing situation before making this decision. Also, please note that for some popular courses, USW offers a February intake. Please see here for further information.

The UKVI has not changed its English language requirements for Tier 4 visas for courses below degree level. However, it may be possible for you to take a non-UKVI SELT IELTS and undertake an online pre-sessional programme or a pre-sessional course on a short term study visa. If you are studying a course at degree level or above, we accept a range of robust English language qualifications equivalent to IELTS. These will be assessed as part of your application, but include the following:

  • University of South Wales English Language Test
  • Pearson PTE
  • TOEFL
  • Duolingo
  • IELCA

Depending on where you studied, your high school qualification may also be considered.

The TOEFL Home Edition test. ETS is temporarily offering the TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition test which is identical in content, format and on-screen experience to the TOEFL iBT test taken at a test center. It is taken on your own computer at home and is monitored by a human proctor online through ProctorU®. A minimum alternative English Language qualification score of 72 overall (Reading 18, Listening 17, Speaking 20, Writing 17) is required.

TOEFL ITP Plus

Courses requiring IELTS 6.0 overall with 5.5. in each component

580 overall

Listening 54, Reading 56, Written Expression 53, Speaking sample marked by Centre for International English

Courses requiring IELTS 6.5 overall with 5.5 in each component

610 overall

Listening 54, Reading 56, Written Expression 53, Speaking sample marked by Centre for International English

The Duolingo English Test carries a minimum alternative English Language qualification score of between 95-100. Please note that the overall score shown is indicative of the score required. Your whole test will be reviewed to provide us with a holistic assessment of your English language proficiency and to determine whether you are eligible for direct entry. Test samples will be reviewed by the University before being accepted. The Duolingo test is accepted on an interim basis for 2020 entry.

The IELCA Test direct entry carries an overall score of 32, with each component having a score of 30, whereas IELCA entry needing a higher IELTS score has an overall score of 35 and each component a score of 30

If you have taken a recent English language test, please send your results to your International.admissions@southwales.ac.uk.

We strongly recommend visiting our country pages for more information.


EU citizens, non-EU EEA, Swiss citizens and their eligible family members who are in the UK after the 31 December 2020 will need to have immigration permission. This will either need to be under the EU Settlement Scheme or under the immigration rules which will be in place from 1st January 2021.

Whether you are a new or returning student from the EU, as long as you have proof you entered the UK before 31st December 2020 (this could be flight tickets, landing cards, tenancy agreements or student status letter) then you can still apply for the EU Settlement Scheme inside or outside the UK as long as you do so before 30th June 2021.

Even if you have a documented right of permanent residence under EU law, you will still need to apply under the EU Settlement Scheme, or via another immigration route, before the end of the transition period, as the right of permanent residence will no longer be recognised after the transitional period.

Remember the IISA team can assist and advise on all applications, in the UK or Overseas.  Please contact the team, either by email: international.advice@southwales.ac.uk, on the Ask an Adviser service or by phone on +44 (0)1443 482083, for advice and support on your individual circumstances and application.

EXAMS AND RESULTS

We are aware that the situation with exams and assessment in some countries is currently unclear. Because of this, there may be students who do not receive the awards and qualifications that they were expecting. Rest assured, we are monitoring these developments and will make appropriate decisions in due course. Please do contact our admissions team if you have any concerns or questions.

Yes, in some cases, but please note that conditions will need to be met before a CAS number can be issued. Please contact International.admissions@southwales.ac.uk for further advice. 

The University is currently actively engaging with relevant exam boards. As the extent of the disruption becomes clearer, we will be in a better position to update you on other related policies. Please be assured that we are considering this as a matter of urgency and you will be updated in due course. 

Contact your school/university/college/agent for further information on the impact this may have on your studies. Students from the European Union may be able to demonstrate their English proficiency using alternative means.

We strongly recommend visiting our country pages for more information on other English language tests we may accept.

ACCOMMODATION

Yes, accommodation is guaranteed if the application is received by the Accommodation Office before 20 August of the year of entry: https://www.southwales.ac.uk/student-life/accommodation/allocations/

No, there isn’t a refund for the part of the tenancy missed. If you think you are going to arrive late, please inform the accommodation office know of your expected arrival date. 

Yes, applications for University accommodation are open so if you intend to study at USW this September you should still apply. You will be informed of any changes that may affect your accommodation application as the situation progresses. 

PRE-SESSIONAL ENGLISH

Our pre-sessional courses will be delivered online from May 2020. Further details can be found at: https://www.southwales.ac.uk/international/courses/ielts-english-programmes/