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Information for prospective international students during coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

We are aware that the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak is having an impact on lives across the world and understand that you are likely to be concerned about how this will affect your application to Cardiff and your ability to study with us.

The situation is constantly changing but we will do our best to keep you up to date with the latest information and developments during this difficult and uncertain period. Although many staff are working remotely, this will not affect how we process new applications and respond to questions.

New applications for Autumn 2020 and 2021

We continue to welcome applications and to support our applicants as far as possible. Our application processes have not changed. However, we are aware of the difficulties that some of you may face as a result coronavirus COVID-19 and that some examinations and qualification results may be delayed.

We are monitoring the situation very closely and we are working with sector organisations to identify what actions may be required to support affected applicants. We will communicate any changes to applicants and international stakeholders via email.

Meeting us

As our team are not currently able to travel to overseas, we are delivering a range of digital events to provide support, advice and information to students preparing for their studies this year. You can also contact us via email at

Undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes

If you have applied to Cardiff University and not yet received a decision on your application, you do not need to be concerned. Our Admissions team is working remotely and processing applications as normal.

Applicants will be kept up to date via email during this period and we strongly recommend that you check your email on a regular basis.

Unless your query is urgent we would encourage you to contact us by emailing

Please ensure that in all correspondence you quote:

  • your full name
  • UCAS Personal ID
  • the programme for which you are applying.

We can make conditional offers for many of our programmes without the need for transcripts or documentation first.

If you hold an offer to study with us, we can assure you that your offer remains in place and is not affected by coronavirus (COVID-19).

For urgent enquiries please call our International team on +44 (0)29 2087 4432,  9:00-17:00, Monday-Friday (excluding bank holidays).

We know that there are many reasons why you might not receive awards or qualifications as you normally would. For international applicants who have had their exams disrupted, with a final grade/mark awarded but no final exam taking place, we will accept the final grade awarded by the examination body. We will also accept this grade in future years if you decide to apply at a later date.

If you choose to retake your exams at a later date with the hope of getting an improved grade, we will, in many cases, be happy to defer your place to 2021 and will guarantee you the same offer conditions as you were originally given.

We are aware that while some schools have reopened, in many countries, schools and universities have remained closed or moved to online delivery. We will do all we can to ensure these factors are taken into account when making decisions on applications and offers.

The University accepts a variety of English language qualifications for entry.

If you do not have your results, or you have not yet taken your test, you can still apply and send your results later. We can make conditional offers based on English language test results.

The deposit deadline for our programmes starting in October and November has been extended to Friday 9 October. For programmes starting in January the deadline is 31 October. If your offer requires you to pay a deposit you should do so by this date to secure your place.

If you are unable to travel to the UK because of the effects of coronavirus (COVID-19) we will consider offering a full refund. Requests for refunds on this basis will only be considered in due course.

If you are unable to make your payment due to self-isolation, social distancing, travel restrictions or bank closures, we may be able to extend your deposit deadline or in some cases offer an exemption. Please contact to discuss this with us.

View our deposit refund policy.

We can guarantee that scholarships provided via our Vice-Chancellor’s International Scholarship Scheme will continue to be awarded, in line with the terms and conditions.

If you are applying for funding through a scholarships body or sponsorship scheme which is not part of the University, we recommend consulting with that organisation directly.

If you would like to defer your place, please contact and we will be happy to discuss this with you.

Deposit deadlines for applicants who defer their offer

If you defer your place to September 2021 and have an offer for a postgraduate taught programme within the following Schools/programmes, will be required to pay their deposit by 31 December 2020 to reserve their place on their academic programme:

  • Cardiff Business School
  • School of Journalism, Media and Culture
  • School of Computer Science and Informatics
  • MSc Data Science and Analytics

Applicants who are deferring their place to September 2021 for the majority of other postgraduate taught programmes* will be required to pay their deposit by 31 July 2021.

*There are a small number of programmes with earlier deposit deadlines. Please check your deferral offer letter for confirmation of deposit deadlines and amounts.

Coming to the UK and preparing to arrive on campus

Find out how we’re ensuring a safe and enjoyable campus experience for 2021/22.

UK Visa and Immigration have confirmed that applicants issued with a Tier 4 visa who have been unable to travel to the UK are permitted to undertake distance learning, and Cardiff University’s sponsorship will not need to be withdrawn. Guidance on UK Visa and Immigration from the UK Government.

If you are a postgraduate research student and have not yet applied for a visa but have agreed with your Supervisor to commence your research by distance learning then, as you do not need to travel to the UK, you do not need to have a visa in place before commencing your research.

If you have already been issued a visa/permission to travel to the UK, you should be able to enter the UK when on-campus activities have re-started. Please check this with the University before travelling.

Additional guidance from the UK Council for International Student Affairs may be useful.

We know that UK visa centres in some countries have re-opened, but that others remain closed, and we are monitoring this.

Whilst we do not currently know how long this situation will last, it is important to remember that if you are starting your studies in January 2021, the earliest you can apply for your visa is six months before your official start date if you are applying from overseas, or three months if you are already in the UK.

The start date for most undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes was 28 September 2020. Some postgraduate programmes have amended start dates, and will be commencing in October and November – view a full list of programmes with amended start dates.

While we recommend that you should make every effort to join us on campus in good time to start your studies, we understand that you may not be able to do so. We are working to ensure that, wherever possible, students in this situation will be able to start their studies remotely until they are able to join us.

Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS)

Some Postgraduate Research applicants require an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) clearance certificate. Following a temporary suspension, the ATAS scheme has now re-opened.Further information about ATAS has been provided  by the UK government.

We are aware that many countries currently have restrictions on overseas travel in place. We recommend that you closely monitor the advice of your home government.

We won’t ask you to arrive early to self-isolate, so you wont have any additional accommodation to pay for. If self-isolation applies when you arrive then you will be able to do this in your room and join your studies remotely.

We will be closely following UK and Welsh Government advice related to requirements for visitors to the UK, and will ensure that appropriate arrangements are in place.

Undergraduate students

All of our courses starting in September 2020 have started as normal.

Postgraduate taught students

We will be staggering start dates for some our 2020 postgraduate programmes to protect the wellbeing of our students and staff.

Having some programmes start later, will allow us to manage the number of students on campus, phase arrivals in University accommodation and provide appropriate induction and enrolment.

You can see the programmes with amended start dates for the 2020/21 academic year. If your programme is not listed, the start date will remain as planned and quoted in your official offer letter.

Postgraduate research students

For Postgraduate Research offer-holders due to begin their research in October, our intention is for research programmes to proceed as planned. We will continue to review our position and, depending on the situation over the coming months, communicate any potential changes.

We hope that you can join us in good time to begin your studies. However, we understand that you may not be able to join us on campus if you are shielding, if there are travel restrictions in place, or if results or visas are delayed. Others may prefer to not to join us on campus until later in the academic year.

To help give you the additional time you may need, we have extended our latest arrival dates to give you a little more time in case of delays. You will be expected to enrol by the latest enrolment date for your programme and you will be able to do this online.

If you are planning to arrive by the latest arrival date for your programme, you do not need to contact us or apply for this - the latest enrolment and arrival dates will be shown on your Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS), and you just have to make sure you enrol and arrive by these dates.

We have developed a remote study policy to make sure you can continue with your studies online if you are arriving late and unable to attend campus. Find out more about the remote study policy and how to make an application for remote study.

Latest arrival dates

Arrival date for induction and enrolment 

Latest enrolment date 

Latest arrival date 

28 September 2020

19 October 2020

2 November 2020

19 October 2020

2 November 2020

16 November 2020

26 October 2020

9 November 2020

23 November 2020

9 November 2020

23 November 2020

7 December 2020

4 January 2021

18 January 2021

1 February 2021

Staying in touch

We are here to help you and answer any enquiries you may have.

International Office