Student and Staff Wellbeing

Covid-19 Update - 28 May 2020 - Taught Programme

Covid-19 Update Message to Taught Programme Students - 28 May 2020

Lucy Backhurst, Academic Registrar, shares the latest updates with students on taught programmes.

Dear Taught Programme Students,

I am aware that many of you will be well into your second week of assessments now – I hope everything is going well. 

In this week’s message I provide an initial indication of our plans for the new academic year which have recently been agreed by Senate, the University’s academic governing body. I don’t want to bombard you with lots of information today, but I wanted you to be amongst the first to be informed of the key decisions that have been made, particularly as we will be communicating our plans to our prospective students next week. The key messages can be found below and more detailed information will follow in my weekly emails.

At the end of this message I also provide details of the latest update from the Home Office (UKVI).

Plans for the new academic year

There is no doubt that life at university will be different for everyone in 2020-21 and our priority is to make sure that, for those of you who will be returning, your experience is enriching, exciting and above all, safe. For this reason, we are planning for continuing students to return to campus on a phased basis from 5 October 2020 with the first day of teaching, Monday 19 October 2020.

To do what we can to keep everyone safe we will need to limit the number of people on campus, for the first semester at least. For this reason, we are preparing for all lecture material to be online for Semester one. In addition, our plan is for students to have some on-campus face-to-face teaching each week, and we will increase student time on-campus as and when the restrictions on physical distancing are lifted and it is safe to do so.

If you are not in a position to return to the campus or the city, please do not worry. No matter where you are in the country or the world we will make sure you are supported.  All teaching and learning will also be offered online so if you do not feel safe coming onto campus, or you are unable to do so, you will not miss out on the full learning experience.

When you return to campus you will find comprehensive safety measures in place across all our buildings and public spaces, including physical distancing measures, dedicated exits and entrances and one-way systems. 

I know you will have many more questions and, as I said, I will update you weekly by email with more detailed information about our plans and what they will mean for you and for your teaching and campus experience. We are working on separate plans for postgraduate research students and we will share these as soon as they are finalised.

Home Office (UKVI) Guidance

In response to the current Coronavirus pandemic, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has updated its guidance on alternative arrangements for those who require immigration permission to remain in the UK. The full guidance is available on the Gov.UK website.

The key update relates to visas with expiry dates that fall between 24 January and 31 July 2020.

If your visa expires between these dates and you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to COVID-19, your visa will be extended to 31 July 2020.

Please note that you must request an extension by updating your records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) using their online form.

UKVI will let you know when your request is received, and when your visa has been extended.

If you have previously had your visa extended to the 31 May 2020, your visa will be extended automatically to the 31 July 2020. You do not need to complete the online form.

If you are still a registered student at Newcastle University, please let us know that your visa has been extended by sending your confirmation to

Wishing you all the best of luck with the remainder of your assessment period.

With thanks and best wishes,


Lucy Backhurst
Academic Registrar