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Doctoral College

FAQs for New PGR Students & Offer Holders

**Updated 6th October 2020 14.00pm**

These FAQs relate directly to New PGR offer holders. If you have any further questions that are not answered below please contact 

We have FAQs available for current students under: FAQs for Current PGR Students.

Please see below list of FAQs, which contains information for PGR Applicants and Offer Holders in the current Covid-19 situation.

I am unable to start my PhD programme in September. Can I defer my enrolment date to later in the 2020-21 academic year or start remotely?

We are planning to welcome all postgraduate research students onto campus in September. However, if travel restrictions, linked to the Covid-19 pandemic, mean you are unable to travel to London then it may be possible to either start your programme online, or to defer your enrolment to a later date. Please note, it will not always be possible to do this and your project type or funding terms and conditions may prevent this from happening.

Please talk with your supervisor if you wish to defer your enrolment. Once agreed with your supervisor this will need approval from the Director of Graduate Studies in your department and the Admissions Office. You can formally request deferral using the “Deferral” tile in your Applicant Portal.

I cannot travel to London in September but I want to start my programme. Can I start my programme remotely?

If you are unable to travel to London to begin your programme due to Covid-19 health and travel guidance please contact your supervisor to discuss whether you may start your studies remotely. This will need to be agreed with the Director of Graduate Studies.

If your programme requires ATAS clearance, you will need to secure this before you can be enrolled.

Whether you are able to travel to London to begin your programme or you start your studies remotely, the enrolment process itself will take place online  and full details will be communicated to you at a later date. If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the UK you should seek immigration advice on when to apply for your visa.

More information on welfare and immigration can be found here:


Will the Queen Mary accommodation be ready for me to arrive in September?

Those who applied for Queen Mary accommodation by 30th June 2020 will be guaranteed a room in September. The contracts normally begin on Saturday 12th September 2020. There is a list of frequently asked questions on our Residences Website  

Can I apply for accommodation starting at a later date?

Our housing contracts start in September as standard. If you require accommodation for a later date you should apply for September and then request deferral to a later date once you have received the housing offer. Due to the limited number of rooms, we cannot guarantee all students accommodation at the alternative start dates. You can contact the Residences team to discuss this here: 

Will the airport collection service be available?

Unfortunately, we have been forced to cancel the airport collection this year. We recommend you book a private taxi or plan your journey via the London Underground in advance of travelling the UK.

Please see International Students website for more information.

Will I have to quarantine when I arrive in the UK? If so, can this be done in my student accommodation?

At the time of writing (29th June 2020) the government policy states that you will need to provide your journey and contact details when you travel to the UK, and you will not be allowed to leave the place you’re staying in for the first 14 days you’re in the UK, except in very limited situations (known as ‘self-isolation’). Read the guidance on entering the UK for more information. These requirements will be reviewed by the UK Government every three weeks.

If quarantine rules are still in place in September you will be able to self-isolate in your student room. 

When is the latest date of enrolment for September before I have to defer my entry point?

The latest date to start enrolment is Monday 5th October 2020. Students should have temporary of full enrolment by close of Monday 5 October 2020 unless you wish to defer to a later entry point. Even if you are beginning your programme online, if your programme requires ATAS clearance, you must receive this before you can enrol.

The latest date to complete temporary enrolment and to become enrolled fully is 16th October 2020.

Please see the information here about temporary enrolment

I am a new research student. When can I enrol?

Online enrolment

Enrolment on your research studies programme will be completed online through the Queen Mary student portal MySIS. Once your offer of study conditions have been cleared you will be sent an email inviting you to complete enrolment online. Staff will then review your enrolment information and update your enrolment status to fully enrolled when all the data checks are complete.  If there are any outstanding checks you will be assigned temporary enrolment.  

ID card collection after 28 September

From 28 September 2020 students will be able to collect ID cards from the Research Degrees Office in the Graduate Centre, Mile End Campus (building 18 on the map here ).

This will be by appointment only.

Please email RDO at after the 28 September to arrange  ID card collection.

Students who are beginning their studies remotely will be able to collect their ID  cards  from the Research Degrees Office after they arrive on campus.       

More information

For more information about enrolment please see 

If you have any questions please contact the school/institute that you will be working in or  

When is the next PhD induction event?

The 2020/21 Semester 1 induction took place as a series of online session between 28th September and 2nd October 2020 and presentations slides are available to download below:

The next induction will be arranged for early 2021. 

I am an international student, when should I request a CAS and apply for my visa?

For those planning to arrive on campus in September, we have started to issue CAS numbers. Once you have firmly accepted your offer, you can apply for your CAS via the tile in your applicant portal, provided you have met other eligibility requirements (e.g. ATAS clearance). Further information about the CAS process can be found on webpages.

Our Welfare Advisers in Advice and Counselling have produced detailed guidance which should be used to help you make a successful application for Tier 4 (General) Student Immigration Permission. It includes guidance about the application process and fees, supporting documents required and arrival in the UK. This can be accessed here 

Apply for a Tier 4 visa once you know the date you expect to be entering the UK.

I am an EU student arriving to the UK after the 31st December. Will I need a visa to study?

EU/EEA/Swiss nationals and their family members can continue to come to the UK as now under existing EU free movement rules until 31st December 2020 then apply under the EU Settlement Scheme to stay long term in the UK. You will need to apply to the EU Settlement Scheme by 30th June 2021 to continue residence in the UK (unless exempt). However, if you apply before 31st December 2020 this may make it more straightforward for travelling in and out of the UK after the end of the transition period.

Those moving to the UK after 31st December 2020 will be subject to the UK Immigration rules in place at the time, which the government has not yet announced. Our expectation is that applying to come to the UK under the new immigration rules would mean you are granted time limited leave to remain in the UK which would not offer an automatic right to extend this in order to stay in the UK long term after completing your course.

The latest guidance can be found here 

I am an European Union (EU) student. If I defer to January will I have to pay the full international fee due to the UK leaving the EU on 31 Dec 2020?

No. Any EU student starting their programme during the 2020-21 academic year (i.e. August 2021 or earlier) will be classed as a Home student and will pay the lower Home fees. Full PhD tuition fees can be viewed here 

When can I apply for ATAS clearance? Is this affected by when I come to the UK?

Some programmes of study at postgraduate level require an ATAS certificate. If applicable, this would have been stated in your offer letter conditions. The UK Government resumed processing these from 1st June 2020. Further information can be found on the ATAS website.

Even if you are planning to enrol remotely, and then travel to the UK at a later date, you must receive ATAS clearance before you can enrol for your programme.

I need to resign from my job to start studies. Should I resign yet?

At the time of writing (June 2020) we are planning to welcome all postgraduate research students onto campus in September. If your personal circumstances or local travel restrictions mean this is not possible then you will need to use your judgement to decide when your will be able to start your programme (and therefore resign from your current position). Please note, online enrolment for some programmes is a possibility.

I am studying an MRes-PhD programme. Can I defer the start of my MRes to another entry-point?

The MRes programmes will all start at the end of September, as normal. If necessary, the first weeks or months can be carried out remotely. If you have concerns about this, you should discuss this with your School/ Institute.

My offer is currently conditional on English Language proof. But I am unable to take the IELTS test due to the test centres being closed. What are my options?

We routinely accept a range of English Language Tests such as TOEFL, PTE, Trinity ISE and CPE. Due to the closure of test centres, we now also accept TOEFL iBT Special Home Edition which can be taken online.  We also accept IELTS Indicator tests taken after 1st July 2020 due to the Covid-19 situation.    

Please note: we do not accept DuoLingo as proof of English language.

We also accept alternative English qualifications and you may be exempt if you have previously studied for a degree wholly taught and examined in English (at least two years long and completed within the last five years).

Full details of our English language policy can be found on this website: