Frequently Asked Questions - PGR applicants and offer holders Frequently Asked Questions - PGR applicants and offer holders

I’m a prospective PGR student – can I still apply for 2020-21 entry?

We are still accepting applications for our 1 October intake from Home/EU applicants until 31 July, or from international applicants for our 1 February intake until 30 September. You can either apply with a proposal you have written yourself (applicant-led) or apply to an advertised research project (research-led). We recommend contacting a potential supervisor before applying and you will find research themes here. Application deadlines are available here.

I have submitted my application for a studentship competition or postgraduate research programme but haven't received a response. When will I know the outcome?

As soon as academic selectors make their decisions, we will contact you with information. If you have any questions about the application process, contact

Do I have to be present in person in Norwich from the start of my course?

The University normally recommends that full-time students live within 50 kilometres of the University to enable full engagement with their course. We also expect all postgraduate research students (full-time and part-time) to meet with their supervisory team on a regular basis, normally in person. Additionally, some postgraduate researchers have further residency requirements imposed by their funder or by immigration requirements.

Given COVID-19 restrictions, some postgraduate researchers may need to start their course remotely and then move to Norwich during 2020-21 as soon as it is possible to do so.

We will allow this during the academic year 2020-21, provided that:

  • You have the approval of your funder (if you have one), and
  • Your supervisory team confirm that it is possible for you to start your course remotely.

This is in line with UK Government guidance (17 June 2020).

Can I defer my offer to a later start date? 

If you have not deferred an offer before, we will normally consider a request to defer until the next PGR entry date, for example from 1 October 2020 to 1 February 2021. The standard PGR entry dates are 1 February, 1 June and 1 October for most research programmes.

At present, due to COVID-19 impacts, we are willing to consider any requests to defer offers for up to 12 months from the original entry date offered, for example from 1 October 2020 to 1 October 2021, provided that the request is made by the application deadline for that intake.

If you have deferred your offer previously and you wish to extend it beyond this period of 12 months then you will need to make a new application and we will need to interview you again.

All deferrals will need permission from the School or Institute before we can approve them. Where this is good reason to do so, we can consider start dates other than the standard entry dates; this needs approval from the Faculty Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research.

I hold an offer from UEA for a postgraduate research programme. However, I am worried that due to COVID-19 I won’t be able to complete required tests or that I won’t have my formal degree certificate available by my start date. What should I do?

We recognise that COVID-19 has disrupted exams and studies for many applicants. Provided you have been awarded a certificate of completion for your current studies, we will accept these qualifications as long as they meet the conditions of our offer.

In all cases, we will be as flexible as we can with our minimum grade requirements and will take into account any impacts of COVID-19 disruption.

What will campus be like during 2020-21?

Although the 2020-21 academic year is going to be a little bit different, we're working hard to ensure all of our postgraduate researchers are well supported through individual advice from supervisory teams and expert technical and professional support services. We’ve put plans in place so that we can adapt to changing circumstances and continue to deliver high-quality research supervision and doctoral training events.

To ensure safety, we have introduced one-way systems on campus, marked areas to maintain social distancing, and hand sanitising stations are being installed at key locations.

We expect that throughout 2020, all meetings and most supervision will be virtual using Microsoft Teams or Blackboard Collaborate software. Supervisors will be encouraged to meet face to face with postgraduate researchers where this is safe to do so, for example to take a socially distanced walk around our campus lake, the Broad. Inductions will take place online, as will most personal and professional development sessions. We will provide detailed health and safety guidance and inductions to keep everyone safe on campus, and advice on accessing archives and other research facilities.

UEA has excellent library facilities. We’ve been operating a digital library to ensure our current students have the resources they need. In September we’re planning to re-open the Library with social distancing, one way systems and cleaning wipes in the IT spaces so you can wipe down your keyboards and mice after use. We will follow Government advice on opening times and student numbers. We can move quickly back to a click and collect service if lockdown rules change.

Have you offered to reimburse or reduce tuition fees for postgraduate researchers?

UEA has remained open throughout the lockdown. Our supervisors and training coordinators, and our Careers Service, Postgraduate Research Service, and Student Services teams, have continued to provide supervision, training sessions and advice virtually throughout the lockdown period. In line with the approach endorsed by the UK Office for Students, we have not offered any blanket reduction or reimbursement of fees. However, we are sympathetic to the challenges faced by our postgraduate researchers. We have offered fee payment flexibility and no-cost extensions to many individual postgraduate researchers affected by COVID-19 and extensions of stipend to funded researchers as described on our Finances  and Extension pages.

Will the University make allowance for the timing of probationary reviews due to COVID-19 restrictions?

For postgraduate researchers who were due to have a probationary review this spring, we extended the deadline for all probationary reviews, allowed them to be held virtually, and were sympathetic to individual circumstances affecting progress. We will continue to monitor the COVID-19 situation and will take similar actions again during 2020-21 if it seems appropriate.

How much time should I allow for ATAS clearance?

The Academic Technology Approval Scheme is relevant to international students subject to UK immigration control. We recommend you apply as soon as possible since currently the turnaround for ATAS certificates is taking up to 8 weeks.

What accommodation and self-isolation options are available?

UEA has extended the accommodation guarantee for postgraduate students to cover UK and EU students. Please make sure you apply by the deadline of 31 July 2020.

Further information on applying for accommodation is at

The UEA Students’ Union also maintains information on private housing in Norwich. See

My question was not answered in any of the FAQs. Who can I speak with about my enquiry?

You can send your question to and the team will be happy to help.