What to Expect If You’re Planning to Study at a London University in 2020

28th August 2020 Lewis Ridley News and Events

Covid-19 has turned the world on its head.

Amidst the chaos, new students going into University this year are puzzled as to how they’re institution is going to handle the current climate. After all, there is still a distance limit between people and an ever-looming fear of a second wave.

How are universities going to protect their students and maintain a high standard of teaching?

With London being quoted as the epicentre of this outbreak recording 21% of all cases, you can imagine that students will be anxious to see how London universities are offering effective solutions.

What’s the General Consensus with London Universities?

From a broad perspective, it appears the majority of Universities will be deploying online lessons and small in-person lessons at the start of the academic year. As lockdown gently releases its grasp, full in-person lectures will be brought in and continued till the end of the term.

Term two is going to look more promising with an increase in in-person lectures. A quick look online leads to the assumption that many of the lectures are being pre-recorded ahead of the academic year.

Much of the campuses will be open and some enrolment will occur in-person. Of course, safety precautions are being taken to keep social distancing in play.

Fortunately, for some Universities, they already have experience in online education, so the transmission shouldn’t be too much of a burden.

Of course, the procedures are going to differ depending on the University. So, what are some of the London most prestigious Universities doing specifically?

University College London (UCL)

UCL Front of Building

UCL have been running pilot studies on re-opening the campus since the beginning of June according to the president of the University, Michael Arthur. They have been experimenting with the best ways to open the campus to maximise the safety of both their students and staff.

The academic year is going to feel different, but they will still predominantly teach on-campus. However, whether or not students want to study on campus or online is a choice they’ll be given.

Additionally, as studying will be flexible, they will be allowing students to join later in the year if they want and will allow you to return home if you feel it necessary.

UCL accommodation will be staying open for anyone still there. However, they advise that students stay updated regarding isolation from Public Health England’s (PHE) website.

Like many London Universities, they’ll be adapting as they go.

Kings College London

Kings College London

Kings College London (KCL) have been keeping positive during these times, telling students who have concerns not to worry. They’re handling the issue as it comes and will be adapting their teaching to accommodate for the difficult circumstances.

They will be operating similarly to other universities, offering a combination of online and in-person lectures and classes. Sanitation stations will be offered at all entrances and “self-made” face masks will be encouraged.

Their President and Principle, Edward Bryne, said “We are developing a flexible approach for the start of the new academic year – one that prioritises the safety and wellbeing of our community of students and staff” on KCL’s website.

Interestingly, Kings has been working with the Student’s Union (SU) to “develop imaginative ways to ensure our students have opportunities to enjoy welcome week, connect with London, volunteer, and engage in social activities”.

It will be exciting to see how welcome week is executed in the coming weeks.

The London School of Economics (LSE)

London School of Economics

The Director of LSE – Minouche Shafik – offered some insight into the measures LSE is taking.

“The wellbeing of our School community is paramount and our flexible approach to teaching and learning will ensure an excellent education and student experience continues safely for all”.

““I very much look forward to welcoming new and returning students to London for the 2020/2021 academic session in September”.

On-campus teaching will be maintained where possible, to the best of the University’s abilities. Small in-person classes, seminars, and Harvard-style learning will all be executed to give students an excellent standard of education, despite the current limitations.

As with other Universities, large lectures and classes will be taught online. All will be recorded as well, allowing students to access them freely from anywhere with an internet connection.

LSE student accommodation will function normally with enhanced health and safety measures. These will comply with the Government and with scientific advice.

Imperial College London

Imperial College London

Imperial College will be executing what they’re calling “multi-mode” delivery.  Essentially what this is a combination of in-person and online teaching, research, and training.

At all times, the University promises to meet social distancing measures to ensure student and staff safety.

They do hope to further promote on-campus learning and experiences as the year progresses.

From reading the most recent email from Imperial College, face covering will be essential in many parts of the campus and there will be digital signage to indicate when and where you’ll need a face mask.

Services such as the library will begin opening in phases. According the email, they will be launching a new click and collect system to allow books to be borrowed without having to enter study spaces.

How is Freshers Going to Play Out?

Freshers is a huge part of the beginning of University. With the Government remaining tight-lipped about the reopening of things like nightclubs, the outlook for experiencing Freshers the traditional way is starting to look bleak.

The BBC’s piece on Swansea University saw this Uni keeping Freshers activities on campus. The SU will try to accommodate the original “freshers vibes” as best they can, so it seems.

A quick look on Student Room indicates some students, particularly prospective students, are still confused how it’s going to occur.

Many questions have been raised with what is happening with Freshers 2020.

Staying Positive

Regardless of the current situation, there is light at the end of the tunnel.

London Universities are doing their very best to make sure their students and staff are safe and experience all that University has to offer.

For any specific questions regarding COVID-19 guidance on any of the above Universities, get in touch with them directly.


If you’re still looking for Student Accommodation in London for this academic year, get in touch with our team now.

Lewis Ridley

Lewis Ridley

For more great posts from Urbanest about accommodation, London life, study tips and much more, visit the Student Journal.