Suspension of Regulations: request to study online

How to request to study online if you are unable to attend campus teaching due to Covid-19. This will require a Suspension of Regulations (SoR).

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For 2020/21 academic year, Goldsmiths will be delivering teaching sessions through a mix of online and in-person activity.

This means that students are expected to attend on campus for scheduled teaching sessions as prescribed for their programme of study. For the majority of programmes term will commence on 5 October (see variations for programmes with different start dates) and students should plan to be on campus from that time to attend teaching.

Arriving from another country

Some students arriving from particular countries may be required to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival. If this falls within term time, departments should ensure that these students are able to study wholly online for the 14 day period.

An SoR request is not required for this purpose.

Unable to arrive for the start of teaching or unable to study in-person

It is recognised that individual students may be unable to arrive for the start of their programme or unable to study in-person at particular points. Goldsmiths has committed to enabling students to study completely remotely for set periods if they need to due to Covid-19.

Permission must be granted to students in this situation to ensure that appropriate arrangements are made to support online learning during this period.

The situation over the coming months is likely to remain fluid and Goldsmiths will adhere in its requirements to government guidance. For example, from 1st August, the government recommended that individuals who are clinically vulnerable are no longer advised to shield.

At present, therefore, we would expect students to travel to campus for face to face study if it is physically possible to do so. If the rate of transmission of the disease increases, however, this advice could be reversed at short notice.

To make a request, contact your home department who will make an SoR request based on the criteria below.

This is an SoR request as the College is suspending the regulation 2.2.1 requiring a student to attend scheduled teaching sessions.


Online study can only be permitted where a student has access to the internet and suitable IT equipment and when confirming that one (or more) of the following apply:

  • Health reasons that prevent in-person contact
  • Shielding* responsibilities that prevent any attendance for on-campus activity
  • If the student lives in an area which is subject to a local lockdown and therefore cannot travel to campus
  • Inability to obtain a visa in time to commence or return to study due to reasons beyond their control
  • Inability to travel to the UK because of flight or other in-country travel restrictions

Other reasons for requesting online study will be considered on an individual basis.

* The Government defines ‘shielding’ as protecting the extremely clinical vulnerable. Students who live with individuals in that category may therefore not be able to attend campus. At present, as of 1 August, the government is not advising shielding outside specific lockdown areas. This may change.

Duration of request

Departments will need to ensure that sufficient arrangements are in place to support a student to study wholly online for the duration they are unable to attend in person.

The duration will depend on the reasons relating to each student, however, an SoR request should be used for requests that relate to more than 14 days and up to one full term

Departments should ensure they remain in contact with students approved to study online and a further request submitted if the student’s circumstances remain unchanged such that a further period of online study is necessary.

Otherwise, it is expected that students will be in attendance on campus once the set period has passed.

Equally, if a student’s circumstances change and they are able to attend in person before the set period has come to an end, the student should notify their department of this.

Fee liability

Students remain liable for the full programme fee whilst they are enrolled at the College and regardless of the format in which they are studying. No fee reduction can be considered or granted as a result of an SoR request for online study.