International student welcome

If you'll be arriving outside the University's main arrival periods (September and January) you'll find some useful information on arriving in the UK and Plymouth.


International student welcome

This year, due to the current COVID-19 restrictions, the International Student Welcome (ISW) will be mostly delivered online.

Although the welcome this year will be different, we promise you will have all the information you need. Whether you will be in the UK to study in person or plan to start your studies online from your home country and travel to the UK at a later date, we are here to help you.

The following information aims to answer some of your frequently asked questions. 

If you have any other questions, please email us at

We also hold ‘International Student Advice Zoom sessions Monday to Friday from 09:30–10:30 (UK time) where you can speak with a member of our team face-to-face to ask about anything you need help with.

To join a session and speak to an advisor, please open this Zoom link at the times stated above.


Further information

Is there an International student welcome this year?

Given the circumstances, our welcome for international students will be online this year. Please follow the learn about our services link at the top of this page.

We will have some University staff in the Rolle Marquee on campus from Monday 14 September to Friday 18 September, 12:00–16:00 should you be on campus and need some assistance. This is subject to any social distancing rules.

What social events are happening?

The University of Plymouth Students’ Union has a digital events schedule. Meet new people and start Freshers' Week early from the comfort of home.

Will the University collect me from the airport?

We are offering a free meet and greet coach service for International Students from Heathrow Airport.

The journey to Plymouth takes around 4–5 hours. Student ambassadors or members of staff will meet you at the airport and will be happy to answer any questions you may have

Coaches are available only on these dates and will collect you from Terminal 4 at Heathrow airport at 12:00 BST (midday).

  • Monday 31 August – the latest time to book on to this coach is 24 August.
  • Tuesday 15 Sept – the latest time to book on to this coach is 9 September.

Book your seat.

The coach is free and is only available to students (unfortunately not for accompanying family or friends due to limited space). Once you have booked your seat, further information on where to meet the coach and other information will be sent a week prior to your arrival.

Additional information about arriving in the UK can be found on our advice pages.

Where do I collect my BRP?

Normally, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) would send your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) directly to us and you would collect it within ten days of arriving in the UK. At the same time we would carry out a Right to Study check and scan your documents to allow enrolment.

Read more about the BRP application process.

How do I complete my right to study check (passport and visa scan)?

If you are a returning student you will be contacted with a form to complete about resuming your studies and how to do your Right to Study Check.

New students should go to the UKVI Compliance Team.

Can I start my studies online?

Your learning may be delivered as a mix of face-to-face on-campus learning and remote and online learning. This will include live sessions, as well as recorded material and additional resources provided on your digital learning platform. This mix of teaching styles is called blended learning.

Please contact your programme or Faculty team if you wish to enquire about studying totally online.

For more information about what to expect this September, visit our new and returning student welcome page.

I'm worried I can't make it for the start of term, what do I do?

If you are a new student, please contact the Admissions team for more information about your specific case.

If you are a returning student, contact your programme or faculty team for more information.

Should I book accommodation?

University-managed halls are still taking bookings via the Accommodation portal. University-managed accommodation guidance will help residents to stay safe and responsible while living in halls. Each shared flat will be considered a household and occupants will, therefore, need to follow the latest Government guidelines as a collective.

We have taken extra measures to reduce risks during arrivals and to support those who may need to quarantine. Our accommodation teams will be there to help students overcome any issues that may arise.

Further information and answers can be found on our Accommodation FAQs page.

How do I pay my tuition fees?

If you are paying all or a portion of your tuition fee personally, University policy is that you pay in full upon enrolment, however we do make provision for students who are unable to pay the full amount at once. You can pay by debit/credit card or PayPal via our ePayments portal. Simply enter your personal details, the amount you wish to pay and the academic year you are making payment towards. An automatic receipt will be emailed to you.

For European and international students wishing to pay from another country in a different currency and potentially avoid international bank transfer fees please use our GlobalPay facility. This requires a bank transfer to be sent via our agents, Western Union.
Payments can also be sent to the University’s bank account.

Bank: HSBC, 4 Old Town St, Plymouth, PL1 1DD.
Sort Code: 40-36-22
Account No. 61485946
IBAN: GB94HBUK40362261485946
Account name: University of Plymouth

Please quote as reference with each payment, your University student number and the academic year for which you are making payment. For example: 12345678 20/21. Failure to do this could result in a delay in the funds being applied to your student account.

If you experience difficulties using these methods or have any questions, please contact the Student Accounts Team by email or by telephone.

I want to improve my English skills, how can I do that?

The English Language Centre offers a range of courses to help you develop your academic English language skills – both before (pre-sessional courses) and during (term-time workshops) your studies. For further information about these courses please email the team.

There is insessional support available for those who do not have English as a first language.  

Here to support you

Your physical and mental wellbeing is at the heart of everything we do and we consider your personal life equally as important as your academic life which is why our Student Hub, offering student support and wellbeing services, is here to support you and allow you to make the most of your time at university.

Our friendly, confidential and impartial Student Hub team will be pleased to help you and no issue is too big and no question is too small. You can emailcall or visit the Student Hub in the Library from September.

To answer some of your questions about what it will be like on campus and living in the UK this September we have compiled the below information. If you have any other questions, please email:


Life as a student in the UK

How do I travel to Plymouth when I arrive in the UK?

Read about arriving in the UK for the information you need to travel to the University of Plymouth safely.

Am I required to self-isolate/quarantine on arrival?

As a visitor travelling to the UK, you must provide your journey and contact details. You’ll also need to quarantine in the place you’re staying for the first 14 days after you arrive, unless you’re travelling from certain countries or territories.

Please visit the UK Government website for full details of countries that are exempt from these border rules and for full quarantine details.

Please email us if you have any questions about self-isolation. We will let you know what support is available to you.

Information for students: self-isolation, symptoms and tests

Can I get help to get food/supplies during self-isolation?

The University is planning to support you if you have to quarantine. Nearer the time, there will be advice on how to get food and household essentials, connecting with other students and how to access help. Don't worry, we will be here if you need us!

Please email us if you have any questions about self-isolation. We will let you know what support is available to you.

Do I need to wear a face covering on campus?

Advice on how to protect yourself and others on campus is shown on the Safety Measures on Campus video. You will need face coverings in some places so make sure you bring some when you travel to the UK.

What shops are good for buying food and household goods?

The city centre is across the street from the campus, making it easy to quickly find your way around Plymouth. Popular supermarkets to look out for would be Aldi, Lidl, Tesco, Sainsburys, Coop, Asda and Iceland. M&S Food and Waitrose are also popular although slightly more expensive.

Have a look at our guide on local restaurants and shops selling authentic international food and watch our video on shopping and eating out in Plymouth.

For household goods such as bedding, Wilkinsons and Primark offer reasonably priced items. Bigger supermarkets may also have household items as well.

Are there any clubs and societies I can join?

Our Students' Union holds over 50 clubs and societies from debating and geological to history and photography, there's sure to be something for you. All are started and run by our students, so if you can't find one to join, that's fine, you can always start your own.

How do I register with the police?

You need to register with the police if you are a national from one of the countries listed in the UK Government Appendix 2 of the Immigration Rules. This requirement should also be stated on either the vignette in your passport, your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) or in a visa approval letter from the Home Office.

If you need to register, go to Devon & Cornwall Police, Charles Cross Police Station, Plymouth, Devon, PL4 8HG (a two-minute walk from the main campus). Opening times: 08:00–18:00 Monday–Saturday.

You must register online within seven days of arriving in the UK if you applied for your visa from outside of the UK, or within seven days of receiving your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) if you applied to extend your visa from inside of the UK. However, if you need to self-isolate, please do not leave your accommodation to do this. The Police understand that there may be a delay in you registering so only go to the police station once your self-isolation period has finished.

If you have not yet received your BRP, please go to the police station anyway as they will still register you. Once you do receive the BRP you will need to visit the police station again in order to update your police certificate.

Before you go there, please follow these four steps:

1) Download and complete 'Report of Initial Registration of Foreign National’ (Form no.67). Complete in English and use BLOCK LETTERS.

2) Take your completed form to Charles Cross Police Station along with the following documents:

  • Your Biometric Card (where applicable).
  • Your current passport with the necessary visa documentation within it.
  • One Passport size photograph.
  • £34 registration fee, which MUST be in Bank of England notes and coins.
  • Any Home Office/University letter of acceptance, documentation that you have.

3) Collect your PRC (Police Registration Certificate) from the Police Station approximately 14 days from providing your details to the Police.

4) Due to COVID-19, access to the police station Enquiry Office will be controlled with a queuing system so you will need to wait, please be patient. Please make sure you have all the items listed above so your wait is not wasted!

After registering, remember that you always need to get your PRC updated at the police station within seven days if you ever:

  • change your address
  • extend your Tier 4 leave
  • change college or university
  • renew your passport
  • get married
  • if any of the other details on your Police Registration Certificate change.

How do I open a bank account?

There are a number of factors you should consider when choosing and opening a bank account as an international student in the UK, please have a look at this information on opening a bank account.

You may be able to apply online for a bank account –check the bank’s website to see what options are available. You’ll probably also need to visit a branch of the bank you have chosen and take with you documents that show who you are. You will normally need to show your passport, your visa (BRP), proof of your UK address (e.g. tenancy agreement) and a letter from University of Plymouth confirming your UK study. To get this letter, please email the Student Hub with your student number, the bank name and your full Plymouth address including room number (if applicable) and post code. Please allow 5 working days for the letter to be produced.

How do I register with a doctor?

University Medical Centre

The University Medical Centre is an on-campus facility dedicated to students. We run a total triage system that means you can contact the surgery at any point during the day via eConsult or phone. We recommend registering with us as soon as you have a Plymouth address; this is via a simple on-line process through our website clicking on the link 'New Patient Registration.' If you are a student from overseas, the online application form currently states that you will need to come into the surgery to register. Please ignore this, you do not need to visit in person and can do it totally online this year.

We have available appointments 8.30am - 6pm on site, along with video appointments evenings and weekends via Push Doctor, please see our website for details.

We offer a vast amount of digital technology to support your health needs; including the use of NHS App, online services via Patient Access and a very interactive website that has a wealth of information you can easily access.

Your health, Your way, Register TODAY

Can I get a part-time job?

The University Careers Service is here to help you find work, whether it's part time to fit around your studies or future employment for after you graduate. Working part time is an excellent way of gaining valuable experience, which could help you to stand out from the crowd when you start applying for graduate opportunities.

View hundreds of vacancies on myCareer including part-time work, placements, internships, and graduate vacancies.

If you have a Tier 4 visa, you will be limited on the number of hours you can work and the type of job you can do. Have a read of our 'Working in the UK on a Tier 4 Visa' webpage. If you another type of visa, please contact our team for advice before starting any job.