Coronavirus Advice for Students

11 November, 2020

Updated 1st January 2021

Coronavirus update from Screen and Film School Brighton Principal, Itziar Leighton

Dear Student,

I hope you managed to have a lovely break and a well-earned rest over the festive period.

Following rising cases of coronavirus (COVID-19) across parts of England, early and concerning evidence on a new variant and the extension of Tier 4 restrictions to a number of regions of the country, Screen and Film School has had to consider the need to take further steps to reduce transmission in line with government guidelines and to comply with the guidance issued by the universities Minister Michelle Donelan.

This means that for the start of the term from Monday 4th January, in adherence to this latest guidance, all curriculum teaching will be delivered online. However, some access will be provided to facilities for study purposes only. Given the rising infection rates, the return to teaching in the college will be paused until at least the week commencing 25th January. The government will review this decision and provide further communication in the week commencing 18th January.

To minimise the risk to yourself and others on your return to Screen and Film School buildings, we would ask that all students act responsibly before they travel and follow local restriction tier guidance on social contact. Students who are living in an area which is offering the use of local community testing programmes should seek to get tested before their return, where this fits in with locally targeted programmes led by the Director of Public Health.

As per the communication before Christmas regarding the testing facility that University of Brighton are providing all students with, we would strongly recommend that you book in for a test prior to your return to the college buildings. This will ensure that we all work together in safeguarding each other as we start the new term.

This is not a decision we have taken lightly but it is a necessary step given the rates of transmission across England. We will continue to update you on this developing situation and please be assured that we are committed to supporting you both academically and pastorally through this unprecedented time.

Please keep checking your emails, stay safe and take care,

Itziar Leighton

Screen and Film School Principal – Brighton


Updated 11th November 2020

Coronavirus applicant update from Screen and Film School Brighton Principal, Itziar Leighton

Following on from the government briefing yesterday, we are currently working through the detailed guidelines received regarding your safe return home for Christmas. During the next three weeks, teaching, practical classes, workshops, masterclasses and tech talks all continue as normal. Please continue with your full participation as you have been doing.

Your safety and that of our staff remains our top priority, and we will continue to work closely with local government and Health services over the coming few days to ensure guidance on your studies and travel arrangements is clear and in full compliance with the guidelines.

Any changes to assessment that may be required will be fully communicated to you, through Heads of Year, by the early part of next week.

You will also have seen that the government is planning to support universities to roll out testing for students who plan to travel after the planned lockdown on December 1st. We are awaiting more detailed information, and as soon as further guidance has been provided, we will advise you what the impact is for Screen and Film School.

As per my previous email to you last week, I know that these times can create uncertainty and a little anxiety. The student support team, your Heads of Year, indeed all of the staff are here to support you and I would strongly encourage you to reach out for support, or if you have any questions you would like answered.

Your continued safety and security is of the highest importance, and again I thank you for working with us to ensure everyone’s safety and the way you have engaged fully with requests with such positivity.

Best wishes,

Itziar Leighton

Screen and Film School Principal – Brighton


Updated 5th June 2020


With exams postponed or cancelled, how will this affect my entry requirements/status of my offer?

Every school/college has been asked to provide a centre assessment grade for every student in each of their subjects: that is, the grade they would be most likely to have achieved if they had sat their exams and completed any non-exam assessment. They will be using different sources of evidence such as:

  • classwork
  • bookwork
  • any participation in performances in subjects such as music, drama or PE
  • any non-exam assessment – whether or not complete
  • the results of any assignments or mock exams
  • previous examination results – for example, for any re-sitting students or those with relevant AS qualifications
  • any other records of student performance over the course of study

We will then receive notification of results in August, as normal, and can then turn your offer to Unconditional, providing the grades you have been given meet our requirements. If your final grades are lower than you had hoped, we take into consideration your whole application, ie. Your personal statement and reference and your portfolio of work and therefore are still likely to be able to honour your offer of study with us.

How long have I got to decide if I want to defer to 2021?

Deferrals can only be confirmed once you have received your A-Level/other Level 3 qualification results in August and meet the academic entry requirements to join in 2021. The process of moving you to 2021 is actioned by us at the film school, you won’t need to do anything other than accept your place for 2021 when we have confirmed you’ve met all the conditions stated in your offer. You will need to notify us by 30th August to confirm your deferral.

Am I allowed to view houses/meet potential housemates with social distancing in place?

Many letting agencies are doing virtual tours of properties however if they are organising in-person viewings, they should have necessary safety measures in place to adhere to government guidelines. If you are unsure, please just keep your distance when meeting potential housemates. If you are hoping to live with other SFS students, it is likely you wouldn’t meet them in person yet, but via our Facebook group for the time being. Once you have secured a house, you will be able to live with your housemates normally and you won’t have to socially distance from them, if the government guidelines stay the same.

I am worried about putting a deposit down and the course becoming completely online if covid brings about another lockdown?

We are advising applicants to secure their accommodation ready for September and if the situation occurs where there is another lockdown and all teaching has to be done virtually, at least you are in the city ready for a return to classes when that happens.

Is there a possibility of the term being delayed starting due to covid-19?

We do not intend to delay the start of term any further than the current proposed date of 28th September 2020. We will be putting measures in place to ensure we can start the semester, adhering to government guidelines that are in place at that time.

Will film making, group work and the use of equipment such as cameras continue?

We’re currently undertaking extensive planning to deliver a blended approach of both practical and online learning if social distancing restrictions are still in place at the end of September. This would mean the work that would be online would be the theory-based modules. We recognise that a large part of the degree course we deliver is practical, therefore we will be putting in place measures that are appropriate for social distancing if still required by the end of September. Such methods we are looking at include wearing PPE if required, some crew members being 2 metres apart and smaller group sizes to start the term. The practical learning held at the Film School would be the usual practical sessions we would deliver such as production design, camera, lighting and some post-production units.  We are working on adjusting assessment methods to take into account that some modules may be delivered online if required.

I was meant to attend an Open Day but they have been cancelled, what should I do?

Although lockdown measures are beginning to ease, the health and safety of our staff, students and applicants remains our top priority. So, we made the decision to host our upcoming Open Day on July 4th as a ‘virtual event’.

Provided there are no changes to the government’s social distancing guidelines, this event will be broadcast live from our Brighton campus using the same cameras and equipment you’ll be getting to grips with as a student here at Screen & Film School.

So you won’t miss out- book a place here.

Will fresher’s events be the same experience considering social distancing?

We are currently planning enrolment and induction events, including plenty of Freshers activities. As we do not yet know how social distancing will impact on this, we are also working on plans for ‘virtual’ events in case venues are unable to open and host the usual activities that we would offer. If this is the case, we would hope to be able to re-schedule in-person events later in the year, depending on government guidelines.

Please be assured that we are working hard to ensure you have a great experience as a Fresher, even in these unusual times.

I’m feeling very anxious about the current situation and how it might affect my future & my mental health – can my uni help?

At Screen and Film School we know that starting a degree course in a new city is an exciting time but it also comes with a range of new challenges; from having to manage paying rent and bills for the first time, to making new friends and balancing a healthy social life whilst undertaking a rigorous degree programme. It’s a lot of new things to experience and with the added concerns of Covid-19, things can at times feel quite overwhelming.

From enrolment to graduation our experienced Student Services Team offers personalised advice and guidance to help you with those challenges; whatever they may be.

Whether you need ongoing support for a diagnosed learning difficulty or mental health condition, or if you just need someone to talk to when things get tough: we’re here to help. We will work with you to help you build the confidence and resilience to deal with life’s challenges, and for students needing further help we also offer a counselling service or can help put you in touch with specialised local support agencies.

Would I be eligible for a grant/loan to help cover my fees, as covid-19 has affected my earnings?

You may be eligible to apply for BIMM’s ‘Fair Access Fund’, which is open to Screen and Film School students. Please take a look here for more details and if you think you may be eligible, please email [email protected] to register your interest. We will be in contact around enrolment time to talk you through the application process.


© 2024 Screen and Film School
All Rights Reserved