We understand that our prospective students and offer holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and its impact on plans to study with us. We are working hard to ensure we can continue to deliver the high-quality learning experience our applicants and students expect of us, while continuing to follow the latest guidance to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and patients. This page provides latest information and frequently asked questions so please check regularly for updates.

Updated 25 August 2020

Firstly, congratulations to everybody who has now secured a place at the UCO. We are looking forward to welcoming you soon.

If you are still undecided about where to study, worried about meeting the entry requirements or just want to talk through your options please give us a call, our team are available and happy to help. 

At the UCO we continue to monitor and respond to current guidance around managing the risks presented by COVID-19. Our current priority is to begin to welcome back staff, students and patients to our premises, with all of the learning opportunities that affords, while working to maintain everyone’s safety and to limit the further spread of the disease.

So what does this mean for you? Mark Waters, Course Leader has provided the following update for PT and FT M.Ost students:

During lockdown all of our teaching and learning moved online, and there will continue to be a large element of this moving forward. Some of this will be through live classes delivered through Microsoft Teams but it will also involve you completing well developed independent learning tasks in preparation for face to face classes.

You will be asked to attend UCO premises for some in-person sessions, where this is deemed important to the learning opportunity. These will mainly be technique classes but will also include tutorials for other units.

For the time being we will not be running any whole year or large group lectures. When at the UCO you will be taught in a class of no more than 25 students and you will be encouraged to stay within these class groups while you are on site. We will be using our larger teaching spaces for classes and you will be asked to social distance in these rooms where possible.

We also hope to be able to allocate a single classroom for all of your classes for the day with tutors coming to you. The exception to this will be your technique classes which are taught in special rooms.

What will my timetable look like?

Students on our Full Time M.Ost course will be invited to attend on site classes on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Thursdays. A typical day at the UCO will involve a technique session with two or three hours of other tutorials around this. The teaching day will start at 10.30am and finish at 6.30pm but no one will be required to be in for the full nine hours. This will be supplemented by online classes and activities, some of which will be scheduled for you to join live on Mondays and some which can be completed independently. Your Fridays will be your own.

Your full timetable will be available on enrolment.

The Part Time M.Ost Course will still be taught on alternate weekends with a regular pattern of one day in classes on site, and one day online in every teaching weekend.

Weekends 1, 3, 5, 7, 9, 11, 13, 15 and 17 will consist of Saturdays on site, and Sundays online.

Weekends 2, 4, 6, 8, 12, 14 and 16 will consist of Saturdays online, and Sundays on site.

A typical contact day on site will comprise half a day in technique and half a day with two two-hour sessions covering the other units. Classes will start at 9am and finish at 6pm with other students coming in later so that we do not have all students moving to their sessions at the same time. An online learning day will have up to three two-hour classes with breaks in between. Your full timetable will be available on enrolment.

What happens if someone in my group tests positive?

In the event that anyone in your group tests positive for COVID-19, you may be asked to self-isolate for a short period in line with the current Government Guidelines. However, to ensure this doesn’t impact on your learning – and taking into account that there may be other circumstances that prevent you from attending - all classes will be recorded and made available to you, and some will be live streamed. If you are concerned about your ability to access online resources, please contact the admissions department as there may be additional support we can offer.

How will technique classes work?

For technique classes you will be required to wear PPE in line with the latest recommendations for osteopaths in practice. This will reflect what students are wearing in the UCO clinic and will include face masks, visors, gloves and aprons, which will provided and disposed of for you, and medical scrubs which you should bag up, take home and wash after each session. You should have received an email from our admissions team with instructions for purchasing medical scrubs – if you haven’t received this please get in contact as soon as possible to let us know.

Areas will be provided for changing in and out of scrubs but this may involve some changing into scrubs in the practical class environment.

There will be a limit to the number of people you can work on in your group and it may be necessary to limit the teaching of treatment of the face, again in line with the latest changing guidance.

Further information on how technique classes will run and what heightened hygiene measures will be in place will be provided at induction.

What about measures in the rest of the UCO building?

Full details of plans for controlling movement and protecting staff and student safety in our buildings will be released shortly, but you should expect to be wear face coverings in stairs and corridors and must stay away from all UCO premises if you are showing any of the indicators of COVID-19 infection.

If you have a medical reason for not wearing a mask or protective clothing please contact us directly for further advice.

We ask all students to support these steps to help us deliver face-to-face learning and protect staff and student safety. We are working hard to minimise the impact of these measures on your student experience at the UCO and hope that you will enjoy being part of our student community. If you have any questions of concerns please get in touch and we will be happy to discuss these with you.


Updated 2 August 2020

We know this is a challenging time for all students in higher education. We would like to reassure our new and current students that our clinic has reopened and patients are returning. Patients are being treated by our senior students following appropriate guidelines for the use of PPE and best practice in osteopathic care. Having used PPE successfully in this environment we are confident that we can use this appropriately in our technique classes as well. This will, of course, be supported by heightened hygiene measures and we will ensure all students and staff in the UCO community support this.  

Following the government guidance provided for mainstream education we will be inviting students to join classes in the UCO teaching centre in tutorials and practical sessions looking at anatomy, physiology, osteopathic concepts, rehab and, clinical communication. This will also be supported by the development of additional electronic learning resources.  We plan to offer seminars and tutorials in groups of around 20 – 25 students. Lectures that would have been traditionally delivered to whole year groups will be delivered online in a variety of formats including some live online sessions allowing for real time interaction with tutors and fellow learners.   

All classes will start at a time which will reduce the need to use public transport at the busiest times, following the new UK rules regarding face coverings in some public places you should anticipate that you may be asked to use these in some circumstances. 

We want to enable everyone to partake in all aspects of teaching and learning. However, if for your health or the health of others, you are not able to attend the UCO in person for a short period of time; you will still be able to access all learning resources and support remotely, including recordings of the  sessions that you cannot attend in person.  

Please refer to the FAQs below as, following review, many of these same plans are still in place for September.  

All of this will be further reviewed as September approaches and the national and international situation becomes clearer so please regularly check for updates. 

We look forward to the start of the next academic year and the beginning of your journey as student osteopaths!


Updated 30 June 2020

Thank you for your continued interest in studying at the UCO. The way the world will look in the coming months is still not certain to any of us, but recognising this uncertainty, we are working hard to offer you as much clarity and stability as we possibly can.

Firstly we would like to reassure all applicants that we intend to begin our new academic year as planned on 14 September and look forward to welcoming you all on the published start date of your course.

As the COVID-19 pandemic and surrounding guidance continues to evolve, we have been working to adapt the delivery of our learning and to achieve a new balance between face-to-face and online education for our students. We have been delivering online learning to our existing students for a number of months now to great success. This time has allowed us to trial a number of new teaching methods many of which we think will be of long-term benefit to our students beyond the current circumstances. We are also reopening our clinic and reintroducing clinic hours for many of our existing students over the summer months, and our clinic team have been working incredibly hard to ensure we do so in a way which adheres to current guidance and helps to protect the health of our staff, students and patients.

As we embark on the new academic year we will be implementing a blended learning approach for all students, combining active independent and group online learning with face-to-face tutorials and practical classes as much as the prevailing conditions at the time allow.

This will of course continue to change as the wider situation dictates, but our commitment to you is that whatever the balance, we will be supporting you as you learn and giving you the best possible opportunities to enjoy and benefit from your experience at the UCO. The safety and wellbeing of our students, patients and staff will always be our top priority. We will at all times be guided by the prevailing government and medical advice and we will inform you of any changes and support you as best we can whatever your circumstances might be.

We have attempted to answer some frequently asked questions below, but if you have any additional questions please do get in touch with us and we will endeavour to answer them.

What will online learning be like?

We recognise that this may be a new way of learning for you and will be putting additional support in place to ensure you can access these resources and that the quality of your learning experience isn’t compromised. Our IT team are producing a number of guides to get you up and running and we will planning in some related support sessions as part of the induction for all new students.

How will tutorials and practical classes work?

To protect the safety of all our staff and students in line with current guidance we are planning to deliver face-to-face classes in small groups where possible. Groups will be allocated a particular room for all classes to limit the movement of people around the building, and practical classes will be delivered with the appropriate hygiene and PPE measures in place as suggested by guidance at the time. We will also ensure that no techniques involving treatments above the shoulders will be taught at this time.

Will I be expected to attend the UCO in person?

We will be encouraging our learners to come to the UCO premises but all classes will also be captured for online delivery so you are free to complete these in person or from home as you feel comfortable. All face-to-face classes will be timetabled to ensure that you are not required to travel at peak times. Electronic classes and learning materials will compliment the adjusted timetable put in place.

We realise that not all students will be in a position or want to attend the UCO premises in September, and we will work with students to manage these circumstances where possible so that you can take your place with us as planned.

Will I need to wear PPE?

We will be following government guidelines and Institute of Osteopathy recommendations for all sessions involving treatment or practicing of techniques. This will involve some levels of PPE as appropriate.

What about attending clinic?

Our clinic has reopened for patients and senior students and we are looking to invite junior students to observe treatment sessions again as soon as it becomes safe to do so.

When will I know what my timetable will look like?

We are hoping to be able to provide all applicants and offer holders with an indication of which days of the week they will be timetabled to attend and the proportion of home to face-to-face study by the start of August. 


Update: 7 May 2020

The UCO continues to observe the social distancing measures put in place by the UK Government in order to stop the spread of this virus and currently all of our premises are closed until further notice with our teaching and assessments now successfully moved to online delivery. Our patients continue to be supported by our students and staff through the UCO Virtual Clinic.

All our teaching and professional services staff are working hard to ensure our students complete the current year and are continuing to plan for the start of the next academic year, with our teaching delivery reflective of any government guidelines in place at that time. When we are permitted to reopen, the UCO will continue to closely follow the guidelines to support students, patients, staff and prospective students while minimising any risk of increasing spread of the virus. You can read more about steps we are taking here.

The UCO is continuing to accept applications for our courses starting in 2020 and can conduct interviews with applicants via Skype or telephone. We are also still available via email or phone to answer any questions you many have about the application process, our courses, or studying with us in general.

Our open days are continuing to run virtually until further notice so please do continue to book up to participate through our website. As an alternative if you would like to request an electronic open day pack please contact admissions, or you can find lots of other information and videos about life at the UCO on our website and social media channels.

We have taken the decision to cancel the first phase of the Introduction to Osteopathic Science (IOS) course but do intend to offer the second and third phases of this course online if the ongoing restrictions mean we are unable to deliver these on a face to face basis. We have very successfully moved to deliver teaching to our current students online so that they are supported in the run up to their end of year examinations and, if social distancing rules preclude face to face teaching, we have developed an excellent online course that will provide applicants with the necessary support to enable them meet the terms of their offer

We do appreciate that you may be uncertain or anxious about the impact of Coronavirus disruption on your exams and overall grades, and how this may affect your plans to study with us. We would also like to offer assurance that as a professional qualification we assess all applicants on an individual basis and our decision to accept students is not solely based on academic qualifications  With the Government and UCAS putting in places measures to ensure that A-levels and other qualifications will be published on time, we also hope that this provides you with the reassurance that you will be able to join us in September. We are also able to offer additional support to help our offer holders with the transition to higher education, through access to preparatory learning resources and some of our facilities. Even if you are confident you will meet the terms of your offer, please do not hesitate to contact us if you feel that you would benefit from this support.

If you are feeling anxious about Coronavirus and the current situation the Student Minds website has some useful information and links to sources of advice and support.