Covid information for students

Female UoP student wearing a mask

How We're keeping student life fun, safe and rewarding 

Plus find out how to get started on your course if you're a new or returning student

Stay at Home Government guidance

The Government has announced that most university courses must be online-only until March at the earliest, to reduce the spread of Covid during lockdown. Some education and health and social care courses will continue with face-to-face teaching - find out if your course is one of them.

Most support services will be available for those that need them, with a number of buildings still open including the Library, and the MyPort Hub at Nuffield. 

If you're not studying one of the exempt courses, you should follow Government guidance and stay at home wherever possible. If you have concerns or need further support, please speak to your Tutor or Faculty MyPort Hub.

Here's our guidance on what's changed at the University:

More information is available for international students, postgraduate research students, and those who were planning to study and work abroad.

General Covid FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

England is in a National Lockdown - Stay At Home

Leaving home

You must not leave or be outside of your home except where necessary. You may leave your home to:

  • attend education
  • shop for basic necessities
  • go to work, or provide voluntary or charitable services, if you cannot reasonably do so from home
  • exercise with your household (or support bubble) or one other person, this should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area
  • seek medical assistance or avoid injury, illness or risk of harm

Meeting others

You cannot leave your home to meet socially with anyone you do not live with or are not in a support bubble with (if you are legally permitted to form one).

You may exercise on your own, with one other person, or with your household or support bubble. This should be limited to once per day, and you should not travel outside your local area.

You cannot meet other people you do not live with, or have not formed a support bubble with, unless for a permitted reason.

Stay 2 metres apart from anyone not in your household.

For the full list of restrictions, visit the Government website.

There are two testing sites on campus, one for students without symptoms and one for students with symptoms. Read more on Coronavirus Testing for Students for details of the free tests.

If you need to self isolate because you’ve tested positive for coronavirus, have coronavirus symptoms, have been contacted through NHS Test and Trace, or have to quarantine after travelling to the UK, we can support you. We can offer you a free 3 day food parcel and advice on ordering in supplies. Read more about self-isolation support for students

All your support services are up and running, with a mixture of virtual and in-person access. To find out more contact the following:

Libraries and most study spaces on campus can remain open to students and staff, for educational purposes, but must continue to maintain Covid-secure measures. 

The Library is open but has a number of Covid safety measures in place. This includes a requirement to show a negative Covid test in the past 5 days, wear a face covering, and book a study space in advance. A click and collect service is also available.

We have offered an 80% rent reduction to any students unable to use their University-owned halls which will be backdated to 4 January 2021 and continue until the Government advice changes and we are able to resume face-to-face teaching more widely. University-owned halls include:

  • Bateson Hall
  • Harry Law Hall
  • Rees Hall

You will be contacted in due course by the Student Housing team.

Other accommodation providers

Unfortunately, the University has no control over contracts between students and private accommodation providers, including other halls of residence and single rooms in private houses. 

However, we are working with the Students’ Union to lobby private accommodation providers to provide similar support to students, and we’re aware many halls of residence have offered a 50% rent reduction. Please contact your landlord about rent reductions.

If you’re having issues with accommodation please contact the Student Housing team on 023 92 84 3214 or

Police have the powers to issue fines which will increase from £200 for a first offence, up to a maximum of £6,400 for further breaches. Anyone who organises or facilitates unlawful gatherings could also be fined £10,000.

If a student breaks the law on social gatherings - in fact any law - they could be suspended with immediate effect pending a misconduct hearing as part of our Code of Student Behaviour, with penalties ranging from a reprimand to permanent exclusion.

If you’re concerned about a social gathering or other disturbance, you should first report a breach of COVID regulations on the Hampshire Police website or by calling 101. (Please do not use 999 except for emergencies).

Complaints about student neighbours can be made to the University’s Student and Neighbour Liaison Service which can be contacted on 023 9284 3214 or on

You can report a noise disturbance via the city council website or by calling 023 9283 4092 (9.00am - 4.00pm)

The University has made a considerable investment to ensure teaching continues with the full engagement of academic staff and all the associated support services. Students are still achieving the learning outcomes required by their courses, and will be fully accredited for their learning to the same level as would have been the case had this Covid-19 crisis not happened.

The current online-only approach for the majority of university courses at the start of 2021 follows government rules about reducing Covid transmission.

As such, students won't be receiving any change to their course fee payments.

BRP identity cards are different to University student cards, and are given to international students who have been granted a visa to be in the UK for 6 months or more.

BRP cards will be posted to your term time address once you have completed your registration and ID check. 

This is a change to the usual process due to Covid19. You may have received a letter from the Home Office asking you to collect your BRP card from the Nuffield Centre. Please note that there are no BRP cards being delivered to the University. 

You will receive your card directly in the post, approximately 10 working days after you have completed your Registration and ID check. If you have questions about registration please email or contact with any questions.

As far as we are aware at present this wouldn't be suitable for border control when travelling abroad. There is more information on travel and testing on MyPort.

Returning to University at the start of 2021 FAQs

Frequently Asked Questions

The government has provided guidance on what face-to-face teaching is permitted at universities at the start of 2021, meaning a pause face-to-face teaching for many students. The majority of you will receive online-only teaching until at least mid-March - with the exception of some health and social care courses.

Courses commencing face-to-face teaching before mid-March

Education Courses 

Please follow the advice previously provided by your course team in relation to returning to face-to-face teaching and preparing for any placements:

  • Cert Further Education and Training
  • GradCert Early Years in Initial Teacher Training
  • PGCE Computer Science
  • PGCE Education - Professional
  • PGCE English - Professional
  • PGCE Further Education and Training - Professional
  • PGCE Geography - Professional
  • PGCE Mathematics - Professional
  • PGCE Modern Languages - Professional
  • PGCE Primary - Professional (SCITT)
  • PGCE Science - Professional
  • PGCE Computing and UG computing pathway- Professional 
  • UG MFL pathway

Health and Social Care Courses

Please follow the advice previously provided by your course team in relation to returning to face-to-face teaching and preparing for any placements

  • BSc (Hons) Radiography and Medical Imaging
  • BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science
  • BN (Hons) Nursing (A)
  • BN (Hons) Nursing (MH)
  • BSc (Hons) Operating Department Practice
  • BSc (Hons) Social Work
  • MSc Social Work
  • MSc Physician Associate Studies
  • BSc (Hons) Advancing Professional Practice
  • BSc Dental Hygiene Dental Therapy
  • BSc Dental Hygiene
  • Cert HE Dental Nursing
  • Dip Dental Nursing
  • BSc Pharmacology
  • MPharm Pharmacy

Postgraduate Research Students

PGR students should continue to work from home where they can. University facilities, including laboratories will be open and available to those PGR students requiring access to support their research and studies. Please ensure you take a Covid test before returning to campus and repeat it regularly whilst you remain on campus.

All other courses - online-only until mid-March

Students on any courses other than those listed above will receive online-only teaching until mid-March at the earliest, depending on further Government guidance.

The University's no detriment practices will continue to be in place for the 2020/21 academic year. This is to ensure that no student is disadvantaged by the current situation.

Where a student is going on placement, that will continue as planned but you will be contacted by your course if the situation changes.

Your Faculty may already have contacted you to confirm when you need to return so that you can undertake the practical elements of your course. In some cases arrangements will be made by the course teams to ensure that you have early access to the covid-19 test on campus prior to your placement commencing.

If you are not sure, please contact your Faculty MyPort Hub

Taking an asymptomatic Covid test isn't compulsory although we do recommend it. We have seen they are beneficial in helping to identify people with the virus who may not be displaying symptoms and are potentially unintentionally passing the virus to others.

If you decide not to get tested you may wish to reduce your social contact with others for a period of time, around 14 days is recommended.

Currently you will not be able to enter the University Library without a negative Covid test result from the past 5 days.

Whether you have a test or not, basic measures such as washing your hands, wearing a face covering and maintaining social distancing are all important measures that help to reduce the risk of infection.

University buildings and facilities are for education purposes during lockdown, both for students who are receiving online only and those receiving face-to-face teaching. This includes the Library and student support services.

Government guidance is that students should aim to return to University close to when your course resumes face-to-face teaching activity. For students travelling from outside the UK this may mean also allowing time to complete any compulsory quarantine period. Information is available on MyPort - Advice for International Students.

There are a number of support services available to students to support them with their wellbeing with a combination of in-person and online formats to suit their needs.

If you feel it is affecting your ability to meet deadlines, the Students' Union Advice Service who can provide independent academic advice.

While government guidelines recommend a staggered return to campus of students we recognise that for some students an earlier return is appropriate. If you feel need to return to campus earlier, we will support you to do so.

Students who are facing financial difficulties can contact Student Finance for information, advice and support including applying for help from the University Support Fund.

University Coronavirus Information Line

If you have an enquiry related to covid, please first read through our 'coronavirus information for students' pages. If you don’t find the answer you’re looking for, get in touch with us on our Coronavirus Information Line.

Please note, this team cannot provide you with a coronavirus test appointment – instead read the information on coronavirus testing for students.


Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 5588

The phone line is open: Monday - Thursday 8.30am - 5.00pm and Friday 8.30am - 4.00pm

Study and student life in 2020/21 video

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