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

Return to face to face teaching

The Government has announced that universities can offer face-to-face teaching from March for some courses with a substantial practical element. Other courses will remain online-only until further government advice.

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

The Government's roadmap out of lockdown has begun and you can now meet up to 6 people or 2 households outside.

You should

  • Minimise trips away from home.
  • Not stay away from home overnight.
  • Limit social contact to gatherings of up to six people or two households, in public outdoor places only.
  • Wear a face covering in certain indoor settings, unless exempt.
  • Maintain social distancing.

You cannot

  • Meet indoors with people that you do not live with, or are not in a legally-permitted support bubble with.

For the full list of restrictions, visit the Government website. For more information on Covid-safe activities, see our joint Can Do campaign.

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.

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 before or after travelling to and from University, you may wish to reduce your social contact with others for a period of time. Around 10-14 days is recommended. 

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.

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 wearing a face covering, and booking a study space in advance. A click and collect service is also available.

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

Further services and buildings will open when it's safe to do so, in line with Government guidance.

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

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

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.

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.

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. There is more information available on the University' disciplinary procedures relating to student conduct during Covid.

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)

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 in the spring of 2021.

Courses commencing face-to-face teaching on 8 March

In line with Government guidance, certain courses with significant practical elements are transitioning back to some face-to-face teaching since Monday 8 March

All other courses - online-only until further government guidance

Students on any courses other than those listed above will receive online-only teaching until 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 Covid testing on campus prior to your placement commencing.

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

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.

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

An introduction to study and student life in 2021/22
You’ll still have a great, varied and enriching experience when you study with us in 2021/22

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