Female student with a face mask

Coronavirus testing for students

Get screened to keep you, your mates and your lecturers safe

To keep the campus as safe as possible, we are offering two types of testing for our students.

If you have symptoms of the coronavirus you can book a test with the NHS on campus to see if you are carrying the virus.

But we also want to test a proportion of our University community every few weeks - to give us regular data to help stop the spread of the coronavirus on campus. So we are running a proactive screening programme for staff and students who don't have symptoms. 

We encourage you to participate in this voluntary testing so that we can monitor the virus at our University, and keep each other safe.

If you have coronavirus symptoms

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, you can book a same-day self-administered test at the Government facility in the car park of the Eldon building. This is run in partnership with the Government and Portsmouth City Council.

Face coverings are mandatory at this facility except for babies and toddlers. If you are medically exempt from wearing a face covering, you can book an alternative test through the government portal below.

  1. Book an appointment through the Government's national booking portal
  2. Arrive at the facility at the correct time, and administer the swab test yourself. Follow the instructions provided.
  3. Test results will be sent by text or email, usually within 24 hours - though sometimes it can take longer.
  4. You'll automatically be entered into the NHS track and trace system.

If you don't have coronavirus symptoms

If you do not have any symptoms but wish to be tested voluntarily as part of the University's screening programme you can book an appointment at the facility in the car park of the Milldam building. We aim to test up to 310 students and staff members a day.

Face coverings are mandatory at this facility except for babies and toddlers. If you are medically exempt from wearing a face covering, you can book an alternative test through the government portal below.

  1. Book an appointment for one or more of the following dates (new dates will be added when available): 
  2. After booking your place, you'll receive a form to print out, fill in, and bring with you to the test. If you're unable to print a form, they will be available on site.
  3. When you arrive your contact details will be taken by a University member of staff A health care worker will take a swab for you, but you may be asked to take your own swab at the same time, as part of research into the reliability of self-administered tests.
  4. Your swabs will be sent to Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. You will only be notified if your test returns a positive result for the virus. You will receive a text message from the NHS track and trace system (normally within 24 - 48 hours) and you will automatically be entered into the national system. If you don’t receive a text message then there’s no need to do anything further as you didn’t test positive.
  5. Your data will only be shared confidentially with a designated person at the University and held only for the purposes of tracking the potential transmission of the virus within the University community.
  6. You can be retested every two weeks if you wish. 

University screening programme FAQs and information

The University is looking at screening students and members of staff for SARS-CoV-2 to track Covid-19 rates in our immediate population. This testing will be open to all students and members of staff, whilst they are on campus at the University of Portsmouth.

This will be done in conjunction with Public Health Portsmouth and Portsmouth Hospital University Trust, following recent guidance from the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (SAGE) which suggests asymptomatic people should also be tested on campus. Other universities are taking a similar approach across the country.

The University wants to provide confidence to staff and students that you are being taken care of and to provide a sense of security to both our University and the wider Portsmouth community. Such monitoring should make it easier to avoid severe local lockdowns, allowing more people to have easier lives in Portsmouth. We aim to test 10% of our community every few weeks to generate the information needed to achieve this.


We are requesting that you volunteer to participate in a pilot project looking to screen University of Portsmouth students and members of staff for SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes Covid-19.

If you are willing to take this free test you will select a date and time for your test using Eventbrite. 

If you select a time you will be asked to attend the mobile testing site in the Milldam. Building car park (building number 8 on this map). The screening test will be taken in a bespoke vehicle run by a company called NTL Biologica, contracted to the University for taking swabs. Samples will be collected by qualified nurses but you may also be asked if you would carry out a self-administered swab. This is so that we can compare the results from your two swabs so that in future self-administered swabs may be taken.

This project is being undertaken to help keep our students and staff safe on campus in light of the global Covid-19 pandemic. By screening asymptomatic staff and students we will be able to quickly identify whether infection rates are increasing at the University.

This will allow us to rapidly take action to keep everyone safe, working in conjunction with local public health officials and by following government advice. By putting in place these measures, we hope that students, staff, their families and the local community will feel assured that we are doing all we can to help prevent and track new cases of Covid-19 at the University of Portsmouth.

If you were to test positive for the Covid-19 virus this will in no way affect your student place at the university.


Your completed sample will be sent to the Queen Alexandra Hospital with a copy of your data sheet and with your contact details on the sample tube. This is to allow the hospital team to provide you with the result of your swab test.

Results will also be provided to a designated member of University staff to track overall screening results. These will be held on a secure, password protected database within the University and will help track any localised outbreaks and inform proactive responsive decision making.

All identifiable data will be deleted two years after the completion of the testing project.

In the future, some of the data collected may be used in ethically approved research projects. Any research projects would be reviewed prior to their start and their justification for the use of your data and the robustness of the methods being used would be approved by experts unrelated to the project itself.

If you have any questions at all regarding this initiative, please contact covidtesting@port.ac.uk.

The University of Portsmouth wishes to process your personal data (that is, collect, use, store and destroy data that identifies you) as part of the screening tests for Covid-19 initiative. If you have any queries about this initiative please contact RIS@port.ac.uk or if you have any general queries about how your data will be processed, please contact the University’s Data Protection Officer at information-matters@port.ac.uk

We ask for your consent to process the data we ask for in the initiative, so that we can send your test for analysis at the hospital and have the results returned to you and the University.

We will only share your personalised data with Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust directly, and NTL Biolgica nurses will confirm your identity before the swab test is undertaken. We will not store your data outside the EU. Your personal data will be held securely on University and NHS servers for up to 2 years, and securely destroyed after that date.

You have the right to request a copy of the personal data we hold about you, to restrict the use of your personal data, the right to be forgotten, the right to data portability and the right to withdraw your consent to the use of your data. For more information on these rights, please see the the information on Data Protection for Re-opening the University. Or you may contact University Data Protection Officer on information-matters@port.ac.uk.

You also have the right to lodge a complaint about the use of your personal data to initially the University on information-matters@port.ac.uk, then to the Information Commissioner’s Office (ICO).

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