Covid information for students
Covid information for students
Here's our guidance on what's changed at the University:
- Coronavirus testing for students and Travel and Testing - get yourself tested to protect you and your mates and travelling to and from University
- Studying at Uni and No detriment - how your learning experience is different
- Campus and city life - how we're keeping our campus safe, including support for self-isolating students and Can Do activities
- Coronavirus cases and Covid safety guidance - how many cases there are at the University, and what to do if you come into contact with Covid
- Living in halls and private accommodation - how to keep safe in halls of residence and shared houses and flats in the city
- Borrow a laptop for online study and University Support Fund - how to get help if you can't afford a laptop or are facing financial hardship
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.
- 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.
- Meet indoors with people that you do not live with, or are not in a legally-permitted support bubble with.
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:
- If you're facing financial difficulty, you may be eligible for a grant from the University Support Fund
- The Student Finance team is available on email@example.com
- MyPort Information Hubs - for help with timetables, ID checks, course enquiries and more
- Student Wellbeing Service – for support via video, email and phone on firstname.lastname@example.org
- The WhatsUp App provides daily tools to promote positive mental health and connections
- Chaplaincy support – on email@example.com or +44 (0)23 9284 3030 or attend one of the weekly lunchtime sessions every Thursday 1-2pm via Google Meet.
- Residential Life support in halls of residence – on +44(0)23 9284 3418 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- Students' Union Advice Service – on +44(0)23 92 843478 or email@example.com
- NHS and Solent Mind run a mental health support service called Positive Minds
- Academic Skills Unit (ASK) - one-to-one and small group tutorials and guidance on coursework - firstname.lastname@example.org
- Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre - phone, email or video support including specialist study skills and assistive technology tutors. Book via email@example.com or +44 (0)23 9284 3462
- The University Library is open and available via 24/7 online chat or firstname.lastname@example.org
- International students can get advice via email@example.com or +44(0)23 9284 3524
- The Careers & Employability Service is available via MyCareer and firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)23 9284 2684
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.
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 email@example.com.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org or contact email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
Frequently Asked Questions
A move to online only teaching will be staggered across the university enabling students to return home ahead of the Christmas break but continue their studies online:
Monday 30 November - start of online-only teaching for:
- Faculty of Business and Law
- Faculty of Humanities and Social Sciences
- School of Creative Technologies
- School of Architecture
Students from these faculties and schools, if they wish, will be able to travel home from 3 December onwards following the end of the national lockdown.
Monday 7 December - start of online-only teaching for:
- Faculty of Technology
- Faculty of Science and Health
- School of Film, Media and Communication
- School of Art, Design and Performance
Students from these faculties and schools, if they wish, will be able to travel home from 5 December onwards.
Exceptionally, some essential teaching (largely placements) in health-related courses, will continue as originally scheduled during the period running up to the Christmas break
We have a phased move to online only teaching across our faculties and schools to allow students to travel home if they wish to do so, while continuing their studies remotely. The government has referred to this period as a ‘travel window’ with the dates of 3-9 December.
This shift to online teaching also allows time for students to self-isolate in line with government guidelines if they test positive for Covid-19 or have been instructed to isolate due to close contact by NHS Track and Trace, and still be home in time for Christmas.
We understand that some students will need to travel on dates outside of this preferred travel window but are strongly encouraged not to travel prior to the end of the current national lockdown which is due to end on 2 December.
Booking is now available for tests before travelling for Christmas.
It’s important that all students aim to take two tests, three days apart, before travelling during the Government's designated travel window between 3 and 9 December.
Once you receive your second negative result by text or email it’s important that you then travel as soon as possible. In most cases you’ll receive results within 48 hours.
Healthcare students who are on placements are considered essential workers and should therefore remain in their placements until the end of term.
Health Education England will provide guidance separately on exactly what courses fall within this category are eligible for this exemption.
It is the University’s intention that teaching in the new calendar year will be delivered in a blend of online and face to face teaching as it has done previously in this academic year.
However, the Government has issued no guidance on its approach to students’ return to university after Christmas but it may do so. The University will share any changes to our plans for January if the Government guidance changes.
If you need access to a laptop for your online learning, you can borrow one through our laptop loan schemes (subject to the terms and conditions of the scheme).
We understand the current situation can be difficult for some students. The university has a range of support services for students to help them manage their wellbeing. Information is available via the Student Wellbeing Service.
Self-isolating can feel tough at times but support is available for students who need it. Support includes help with food parcels, ensuring you can continue your studies online and Wellbeing support.
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.
This move to online only teaching is in line with government guidance and to facilitate the students return home for Christmas.
As such, students won't be receiving any change to their course fee payments.
We recognise that for a variety of reasons some students will remain at the university over the Christmas period. We are working in partnership with the Students’ Union to determine what support will be made available to students over the Christmas break.
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
Student Life in 2021/22
You'll be taught through a combination of face-to-face and some online teaching and learning.
Find out how we're keeping campus safe for you, and read our advice on how to safely explore the city.
All our halls of residence are open as normal, with all the necessary safety measures in place to keep you safe.
How to stay safe if you're living in a private flat or house in Portsmouth.
Getting started on your course