Covid information for students
If you're applying to join us to study in 2021/22, we want to be open with you about how you'll be taught and what life on campus will be like.
Find out more about what your studies and lifestyle will look like, and how we've adapted to the pandemic to ensure you'll still get the same level of outstanding teaching, support and guidance. You can also explore our frequently asked questions if you can't find what you're looking for here.
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.
You can find further information on our current students' website MyPort:
- Coronavirus testing for students and travel and testing – protect you and your mates and travelling to and from University
- Covid safety guidance – what to do if you come into contact with Covid
- Self-isolation support for students – what to do if you need to self-isolate
- Studying in 2020/21 – find out how we transformed our teaching for our current students
- No detriment – how we're recognising the impact of the pandemic on assessments
- Frequently asked questions for international students, postgraduate research students, and those planning to study and work abroad
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
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.
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org
- MyPort Information Hubs - for help with timetables, ID checks, course enquiries and more
- Student Wellbeing Service – for support via video, email and phone on email@example.com
- The WhatsUp App provides daily tools to promote positive mental health and connections
- Chaplaincy support – on firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com
- Students' Union Advice Service – on +44(0)23 92 843478 or firstname.lastname@example.org
- 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 - email@example.com
- Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre - phone, email or video support including specialist study skills and assistive technology tutors. Book via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44 (0)23 9284 3462
- The University Library is open and available via 24/7 online chat or email@example.com
- International students can get advice via firstname.lastname@example.org or +44(0)23 9284 3524
- The Careers & Employability Service is available via MyCareer and email@example.com 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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 email@example.com or contact firstname.lastname@example.org 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 email@example.com.
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.
Getting ready for study
Our study skills section can help you prepare for all styles of teaching and learning, especially if you want an introduction to independent online study.