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

If you don't have symptoms of coronavirus you can book a test through the University.

If you test positive you'll be given instructions by NHS Test and Trace and you must tell the University by informing:

  1. your MyPort Hub
  2. personal tutor
  3. and the University's central COVID team using this student form

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

If you don't have coronavirus symptoms

Asymptomatic test appointments at Milldam are currently fully booked for the week starting 26 October. New appointment dates will be published as soon as they become available. 

If you don't have any symptoms you can be tested voluntarily for free as part of the University's screening programme at Milldam car park. We aim to test up to 310 students and staff members a day. Testing from 9.30am to 11.00am is reserved for people in priority groups including:

  • Anyone self-identifying as being from a vulnerable group (carers, BAME, underlying condition). We will not check this self-assessment, nor would we ask for any specifics.
  • Anyone travelling from abroad between now and the end of October, who is not arriving from a country with quarantine restrictions. People coming from countries with UK quarantine restrictions should self-isolate as required by UK governments.
  • Anyone travelling from a UK region under an official local lockdown at the time of departure.
  • Anyone who has not previously had a test unless explicitly asked for a re-test (see below) or from a vulnerable group (above).

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

  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 link to an online consent form to complete before your appointment. You will be emailed a copy of your completed form.
  3. When you arrive you will need to wear a face covering, show your consent form email and your Student Card (or show photo ID and Student ID number if you don't have a Student Card).
  4. 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. 
  5. Your swabs will be sent to Portsmouth Hospitals University NHS Trust. You will receive a text message from the NHS track and trace system if you tested positive or negative. If you tested positive you will automatically be entered into the national system.
  6. If you test positive you must also inform your MyPort Hub, Personal Tutor and the University's central COVID team using this student form.
  7. 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.
  8. 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).

If you have coronavirus symptoms

If you have symptoms of coronavirus, book your test through the Government's national booking portal to one of a network of testing sites including the facility at Eldon car park. This is run in partnership with the Government and Portsmouth City Council. Please be aware that availability may be limited at times as the national system deals with increased demand, and any changes in Government testing policy will affect this system.

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.
  4. If you test positive you'll automatically be entered into the NHS track and trace system. You must also inform your MyPort Hub, Personal Tutor and the University's central COVID team using this student form.

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