City has published updated advice for its students and staff on the outbreak of the coronavirus (COVID-19).

Latest information for students and staff

Last updated: 11 Nov 2020 9:55am

Covid-19 Frequently Asked Questions

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, questions, concerns and thoughts with us by contacting us or completing the Return to City Survey.

We have created these FAQs to answer some of your queries and address the feedback you have given us. We will continue to keep this web page updated and if there are any significant changes, we will be in touch via email. If you have any specific concerns not covered here you can email us and your query will be directed to the most relevant person.

You can find further advice and updates on these websites:

Prospective students and applicants can find further information on our website.

End of term, studies and teaching

When will my teaching end?

All face to face teaching at City will end by 9 December. Moving learning online by this point allows all students to complete the required isolation period if required and still return home in time for Christmas.

Your School will be in touch with more information on when and how your classes will be moving online.

Please note, there are additional considerations for students in the School of Health Sciences who will be on placement during this period. The Government has confirmed that healthcare students who are on placement are considered essential workers and should therefore remain in their placements until the end of term. Again, the School will provide more details early next week, including further guidance for those undertaking placements whilst living in term time accommodation.

I am an international student – can I travel home at the end of term after lockdown restrictions have ended?

If you are an international student and are planning to return home at the end of the period of national restrictions (after 2nd December) for the winter break, you should follow Public Health England advice while in England to ensure you are travelling safely and travel within the Government 'student travel window' (3rd-9th December).

You should not travel if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) or are part of a household group which is self-isolating.

If you do travel overseas, you should also consider whether you need to self-isolate when you return, and are advised to check any restrictions in the country you are travelling to, and whether you will also need to undertake a period of self-isolation in that country.

You should also consider whether you can access course materials overseas should you choose to travel home – for example, you should confirm arrangements for online learning with your university before you travel. You should be aware that travel advice may change while you are overseas, and you are advised to regularly check all relevant GOV.UK guidance pages for updates.

Students travelling to the EU should also consult relevant guidance regarding the UK and EU transition.

Does the travel window apply to all students?

Yes – the travel window is for all students currently living in the UK who will be leaving their term time address to travel home (both internationally and to other UK destinations).

The Government have set this window of 3rd-9th December so students can travel once the lockdown has ended andbecause anyone who remains at university after this date and contracts COVID-19 or is contacted by NHS Test and Trace will have to isolate for up to 14 days at their term-time address and may not be able to travel home in time for Christmas Day.

I’ve already booked a flight outside of the window – what do I do?

The travel window is in place to (ensure the safety of you and your family and allow you time to self-isolate (if you needed) to get home in time for Christmas day.

We would therefore recommend you adjust your plans to travel within the window (3rd-9th December) if possible.

If you are unable to change your plans, make sure you read and follow the guidance for your destination and arrange for a test within the correct window of time.

Please note, if you are contacted by Track and Trace, or live with someone who tests positive, you will need to self-isolate for 14 days.

Can I get a Covid-19 test before I go home?

Yes - we have partnered with the University of London and NHS Test and Trace to run an asymptomatic testing site (ATS) for lateral flow tests at Student Central on Malet St, WC1E 7HY.

The test is for students who do not have symptoms of COVID-19.

If you intend to travel outside of the UK, you will need to check the requirements set out by the country which is your final destination. The lateral flow tests being provided are unlikely to be certifiable for international travel so you may need to take an additional test.

Free tests will be available from 30th November – 12th December and you can find out more and book your test in advance at:

What will be open on campus over the winter break?

To make sure you have spaces to study if you need to over the winter break, the Northampton Square Library and the PC labs in Drysdale building will be open at the following times:

  • Saturday 19th Dec - Wed 23rd Dec - 10am-6pm
  • Monday 28th Dec - Thu 31st Dec - 10am-6pm
  • Saturday 2nd Jan- Sunday 3rd Jan - 10am-6pm

You can continue to book the study spaces in the Library using the booking system for this time.

You will need to access the campus via the swipe access on Spencer Street.

Will I need to self-isolate before the new term starts in January?

We are currently waiting for government guidance and further information about testing to help us with these plans. We will share more information in future editions of Campus News.

Where can I find more information?

For advice about returning home at the end of the autumn term 2020, read the Office for Students FAQs.

For more information about travelling abroad to return home at the end of the autumn term 2020, read the Government’s travel guidance.


What will is open on campus during term time?

We have opened up key areas such as the Library, which is operating a click and collect service with bookable study spaces; computer rooms and prayer rooms.

To help the University manage the number of people on campus and keep our community safe, please make the most of your time when you are scheduled to be on campus. If you’re attending a class or a booked appointment, think about arranging any other on campus activities you need to carry out that week for the same day.

To help maintain social distancing, you will see seats marked with 'please leave this seat free’ and laid out to give everyone space – please make sure you follow this, and any other, guidance on campus.

Here are some of the things you can do while you’re on campus:

  • Use a study space – you can book a space in the Library or use one of the spaces around our campus. We’ve also opened up some additional areas to be used as study spaces, such as CityBar.
  • Use a computer to study – you can book one in the Library or go along to one of the following PC labs: EGM08, EG07, EG08, BHR 1001, C150 and C151. By the start of term you will also be able to check online to see if computers in the PC labs are available.
  • Collect and return books from the Library – to collect books, please request them online . You'll receive an email when the items are ready to collect and need to book a pick-up date and time within the next seven days to come and collect the items. To return a book, just put them in the Book Return Box - check online for opening times.
  • Use the prayer rooms in the Multi-Faith Centre in Northampton Square. Check the Chaplaincy page for more information and opening times.

We will continue to open more services on campus - please check your emails and the Student Hub for information about what else will be opening up on campus.

I am worried about commuting to City in September – is it safe to travel to campus?

We understand some of you may prefer to limit travelling within London. You can find advice on how to travel safely from Transport for London and the Government and we have put together some guidance on useful routes and apps to plan your journey on the Student Hub.

We anticipate that more teaching will take place on campus as social distancing restrictions continue to reduce. However, initially we will be offering a combination of online and on-campus activities to help you balance the need to commute with studying at home. To help you avoid travelling during peak hours, we have arranged for the vast majority of teaching on campus to take place between 10am-4pm.

If I have in-person teaching, do I have to come to campus if I have underlying health condition, caring responsibilities or live with someone who is vulnerable?

We understand some students will be unable to attend teaching and activities on campus due to personal circumstances. The University is working to make sure that teaching materials are available online for those students who are unable to come onto campus and that there are clear policies and expectations for students where this situation occurs.

What are you doing to protect the health and safety of students on campus?

The health and safety of our students and staff remains our top priority and we are putting appropriate measures in place to ensure campus is prepared for social distancing, including:

  • Carrying out thorough risk assessments for all areas of the campus and mapping capacity in line with social distancing requirements
  • Putting one-way systems into place where possible
  • Arranging seating areas so people can socialise safely
  • Installing hand sanitation stations across our buildings
  • Ensuring appropriate cleaning programmes are in place
  • Adding clear signage about social distancing to the entrances and inside our buildings
  • Encouraging the use of face coverings on campus
  • Installing safety screens for our reception desks.

Staff across the University are working hard to ensure we implement the latest Government guidance, including changes to social distancing guidelines and we will continue to update our plans as required.

Do I need to wear a face covering on campus?

Yes - if you are on campus, you are required to wear a face covering, unless you are exempt.

If you have a diagnosed condition or personal circumstances which mean you have been advised that you are unable to put on, wear or remove a face covering, you should let us know by completing this form and wearing a navy blue lanyard and exemption card. We will then provide you with the lanyard and card, which you can collect on campus.

You can find further advice on how to wear a face covering correctly and how to make your own, on the Student Hub.

I am an international student - do I need to quarantine if I travel to the UK?

Before you travel to the UK, you will need to complete a form online (electronically) with your contact details and journey information. You can find more information and the access the form here. When you arrive in the UK, you will be asked to provide this information.

Students from some countries will be asked to quarantine (self-isolate) when they arrive in the UK for the first 14 days. The full list of exempt countries is on the GOV.UK website.  If you need to quarantine please use private car hire (if you can) to go to your destination; if you need to use public transport to transfer your nominated accommodation, please make sure you follow the latest guidance from TfL, including maintaining social distancing and wearing a face covering, unless you are exempt.

How is the University coordinating its response to the coronavirus outbreak?

The University is following an established action plan to coordinate our response. We are also following advice from Government, Public Health England and Universities UK to ensure the safety and wellbeing of our community of students, staff and visitors.

What would happen if there was a confirmed case?

In the event that a student or a member of staff at City is confirmed to have contracted coronavirus, we will work with local emergency services and public health authorities to ensure that the individual receives the best care. We will continue to provide information and guidance to our students and staff via our web pages, our social media accounts, and via email.


What support is available to me during the pandemic?

Our support services continue to operate remotely mainly through one-to-one appointments on Microsoft Teams and email. There is also information and advice on the Student Hub and Moodle. You can find more information about how to access the services and how they can help on the Student and Academic Services page, Library page, IT page, Academic Learning Support page and Students’ Union page.

During lockdown, we are also running some extra sessions online to support you - you can find out more on our Lockdown Lowdown page.

We recognise that this has been a very challenging time for you and you may be anxious about returning to your studies when such world uncertainty continues. Please be assured that our services are working effectively remotely, and do not hesitate to contact us.  We are planning how we can safely adapt and enhance our services further into the new academic year to support you and will provide further information when it’s available.

What financial support is available?

If you need any additional financial support, the University and Students’ Union both have funds which you can apply for:

  • Digital Inclusion Project – provides financial support if you’re unable to access WiFi, 4G or equipment for your studies (such as a laptop). Priority is given to Undergraduate UK students whose household income is under £25,000, and students registered with City Cares. If you’re not within these categories you’re welcome to apply, but will need to include exceptional circumstances.
  • SU short term loans - provides interest free, short-term loans up to £200 to help with short-term cash flow issues.
  • Hardship Fund – provides financial support if you are in financial hardship or face an unexpected financial emergency.

Life at City

When will life at City be back to normal?

We completely understand that you will want to return to a level of normality when the new academic year starts. Things may look and feel different as we follow the guidance on social distancing. However, as long as it remains safe to do so, the University will be open with limited access to our facilities. We are committed to making your experience of returning to City as smooth and as normal as possible.

How am I going to socialise and connect with my friends?

There’s lots of ways to meet people, make new friends and develop your skills and experience through our online communities. You can find lots of information about activities, groups and societies you can join on the Student Hub, ExperienceCity and the SU website, which are all updated regularly.


Is there accommodation available from January 2021?

There are variety of accommodation options available to all City students. For most up to date information on room availabilities and costs please visit our website.

If you are interested in staying at a particular hall please contact us two weeks prior to arrival.

Do you offer short term accommodation?

Short-term accommodation is available across all our halls. We offer minimum of four weeks stay with an option to extend. Please note we will require five working days’ notice  to process your booking.

Can I start my halls contract later in the year?

For accommodation from February onwards, please contact us to make your booking two weeks before your requested accommodation start date.

Will my halls be safe and how will social distancing work?

As you would expect, all of our accommodations providers have arrangements in place to ensure health and safety measures in line with the current UK government guidance. These measures include: enhanced cleaning schedules, pre-booking arrangements to ensure smooth socially distanced check-ins and the option and support of a 14 day arrival quarantine where required.


Will there be a reduction in tuition fees this year?

Tuition fees for undergraduate students from the United Kingdom (UK) and European Union (EU) are determined by the UK Government. For UK and EU students beginning their studies in 2020, the Government has continued to set the fee at £9,250 for each year of study for the duration of studies. This fee has been set in the context of the Covid-19 pandemic and associated changes that universities have made to their planned delivery.

The changes that City has made to your programme has been communicated to you by email and more information will follow about the broader student experience. Fees for all overseas students, postgraduate taught students and doctoral students are set by the university and follow the approach we set out above.