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: 18 Sep 2020 9:27am

Return to City survey results

Thank you for taking the time to share your feedback, questions, concerns and thoughts with us by completing the Return to City Survey. The responses are incredibly helpful and are being used to help us work through and develop our plans.

We have created these FAQs to answer some of your queries and address the feedback you have given us. While we don’t have answers to all of your questions yet, we are working hard to get these answers for you and will continue to email you and update this page and when further information is available. Please check this page regularly for updates.

What you told us

Studies and teaching

When will my studies start in the new academic year?

The 2020/21 academic year will start on 28th September, aside from the following programmes:

  • Professional Law programmes (LPC and BVS): Monday 7th September
  • School of Health Sciences programmes: Start dates will remain as usual. Your School will be in touch with further details.
  • Cass Postgraduate programmes: The School will be in touch to confirm your start date and details about your programme.

How will my studies and teaching be delivered in September and 2020/21?

We will be ready to deliver your teaching that would usually take place in large groups (such as lectures) online, combined with some small group teaching and activity on campus.

We know not everyone will be able to attend campus, so the small group teaching will also be available online. We will resume other campus activities as soon as restrictions ease and we are able to do so safely.

We are currently planning what the on-campus offer will look like for each programme, including making sure you have contact time with staff. We will share more details about on-campus activities in mid-July and your term one timetables in August.

Will the new academic year be the same as online teaching this year?

Staff across the University worked hard to move teaching and assessments online at speed in March, when City campus closed in line with Government guidance.

We have now had longer to plan and prepare for your teaching and learning in September. We have also been listening to our students’ feedback and reflections on the online teaching and assessment they have received so far. We are confident that we will have staff providing creative and engaging learning and teaching both online and face to face, or a combination of both.


When will I be able to access the Library and/or study spaces on campus?

From Tuesday 14th July, the Library Services will be operating a reduced service on campus. At Northampton Square Library, there will be limited bookable study and PC spaces, a click and collect service for available books and an opportunity for you to return your books.

A Library guide will be available soon, with more details about the services on offer. Our online services will continue as normal.

Bunhill Row Library and Gray’s Inn Place Library will remain closed for the moment due to limited staffing levels. We will be in touch to confirm their opening dates. Students in Cass and City Law School can continue to access the Northampton Square Library as usual, observing the reduced service.

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. We are also working on some guides for you with tips on how to travel to our campus safely.

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.

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.

I am an international student and I cannot get back to City in September - what should I do?

We know from our recent survey of students that students are keen to get back to City to restart their studies in person, make use of our facilities and resources and meet up with friends just as soon as they can, and so long as it is safe. However, we understand there remains significant disruption in the world that makes planning, including making travel and practical arrangements, difficult. We also recognise that every student around the world will have their own particular set of circumstances.

Your School and each programme team has been working through the details of the safest way of applying the current government guidelines and to ensure the best possible overall experience for all students. From the start of the academic year we anticipate that some smaller group teaching, such as seminars, practical’s and placement activities, may be able to take place safely, as usual, with some adaptation based on social distancing and any other health and safety requirements. Larger group teaching, such as lectures, are planned to be replaced by online delivery. Practically, we have also considered the structure of courses, for example, reviewing the order of some parts of the programme, to maximise the number of students we can have on campus within health and safety requirements

More detail will be available from the end of July so that you can start planning your next academic year. If you are anxious about your return, or concerned about being able to return, please contact your Programme Director or Course Officer who will be very happy to talk to you.

You are advised to wait until this detail is available, and then there will be options for you to consider on whether you wish to (a) continue your study in London, at City, or (b) remain in your home country for now, continuing your studies online. We then look forward to you re-joining in person during the 20/21 academic year for face-to-face teaching as soon as it is safe to do so.

If you are sponsored by us on a Tier 4 visa you will be permitted to remain studying in your home country. Your ongoing engagement in your programme would be monitored at a distance and we will provide you with more information on how this will work in the coming weeks.

There are specific requirements for final year students to return to the UK in order to take advantage of the Graduate Immigration Route. You can find further information about this in the GOV.UK: Fact sheet and UKCISA: post-study work visa.


I am an international student. If I can get back to London, what should I do about quarantine?

Please note that currently you might be asked to quarantine when you enter the UK in September. The UK Government introduced a 14 day ‘quarantine’ period for everyone entering the UK from overseas from 8th June 2020 with a small number of exceptions, including those travelling from Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man.

These measures will be reviewed every three weeks but we do not know how long they will be in place. This means we need to prepare for the possibility that ‘quarantine’ measures will be in place when you begin your studies again.

If still in place in September, you will be able to self-isolate either in your student accommodation or in your own private accommodation.

What are you doing to support students’ wellbeing?

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.

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?

To date, we have offered over £300k overall in one off awards to our students through our City Emergency Covid-19 Fund. We recognise many students have been impacted financially by the pandemic. We are looking at how we can provide further support in the 2020/21 academic year.

Our Student Funding team can offer advice and guidance on financial support. We continue to offer a number of grants and bursaries to provide financial support to our students – you can find further information on the Student Hub.

I feel like I missed out on learning last term - how will the University support me to make this up?

We are working on plans to help you confidently return to your studies in the new academic year. Your School will be in touch in July with further information about this.

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 in September due to us following 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?

The University and Students’ Union are working on ways to ensure you are still able to get involved with opportunities to socialise safely in person as well as online. We will keep you updated over the summer.


Will there be accommodation available for returning students?

Limited returning student accommodation is available at Alliance House. Application for 2020/21 academic year closed on the 31st March, however if you haven’t applied we can still accept your application and include you to the waiting list. If you wish to apply please email us via More details of Alliance House can be found via the following link.  

We anticipate there maybe some rooms in other halls becoming available in September, we will contact those on the waiting list with vacancy updates in early September.

Can I start my halls contract later in the year?

We are working with our nominated accommodation providers on possible options including shorter and flexible tenancy agreements for 20/21. We will provide further information in July.

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

As you would expect, all our accommodation providers are planning to put in place arrangements to ensure health and safety measures in line with government guidance for September 2020. These measures will include: enhanced cleaning schedules and pre-booking arrangements to ensure smooth socially distanced check-ins. Specific information by hall will be available to inform your choice of hall.

When will City give me further updates?

  • End of July: We will send you an email with details about your programme offer, support services and your reorientation to City
  • Throughout summer: We will continue to stay in touch via the Campus News newsletter, updating the Student Hub and social media.