Information about returning to campus

As you should already be aware, we are asking that all students return to campus on a staggered basis between 4 January to 8 February 2021. This will mean that all students are able to move back to their term-time address for the start of any face-to-face teaching.

By staggering arrivals, we hope this will help manage demand for asymptomatic testing and reduce pressure on traffic and transport services into the city.

If you need further advice contact our COVID Guidance and Travel Plans Helpline on 0151 795 9500. Opening hours can be found here. 

When should I return?

Broadly speaking, students who have continued to receive face-to-face teaching this semester, mainly those who have clinical, practical or lab-based sessions, should also expect to have some face-to-face teaching in January 2021, and therefore should return to campus in time for their first timetabled session. Schools are currently reviewing their planned activities, so please keep checking your timetable for the date of your first session.

Following the latest government guidance, we have taken the decision that for non-clinical subjects, there will now be no face-to-face teaching in the week beginning 4 January 2021. Your department will be in touch in the new year regarding what will happen in relation to any missed sessions.

Students who have not been receiving face-to-face teaching during semester 1 will be required to return no later than the start of semester 2 on 8 February 2021, and preferably not before 25 January.

Further information about arrival dates can be found here:

We are awaiting further government advice and guidance about returning to campus in January and there may be some changes required to our plans. We will communicate with all students as and when changes are required, so please keep checking your email.

Get a test before returning

Before you return to campus after the winter break, we strongly encourage you to take a COVID-19 test at home prior to travelling.

You can do this either at a local test centre, or by requesting a Government at-home testing kit. If there is no mass testing available in your local area, you should request a at-home testing kit and make sure to state that you are not symptomatic and that you are taking part in a community testing pilot.

Where this is not possible, you should take a test as soon as you can after arriving back to campus at one of our ‘no symptoms’ test centres, which will reopen from 2 January 2021. You should do this before participating in any activity, i.e. a face-to-face teaching session, meeting up with friends.

If you are arriving back to one of our Halls of Residence and have not taken a test before travelling back, you should follow the process outlined below (see section ‘Returning to halls’).

Similar to the guidance provided for testing before travelling home, we recommend that you take one test within 24 hours of your return to campus. This means that you’re reducing the risk of onward transmission while you travel and when you return to your term-time address. You should also aim to travel within 24 hours of a negative test result and continue to observe the latest public health guidance at all times.

In the event that you receive a positive test result, or start displaying any of the symptoms of COVID-19, please self-isolate immediately and book a confirmatory ‘with symptoms’ test. You should self-isolate at home and not return to campus until your isolation period has ended.

Further guidance about what to do once you have received your test results, including how to inform your School, can be found on the campus safety webpages.

Returning to halls

If you are returning to one of our Halls of Residence, you should have received an email outlining the arrivals process.

You should read this email carefully and follow the steps, including booking an arrival slot.  Slots are available to book from Saturday, 2 January to Sunday, 7 February 2021.

We ask that if you have not taken a test at home, to get a test at one of our centres before returning to your flat. You will receive your results within an hour, and for any students who test positive we will have limited space for these students to self-isolate in dedicated rooms in our halls, following a confirmatory ‘with symptoms’ test. This way you will be able to keep your friends and our University community safe and well.

Find out more here:

Guidance for international students

If you will be returning from overseas then please bear in mind that we plan to resume hybrid learning at the start of semester two on 8 February 2021, and so, unless you have a confirmed later arrival date, you will be expected to have returned to campus in time to adhere to any travel quarantine requirements before teaching begins.

Further guidance for international students can be found here:

Tell us when you plan to return

To help us continue to shape our plans and support rail and coach transport providers, please complete this travel survey to let us know when you intend to return.