Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice and guidance for students

Although this page is being regularly updated, we are aware that the situation is evolving rapidly. The latest information for the public is available on the NHS website.

View a summary of the government guidance on staying alert and away from others.


Latest updates


Frequently Asked Questions for Students

General information for students

What action is the University taking?

Like all universities, we have plans in place for a range of different situations and a senior team is continuing to meet regularly to assess any national and international developments and actions that need to be taken in relation to COVID-19.

We are also issuing regular communications for students and staff.

What do the ‘stay alert’ restrictions mean for me?

For all our staff and students in the UK, in line with the latest government advice, we would ask you to follow these ‘stay alert’ and social distancing guidelines to protect your own health and that of others. This means:

  • stay at home as much as possible
  • work from home if you can
  • limit contact with other people
  • keep your distance if you go out (2 metres apart where possible)
  • wash your hands regularly

Use the NHS website for further information.

Do I need to let the University know where I am?

To assist us with planning the provision of services during this time, and to ensure that we are able to offer you the support you need, please update your location details on the Personal Information portlet on Liverpool Life.

How can I get help with my food shopping whilst self-isolating?

Liverpool City Council are running the ‘Liverpool Good Neighbour scheme’, which will match volunteers with people in need who don’t have anyone else nearby to help with day-to-day tasks. Find out more about the scheme and request help.

Your health and wellbeing

What is the advice if I feel unwell?

The NHS advises you to use the 111 online coronavirus service if you have any of the following symptoms:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back (you do not need to measure your temperature)
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Please do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

Students who this applies to who have remained in Liverpool or London and who have been advised by 111 to self-isolate for 7 days are asked to email advice@liverpool.ac.uk with ‘7 day’ in the subject heading. The team will then be in contact to find out more information, including whether you are sharing accommodation with other students, and will keep in touch with you via text. Please also update us if the NHS takes the decision to test you.

If you are living with other students, we ask you to ensure they are informed and they will also need to self-isolate. The NHS advice is that anyone living with someone with symptoms should stay at home for 14 days from the day the first person got symptoms. Students this applies to are asked to email advice@liverpool.ac.uk with ‘14 day’ in the subject heading. The team will then be in contact to find out more information and will keep in touch with you via text. Please also update us if the NHS takes the decision to test you.

Please also use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service if:

  • you feel you cannot cope with your symptoms at home
  • your condition gets worse
  • your symptoms do not get better after 7 days

I’m really worried, what do I do?

We know this may be a distressing time for you. If you are worried about someone and want to discuss any concerns, student advice and welfare are still running an online and telephone service. You can access the Big White Wall 24 hours a day if you need support and they are now uploading and hosting content specifically around looking after yourself during the COVID-19 outbreak.

Teaching

Have all face-to-face classes been cancelled?

Yes, face-to-face classes including lectures, laboratory-based classes, seminars and tutorials at the Liverpool and London campuses are cancelled for the remainder of the 2019/20 academic year. You should now be accessing the alternative arrangements put in place for you to continue your learning online so that your progress is unaffected by this change.

If you are studying on a clinical programme (in the Dental, Health Sciences, Medical or Veterinary Schools) you will already have had guidance from your school about what to do next.

What guidance is available for postgraduate researchers? 

If you are a postgraduate researcher you will have been contacted by your supervisor with instructions.

For further advice and guidance, please also refer to this set of postgraduate researcher FAQs.

As a student how will these teaching decisions affect my progress?

Our aim is to make sure you can continue with your studies and progress at the same rate as you would with a normal teaching schedule. If you are due to graduate this summer, we fully expect you to be able to do so.

Will I receive a refund on my tuition fees?

In light of the alternative measures put in place to replace face-to-face teaching, we do not think compensation or a refund of tuition fees is necessary. We do recognise that this situation has meant we will have to do things differently, however we are committed to ensuring you will receive the same quality of education and qualification from the University.

Assessment

How will I be assessed?

We will do everything we can to support you to complete this academic year successfully. We know that it is likely that some students will fall ill over the coming period, and some students will be trying to study whilst dealing with difficult family circumstances and we will work hard to support you and deal with these circumstances and others flexibly and sensitively. We will treat all requests for extensions sympathetically.

All planned coursework will take place as expected. Some assessments may need to be modified to reflect the move to online teaching, learning and submission and some deadlines will be moved to reflect this. Expected coursework will only be cancelled or changed in exceptional circumstances and after approval by the Faculty.

 We have reviewed our examination arrangements for the Semester 2 exam and summer resit periods and, unless you have been advised otherwise by your Department (e.g. students on clinical programmes), you should not expect to attend any formal examinations in Liverpool. In the majority of cases examinations will be replaced by seen (open-book) assessments. In some exceptional cases, there may be local variation in arrangements, but the rationale for these decisions will be made clear, and will have been approved through internal quality assurance processes to ensure our rigorous standards are complied with.

Examination Boards have a great deal of experience in taking account of a range of extenuating circumstances and they will follow our well-established institutional Procedures for Protecting the Interests of Students in the Event of Major Disruption to guide fair decisions concerning your progression and classification.

Full information on our assessment principles for students in light of COVID-19

How will online assessment work?

All students studying in semester 2 will have extenuating circumstances due to the changes required to respond to COVID-19. Therefore, unless you are told otherwise by your department, wherever possible assessments which replace on-campus examinations will normally have an extended submission window. This is designed to enable you to manage your assessment workload, including where you have multiple deadlines, and to deal with a range of personal and domestic challenges you may be encountering at this time.

This means that most students will not need to make a submission for extenuating circumstances as these will be dealt with automatically. However, some students will sadly face additional difficulties in this period in addition to the disruption generally experienced by the COVID-19 outbreak. If this applies to you, please submit for extenuating circumstances in the usual way and this will be considered by Boards of Examiners as normal. For illness- and bereavement-related extenuating circumstances, the usual requirement for evidence will be waived during this period.

All students should now have received their exam timetables.

When will I receive my assessment results?

Given the exceptional set of circumstances in which we find ourselves, with your academics also affected by COVID-19 and the lockdown, unfortunately it has been necessary to take the decision to delay the publication of some exam results. We will prioritise grades for final year students (including those of you progressing on to an integrated Masters with us), as we know this is particularly important for your onward progression and therefore, if you are in your final year, you will receive your results on Wednesday, 15 July.

All continuing students will now receive their results a week later, on Thursday, 23 July.

What resources are available to help with online assessments?

KnowHow have developed a number of resources to help students prepare for online assessments, including:

‘Safety net’ approach

For more detailed information on the ‘safety net’ approach please read these FAQs.

Is the University adopting a no-detriment ‘safety net’ policy?

Yes, given the exceptional circumstances in which you are completing your studies, we have decided to introduce a ‘safety net’ approach to calculating your overall mark for the year.

This approach has been introduced to ensure the fairness and integrity and continuing academic standards of University of Liverpool awards; to recognise the impact of COVID-19 on students’ studies this year; and to enable us to do everything we can to allow students to progress and graduate this summer. It will ensure that you receive an award which accurately reflects your academic attainment judged holistically over your programme to date and, importantly, it operates on a ‘no detriment’ basis.

How will the no-detriment ‘safety net’ policy work?

In practice, Boards of Examiners will determine whether individual assessments have been affected or unaffected. Unless you are explicitly informed by your Department to the contrary, all work submitted after 15 March 2020 will be considered to be affected by COVID-19 disruption, with the exception of some Masters dissertations.

Some of your work prior to this date may be classed as affected by industrial action, depending on the level of disruption your Department(s) experienced and where Boards of Examiners consider that satisfactory mitigations have not been possible.

Providing you attain a pass in all mandatory modules, achieve an overall average of a pass (40% if you are an undergraduate student or 50% if you are a postgraduate taught student) and meet the intended learning outcomes for the year, then we will calculate two overall marks for you as follows:

  1. Your overall average for all your assessments in 2019/20, and
  2. Your overall average for assessments Boards of Examiners designated as unaffected by the move to online teaching or unmitigated industrial action.

The higher of these two averages will be used for progression and degree classification purposes.

We believe that this is a fair way forward and means you will not be unduly disadvantaged by the present situation.

We encourage students to continue to try their best in the coming period, as completing your remaining assessments can only help your average and not lower it.

Who does the ‘safety net’ apply to?

The safety net approach applies to all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students in all years of study (including those who were on a Study Abroad placement) with the exception of those students on certain programmes which are subject to professional regulation/accreditation (see list here), students on pre-sessional English programmes and those studying with Liverpool Online (where alternative arrangements are in place).

Part time students who have completed modules in 2019/20 will have the safety net applied when they have completed the full assessment for their year (level) of study.

Travel

Is programme related travel affected?

As a precautionary measure, we have taken the decision to cancel all overseas student travel, including field trips, for the remainder of the semester.

I am on an exchange programme at the University. What should I do?

Students who are currently on an exchange to the University have been contacted by the Study Abroad Team directly with additional information.

I am a healthcare/medical student due to take up a placement abroad – what’s the advice on this?

If you are a health care or medical student you will have received a separate email from your department setting out the specific requirements in relation to travel outside of the UK.

Graduation

Will graduation ceremonies still take place?

Unfortunately, we have taken the difficult decision to postpone the summer graduation ceremonies (Summer 2020).

We will support you in receiving your formal qualification at the normal time in order to progress academically or into your future career and we will offer an alternative form of celebration of your achievement at a later date.

We know this will be disappointing but need to take all necessary measures to protect the health of our staff and student community.

When will I get my degree certificate?

Although we have taken the decision to postpone this summer’s graduation ceremonies, we will be providing digital certificates and e-HEARs as usual through the Graduate Document Portal. Further planning is currently taking place, and students due to graduate this summer will receive more information in due course.

Accommodation

Can I leave halls to return home?

The latest government advice now permits students returning home if they are moving back to live for the foreseeable future. Aside from this exception, leaving your home (the place you live) to stay at another home is not allowed.

Before leaving your student accommodation please check that travel is permitted.

We also please ask that students follow these instructions when planning their departure from University accommodation.

Will I receive a refund on my accommodation fees?

If you have returned home and were based in University of Liverpool-owned student accommodation, you will not be charged for your accommodation after 31 March 2020 as long as you left your accommodation on or before that date.

I had already left University of Liverpool-owned accommodation before the wider country lockdown and couldn’t return to collect my belongings before the deadline – do I still have to pay for the final term?

Any student who left University of Liverpool owned accommodation before 17 March and was genuinely unable to return to collect their belongings before the deadline will not be charged for accommodation beyond 1 April. Please email the Accommodation Office at hallsres@liverpool.ac.uk and let them know your situation, together with your name, student number, your hall of residence and room number and someone will be in touch.

Do I have to move halls if I want to stay?

If you choose to stay in your university-owned accommodation it is likely that you will be required to move into another hall so we can maintain our services for you. You will receive further information on moving accommodation shortly.

Your Student Licence will continue and you will remain liable for the accommodation fees up until the end of the contract.

If I stay in my halls will normal services still be available?

Our halls of residence will continue to operate and staff will be there to support those of you who need to stay with us, although we may put additional measures in place for everyone’s safety.

We have put additional support measures in place for students remaining in halls. Students in University-owned halls of residence and privately rented accommodation have been contacted about newly introduced telephone and online check-in meetings, which are designed to highlight the support available and the virtual activities you can get involved in. This is being supported by a e-newsletter round-up.

I have a problem with my private rented accommodation, is there anyone I could go to for advice?

Please refer to Liverpool Student Homes (LSH) COVID-19 advice webpages, for the latest guidance and FAQs. Students can also request support from LSH using this form.

Information for international students

All international students should read this letter, dated 9 April 2020, from the Minister of State for Universities, Michelle Donelan MP: https://www.universitiesuk.ac.uk/International/Documents/Letter%20from%20Minister%20Donelan%20to%20International%20Students%20090420.pdf

Is there any limit on the amount of time I can spend outside the UK?

No, as long as you continue to engage with studies in the manner the University requires, which is online for the remainder of the academic year. Once face-to-face teaching recommences (next academic year) you will be required to return to campus, unless you have completed your studies. However, you will receive further correspondence from the university when this happens.

Will I be able to return to the UK?

Yes, provided your visa is still valid you will be able to use this to return to the UK.

Do I need to do anything before coming back to the UK?

No, you will be able to return to the UK using your current visa as long as it is still valid.

My Tier 4 visa expires soon, I am self-isolating and/or can’t travel back to my home country due to travel restrictions – where can I get advice?

Please be reassured that the Government will be applying discretion under current circumstances to ensure you are not negatively impacted if you find yourself in a position where you cannot comply with certain visa rules.

The Government has published guidance on immigration provisions for individuals who are unable to return to their home countries because of travel restrictions.

This guidance also includes the latest information for those of you who might have questions around visa expiry, switching visa category within the UK, distance learning and working-hour restrictions for student doctors and nurses. If you have concerns about your visa status you should email the Government’s Coronavirus (COVID-19) Immigration Help Centre at CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

The Home Office has advised that if you’re in the UK and your leave expires between 24 January and 31 May 2020, your visa will be extended to 31 May 2020 if you cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to coronavirus (COVID-19), and you were not planning to stay in the UK.

You must update your records with the Coronavirus Immigration Team (CIT) if your visa is expiring and you were not planning to stay in the UK.

The UK Home Office will respond to your request within 5 working days.

This latest visa advice can be found in this letter from the Minister of State for Universities, and we would encourage you to read this section carefully.

For further details, please read this Tier 4 guidance document.

I need to make a UK visa application but have to return to my home country to do this, however, I am unable to leave the UK at this time – can I apply inside the UK instead?

As explained above, please be reassured that the government will be applying discretion under current circumstances to ensure you are not negatively impacted if you find yourself in a position where you cannot comply with certain visa rules.

During these unique circumstances (currently up until 31 May 2020) the rules have been amended so you’ll be able to apply from the UK to switch to a long-term UK visa. This includes visa applications where you would usually need to apply for a visa from your home country.

You’ll need to meet the same visa requirements and pay the UK application fee.

If you need further advice please contact our International Advice and Guidance team: iagteam@liverpool.ac.uk.

This latest visa advice can be found in this letter from the Minister of State for Universities, and we would encourage you to read this section carefully.

Information for disabled students

I have a Student Support Information Sheet.  How will my reasonable adjustments be implemented?

Staff will continue to implement reasonable adjustments when delivering remote teaching. If you identify a gap in your needs due to this method of teaching or have any questions or concerns about your adjustments, please let the Disability Advice and Guidance team know, and they will work with you and your department to identify an alternative adjustment.

For further support please email please email: disteam@liverpool.ac.uk.

Will I be allocated my recommended extra time/rest breaks for an open book assessment?

Open-book assessments will be available over a longer period than your normal examination(s). This inclusive approach, should give you the opportunity to complete assessments at a time that is appropriate to your individual circumstances, therefore removing the need for any further adjustments.

I use assistive technology, e.g. specialist software such as screen magnification tools and screen reading, but do not have access to it from home, what should I do?

Please contact the Computer Services Department’s Assistive Technologist and he will be able to explore solutions for you eg. enable you to gain access to a software licence remotely. Please email at: ATsupport@liverpool.ac.uk

Now that the University has moved from face-to-face classes to online teaching, how do I access my note-taking support? 

We would like to reassure you that remote note-taking will be available to you.  We are liaising with the providers of your support (eg. Barry Bennett Ltd / Randstad etc.), to arrange for your support worker to have access to VITAL to allow them to access your module materials or to provide remote note taking.

If you have any questions, or haven’t yet been contacted by your support provider, please email Disability Advice and Guidance on: disteam@liverpool.ac.uk

Now that teaching is being delivered off campus, how can I meet with my one to one support worker(s) eg. Study Skills Tutor, Mentor?

We would advise you to initially contact your support worker and external provider eg. Barry Bennett Ltd, Randstad, Clearlinks etc. to confirm your individual arrangements. We have been liaising with these providers and they have confirmed that support sessions are being delivered remotely.

I have a disability and would like to access reasonable adjustments but my medical evidence does not meet the Universities policy requirements.

In light of the current circumstances, for the foreseeable future, we will not be requiring you to provide new or updated medical evidence. Instead we will work with you to either identify appropriate supporting documentation, which you already have available, or agree to obtain evidence from you in the future when it is available.

Please email Disability Advice and Guidance on: disteam@liverpool.ac.uk with any further questions.

I am profoundly deaf and require transcript/subtitles for all audio materials, will this be provided?

Tutors are aware of the requirement to provide accessible materials and are working hard with Computing Services to ensure stream capture and audio communications are as accessible as possible.

Due to the current situation, our external provider is experiencing high demand, so it may take slightly longer than usual, to produce the files, which will be added to stream videos at the earliest opportunity.

Please contact your Departmental Disability Contact (DDC) and/or Disability Adviser to discuss your individual needs should you be experiencing difficulties accessing your remote teaching. Find the contact details for you DDC here.

I have a time-controlled test, how will I be allocated extra time/rest breaks?

Additional time will be scheduled for your test as appropriate.  Clarification of this will be provided by your academic department.  If you have further questions about specific assessment arrangements, please contact your Departmental Disability Contact (DDC) in the first instance. A List of DDCs is available here.

I have a time-controlled test, how will my recommendations relating to clock stopped for breaks be implemented?

Students with rest breaks and/or clock stopped for toilet breaks will be allocated 15 minutes extra time per exam hour for each adjustment automatically.

I have a time-controlled test, i.e. a test which lasts up to 4 hours, how will my recommendations relating to readers/scribes/prompters be implemented?

Students are encouraged to use assistive technology to read text aloud or to type by voice activation i.e. text to speech or speech to text software, as you would with coursework activities. Please contact the Computer Services Department’s Assistive Technologist and he will be able to explore solutions for you if you do not currently have access to this software e.g. enable you to gain access to a software licence remotely. Please email ATsupport@liverpool.ac.uk.

However, if using assistive technology is not a feasible solution for you, please email Disability Advice and Guidance to discuss alternatives at Disteam@liverpool.ac.uk

How do I obtain a diagnostic assessment for a Specific Learning Difficulty (SpLD)?

Assessments are undertaken by Educational Psychologists’ and Specialist Teachers. Unfortunately, due to the nature of a SpLD assessment, currently referrals are not being accepted by assessors.  A statement from the SpLD Assessment Standards Committee can be read here.

In lieu of these referrals, we have put the following alternative measures in place:

SpLD evidence from a previous assessment

If you already have written evidence which indicates that you have previously accessed support for a SpLD, please forward a copy of your evidence to Disability Advice and Guidance in the first instance at disteam@liverpool.ac.uk.  We will review your documents and let you know if these meet the university evidence requirements, or alternatively, if they can be accepted on a temporary basis at this time.

Temporary SpLD evidence

To support our students who are currently unable to access an assessment, we are offering an online screening tool, called QuickScan.

If the report shows that you display indicators of a SpLD, we will accept this screening report as temporary evidence.  This will enable students’ immediate access to appropriate reasonable adjustments.

Our team will then arrange for you to have a full Educational Psychologist’s Assessment, should you wish to continue to access reasonable adjustments, once referrals recommence.

How does QuickScan work?

QuickScan takes around 15 minutes to complete. To start the QuickScan screener click here.  You should enter your “student ID number” as your user ID.

It will ask you a series of questions and will then generate a report which will tell you whether you display any indicators of a specific learning difficulty. The report will also give information about your individual learning style and will provide you with some suggested learning strategies.

Your report will be displayed automatically at the end of the screening and you will be given the option to print the report immediately. You can also view your report at any time by entering your student ID number and the quick scan code generated upon completion of the test.

We recommend you read the report generated by QuickScan to determine what action to take next:

  • If the report identifies indicators of a SpLD such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, and you wish to use this as temporary evidence, please contact Disability Advice and Guidance at disteam@liverpool.ac.uk with your student ID number
  • If the report does NOT identify indicators of a SpLD such as dyslexia or dyspraxia, we will not be able to recommend reasonable adjustments. However, you can access a range of study skills support available via KnowHow and Skills4Study.

University facilities

Is the University closed?

Since 23 March, the majority of buildings and a number of our services on both the Liverpool and London campuses are closed and, where possible, services have moved entirely online.

Student advice and welfare services have moved to a fully online and telephone service.

In addition, the library is actively enhancing the ways in which it can continue to support your learning and research online. Read the full letter from the University Librarian.

Our halls of residence have remained open for those of you who have not been able to, or would prefer not to, return home.

In addition, the library is actively enhancing the ways in which it can continue to support your learning and research online. Read the full letter from the University Librarian.

Face-to-face classes have been replaced with online teaching and all other student services – other than support in halls of residence – have, wherever possible, also moved online. Our focus is to ensure that students are able to continue to progress at the same rate they would on campus.

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 10 May, there will be no immediate change to the way we have been operating on and off campus over recent weeks, and all students who have been studying from home should continue to do so.

When will the University reopen?

It is clear that the Government’s recovery process will be a gradual one over a period of months, and there is potential for restrictions to be both reduced or increased, depending on the extent to which COVID-19 continues to spread.

The reopening of campus will happen on a phased basis once both Government guidance indicates it is appropriate and we are able to implement suitable measures around social distancing and hygiene. Staff and student safety and wellbeing remains our highest priority and we are considering very carefully how we can maintain this on campus through social distancing, enhanced cleaning and a wide range of other measures.

Can I get a refund on my Sport Liverpool membership?

Following the closure of all University of Liverpool sports facilities, we have stopped taking direct debit payments for those members who pay via this method. If this is the case, you don’t need to do anything. The Sport Liverpool team are handling all membership and payment enquiries for those members who have pre-paid in advance. Please contact them directly at sfc@liverpool.ac.uk

Other

What is happening with University events?

We have taken the decision to postpone or cancel all of the University’s public events, until further notice.