Specific advice for University of Surrey students. Please check back regularly for any updates and read our general advice for important information about what to do if you think you need to self-isolate, as well as wellbeing advice and travel guidance.

Covid-19 health and safety induction

Supporting your safe campus experience – health and safety essential information

In order to keep you and the rest of the community safe, you must complete this short online course about our Covid-19 Health and Safety measures. This course is essential: on your arrival to campus you must view the presentation in full, and then complete the form.

  1. View the presentation
  2. Complete the online form

We are all in this together so make sure you do take a short time to play your part and help prevent the spread, to keep our University open for all. Huge thank you!

Advice for students

Teaching and assessments for 2020/21 academic year

As we approach the winter break, I would like to update you on our teaching and learning plans for the new year. We intend to deliver our hybrid education model on campus from Monday 4 January 2021 as planned.

Those of you who intend to leave campus for the winter break, please make sure that you plan your return to campus carefully, in line with the advice below.

Those of you who choose to remain on campus are very welcome to do so and we will share more details about how we will support you during this period in the coming weeks.

Monday 4 January 2021

With the exception of GSA and Health Sciences, and some final year Veterinary Medicine students will have the choice either to study online-only (joining sessions remotely) or to return to campus for hybrid teaching in the period up until the start of Semester 2 on Monday 8 February.

Students on programmes in GSA, Health Sciences and some final year Veterinary Medicine, will need to return to campus and participate in hybrid teaching as indicated on their timetable. 

From Monday 11 January 2021

All exams will be delivered online completing on 29 January, except for some Veterinary Medicine students. . Your exam timetable will be provided on Monday 4 December.

From Monday 8 February 2021

Taking into account any required self-isolation period, you will need to be ready to commence face-to-face teaching as part of our hybrid education model by the start of Semester 2 on Monday 8 February. We will not be providing online-only teaching except for students who are self-isolating. If you have exceptional arrangements agreed with our Disability and Neurodiversity team, you will be contacted separately.

Further guidance

I know you will appreciate that these plans are subject to any updated government advice. We, along with other universities, are awaiting government guidelines about the return of students to campus in the new year. Should there be any changes to these plans, then we will let you know as soon as possible.

A reminder: Asymptomatic testing on campus from Monday 30 November

From next Monday we will be launching our asymptomatic testing facility. This will enable you to book a time, take a test and know your result.

We anticipate that we may need to deliver similar tests upon your return in January. We are starting to make plans now for this eventuality and will provide more information in due course.

I wish everyone a restful and safe break over the winter. I really look forward to welcoming you back to campus in the new year.

Best wishes,

Lucy Evans

Chief Student Officer

Following the UK Government’s recent update on national Coronavirus restrictions, I would like to make all students aware of how we will continue to support your education through this time. 

The following points are applicable for the new restrictions which will start at 00:01 this Thursday 5 November: 

  • Campus remains open and hybrid teaching continues. 
  • If you are living in University accommodation or in Guildford, you should stay there during the lockdown period. Those who commute to campus – from home or student accommodation – can continue to do so.  
  • All essential services will remain open, including the Library, MySurrey Hive and Academic Hives, MySurrey Nest, study spaces, catering and launderette facilities. 
  • You are able to exercise outdoors with others from your household. 
  • Clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) students will be permitted to study online. 
  • Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, has written to students to talk about guidelines specific for higher education

Campus remains open 

Our campus remains a Covid-secure environment, with significant measures in place to support our entire community. Please continue to follow the advice: 

  • Wash your hands regularly 
  • Wear a face covering in all shared indoor spaces on campus 
  • Maintain social distancing. 

Hybrid teaching continues 

We will continue with our hybrid teaching model, offering a blend of face-to-face and online education as planned and timetabled. To minimise the disruption on your studies you should continue to attend your face-to-face classes on campus as you do now. 

Any students categorised as clinically extremely vulnerable (CEV) will now have the flexibility to study online.  You should contact your Academic Hive to arrange this.  

Follow government advice and do not travel away from Guildford 

In accordance with the clear direction from government you should remain at your term-time address. You should only return home at the end of term for the Christmas break if you wish to do so. 

Support for you 

We recognise that this continues to be a challenging time for everyone in our community and we care about keeping you safe and well. We have a range of wellbeing support services available, and urge anyone with concerns for themselves or others to get in touch at

For more detailed information and to keep in touch with any developments, please visit our lockdown FAQs on the advice for all page – we'll continue to update these in the coming days. If you have any questions, please contact 

Finally, remember: if you have symptoms, no matter how mild, self-isolate immediately, contact the Rapid Response Team and get a test! 

Best wishes, 

Lucy Evans 

Chief Student Officer 

We want to ensure that you have a supportive, diverse and vibrant learning experience, but we must adapt the way we teach to ensure we all stay safe. This means we have moved to a 'hybrid education' model – a blend of online and campus-based learning. Committed to enabling students to study successfully in a digital environment, all taught students will be provided with free, personal, digital copies of their essential textbooks.

Hybrid education is a mix of online course delivery with face-to-face sessions for elements of your course which can be delivered safely in person, following government guidelines. Our campus learning facilities and laboratories are open, but with added safety measures.

Most of our teaching and services will be delivered in a hybrid way – both in-person and online. 

We have completed our work to review your programmes and modules to ensure that through hybrid learning your programme will have all the teaching and assessments needed, so you can meet the learning outcomes as you would expect. You can look up your faculty and then your programmes through our dedicated course changes pages to find out:

  • Any changes to the assessment of your modules
  • If a module has had to change the semester it is taught in
  • How module workloads are changing
  • How much of your teaching will be face-to-face and how much will be online
  • Any modules that we have had to suspend

We have reviewed all our teaching spaces – including classrooms, laboratories and studios – to make sure that the spaces have been modified to comply with government guidelines.

If you have any questions about your programme, please do contact your Academic Hive via email on:

Hybrid learning principally provides lectures delivered through captured content, while labs and tutorials will be timetabled for face-to-face delivery with appropriate social distancing protocols,

Core programme materials including guided learning and other resources are also provided on the virtual learning environment, and we are doing all we can to make sure that SurreyLearn is meeting your needs from a teaching and learning perspective. 

Semester 2

In line with the current situation, and government guidance, we will be continuing with a hybrid learning model for Semester 2. This is the most effective way of continuing to ensure your learning experience remains consistent over the coming year.  

Suggested changes to modules, including how courses with significant practical elements will work and the plans for assessments in Semester 2, will be communicated to you over the coming weeks through your course leads. 

Lockdown contingency plans

Given the risk of further Covid-19 lockdowns, the hybrid education model has also been designed by the University so that your course can be delivered fully online for at least short-term periods (and in many cases long terms periods) should the University be subject to stringent local or national lockdown restrictions that might prevent access to campus facilities.

Online learning

We have compiled a list of advice and links to key resources to ensure that you are confident in hybrid learning and can continue to access the range of support available.

Face-to-face learning

Most tutorials/seminars/workshops, lab-based, studio-based and simulation-based sessions are currently timetabled for in-person delivery. These will be delivered in accordance with government guidance. Students will be expected to attend these face-to-face sessions, however, where you are unable to attend due to extenuating Covid-19 related exceptions or other agreed extenuating circumstances, online access to these sessions will also be provided where possible.

In the event of a Covid-19 lockdown which would prevent face-to-face sessions, the University has measures in place to ensure that such sessions can either be delivered via an alternative online format or rescheduled for delivery at a later point in the academic year.

If you are unable to attend face-to-face teaching sessions because you are self-isolating, you need to complete the self-isolation form and let your academic hive and module leaders know so that you can keep up with your studies remotely, if you are well enough to do so. If you have Covid-19 symptoms, you can also request a test from the NHS by calling 119 or via our Rapid Response team.

Academic hives:

In most cases you will be able to join timetabled face-to-face session through a Zoom link. There will also be opportunities to have Q&A appointments with your module leader.

All assessments in hybrid education are administered online using the virtual learning environment in semester 1. We may decide to move to online assessments in semester 2 as well depending on the pandemic situation and government advice.

We understand that you must be disappointed but please don't worry - we're here to support you. Please complete our self-isolation reporting form now. We have a dedicated support team who will be in touch to guide you through the next steps and will we help you arrange a new arrival date.

We have created a MySurrey self-isolation support guide which provides you with lots of advice about self-isolating, and the UK government has shared ‘stay at home’ advice and guidance for households.

If you have not yet arrived and have any questions, please contact us at and we will be able to advise you.

There is no online-only learning option because we are committed to delivering the very best student learning and teaching experience which we believe means taking part in face-to-face teaching on our campus. All our communications with students about the new 2020/21 academic year have outlined that we will deliver, in part, a face-to-face experience.

The University is adhering to government guidelines to ensure we can offer a Covid-secure environment to deliver tutorials, seminars, labs, simulation sessions and studio-based teaching face-to-face, supplemented by online delivery, including all lectures.

Following the UK Government's new restrictions, our teaching will move to Tier 2 of the Department for Education’s four-tier approach: continuing with hybrid teaching as timetabled. This supports the position Universities Minister Michelle Donelan outlined for students.

Living in campus accommodation

The University recognises the challenge that restrictions due to the coronavirus pandemic pose to students currently living in on and off-campus student accommodation. 

We are committed to supporting you regardless of your living situation, and we are increasing the support available to those who are living in University accommodation and required to self-isolate on arrival or during your time with us. 

If you need to self-isolate at any point, you'll find full details about how to access our support services on our dedicated self-isolation support guide.

Regardless of where you are currently living, please follow Government advice on social distancing and self-isolation (UK) or the advice from the government of your home/host nation if you are abroad. 

You must not meet socially indoors with family or friends unless they are part of your household - meaning the people you live with - or support bubble.

support bubble is where a household with one adult joins with another household. Households in that support bubble can still visit each other, stay overnight, and visit outdoor public places together.

Support bubbles in accommodation

In our accommodation, students living in studio flats or those flats with only one other student are allowed to form support bubbles, which means:

  • We are not allowing students in accommodation to stay overnight with their support bubbles but they can visit and spend time in the homes of other single occupancy households.
  • We are not allowing students from a single occupancy household to ‘bubble’ with a multi-occupancy household.
  • Students can bubble if both households are to be of solo occupancy for significant periods of times, (permanently or if all students have left accommodation for the rest of the term or the vacation).
  • Once you’re in a support bubble, you can think of yourself as being in a single household with people from the other household. It means you can have close contact with that household as if they were members of your own household.
  • Once you make a support bubble, you should not change who is in your bubble.
  • Continue to follow social distancing guidance with people outside of your household or support bubble. This is critical to keeping you, your family and friends as safe as possible
  • If anyone in your support bubble develops symptoms or tests positive for coronavirus, follow the stay at home guidance.


  1. If a student lives alone in a studio flat on Manor Park, and he is friends with another student who also lives in a studio flat, they can bubble.
  2. If a student lives in a studio flat on Manor Park and has a boyfriend who lives in Battersea Court which has only him living there, they can bubble.
  3. If a student lives offsite in a flat alone, and she has a friend in another flat offsite who lives alone, they can bubble.
  4. If a student lives in a studio flat and wants to bubble with another whole flat, they can NOT bubble.

Our accommodation team and residential wardens are on site to ensure you have a safe environment from the moment of your first arrival on campus, with social distancing measures in place during the accommodation check-in.

There will be an online induction before your arrival and online warden welcome talks providing details about the services that are available at the University, including receptions and where to go to send and collect parcels and post. All of our meeting points, including receptions, have been risk assessed and Covid-secure measures, such as screens, signage and hand gel, have been implemented.

The conditions of residence, which include general health and safety, are being adapted in accordance to the latest UK Government advice. You are expected to comply with both sets of guidance.

Accommodation space is cleaned regularly by University cleaning staff, although students are expected to keep their areas clean and tidy after use.

The University’s Housekeeping staff will collect rubbish from kitchens daily (weekdays only), clean kitchens and common rooms weekly (weekdays only) and clean communal areas (such as toilets, showers and corridors) twice a week.

If you have accepted an offer of University accommodation but were unable to arrive on site for the September start due to travel restrictions, we will hold your room free of charge until the next LAP, up until the end of Semester 1. We will use your Late Arrival Point (LAP) that you sign up to on Self-Service to plan for your arrival. The LAPs are:

  • LAP 1 – 12 October
  • LAP 2 – 2 November
  • LAP 3 – 30 November
  • LAP 4 – 4 January

Yes! Students travelling from outside the UK may now be subject to UK Government restrictions which require you to self-isolate on arrival in your campus accommodation for 14 days. Please check whether the country that you are arriving from is on the UK Government’s travel corridor list and follow their advice about whether you need to self-isolate or not.

Before you travel to the UK you'll need to provide your journey and contact details on the UK Government website.

For students who have booked University accommodation:

  • If you are arriving on one of the Late Arrival Points (LAPs) and need to self-isolate, we can offer you a period of up to 14 days in advance of your LAP when your room will be free of charge.
  • If you arrive less than 14 days before your course start date or LAP you will have a reduced number of days free of charge.

Please complete University’s student self-isolation form to notify the accommodation office, so they can process your early arrival date (please be aware that we do our utmost to house you in the same room as you have been allocated but may need to put you in temporary housing and move you after 14 days). You will receive an email confirming your revised arrival date.

If required, you can purchase a bedding pack that will be in your room on arrival

You can visit our dedicated MySurrey self-isolation support guide to find full details of how we can support you on arrival. 

If you are self-isolating because you have symptoms or have tested positive for Covid-19, then this impacts your whole household/support bubble so everyone in your flat will also need to self-isolate.

Self-isolation after arrival from abroad is a compulsory precaution which the UK government requires new arrivals to undertake even if you are not displaying symptoms. This only impacts the individual who travelled – not anyone else living in the flat/area – so only the student who has travelled needs to self-isolate. However, if that student develops symptoms or tests positive for Covid-19 during that time, then the whole household would need to self-isolate.

We understand that self-isolating is challenging but please be reassured – we are here to help you throughout your 14 day self-isolation period. You'll find full details about how to access our support services on our dedicated MySurrey self-isolation support guide, including how to request support from a 'self-isolation buddy'.

Our priority is to provide a safe living environment and to protect all residents. Currently you are not permitted to have any visitors or overnight guests in your room. We will keep this measure under review and inform you if this changes.

Students in support bubbles can visit and spend time in the homes of other single occupancy households, but they cannot stay overnight. Please read our "support bubbles" FAQ for more information.

We recognise that students living in close proximity to one another will create some extra anxiety. There are some things that you can do to not only reduce your risk of infection but to also help those around you who may be self-isolating.

Please read the advice given by Public Health England, in particular for the use of shared spaces if you live with other people.

If you are living with someone who is self-isolating, please recognise that they may be going through a challenging time, particularly if they are feeling unwell. It may be helpful to offer to become a “self-isolation buddy” which involves supporting them while keeping yourself safe.

Here’s our tips for how you can help as a “self-isolation buddy”:

  • Keep in daily contact via messages, email or phone calls.
  • Try to avoid even brief face to face contact but if you do have to, limit this to less than 15 minutes and no closer than two metres (three steps away).
  • Help them access food by offering to shop for them or meet online shopping services. Deliveries can be left outside their door.
  • Collect medication from the pharmacy if possible or collect their prescriptions.
  • Encourage them to contact their personal tutor and if they have not done so.
  • Encourage them to eat if they can and drink at least two to three litres of fluid per day.
  • Encourage them to call NHS 111 if they are becoming more ill.
  • Call Security on 3333 if you are seriously worried about their health.

No, the people you are living with do not need to self-isolate by staying at home unless they travelled with you. However, if you develop symptoms, the whole household that you are living with will need to begin self-isolating. This includes your flat if you are living in University accommodation.

You must stay away from others who didn’t travel with you, so it’s important that you clean all shared areas after you have used them and stay 2 metres apart from the people you live with at all times.

It’s important to avoid as much contact with other people in your home as possible to reduce the risk of transmitting coronavirus. You should stay in a well-ventilated room with a window to the outside that can be opened, separate from other people in your home.

If you are unwell, self-isolating or receiving supported treatment for coronavirus (Covid-19) you must also evacuate the building.

We have decided to maintain our current evacuation procedures when responding to the discovery of a fire or responding to a fire alarm; however, the procedures will now be supplemented with additional guidance to reflect current PHE advice particularly in relation to distancing and good hand hygiene.

Therefore our revised evacuation procedures are as follows:

If you discover or suspect a fire:

  1. Immediately operate the nearest fire alarm call point.
  2. Fight the fire (but only if trained and safe to do so or your exit is in immediate danger of being blocked).
  3. Evacuate the building closing all doors behind you.
  4. Proceed to the assembly point and keep a distance of at least two metres from others.
  5. Do not re-enter the building until instructed by Security.
  6. Try to minimise touching your face until you have washed your hands.
  7. On returning to your accommodation, immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

On hearing the fire alarm:

  1. Evacuate the building closing doors behind you.
  2. Proceed to the assembly point and keep a distance of at least two metres from others.
  3. Do not re-enter the building until instructed by Security.
  4. Try to minimise touching your face until you have washed your hands.
  5. On returning to your accommodation, immediately wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds.

Whilst evacuating, please keep at least two metres from others in your accommodation and maintain this distance once you our outside the building. If you have any concerns, please contact Security on +44 (0)1483 68333 and advise them of your location.

If you are living in a University managed property or a private rented property, please follow all UK Government guidelines and complete the student self-isolation form. If you are in student accommodation such as Scape, please follow local guidance too, if available.

Your housemates will not have to self-isolate unless they have symptoms, have travelled from a country requiring self-isolation or have been in contact with a person who has tested positive.

Please follow the same guidance for using communal spaces, including cleaning regimes, social distancing and usage of space. Try to spend as much time as you can away from communal spaces.

If you live off campus and require support please contact University of Surrey Lettings ( who are able to offer help and advice to all students living in private rented accommodation regardless of who their contract is with. Make sure you visit our MySurrey self-isolation support guide to find out how we can support you if you need to self-isolate.

Over the summer we carefully considered many different options for how we can deliver a safe environment for our whole community. We felt that encouraging all students to maintain social distancing in learning and teaching spaces, regardless of household bubbles, would be the easiest message to deliver and follow.

Adding caveats to that would have created more confusion and possibly some distress for students who may not be living with students on their course, and thus could feel alienated if they are the only one in a room that could not break social distancing.

It would have also required students to inform us of their living situations with enough notice for us to organise teaching groups and timetables, which would have created extra challenges for both staff and students at a time when we were already facing a number of added complexities to teaching this semester. 

Placement and study abroad students

Please be aware that the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) advice remains no non-essential travel to any overseas destinations – except for those 50+ countries exempted. Please note, however, quarantine, entry restrictions and/or border closures may remain for those exempted countries and students should:

  • Check Government advice to see whether their intended destination is exempt from the no non- essential travel advice from the FCDO
  • If your destination is not on the list of exempted countries and the FCDO continues to advise no non-essential travel, we advise all students to follow this and make no plans to travel. You should speak to your provider in case alternative arrangements can be made. If you travel against University advice, your placement/exchange abroad may not be recognised by the University.

If the destination is exempt, please check the destination country government advice (using the FCDO advice for that destination) and/or with local provider that there are no restrictions to travelling to that area – or travelling home e.g. quarantine requirements – visit the Government website.

If you arrive in the UK, you'll be subject to the UK Government's self-isolation rules. You must think about the extra days when planning your travel to the UK. During this time you won't be able to attend the University, see other people or leave your accommodation except for very limited reasons. We don't know how long these measures will be in place and they may be subject to change at short notice. You can find further details in the government's guide to entering the UK.

We advise all students to follow Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) travel advice specific to the country they are visiting.

If you have any additional questions and are currently:

Updated government guidance on travel in educational settings

The Department for Education and Public Health England has released updated guidance for UK students, university and college staff over the age of 18 travelling overseas during term breaks, or for placements and exchanges. The guidance advises them to look at the latest FCDO travel advice and Public Health England (PHE) Public Health matters guidance. UK students over the age of 18 due to travel on behalf of their education institution are being advised to speak to the institution before the trip to discuss whether the trip should go ahead. All UK students and staff currently studying or working overseas are being advised to continue to monitor travel advice issued by the FCDO and comply with any COVID-19 control measures put in place by their host nation. Students on Erasmus+ exchanges are advised their travel may have to be postponed or cancelled to and from regions affected by COVID-19 and are told to speak to their provider in case alternative arrangements can be made.

UUK has updated its dedicated coronavirus (Covid-19) information page with this new guidance as well as with the new advice from government on what to do if you have symptoms.

The insurance position is that applications may be made by placement/study abroad students for cover via Travel Cert under the University’s PA and Travel policy - providing your destination is exempt from the FCDO no non-essential travel advice as per the FCDO page. Self-isolation requirements may still apply in some cases and you need to double check that there are no destination country government restrictions on entry or on your return that will prevent you travelling. Please refer to the FCDO dedicated country pages and any information your host provides.

Please note that the cancellation/curtailment section of the University’s insurance policy has an exclusion (7) relating to any cancellation or curtailment claims for flights/accommodation etc in the event of the closing of a country’s borders or the imposition of travel restrictions due to ‘regulations made by any public authority or government or persons with the authority under legislation or licence to make regulations’ so please bear this mind in terms of any decision to travel and the costs of doing so.

Always contact for further advice if you need it and refer for general information on all other procedural aspects to travel here.

Please view the dedicated information for researchers

If you return to the UK earlier than expected it may affect your student finance, depending on what you choose to do. Find out more from the SLC issued guidance for current students related to the Covid-19 outbreak. The FAQs cover payment, assessment, term dates, changes of circumstance, study abroad, DSA and more. You can also view the HEP Services website.

Advice for our students' families

Our Coronavirus website explains the measures that we have put in place to support our students during their time with us. We hope this information provides reassurance that the health and safety of our students is our first priority.

This student page covers our student health and safety campus induction, and FAQs on teaching in a Covid-secure environment and living in our accommodation.


    Please visit our general 'advice for all' page to read our FAQs on the following topics:

    • Our MySurrey self-isolation support guide, which features everything our students need to know about self-isolating, including how to request a self-isolation buddy
    • The Covid-secure measures we have put in place across the University
    • Our face covering policy and the Surrey Sunflower initiative
    • How to report a Covid-19 case and how we will respond if a student tests positive for Covid-19
    • Our planned response to national lockdown or local outbreaks
    • Our lockdown FAQs about the end of term, students wishing to travel home for the winter break and asymptomatic testing for students
    • Travel advice
    • A range of resources to support the physical, emotional and mental health and wellbeing of our students

    Our Rapid Response team is in place to advise those with Covid-19 symptoms on how to get a test, and to support people who receive a positive test and need to self-isolate. Full details are on our Request a test and report self-isolation page.


    Starting university is often incredibly exciting and a little daunting for many students and their families.

    In October we held two Zoom webinars to discuss the support options available for our students, our Covid-secure processes and how we will respond to a local outbreak.

    Thank you to everyone who joined us – and don't worry if you missed it; you can watch a recording of the event:

    If you have any further concerns and need to contact the University, you can email our Coronavirus inbox or call our helpline on +44 (0)1483 685510 (Monday to Friday, 9am-5pm). In an emergency, you can call our University Security team who are available 24/7 on +44 (0)1483 68333.

    Let's all play our part to keep our community safe

    Watch our video guide to find out about the steps we have taken and the Covid-secure measures we have put in place to keep you safe on campus.

    Communicating to you

    All official communications from the University to students are delivered via:

    So we can contact you via text message to inform you of any important information, please make sure your mobile number is up to date on Surrey Self-Service.

    We’re aware that there is a lot of understandable concern about the current situation. This concern has led in some places to some inaccurate rumours circulating. If you are unsure about the accuracy of any information please check this page in the first instance or email