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Current students

Current students

(Page last updated on Wednesday 20 April)

We realise that COVID-19 has had a significant impact on all students, and we continue to do everything we can to provide the support you need.

We will keep you updated with the latest information, so please continue to check this page regularly.

If you are a graduate offer holder, the information on this page will be relevant to you.

FAQs are also available for different groups of students – including information for graduate offer holders and undergraduate offer holders about meeting your offer conditions.

If you are looking to apply for study at Oxford, please refer to the pages for prospective undergraduate or prospective graduate students.

Latest updates 

Stay healthy. Spring into summer (added 20 April)

Now that the remaining COVID restrictions have been removed (apart from in hospital settings), we hope that you enjoy a return to more normal University life this term. However, the virus is still in circulation, so we ask you to take the following steps to minimise the spread and avoid disruption to your student experience:

  • avoid contact with others if you might be infectious;
  • respect other people’s space;
  • let fresh air in when indoors;
  • keep up to date with COVID vaccinations;
  • respect those who choose to wear a face covering; and
  • cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands regularly.

Visit our health webpage for further details.

LFD tests (added 20 April)

If you have COVID symptoms, you can pick up free Lateral Flow Device tests from your college or other University LFD Collect points, while stocks last. Tests are only available if you have run out of LFDs and need to test because you have symptoms, or are required to test in order to work or study in a hospital setting. Another University member may pick up tests on your behalf if you are unwell.

Trinity term exams (added 20 April)

The range of advice and tips to help you prepare for Trinity term exams has been updated. This includes exam wellbeing information, as well as practical tips for exam day.

If you are due to take in-person examinations, you are expected to follow all University health guidance. You are also encouraged to take an LFD test before your exams.

If you are not able to attend an in-person exam because you are required to stay at home, or because of an approved medical reason or residency situation, it may be possible for you to sit it online at the same time as the in-person exam. Go to the in-person exams page for more information.

Wider information about Trinity term 

Building on our pandemic experience

The pandemic is not yet over, and moving on from it doesn’t mean we’re not learning from our experiences. 

The last two years have been incredibly difficult for many of us – whether home-schooling children, suffering loneliness during lockdown, or rapidly adapting to remote work and study. 

The University community has shown remarkable resilience, and responded positively in face of these challenges. A few examples include: 

  • Maintaining the University’s world-class teaching and research programme throughout the pandemic 
  • Engaging in world-class COVID-19 research including the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine, as well a vast array of research across a range of disciplines 
  • Setting up and running a dedicated University testing service 
  • Managing the Return to On-Site Working programme to ensure in-person teaching and research could resume as quickly as possible

We thank all our staff and students and recognise the extraordinary efforts. 

This term offers a real opportunity to build on the positive aspects of the pandemic to ensure we benefit as much as possible from what we have learnt over the last two years. 

For example, we’re exploring ways of adopting more diverse forms of assessment, and keeping elements of digital education that students value as inclusive.

Health and vaccinations

Health and safety measures (updated 8 April)

The University has now removed its remaining COVID-19 restrictions (apart from in hospital settings). It is still important, however, for us all to continue to be considerate and take steps to minimise the risk of infection. We therefore ask all students and staff to:

  • avoid contact with others if you might be infectious;
  • respect other people’s space;
  • let fresh air in when indoors;
  • keep up to date with COVID vaccinations;
  • respect those who choose to wear a face covering; and
  • cover coughs and sneezes and wash your hands regularly.

While social distancing rules are no longer in place, it’s important that we are considerate of each other’s space, particularly with those who are concerned about returning to in-person work and study.

Regularly opening windows and doors increases ventilation and significantly reduces the spread of COVID-19. This is particularly important in areas which are poorly ventilated or where signs indicate the need to do so (but note that fire doors should remain shut).

Wearing a face covering is now a personal choice. Please be respectful to those who choose to continue wearing one.

Remember that some variants of COVID-19 cause symptoms similar to cold and flu – such as sore throat, headache or runny nose – instead of the fever, new continuous cough, or loss of smell/taste that were the symptoms originally associated with the virus. If you think you may have COVID-19, you should avoid contact with others and follow the guidance on our health webpage.

If you are a clinical medical student, you should follow hospital rules, which are more stringent than University guidance.

Our approach to health and safety continues to be informed by Oxford’s clinical academics and local and national guidance. We will respond to any changes in public health recommendations caused by the virus if and when they occur.

Testing for COVID-19 (updated 1 April)

The University’s Early Alert Service (EAS) PCR testing unit has now closed, and free PCR and LFD tests are no longer available to the general public in England.

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you can continue to use the LFD tests which have already been distributed to LFD Collect points around the University, including colleges, while stocks last. Tests are now only available if you have run out of LFDs and need to test because you have symptoms, or are required to test in order to work or study in a hospital setting. Another University member may pick up tests on your behalf if you are unwell.

University staff and students working or studying in a hospital setting should continue to follow the NHS guidance on testing for staff. It is no longer possible to record PCR or LFD results with the University, due to the closure of the Early Alert Service. However, you should notify your supervisor or tutor as you usually would if you are unable to study.

Vaccinations (updated 20 April)

Please get vaccinated against COVID-19 as soon as possible if you haven’t already and get your booster dose(s) as soon as you are eligible. There are many drop-in clinics available as well as the NHS online vaccination booking service.

Getting vaccinated will help to:

  • Reduce disruption: the more people who are vaccinated, the more we will be able to retain the unique aspects of Oxford’s student experience, and help you make the most of university life.
  • Protect friends and family: vaccines dramatically reduce the risk of transmission and serious illness. Getting vaccinated will help protect the people you live and work with, and the wider community.

If you’re outside the UK, and have access to a UK-approved vaccine, please get vaccinated as soon as you can. If you don’t have access, you will be able to get vaccinated for free when you arrive in the UK, regardless of your nationality or immigration status.

Please remember you are only classed as 'fully vaccinated' two weeks after your second dose.

Proof of vaccination status

Make sure that you bring proof of the vaccines you have received with you when you travel to Oxford.

If you have been fully vaccinated in England, you can find details on the Government website of how to get the NHS COVID Pass and what you can use it for.

If you live in England and have had one or more of your COVID-19 vaccinations administered overseas, you can have your vaccination details added to your NHS Record. You can then generate an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use and international travel if you meet certain certification requirements. To register your overseas vaccinations, you’ll need to book an appointment to register your overseas vaccination with the NHS.

For more vaccine information, go to the Health and wellbeing section of the FAQs for new and returning students page, as well as the information for international students on the UKCISA website.

NHS COVID Pass and registering overseas vaccinations (added 27 January)

The NHS COVID Pass lets you share your coronavirus (COVID-19) status records or test COVID-19 status in a secure way.

It allows you to show others the details of your COVID-19 status:

  • when travelling abroad to some countries or territories
  • as a condition of entry at those venues or events that use the service in England.

Please refer to the UK Government website for full details of  how to get the NHS COVID Pass and what you can use it for.

Residents in England who have received COVID-19 vaccinations overseas

If you live in England and have had one or more of your COVID-19 vaccinations administered overseas, you can have your vaccination details added to your NHS Record. You can then generate an NHS COVID Pass for domestic use and international travel if you meet certain certification requirements.

To register your overseas vaccinations, you’ll need to book an appointment to register your overseas vaccination with the NHS.

Teaching and learning

We are committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of education, building on our experience during the pandemic.

In-person teaching and research (updated 20 April)

We will continue to focus on personalised teaching and supervision from leading academics, including tutorials and other types of small group learning, such as masters’ seminar groups. Most teaching will continue to take place in-person. 

Online support (updated 28 January)

Building on the increased levels of online teaching during the pandemic, we have a range of new tools and technologies to support your learning. The University’s virtual learning environment, Canvas@Oxford provides an accessible and high-quality digital learning experience, and feedback from students has been very positive.

We are encouraging teaching staff to retain online teaching elements where it makes learning more inclusive; and have invested in classroom technology, so that students can access high-quality teaching, whether that be in-person or online.

We will ensure that online teaching activities are engaging and draw on the rich resources available through our colleges, libraries and collections.

Exams and assessments (updated 20 April)

Exams and assessments in Trinity term are planned to go ahead in the format already communicated to you. You can access your personal examination timetable in Student Self Service at least two weeks before your first examination.

If you are due to take in-person examinations in Trinity term, you are expected to follow all University health guidance. You are also encouraged to take an LFD test before your exams.

During the pandemic, the University developed and enhanced remote forms of assessment, and now has a dedicated e-assessment platform, Inspera, which has been used by thousands of students across the University. We are continuing to offer a variety of different assessment types, from online open book exams to in-person examinations.

If you are not able to attend an in-person exam because of an approved medical reason or residency situation, it may be possible for you to sit it online at the same time as the in-person exam, with remote invigilation in place. If you have approved residency dispensation to be outside of mainland UK, or have to stay at home due to COVID-19 guidance or having other specific medical conditions (but are otherwise well), please contact your college (or your department if you don’t have a college). They will need to submit a remote invigilation application to the Proctors’ Office on your behalf.

Oxford Transition Support (updated 6 September)

Starting at Oxford is an exciting time, but it is normal to feel some anxiety about making this move - particularly this year when your school, college or university education is likely to have been disrupted.

We want everyone to enjoy their time at Oxford, and succeed in their studies. Irrespective of your background, and how COVID-19 has impacted you, we are working together across the University and colleges to help you make the most of your time here.

Go to the Oxford Transition Support page of the Oxford student website to find out more about how we can support you as you adapt to Oxford. The website now includes information about resources available from colleges, departments and the central University.

Fieldwork and years abroad (updated 25 February)

We expect that students will be able to take part in fieldwork so long as specific risk assessments are conducted, and any prevailing COVID-19 guidance is taken into account. This includes fieldwork overseas. We also expect field trips to go ahead whenever it is safe to do so.

If you have a year abroad planned as part of your academic course, we will support you in seeking to take up this opportunity in a safe way. Please visit our FAQs for Year Abroad students page for more information and general updates. There will continue to be an enhanced risk assessment process, and some flexibility may be needed depending on the restrictions in place in your destination country. Alternative learning arrangements may be arranged in a small number of cases if in-country placements are not viable.

Supporting your education in all scenarios (updated 25 February)

We expect current arrangements to stay in place for the rest of the academic year unless any new national or local restrictions are introduced.

However, we have planned for a range of scenarios, and are committed to maintaining the highest standards of education regardless of the impact of the pandemic.

While the core content of your course and the educational opportunities open to you will not change, we will have contingency plans in place to introduce additional health measures such as social distancing; and move more teaching and assessment online, if Government restrictions are re-introduced. 

Decisions will be made based on the level of local cases in the Oxford area and the prevailing health advice at the time.

We are also working to make education accessible to all students – whether you are learning in-person or online.

Travel and visas

Residing in Oxford (updated 18 March)

Students are expected to reside in Oxford during term time (excluding part-time and some DPhil students). Residency requirements continue to be in place for full-time students in Trinity term.

We recognise that being in Oxford may not be possible, at times, for some students – particularly some international students (see 'Travel for international students' section below) or students with relevant health conditions or disabilities.

If you genuinely believe you are unable to travel to Oxford during Trinity term, it may be possible to apply for an exemption from residency requirements. You should first discuss this with your college or department and then complete a residency exemption application form.

Please note that if you were granted a residency dispensation solely for Hilary term, you will need to reapply for a Trinity term dispensation.

Travel for international students (updated 18 March)

There may be different rules about testing and vaccination requirements, depending on the country or territory that you are travelling to and from. These rules are subject to regular change, so it is vital you carefully review both local travel advice in your own country, and the UK Government website

For students travelling to and from other countries (updated 18 March)

When leaving the UK for another country, you should make sure you check for the latest travel advice and follow all COVID-19 entry rules for your destination(s).

The UK removed its COVID-19 entry restrictions on 18 March 2022. Those arriving in the UK from abroad no longer need to take any COVID-19 tests (before travel or after arrival) or fill in a UK passenger locator form before travelling. This applies regardless of whether you are vaccinated or not. Further guidance can be found on the Government’s travel webpages.

Updated guidance for COVID-19 international travel testing (updated 18 March)

If you’re travelling abroad from the UK, you may need to get tested for COVID-19. Please note that you cannot use LFDs issued by the University or your college or received in the post from the NHS or collected at a pharmacy for travel testing purposes. Travel LFD and PCR tests must be purchased privately. You can find out about suggested test providers below or learn about different testing requirements for international travel on the UK Government website.

Staff and students are free to use any of the any of the providers listed on GOV.UK to arrange COVID-19 testing when travelling abroad. This is a new and growing market, and all providers may experience capacity issues, leading to challenges with achieving advertised response times and service levels. Pricing is also subject to frequent change.

Where a postal service is acceptable, we have had reports of successful use of services from Biograd Diagnostics and Qured.

For in-person testing in Oxford the following services are available and are listed without any warranty or reports as to quality of service: 

Tests should be arranged and paid for personally, with the usual processes applicable for reimbursing expenses incurred in relation to University business where appropriate.

Visa information

If you need to apply for a student visa, the Student Immigration team is available to help with any queries. Most visa centres around the world are now open although local Government restrictions may occasionally continue to affect some regions or countries opening some, or all, of the visa centres in that country.

A comprehensive guide to completing the online visa application is available on the student visa webpages. It contains links to check if the visa centre is open in your country or local area, if there are Government restrictions in place.

Please note that you must attend your biometrics appointment and obtain your student visa before coming to the UK. You cannot arrive as a visitor and switch status once you arrive here. We cannot enrol you on a visitor visa, which means you would not be able to start your course.

Student life

Student experience (updated 20 April)

Throughout the pandemic, we have worked with student representative groups to maintain the supportive and enriching environment that contributes to the Oxford experience.

Oxford’s wide range of clubs and societies are continuing to run, using their experiences of the last two years to provide both in-person and online opportunities, so that all students can enjoy the benefits of getting involved.

Student services

All University services such as Welfare, Careers, Fees and Funding, Visa & Immigration and the Language Centre are continuing to operate. Given the popularity of online services provided during the pandemic, they are offering a good mix of online and in-person appointments and activities, depending on students’ preferences, and any restrictions in place at the time. 

University and college sporting activities are taking place in-person and are being supplemented with an online offering. 

Welfare and support

Welfare services (updated 15 November)

We understand the pandemic has been challenging or difficult for many reasons. We empathise with the disruption you have faced and will work to support your wellbeing throughout the academic year.

We are maintaining Oxford’s exceptional system of welfare and personal support for students. This includes college support as well as University welfare services, including the Counselling Service, the Disability Advisory Service and the Sexual Harassment and Violence Support Service.

This is supplemented by online resources, such as Togetherall, a free service for all Oxford students giving you access to a global welfare community 24/7.

We are also providing welfare support for students who need to self-isolate.

Self-isolation / staying at home support (updated 20 April)

Although the legal requirement to self-isolate has been lifted, we continue to ask if you test positive or have symptoms to minimise your contacts, stay home and away from in-person teaching and other gatherings (go to our health webpage for more information). In the event that you need to stay at home, the University and colleges will provide academic, pastoral and welfare support as appropriate.

The levels of support that we are currently providing are outlined below.

Students living in college accommodation
Your college will be able to assist you with access to essential services such as food and cleaning products. Your college will also provide pastoral support.

Students living in University graduate accommodation
You should expect to be as self-sufficient as you can and you will be provided with information on food delivery and other services. Supermarket and prepared food delivery services are readily available in Oxford.  You should contact your college for advice and pastoral support.

Students living in private accommodation
You should expect to be as self-sufficient as you can. You should contact your college for advice and pastoral support. Supermarket and prepared food delivery services are readily available in Oxford. We advise you to keep 10 days’ worth of food in the house in case you have to stay at home, including easy to prepare items. 

Regardless of your accommodation type, if you need urgent medical assistance, you should dial 111.

While you are staying at home, your tutor, course convenor or supervisor will be able to facilitate the continuation of your teaching or research remotely, where practicable. 

Financial support (updated 16 March)

The University has set up two financial support schemes for students in response to the pandemic. The COVID-19 Assistance Fund (CAF) provides grants for some students who have suffered financial hardship due to the pandemic; while the COVID-19 Scholarship Extensions Fund (CSEF) supports postgraduate research students whose completion has been unavoidably delayed by the pandemic. This is in addition to the usual assistance programmes which are available to students facing hardship. 

In addition, the University has granted all postgraduate research students a four-week grace period before assessing liability for University Continuation Charges in Trinity term 2022. Go to the Fees and funding section of the FAQs for new and returning students page for full details.

If you have a question that isn't answered on this page, please go to the FAQs pages of this site. 

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