Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice and support for students | University of Oxford

Coronavirus (COVID-19): advice and support for students

This provides a range of information and advice for current Oxford students related to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. It will be updated on a regular basis. 

Additional information about the University’s wider response can be found on the main University coronavirus advice page.

Health and advice

Where can I find the latest health advice about coronavirus?

Please visit the NHS website for full information about coronavirus, including answers to common questions. Additional information is also available on the University's coronavirus advice page.

I need to self-isolate because I have coronavirus symptoms or I share a house with someone who has symptoms. What do I do now?

If you have coronavirus symptoms and live in a college, you should contact your college welfare lead and they will provide further advice about what to do. If you do not live in a college, you should inform your college or department and let them know if you need any additional support. 

If you live in University graduate accommodation and need to self-isolate you should inform both your college welfare lead and the Graduate Accommodation Office.

If you share a house with someone self-isolating from coronavirus symptoms, you should also self-isolate. You should inform your college or department and let them know if you need any additional support.

PHE has published guidance on self-isolating at home, including in shared accommodation.  

Where can I find the wider guidance about coronavirus?

The situation is evolving rapidly. You should to visit and regularly check the following websites for the latest updates and guidance:

Welfare and wellbeing

What should I do if I feel anxious about coronavirus?

It is normal to feel sad, stressed, confused, scared or angry during a crisis. There are some great resources out there to help support your mental health, whether you are in Oxford or away, and especially when self-isolating. Student Minds has a list of advice and tips on their website and further links. The  Counselling Service website has a range of supportive resources and information about managing mental health conditions. You can still access Student Welfare and Support Services, although our physical building is closed, all services are offering online telephone appointments.

If you have an existing mental health condition, then we know this may be a particularly challenging time.  You can find public health advice for supporting your mental health on the PHE website.

Teaching and learning

What is happening to teaching in Trinity term?

Wherever possible, teaching and learning will be moved to an online format, and we are developing plans for activity that cannot be readily substituted by an online format. Detailed planning continues, and further information will follow in the near future.

My studies have been impacted by coronavirus. What should I do?

You should continue to go through the usual University and college routes for requests such as extensions and dispensations. If you are not sure what to do, speak to your college in the first instance (or your department if you don’t have a college). For more information, refer to the Student Handbook.

I am a taught postgraduate student. How will Trinity term fieldwork and projects be affected?

Unfortunately you will not be able to undertake fieldwork or laboratory based projects that may have been planned for Trinity term. The same may apply to some other types of project, such as those that require access to materials that are only available in hard-copy archives. We recognise that some students may already have started a project that cannot now be completed, and that the scope will need to be dramatically altered.

If this change affects you, you should consult the course director in your department or faculty to agree an alternative project that can be completed from your desk (such as literature reviews, data analysis or computer modelling). We understand how disappointing this will be for many students, and would like to reassure you that academic staff are committed to giving you the best experience they can in the current circumstances. We will of course make appropriate adjustments to assessment criteria to account for the disruption caused.

An exception may be made for students who are already well into their fieldwork, are currently overseas, and if they are likely to put themselves at higher risk returning to the UK than carrying on where they are. If you think this applies to you, please discuss with your course director as a matter of urgency.

Will libraries be available to me?

Library buildings, as well as museums, will be closed until further notice. However, a wide range of resources are being made available online. Please visit or contact your relevant subject library for more information.

Why has Scan & Deliver been suspended, and are there any alternatives available? 

Scan & Deliver and Scan & Deliver Plus services rely on library staff being on-site to access requested materials and manually scan the items. The decision to suspend these services was taken very quickly following the introduction of new Government restrictions related to coronavirus. However, the Bodleian Libraries team fulfilled as many requests as possible before access to materials ceased.  The Bodleian continues to provide a wide range of digital resources for students, including e-books and e-journals, that readers can access. A full list is available on the Bodleian Library website. Digital resources, including the e-book collection, are being constantly expanded. We are also working with Departments and Faculties to rapidly develop the course content available through our online reading lists system, ORLO. We know that Scan and Deliver service was a valued additional service, but we are able to keep Oxford reading through many different services.

Exams and assessments

For all students

What are the plans for exams and assessments in Trinity term?

There will be no conventional exams in Trinity Term. The arrangements will be as follows:  

  • The majority of examinations for first year undergraduates will be cancelled, and students will be deemed to have passed. The only exceptions are Law and Medicine, where assessments will be rearranged for professional qualification reasons. 

  • For all second and third year (non-finalist) undergraduates, and first year MPhilsexam papers will be deferred into the next academic yearThe only exceptions are those third-year undergraduate exams which need to go ahead because they are taken by a mix of continuing and leaving students. 

  • For final-year undergraduates and taught postgraduates exams will be replaced with alternative forms of assessment in Trinity term 2020. These will take the form of either open-book versions of papers, longer pieces of work completed over several days, or a mix of the two 

Further detail is provided below.

Why is the University adopting this approach?

The approach we have developed resulted from consultation with staff and students. It is aimed at supporting students as much as possibletaking into account individual circumstances, whilst mitigating the impact of the pandemic as much as we can. We have strived to develop workable solution – to reduce complexity, minimise disruption, and provide an equitable approach for all candidates. To do this we have taken a decision to focus on completion – to help as many students as possible complete their degreesgraduate on time with the outcomes they deserve, and move on to the next stages of their lives and careers. This will also mean the University can offer the best possible education for the continuing students and next cohort in the next academic year

When will I find out the details about my specific course?

Departments and faculties have been asked to write to all students to provide a clear outline of the assessment approach for each subject within the next few days. This should be sufficient to enable you to plan for Trinity Term and start preparing for the mode of assessment. There may be some finer details that are not yet finalised, however these will follow as soon as possible. Departments and faculties are likely to be in contact no later than Friday 3 April, but please wait for your department to contact you.

Will projects and dissertations be affected?

Projects and dissertations will largely proceed as planned. However, deadlines may be extended to account for the disruption that the pandemic has caused. Factors such as lost lab work, fieldwork, and reduced archive access will be fully taken into account by examiners.

Can I suspend my status and restart in the next academic year?  

No. All students will be expected to complete the academic year in line with the approach outlined. If you are a finalist and believe you have exceptional reasons which prevent you from completing teaching and/or assessments, please see the finalists section below.  

Will I be able to submit a mitigating circumstances application?

We know it is likely that some students may fall ill over the coming period, and some students will be trying to study whilst dealing with difficult family circumstances and in a range of different environments.  It will be possible to submit a Mitigating Circumstances Notice. However, the normal processes will be simplified as we want to make it as easy as possible for students to explain their circumstances at this exceptional time. There is no action required at this stage.  

First year undergraduates

How will I be assessed if I am not taking exams? 

All students will be deemed to have passed the year.  Your department or faculty will let you know if there are any coursework elements of assessment that they still want you to submit, but in most cases these will be simply records of lab classes already completed. Instead of formal exams, you will be supported to consolidate your first year learning in other ways, including informal assessments to give you feedback on your progress to date. Details will follow in the near future from faculties and departments about this.  

My course includes a professional qualification. Will I still have exams, and when will they take place? 

This only applies to first year exams in Law and Medicine. We are now working through the details, and your department or faculty will be in touch to confirm the arrangements as soon as they are known.

 Second and third year (non-finalist) undergraduates and first year MPhil  

If my exam is deferred into the next academic year, when will it take place? 

We hope to hold these in October, with the remainder of next academic year adjusted around them. However, we have to retain some flexibility at this stage because of the uncertainty over the development of the pandemic. We will confirm the new dates as soon as it is possible to do so.  

Final year undergraduates and taught postgraduates  

How will open-book exams work, and what can I best do to prepare?

We have developed an overview of open-book exams and initial advice to help students to prepare. All students taking open-book exams should read this. We will be providing much more detailed guidance in the coming days and weeks, including technical information about how the exams will run, tips to help you get ready, as well as opportunities to practice exam submissions.

How have decisions been taken about the forms of assessment that will be offered to different groups of students?

Decisions have been taken by department/faculty subject experts who are best placed to decide how to test courses’ learning outcomes through remote assessment methods - following expert technical advice on the options available. Departments and faculties have carefully considered the merits of this open-book exams, as well as longer pieces of assessed work for their subject matter, taking student opinion into account.

Will the exam timetable be amended?

We will try to keep the timetable broadly aligned with student expectations, to minimise disruption. However, most exams in weeks 0 and 1 will be delayed to give students and staff time to prepare. Some other adjustments will be made, for instance to ensure no student has two exams on a single day.

What will I need to sit open-book exams?

You will need a computer with access to the Internet. If you are typing your exam, you will need to use Microsoft Word or an equivalent, and submit it as a PDF. If you are hand-writing your answers, you will need to be able to scan or photograph pages for submission. You will need access to your Oxford email account, SSO, password, and candidate number during the exam. You should also have a quiet space with a desk, comfortable chair, and adequate lighting. High-level information about open-book exams can now been found online, and further technical information will be provided in the near future

I am worried about being able to take part in open book exams (for example, because I don’t have an appropriate workspace, or I cannot access the necessary technology). What should I do?

We understand that this is a concern for some students and we are currently liaising with departments and colleges to determine what additional support can be put in place to address specific concerns. Your college will write to you soon to gather information on your particular circumstances. We aim to put in measures to support you as much as we can, and more information will follow about this in the near future.

Can I travel to Oxford to take remote exams?

The UK Government has now advised that any students remaining at University should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. And if you have already left, you should not return to Oxford until further notice. This means you will need to carry out remote exams in the area you are currently located in. We will keep this situation under review as the Government’s policy evolves.

How will you deter cheating?

When you take an exam, you will be required to sign up to an ‘honour code’. This will confirm that you have understood and abided by the university’s rules on plagiarism and collusion. We will be making extensive use of plagiarism checkers, as we already do for submitted work, and we reserve the right to conduct follow-up viva voce exams to check candidates’ understanding of the examined material, even where these are not currently specified in the Examination Regulations. We are also depending on students’ integrity. We regard integrity and honesty as being central to the ethos of the University, and among the qualities of our students we value most highly. You will be expected to apply this to open-book exams.

Will any other measures be put in place to recognise the disruption that has been caused?

Yes. We are developing a form of safety net policy. This will seek to minimise the negative effect that future assessments can have on your overall outcome, so long as students pass all assessment elements. Further details will follow about this in the near future.

What are my options if I don’t take the open-book exams and other assessments in Trinity term 2020?
We will do everything we can to provide the necessary support to help you sit the open-book exams and we hope the safety net policy will give you greater confidence to do so. However, if after exploring all the options, you are unable to complete exams remotely because of illness or very difficult personal circumstances you will have two options available:

  1. Opt to graduate with a “Declared to Deserve Honours” status

This is a special class of degree, which we are introducing this year as a response to the pandemic (with an equivalent for taught postgraduates). We are working with employers and other universities to make clear that this is a recognition of the extraordinary circumstances which make completion of the assessments impossible for some candidates. While the formal award will be unclassified, transcripts will be adapted to explain the unusual pandemic circumstances behind the award, and will be accompanied by an enhanced reference letter indicating the class of degree the student was expected to achieve.

    2. Return to Oxford to sit written exams in Trinity term 2021. 

This option would require college (or department for non-matriculated programmes) support on the basis of the student’s particular circumstances, as in a normal year. Please note that, if granted permission, you would only be able to return to take examinations. See question ‘Can I suspend my status and restart in the next academic year’ with regard to teaching and learning. You will be invited to discuss these options with your college (or department for non-matriculated programmes) in due course if you believe you would like to take either of them forward. 

How will employers and other universities respond to “Declared to Deserve Honours” classifications?

We are currently working with employers and other universities to explain this new status, and to highlight that it relates to the extraordinary circumstances related to the pandemic. We will adapt the transcript to explain the unusual pandemic circumstances behind this award. For those progressing from undergraduate to postgraduate studies at Oxford, admissions teams at Oxford University will be encouraged to look favourably on this status. While it is not possible to make any guarantees at this stage about the reaction of other educational institutions or employers, we will do everything we can to support students who take this option. It is important to highlight that this is one of three possible choices (the others being to undertake exams in Trinity 2020 or 2021). Students are encouraged to make a decision based on their personal circumstances.

Why is the second sitting opportunity in Trinity term 2021?

There is ongoing uncertainty about when the impact of the pandemic will diminish, making it difficult to plan for exam sittings before the start of the 2020/21 academic year. In addition, holding large numbers of exams ahead of the next academic year is likely to have significant consequences for staff and students (current and future) in 2020/21. Scheduling alternative sittings for Trinity term 2021 was felt to be the most appropriate solution for all parties.


How are Easter vacation submissions being affected?

It will be possible to submit all Hilary term written assessments (dissertations, extended essays etc.) online.

For any students due to submit work between Monday 16 March (Week 9 of Hilary Term) and Saturday 18 April (week -1 Trinity Term) you have an automatic 48-hour extension to the submission deadline. If you had an extension request in place prior to Monday 16 March 2020, you can add an additional 48 hours to your request. As this request has already been granted, you will not need to contact the Proctors about this. Many courses have also put in place additional extensions.

I am a postgraduate research student and need to submit my DPhil thesis. What should I do?

The general requirements for submission of research degree theses for examination remain the same. All research students submitting for the first time are required to submit their thesis electronically through RTDS. Students submitting a thesis following major corrections should also submit through RTDS. The requirement to submit a hardbound copy of your DPhil thesis to the Exam Schools in order to graduate following being granted leave to supplicate has been temporarily suspended for the remainder of the academic year. However, to graduate at a degree ceremony you will still need to submit an electronic copy to the Oxford University Research Archive (ORA) a minimum of five working days prior to your graduation date. You should then plan to submit a hardbound copy to the Exam Schools between January and March 2021.

What should I do if I am unable to obtain medical evidence for an extension request?

A ‘self-certification process’ has been put in for the remainder of this academic year for students affected by the coronavirus or by a short-term illness. If you have been affected directly or indirectly by coronavirus, you can self-certify for up to 14 days. For other short-term illnesses (such as migraine, norovirus, gastroenteritis, flu, or diarrhea), you will be able to self-certify for up to seven days. Please complete the self-certification form yourself. The Proctors will then consider the case and inform you, your college and your department of the outcome. The Proctors are currently considering a self-certification process for examination excusals, and further information will follow.

Degree ceremonies

What if I am a final year student due to graduate this summer, will the ceremonies still go ahead?

Due to these unprecedented circumstances, all graduation ceremonies scheduled to take place in May 2020 have been cancelled, with a decision to follow shortly around the status of the June and July ceremonies. 

Information for those students who have been affected will follow shortly.

We know this is incredibly disappointing for many of you, and want to reassure you that this decision was made with the best interests of our student community in mind.

Travel and visas

Should I be in Oxford?

The Government has now advised that any students remaining at University should now stay where they are and not attempt to travel. You should speak to your college or department/faculty if you need support or advice during this period. Colleges will be running a reduced service in order to comply with government rules on social distancing and health and safety of their staff.  Colleges remain committed to supporting students in residence to the best of their ability.  Your college will advise you on the services they are able to provide at this difficult time.  It is important that you respect the rules on social distancing for students still resident in college.

If you have already left to go home, you should not return to Oxford until further notice. We will advise you as and when this changes. If you are on a year abroad or work placement, please see the relevant section below.

I intend to study remotely from my home country or another country. Will it affect my Tier 4 visa?

If you are a research student and you have agreed with your department to study remotely for the Easter vacation and Trinity term it will not affect your Tier 4 visa and it will remain valid. You should keep in touch with your supervisor as usual. If you are a taught student, your college/department are planning for teaching and assessment to be done online in Trinity term. Your Tier 4 visa will remain valid.

I wish to suspend due to issues related to coronavirus. How will this affect my Tier 4 visa status?

See the question above as remote study will be possible for Trinity term and you should wait to hear more details from your college/department. It may be possible to manage a short suspension for research students and keep the visa valid where remote study is definitely not feasible, but this will depend on arrangements put in place by your department for next term and will need to discussed with them. If you suspend for more than one term, we would have to notify the Home Office and the visa would be cut short.

My Tier 4 visa is expiring and I cannot return home because of travel restrictions. What should I do?

The Home Office has published guidance for those who cannot return home because of travel restrictions. The UKCISA website has a helpful summary of this for international students and a link to the free Home Office helpline and email address for immigration queries.

Students on a year abroad or overseas placement

Should I go home if I can no longer continue with my year/study abroad placement, or overseas field work? (For example, because the country has imposed quarantine arrangements or because of closure of universities, businesses or schools)

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) is advising British people travelling abroad to return to the UK now, if commercial flights are still available. Additional advice has been issued by the UK Government that all UK student and staff currently working temporarily overseas (e.g. Erasmus+ or terms abroad), are advised to return to the UK now, while commercial routes are still available. This advice is because international travel is becoming very limited as air routes close, land borders close, and new restrictions are put in place that prevent flights from leaving.

**New as of 31/03/20: government partnership with airlines to fly back British citizens stranded abroad**

The British government has announced a new partnership with the airline industry to fly back more British citizens stranded abroad due to COVID-19. The press release and announcement can be viewed on the Government website. 

You should assess the FCO and UK government advice and act on it as far as is possible or reasonable.

It is acknowledged that in some instances returning to the UK is not possible or indeed the safest option. Under these circumstances you should make a risk based decision informed by a suitable and sufficient assessment of relevant aspects, which takes into account:

  • Where you are currently based and what your options are for alternative locations;
  • The advice of your home government and the government of the country in which you are living;
  • The risks of remaining in the country in which you are living and the measures being taken by them;
  • The availability of routes out of the country, and the risks associated with travel and transport;
  • Access to local medical provision, taking into account advice from the travel insurance emergency provider;
  • Whether you can practice social distancing and work securely remotely from your home base*;
  • Whether you would be able to safely self-isolate if that becomes necessary;
  • How long in total your stay is planned for.

Your decision should be documented, evidenced and approved by your faculty or department. If you are covered by the University travel insurance, then cover should remain valid under these circumstances. A summary of the insurance offered is available on the University Finance website.

* Note. If you intend to continue with any work other than secure remote online work, e.g. any work which involves face to face contact there needs to be full academic justification for why it is essential to continue, and a robust risk assessment detailing how this can be done safely. The risk assessment needs to be reviewed by the Safety Office and approved by the Head of Department/Head of Division.

If you are able to return to the UK or your home county (if not the UK), and you need to arrange flights back:

1. Contact your Airline
If you have a return ticket, the airline that you flew with has an obligation to assist you and to bring you home.

2. Contact the Local Embassy
If you are unable to arrange a flight with the airline, you should contact the local embassy for your home country. Many of these are arranging flights.

3. Arrange flights yourself
The cost of these will be covered if you have mitigated the costs.
(The advice is to act as though you are not covered when spending insurers’ money because extravagant or unreasonable costs may not be covered.)

4. Contact your department
If you are unable to arrange repatriation through the airline, your local embassy or yourself, you should contact your department or college to see what support is available.

For Emergencies please contact AON Protect.

Additionally check the advice given by the insurance assistance provider - AON Protect Assistance.

Please note that AON Protect do not advise on insurance coverage and policy terms but will arrange emergency medical or other cover. They should not be contacted for routine return flights for example, as they are unable to provide these.

The advice from the university insurers is to behave as though you are not insured and you are spending your own money, behave prudently and do what you believe is best on the ground. The insurers will look at things in a reasonable fashion in due course, but if someone has behaved unreasonably and incurred costs that are disproportionate, then they are unlikely to cover these costs.

You can also contact the University Safety Office for advice on assessing the risks.

If you do not have university travel insurance you should contact your own insurer.

If you are a non-UK resident who is overseas, you should take note of all the advice provided above and proceed in the same way if you wish to travel to your country of ordinary residence or back to the UK. You should also check the travel advice of your home country/embassy.

In addition, and on an ongoing basis all students should:

  • Continue to monitor the FCO advice, your own government advice (if not the UK) and advice of the country in which you are living.
  • Continue to take steps to minimise your risk of exposure to COVID-19.
  • Consider in making decisions, how rapidly the global situation is changing and the risks of difficulties arising with quarantine, flight cancellations and border restrictions.
  • Continue to monitor the University’s regular updates through its  Coronavirus advice  page.
  • Keep copies of all evidence that you may need to make a subsequent insurance claim. This includes screen shots of government advice at relevant times (FCO advice, advice in your host country, advice in your country of ordinary residence (if not the UK)) and notes of conversations you have with your insurer and/or AON including: the time and date of the conversation, the name of the individual you spoke to, and the advice they provided.
  • Remain in contact with your key faculty/department and college contact to ensure that they are all aware of your circumstances and update and share your risk assessment as significant changes occur.
  • Remember to extend your insurance if you need to.
  • Ensure that your address and telephone details are correct in Student Self Service.
  • On your return, check and follow any government guidance on what steps you need to take.
  • Please also contact or if you have been in receipt of Erasmus or other funding managed by the central Student Fees & Funding team.

You should notify all insurance-related incidents to your Departmental/Faculty Administrator and the Insurance Office as soon as possible. Notification to the Insurance Office must be made within 28 days of the incident, even if you have not returned to the UK within that time. More details about the University’s scheme, including how to make claims is available on the Finance Division website.

I am concerned about going home. Would I be better coming back to Oxford? And can I live in college on my return?

We recognise the difficult choices that you may have to make at this time. Decisions should take into account FCO advice and information about the situation in your host and home country.

The decision to use online teaching and assessment in Trinity term means that you do not need to return to Oxford if you were doing so solely to continue with your studies. Residency requirements will be waived for all students for the remainder of this academic year. You may therefore want to consider where you would prefer to be located, if the situation continues for some time.

If you wish to discuss the possibility of returning to Oxford, please speak to your college about accommodation. However, please note that they may not be able to provide a room, for example because they cannot currently maintain normal levels of staffing and services.

Can I just leave a work placement?

You should take into account the most recent advice from the FCO (refer to the first question of this section). If you are undertaking a work placement, please discuss your intentions urgently with your employer, including the potential impact of leaving on any contractual obligations. Some employers are allowing students to continue to work remotely and we suggest that all students explore this as an option.

Please notify your Faculty or Department of any changes in your circumstances. Please also contact or if you have been in receipt of Erasmus or other funding managed by the central Student Fees & Funding Team.

What do I do if I get sick while I’m away?

All students are required to have insurance ahead of their travel, typically provided through the University. If you require medical assistance, please contact a healthcare provider and your insurance company for support and advice. Students in the EU continue to be able to make use of the EHIC (European Health Insurance Card).

Will leaving a year/study abroad, research placement or other course-related international activity affect my academic progress?

Please be assured that we are committed to supporting our students’ academic success. The University already has processes for considering the impact of exceptional circumstances on students’ progression and assessment and these are being used in a range of circumstances. Course requirements for students with a year/study abroad component are under review and individual Faculties and Departments will make adjustments on a cohort-wide basis, where possible.

If possible, you are strongly encouraged to continue with activities that support the development of their academic skills and cultural knowledge. These might include working remotely for international companies, or taking online language courses offered by the University. If you are studying abroad (e.g. Modern Languages/Law undergraduates) this may well include engaging with online course provision being offered or developed by partner universities. As far as possible, it is expected that you will continue your course with these alternative arrangements. In the case of Law with Law Studies in Europe, if you do so and fulfil any relevant minimum expectations (e.g. achieve a pass in the exams that you are required to take) you will be deemed to have passed the year abroad. Individual circumstances will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

I have received an Erasmus grant for my year abroad. What will happen to it?

(a) Early returns from Erasmus+ mobilities

Please contact to notify us of your early return and to discuss your particular circumstances.

It is normally only permissible for time spent abroad to be funded by your Erasmus+ grant. However, the UK National Agency has advised that an exception can be made for cases where a mobility has been affected by the COVID-19 outbreak such that it may be possible for additional incurred costs strictly related to mobility to be funded through your Erasmus+ grant (e.g. accommodation costs for a longer duration than the actual time spent on mobility).

Any additional expense claims will still need to be supported by appropriate evidence of the costs incurred, such as receipts (which can be electronic versions). Please contact for further information.

(b) Cancellation of Erasmus mobilities that have not yet taken place

Any such cancellations will be considered by the UK National Agency, which will determine whether Force Majeure is applicable to the specific case. Please email for further information.

(c) I have already incurred costs associated with a future Erasmus mobility and cannot now travel. What should I do?

You should initially try to claim any funding back through your insurance provider. If you are unable to recover costs in this way, please inform us and provide evidence of expenditure and contact for advice.

(d) Can I continue to receive Erasmus funding if I have returned to the UK but continue studying/working remotely?

We are awaiting Erasmus UK National Agency clarification about this and will update this page as soon as we have further guidance.

Is there any hardship funding I can apply for due to the effects of coronavirus?

Faculties, Departments, Colleges, and central services have limited hardship funding that may be able to help you. Please consult your College or Course Handbooks for further information or the University’s Fees and Funding webpage.

What will happen to my undergraduate Student Finance funding from the UK government if I return early due to the coronavirus in my host country?

We have been advised by the Student Loans Company (SLC) that your early return to the UK may affect your student finance. The SLC has provided further guidance for students affected by coronavirus.    

Arrangements with regional funding agencies will vary, but some may offer support for financial hardship. For more details, please contact your funding agency directly in either EnglandWalesScotlandor Northern Ireland 

Please get in touch with if you require further advice about these arrangements.

Fees and Funding

I am recipient of a student loan from the UK Government. will I receive my next student finance maintenance payment?

The Student Loans Company has confirmed that students will receive their scheduled or next instalment of their maintenance loan at the planned start of their summer term, regardless of whether their university or provided has made alternative arrangements for teaching.

What will happen to student rents? Will they be waived if I am not in residence?

We do not yet know how many students will be in residence in Trinity term. This depends on government policy. However, if you have a licence or tenancy agreement for University or College accommodation next term but are not in residence, you will not be charged rent. You may need to inform the University or your College that you wish to cancel your agreement; they will tell you how to do this. 

If you are staying in Oxford, or if government policy changes and you return to University or College accommodation, you will be charged rent in the usual way. 

For students in private rented accommodation, the University and Colleges have no control over the arrangements, and students are likely to still be liable for the rest of the year to their landlords. Oxford SU provides signposting for advice on its website or by email at Any students in financial distress should apply for support through the usual channels. 

The University and each College will be communicating with its own student tenants to let them know how this will be managed locally. 

For further assistance, if you live in College, please contact your own college for advice, and if you live in University accommodation, contact the Graduate Accommodation Office.

What about my belongings? Will you store them for me? 

We understand that many students were not able to take all their possessions when they left Oxford. 

The University and each College will be communicating with its own student tenants to let them know how this will be managed locally. 

For further assistance, if you live in College, please contact your own college for advice, and if you live in University accommodation, contact the Graduate Accommodation Office.

Clubs and societies

I am running an event or conference. What should I do?

The UK has now restricted all public gatherings of more than two people. If your event is due to take place within the next three weeks it cannot go ahead. The lockdown may be extended, or we may return to social distancing phase for some time; therefore if your event is imminent, you should take steps to postpone or cancel, or find a way of running it virtually.

Work is ongoing to see how our events and initiatives can be delivered differently and innovatively. For events scheduled for the summer or beyond, you should be contingency planning as it is currently unclear how long these measures will be in place.

Decisions about whether to proceed with events outside the UK should be based on local health advice. Further guidance for event managers is now available (single sign-on required).

I have a question that has not been answered above. What should I do?

You should contact your welfare lead or academic office in your college in the first instance – or your department or faculty if you query relates specifically to your course.


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