Coronavirus: Frequently asked questions

Last updated: 10 August 2021.

Find out the latest information and advice for current students on coronavirus and your studies at the University.

The University is acting on advice from Universities UKPublic Health EnglandUKCISA and the Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office.

2021/22 academic year

What safety measures are in place on campus?

We encourage all staff and students to continue wearing face coverings while indoors on campus, wash hands regularly and follow all safety signage and guidance they receive from staff.

We also encourage everyone on campus to get regular COVID tests and get vaccinated.

Find out more on our Welcome website.

How can I register with a GP (doctor)?

GP (General Practitioner) is what we call local or family doctors in the UK. You can register as soon as you know your Manchester address, to get access to a range of medical services.

Do I need to have the COVID-19 vaccine before I come back to campus?

No, you do not have to be vaccinated to return to campus.

However, we strongly encourage all students (if possible) to have one or both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine before returning to Manchester, or as soon as possible after you return.

How do I get the COVID-19 vaccine?

Everyone in the UK aged 16 and over is eligible to receive the vaccine for free – this includes EU and international students.

There are a few different ways to get vaccinated, find out more on our vaccination and testing page.

How can I prove my vaccination status?

You may be asked to show your COVID-19 vaccination status at some places in England as a condition of entry to a venue or events, and when travelling abroad.

Find out more about the NHS COVID Pass and how to get one.

When should I self-isolate?

If you are living or studying on campus and you get COVID symptoms or test positive for the virus, you must follow the instructions on our COVID student safety page. This includes immediately notifying the University and self-isolating. Support is available to all students who are self-isolating – for further information see our self-isolation guidance for students.

Studying, teaching and assessments

Are we returning to in-person teaching next year?

We're currently planning for all students studying on-campus programmes to return to campus from September 2021.

Your studies will be predominantly in-person on-campus activities, lectures and classes - supported by new recorded video content and other materials from your lecturers. This blended approach will help you study in a way that works for you and allow the University to respond as quickly as possible to any changes in restrictions over the coming months. We’re currently planning both a socially distanced and a non-socially distanced timetable.

We also plan to continue reopening on-campus facilities to support your learning and wellbeing. This includes libraries, study spaces, support services and sports facilities.

Some students may find it difficult to return in September, due to ongoing travel restrictions or other safety measures. To support them, we will make remote study options available in Semester 1 wherever possible. See the next question for further information.

You should have received specific detail from your programme team in April or May about the mix of learning activities on your course, and whether there is a remote study option for your course in Semester 1.

Can I study remotely next year?

Remote study is not intended to be the default next academic year. All students studying an on-campus course will have the option to return to campus from September if they can. However we know some students may find it difficult to return at that time, due to ongoing travel restrictions or other safety measures. To support them, we will make remote study options available in Semester 1 wherever possible.

For some programmes remote study won't be feasible, particularly where students need to access specialist teaching and learning facilities, or due to professional / accreditation requirements. Remote study will therefore only be available for certain programmes and cohorts, for those who cannot return to campus.

Your programme team will have written to you back in April and May, to confirm whether you have a remote study option in Semester 1 next year. If you do, they will also have provided further information to help you decide whether to take the remote option, and told you how to inform them of your choice and the deadline to do this.

The University has not yet decided whether remote study will be available to students in Semester 2 (begins February 2022). We will update you when we have further details on this.

If I choose remote study but then change my mind, can I switch to on-campus study?

If your programme has a remote study option, you may initially choose this but later change your mind. In this case you can notify your programme team that you wish to switch to on-campus study (they will let you know how to do this).

If you notify them by 1 September, you will be able to attend on-campus teaching activities from the start of Semester 1. If you notify them after this date, they’ll make every effort to integrate you into on-campus teaching as soon as possible – however this will be dependent on your specific programme and the nature of your learning activities.

You will still be able to return to Manchester at any time and use other campus facilities (government regulations permitting).

What is "blended learning" at Manchester?

Blended, flexible learning at Manchester provides greater flexibility and choice. We are committed to blended learning as part of our University strategy to create increased student choice and flexible learning by combining face-to-face, online and blended learning.

This is not online teaching, but about augmenting your in-person lectures, seminars, labs, Q&As, discussions, and workshops with high-quality online materials for self-study. The exact mix of learning styles will depend very much on what works for each subject.

Steve Pettifer, Deputy Programme Director for Flexible Learning has produced a short video explaining more about what blended learning looks like in practice.

We are continuing to shape our flexible learning approach in partnership with our students and our staff.

Will other facilities be open on campus at the start of next year?

We aim to have other facilities such as libraries and study spaces open. However there will likely still be additional procedures and requirements in place to keep everyone safe, depending on government safety guidelines at any time. We will keep you updated as we approach the return to campus in the autumn. You can read more about our current safety measures here.

What happens if government guidelines change over the summer?

Please rest assured that we are following government guidance closely and planning intensely for next year. All our teams are working hard to plan the best possible experience for students under different eventualities, so we can respond as quickly as possible to any changes in government guidance. For example, we are currently planning both a socially-distanced and a non-socially-distanced timetable for teaching activities. We'll keep you updated by email and in this FAQ with further information as and when it’s available.

Will I get a partial fee refund if I study remotely?

No – students will be charged the full published tuition fees whether studying on-campus or remotely in Semester 2. We’re committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience. The current situation has brought forward our development of a blended, flexible learning model – we’re confident that you will be able to engage with your studies effectively, no matter the circumstances. See a breakdown of what the tuition fee is spent on.

If you're experiencing financial hardship, you can seek assistance from the University’s Living Cost Support Fund. This offers both small grants and loans, and is open to all University of Manchester students.

Will the University refund tuition fees for the 2020/21 academic year?

The pandemic has caused a great deal of disruption for students, and you have not been able to have the university experience you would have expected. Our focus has been, and continues to be, on supporting your learning and wellbeing.

We are committed to delivering learning outcomes for all our students in these challenging circumstances – that means the academic requirements for you to move to the next year of study or graduate successfully. We are confident in the quality and standards of our awards, and in the steps we continue to take to protect the academic interests of our students.

Adapting our teaching and learning during the pandemic has required a major investment, and we have also prioritised several million pounds in the provision of additional services to support student and staff mental health and wellbeing.

We have no plans to issue an across-the-board refund of tuition fees for this academic year.

How can I make a complaint about my course or student experience?

If you have issues or concerns in relation to your academic experience, you should first contact the Head of Teaching, Learning and Student Experience in your School. They will be happy to discuss and seek to resolve your concerns, in-keeping with the Student Complaints ProcedureIf you remain dissatisfied after those discussions you can submit a formal complaint to your Faculty, as explained in the Basic Guide to Student Complaints.

I’ve submitted a formal complaint – do I still need to pay my fees?

Yes – you must continue to pay your tuition fees by the published due date. Where a tuition fee payment remains outstanding beyond this date, an indicator will be applied to your student record. You will be notified of this via your University email account and asked to contact Credit Control to arrange payment. Until payment or a payment plan has been agreed you will be unable to re-register or graduate.

I am having difficulties accessing online learning, what should I do?

If you are having difficulties accessing the University network, or need advice and support with accessing online services, you can email helpmegetonline@manchester.ac.uk for help with accessing online learning and assessments.

Alternatively, you can also call +44 (0) 161 306 5544 between 8am and 5pm weekdays. The out of hours telephone support service, on the same number, is available at all other times.

We have also updated our guides to accessing learning online.

How can I access library resources and return books?

Find out more about our University Library resources and how to access them on our library pages. You can return all Library books to the book return bin in the entrance of the Main Library. For further information on Library services see the Library FAQ.

University Halls of Residence

When can I move into University Halls of Residence?

Our licence agreements start on Thursday, 16 September 2021, with the exception of Denmark Road and Brook Hall which start on Monday, 13 September 2021 and Uttley House which start on Sunday, 19 September 2021.

Can I move in earlier than the start of the licence agreement?

We're offering early arrival from Monday, 13 September 2021. 

  • Find out more about early arrival including how to make a booking and costs involved.

What do I need to bring with me?

Use our what to bring checklist to help you prepare for moving into halls. 

We don't provide any bedding or kitchen equipment, but we've partnered with UniKit where you can order different kits before you arrive and these will be delivered to your nearest hall reception for you to pick up.

Depending on UK restrictions I may need to quarantine on arrival in the UK, what support is available in halls?

If you're arriving from a country listed as 'red' by the UK government then you're unable to move directly into University accommodation. Please check on www.gov.uk for further information and updates relevant to your arrival date.

If you're arriving from a country listed as 'amber' by the UK government then you're able to move into University accommodation to complete your quarantine period.

If you're in catered halls, a quarantine meal service will take place which will differ in times from the general meal service. More information will be provided to you directly.

If you're in self-catered halls, you need to prepare and ensure that you have food to cover your period of quarantine. It is essential if you're coming to the UK from overseas that you ensure you have a card enabled to work in the UK. For more information on purchasing food items please see our self isolation guidance for students.

We continue to provide welfare and pastoral support via our ResLife Teams who are available in all University accommodation.

What arrangements are in place to limit the spread of COVID-19 in University Halls of Residences?

The safety of our residents and our staff is of the utmost importance to us. We continue to follow guidelines from the UK government and from the Department for Education. 

In our accommodation each flat is classed as a household. If you're in accommodation provided in corridors then we have identified households within the accommodation and you will be provided with information about which kitchen and bathroom facilities are available for your household.

Are all facilities available in University accommodation?

We continue to be guided by the UK government, Department for Education and Public Health England.

If that guidance states that areas must be closed down in response to COVID-19 then such areas will not be available for residents to use. We understand that should this occur this may cause disappointment but, for reassurance, such action would only be taken if we were required to do so by the UK or local government.

What does the contents insurance I get with my licence fee cover?

We provide cover for all students in University Halls through Endsleigh insurance. It’s important to confirm your cover so that you understand what is and what isn’t covered. To check the cover matches all your requirements please view the policy here.

Private accommodation

Below are frequently asked questions for students renting private accommodation.

Manchester Student Homes (MSH) is a department of the University that works with accommodation providers in and around Manchester. You can search on their website to find private accommodation that suits your needs. You can contact Manchester Student Homes at manchesterstudenthomes@manchester.ac.uk or on +44 (0)161 275 7680.

How do I find accommodation for next year?

Manchester Student Homes (MSH) is a department of the University that work with a number of accommodation providers in and around Manchester. Students can search on their website to find accommodation that suits their needs, including houses, flats, studios and Private Halls of Residence.

Manchester Student Homes will be running their annual Accommodation Fairs virtually this year to allow you to meet accredited accommodation providers. To find out more visit their Accommodation Fair page or their Facebook page.

There are some things you should consider before beginning your search:

  • How big is your group/ do you want your group to be
  • How much you want to spend per week
  • Do you want an en-suite room or a shared accommodation
  • How far are you willing to travel/ walk
  • Are you/ Is someone willing to manage your own bills? If not, a bills inclusive may be an option

 See top tips and a viewing checklist

I have signed a contract for a house/ apartment/ private hall room (for the 2020/2021 academic year), but I want to defer my move in date?

You have signed into a legally binding contract for a fixed period, you can speak to your accommodation provider to see if they will defer the contract. However, this would most likely mean that your contract would end at a later date.

I have signed a contract for a house/apartment/private hall room but I don't want it anymore. What do I do?

A tenancy agreement is a legally binding -contract and all tenants are obliged to its terms until the end of the fixed period. To avoid any contractual breaches there are a couple of things you should make sure to do. These are as follows:

  • Inform the other tenants (if you are on a shared agreement)
  • Inform your accommodation provider
  • Seek an alternative tenant by advertising on Manchester Student Homes’ Message Board and Manchester Student Homes’ Facebook page
  • Once an alternative tenant has been found, contact the accommodation provider and the tenants to arrange for a transfer of names to occur.
  • Ensure that your name had been removed from the tenancy.

The replacement tenant must be accepted by all parties (where applicable) involved in the contract. If a replacement tenant is not found you are still liable for the contractual obligations (including rent) of the tenancy.

You are welcome to post as many messages as you like and in more than one section of the Manchester Student Homes’ Message Board. In the message you should include as much detail as possible:

  • Whether it is a house or a Private Hall
  • The number of tenants the house/flat accommodates
  • How much the room is
  • Whether or not bills are included in the rent
  • Location of the property
  • Facilities
  • Distance from the University campus
  • Time it takes to get to the campus
  • Your contact number (if you prefer)

It will be beneficial for you to reply to existing posts where students are looking for accommodation.

How do I deal with my belongings that I have left in Manchester?

Tenants are legally protected by Torts (Interference with Goods) Act 1977. There is a legal duty on the accommodation provider to protect and keep secure any belongings that have been left in a property. If they believe they have been abandoned, they must receive express consent from the tenant before disposing of anything. They should be able to demonstrate that several attempts were made to contact the tenant and a reasonable period of time had lapsed before disposing of the goods. If an accommodation provider sells or disposes of the goods without taking the correct steps the tenant could advance a civil claim against them.

We advise you liaise with your accommodation provider and housemates when making any plans to return and collect belongings. This will ensure the accommodation provider knows you are collecting your items, and your housemates can ensure there is enough space for you (and anyone accompanying you) to be in the property whilst maintaining social distancing. Ensure that communications are detailed in writing and any telephone conversations are followed up with written confirmation (this should be standard practice for any dealings with your accommodation provider). 

If you can't return to Manchester, you should arrange for belongings to be stored or collected. Flexistore, our student storage partners, provide a solution for students living in University Halls. You can arrange to give Flexistore access to your private rented room, where they will pack and move your belongings either to their storage facilities in Manchester or ship them directly to your preferred address. Packing, storage and shipping costs vary, so it is best to contact them directly for a quotation. Insurance is usually included but can be topped up if necessary.

 

I am not ready to sign a contract for accommodation yet, is there a deadline?

There is no deadline for signing a contract in the private rented sector, but rooms/houses will gradually go off the market as other students sign for them. If you are looking for something specific then we advise that you sign sooner rather than later. It is important that you view the property/room and carefully read your tenancy agreements before signing anything. Manchester Student Homes offers a free contract checking service to help you understand your contract or any clause within it. You can email them at manchesterstudenthomes@manchesterstudenthomes.com or call them on +44 (0)161 275 7680.

How do I find short term or single semester accommodation?

Manchester Student Homes (MSH) is a department of the University that works with a number of accommodation providers in and around Manchester. Students can search on their website to find accommodation that suits their needs, including houses, flats, studios and private halls of residence.

You can search for short term properties:

You can email manchesterstudenthomes@manchester.ac.uk with your requirements if you can't find what you are looking for.

Are there any flexible contracts available?

Manchester Student Homes (MSH) is a department of the University that work with a number of accommodation providers in and around Manchester. Students can search on their website to find accommodation that suits their needs, including houses, flats, studios and Private Halls of Residence.

We are pleased to hear that a number of Approved Accommodation Providers have already considered the impact of Covid-19 and the flexibility that students require in order to plan than subsequently sign into a legally binding contract with confidence. These Accommodation Providers have implemented additional clauses to their contracts to increase flexibility in order to adhere to student needs, and provide the support and care students require during this difficult period.

Currently there are 91 properties, owned by individual Landlords and Private Halls, totalling thousands of rooms that are offering the Coronavirus Amendment Policy, with this number increasing with each day. Flexibility will vary between accommodation providers but the information will be readily available on the MSH website.

What do I do if I want to view a property?

Students' safety is the first priority of our accredited accommodation providers. Depending on government guidance at the time, you may or may not be able to view a property in person. You should use virtual viewings where possible, in order to minimise public health risks. Ensure you always follow current government guidance around COVID. Find out more on Manchester Student Homes’ information and top tips on viewings page.

Support and wellbeing

Is there any financial support available?

We know that a number of students have started to struggle financially because of a sudden change of circumstances (e.g. through the loss of part time work). We want as many students as possible to be able to continue with their studies and so from today, we are widening access to our student hardship fund and making it easier to make an application.

The fund, which can award both small grants and loans, is now open to all students, regardless of mode of study or nationality. Further details can be found on the student support webpages or by emailing: funding@manchester.ac.uk.

I receive financial support, will this continue uninterrupted?

All students in receipt of financial support e.g. the Manchester Bursary, will continue to receive their instalments as planned. We are committed to maintaining support for all of our students.

What if I have an existing condition which has become worse and I am struggling with online study?

Please notify your School if the impact of the exacerbation of your condition means you need support and/or advice.

I am a student on work placement, should I still be working?

Government guidance is very clear that workplaces should make every possible effort to enable working from home (with appropriate support provided to help facilitate that) and that individuals should only be asked to attend their workplace where this is not possible. As such, we expect that, in the vast majority of cases, students on work placement will be working from home. Some of our students are attending work, such as those carrying out essential work in healthcare services. 

If working from home is not possible and your placement provider asks you to attend work, then they must follow Government guidance, including making every effort to comply with the social distancing guidelines. There are also additional considerations in relation to individuals who are vulnerable or live with someone who is vulnerable.

Your health and wellbeing are our priority and if you have concerns about any aspect of your placement (including being asked to attend your workplace) which you cannot resolve with your supervisor or manager at your placement provider, then please contact your School for advice in relation to the options available to you.

EU and international students

Can I access COVID-19 medical treatment?

There is no charge to international students or overseas visitors for COVID-19 testing, even if the result is negative. There is also no charge for any COVID-19 treatment provided if the result is positive or up to the point that it is negatively diagnosed. The same is true of most other infectious diseases.

Can EU and international students get vaccinated in the UK?

Yes – everybody in the UK aged 16 or over is eligible to get the COVID-19 vaccine for free, regardless of their nationality or immigration status.

Find out more about how to get vaccinated on our vaccination and testing page.

What support is available for EU or international students who need to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

There are currently government rules in place for people travelling to the UK from abroad.

You must be aware of the relevant rules for the country from which you’re travelling, and make sure you complete the relevant requirements before and after you arrive.

We're offering support to students travelling from ‘red list’ or ‘amber list’ countries who will need to quarantine in a government-approved hotel when they arrive in the UK. Find out more in our FAQ for EU and international students.