Page updated: 18 October 2020

Student FAQs

This page includes frequently asked questions about the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. There are sections on:

Please also see our campus safety page for additional information, including guidance on the use of face coverings on campus.

Latest update

Email from the Vice Chancellor to students (Thursday 15 October)

Dear student,

I am writing to thank you for the way in which you have conducted yourself this academic year in terms of Covid-19. Thanks to excellent behaviour throughout our University community in terms of:

  • Social distancing
  • Wearing face coverings
  • Regular hand washing
  • Avoiding crowds
  • Good practice generally

 the number of cases of Covid-19 at the University of Worcester have been very few.

 This small number is significantly less than both the Worcestershire and the national average. Although we are several weeks into the academic year there has been no outbreak or cluster of cases.

This is a tribute to you and your fellow students.

At the same time, there has been very good participation in class and your studies. Very many of you have met and made new friends as well as behaving with kindness and thoughtfulness towards others – particularly older and more vulnerable people. You have been dealing with all the restrictions placed on you by the pandemic in a calm, highly responsible fashion. You are a credit to the University and yourselves. Thank-you.

At a time when students nationally have been getting a bad press, you should know that representatives of the UK government and national media have been in touch with me in the last few days to ask why Worcester has been doing so well compared to so many other Universities.

I have let them know how very responsible the overwhelming majority of students and staff have been. I have made it clear that I am very proud of Worcester students and staff.

The government has just released a new link to a site which enables everyone to see how areas in the UK are doing. The country has been divided into areas with approximately the same population size 7,000 – so that the numbers are easily comparable:

 https://coronavirus-staging.data.gov.uk/details/interactive-map

Using this map you can see that there have been 5 Covid-19 cases in Henwick (postcode WR2 6AJ), which is the area in which the St. John’s Halls are recorded.

This compares to 627 Covid-19 cases in the Nottingham area of University Park, Lenton Abbey and Jubilee Campus.  

Quite a difference between two identical sized populations of approximately 7,000 people!

At Worcester, the very small number of students and their flatmates who have had to self-isolate have all been well supported. No-one has become seriously unwell.

All this has meant that we continue with our blend of in-person and on-line education and activities generally.

Of course, all this could change in an instant. The University is not an island and the situation is worsening nationally.

We must all continue to keep wearing face coverings, respecting social distancing and doing all we can to minimise transmission of Covid-19.

At the University, we are constantly making adjustments, while continuing to work to improve access to testing availability and mutual support for any members of our community who are being detrimentally affected by the situation.

We are well aware that there are loud voices nationally calling for Universities to close and move online. There is no reason for the University of Worcester to go ‘online’. We intend to continue with our blend of in-person and online activity for as long as we are permitted by HM Government. We have no intention of closing.

Do please stay in touch with developments by regularly consulting the University Frequently Asked Questions and Covid-19 information on:

https://www.worcester.ac.uk/contact/coronavirus/

Don’t hesitate to share this letter and these links with friends, parents, relatives and supporters.

Thank-you so much and very best wishes for an outstandingly successful year – despite all the difficulties that the Covid-19 pandemic is putting in the way. 

Professor David M A Green CBE
Vice Chancellor & Chief Executive
University of Worcester

Learn more about coronavirus symptoms from an experienced doctor

Dr Claire Jones, a highly experienced local GP and Ross Renton, University of Worcester Senior Pro Vice Chancellor, delivered an online information session on 25 September, with topics ranging from recognising the symptoms of Covid-19 to how to access support from the University. 

What to do if you think you have Covid-19

What are the symptoms of Covid-19?

The latest advice from the Government includes the following symptoms for Covid-19:

  • a high temperature
  • a new cough where you keep on coughing. This means coughing a lot for more than an hour or three or more episodes of coughing in a day
  • Losing or there being a change to your sense of smell or taste

I don’t have a thermometer. How do I know if I have a temperature?

The most common symptoms associated with a fever are feeling hot or flushed, chills, body aches, sweating, dehydration, and weakness. If you're experiencing one or more of these symptoms, and you feel warm to the touch, it's likely that you have a fever.

If you are a resident in University accommodation, Security will be able to provide you with a thermometer, please email Security@worc.ac.uk or call on 01905 855000.

What should I do if I have symptoms, or someone in my household has symptoms? (UPDATED - 9 OCTOBER)

If you have any coronavirus symptoms, even if you feel well, you must return to your current place of residence and stay there for 10 days or until you have received a negative test result. You should report your absence as soon as possible via your SOLE page.

You should not attempt to return to your family home unless that is where you are currently residing.  If you are residing in student accommodation that is where you must remain for your isolation period.

You should also not:

  • Go to lectures
  • Visit friends or family
  • Go to work
  • Mix with others in any social setting or at home
  • Go shopping

Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital unless it is an emergency. 

In an emergency dial 999

Book a test as soon as possible. To do this visit the NHS website or call 119.

Students living in the same flat or house as you will also need to self-isolate, just as any household would, until you have the results of your test. If you test positive you will all need to continue to isolate in line with the guidance you receive from Public Health or from the University.

If you test negative, and you feel well, you can return to your studies and student life.

Find out more about when to self-isolate and what to do on the NHS website.

Please don’t be tempted to carry on as normal if you have a symptom or have been told to isolate.

How does testing work?

You can get a free NHS test today to check if you have coronavirus. 

You can have a test (swab test) to check if you have coronavirus (Covid-19) now. You can choose to take the test:

Who do I need to tell if I have symptoms, if I test positive for Covid-19, or if I am told to self isolate by NHS Test and Trace? (UPDATED - 9 OCTOBER)

It’s really important that you let us know at the University if you think you may have Covid-19 or have tested positive for Covid-19, so that we can support you and help you manage your studies.

It’s equally important that you let us know if you have been told to self-isolate because you have been in contact with someone who has tested positive, even if you don’t have any symptoms.

Get in touch with us as soon as possible by logging on to your SOLE page. You’ll find a link at the left of the screen, called 'Report Absence'. This link will take you through to a simple form, which will collect some important information. If your situation changes you will need to return to this link and ensure that it is updated.

If you live in on-campus Halls or University managed accommodation your details will be sent to the Accommodation and Security teams. These teams will check in to see whether you need help getting supplies or other practical support and advice. Students living with you in the same flat or house will also need self-isolate, just as any household would, and should also report this on their SOLE page.

If you test positive for Covid-19, the NHS Test and Trace service will contact you. This service helps trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus. They will work with you, and with Student Services, to help identify any contacts who need to be notified.

What happens when I report an absence that is Covid-19 related? (NEW - 9 OCTOBER)

By reporting a Covid-19 related absence through your SOLE page your Personal Academic Tutor and Course Leader will be informed that you will be unable to attend face to face teaching or placements while you are self-isolation, and they will record this as an authorised absence.  If you feel well, you should continue to attend online lectures and seminars, and complete any assignments that are due.

If you are informing us of a positive test for Covid-19 we are required to share that information with Public Health. You will then be contacted by Public Health and Student Services who are working together to ensure you and any close contacts are given the correct advice to isolate promptly, to keep you, them and our community safe.

If you are living in University Managed Accommodation the Accommodation and Security teams will be informed that you are self-isolating. They will be able to assist if you need help with the practicalities of self-isolation like receiving deliveries.

Advice for all students

How will I be taught this year?

  • We are planning to continue the academic year with as much personal participation in learning and living at the campus as is possible and responsible.
  • Every student will have the opportunity to access in-person tuition and facilities where we can offer this, in line with Government guidance.
  • Specialist sessions, such as clinical simulations, workshops, and laboratory practicals, will take place face-to-face on campus.
  • At least for the first semester, large lectures will be delivered online to ensure we comply with Government social distancing requirements. We will be ready to respond as guidance changes. 
  • Some other learning will also be online, as it usually is, through a combination of real-time interactive sessions and materials that you can study in your own time.
  • Any lectures that are delivered online will be accompanied by the opportunity for you to ask questions and interact with staff. We know from feedback from our students that this is very important in developing the understanding of new topics.
  • Learning facilities, such as the Hive Library and the Peirson Study and Guidance Centre, will be open with appropriate social distancing measures in place.

Should I wear a face covering in class?

Students are strongly encouraged to wear a face covering when in class, where this is practical and appropriate. This covers all enclosed indoor class settings, including lectures, seminars, workshops and practical sessions.

See our full guidance on the use of face coverings on campus.

Will I be able to go home for Christmas?

The Government have said there are no plans to keep students at university over Christmas.

As a University we want to reassure you that we have no plans to prevent you from travelling to your family home.

What have you done to prepare the campus for students?

Please see our dedicated campus safety page for full details of the work done to prepare the campus for the new year.

I live in an area with a local lockdown – what should I do?

The Government continues to monitor infection rates and may impose restrictions on movement in areas that experience high levels of infection, commonly known as ‘local lockdown’.  The latest details can be found on the Government’s website Local Restrictions: areas with an outbreak of coronavirus.

If you live in an area under local lockdown, you should review the Government website to identify the nature of the restrictions that are in place for your area.

The current Government guidance confirms that people living inside and outside affected areas can continue to travel in and out for work and study. 

What happens if there is a lockdown in Worcester?

We would follow the guidance for the local restriction, while doing everything possible to maintain a high quality learning environment for you. 

Currently local restrictions in England are not affecting travel to universities, either for work or study.

If there is a full lockdown, we will move to deliver learning, teaching and assessment online. Our priority is always the safety of our students and staff.

What support is available? 

Supporting your health and wellbeing will continue to be a priority. We have already enhanced the resources available to you, including the online delivery of many of our services for students

Can I still socialise with other students?

Meeting other people and making new friends is an important part of University life. We continue to provide opportunities for you to interact with other students while following the latest Government guidelines.

When meeting with people you don’t live with you can socialise in groups of up to 6. This is a legal limit.

If your household (and/or support bubble) is larger than 6 people, you can gather together.

Do I need a computer or tablet to study at Worcester?

While studying at Worcester you will have access to a wide range of computing facilities. These range from specialist labs to open access computers rooms as well as short and long-term loan devices. However, social distancing will reduce the number of students allowed in a room and you might find it more convenient to have a device of your own.

What type of device is best suited to my studies?

If you decide to purchase a computer or tablet there are a wide range of devices that would work well for your studies.

For all core activities including: using the virtual learning environment, taking notes, attending online lectures and submitting assignments - an entry level Google Chromebook will be satisfactory.

While Chromebooks provide all core functions, some students may benefit from the flexibility of a Windows laptop which will typically run more software. Our recommended specification for a Windows laptop is an Intel i5 or Ryzen 5 with 8 GB RAM and an SSD disk.

For some specialist courses such as digital arts or computationally intensive courses you may benefit from a higher speciation device or an Apple Mac and your course leader can help advise – but remember that we provide specialist machines in our computing labs for these courses.

Where can I purchase a device?

There are many companies that will give discounts to students. However, while you are registered at the University of Worcester you can take advantage of our Dell discount scheme.

Additionally we partner with John Smiths to offer an online store where you can buy items for your study. You can find computers on this site and through John Smiths you can find support for items you need and this is detailed on our Reach pages

What if I find buying a device difficult?

We recognise that buying a new device can be challenging. Worcester operates an Access to Learning fund (sometimes called a hardship fund). The Access to Learning fund might be able to assist you with digital devices for your studies if purchasing one is challenging for you.

Advice for students on health placements

There is a case of coronavirus or suspected coronavirus on my work placement, should I attend?

Clinical placements have very effective processes in place to manage patients with coronavirus. Please follow the guidance and policies in your work placement. Students who may be required to deliver clinical care to affected patients should have the necessary skills and knowledge, including infection prevention and control measures needed to work in such environments.  

What should I do if I think I have contracted coronavirus, or been in close contact with someone with coronavirus?

The most effective measure you can take to protect yourself is to follow NHS guidance on hand washing.

Anyone with symptoms of coronavirus should follow the guidance for households with possible infection from Public Health England.

Please ensure that you email the Work Base learning Support Office (WBSLO) wblso@worc.ac.uk as well as your course leader. It is important that you stipulate the reason for your absence as having symptoms of Coronavirus.

Is it likely that the University will cancel our placements in the event of a more widespread outbreak within the UK?

There are currently no plans to cancel or suspend work placements. We are however monitoring the situation and regularly liaising with all partners who offer work placements. 

I cannot attend my work placement as the school/ nursery/early years setting that my children attend is closed, what should I do?

Please notify your placement as soon as possible. Please email the work-based learning support office wblso@worc.ac.uk as well as your Personal Academic Tutor. It is important that you stipulate the reason for your absence. 

I have been informed that my work placement area has closed due to coronavirus but I have not yet completed my hours and standards/competencies am I going to fail the placement?

No, this alone will not result in a failed placement. The University of Worcester will endeavour to find an alternative placement if at all possible. Where this is not possible, your course leader will speak with you regarding arrangements for making up hours and meeting your standards/ competencies at a later date.

I am due to go on an international work placement, can I still go?

All new requests for international placements have been put on pause for the foreseeable future.

Will the academic staff still visit me on my work placement?

Where these arrangements are currently in place, academic staff will continue to support and visit you in practice areas. It is possible that at the request of a placement provider these arrangements may change. In all cases the university will communicate any changes to you. 

Do I need special protective equipment from the University or will my work placement provide this?

Any special personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided by your work placement. 

If I have a diagnosis of Coronavirus, when can I return to my work placement?

The NHS advice on self-isolating must be followed.

Please ensure that you email WBSLO wblso@worc.ac.uk  as well as your course leader to inform them you will be returning to your placement. You should also contact the practice facilitator of your planned return. You must also ensure that you check your Course Blackboard site to familiarise yourself on any relevant updates

How will Coronavirus related placement absence be categorised on my training record?

If you have reported that you are sick, this will be recorded as sickness absence

If you are self-isolating but are well, this will be recorded as authorised absence

If you are well but have to stay at home for childcare/caring responsibilities, this will be recorded as authorised absence. 

What is the advice if I am a health care student and pregnant?

We understand that you may have some anxieties if you have a placement in a healthcare setting and you are pregnant. The most recent update (26 March 2020) from the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists (RCOG) emphasise that pregnant women of any gestation should be offered the choice of whether to work in direct patient-facing roles during the coronavirus pandemic. The RCOG website has more detailed information on coronavirus and pregnancy

The RCOG state that if you are less than 28 weeks pregnant, with no underlying health conditions, you should practice social distancing, but can choose to continue to work in a patient-facing role. If you choose to continue to work, it is strongly recommended that the necessary precautions are taken. As a vulnerable group to Covid-19 you should participate in your own risk assessment with your placement provider and the university.

If you are more than 28 weeks pregnant or have an underlying health condition – such as heart or lung disease – the RCOG strongly recommend that you avoid direct patient contact.

The University of Worcester will support the choice you make, and you should discuss your individual circumstances with your course leader and work placement who will be able to advise you.

Specific information for international students

Will I need to quarantine when I arrive in the UK?

Depending on where you have travelled from, some people will be required to self-isolate for 14 days once they have arrived in the UK. The self-isolation rules apply to everyone entering the UK including UK nationals and those who are just visiting for a short period. The list of who needs to self-isolate is updated frequently so you should make sure you regularly check the list prior to travelling. The list of countries who are not currently required to self-isolate on arrival can be found here https://www.gov.uk/guidance/coronavirus-covid-19-travel-corridors

Will it affect my housemates if I am required to self-isolate? 

No. Providing you do not have any symptoms of Covid-19, the people you are living with will not automatically be required to self-isolate just because you are having to. Your housemates would only be required to self-isolate if they either travelled with you, or if you develop symptoms of Covid-19.

Will anything be done differently to accommodate those who are staying in University accommodation and are having to self-isolate? 

Yes. For this year, we are aiming to place all students who are required to self-isolate for 14 days in accommodation with other students arriving on the same day. This will make it easier for those students to share facilities and mean that they will all finish their period of self-isolation at the same time.  

What can I do if I am not able to self-isolate in my shared privately rented accommodation?

There are a range of B&Bs and hotels in Worcestershire which may have places for you to self-isolate in before joining your future housemates in your shared accommodation. Here are some links that you may find useful should you need to book something.

https://www.airbnb.co.uk/

https://www.travelodge.co.uk/

https://www.premierinn.com/gb/en/home.html

https://www.ihg.com/holidayinn/hotels/gb/en/reservation

How can I order food and other supplies if I am self-isolating?

A number of supermarkets including Tesco, Asda, Morrison's and Sainsburys offer home delivery, so we would advise that you order food and basic essentials online. Delivery slots do have to be booked prior to ordering so it is recommended you book in advance rather than wait until you have run out of supplies. 

You can also order fresh fruit and vegetables from a local greengrocer. Mixed boxes of fruit, salad and vegetables cost between £10 - £20 depending on the size you want and you can place your order by texting the following number 07894444138. 

It is important that you remain in your accommodation for the full 14-day period as you can be fined if you go outdoors. The only exceptions to you remaining indoors are if you require urgent medical assistance or if you need basic necessities and you have not been able to order these online.

Further information on how to safely self-isolate can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk/coronavirus-covid-19-how-to-self-isolate-when-you-travel-to-the-uk

 

Specific information for applicants

My course requires an interview. Will that now take place?

We are contacting all applicants scheduled to attend an interview to advise them of how we will proceed with their application.

In some subjects, particularly for courses such as nursing and teacher training, we will invite you to a remote interview (by Skype or over the telephone). In some subject areas, a decision may be reached by considering solely the information on the UCAS application. We will contact you directly about the arrangements that will apply for your course.

Will my application to the UK Student Loans Company be affected by the outbreak?

No. UK and EU applicants to courses starting in September 2020 can apply for student finance online as normal.

Where can I get further information about applying to study at Worcester?

If you have questions that haven’t been answered on this page, please get in touch with us in the Admissions Office on admissions@worc.ac.uk

More information about the coronavirus, and our response, can be found on our main coronavirus information page.

Further information

If you are a student and you have a specific question about your course, you should contact your Course Leader or Personal Academic Tutor in the first instance. Questions about the support available to you can be sent to firstpoint@worc.ac.uk