Frequently Asked Questions

A person looking confused

A period of national lockdown will begin in England at 00.01 on Thursday 5th November until the 2nd December. During this time, we know you will have lots of questions. Hopefully you can find some of the answers below or on the University’s website.

What if COVID is affecting my studies?

If you feel that you’re being adversely affected in your studies by the ongoing pandemic, and need an individual conversation, we’re here to help you. You can contact our advice service at or student wellbeing on 01332 593000.

Do I need to self-isolate?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19, or a positive test, then you should self-isolate for 14 days (from the first day of your symptoms) and avoid contact with other household members as much as possible.

Other members of your household, including those who do not have any symptoms, will also need to stay at home and not leave the house for 14 days. Do not go out even to buy food or other essentials, and any exercise should be taken within your home. This 14-day period starts from the day when the first person in your house became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken.

Is the University open?

The University will remain open and will continue to deliver a blend of face-to-face and online learning. You should continue to attend classes as per your timetable, wear a mask if you are able to, and follow signage and advice around the building.

Both Blends and the Union shop (Keddies) will also remain open to provide food, refreshments, and essentials throughout the lockdown period.

Study spaces such as the Library will remain open, although we expect there will be changes to other facilities in line with government guidelines.

It is likely that the Sports Centre will close. Further details on this will follow in due course.

Is it still safe to be living in halls?

Yes it is safe. Make sure you and your flatmates keep updated with the most current government guidelines. If you are concerned, you can reach out to your halls team.

Remember though; you will be required to self-isolate if you, or another member of the flat (household), tests positive for COVID-19.

Can I go back home?

Students have been advised stay at their university address and not move back and forth between their student accommodation and permanent home before the end of term. Remaining in your current term-time residence will reduce the risk of spreading the infection to loved ones and communities around the country and beyond.

Can International Students travel to Derby?

The University has provided information specific to international/European students who may need to self-isolate on arrival to the country.

What is the student travel window?

The government has announced new measures designed to ensure those of you who want to go home for Christmas are able to do so safely for you and your family. This approach creates a ‘student travel window’, with a move to online learning for the final period of the autumn semester, and a nationwide asymptomatic testing scheme.

The Government's Office for Students offers more details on the rules around this window and how students can return home for Christmas

Will the travel window affect my studies?

The University's blended learning model was designed to adapt quickly for such circumstances. This means you can complete your pre-Christmas studies as planned: The last day of face-to-face teaching at the University of Derby is Friday 4th December. All sessions will move online from Monday 7th December until the end of term (18 December 2020).

This approach is to enable anyone wishing to return home for the Christmas holidays to do so safely. The government have developed this strategy to support students moving to different areas for Christmas by minimising their risk of spreading the virus. This reduces risk for the people in the household you’re moving to. You will receive further information from the University as to how this transition to online learning for the last two weeks of the semester will be managed on your course.

For those in University halls, a plan will be developed to ensure a safe and co-ordinated departure from halls if you wish to leave during the ‘student travel window’.

Can I help other students who might be isolating or need support?

Of course! You can apply on our volunteering platform to be part of our amazing team of COVID-19 hotline volunteers.

What is the University's asymptomatic testing centre?

The University have launched an asymptomatic testing centre to ensure that students who want to go home for Christmas can do so safely; students without symptoms, who may be carriers of COVID-19 but unaware, are able to get tested and asked to self-isolate if they are, or reassured quickly if they are not.

They can offer lateral flow tests, which detect the coronavirus antigen that is produced when a person is a carrier of coronavirus. These are quick tests which are analysed on site, with results sent to you via NHS Test and Trace, usually within an hour or two of completion. It is advised that you take two of these tests, three days apart, if you wish to leave your term-time address to travel home for Christmas.

The centre is open until 6 December 2020. To ensure the safety of you and others, and assist in the smooth running of the testing centre, you must:

  • Book an appointment. If you’re not booked in, you will be turned away
  • Arrive at the time your appointment is scheduled. Please do not come early or late. This will help maintain social distancing measures
  • Bring a phone/tablet that can read QR codes to help speed up registration. There will be iPads to assist.

If you have COVID-19 symptoms, you will need to get a PCR test via the NHS testing services. Please do not attend the asymptomatic testing centre.

For more information on the asymptomatic testing scheme visit the COVID-19 tile in UDo.

What will happen after Christmas?

There will be a phased return to teaching from 4 January 2021 onwards:

  • Students on Nursing and Initial Teacher Training programmes will start back, as planned, from the 4th of January 2021.
  • Students on Access and Foundation pathway programmes will start back from Monday the 11th of January 2021
  • All other programmes will start spring semester teaching, as planned, from Monday the 25th of January

Please ensure that you continue to check your timetable and Course Resources for any updates or changes from your programme team.

Campus facilities, libraries and student support will be open for you from the 4th January 2021. Please check the UDo News tile for opening hours.

What tier is the University in?

All of the campuses across Derby, Buxton, and Chesterfield have been placed into Tier 3 (very high alert). The tier allocation will next be reviewed on 16 December 2020. Details on exactly what you can and can’t do in each of the tiers can be found on the government website.

We know that some of you may be travelling home for Christmas. You can find a full list of the current tier allocations on the government website – we recommend you check this before you travel so you’re aware of what guidelines and rules are in place at your destination.

Can I get help with rent due to COVID?

With the current national lockdown restrictions we know that this is a particularly challenging time for all our students. The Union and University have worked together to come up with some financial help for those in University accommodation:

  • The University will not charge you rent for any time you have not used your accommodation due to COVID-19 restrictions between 11th January and 22nd February 2021
  • All students in University of Derby halls of residence, who are eligible to do so, will also receive a two-week reduction in rent. This is due to the impact of restrictions during the end of 2020
  • These reductions will both be applied as waivers to your Term Three rent payment (due April 2021)
  • The University will be working with you on an individual basis to understand your situation

You can read the full statement on our website for all the details.