Autumn term 2020

Arrangements for Spring Term 2021

Arrivals back to campus will be staggered next term, with specialist spaces-based courses arriving first. If you need to use campus services or study spaces, you can still return earlier than your first in-person session.

We know you'll have lots of questions about what next term will look like. We want to make sure your return to campus is as safe and smooth as possible.

Preparing for Autumn 2020

The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is our number one priority.

We have worked hard to create a covid-secure campus, and to offer the right combination of face-to-face and online teaching. Whether you’re returning to continue your studies, or you’re joining us as a new student, we will provide:

  • An inspiring, stimulating and rewarding learning experience

  • a safe environment to live and learn

  • opportunities to have fun and socialise

  • a caring and supportive community

Learning and teaching

On Wednesday 21 October, we announced that the University is moving to the Department for Education (DfE) Tier 2. There will be a transition week beginning on Monday 26 October, and we will move officially to DfE Tier 2 from Monday 2 November. This means we will increase the proportion of online learning in most programmes. We are committed to giving all students here in York the option of regular face-to-face learning opportunities.

  • The distinctive learning outcomes of your degree programme will remain the same, no matter what your location or mode of delivery.

  • Your programmes and modules will inspire and motivate you.

  • We’ll support you to succeed in your studies.

You can now see your Autumn term timetable: if you have any queries, please contact your department. Large lectures will be delivered solely online this term, which means we’ll have sufficient space for face-to-face teaching such as seminars, tutorials and small groups to be delivered safely.

Changeover times between taught sessions will be managed with staggered starts to minimise large gatherings of people.

If necessary, your department will move some sessions of laboratory work, studio work, performances and field trips to take place later during your studies when Covid-19 risk levels are lower.

Exams and assessments will continue to be delivered online for the time being.

If you are unable to get to campus for the start of the year, we will provide online teaching and support so you can participate wherever you are, until you can join us in York.

Our Library will be open with safety measures in place; they’ll also offer a click and collect service for books. There’ll be fewer study spaces in the Library, but we’re planning to make more spaces available elsewhere on campus.

A safe environment

Your health and safety are our top priority so all student venues, event spaces and sporting facilities will be covid-secure.

Supermarkets and restaurants on campus will be open with strict cleaning schedules and options for takeaway, delivery or pre-ordering for collection.

We’ll provide widespread hand sanitiser stations and washable face coverings for staff and students. We’ll follow the latest Government guidance to put in place appropriate distancing measures right across campus.

We’ll also be partners in City-wide health and safety measures to implement track and trace.


You can book your University accommodation with confidence knowing that we have extra cleaning scheduled, and lots of other measures in place to keep you safe.

If you’re living in a flat with shared kitchen/bathroom facilities, you and your flatmates will be treated as a single household (or ‘Support Bubble’) so you’ll be able to spend time together without the need to socially distance. This also applies to off-campus housing.

If you’re travelling from outside the UK and need to quarantine when you arrive, we can help. If you’ve booked University accommodation, we will offer free accommodation for the two weeks before term starts and assist with food and shopping.

A rich and enjoyable on-campus experience

We want you to have an unrivalled experience at York - you just have to take part in what's on offer. Make new friends or reconnect with existing ones, discover new passions and continue to learn invaluable skills.

Colleges, our students’ union (YUSU) and our Graduate Students’ Association (GSA), are planning a variety of fun and exciting activities throughout the first term. YUSU is working hard to create a new outdoor venue, The Forest, a vast festival site complete with tents, outdoor seating areas, bars, food trucks and more, as well as bigger outdoor seating areas across campus to create safe zones for fun and socialising. Meanwhile, the City of York is making plans so you can continue to enjoy the sights, sounds and unique experiences of this historic and beautiful city.


We’ll welcome new students - undergraduates and postgraduates - with a mixture of face-to face and online events organised by colleges, YUSU and GSA. You’ll have details, and an opportunity to book, before term starts. You’ll be supported to get involved and build social connections even before you join us and this will continue when you get here. For undergraduates, the colleges will provide orientation information and you’ll be supported by our STYCs (Second and Third Year Contacts). For postgraduates, the GSA will create social groups, and will work with the International Students Society to welcome new international students.

We encourage you to join communities, clubs and societies and take advantage of the many opportunities to try things you’ve never done before.

Events and activities

Events and activities are organised throughout the academic year by YUSU, GSA, the colleges and student groups.

This term’s programme of events will be tailored around suitable indoor and outdoor spaces, some with facilities to safely serve food and drink, and are expected to include silent discos, cinema screenings, drama and comedy performances, art activities, and volunteering opportunities.

A caring and supportive community

These are challenging times but don’t worry, there’s plenty of support available should you need it.

Even if you’re living off campus this coming year, your college team is there for you, offering welfare support and guidance. They can help with issues relating to college life and wellbeing.

You’ll meet regularly with your academic supervisor who will advise you on your academic progress and support your personal development.

Wellbeing and welfare support

The advisers in our Student Hub can help with practical matters such as finance issues, money worries, private accommodation issues, health concerns, immigration advice and academic progress issues - they can refer you to specialist services too, like our Open Door and Disability Services team, and help will be available in person and online. There is also independent advice available through YUSU and GSA, and lots of resources available to you online, including The Big White Wall community.

Skills and careers support

Our Careers and Placements team will provide online and face-to-face support, including appointments with Careers Advisors. Some larger events, like Careers Fairs and employer events, will take place online. This Autumn, we’re launching a new student employability journey to guide you through what you need to do and when to prepare for your future.

Study skills support, including support for language skills, information gathering, referencing and IT, will be available to all students through the Maths Skills and Writing Centres, the Academic Liaison Librarians, and IT Services.

Studying or working abroad

If you are applying for a study/work placement abroad in 2021/22 you should continue with your preparations to go global and our Global Programmes team will support you with the application process.

Find out how to apply at the Virtual Global Opportunities Fair or make an appointment to speak to a Global Programmes Advisor online or face to face by emailing

Any other concerns?

Some of you may still feel concerned about returning to York this Autumn, and that's understandable. We've provided information to allay your concerns about finance, safety, and options for teaching and learning.

We’re looking forward to seeing you!

Whether you join us on or off-campus, this September is set to be an exciting and safe time to continue - or begin - your journey at York.