Arrangements for Spring Term 2021

On Monday 22 February the Prime Minister announced the Government’s roadmap to ease restrictions in England. Find out more about current restrictions.


Term began in January as normal, but due to the new national lockdown and continued restrictions from the Government, to offer some level of stability to our students, we made the very difficult decision that all classroom-based teaching activity will be delivered online for the entirety of the Spring Term. A few exempt courses resumed in-person teaching on Monday 4 January. On Monday 22 February the Prime Minister announced that a small number of other courses with practical or creative elements would also be able to resume access to specialist teaching spaces.

  • We know that moving to online only for classroom-based teaching will have different implications for different subjects/disciplines and we will work closely with Departments to understand the impact and we may need to find alternative ways to meet your programme learning outcomes.

  • Whilst we understand that there are a number of pressing concerns for students, we recognise that those related to final year projects (UG and PGT) are particularly challenging. We are working hard to identify ways to prioritise resumption of these projects as soon as possible, in line with health and safety considerations and UK government guidance.

  • In addition, we know that some programmes in Sciences and Arts & Humanities are dependent on the use of specialist teaching spaces. We are exploring opportunities to prioritise the resumption of in-person teaching activities in these specialist spaces as soon as possible, again in line with health and safety considerations and UK government guidance.

Courses that resumed in-person teaching on Monday 4 January


  • PGCE - All students

Health Sciences

  • BA (Hons) Midwifery Practice - All students

  • BSc (Hons) Nursing - All students

  • MNurs (Hons) Nursing - All students

Hull York Medical School

  • MBBS - All students

Social Policy and Social Work

  • MA in Social Work - 1st Year and 2nd Year students

  • MSocW (Hons) Social Work - 3rd Year students

The government advises that we cannot allow students on other programmes to return to in-person teaching before mid-February at the earliest, and government officials’ recent media appearances suggest a more realistic assessment is that this will be extended, likely into March and for us, through to the end of term.

For more information, this recent letter from Michelle Donelan MP - Minister of State for Universities summarises the new arrangements for the start of term.

What does this mean for my exams?

All exams and assessments will continue to be online for the rest of the 2020/21 academic year. You should make sure you aren't travelling when you’re due to be taking an exam or writing an assessment, however you can complete them in either location (on campus or at home). Study spaces are available on campus should you need them. Read our guidance for online exams.

We know that you will be anxious to hear more about assessment and adjustments, as well as mitigations for students. The University has announced a new set of measures to support students taking exams and submitting assessments during this academic year.

If you are in York

Get tested

It is estimated that 1 in 3 people with coronavirus do not display symptoms, and therefore may be spreading the virus without realising. It is crucial that you get yourself tested using our on-campus facility. Testing is available to all symptom-free students, postgraduate researchers and staff in York.

  • If you visit campus regularly, are a placement student or are receiving in-person teaching, we strongly encourage you to get tested regularly (two tests a week, three days apart).

  • If you’re living off-campus in York, we encourage you to get two tests (three days apart) so that you are not unknowingly contributing to any transmission of Covid-19.

  • We can all help protect vulnerable people in the community and on campus, and help drive rates down so that we can continue to ease restrictions during spring and summer.

Knowing when to self-isolate

  • If you are due to return and your household is self-isolating, you will need to self-isolate upon your arrival.

  • If you test positive or are showing symptoms of Covid-19 while away from university, you must stay where you are and self-isolate, as required by law.

You should let us know that you are self-isolating by filling out the online form.

We've put together a package of support to help you get through your self-isolation period if you need to take one while in York.

Fill out the self-isolation form to unlock:

  • activity packs

  • food packs based on your household's dietary requirements

  • a £40 e-voucher you can spend at retailers including Google Play, Spotify, Just Eat, Sky Store, Deliveroo and others.

Your college team will also ring to check in on how you're feeling and your wellbeing. If you need help with shopping, laundry (if you're on campus) or prescription collection, just ask.

Campus facilities

We want to reassure everyone that the University is not closed. Study spaces, the Library, accommodation, our on-campus supermarkets, on-campus catering, and student support services all remain available. We are reviewing all of our health and safety risk assessments around campus, to provide assurance that we are operating as safely as possible in these difficult circumstances.

If you are yet to travel back to campus

Unless you need to return for in-person teaching, the Government’s message of ‘stay at home’ applies: you should remain where you were over the winter break (for many of you, this will be your family home) and continue your studies online.

There are exceptions to this guidance: students who feel their physical and mental wellbeing will be better served by returning to York can do so, and students who do not have adequate study facilities at home (eg good wifi, computer equipment or study space) should also return.

If you're travelling from overseas

For our international students who have already booked travel or en route, we do not expect you to change your plans and York is ready to welcome and support you.

The UK government requires all travellers arriving into the UK, including students and their families, to present proof of a negative Covid-19 test result, dated no earlier than three days from the date of travel. If you don't have one you could be fined.

All international arrivals are required to complete a passenger locator form before arriving in the UK and self-isolate in their accommodation for ten days (even if you have provided a negative test). Your household will not need to isolate with you unless:

The government's 'Test to Release' scheme offers you the option to take an accredited Covid-19 test from a private testing provider after five days of self-isolation, and a negative test result would release you from the need to isolate from day six. The rapid results testing on campus is not part of this Test to Release scheme.

If you have visited a country with a travel ban to the UK, you cannot use the 'Test to Release' scheme.

Lockdown rent arrangements

The health and wellbeing of students and staff is our first priority at all times. Following the UK Government’s rules is an essential part of protecting yourself and other people.

In the light of this, we can confirm we have taken steps to support our students with accommodation, which replaces previous guidance issued in December 2020 around staggered returns.

Postgraduate researchers

Postgraduate researchers will receive the guidance directly via email, outlining impact for PGRs and implications for GTAs:

Thank you for your patience!

We know that things are confusing right now and the last thing you probably want is more changes to your plans, but we'll do our best to try and make things as simple as possible for you. One thing that will never change is that we'll always be here to help.