Coronavirus Information

Page last updated: Tuesday 28 May 2020 3.30pm

This page is to inform staff and students about preparations we're making in response to Coronavirus (COVID-19), and to answer your general questions.

As this is a fast developing situation, we will keep this page updated with the latest advice from the UK Government. We appreciate that staff and students may be feeling anxious and concerned. Our priority will always be to keep our students, staff and the wider community safe.

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University Coronavirus Information Line

With effect from Monday 23 March and until further notice, the University is operating a very limited opening arrangement due to the ongoing Coronavirus outbreak.

We have set up an information line to manage enquiries from students, parents and guardians, regarding our response.

Email: infoline@port.ac.uk

Telephone: +44 (0)23 9284 5588

The phone line is open Monday – Thursday 9.00am – 5.00pm and Friday 9.00am – 4.00pm.


Staff

If you’re a research staff member, please find FAQs on the Research and Innovation website.

Working from home

All staff are required to work remotely from home, with effect from Monday 23 March 2020 until further notice.

Any possible exceptions to this will be identified by Executive Deans/Faculty Managers and Heads or Directors of Professional Services. If identified as an exception, you’ll be notified directly by your line manager and appropriate arrangements put in place. Please read our working from home guidance.

Resources

The University has resources to work anywhere including a Virtual Private Network (VPN), Apps Anywhere, Webex Classrooms and Google Meets for virtual meetings and online learning. You can find a full guide to using these resources in our work anywhere guidance.

Using a University laptop off-campus

We have online guidance for working with a University laptop from home. You may take small peripheral items that enhance your remote working environment, such as a mouse or keyboard. Please notify your line manager if you do this.

We appreciate there are specific challenges to colleagues who are now working from home while looking after children who can’t go to school or nursery, supporting home teaching or have other caring responsibilities.

We understand how difficult it is to juggle all of these demands. It’s important to try to think flexibly about how you work and manage your workload. We also recognise that some of you will experience difficulties maintaining your regular hours or your normal level of output. 

In such cases, it’s important you talk this through with your line manager, who will discuss and agree what options might best suit your circumstances. Your line manager can also talk to HR for support.

Your wellbeing is important to us. Options that might be available to you include:

  • Temporarily reducing your hours to help balance caring responsibilities and work
  • Working a compressed week by working longer hours per day allowing you to take some days off during the week so caring duties can be shared between parents/carers
  • Working in blocks of time throughout the day where appropriate, rather than in one session

For further support and to see if any other options can be considered for your circumstances, please email hrsupportcoronavirus@port.ac.uk

We’ve put together updated guidance and information for staff and managers about annual leave during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Guidance on self isolation

If you have a case of coronavirus confirmed by testing or are self-isolating with symptoms, notify your line manager immediately and update your ESS record as soon as you are able. 

In both cases, the University’s standard sickness absence reporting procedure will apply. Please see the Managing Sickness Absence Policy for further details. 

Follow the Public Health England guidance for self-isolating at home. If symptoms persist and you remain unfit for work beyond 7 days you must get a self-isolation note via NHS 111 to cover your period of sickness absence and send it to occupationalhealth@port.ac.uk.

When you’re fit to return to work, notify your manager as per sickness absence procedure. We recommend a management referral to the Occupational Health Service if you’ve been absent for more than 14 days with Covid 19 symptoms. 

Coping with symptoms

If you can’t cope with your symptoms at home, your condition gets worse, or your symptoms remain after 7 days, use the NHS 111 online coronavirus service. If you do not have internet access, call NHS 111. For a medical emergency dial 999.

Shielding is a measure to protect you if you're clinically extremely vulnerable by minimising all interaction between yourself and others.

If you have serious underlying health conditions that put you at a very high risk of severe illness from coronavirus, we strongly advise you to rigorously follow shielding measures to keep yourself safe.

If you have coronavirus symptoms but continue to work, or don’t have symptoms but are required to shield and are working from home, this won’t be recorded as sickness absence. If you’ve been advised to shield and are employed in a Critical Key Worker post, please discuss this with your line manager or HR. If you’re shielding for the specified period, you must notify the Corporate Health and Safety Covid-19 team without delay through our COVID-19 Shielding form.

Developing symptoms

If you develop coronavirus symptoms while shielding and you can't work from hom, your absence will be treated as sickness absence. The University’s standard sickness absence reporting procedure will apply from the date your symptoms appear. Please see the Managing Sickness Absence Policy for further details. You must also notify your line manager and update your ESS record without delay.

Follow the Government and Public Health England guidance on shielding.

If you live in a household with others displaying symptoms of coronavirus, you should self-isolate in line with government guidance and notify your line manager as soon as possible.

If you or a member of your household is displaying mild symptoms but you feel able to work, discuss this with your line manager and make the necessary arrangements for working remotely at home. If it’s been agreed with your line manager that working from home remotely isn’t possible, you’ll still be paid for your period of self-isolation.

You also need to send an email to hrsupportcoronavirus@port.ac.uk detailing your period of self-isolation, whether you have a confirmed case of coronavirus, whether you’ll be taking the period of self-isolation as sickness absence or whether you intend to work remotely during this period. This is to ensure that HR records your absences correctly.

If your symptoms during self-isolation change and you are no longer able to work remotely from home, please notify your line manager and send an update email to hrsupportcoronavirus@port.ac.uk.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice took effect from 17 March 2020 and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

The coronavirus pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.

If you need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:

  1. contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
  2. get in touch with your insurance provider
  3. continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance

The FCO was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.

As a staff member, if your travel is essential, please follow the proper process for travelling overseas on University business by visiting our overseas travel webpages.

If you were on holiday in a coronavirus affected area and can’t return home because your flight has been cancelled, it may be possible for you to identify other methods of getting back home.

However, if alternatives are not available, there are several ways you can manage this:

  • using annual leave
  • agreeing remote working from an alternative location, using the working from home guidance 
  • use of TOIL or unpaid leave

Further advice can be obtained from HR by emailing hrsupportcoronavirus@port.ac.uk.

Further guidance

You’ll be paid for all hours where you are contracted and scheduled to work. You may be expected to work remotely from home and your line manager will put in place suitable arrangements to facilitate this. 

You'll be paid for all hours where you are contracted and scheduled to work. Your Head of School will identify suitable alternative work that you will be able to undertake whilst face-to-face teaching is suspended.

Part of the new working from home arrangements means that you’ll receive an extra £30 per month to support additional costs. Some staff have said they would like to donate it to students experiencing hardship as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

If you wish to, you can donate your allowance to the University Support Fund to assist our vulnerable students throughout this difficult time. You can do this by making a payment on the online store.

Please be aware that if you do this, any donations will be in addition to the support the University is able to provide, to maximise the funds available to support our students.

On Friday 20 March 2020, the Chancellor announced a new Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme ('the Scheme') to help pay wages. 

All employers severely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic can access a Government grant, via HMRC and the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, to reimburse them for specified employment costs for employees who remain on payroll but are temporarily not working during the Coronavirus outbreak. The employee must be placed on furlough (a temporary status whilst there is no work available for them to do).

Duration of the Job Retention Scheme

The Scheme will run for at least 3 months from 1 March 2020. It will be extended if necessary.

Definition of Furlough

Furlough (from Dutch: verlof, 'leave of absence') is a temporary leave of employees due to special needs of a company or employer, which may be due to economic conditions at the specific employer or in the economy as a whole. This term has been adopted by the Government in relation to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme.

Furloughed staff

If you are furloughed under the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme, you'll remain an employee of the University during the furlough period and a valued team member. You'll need to be ready to return to your job at the end of the furlough period.

The University will identify and notify those of you who are suitable to move onto the Scheme. You’ll receive confirmation of your furlough status in writing and a record of this communication will be kept for at least 5 years, as a mandatory condition of the Scheme.

Impact on pay and terms and conditions of employment

The Government grant under the Job Retention Scheme is 80% of wage costs, but the University will continue to pay you your full contractual rate of pay and benefits, including pension. All other contractual terms and conditions will be honoured during this period and there will be no impact on your continuous service.

Recently joined staff

You must have been on the University’s payroll at 28 February 2020 in order to qualify for the Scheme.

Annual Leave

The Government has clarified its position on taking holiday while on furlough. You should take and book holidays, including bank holidays, while on furlough. Generally, you can only carry over 5 days leave to the next year, when signed off by line management in exceptional cases. 

Staff on sickness absence

If you are not at work due to sickness absence, you cannot be furloughed until you're fit and able to return to work.

Shielding 

If you are shielding in line with public health guidance, or need to stay home with someone who is shielding, you can be furloughed if you’re unable to work from home.

If this applies to you, you should speak with their line manager, who will contact the HR Employment Practice Team for appropriate support and advice.

Continuing work if you’ve been furloughed 

Other than training (which the updated Government guidance now encourages during furlough) it is a condition of the Scheme that you must not work for the University if you’ve been furloughed.

Continuing voluntary work if you’ve been furloughed 

Volunteering for the NHS and the new statutory right to emergency volunteering leave for certain employees are separate to the Scheme. If you’re furloughed, you can take part in emergency volunteer work as long as it doesn’t provide services or generate revenue for the University. 

Rotating employees on and off furlough

Furlough can be rotational and there is no limit on the number of times you can be furloughed. However, each furlough leave period should be a minimum of 3 weeks in order to comply with the Scheme.

Rotation can be used when certain roles are required but in reduced numbers during the lockdown period. For example, rather than placing half of the team on furlough and requiring half the team to work, you can rotate furloughing across the whole team, so long as the furlough period for each employee is a minimum of 3 weeks. Operational requirements will determine whether this arrangement is appropriate and the length of each furlough period (as long as it meets the minimum 3 week criteria).

If you’re furloughed on a rotational basis, you should be notified of this at the outset and HR will need to be informed so that they can ensure that furloughing is appropriately applied.


Current students

Our coronavirus guidance for current students includes advice on self-isolation and changes to University life, as well as focused information for international and study abroad students, and postgraduate research students.

Guidance on self-isolation

We suspended all face-to-face teaching for students on taught programmes from 13 March to help ensure student and staff wellbeing, as a precaution against coronavirus. 

We are not closing the University – just changing the way we deliver teaching. We will continue your studies online, with new assessment arrangements being put in place. While the mode of study will change, you continue as a registered student of the University and will continue to be supported as a student, albeit through different means. Teaching will continue, and this will involve the full engagement of staff.

This is an unprecedented situation, and this decision has not been taken lightly. We feel this is a proportional response to reduce the risk.

The NHS has provided stay at home and self-isolation advice in line with government guidance.

If you're self-isolating at either University or at home you need to inform us by completing this authorised absence form. You must also report this information to your Personal Tutor. They will ask you some questions to make sure the University properly understands your situation, so that we can provide you with support and signpost you to relevant services.

If you’re self-isolating in private accommodation - including halls of residence not owned by the University - please speak to your landlord, housemates and family to see if alternative accommodation arrangements can be made. 

If you’re self-isolating in one of the University halls of residence - please contact our Coronavirus Information line on +44 (0)23 9284 5588 (9am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday) or by email infoline@port.ac.uk. Out of hours messages will be responded to as soon as possible. For urgent out of hours coronavirus queries and welfare support in University-owned halls please call Security on +44 (0)23 9284 3418.

Don’t worry if you aren't registered with a GP surgery. If you think you may have symptoms of coronavirus, then you shouldn’t be visiting general practitioners, walk in centres or A&E. Instead, you should be self-isolating, checking NHS guidance and contacting NHS 111 where necessary

University life

In response to the rapidly changing Coronavirus situation, we've had to make some reasonable changes to our assessment practices and our Examination and Assessment Regulations. See our exams and assessments infographic (PDF) for a quick guide to our no detriment policies.

These changes will take into account the impact the coronavirus outbreak may be having on your ability to study and finish assessments during the final weeks of this academic year. 

If you have any queries relating to these changes, please contact your Personal Tutor for further advice and support.

In light of coronavirus and current Government advice, we've taken the difficult decision to postpone graduation ceremonies due to take place in July. You'll still be awarded your qualification, and we're looking at new dates so we can welcome you back and provide the celebration you deserve.

Please find further information on our graduation page.

Student Finance England have confirmed that student loans will not be affected. The University will be informed if this changes and you can check for updates on the Student Loans Company website or by logging into your Student Finance England account.

There will be no change to your course fee payments. While face-to-face teaching has been suspended, teaching is being delivered online with the full engagement of staff.

The Student Finance Team can be contacted by email on studentfinance@port.ac.uk.

Your personal tutor will be contacting you to check on your wellbeing. A number of other support services are also available.

Academic support:

  • Academic Skills Unit (ASK) – for 1-to-1 and small group tutorials and guidance on any aspect of coursework via Google Hangouts/Meet, WebEx, Zoom as well as phone and email tutorials, book an appointment by emailing academicskills@port.ac.uk
  • Additional Support and Disability Advice Centre – for phone, email or video support including specialist study skills and assistive technology tutors, book an appointment by emailing asdac@port.ac.uk 
  • Student Finance Centre – for money advice and guidance, and the administration of hardship funds call +44 (0)23 9284 3014 or email studentfinance@port.ac.uk
  • Students' Union Advice Centre – contact them on +44(0)23 92 843478 or by emailing advice@upsu.net

Wellbeing support:

  • The Student Wellbeing Service – for support via video, email and phone please email wellbeing-admin@port.ac.uk to make arrangements
  • The WhatsUp App provides daily tools to promote positive mental health and connections – download it to your Android and Apple devices
  • Chaplaincy support – for a listening ear, please email chaplains@port.ac.uk or call +44 (0)23 9284 3030
  • Residential Life support in halls of residence – contact them on +44(0)23 9284 3418 or by emailing reslife@port.ac.uk
  • Students can also seek support from the NHS and Solent Mind run service called Positive Minds
  • The Speak UP form – an anonymous tool to record any incident or situation where students have experienced or witnessed discrimination, hate crime, bullying, violence or sexual violence

It’s with great regret that we must close the Library in line with government advice, but there is no alternative. It’s important we support the efforts being made to contain the spread of the virus and ensure the health and wellbeing of staff and students by observing government advice.

Library chat service

Library staff have moved from the Library Help Desk to working remotely to protect everyone during the current viral outbreak. Instead of giving face-to-face support over the next few weeks, we’re staffing our online chat and email support services more heavily. 

All our chat handling teams are experts in finding, accessing and referencing information and will be more than happy to help you. Go to the Library website and click on the blue and white chat (speech bubble) button on the right-hand side.

Book Returns

Hold on to books you currently have, as there are no facilities to return books to the library. All books on loan will automatically renew and no automatic recall notices will be issued. 

Physical books with no electronic version

If you require a physical book that we don’t have an electronic copy of, please email library@port.ac.uk and we will try to acquire an electronic copy if possible. If an electronic copy isn’t available, we’ll put you in touch with your Faculty Librarian and Assistant Faculty Librarian who will try to help you find the information you need from an alternative source.

You can request to be released from your current University-owned halls of residence accommodation contract in Bateson, Harry Law, Rees and Burrell House. This is optional and you aren't required to give up your accommodation if you don't want to. We'll continue to support you if you stay in University halls of residence. However, if you would like to take up the option of being released from your contract and no longer staying on site, you won't need to pay your final hall fee instalment. We'll communicate directly with all affected students to explain how this process will work.

Unite has announced they won't charge students for any outstanding rent if they aren't staying in accommodation for their 3rd term (but you have to let them know!). Visit the Unite website to find out more and for details of the information you'll need to provide. You need to email cancellations@unitestudents.com by Friday 10 April 2020.

The Students' Union has made the difficult decision to cease all group activities for this academic year. It is with regret we ask all student groups to cancel any further group meetings, events and activity in general that requires meeting in person (both on or off campus) for the rest of the 2019/20 academic year. 

British Universities & Colleges Sport (BUCS) has suspended all BUCS activity until Wednesday 1 April, both sporting and non-sporting. With the recent government advice to employ social distancing, Sport and Recreation have taken the decision to suspend all Sports Club training sessions to help ensure your wellbeing as a precaution against coronavirus.

The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) now advises British people against all non-essential travel worldwide. This advice takes effect immediately (from 17 March 2020) and applies initially for a period of 30 days.

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice.

If you now need to change or cancel your travel plans, follow these steps:

  1. contact your airline, travel company, cruise line or other transport and accommodation providers
  2. get in touch with your insurance provider
  3. continue to follow the NHS coronavirus guidance

The FCO was already advising against all but essential travel or all travel to some areas or countries due to risks that do not relate to COVID-19. This advice remains in place. Check FCO travel advice pages for the latest information.

International or study abroad students

If you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020, you'll be subject to the UK government's self-isolation rules. Under these rules you must:

  • provide details of your journey and your contact details when you travel to the UK
  • not leave the place you're staying for your first 14 days in the UK (except in very limited situations)

You may be fined if you fail to provide details of where you plan to stay and/or if you do not self-isolate.

You must think about the extra days when planning your travel to the UK. During this time you won't be able to attend the University, see other people or leave your accommodation except for very limited reasons.

We don't know how long these measures will be in place and they may be subject to change at short notice. You can find further details in the government's guide to entering the UK.

If you have any questions please contact the International Student Advice team at international.student.adviser@port.ac.uk.

Students abroad

We've made the decision to recall students doing a placement or exchange or study abroad overseas back to the UK (if your place of residence is in the UK) or to your home country (if your place of residence is not in the UK). We'll work to bring you safely home

You should have received correspondence via your exchange coordinators or placement officers. Please contact them if there are any issues.

If you’re on a Tier 4 visa and on exchange or placement abroad, the University will continue to sponsor you unless you withdraw or suspend from the programme of study. The UKVI have also confirmed that we would not be required to withdraw Tier 4 sponsorship for students who cannot attend for more than 60 days due to these exceptional circumstances.

Students in the UK

If you're studying with us as part of the exchange or study abroad programme, we've moved from face to face delivery to alternative delivery which doesn't require your presence in Portsmouth. This includes the assessments for any modules or courses you're registered for. 

If you leave the UK, or have left already, you should complete the authorised absence form. If you decide to leave Portsmouth before the formal end of your course please let the Exchanges and Study Abroad team know at studyabroad@port.ac.uk.

We advise you to confirm with your home university or institution that you're able to return home to complete your studies using the alternative delivery method. If you’re on a Tier 4 visa and on exchange or placement abroad, the University will continue to sponsor you unless you withdraw or suspend from the programme of study. 

Leaving the UK and returning home

You can leave the UK and go home and you don't have to wait until you have finished your work if you wish to study from your home country. We expect you to continue to engage with learning and assessments provided online. 

The University will continue to sponsor your Tier 4 visa during this period. If you leave before the end date of your programme, you should complete the authorised absence form.

Continuing to work in the UK

There are no changes to your work (employment) permissions. You'll continue to be restricted during term time, as you will be expected to be working on your studies. Term times remain the same at this time.

You can work more than the hours stated on your Tier 4 visas in the following periods:

Undergraduates

  • Easter Vacation: Monday 30 March – Sunday 19 April
  • Summer Vacation: Monday 22 June – Sunday 13 September

Postgraduate Taught (Master’s)

  • Easter Vacation: Monday 30 March – Sunday 19 April
  • After this date, you're considered to be in term time until the end of their course as confirmed on your CAS (for the majority of students this will be 30 September 2020)

Postgraduate Research

  • You'll continue to be in term time other than approved 6 weeks of annual leave – please refer to the Research Degree website for further information if required or contact the Research Degree Team at researchdegrees@port.ac.uk

University engagement monitoring as required under Tier 4

Your engagement via Moodle will be monitored along with online submission of work and assessments. If virtual meetings take place, such as Skype meetings or telephone interactions with project tutors/supervisors, these will also be used as evidence of engagement.

Suspending or withdrawing from course

If you're not continuing with your current course the normal processes apply. Contact your MyPort Hub and complete the appropriate paperwork.

The University is then required to inform the Home Office and withdraw sponsorship for your Tier 4 visa. The University will send you a confirmation email when this has been done and advise you on how long you have to leave the UK.

Accessing health care

The Immigration Health Surcharge paid as part of a Tier 4 visa application gives you access to the UK health care system in the same way as a British Citizen. If you have a visa for less than 6 months, you won't have paid the Immigration Health Surcharge and will need to ensure you have medical insurance to cover any non-emergency care.

If you need hospital treatment in the UK, the NHS have published useful information about what to expect.  

Visa expiration

If your visa has expired, or expires between 24 January and 31 May 2020, and you can't return home because of travel restrictions, the Home Office will extend it for you up to 31 May 2020. You need to make a free of charge online application.

You should keep a copy of all correspondence with the Home Office regarding this visa extension.

Further information can be found in the government guidance.

The Home Office will let you know when they receive your request, and when your visa has been extended.

If you have any further questions please contact the International Student Advice Team at international.student.adviser@port.ac.uk.

Work placements

If your work placement in the UK ends early you can remain in the UK with authorised absence or return to your home country, if you can. The University will continue to sponsor your current Tier 4 visa. If you decide to withdraw or suspend from your course you Tier 4 leave will be withdrawn. 

Students at International College Portsmouth (ICP)

International College Portsmouth will provide guidance,which will be emailed to you. The University will continue to sponsor you on your Tier 4 leave as long as you're fully engaging on your course remotely. 

Police Registration

If you have a Police Registration Certificate and you have left the UK, please email nationalities@hampshire.pnn.police.uk to inform them. Please include your Police Registration Certificate Number in your email.

Postgraduate research students

You can submit work and relevant forms for annual reviews, major reviews and theses electronically. You'll receive email prompts in advance of your deadlines.

Theses should be submitted to researchdegrees@port.ac.uk, unless an alternative email address is provided. When submitting a thesis, please copy in your first supervisor.

Where a PhD by publication can't be submitted electronically, an appropriate methodology for submission must be agreed by the Faculty Research Degrees Coordinator (FRDC). Your supervisor or Departmental Research Degrees Coordinator (DRDC) should also be able to advise.

Annual reviews, major reviews and vivas will be conducted online if all parties are happy to do so. If one or more of those present is not happy to do so, the date will need to be deferred. Where the outcome of a meeting is to undertake more work, candidates will be advised appropriately on when this can be commenced.

Where a student is experiencing difficulties in meeting deadlines to complete post-viva thesis corrections, the First Supervisor (or if necessary the FRDC) is able to approve extenuating circumstances and set a revised deadline.

Please see the Graduate School Moodle page for further details on reviews, vivas and interim examinations.

If you think your research timeline will be seriously affected by COVID-19, you'll be able to apply for an extension or interruption in the normal way. Any COVID-19 related issues will be taken into account when assessing delays and changes to thesis research through the annual review process.

All placements and field work involving face-to-face contact are suspended, and you should meet with your supervisor to discuss this.

If you're on an overseas placement The University will work on repatriating you, unless it's safer for you to remain where you are.

If you expect to come in close contact with human participants then you must suspend your research. Where possible, online research methods should be used instead. Where this is impossible, talk to your supervisor and consider:

  • alternative means to collect data
  • how to delay face-to-face aspects of the research
  • re-submission to the ethics committee so they can consider the safety aspects of face-to-face research

If your research relies on facilities you can't access, talk to your supervisor to find out if alternative activities can be carried out until you get access to the equipment or facilities. There's some helpful guidance from the department of United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI) for researchers in general as well as DTP and other research council-funded students.

Updated guidance has been provided on extension arrangements for fees and bursaries for university, research council and other funding sources. Please see the Graduate School Moodle page for further details on registration, fees and funding.

Postgraduate research students can now apply for financial help through the University Support Fund until the end of the 2020 academic year for exceptional and clearly justified hardships arising from the coronavirus situation.

If it becomes impossible to actively pursue your research, you'll need to discuss this with your supervisor(s).

Interruptions may be granted beyond the normal 1 year limit (2 years for PT) by the FRDC in exceptional cases. The extended interruption should not be in excess of that which is proportional to the nature of the interruption and time required.

You should talk to your supervisor and funder to consider any financial implications. Please see the Graduate School Moodle page for further details.

Talk to your supervisor about an interruption of studies to consider any financial implications. More information about the PGR bursary interviews and supervision meetings is on the Graduate School Moodle page.

Graduate School Events

All Graduate School and related events have been cancelled until further notice. However, online alternatives are being prepared and information about these will be provided as soon as possible.

Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) Sessions

GSDP sessions will be delivered online. If you're booked on a session or on the waiting list you'll be contacted with instructions for accessing the session. You also have access to a suite of GSDP online modules.

GSDP online modules will accrue the same hours as the face-to-face equivalents and you can record this in SkillsForge using a Certificate of Completion.

Up to date information about the current situation, working away from home and online training opportunities (such as LinkedIn Learning) is available on Moodle

GProf Sessions

If you've completed the GProf Orientation Session in 2019/20, you can use some online resources to complete the course. Alternatively, you may wish to wait until we return to experience the benefit of working with peers in the practical sessions (extra sessions will be available).

See more guidance on the GProf coronavirus arrangements. If you haven't completed GProf Orientation, you should register for the new course in October 2020.

Research Supervision Events (RSE)

Most Graduate School workshops for supervisors have good resources online, including videos of previous sessions, links, and for mandatory/required sessions we have full online training packages. If you're booked on an RSE session between now and September, you'll be emailed a link to current resources available to you before the session.

Please see the Graduate School research supervision events page for more information.

Further information on our research activity can be found on the Graduate School Moodle page.

Please email the Graduate School on graduate.school@port.ac.uk or the Graduate School Development Programme (GSDP) on gsdp@port.ac.uk if you have any further questions.


Prospective students

General guidance

The UK Government has cancelled exams and assessments, including A-levels, in May and June 2020. 

Instead of using exam results to determine your grades, the exam regulator and exam boards are working with teachers to give you grades that reflect the work you've already done. Exam boards aim to confirm results by the end of July. For further information, see our guidance on getting A level and exam results following coronavirus cancellations.

Please check back here for updates. You can also check the UCAS website for up-to-date information. You can read more about the assessment methods replacing exams on the Government website.

If you're undergoing assessments at another university that impact your application to study with us, we recognise the coronavirus outbreak may affect your ability to engage and complete your assessments.

Universities are making adjustments to assessment practices and Examination and Assessment Regulations, and we'll take those adjustments into account when reviewing your place here with us.

We're working on giving you the full Open Day experience from the comfort of your home in case we can't hold Open Days on campus because of the Coronavirus outbreak.

Please book on to your preferred Open Day date as normal. We'll update you with any changes.

In the meantime, you can explore the city and the University by visiting our Virtual Experience page.

We're still open and accepting applications for all levels of study. Please visit our how to apply pages for more information or contact the University Admissions Centre at admissions@port.ac.uk.

We'll still consider your application even though exams have been cancelled. We're working through applications every day to ensure they're assessed and applicants receive a decision as soon as possible.

If you've applied for an undergraduate course and have accepted a conditional offer, we may be able to confirm your place earlier than official results day on 13 August. If you don't get the grades needed, you may be able to apply through Clearing earlier. But we can't guarantee this. Many universities, including us, will need to make changes to admission processes in light of exams being cancelled.

We want to treat all applicants fairly and ensure we can support you in transitioning to higher education this year. 

If you've applied for a postgraduate course and have received a conditional offer, we'll continue to process your application as normal. In light of the crisis, universities are having to make adjustments to assessment practices and Examination and Assessment Regulations. We recognise the coronavirus outbreak may affect your ability to engage and complete your assessments and we have therefore factored this into our Extenuating Circumstances (ECF) criteria. 

Your unconditional offer remains unconditional and isn't affected by exam cancellations or assessment changes. 

If you hold an offer to start in Autumn 2020 and are thinking of deferring, please contact us to discuss your options: 

If you've been invited to an interview for your course, please contact interviews@port.ac.uk and we will advise you of the arrangements.

If you've applied to study a research degree with us and you need to attend an interview, a member of staff will contact you and advise you of the arrangements.

If you've applied for a postgraduate course that requires an Academic Technology Approval Scheme (ATAS) certificate, please note that the Government has temporarily suspended the processing of ATAS certificates. Your offer letter will include this as a condition if required.

If you urgently require ATAS because your course is due to commence shortly, please contact CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

Along with other UK universities, we are working with the Government to resolve this as soon as possible and are hopeful that ATAS processing will restart soon. Meanwhile, we will do our very best to keep our applicants fully updated.

International students

If you arrive in the UK on or after 8 June 2020, you'll be subject to the UK government's self-isolation rules. Under these rules you must:

  • provide details of your journey and your contact details when you travel to the UK
  • not leave the place you're staying for your first 14 days in the UK (except in very limited situations)

You may be fined if you fail to provide details of where you plan to stay and/or if you do not self-isolate.

You must think about the extra days when planning your travel to the UK. During this time you won't be able to attend the University, see other people or leave your accommodation except for very limited reasons.

We don't know how long these measures will be in place and they may be subject to change at short notice. You can find further details in the government's guide to entering the UK.

If you have any questions please contact the International Student Advice team at tier4-visa@port.ac.uk.

We accept other equivalent tests or evidence of English Language proficiency if IELTS have been cancelled in your country. Our english language requirements page has a full list of acceptable qualifications.

 

We have suspended face-to-face teaching and it is uncertain when this will resume. Therefore, you can now study our pre-sessional English courses online. Please find further information on our pre-sessional English webpage.

At present, you'll still need to provide a deposit or suitable sponsor letter to receive an unconditional offer. However, we've updated our deposit policy so if you're unable to attend due to coronavirus, you'll receive a full refund of your deposit.

Please check back here for updates as the situation progresses. You can find further information on our Tier 4 visa page.

Delayed visa applications

At present, the latest date for registration is 3 weeks from the start date of the programme. So the latest you can join us is the 5th October. Please note, some courses do not allow for late registration

We have postgraduate courses and top-up undergraduate programmes you can begin in January 2021. More will be added at a later date. Take a look at courses starting in January 2021.

To defer your September 2020 application to January 2021, please email global-assist@port.ac.uk. If you defer your start date, you're still guaranteed a place as long as you meet all your conditions subject to course capacity and any course and entry requirements changes.

If you're a postgraduate research student unable to join us in September 2020, you can start in the following January or April.

We are aware that different examination boards and countries are taking different approaches to exams. We'll look at this on a country by country basis. In some countries, such as the UK, the A level and IB Boards are assessing the students on the basis of achievement so far, and will provide an appropriate grade for them. In such a case we would accept the official results from the relevant examination board or examination authority in your country. We're also working to better understand the impact not being able to attend school or college may have on your grades.

If you're unable to meet your conditions in time (by 31 August 2020 for most offer holders) due to the coronavirus, keep checking this page for updates.

 

You won't be able to apply for a visa to study with us as, in most cases, part of the UKVI visa process requires you to produce your transcript and results with your visa application.

If you can't give us your final transcript in time (by 31 August 2020 for most offer holders) due to the coronavirus, keep checking this page for updates.

 

If you're unable to meet your conditions in time (by 31 August 2020 for most offer holders) due to the coronavirus, please email us at global-assist@port.ac.uk and we'll work with you to explore the options available to you. 

You'll be offered a guaranteed room in halls if you apply for accommodation as a new full-time undergraduate student and make us your firm, first choice before 30 June.

Please email the Global Office at global@port.ac.uk if you have any further questions.

You can also speak to our specialist staff in key locations including China, Malaysia, Nigeria, India, Bangladesh and Pakistan.


Study and work abroad 2020/21

Due to continuing uncertainty over potential restrictions and the safety of travel in the autumn, we've decided to suspend all student exchanges abroad and international placements for Teaching Block 1 2020/21. Your health, safety and wellbeing are our priority and we believe the alternative options provided to you will enable you to progress with your course without disruption.

Our guidance below is for our outbound and inbound students on a study/work abroad mobility for 2020/21.

University of Portsmouth students planning to do a Study Exchange Abroad or international placement in 2020/21

Suspending your exchanges and placements has not been an easy decision. There remains uncertainty around the spread of the coronavirus virus and our primary concern is your health, safety and wellbeing and ensuring you can continue and complete your programmes of study. Some of our partner institutions have made the same decision, cancelling all inbound mobility and there is a complicated picture of worldwide travel restrictions and limited flight availability.

We’ve made the difficult decision to give you clarity on your options for the next academic year with as little disruption as possible and as early as possible to allow you sufficient time to make an informed decision. We also had to take into consideration that you’ll need to make alternative arrangements for whichever decision is made (such as accommodation).

If a compulsory placement is part of your degree, the University will make alternative arrangements to allow you to meet the requirements of your degree course or to transfer to a 3-year variant of your degree course.

The details of these arrangements vary from course to course and you’ll have been contacted directly by your Faculty or School by email. We encourage you to check your emails frequently. If you are still unclear or wish to discuss the options further, please contact your Exchange Coordinator as soon as possible.

For advice on tuition fees if you’re no longer working or studying abroad in Teaching Block 1, please contact the Student Administration Services at tuition.fees@port.ac.uk or on +44 (0)23 9284 7745. If you need to speak to someone in person, please contact them to assist you.

If you applied for a tuition fee or maintenance loan from Student Finance England and are unsure of the impact on your loan application, please contact the University’s Student Finance Centre at studentfinance@port.ac.uk. They will need to know what alternative option you’re taking now your placement has been cancelled.

We understand you may not have made any arrangements for accommodation in Portsmouth. If you need support to find accommodation, please contact our Student Housing team at student.housing@port.ac.uk or on +44 (0)23 9284 3214.

The University has taken the decision that our start date for the academic year 2020/21 will be the 5th of October 2020. You should have received an email on the changes to the next academic year. Please see our revised academic calendar for further details.

If you’re still intending to study abroad in Teaching Block 2, you’ll need to compare the revised academic calendar with that of your host institution. Your Exchange Coordinator can support you with this.

If you still have the option to do an in-person mobility experience overseas at your host institution or organisation in Teaching Block 2, then you’ll be eligible to apply for an Erasmus+ grant as part of your approved course plans.

If you have any questions about Erasmus+ funding, please contact the Exchanges and Study Abroad team at studyabroad@port.ac.uk.

The UK is eligible to participate in the Erasmus+ programme until its end. This means we can support all study/work abroad opportunities for the academic year 2020/21. However, other practical arrangements will need to be considered such as travel and insurance and there may be a need to apply for a visa to study or work for the host country. The UK Government is negotiating these details and our Brexit information page will always be kept up-to-date.

If you wish to defer your next year of study and resume on your year abroad in 2021/22, you can. However, there is no guarantee how the coronavirus pandemic will unfold at this current stage and it’s too early to assess the situation and provide you with firm options for that academic year. Please contact your Exchange Coordinator to discuss this option.

Exchange inbound students who would attend the Autumn term 2020/21

Due to continuing uncertainty over potential restrictions and the safety of travel, we’ve taken the difficult decision to cancel our student exchange programme for the remainder of 2020. We understand that this is a disappointing outcome for you, but sincerely believe this decision is in the best interests of your health and wellbeing.

We're committed to providing you with an international experience. This commitment is also extended to our partners and all students who would have planned to gain a meaningful overseas experience whilst studying with us in the Autumn. We would like to thank you for choosing the University of Portsmouth as your study destination and we hope you will continue to pursue your studies with us in the future.

If you would like to defer your nomination to the Teaching Block 2 in Spring 2021 (08 February – 18 June 2021) we would be happy to welcome you on campus. We have made contact with your home University to advise them of our decision and will cancel your nomination and/ or application for the Autumn term.

We apologise for any inconvenience and disappointment the suspension of our exchange programme may cause, but your health, safety and wellbeing is our top priority. We will be happy to welcome you in the Spring term but in the meantime, we advise you to contact your home institution to explore your available options.

If you were only intending to study in the Autumn term, we’d be happy to welcome you to study with us in the Spring term instead. We understand this is a situation beyond your control, and value all the preparation work undertaken in choosing us for your exchange experience. If you defer your exchange to the Spring term, you won’t need to submit another application. Simply email exchange-admissions@port.ac.uk and the team will defer your application for the Spring term. 

Please note, it is impossible to predict how the coronavirus pandemic will impact over the coming months and your plans may need to change.

If you received an unconditional offer on the exchange programme for the Autumn term, this offer won’t automatically transfer to the Spring term if you choose to defer your start date. We will need you to email exchange-admissions@port.ac.uk to confirm your new plans and if you’re deferring, we will transfer your application.

We understand that in these circumstances you may feel there remains too much uncertainty to continue with your exchange in Spring 2021. Should you wish to cancel your exchange altogether, please let us know as soon as possible by email to exchange-admissions@port.ac.uk.

If you decide to rearrange your exchange and attend Portsmouth in the Spring term, rather than the Autumn term, please note that our start date for the Spring term is 8th February 2021. 

If you applied to one of our university owned halls of residences, you can request a refund of your deposit. Please contact student.housing@port.ac.uk to start the process.


Degree apprenticeships

Information for apprentices and their employers

All face-to-face lectures have been replaced with online learning and support is available remotely. You can access all teaching and learning materials on our virtual learning environment, Moodle.

We've made reasonable changes to our assessment practices and our Examination and Assessment Regulations.

You can contact your module lecturer, course leader or personal tutor to discuss the situation.

You can stay on your apprenticeship while furloughed and there are no changes needed. This has been confirmed by HMRC.

You should log your off the job hours. This is a minimum of 20% of your work hours, approximately 7 hours per week.

If you’re re-deployed to another job, you can continue with your studies and log 20% off the job training if the new role allows for this.

If the new role doesn’t allow time for study then you can take a break in learning. However, due to the nature of the degree and how it is delivered, it is unlikely you’ll be able to rejoin the course until the same time next year.

You’re advised to discuss this with your personal tutor or course leader as soon as possible. If a break in learning is needed, email the degree apprenticeship office at degree-apprenticeship-office@port.ac.uk.

The rules around redundancy are unchanged. If you are made redundant, you’ll have 12 weeks to stay on your programme and secure alternative employment. Please contact the degree apprenticeship office immediately if you are made redundant at degree-apprenticeship-office@port.ac.uk.

Progress reviews must continue and can do so online. Your employer must also participate in these progress reviews with the university tutor.

All End Point Assessments are moving to online assessment, so dates should remain the same. If you have an EPA in the next 2 months you and your employer will be contacted to arrange this. If your EPA isn’t in the next 2 months, you’ll be advised closer to the time.

At this stage we’re still accepting applications for September 2020. If you need more information on which apprenticeship is most appropriate for yourself or your employee, email us at degree-apprenticeship-office@port.ac.uk.

Our partner, Fareport Training, is still delivering this training remotely. If you have exams booked, you’ll be contacted with more information as they’ll no longer be carried out face-to-face. If you have any questions, contact your Fareport tutor directly or the degree apprenticeship office.

For any queries regarding your course please contact your personal tutor, module lecturer or course leader.

The following websites can also provide further guidance:

My apprentice isn’t well enough to work

If your apprentice isn’t well enough to work, you should follow the government’s guidance for employers and businesses on coronavirus (COVID-19).

Apprenticeships fees

You should continue to pay the University via its levy funds as training is continuing. Non-levy employers need to continue to pay for their contribution cost.

For any further queries please contact the Degree Apprenticeship Office at degree-apprenticeship-office@port.ac.uk.

Useful websites

The following websites can also provide further guidance:


General FAQs

Further advice

The government has issued specific social distancing advice to reduce the transmission of coronavirus. The latest health advice from the NHS can be found on the NHS website.

Staying at home

The NHS stay at home advice is: 

  • try to keep at least 2 metres (3 steps) from other people in your home, particularly older people or those with long-term health conditions
  • ask friends and family and delivery services to deliver things like food shopping and medicines – but avoid contact with them
  • sleep alone if possible
  • regularly wash your hands with soap and warm water for at least 20 seconds
  • try to stay away from older people and those with long-term health conditions
  • drink plenty of water and take everyday painkillers, such as paracetamol and ibuprofen, to help with your symptoms
  • do not have visitors (ask people to leave deliveries outside)
  • do not leave the house, for example to go for a walk, to school or public places

Handwashing

The Government has launched a new public health campaign, advising everyone to wash their hands more often for 20 seconds when you:

  • get home or into work
  • blow your nose, sneeze or cough
  • eat or handle food

The NHS has also provided further health advice on how to avoid catching or spreading germs, and how to stay at home. These messages are being displayed on posters and plasma screens across campus and in halls of residence. The NHS also has a how to wash your hands video.

Support for visiting staff and students

The government has advised there can be no charge made to an overseas visitor for the diagnosis or treatment of coronavirus (COVID-19).

All overseas visitors, including visiting staff and students, should be aware that:

  • No charges apply to testing for COVID-19, even if the result is negative, or to any treatment provided for COVID-19 if the result is positive or up to the point that it is negatively diagnosed – the same is true of most other infectious diseases.
  • NHS trusts have been advised that no immigration checks are required for overseas visitors that are known to be only undergoing testing or treatment for COVID-19

We understand the risk of coronavirus can create an increasing level of anxiety. The University is a welcoming, diverse and inclusive community. We need to strike a balance to minimise risk by following the Government’s advice, while continuing to treat people with dignity, care and respect – particularly our international students and staff who might be feeling vulnerable and a long way from home at the moment.

It’s true to say that: “Viruses don’t discriminate, and neither do we.”

The Home Office has published immigration guidance for individuals affected by coronavirus travel restrictions. If you are a visa holder, you may be uncertain whether you will be able to leave the UK before your visa expires, or may not be able to return to the UK as soon as planned due to travel restrictions. Further useful information about visas for applicants and current students can be found in the coronavirus section of the UKCISA website.

The Home office realises that in many cases this will be outside of your control, and should not negatively affect your visa. If you have any queries please contact infoline@port.ac.uk or call +44 (0)23 9284 5588. The Home Office has also set up a Coronavirus Immigration Helpline. Call +44 (0)800 678 1767 (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm) or email CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk.

Sport and Recreation has closed all of its facilities until further notice, including St. Paul’s Gym, Spinnaker Sports Centre and Langstone Sports Site. This is not a decision that has been taken lightly as we know this will be difficult for many as exercise is important for health and wellbeing.

Unfortunately the advice is clear in terms of the risks of spreading infection in such settings. The Sport and Rec team have compiled helpful tips and resources for staying active at home, including workout programmes, and looking after your mental health.

The University Eye Clinic has cancelled all routine appointments until 18 April to ensure the health and safety of our patients, staff and students. The Eye Clinic team will be working remotely and can be contacted at +44(0)23 9284 6888 and eyeclinic@port.ac.uk.

The clinic will be open until 27 March for collection of spectacles and contact lenses between 10.00am–2.00pm by appointment only. Please check you phone or email before coming down to the clinic. Further contact lens orders can be shipped directly to your address.

Contact us in the case of an eye emergency – we’ll handle emergencies on a case by case basis. We aim to support our existing customers to the best of our abilities in these difficult times. If you require immediate eye related medical attention then please contact: 

Our University buildings, except Halls of Residences, are now temporarily closed. Essential access has also been given to the Dental Academy, Post Room, Security Lodge and 6-8 Hampshire Terrace. 

The Post Room remains operational for the receiving of post and managing essential deliveries for staff supporting the NHS. Arrangements are also in place for the Faculty of Science and Department of Human Resources only.

Staff access

Access to buildings are restricted to a list of staff determined by faculty and professional services leaders. Any of these staff who need to enter University buildings should contact the security lodge on +44 (0)23 9284 3333 or campus.security@port.ac.uk.

Staff who require access but who are not on the current building list will need to contact their Head of Department requesting permission. If approved, the Head of Department must contact campus security and the person requesting access will need to arrange a mutually convenient time to be given access. Please note, this will be an escorted visit to minimise risk and to ensure the building is re-secured afterward. Please note that technicians and other staff working at the University who have permission to do so should not let colleagues in to the building. 

Halls of residence

Halls of residence will remain fully operational and the ResLife team will continue to provide pastoral care. 

Mercantile and Nuffield Prayer Rooms closed

We have closed all prayer rooms. This follows guidance from the British Board of Scholars and Imams that congregational activity for daily prayers be suspended and performed at home. This is also in line with the decision by a number of churches, including the Church of England, to suspend church services that involve intimate gatherings of people.

Building hygiene

Our cleaning team will ensure that the small number of buildings with ongoing regular access are cleaned to a recognised standard with additional measures implemented at this time where handrails, door handles and other touch points are being sanitised daily. We routinely swab test specific facilities which have an NHS standard cleaning specification and this is now being extended across key areas in all buildings. Soap dispensers are replenished daily.

Printing services are operational offsite and continuing to manage production of all types of printed requirements for the University, and for strategic partners and businesses across Portsmouth.

To get in touch with the team, staff can order corporate printing through the Marketing Portal and strategic partners and business can email printestimate@port.ac.uk. A member of the team will get in touch to help you with your requirements. We will ensure all printed materials are delivered to any specified delivery address so no need to collect.

The Strategy Group will formulate and oversee the University’s holistic approach to dealing with the COVID-19 pandemic and determine all decisions that have a University-wide impact. It will commission work from, receive progress reports from and consider any matters escalated from the Operational Overview Group.


Membership:

To attend as required: 


  • Professor Paul Hayes (Joint Chair)
    Deputy Vice-Chancellor
  • Bernie Topham (Joint Chair)
    Chief Operating Officer
  • Professor Graham Galbraith
    Vice-Chancellor
  • Professor Djamel Ait-Boudaoud
    Executive Dean, Faculty of Technology
  • Dr Theresa Callan
    Interim Executive Dean, Faculty of Humanities & Social Sciences
  • Chris Chang
    Pro Vice-Chancellor (Global Engagement & Education Partnerships)
  • Professor Sherria Hoskins
    Executive Dean, Faculty of Science & Health
  • Professor Trevor Keeble
    Executive Dean, Faculty of Creative & Cultural Industries
  • Professor Bob Nichol
    Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research & Innovation)
  • Adrian Parry
    Executive Director of Corporate Governance
  • Professor Gioia Pescetto
    Executive Dean, Faculty of Business & Law
  • Alison Thorne-Henderson
    Executive Director of HR
  • Emma Woollard
    Executive Director of Finance

  • Dorothy Albrecht
    Director of Marketing, Advancement & Communications
  • Fiona Bell
    Director of Estates & Campus Services
  • Darrell Sturley
    Interim Director of Information Services
  • Stephen Wiggins
    Academic Registrar and Director of DSAA

 


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