Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for students. Please also see the general coronavirus FAQs.

Last updated: 22 July 2021

Where can I find the University’s route map to returning to campus for the 21/22 academic year?

QMU Covid Route Map 2021

Published 22 July 2021

How do I book a coronavirus test?

If you have symptoms:

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a  PCR COVID test and self-isolate immediately. You can choose either to have a test sent to your home or to attend a testing site, which are located across Scotland.

COVID test booking for people with symptoms

Students - in the event that you need assistance in arranging transport to a testing site, you should contact either Accommodation services or Security for assistance.  If you live in the halls of residence, speak to the Accommodation Services team as they have a supply of testing kits for use in particular circumstances.

If you don't have symptoms:

If you do not have symptoms: everyone in Scotland can now order lateral flow tests online or collect them from a test site, for fast twice weekly testing at home. Many people have COVID-19 but have no symptoms, which is one of the ways it can spread quickly to different people. That’s why being tested is so important. It protects everyone within your household and in our community.

Find out more about regular COVID testing for those without symptoms

There are also specific COVID testing arrangements for University student and staff without symptoms

 

When should I self-isolate?

You should self-isolate immediately if:  

  • you have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste).
  • you've tested positive for coronavirus.
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive. · you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Protect.
  • if you are not sure whether or not you should self-isolate in any particular scenario, you can seek advice via the NHS WebChat tool.

See Test and Protect for more information on self-isolation.

 

If I need to self-isolate, how do I do it and how long do I have to do so?

See the NHSInform guide to self-isolation for guidance.

Where can I find guidance on self-isolation?

See the NHSInform guide to self-isolation for guidance. If you are self-isolating on campus, our accommodation team will support you.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who has COVID-like symptoms or is awaiting a test result?

If you think you've been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, but you do not have symptoms and have not been told to self-isolate, simply continue to adhere to social distancing rules (unless you share a household with the person with symptoms, in which case you need to self-isolate).

If you are not sure whether or not you should self-isolate in any particular scenario, you can seek advice via the NHS WebChat tool. See Test and Protect for more information on self-isolation.

Do I need to tell the University if I am self-isolating, suspect I have coronavirus, or have been diagnosed with coronavirus?

If you suspect you have coronavirus, please stay home and visit NHS Inform for advice.

You need to tell us if you are self-isolating, suspect you have coronavirus or have been diagnosed with coronavirus. Please:

1. Tell Security (0131 474 0000 ext 2222) - and also Accommodation (0131 474 0000 x 4902) if you live on campus.

2. Contact the School Office - schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk.

 (Remember that if you suspect that you have coronavirus, other people in your household need to self-isolate too.)

If you experience symptoms while on campus, it is important that you tell Security immediately (wherever possible by phone - 0131 474 0000 ext 2222 - rather than travelling across campus to see them in person).

In the event that you need assistance in arranging transport to a testing site, you should contact either Accommodation services or Security for assistance.

You will need to alert us by emailing schooloffice@qmu.ac.uk if you might be absent from QMU for more than two weeks, cannot work online, and might therefore miss key teaching or assessment. The University will assess the impact on your studies on an individual basis. If you are in this position raising any questions or concerns you might have is advised.

 

 

I am returning to the University (while complying with coronavirus restrictions). I’ve heard students are being asked to get a PCR test (free of charge)  before they change address in such a situation. Where can I find out more about this Student Test Before Travel scheme?

You can find information on this on the section of the  Student Information Scotland website concerned with semester two return, in the sub-section headed ‘Student accommodation/Testing’.    You can also find informatioo in the travel section of the Scottish Government's COVID guidance for universities.

My classes for semester two of the 20/21 academic year were all moved online – am I entitled to a reduction in my tuition fee?

Responding to the unprecedented impact of COVID-19, and following government guidelines to ensure the health, safety, and well-being of our community, teaching on the majority of programmes in semester two has had to be delivered in an alternative form.  This is to ensure compliance with the Scottish Government regulations in force since 5 January, and specific guidance for colleges and universities published on 11 January.

COVID-19 and its impact represent an exceptional situation, which is outside of the University’s reasonable control.  Staff of the University have worked hard to mitigate the impact of the COVID-19 emergency on in-person learning opportunities, particularly through providing lecture content, synchronous learning such as seminars, and tutor support, online. Therefore, although classes are necessarily being delivered in a different form during the COVID-19 restrictions, they continue to meet agreed module aims.  Further, we continue to review the impact of the current circumstances on student assessment and attainment, and, in line with our response earlier in the pandemic, mitigating action will be taken where necessary to ensure that students are not disadvantaged. As these various steps mean that students are able to achieve the learning outcomes of their programme, we do not expect that students will have suffered any loss as a result of the required move to online teaching that would provide grounds for a reduction in the amount of tuition fees payable. We do, however, expect that these steps will help to mitigate the impact of the pandemic.

It is open to any student who is dissatisfied with the standard of service, action or lack of action by or on behalf of the University to complain to the University under the University’s Complaints Procedure.

Are all student services operational now?

Yes, all student services, from the Effective Learning Service to Wellbeing, are operational this semester, with adaptations as necessary.

More information on student services.

What is QMU’s route map for returning to normal operations?

Our route map is based on guidance from government and other national sources. It is flexible to allow for any changing circumstances.

Underpinning our route map is our commitment to protecting the health and safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, and our determination to help enable a fulfilling all-round student experience for all students from the very start of the academic year.

We aim to provide a working environment which seems as close to normal as possible.

What does physical distancing mean for the campus and how is it being implemented?

We are fortunate in that our modern, airy campus is well suited to enabling physical distancing.

The specific physical distancing measures that we take  at any one time will be in accordance with Scottish Government guidance and based on a full risk assessment.

More information on physical distancing and campus life.

What health protection measures are in place on campus?

Our health protection measures are based on a full University-wide COVID risk assessment.

Specific measures will depend on government guidance at any given time, but, for example, we have sanitiser stations, seating arrangements have been changed, and we have made adjustments to our ventilation systems to optimise air flow.

More information on campus adaptations.

Are we prepared for any increase in COVID-19 infections?

Our plans are designed to be flexible so that we can react promptly to any developments.

Rest assured  that we have been planning, and continue to plan, for any developments, liaising with Health Protection Scotland, other Edinburgh institutions and council officials. This will help mitigate the impact of any developments on our campus operations and University life, helping us to ensure that we can consistently provide our students with the education and support that they need and deserve.

You can find our COVID incident plan on our intranet.

Are we considering the car parking requirements of those for those who wish to avoid public transport?

Through our timetable planning, we are spreading out activity across the day to spread the load on the car park and other facilities and thus maximise the availability of parking space.

What do I do if I need to care for children because their school is closed because of concern about the virus?

Information set out below concerning exams and assessments would apply.

What do I do if I am unable to undertake an assessment due to extenuating circumstances particular to me?

The University understands that students are juggling complex domestic situations and restrictions at the moment and we will provide flexibility for individual students where required. We have an extenuating circumstances policy which you can call on if your own personal circumstances present particular problems in terms of a deadline for completing an assessment. If you are seeking an extension to an assessment deadline, you can find the application form on the Student Portal. Please refer also to the FAQ on this page relating to an inability to take an assessment, and the FAQ in relation to changes in the assessment regulations in response to the coronavirus emergency.

How is the impact of the COVID-19 on student assessment, progression and award being addressed by the University?

The University is very aware of the challenges facing students in their learning experience, and we have been working hard to mitigate against the impact of these challenges where possible.

It was with that in mind that the University Senate, with the full support of the Students’ Union, approved on 10 April 2020 a series of regulatory changes to ensure continued fairness, equity and integrity in decisions concerning student academic progress and attainment during session 2019/20. A message explaining these changes was issued to all students on Friday, 10 April 2020. These emergency regulations were reviewed by Senate on 9th Sept 2020 and a further set of regulations became effective from 1 October 2020 for the 2020/21 academic year. 

Senate revisited these regulations on 16 December 2020, at which point no changes were introduced.  At the meeting of the Student Experience Committee (SEC) held on 17 February 2021 a further review was undertaken. SEC members recommended that the current version of the emergency regulations, i.e. the version which took effect on 1 October 2020, should continue for the remainder of academic session 2020-21. This recommendation was approved by the University Senate on 17 March 2021.

It may be helpful for students to be aware that, when taking decisions on assessment regulations, and any other policies, procedures and regulations affecting the student experience, the University involves the Students’ Union and other student representatives at all stages. The Student President and Vice-President are members of the Student Experience Committee and Senate, and there are other student representatives on both of these committees as well.

 

What would happen if I was unable to sit my exams/assessments, either because I am self-isolating, or exams/assessments have not been able to take place? What would happen if I felt I had not performed as well as I might have due to the current emergency situation?

The University appreciates that this is an anxious period for students, but we can reassure all students that our published assessment regulations, and interim regulations approved by the University Senate on 01 October 2020 for the academic year 2020/21, allow boards of examiners to exercise discretion in coming to a decision on student progression and on degree classification where not all of the work has been able to be assessed.

Full details can found in our Updated Assessment Regulations   (ie recent changes to the University regulations governing assessment for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students.)

Where can I find the changes in the assessment regulations in response to the coronavirus emergency?

Please see the Updated Assesment Regulations .

 

 

What is the University’s advice on personal travel?

While the University is not responsible for you on personal trips, we all have a social duty to help avoid the spread of coronavirus and to help minimise the social disruption arising from it.  Please see the Scottish Government website for information on current travel restrictions, quarantine requirements etc. When travel is possible, we strongly recommend that you follow the advice and guidance found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at all times. This includes advice on whether it is safe to travel to a particular country, advice on health and security, including advice on coronavirus, and advice on what to do when returning from a trip e.g. whether it is necessary to self-isolate for example. If you decide to travel against FCO advice, be aware there may be travel restrictions imposed that may impede your return to the UK.  Please also check your own travel insurance policy. If you think there is a reasonable chance that your personal travel plans might result in a need to self-isolate on your return to the UK or in-country, please talk to your Programme Leader.

There is some useful general travel advice at Travel Health Pro.

 

Where can I find guidance on remote working and video conferencing?

See our you can do IT at home webpage for information, guidance and tips.

How can I access the Learning Resource Centre?

The Learning Resource Centre is open. For information on current operating arrangements, please see our Library website.  If you have any specific requirements please contact the LRC staff in advance

For Library queries, please contact lrchelp@qmu.ac.uk, and for all other enquiries please contact assist@qmu.ac.uk .

 

 

What support is there for care experienced, carers and estranged students?

Callum Maguire, our Head of Widening Participation and Outreach, is continuing to offer care experienced, student carers and estranged students support, advice and guidance.

Please visit the following dedicated support website pages for more information:
support-for-care-leavers
support-for-student-carers
support-for-estranged-students
Please do not hesitate to email Callum directly via: cmaguire@qmu.ac.uk

Can sports take place on campus?

For the latest information, please visit our Sports website: qmu.ac.uk/sports, or contact the Sports Team at sportsreception@qmu.ac.uk.

What is the advice regarding student research projects?

New advice for ongoing research involving human participants

Issued 06 April 2020 - Updated 10 September 2020

In accordance with the UK Government guidance on social distancing and remote working, staff and research students in receipt of ethical approval from QMU are directed to take account of and follow the instructions below until further notice with specific regard to all on-going and planned research data collection that involves face-to-face interaction with human participants.

In those cases where research can be adapted to be conducted remotely, staff and research students are directed to the specific guidance below.

If it is not possible to adapt the design to conduct participant interactions remotely, or within the restrictions for on-campus research activity, the following documentation should be submitted to the QMU Research Ethics Panel for consideration:

  • A completed Notification of Changes form
  • Amended versions of the research proposal, research ethics application, participant information sheets and consent forms with all changes highlighted in yellow.
  • A completed QMU risk assessment form (Please contact researchethics@qmu.ac.uk to request a copy of this document.)

If you require further information or guidance in relation to this please contact researchethics@qmu.ac.uk.

For those researchers that are carrying out research, or intend to carry out research, that involves the NHS please see the Chief Scientist Office statement on the Restart Framework.

Where research is simply paused for a number of months the QMU Research Ethics Panel will not require notification, but if significant changes to research design are required then a notification of change form will need to be submitted (researchethics@qmu.ac.uk) and approved by the QMU REP prior to the research resuming.

Guidance for Staff and Students

Given the exceptional nature of the situation arising as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the QMU Research Ethics Panel (REP) requires all ongoing and planned research to make changes to how participant interactions are conducted.

In addition, the QMU REP has temporarily suspended the requirement for approval of changes to research projects that relate only to changes to participant interactions from face-to-face to remote, unless there is a substantial change to the protocol* as a result of the change.

Students - If you are unsure if it will be appropriate to change to remote interaction you should discuss this with your supervisor as soon as possible. Once the appropriate way forward has been agreed, please follow the guidance below to adapt your research.

Guidance for those who need to pause their research

You must inform your participants that the research has been paused. It will be key that in whatever communication you send to participants that you describe how any actively enrolled participants will be managed, particularly concerning any safety monitoring / follow-up etc. where applicable.

Unless the changes made to pause the study result in a substantial change to protocol*, the pausing of a research study and issue of an update to participants will not need to be considered as a notification of change by REP.

Guidance for those who will conduct their research remotely

1. If you have not yet begun data collection but have ethical approval to do so you should amend your recruitment plan to recruit and interact remotely. Unless the changes made to the way in which you interact with participants results in a substantial change to protocol*, you will not need to submit a notification of change form. Simply update your recruitment documents to outline how you will remotely interact and then proceed.

2. If you have already begun data collection and will now change to remote participant interaction then unless the changes made to the way in which you interact with participants results in a substantial change to protocol*, you will not need to submit a notification of change form. Simply update your recruitment documents to outline how you will remotely interact with participants and use this version moving forward. Any already active participants must be informed of the switch to remote interaction and be provided with the updated participant information sheet. It is important that you make clear to participants that if they no longer wish to participate owing to this change, or for any other reason, that they are free to withdraw at any point.

*A substantial change to protocol might be a change that would alter the level of risk to the participant i.e. if you are working with vulnerable participants, to do so remotely might remove the safeguard of the researcher being able to detect distress face-to-face and mitigate risk by referring to an appropriately trained person.

New submissions for ethical approval

Researchers may continue to submit research ethics applications and they will continue to be reviewed. However, as will be made clear on your outcome letter, you are not permitted to begin data collection which requires any face-to-face interactions with participants in person until further notice. The following options are possible/appropriate:

1. Obtain ethical approval for a project involving face-to-face interactions with participants in person.

i. If you wish to commence data collection immediately you must amend these interactions to be conducted remotely as outlined above.

ii. If it is not possible to conduct your participant interactions remotely then you must then wait until you are advised by the University that face-to-face interactions can recommence before you begin any data collection in person.

2. If you are a student with time constraints around conducting your research and cannot conduct remote participant interactions, it is recommended that you change your research to involve secondary data analysis only (i.e. data which has already been collected) so that no primary data collection is required.

If you are a student in the Division for Dietetics, Nutrition & Biological Sciences, Physiotherapy, Podiatry & Radiography and undertaking a dissertation please follow the advice of your supervisor/module leader for alternative options.

New studies relating to COVID-19

An expedited review process will be considered for any new studies relating to COVID-19 where there are proven public health grounds to commence. In order for such a study to gain clearance to proceed with face-to-face participant interactions, and for this review to be expedited, the Principal Investigator must provide the following information to researchethics@qmu.ac.uk prior to submitting an ethical approval application:

1. What are the public health grounds for the study to be conducted?

2. What is the rationale for the study to be conducted at this time? Why can it not be conducted at a later time?

3. Evidence of a Risk Assessment, considering the potential risk to the researcher themselves, signed off by the relevant Head of Division.

Researchers should send the answers to these questions to the QMU Research Ethics Panel for consideration via researchethics@qmu.ac.uk. Please title the email “New Study relating to COVID-19” and your email will be prioritised.

Advice for doctoral candidates

We recognise that many of you may find yourselves unable to complete essential tasks, experiments, field work and/or data collection over the next few weeks or months, for example due to restricted access to the campus, travel restrictions, self-isolation, illness, volunteering and caring responsibilities. While this is a rapidly developing situation, we wanted to provide you with some reassurance regarding the impact of that disruption on your studies, and the steps we are taking to mitigate that impact. The principles of that are set out below, and follow those adopted by UK Research and Innovation.

Adjustments to Deadlines, Registration Periods etc.

Given the individual nature of postgraduate research it is difficult to offer a generic statement on extensions etc., so any adjustments will be tailored to the extenuating circumstances of each candidate concerned. Consequently, we will need to capture any adjustments to periods of registration, changes to submission deadlines and so on through the usual Graduate School processes and forms. All forms can be found on the website, any queries can be sent to GraduateSchool@qmu.ac.uk.

Extensions to Submission Deadlines

We will approve requests for extensions to submission dates where a candidate has experienced and can evidence the types of disruption identified above. We will in some cases, advise on the appropriate length of an extension.

Suspensions of/Extensions to Periods of Registration

Similarly, we will approve requests for suspensions of, or extension to periods of registration where a candidate has experienced disruption to the progress of their research activities. We will in some cases, advise on the appropriate length of an extension.

Self-isolation

In many cases you will be able to work from home even if the activities undertaken change. For example you can progress your READ modules. For short periods of self-isolation, if you cannot work, many of you will have sufficient time left that you can make this up over the remainder of your doctorate programme. In these cases, extensions to periods of registration should not be required. Together with your supervisors, and drawing on the RDF, you can adjust your learning contract and project plan.

Where self-isolating with illness undermines your ability to finish your doctorate within the specified period, an extension will be considered sympathetically.

Examples (not exhaustive) of when an extension may need to be applied include:

  • A significant period of self-isolation (we do not define significant as this is likely to be proportional to the time left in the funded period)
  • Significant or increased caring responsibilities
  • Postponement of critical activities where alternatives are not available. Examples could include: experiments due to take place at a national/international facility which will delay the research for a significant amount of time; access to critical archives being unavailable for a significant period; fieldwork due to take place in inaccessible geographical regions; data collection due to take place that would breach social distancing.

Vivas

We have already had our first viva via video conferencing, so those of you near to submission can be reassured that the current restrictions do not necessarily delay your viva preparations.

Assessments

Probationary and assessed presentations will, as far as possible continue via a virtual platform.

Tuition Fees

If your research is delayed, and an extension is approved, there will be no additional tuition fees for the duration of that extension.

Financial Difficulties

PG research students who are facing hardship as a result of COVID-19 should apply to our Discretionary (hardship) and International Hardship funds in the usual way, through our Student Funding Adviser at studentfunding@qmu.ac.uk. The Student Funding Adviser can provide you with advice as well as guidance on how to apply for these funds.

If I need to study remotely for COVID-related reasons at some point in the 21/22 academic year, will I be academically disadvantaged or penalised because I am unable to attend any on-campus learning activities?

No. Students who find themselves in this situation (i.e. because of issues related to travel restrictions, quarantining or self-isolation) should email registry@qmu.ac.uk in order that the University can put in place appropriate support for you. 

Please note that for our pre-registration health programmes, you will need to be on campus in time to undertake your pre-placement clinical training. There may be similar issues for other courses with a practical element.

 

If I need to study remotely, will I still be able access Student Services support (finance, wellbeing, counselling, careers etc.)?

Yes. The University has continued to offer students remote access to its range of Student Services support throughout the pandemic.  You can use Student Central to view the resources, book online appointments and view current job vacancies. 

What other learning resources will I have access to if I need to study remotely?

Our Library (LRC) resources and our Effective Learning Service (ELS) are both accessible remotely. The ELS will continue to offer advice and guidance on writing assignments and developing academic skills to students who need to study remotely.

I have an Independent Learning Plan (ILP), will that be modified to take account of any adjustments to the delivery of learning and teaching arising from COVID?

Yes. Where necessary, ILPs will be modified to take account of any necessary adjustments to learning and teaching activities arising from COVID, including for those students who are unable to come on to campus. Students with ILPs will be contacted by Student Services regarding this.

What do I do if I have any underlying health conditions or concerns that being on campus would put me at increased risk of harm from COVID-19?

If  you have classes on campus, and you have any underlying health conditions or concerns that being on campus will put you at an increased risk of harm from COVID-19, you will need to consider your health in relation to the latest government guidelines when making your decision about how you will undertake your studies. If you already have an ILP with the disability service and feel that it needs to be amended to reflect any changes in how you will study next term please contact the Disability Service.

Student Services will continue to provide a range of services such as wellbeing, counselling support and disability services both online and in-person. They can assist in providing relevant information and support.

 

How can I get help at the University if the current situation is making me feel anxious?

Please remember that that there are staff across the University here to help when you need it and it is important to talk to someone about your anxiety. Do draw on the support services around you as and when you need them. StudentService's Counselling and Wellbeing teams are providing both face to face support sessions and online/phone support. You can book an appointment either through Student Central studentcentral.qmu.ac.uk or by sending us an email.

You can also contact your Personal Academic Tutor (PAT) (names on the Student Portal)

We are all here to help.

You might also want to sign up for Togetherall which is available to you through the University. This is a digital mental health support service which is available online, 24/7, and is completely anonymous so you can express yourself freely and openly.

 

 

 

Where can I find information about asymptomatic COVID testing for students at QMU?

Where can I find advice on travel during coronavirus restrictions?

If you have questions about travel, we recommend that you look up the travel advice found on Scottish Government’s Student Information Scotland website, and the links from that site to further travel advice. As well as information for students in Scotland, that site includes links to guidance on international travel and quarantine requirements. Students travelling from England might find travel guidance from the UK Government’s Department for Education useful.

 

 

Can I travel to class if I live in an area at a higher Scottish Government Coronavirus Protection Level than that applicable at the campus?

You can travel between areas in different COVID protection levels for a ‘permitted reason’.  Permitted reasons include education (including travel to university), training and work.  See the Scottish Government website for more information.

If I had all my classes online this year, why can’t I take them all online next year if I think that would suit my circumstances better?

The majority of the University’s programme are advertised, approved, and in many cases accredited as programmes where the learning and teaching for those programmes is delivered primarily face to face. While the Quality Assurance Agency and professional bodies accepted that for Academic Session 2020/21 Scottish Government guidelines meant that much of that teaching had to move to online, that was only while those guidelines required that adjustment.  As those guidelines relax, our programmes are required to predominantly return to the form of teaching delivery for which they were validated and accredited.

Where can I find answers to COVID related questions related to my on-campus accommodation contract and more FAQs about campus accommodation?

Where can I find COVID-related advice specific to international students?

See our international FAQs and feel free to contact our international team with any queries (international@qmu.ac.uk).

How can students get a COVID vaccine?

NHS Inform has a vaccination journey self-help tool at https://www.nhsinform.scot/self-help-guides/self-help-guide-coronavirus-vaccination-journey. Students who are unsure how and when they will receive a vaccine should use this tool and follow the advice within it.

More FAQs

General Coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs

QMU COVID Inbox

Our dedicated COVID email is now open for students who want to speak directly to someone at QMU about any COVID-related questions or concerns. 

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