For a little while, life at University is going to be different because of COVID-19. But this doesn't mean your experience won't be safe, enriching and exciting.
Find out how we’re gearing up to welcome you to your next big adventure – the safety measures we’ve put in place, the innovative resources and services we’ve developed and our exciting programme of welcome activities.
To help reassure you in the run-up to the new academic year, we've created this handy infographic to break down all the measures we've implemented to ensure your safety. Simply click the infographic below to download.
Life on Campus During COVID-19
Our priority is to make sure you’re safe on campus, so we’ve put in place targeted cleaning measures across all our facilities, computer clusters and catering outlets.
Screens and barriers will be installed where required to support physical distancing, wipes and hand sanitiser will be available at various locations across campus. We’ll have an early warning system to detect potential Covid-19 outbreaks in the University community, and we’ll be providing all our students with a safety pack on arrival, which will include a washable, reusable face covering, a thermometer and hand sanitiser.
We’re also introducing a one-way system on campus and in our buildings and, for the first few weeks of term, volunteers will be on hand to help you find your way and answer any queries you might have about moving around campus safely.
Thorough cleaning, safety and physical distancing measures have been introduced across all our catering outlets, while food shopping has never been easier – our Students’ Union Campus Co-op store can now deliver to you!
We’re committed to delivering a ‘Newcastle experience’ you’ll thoroughly enjoy – whether you’re joining us on campus or getting involved online.
Our Students’ Union will be providing a programme of activities to welcome you when you arrive, including an extended and improved Give It A Go programme of workshops, events and classes. As well as meeting people through your course, you’ll also be able to choose from over 200 clubs and societies to join, each with their own activities online and on campus.
Activities will be a mix of virtual sessions and – where it’s safe to do so – face-to-face events. Keep an eye on our Students’ Union website for new plans as they’re released.
So you feel at home with us, we’re working to ensure you have a purpose-built study bedroom during your first year of study, and are implementing targeted cleaning protocols to make sure your University-owned accommodation is clean and safe.
To make it easier for you to move in, you’ll also be able to book a time slot to arrive during a specific arrival period, and we’ll provide space for you to unload your belongings close to your accommodation.
Our range of indoor and outdoor sports facilities are tailored to everyone – from beginner to performance athlete. We plan to open these as soon as it’s safe to do so and will be following government and sports’ National Governing Body (NGB) guidance when we make our sports provision available.
You’ll be able to access our gym, exercise class programme and a range of sessions for our AU Sports Clubs to maintain your fitness and support your wellbeing.
As soon as you register with us you’ll be able to access all our student support services online, including Wellbeing, Finance and our award-winning Careers Service. From one-to-one counselling appointments, to online CV support and virtual finance sessions, you can get the help you need when it’s convenient for you.
Each undergraduate and postgraduate student is also assigned a personal tutor, who is normally a member of academic staff and is responsible for supporting you throughout your time at the University. This includes advice on ways of getting the most from your student experience.
Your Support Network
If you are an undergraduate student, you’ll be allocated a peer mentor before you start your course to help you make the transition from school/college to higher education. Your mentor will be on hand and online to support you as you settle in to University life.
EU and International Students
Meet and Greet
As part of our free Meet and Greet service, we can welcome you at Newcastle International Airport when you arrive. To make sure you can travel to campus safely, we’re also working to set up a quarantine safety corridor between the airport and your University accommodation.
Don’t worry if you need to go into quarantine when you get here – we’ll provide you with a full support package and you’ll have a buddy to support you remotely through the quarantine period.
We’ve been reviewing all our accommodation sites to make sure they support social distancing, self-isolation and quarantine regulations, should these still be in force when you join us.
If you are an undergraduate student, we’ve been working to ensure you have a purpose-built study bedroom for each year of your study, should you want it.
We want you to get the most out of your teaching and learning and will do everything we can to support you to do so. Your teaching will be a mixture of online and in-person, on-campus teaching. In semester one, as a result of physical distancing requirements, all lecture materials will be delivered online along with many tutorials, workshops and labs.
Our aim, if the guidance allows us, is to deliver some labs, seminars and tutorial teaching in-person on-campus where this is possible and safe to do so. We’ll review this regularly and plan to return to full in-person, on-campus teaching in semester two if restrictions allow.
As travel restrictions are eased, we hope you’ll be able to join us as early as possible in the academic year and by the start of semester two at the latest. If you can’t join us straight away, don’t worry – no matter where you are in the country or the world, we’ll support you to access appropriate learning opportunities. Teaching materials will be offered online during semester one for most of our courses.
Although our libraries are still closed in line with government guidance, we’re planning a phased re-opening starting in early July so we’re ready to welcome you.
We’re making sure our library buildings comply with Covid-19 physical safety measures and are making it easier for you to access resources online – including increasing our already extensive e-resources and working with academic colleagues to source e-versions of key reading list materials.
Our click and collect, click and post, and contactless returns services will make accessing the resources you need for your studies easy and safe.
Access to IT
We’ve made over 3,000 spaces available in our virtual cluster so you can use your own laptop to access the software you need for your studies. And if you don’t have a laptop of your own, you may be eligible to borrow one of ours for the full academic year through our long-term laptop loan scheme*.
If you’re an EU or international student, you can apply to the scheme for a grant to buy a suitable device, and all students are eligible to apply for a grant of up to £200 to buy short-term internet access. The scheme opens to new and continuing students on 31 August to make sure you’re set up in time for the start of term.
Across campus, our computer clusters will also be available, with physical distancing and thorough cleaning measures in place.
*Our laptop loan scheme is subject to eligibility criteria and availability
Due to the changing nature of the pandemic, these commitments are subject to change. Based on the guidelines in place at the time, some services and facilities may not be available as described.
For quick and easy reference, why not download our infographic so you can start to picture what life is going to be like when you join us? And for further information check out our FAQs.