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Cornwall campuses

UK and International Residential Field Course planning information

All the information on this page is generic to all residential field trips. There may some subtle differences for different faculties but in this instance where something is unclear please email for clarification.

It is the responsibility of Field Course Leader to liaise with the Field Trip Coordinator to agree on draft schedule for bookings and responsibilities at the start of the planning process. To do this please email

Please find the most up-to-date risk assessment templates for UK and International trips.

It is the responsibility of the Field Course Leader to draft the risk assessment for the trip. This form has to be signed off by the Head of Department or their nominated contact depending on which faculty you belong to.

Ideally the risk assessment should be live on the field trip module ELE page prior to the collection of the student field trip information form as students need to sign to say they have read the risk assessment in completing this form.

Once the risk assessment is signed off by the relevant person it should be passed to Field Trips Coordinator so that it can be used to complete the Critical Incident Plan for the trip. No travel or accommodation bookings can be made until the risk assessment has been signed off.

The Critical Incident Plan (CIP) is drafted by the Field Trips Coordinator. This document is then shared with key personnel in the University approximately 2 weeks prior to the departure of the field course. Penryn Campus security and the staff members who are on call during your trip will have access to all information whilst you are away.

We collect compliance information from students prior to their field trip via the Fieldtrip Information Form.

The fieldtrip information form asks for personal, dietary and emergency information for all students on your field course. By filling in this form all students agree to share this information with all staff on a field course (NB: for our purposes ‘staff’ is anyone attending a trip in the capacity of responsible adult, so this term will include PhD students or Post-Docs).

We will also collate, at your request, any further information you require from students e.g. we can collate their flights details and arrival times should you require it if they are not travelling as one group. You need to request this information from us in advance to as this is not standard practice.

We use an online field trip information form similar to the student form which asks for personal, dietary and emergency information for all staff working on a field course. You will need to complete the form yourself.

For international field courses, staff are responsible for filling in their own online insurance application.

UK field courses do not need specific insurance forms completing.

The Field Trip Coordinator will arrange all student travel insurance on your behalf prior to the departure of the trip. If you require confirmation of this please email

UK field courses do not need specific insurance arranging.

It is the responsibility of the Field Course Leader to liaise with the Field Trip Coordinator to agree what needs booking centrally and what they prefer to book or arrange themselves. Please email to arrange a meeting to discuss.

Any cash advance that is required for a field course needs to be arranged by staff travelling on the field course themselves. We would suggest a 6 week lead time to arrange this. Advance Request form can be found here.

Should the students on your trip need cash for subsistence whilst they are away, the simplest way to arrange this is to pay them in £ into their bank accounts prior the start of the trip. If you want this arranged for the students on your trip please email 2 months in advance so that we can make the necessary arrangements.

It is advisable to have a minimum of two staff members on any field course with a university purchasing card each. You have to apply for a card by emailing SID ( and this process can take quite some time so we suggest applying for a card a minimum of 3 months in advance. Remember to ask for a large enough limit to cover emergencies whilst overseas and large single transaction limit (i.e. £10,000 limit with single purchase of £3,000). We would also advise asking for the card to unblocked in all categories so it can be used for a variety of transactions e.g. pharmacy and healthcare, hire cars, accommodation etc.

It is the responsibility of the Field Course Leader to arrange any additional kit that might be needed for the trip. This can be organised with your technical or lab team. You will need to notify with the estimated number of excess bags to add to any booked flights or boat bookings.

This remains the responsibility of the Field Course Leader, however, should you like the Field Trip Coordinator to check information relevant to the trip please do contact them at at to agree and arrange this.

It is advisable to keep this page up-to-date, with clear and concise information, and ensure that students are notified when changes are made e.g. a date or time change. Please also ensure that in advance of the field trip selection, that you clearly communicate what students are expected to pay for and when, so that there are no surprise ‘hidden costs.’

Adding a section on "what to expect" can be very helpful to all students when planning to attend a field trip. There are always challenges to attending a field trip e.g. being away from home comforts, unusual food, extreme climates or strenuous activity. It helps to mention these and give ideas for how students have overcome these challenges previously.

The field trip support staff will produce a folder of hard copy information to take on your trip. This can be collected from our Peter Lanyon office circa. 1-2 weeks prior to trip departing so that you have chance to read through it and sign off that you are happy with its contents. As a minimum this will contain:

  • Insurance details
  • ICE details for all on the trip
  • Critical incident plan including risk assessment
  • Passport copies
  • Booking confirmation details and flight tickets where applicable
  • Photos of students in groups or A-Z however you request them

If there is anything additional you might require please notify us in writing of what you might need to in good time before the field trip.

NB: the compliance information is only sent electronically unless you specifically request it in paper. It is a huge document. Should you require the information on student welfare in paper copy then please discuss with us how you would like to receive this.

Meetings with students who have identified physical or mental health issues will be arranged as far in advance of the trip as possible. These meetings will take place with the student and one of the Education Support Managers, face to face where possible. If the Field Course Leader wishes to join these meetings that is also welcomed. Should timetables prevent Field Course Leaders attending these meetings in person the Education Support Manager will arrange a meeting at a later date to discuss and update on all student welfare issues in advance of the trip departure.

Where possible it is our duty as a university to provide reasonable adjustments to ensure field courses are suitable for students with disabilities. Equality legislation requires institutions to be 'anticipatory' in their duty towards disabled students, and to make 'reasonable adjustments' to ensure that a disabled student is not placed at a substantial disadvantage in relation to their peers. You may therefore be required to make reasonable adjustments to enable students with a range of disabilities to access field trips. If you feel that your field course is not suitable for a student with a physical or psychological disability, and there is no reasonable alternative, please contact Josie Turner, the Senior Education Partner on the Penryn Campus to discuss this in more detail.

The University of Leeds have also produced this guide - Being Inclusive on field trips - ©2016, University of Leeds

This work is made available for reuse under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution - Non Commercial Share Alike Licence 4.0. The complete set of Being Inclusive In... guides is available at

Field course first aid training is organised by the People Development team. They will continue to use locally based trainers In Safe Hands, and notifications about upcoming courses can be found on the people development web pages or in the University Weekly Bulletin. For further information please contact  

Mental Health First Aid courses are also available at two levels which will help you to deal with any mental health concerns or crises on the field trip:

Mental Health and Suicide Safety: Supporting Students (Level 2) - 1/2 day course

Mental Health First Aid (MHFA) England (Level 3) - 2 Day Course