Reducing the risk of catching coronavirus

University of Exeter expert in Communicable Disease Control and Infectious disease management, Dr Bharat Pankhania discusses how we can reduce the risk of catching coronavirus (COVID-19).

How to reduce your risk
How to reduce your risk
Wash your hands
Self Isolation

Prospective students, applicants and offer holders (Exeter and Cornwall)

Latest update – Monday 15 June 12:00

Restrictions currently remain in place across all our campuses. The health, safety and wellbeing of students, colleagues and the wider community is our top priority.

We have launched a new webpage, detailing the work being undertaken to ensure the safest and most rewarding campus experience for 2020/21.

The UK Government has introduced new regulations on what you can and cannot do in England, including: ‘support bubbles’ with one other household if you live alone or are a single parent with dependent children, and the gradual reopening of some shops, schools and places of worship. For detailed guidance please visit the Government webpages.

Please continue to check the FAQs below for updated information and guidance.

Admissions are now working from home in response to the current situation and advice, and we will maintain our operations as best we can.  We have collated the following answers for you, to help with your questions during this uncertain time, but if you need to get in touch, please don’t hesitate to complete our enquiry form and include your University of Exeter reference number which will help speed up our response time.

This information is subject to change under University discretion however it is correct as of 6 April 2020 and will be reviewed at least weekly. 

Frequently asked questions

Please note the advice on this page may change, particularly as there are ongoing updates to the Government guidance.

Events on campus

We are sorry to let you know that we have had to cancel our face to face Offer Holder Visit Days due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We have taken this decision to safeguard the health and welfare of our visitors, students and staff. Your safety is our top priority, but we are also very sorry to have cancelled as we know how important and valued these events are to our offer holders.

We have now invited all offer-holders to our online Offer-Holder Visit Days which are taking place after Easter. These will provide you with the guidance and information you need to make informed decisions about studying with the University of Exeter, across all its campuses. We have emailed all offer-holders with registration details for these online events. If you haven’t received an invitation, please check your spam/junk folders in case our email has been misdirected. If you are an offer-holder and haven’t been asked to register, please contact us at (for Streatham or St Luke’s campus offers) and (for Penryn campus offers).

We have online open days scheduled for May and September. Our May event is fully booked but you can sign up for our September events via our Visit Us webpages. You are welcome to join a morning or afternoon session between 1 – 4 September. You will able to learn more about our subjects, campuses and study experience. We will have students and staff on hand to answer your questions and hopefully provide you with all the information you need to help you decide on your next steps. You are also welcome to join any of the virtual lectures, advice sessions and Q&As we are running over the next few months as part of our new Discover University series. Join us on Facebook for full information about our upcoming events.

We anticipate that our PGCE Open Day will not take place, but we are organising alternative opportunities for you to visit us in person at a later date. We are also planning live online events to help you experience all that we have to offer and help you make informed decisions about studying with the University of Exeter.

In the meantime, please book for an event on our Teacher Training Open Days web page to record your interest so that we can keep you informed of the latest position.

Whatever happens over the next few months, we will do our very best to make sure that you have the information you need and to answer your questions about studying with us.

Our online postgraduate open day will provide you with the guidance and information you need to make informed decisions about studying with the University of Exeter. You will hear from our staff and current postgraduate students and access a range of information about our programmes, scholarships, funding, our campuses and facilities. Our next Online Open Day, covering all of our campuses, will take place on Thursday 25 June. Complete our pre-registration form and visit our Postgraduate Visit Us webpages for more information.

We are sorry to let you know that we have had to suspend our Campus Tours for the foreseeable future. If you have booked on to a tour we will be contacting you directly with more information. We will reinstate this service when it is appropriate to do so. In the meantime, we are organising a series of online events to help you experience all that we have to offer and help you make informed decisions about studying with the University of Exeter. We will promote these in due course.

We have launched a new programme of virtual lectures, advice sessions and Q&As which we will be running over the next few months to provide an insight into University study, preparation for higher education, and a flavour of some of the subjects on offer. Whether you are at the very beginning of deciding whether University is for you, thinking about what subject you may be interested in or have already decided on your course of study, you will hopefully find information and sessions which are relevant to you. Join Discover University on Facebook for full information about our upcoming events.

Our campuses remain closed to visitors but there are plenty of opportunities to find out more via our campuses webpages which include virtual tours of some of our teaching spaces and student facitities.


To make sure it’s a fair reflection of your performance, your school or college will be asked to send exam boards two pieces of information for each of your subjects, based on what they know about your work and achievement:

• The grades they believe you were most likely to get if teaching, learning and exams had happened as planned
• The order of students, by performance, within those grades

Your school or college will consider a range of things like your class and homework, your results in assignments and any mock exams, any non-exam assessment you might have done, and your general progress during your course.

The process outlined will ensure a set of fair and justifiable examination results are awarded for everyone affected by the examination and assessment cancellations. For more information please visit

Exeter will honour your place if you meet the conditions of your offer, with your awarded grades.

We know that some international qualifications such as HKDSE and Indian Standard XIIs may issue results with a small delay or be postponed. Some universities are also going to award degrees later than originally planned. We will be able to accommodate delays affecting undergraduate admission provided results are made available before the current 31 August UCAS deadline.

For postgraduate admission, we continue to require formal confirmation of your degree and associated transcripts (if requested) to confirm enrolment. However, we will be keeping our admissions timetable under review and we will provide further information on any impact on semester start and late arrival dates soon.

Where centres have accepted entries from independent candidates (students who have taught themselves, because they have been home-schooled, followed distance-learning programmes or studying independently), the Head of Centre will submit evidence where they are confident that they and their staff have seen sufficient evidence of the student's achievement to make an objective judgement.

Ofqual is urgently exploring whether there are alternative options for those students who do not have an existing relationship with a centre and who need results this summer for progression purposes. Ofqual has said: “Unfortunately this is unlikely to be possible for all external candidates, some of whom may instead need to take exams in the autumn to get their grades.”

My application

We can assure all prospective and returning students that we are making comprehensive plans to cover all eventualities for next academic year. Like you, we do not yet know what the autumn will bring. However, we are committed to doing everything in our power to be able to personally welcome you to the University of Exeter in the autumn – to excellent learning and teaching and to exciting opportunities for research.

We will give regular updates on our developing plans and news as the situation becomes clearer and as we receive further guidance from government. In the meantime, we are grateful for your understanding through this constantly evolving situation and we wish you, and those close to you, safety and good health.

UKVI have announced that some Visa Application Centres in the UK and overseas will be open again from 1st June. For updates relevant to your home country please visit:

TLS contact if you’re in Europe, Africa and parts of the Middle East
VFS global for all other countries

It has also been announced that the validity of Tier 4 entry visas has been increased from 30 to 90 days. This means that if you have to delay your travel to the UK you will not have to apply for a new entry visa if you are able to arrive within 90 days of your original intended travel date.

We are aware that some local education institutions have extended their holiday periods and International English Language Testing System (IELTS) centres are currently closed. We appreciate that this will have an impact on some students’ ability to complete their applications, particularly with preparing their creative portfolios and evidence of their academic and English language qualifications.

Please be assured that all applications received in line with relevant admissions deadlines will be considered equally. We will consider the likely impact of the escalating situation on our applicants and make every effort to ensure those students are not disadvantaged.

We appreciate that this is a difficult time and you may not be able to arrange for your deposit to be paid just yet. If you require an extension, please request this via the enquiry form with your University of Exeter reference number and we will do all we can to help you.  We can only guarantee your place once you have paid the deposit and this is needed to secure any scholarship or Prompt Payment Award you have been offered.

We have amended our Deposit refund Policy to allow for refunds in exceptional circumstances which you can access here.

We are currently monitoring the situation carefully and are aware that English language testing providers are planning to put on more tests this year to manage demand. Whilst you might not have currently met the English conditions, you may be eligible to study on a Pre-sessional programme with INTO who are based on our Streatham Campus. INTO University of Exeter are offering an 8 and 12 week online course, as well as a 6 week on-campus programme. Further details of their programmes can be found online.

Due to the closure of test centres we are pleased to confirm that we are now accepting some addition online language test; the tests are Duolingo, Password ,TOEFL IBT Special Home Edition and IELTS Indicator online tests. 

Please ensure you check our webpages with information for current students, ensuring that if you have recently visited a Category 1 country recently you should self-isolate immediately.  Arrangements will be made to ensure you can enrol, you will just need to get in touch with us if you have self-isolated and therefore cannot attend to present your documents via our enquiry form.

If you are unable to get to the University of Exeter due to restrictions in place, please get in touch and we will work with you to arrange a suitable alternative start date.  If you have applied for accommodation please note that applying for accommodation is different from securing accommodation and it is important to understand when you have entered into a legally bound contract.

If you are allocated to University of Exeter accommodation in Exeter, clause 6 of our Terms and Conditions explain our termination policy.  (

For student studying in Cornwall details of the accommodation Terms and Conditions are found at

If your secure accommodation in the private sector in either Exeter or Cornwall, each agreement will vary, and you should clarify with the provider of the accommodation what will happen before you agree to the contract.

Yes for the 2020/21 academic year some programmes are offering a start in January 2021 alongside the revised standard October 2020 start date. Find out more about which programmes are offering a flexible start date on our Postgraduate Taught website.

We understand that there are a variety of reasons why an applicant may require to defer their start date, and we will always try to accommodate these.  Please be mindful though, that whilst we are able to allow deferred places for 2021, if at any point you wish to change your mind and reverse the deferral, we may not be able to accommodate this, so please consider a deferral carefully before requesting it.  If you have paid a tuition fee deposit, this will be rolled forward with your application if a deferral request is granted; we will do this automatically for you.

Studentships are paid to registered students regardless of whether you are on campus or not. For the majority of studentships the duration of the funding is not expected to change even if an adjusted start date is agreed.

We do not anticipate any delays however if this changed we would contact applicants.

Currently there do not appear to be any delays however you can check ‘The Gateway’ and this will advise you of your current status and if we have received your payment. The Gateway is a useful portal for uploading documents we have requested for you and you can accept your offer, instead of emailing, which is a faster process. However, if two weeks have passed and it does not appear on the ‘The Gateway’, that your payment has been received, please use our enquiry form and include details of when you paid along with your Exeter reference number.

We regret to inform you we are cancelling all face to face interviews due to the ongoing COVID-19 situation. We have taken this decision with the aim of safeguarding the health and welfare of our visitors, students and staff. We sincerely apologise for any inconvenience this may cause, but your safety is our top priority. If you have applied for a programme which requires you to attend an interview you will be contacted with regards to alternative arrangements.

Yes, we anticipate having places available on some of our programmes in Clearing so you may still have an opportunity to apply to study with us. We will be posting information online nearer the time along with a full list of programmes and will provide information to help you make your decision. Keep an eye on our Undergraduate Study pages for more information nearer the time.

Travel advice and updates

Advice for those intending to travel abroad and for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly.

There remains in place a COVID-19 exceptional travel advisory notice, advising against all but essential international travel. Please also stay up-to-date with our University specific advice and guidance on travel.


The University has made the decision to temporarily suspend all international travel for work or study purposes. This means that no international travel should be booked, even if this is planned travel in the medium to long term future. There is uncertainty over when travel will become feasible again. It is therefore a reasonable assumption that any travel booked carries an increased risk of being cancelled. For this reason, insurers will not currently provide cancellation or curtailment cover for trips booked at this time.

The safety of our staff and students is of paramount importance, therefore we suggest you complete our coronavirus travel risk assessment form before considering any travel; including personal travel or travel within the UK.
You will know that the situation is changing all the time. Please check the Foreign Travel Advice website and your emails for updated information.

Trips already booked, where departure is due within the next month should be cancelled now. Once the trip has been cancelled please let your supervisor or line manager, and the insurance team ( know that you are no longer planning to travel.

If you are currently overseas for work or study purposes and would like to return to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.

Advice for those returning to the UK from overseas is changing rapidly.

Before travelling, or making plans to travel, you must check the latest advice from the Government’s Foreign Travel Advice website. The Government continues to advise individuals to return to the UK now if currently travelling abroad, and information on contacting relevant Embassies or High Commissions and how to book flights (where these are still available) is published on the FCO webpage. There is also a webpage with dedicated guidance on protecting yourself and others on your return.

Please also stay up-to-date with our University specific advice and guidance on travel.


If you are currently abroad for work or study purposes and would like to consider returning to the UK please contact your supervisor or line manager for guidance or contact us via Supervisors and managers may need to seek further advice from their College or Professional Service.
Staff and Postgraduates must have completed the online travel form via:
Students must have arranged appropriate insurance, either via the University undergraduate travel insurance provider (, or a provider of their choice.

University updates and actions

The University is acting on advice from sources including the FCO, WHO, NHS and Public Health England.  We have taken proactive steps to contact our students and staff to ensure that everyone has access to the latest advice.  

We are keeping in contact with students and staff who are in the affected countries/areas, as well as those students and staff who may have recently returned to the UK from from affected areas abroad.  

We are monitoring the situation closely, have made plans to act quickly if the situation changes and will provide further updates as necessary.

The University campuses are open only for essential services. In line with latest advice, we are planning our response to the Government’s working safely during coronavirus guidance. For now, all restrictions remain in place.

If you are currently working at home then you must continue doing so until you have explicit notice from your Service Director, Director of College Operations or Pro-Vice-Chancellor. If you have been working on campus during the restrictions to provide essential services, there will be no change to your current arrangements.

We ask everyone to follow the staying alert and safe guidance set out by the Government.

Most University events have been cancelled or postponed for the foreseeable future. Where possible we are moving events online. The Events Team have put together a toolkit for staff and students running online events.

The sports facilities on all campuses are also closed.

Third parties and contractors should seek advice from their line management.

The various works on our campus, undertaken by the University and our partners, are continuing in accordance with the most recent Government advice, issued on 26th March and the Secretary of State letter on 31st March.

The Government has advised that construction activities can continue, provided contractors comply with social distancing requirements and enhanced cleaning measures. All contractors who continue to operate on campus are following the recently published Site Operating Procedures from the Construction Leadership Council.

The University is working closely with our partners to ensure this guidance is followed, and we are putting into place additional measures as appropriate. We are monitoring the situation as it evolves and will provide any further updates here.

Respect in our community

We know that outbreaks can take place anywhere in the world. Internationally, nationally and locally there have been incidents of xenophobic and racist behaviour and abuse.

We emphasise the need to show respect, kindness and compassion for all during this uncertain time. Inappropriate behaviour or harassment of any kind will not be tolerated. This is a hate crime and is against the law.

If you experience, or are witness to, any behaviour of this type, please report it to the police immediately. You can also report it to the University via our Speak Out web pages. We will investigate this and, where necessary, disciplinary procedures will be followed.

If you are feeling anxious during this time, further support is available via our wellbeing webpages.

We have signed an open letter with partners across Exeter on tackling hate crime and racism in our community, particularly in light of recent incidents in relation to coronavirus. This is a time when we must work together and support each other - not create more division and hurt. Read the letter in full​

General updates on coronavirus (COVID-19)

All individuals should self-isolate if they develop a new continuous cough, fever or anosmia.

Anosmia is the loss of or a change in your normal sense of smell. It can also affect your sense of taste as the two are closely linked. For further information please visit the GOV UK Pages.


The Department of Health and Social Care and Public Health England (PHE) update the UK’s COVID-19 information on a regular basis.

PHE have created a blog ‘Novel Coronavirus: what you need to know’. The World Health Organisation (WHO) have also created a dedicated website for information and guidance. 

To find out more about what the health and social care system across the UK has done to tackle the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, and what it plans to do next, please read the  Coronavirus action plan: a guide to what you can expect across the UK.

The Government has set out that people must wear a face covering whilst using public transport or when attending a hospital as a visitor or outpatient.

We are therefore recommending that all colleagues and students wear a face covering when inside University buildings. To support this, we are providing three re-usable face coverings to all colleagues and students on their return to campus. Please do not return to campus, unless you are a staff member authorised to do so, or a student living in University Accommodation.

If you are currently working or living on our Exeter campuses you can access disposable face coverings in the reception area of the building you are working / living in. If your building does not currently have a supply of face coverings, or has run out, please let us know via the following contact points:

Streatham campus:
St Luke’s campus:
Penryn campus:

If you are working or living on the Cornwall campus you can collect face coverings from Glasney Lodge.

It is important to note that face coverings do not replace social distancing and that you need to use them properly i.e. wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off and ensure your mouth and nose are covered.

Public Health England (PHE) is advising those who are at increased risk of severe illness from coronavirus (COVID-19) to be particularly stringent in following staying alert and safe guidance. The Government has identified those that are classified as clinically vulnerable or extremely vulnerable. People who are clinically extremely vulnerable should have received a letter telling them they’re in this group or been told by their GP. Further information is available online:

Guidance on those who are at increased risk of severe illness
Guidance on who is classified as extremely vulnerable

If you are worried about your health regarding the coronavirus, you can use the NHS 111 online tool or contact your GP for further advice.

If you are a member of staff, you can talk to your line manager about being in a vulnerable category.

If you are a student, you can contact your GP or relevant health professional for advice. If you would like Wellbeing support, you can contact Wellbeing Services.

Social distancing means keeping a safe distance from other people, to help control the spread of disease. The Government has published requirements on staying alert and safe (social distancing) for people in England. Please check this information for the latest guidance. 

Everyone must follow these measures as much as is pragmatic.

Advice for parents

Unfortunately, we are not able to discuss the details of individual students with parents, guardians or carers unless the student gives us permission to do so, but please be assured we are keeping students up to date with the latest information, which can be found on this webpage and also via the Public Health England (PHE) webpages. We would encourage any student with an underlying health condition to speak to their GP for advice. 

We encourage you to make contact with your child directly and re-emphasise the need to contact 111 if they are worried about their health.