Frequently Asked Questions
Welcome to Lancaster University. As a new member of staff there is much you will want to know about the University and its facilities. We can't provide all that information on one web page but we have tried to identify some of the key areas and presented them in a simple "Frequently Asked Questions" format. An electronic copy of the induction/orientation handbook is also available here.
- When is the University open?
- How do I find my way around campus?
- What bus services run from the University?
- What are the car parking arrangements?
- Where are the taxi pick-up points on campus?
- What staff accommodation is available on campus?
- What accommodation is available in the Lancaster Area?
- What staff development opportunities are available?
- How do I book a room for a meeting?
- How do I use the email system?
- How can I pick up emails from home?
- I have changed my home address, who do I need to tell?
- How do I report an accident, crime or emergency?
- How do I join a college?
- What health and welfare services are available for staff?
- How do I get a National Insurance (NI) number?
- How do I open a bank account if I'm a non-British resident?
- How can I access my payslip?
- How do I find out about childcare services for pre-schoolers?
- Where can I find out about local schools?
- What social and cultural activities are there for staff?
- What are the sports facilities on campus?
There are a number of maps here.
There is a regular and frequent bus service to Lancaster, Morecambe and Heysham, with a reduced service outside term time. Buses depart from Alexandra Park and the underpass under Alexandra Square. See Bus Services for timetables.
As with most large organisations, car parking is a contentious issue. The local authority limits the number of spaces we can make available, so anyone regularly driving to campus needs to get a parking permit.
Annual Permits can be obtained through flexible benefits. Apply for your permit here.
There are also pay and display spaces and reserved spaces for visitors. A car share parking scheme is also in operation (register for Car sharing scheme).
If you are planning to cycle to the campus or use the bus, you may apply
for scratchcards giving 15 day's free parking - contact Security x92197.
Local taxi operators know the University well and can usually provide a car at short notice. You will need to tell the operator where on campus you require the taxi. A fairly safe place to tell a taxi to collect you would be outside the Security Lodge or the Chaplaincy Centre.
www.yell.com gives you a full listing of taxis in the area.
Accommodation for staff and visitors is available in some campus residence areas, currently in Bowland Hall and the John Creed Building (County College). There is a selection of standard and en-suite guestrooms for short visits and also some academic visitor rooms for longer stays. See: here for more details
There is a good range of hotels and bed and breakfasts around the area and many web sites promoting them. Please click here for details.
All rooms suitable for meetings are bookable through a central Room Booking Service.
The ISS web site www.lancs.ac.uk/iss/email/ tells you how how to register and access your @lancaster email account. As all official emails will come to this address, it is important that you have access to this, even if you have another existing account.
There are two methods of collecting your Lancaster email from home. The first is the most secure method and is ideal for working from home, it uses a system called a virtual private network (VPN). ISS run sessions to help you set this up. As well as your email it will also allow you to access your work files and folders.
However sometimes we are away from campus but not at home and still needing to access our email - a quick, but slightly less secure method of doing this is by using a web client. This page www.lancs.ac.uk/iss/email/web-email.htm gives full instructions, it is easy to use anywhere in the world where you have access to the internet.
You need to go to the Self-Service webpage and change it on there.
In emergency dial 999 from any landline phone or extension on campus. Your call will be forwarded to University Security. The Security Officers will respond quickly to incidents and will be in direct touch with all the emergency services if further assistance is needed. It is particularly important to go through Security if an ambulance is needed. Officers will meet the ambulance when it arrives and guide it by the quickest route to where it’s needed.
If calling from your mobile, dial the direct Security tel number: 01524 594541. Remember, it is essential that all reports are made initially to University Security.
All members of staff are entitled to become Senior Members of a Lancaster University College. On joining the University, you will be assigned to a college by the Colleges and Residence Office. If you want to join a particular college, or to transfer from the one to which you have been assigned, then please contact Geraldine Caldwell on ext 5-94694
Campus Health Services: Lancaster University Medical Centre is located on South West Drive opposite the LEC building, on the outer edge of the perimeter road, and provides GP and nursing services to students and staff. The non-NHS dental surgery is located at the north end of campus beside Bailrigg House. For further information on these services see University Health Services .
Local doctor: If you want to register with a doctor's practice in the area then you could try: the NHS search
Counselling: The University has a confidential counselling service open to all staff as well as students. For further information and /or to make an appointment please contact Counselling .
A National Insurance (NI) number is a personal number used:
- to record a person's NI contributions and credited contributions
- because it is needed when claiming social security benefits.
A NI number should only be given to one person and must only be used by that person. You will need to apply to your local Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) office for a National Insurance number if you have started or are about to start work. You will be interviewed by a DWP officer who will help you with your application. The telephone number of the Lancaster office is 01524 598000.
There are two Banks on campus who are used to dealing with overseas visitors and will be happy to help you.
Banks require proof of residency and/or a letter of introduction before you can open a bank account. Contact HR Service Delivery team for the letter of introduction, which will give the bank the following information: your name; date of birth; position in your department; start and, if applicable, end date of your contract; salary; last and current residential addresses.
Payslips can be viewed on the Self-Service page.
The Lancaster University Pre School Centre has an excellent reputation as one of the leading childcare establishments in the area and offers salary sacrifice arrangements for staff fees.
Use this link to find schools in Lancaster and area.
One of the best ways to get involved in social activities is to join a College as a Senior Member. All Colleges run social events for their senior members and welcome the involvement of all staff. It's a good way of meeting and getting to know staff from other departments and sections of the University.
For music lovers, there is the Lancaster International Concert Series that takes place over the year in the Great Hall, featuring classical and contemporary music from around the world. For further information on upcoming concerts see Lancaster Concerts.
The Nuffield Theatre has an international reputation for staging and commissioning experimental performance from across the UK and abroad and has one of the largest performance studios in Europe. Many of the most important performance makers of the last 30 years have shown their work here. The Nuffield is situated at the North end of campus, behind the Great Hall.
The Peter Scott Gallery is one of the gems of Lancaster University. It possesses an impressive collection of paintings and ceramics, and has a varied programme of regular temporary exhibitions. The Gallery is part of the Great Hall complex, beside County College South. Admission is free.
For film fans there is LU Cinema. Lancaster is one of the few universities that can boast its own student cinema, one of the best equipped student cinemas in the country, and on a par with public cinemas. It shows a wide selection of modern, classic and foreign films, and at £3 a ticket is very reasonably priced. It is located in Bowland Lecture Theatre, directly off Alexandra Square. There are 2 showings a night, with the doors opening at 6.15pm and 9.15pm (films start 6.30 and 9.30pm respectively). During the Michaelmas and Lent terms it operates 6 nights a week, and in the Summer term 4 nights a week.
In addition to the above, check out the long list of friendly Clubs and societies that you might like to join. Whether it's to expand an existing interest or to take up a new hobby, Lancaster University is the ideal place to get involved.
The new sports centre has a swimming pool, sports hall, squash courts, weight training rooms, dance facilities, sauna, solarium and a rock climbing wall. Outdoor facilities include football, rugby and hockey pitches, cricket fields, tennis courts, a floodlit hard lay area, areas for golf driving, athletics and archery. There are discounts to staff through Flexible Benefits.