Information for New Staff

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.

Q: When is the University open?

The Academic Term dates are listed here. Information on University closure during holiday periods can be found at Statutory and University Holidays page.


Q: How do I find my way around campus?

There are a number of maps here.

Q: What bus services run from the University?

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.

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Q: What are the car parking arrangements on campus?

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.

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Q: Where are the taxi pick-up points on campus?

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. gives you a full listing of taxis in the area.

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Q: What accommodation for staff is available on campus?

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

Q: What accommodation is available in the Lancaster Area?

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.

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Q:What staff development opportunities are available?

For a range of development opportunities the OED website has information on courses and other development opportunities available for staff. For specific queries contact the OED team direct.

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meeting space

Q: How do I book a room for a meeting?

All rooms suitable for meetings are bookable through a central Room Booking Service. For conferences or seminars, meeting rooms should be booked through Lancaster Conferences

Q: How do I use the email system?

The ISS web site 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.

Q: How can I pick up my emails from home?

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 gives full instructions, it is easy to use anywhere in the world where you have access to the internet.

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Q: I have changed my home address, who do I tell?

You need to go to the Self-Service webpage and change it on there.

Q: Reporting an accident, crime or emergency

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.

Q: How do I join a college?

Bowland College

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

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Q: What health and welfare services are available for staff?

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 .

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Q: How do I get a National Insurance (NI) number?

A National Insurance (NI) number is a personal number used:

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.

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Q: How can I open a bank account if I'm a non-British resident?

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.

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Q: How can I access my payslip?

Payslips can be viewed on the Self-Service page.

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Q: How do I find out about childcare services for pre-schoolers?

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.

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Q: Where can I find out about local schools?

Use this link to find schools in Lancaster and area.

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Q: What social and cultural activities are there for staff?

Peter Scott Gallery

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.

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.

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Q: What sports facilities are there on campus?

The 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.

(James Howard)
Review Date June 2015

Lancaster University
LancasterLA1 4YW United Kingdom
+44 (0) 1524 65201