Students in Alex Square

Our flexible approach

Teaching, learning and research

Last Updated: 05 August 2020

With social distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of our campus community, we will deliver teaching, learning and research differently this autumn. For example, because social distancing measures reduce the capacity of teaching, learning and research spaces, we expect to provide a blend of online tuition and small group/lab teaching. This may mean that supervision and research training is undertaken remotely where required.

By complementing online delivery with more interactive, smaller group sessions, you will be connected to your academic colleagues and fellow students or doctoral researchers. Our aim is to be as flexible as possible to accommodate your needs. Our objective is to ensure that you receive a high-quality experience, including academic support, whatever the restrictions resulting from the pandemic may be. If the decline in cases of Coronavirus (Covid-19) in the UK continues to fall then we will be able to offer more in-person teaching and if the virus increases again then we may have to do more online.

Our flexible arrival times for those studying on our Lancaster Campus

The autumn term begins on Friday 2 October, with the majority of our teaching commencing from Monday 5 October. We are looking forward to welcoming you on to campus. We have extended our normal arrival times to ensure students can start the term on time, depending on their circumstances. For those living on campus, arrivals will commence from Monday 14 September for new and continuing students, who need to arrive early and self-isolate prior to the start of term. For those who do not require this service, arrivals will commence from Saturday 19 September until Sunday 27 September. You will be notified of your accommodation moving in date by email. However, we appreciate that the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic may result in difficulties for your arrival on to campus.

If you are unable to arrive in Lancaster at the start of term because of travel restrictions, ill health, care responsibilities or government advice, we have put in place flexible arrival times so that where possible, you are able to arrive in Lancaster at any point during the autumn term, up until Friday 8 January 2021. For students unable to join us on campus, we plan to provide fully online teaching until the end of the first term. We will support you to start your studies online until you are able to join us here in Lancaster. You are encouraged to arrive as soon as you possibly can, not least because we will be offering a range of on-campus academic and social events. For a small number of programmes, it will not be possible to be fully online, for example, those with significant laboratory or other practical elements that need to be undertaken on campus, and in those instances, we will work with you to explore options for completing your studies.

If you are a new student and cannot arrive on campus for the start of term, please contact the Admissions Team to discuss at the following addresses:

For continuing students, you will need to contact your department to discuss arrangements for online teaching until you are able to return to campus.

International students, new and continuing who are studying on a Tier 4 visa, must additionally inform the Registry at This is so we can ensure that you have the right information for your visa.

Whether you return to campus by Friday 2 October or commence the 2020/21 academic year online, all new students are required to complete their online registration by Friday 16 October.

Supporting international arrivals

We are exploring several options to help make travel from overseas as easy as possible. For example, we are investigating the possibility of offering chartered flight services and we are liaising with strategic travel partners to explore travel packages. We also have a dedicated Visa and Immigration team that is available to answer any questions about your visa and help you with your visa application. If you have any specific questions about your arrival into the UK, you can email

Free travel from Manchester airport to Lancaster

For new and existing students travelling to Lancaster from outside of the UK, we will arrange free transport from Manchester airport to the University between 14 September 2020 and 8 January 2021. These will be available at set times. We can also assist with travel arrangements from other UK airports. If you would like to use this service, please complete the expression of interest airport pick up form.

Free self-isolation accommodation prior to the start of term

New and continuing students who are required to self-isolate due to UK government restrictions upon travel to the UK, can move into University accommodation from Monday 14 September and complete a 14-day isolation period before the term starts. No rent will be charged before Monday 28 September for this service. We will also support a 14-day isolation period from any arrival date during the first term. New students will receive information about this service in their accommodation offer letter. Continuing students are asked to email the Accommodation Office at if you wish to access this service.

A warm welcome to our new students

Our new student welcome will take place over an extended period to allow for safe and well-organised arrivals onto the Lancaster campus. It will begin on Saturday 19 September for most students, with those students requiring self-isolation able to arrive earlier (please see above). On arrival, each student will be welcomed by their college and assisted with moving safely and smoothly into their accommodation.

For those unable to join us on campus in September, a warm welcome will await you later in the year and, before then, where possible, you will be able to commence your studies online - please refer to our flexible arrival information above. When you are able to join us in Lancaster, steps will be taken to ensure this is done safely.

Students who will live in University-managed accommodation will receive details of their move-in date following their offer of accommodation. These instructions will also provide information on what to do next if you are unable to arrive on the day you have been allocated, and what to do if you need to make arrangements for self-isolation.

For all students, accommodation contracts will only begin when students collect their keys, which means that if you need to move in later than expected, accommodation fees for the period before you arrive will be waived. If you are asked to arrive early, you will not be charged until Saturday 26 September.

Following initial arrival, there will be a mix of online events and activities, including advice and information on health, safety, wellbeing and additional training regarding precautions related to coronavirus (Covid-19). Where possible, there will also be in-person events for small groups to enable new students to meet each other in a safe way. In each college, there will also be a programme of social events organised and offered by Junior Common Room (JCR) student representatives.

A timetable for welcome events and activities will be published on our welcome pages at the end of August, to reflect fully the UK Government safety guidelines that are in place at that time.

Social distancing will be maintained through a range of mechanisms. This includes a full risk assessment for our spaces across the entire campus, including the social spaces in our colleges. Groups will be organised to keep within the limits set by government experts, and information will be provided to students on arrival regarding how to maintain social distancing at social events. Advisory information will be backed up by clear signage at the relevant locations. Student representatives and staff from each college will oversee each event to ensure that safe social distancing is maintained.

Lancaster is a global community, and each year we offer a warm welcome to remote students who learn through our distance programmes. This year, due to travel issues caused by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic, we will also offer a remote welcome to those students who will join us on campus later in the academic year. All our students are encouraged to take part in our online welcome activities, to connect with our staff and students and join the community of which we are so proud.

Our commitments are based on our best understanding of what the situation is likely to be when you arrive. We may need to change or adapt some elements of our plans as the situation changes in the UK and around the world. Please ensure you check this page regularly for any updates as we will add additional information as more is known here and at