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The University of Southampton

Working on Campus

National lockdown from 5 January 2021

Following the Government announcement of a national lockdown, only essential staff, including those teaching the priority face to face courses, will be allowed access to our campuses. A limited number of campus services such as take-away catering, libraries and study space will remain open, whilst all other facilities will close. Associate Deans Research and Directors of Research Centres will be reviewing access to laboratories to ensure these are only being used for essential work.

Our commitments during COVID-1

We expect everyone in our community to:​

Current measures:

We each have a social responsibility to care for one another in our community, which includes making sure we keep our work areas clean, practise physical distancing, wash our hands regularly and wear face coverings (unless you are exempt).

It also includes demonstrating trust and respect for your colleagues, our students and wider community.

Suitable face coverings should be worn at all times when you are indoors and at all other times where applicable (student guide to Coronavirus on campus) with some exceptions:

If a colleague or student is exempt from face covering requirements, they may choose to apply for hidden-disability lanyards which will be available from the University or to print off an exemption card from the Public Health England website.

Associate Deans of Faculty will be in charge of allocating face coverings for staff members. We have a variety of reusable, disposable, and transparent face coverings as well as visors. These will be allocated according to need (e.g. transparent face coverings for those who work with or teach individuals with hearing impairments).

Testing our students and staff

We are testing our students and staff, in order to keep the infection risk low in Southampton and give confidence to colleagues, our students and our local communities.

Current measures:

Delivering teaching excellence safely

We will support you in delivering excellent quality teaching to your students, either remotely or on our campuses

Current measures:

In line with the UK Government, there will be no in-person, on-campus teaching, until we advise you otherwise - with the exception of Medicine, Health Sciences and PGCE students. These students will be able to continue their placements and/or in person on campus teaching as planned.


The teaching week will operate Monday to Friday 09:00 to 18:00 and will now include Wednesday afternoons. Locally agreed variations will be permitted in accordance with our existing Timetabling and Common Learning Space Management Policy.


Sessions will commence on the hour from 09:00 and will run for a full hour (as opposed to 45 minutes). This is to enable the timetable and Campus operations to work effectively in support of a COVID-secure environment. Except where teaching has a ‘practical’ component (for example, labs, fieldwork, studios, performance, clinical skills sessions), the maximum length of a teaching session will be limited to two consecutive blocks.

This means a maximum total of two hours per standard lecture/seminar/tutorial session. No student will have back to back teaching sessions, with the exception of timetabled double sessions.

Class size

In the great majority of cases class size will be limited to 25 for face-to-face teaching. Exceptions to this will be considered on a case by case basis, through an exceptions process.


We are operating with a ‘building agnostic’ timetabling principle, identifying which activities work best in which spaces. Some spaces may not be deemed suitable due to size, layout and ventilation, for example.


Teaching spaces, also known as Common Learning Spaces (CLS), are cleaned in between each use.

There are cleaning wipes in teaching spaces to enable staff and students to further clean their own work area. Bins will be provided for their disposal.

Face coverings

Suitable face coverings should be worn at all times when you and your students are indoors and at all other times where applicable.

Meeting with students

Individual or small-group staff and student meetings should be held online. In cases where there are pressing reasons for meeting in person, this should not take place in staff offices, as appropriate cleaning protocols will not be in place. We are working on a process to identify suitable meeting rooms. These will be available for booking through the central room booking system

Remote teaching

To help support you, our Centre for Higher Education Practice (CHEP) and Digital Learning teams have created these Moving Education online and Teaching Remotely resources. These are designed to help you find the most appropriate options for you and your students.

Support for students

If one of your students needs support, please point them toward the Student Support Hub. This is the first point of contact for students 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Students can access the Student Support Hub 24/7 via telephone 02380599599 or email
Between 10.00 and 16.00 Monday-Friday students can also use online chat. 

Catering arrangements on Highfield campus

The Arlott Bar is currently open for take away only. Please visit the Catering webpage for more information.

A free app is now available offering order ahead services at University catering venues, as well as a loyalty scheme. You can download the free Upay app from the Apple App Store or Google Play Store or visit UPAY. Enter Site Affiliate ID: UOS to set up your account.

Payment methods

To help limit contact with surfaces, the University is no longer accepting cash as a form of payment. Payments across all our campuses can be made using a variety of methods, such as Apple Pay, Google Pay, and contactless as well as the worldwide capabilities of both Visa and Mastercard. All students have been informed of this change.

Staff working at home

The health and safety of our staff and students continues to be our priority. We will continue to support staff working from home during this time.

Current measures:

Staff HR guidance


Researchers, including postgraduates and supervisors, can find relevant information at the following links:

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