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The University of Southampton

Working on Campus

Our commitments during COVID-1

We expect everyone in our community to:​

We want to encourage all of our return staff to feel safe and protected in the workplace.

Over the last few months we have worked hard to assess risks and to create supporting approaches and guidance. Whether you’re researching, teaching or doing any number of essential roles, we’re committed to supporting you all in doing your job whilst ensuring your safety.

COVID-19 awareness induction

We’re committed to preparing staff for their return to work on campus.

Staff members who are returning to campus should take the COVID-19 awareness module in Blackboard. The Blackboard site also contains other courses and information that may be useful to staff members.  

Face coverings and physical distancing

We will follow all relevant guidance and take appropriate measures to stop the spread of COVID-19.

We have established a RAG tier rating for our teaching provision that will be reviewed by UEB weekly, or more often if the circumstances require.

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 (see the Campus Life page for additional detail) 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:


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 (see the Campus Life page). This is particularly important where 2m social distancing is difficult to achieve (e.g. entering or leaving a lecture theatre).

Lecturers should arrive with their face covering on. A lecturer, once 2m socially distanced and behind a Perspex screen, may choose to remove their face mask.

Many of our lecture theatres have been set up for 1m social distancing. Where this is the case, students need to wear face coverings during the lecture. Even where 2m social distancing is possible, a lecturer can require students to wear face coverings during a lecture.

More detailed information and guidance for semester one changes have been sent to all teaching staff.

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

As part of our blended approach to delivering education while keeping the campuses COVID-secure, some classes will need to be taught remotely, via digital channels. We’re very aware that this may be quite different to how teaching has previously been delivered.

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.

The team will signpost students and refer their enquiries to specialist teams, as needed, including for mental health support. The service will primarily be online but where online support is not appropriate, a face to face appointment on campus will be arranged. This will be managed carefully to limit the number of people in the Student Services building.

The Student Support Hub will also provide student ID card and visa distribution, an accommodation hotline and will process fees and accommodation payments.

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.

Informing student behaviour

We will ensure that all students who arrive at, or return to, campus are aware of and follow all safety measures.

Current measures:

Staff working at home

The health and safety of our staff and students continues to be our priority. While some staff are now returning to campuses, we will continue to support staff working from home during this time.

Current measures:

A full set of detailed guidance for staff is available on the University’s HR pages

Related links and resources

A full Health and Safety framework can be accessed by University staff members

Links and next steps to other related content

What are the 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.

Are university outlets accepting cash?

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.


Researchers, including postgraduates and supervisors, can find relevant information here:

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