How we’re keeping our community safe

We're closely following the latest government guidelines to keep our community safe.

Video script: Our safe campus

What to expect on campus in the new academic year

Learning and teaching

Teaching begins:

  • Undergraduates – Monday 28 September
  • Majority of postgraduates – Monday 26 October

With some exceptions, your department will have notified you.

Teaching will take place in small groups where possible supported by digital delivery.

This means large lectures will be delivered online in the autumn semester.

Health and safety on campus

Social distancing measures are in place for everyone's safety.

Our teaching measures mean that fewer people will be on campus at the same time.

One-way systems in place with sanitisers at key points, with clear signage to help everyone navigate their way around.

Everyone will be required to wear face coverings in teaching spaces.

University accommodation

Once you move into new accommodation, you will be classed as one household with your new housemates (you will not need to social distance from one another).

In shared spaces with people outside your household, you should practice social distancing.

If you're an international student and need to self-isolate (quarantine) upon arrival, we're offering up to three weeks' free accommodation (if you have booked University accommodation).

More information and support

Student support

All our student support will be available online, until it is safe to open in person.

For disability support and more, please visit our support and contacts page.

Our on-campus University Health Service is also available should you fall ill.

Register during online registration, or visit our Health Service page.

Our Students' Union

Our Students' Union building is open, with safety measures in place.

We're running many of our activities and services online, including Activities and Sport Fairs ... so you can continue to explore new and existing hobbies and interests.

You can access free, professional, independent advice and support from the SU's Student Advice Centre.

Check what's open on the Students' Union website.

The city

Shops, bars and restaurants are open in Sheffield.

Sheffield is a student friendly city and very easy to get around without a car.

Most things you need are accessible walking or cycling.

Student bus tickets are available at a discount.

Tram network makes getting from campus to the train station or Meadowhall shopping centre safe and convenient.

If you have any questions, check out our coronavirus web pages for more details.

Safety measures on campus

Our priority is always the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff, and our local public health teams and academic experts have advised that there is a low risk of transmission within teaching spaces.

The following safety measures are in place for our staff, students and visitors: 

  • We have increased social distancing in teaching spaces from 1.5 to 2 metres
  • Hand sanitiser is available across campus for frequent use throughout the day.
  • One-way systems are in place with clear signage to maintain social distancing.
  • We're limiting the numbers of people on campus at any one time.
  • Corridor doors are held open magnetically (and automatically close in the event of a fire alarm).
  • Toilets and frequently used areas are cleaned multiple times each day.
  • All teaching follows guidelines around social distancing.
  • We're recording contact details for visitors on campus for track and trace purposes.

Our decisions and actions to help keep you safe (Google Document)

Further information for staff

Keeping vulnerable students and staff safe

Coronavirus can make anyone seriously ill but for some people, the risk is higher, as highlighted in the Public Health England report.

The University has undertaken risk assessments and equality impact assessments to identify and reduce risks for different groups. Departments are taking Covid-19 risk factors into account in their plans for the autumn semester, including age, ethnicity and existing health conditions.


If your medical circumstances mean you would like to request exemption from in-person attendance of teaching sessions, please complete this form. The request will then be considered and your academic departments will be informed of your request:

Complete the in-person attendance form 


If you are a staff member returning to campus in person, any extra precautions are provided in detailed instructions you receive from your department.

If you have a concern about health and safety, please report this through our safety hazards Google form. This will allow our Health and Safety team to act on the feedback to ensure we keep our community safe.

We will continue to closely monitor this and we will adapt our plans to protect the safety and wellbeing of both our students and staff at all times, in line with the latest government guidance.

How we're tracking and tracing Covid-19 cases

As part of our measures to keep our community safe, we're closely monitoring Covid-19 cases through our University track and trace system. 

The University Covid Contact Tracing Team is responsible for the contact tracing of student and staff Covid-19 cases. Please add their telephone number +44 114 215 7700 to your contacts. If they call you please make sure you answer if it is safe to do so. The team does not take incoming calls and will call you back if you are unable to answer. 

Our timetabling system and attendance monitoring are important as they allow us to trace confirmed cases of Covid-19 back to teaching rooms. In addition, seats in teaching spaces are now numbered across campus. It is essential that you keep a record of your seat number in your face-to-face classes, as this will enable us to more accurately alert those who may have been exposed to Covid-19 and contain the spread of the virus.

Our Covid-19 Testing Centre

We have worked closely with public health experts to open a Covid-19 rapid testing facility for our students. The test centre is available on a voluntary basis if you're a University of Sheffield student living in Sheffield with no Covid-19 symptoms. 

Covid-19 statistics

Our Covid-19 statistics page provides information about confirmed cases of Covid-19 at the University. It explains the process we follow when we receive notification of a suspected or confirmed case of Covid-19 and how we're supporting students and staff who are self-isolating.

Support – get in touch

Our extensive range of support services for students and staff are all available online.