Learning and teaching

We've adapted our teaching to make sure you continue to receive a world-class education from our teachers.



If government plans go ahead, from 17 May:

  • all students will be able to return to campus
  • our campus buildings will be open with strict safety measures in place
  • the majority of spring semester exams and assessments will take place online
  • labs and face-to-face tutoring may resume for postgraduate taught students.

If you study a practice-based course, you should continue to attend your scheduled teaching sessions on campus.

Undergraduate students

You are not expected to return on 17 May for the final week of the semester. However, all students are welcome back to campus. 

If your semester dates do not follow the standard University calendar, your department will contact you with specific arrangements beyond 17 May.

Postgraduate taught students:

When face-to-face studying resumes, you should return to Sheffield as soon as possible. This will take place from 17 May, unless the government guidance changes.

Temporary delays in attending face-to-face teaching 

Some students may face difficulties in travelling to Sheffield in time for the start of your face-to-face teaching.

If you have been advised that some elements of practical teaching will resume, and you are facing delays, you will be able to continue your studies online temporarily until you are able to return. If you might be facing temporary delays in returning to Sheffield, inform your department.

If you cannot attend your face-to-face teaching

If you have been invited to return, but are not able to attend in Sheffield for the foreseeable future, apply for an exemption from in-person attendance request form as soon as possible.

Exemptions from in-person attendance will be granted for students who are extremely clinically vulnerable.

If you cannot travel to Sheffield due to local travel restrictions in your home country, you will be able to continue studying online until you are able to join us in Sheffield. You should keep your department informed if you are able to travel at a later date.

The UK has not banned students from any countries if they hold a Tier 4 or new student visa. Exemptions will not be granted due to UK travel restrictions. 

Accessing campus

International travel: returning to Sheffield

Covid-19 testing when you return to Sheffield

Every student is expected to book two tests at our Covid-19 Testing Centre upon returning to Sheffield. Then, if you’re regularly on campus, you should book two tests per week after that.

Book a test at the University's Covid-19 testing centre

Study spaces

For those who need to attend campus, the University will remain open. Study spaces on campus are available. 

    How we’re keeping our community safe

    Clinical placements

    Students undergoing clinical placements may be expected by their provider to demonstrate a negative test before undertaking their placement. In some cases a negative lateral flow test result will be sufficient and you should use your text message or email confirmation as evidence of this. In all cases you should follow the advice and guidance from your provider and contact your academic department if you have any questions or concerns.

    Book a test at the University's Covid-19 testing centre

    Hear from our students

    Third year journalism student Alice vlogs her online video editing workshop and gives her thoughts on online teaching and learning

    Dentistry student Raina talks about her experience of face-to-face teaching at her clinical skills workshop and the safety measures that we've put in place to keep our staff, students and community safe.

    Library access and services

    Access to the Information Commons and Western Bank Library is available through bookable slots.

    Book a study space

    You must wear a face covering in our libraries, unless you are exempt due to a medical reason or a disability.

    Where possible, we encourage you to chat with us online via Live Chat, or email: library@sheffield.ac.uk. Library staff will be also available at reception points for help.

    The University's extensive digital library is open as usual. Our online service has almost a million ebooks and over 60,000 journal titles along with a virtual library team and specialist librarians ready to support you to ensure your studies are unaffected as much as possible.

    Information on the University Library

    Support for online learning

    For support with online learning, please read our guidance:

    Download software to use at home

    We have a range of software to support you while you work and study from home.

    Download University software

    Financial support and IT equipment

    If you cannot afford an internet connection or are unable to access one because of where you live please contact our Fees and Funding team to discuss your options. 

    If you are concerned that you might not be able to afford equipment to study remotely the University can provide laptops on long term loan or a grant depending on your circumstances. Further information is available on our IT equipment support page.

    Accessing your emails

    If you think you may have issues accessing your University Gmail account from home, you should set up automatically forwarding Gmail messages to your personal account (Gmail help). Contact IT Services for more information and help.

    Online Writing Advisory Service

    The English Language Teaching Centre offers an Online Writing Advisory Service, where you can submit a piece of writing online for a tutor to comment on and return.

    Book a Writing Advisory Service appointment

    Your appointment slot will be the time and day by which your writing will be returned and commented on. After booking, you'lll be sent a form to add your name and email to, followed by a document to add your text. Please do this as soon as you receive the document to make sure you get your comments back on time.

    Tutors provide advice on aspects such as language use, sentence and paragraph structure, organisation and linking of ideas, or referencing conventions. The Writing Advisory Service isn't a proofreading service – the team will point out general areas for improvement rather than checking every word.

    If you have any questions or problems about the Online Writing Advisory Service please contact: eltc.support@sheffield.ac.uk

    Exams and assessments

    Spring semester formal examinations have been replaced by alternative or online assessments.  

    There are a small number of exceptions, for example practical, professional or lab based assessments. If you are required to attend an examination on campus, your department will be in touch with more information.

    Our assessment guarantee

    Extenuating circumstances

    You do not need to provide medical evidence if you submit an extenuating circumstances this academic year.

    Extenuating circumstances are usually unforeseen personal or health problems that are outside your control, and that have affected your ability to complete assessments. You do not need to submit an extenuating circumstances form for general levels of disruption related to the pandemic, for example if you have needed to self-isolate.

    What counts as extenuating circumstances

    If you feel you need to submit an extenuating circumstances form, first contact your academic department, who will be able to help you through the process. You should include as much detail in your application, so that we can make sure you receive the support you need.

    Submit an extenuating circumstances form

    What to do if you have symptoms or you’re self-isolating

    If you’re experiencing Covid-19 symptoms, or self-isolating for any other reason, please follow our guidance, which includes how to inform the University so we can support you.

    What to do if you have symptoms or need to self-isolate

    If you need to self-isolate and you are too unwell to engage in online learning, this will not impact any Tier 4 visa requirements for international students. UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) has indicated that it will work to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the situation.

    Study abroad

    If you’re registered on a programme with study abroad in the 2020–21 academic year as a mandatory and integral part of your course, then this may continue, subject to risk assessment (including Foreign Office travel advice) and restrictions in place at your host university. You should speak with your department about the necessary travel arrangements.

    Optional study abroad and international placements are cancelled for the 2020/21 academic year. Your department will advise you of alternative arrangements as soon as possible.

    Leave of absence

    Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students

    We recognise that, as a result of Covid-19, medical or personal circumstances might mean you’d like to explore the possibility of pausing your studies, and taking a period of leave.

    If this is the case, please first discuss your options with your academic department to ensure that this is the most appropriate course of action for you. If, after you’ve considered your options, you’d prefer to take a break from your studies, you can apply to take a leave of absence for a set period. We will be supportive of requests that are made on the basis of coronavirus impacts.

    Undergraduate and postgraduate taught leave of absence

    Postgraduate research students

    Information about postgraduate research leave of absence and guidance on carrying out research.

    Support – get in touch

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