Learning and teaching

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



All students are welcome to return to campus. Our campus buildings are open with necessary safety measures in place.

2021-22 academic year

Our expectation and current plan is to deliver face-to-face teaching in 2021-22.

We also have proven expertise in utilising digital technologies to enhance our face-to-face learning and teaching delivery. We will of course have contingency plans in place to adapt our learning and teaching delivery in response to new Covid-19 safety measures should this be needed.

We will also provide further updates on teaching and what students can expect for the academic year 2021-22 as soon as we are able to confirm this. Our approach will continue to follow government advice and guidance, while aiming to provide the best possible on-campus student experience and excellent standards of teaching.

International travel restrictions or visa delays

If you are unable to travel to Sheffield for the start of the 2021-22 academic year for reasons related to international travel restrictions or visa delays, you will be able to commence your studies remotely where possible.

We know that you will be eager to know if this affects you personally. We’ll be in touch over the coming weeks to confirm which programmes are eligible.

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 take two rapid lateral flow tests per week. When you return to Sheffield, you’re expected to take two tests, three days apart as soon as possible upon arrival.

Covid-19 testing guidance

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.

Covid-19 testing guidance

Remote attendance: course exceptions

Unfortunately, it won't be possible to study remotely on the following courses, because they include clinical placements or practical training, or for professional accreditation reasons.

Undergraduate courses
  • Medicine MBChB (A100)
  • Journalism Studies BA (P500)
  • General Engineering with a Foundation Year MEng (Hons) (H101)
  • Civil and Structural Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (H201)
  • Mechanical Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (H301)
  • Aerospace Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (H407)
  • Bioengineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (H160)
  • Chemical Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (H801)
  • Materials Science and Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (J501)
  • Electrical and Electronic Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (H602)
  • Robotics with a Foundation Year BEng (H653)
  • Robotics with a Foundation Year MEng (H659)
  • Computer Science with a Foundation Year BSc/MComp (G401)
  • Software Engineering with a Foundation Year BEng/MEng (G651)
Postgraduate courses
  • Physician Associate Studies (MEDT50)
  • Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine MSc (BMST02)
  • Molecular and Cellular Basis of Human Disease MSc (BMST05)
  • Neuroscience MSc (BMST11)
  • Genomic Approaches to Drug Discovery MSc (BMST27)
  • Educational and Child Psychology (EDUR136, EDUR138)
  • Postgraduate Diploma in Education (EDUT207, EDUT199)

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 in 2021-22

We're committed to supporting as many of our students as possible to gain global experience by studying and working abroad in 2021-22. We continue to monitor the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, working alongside government guidance and prioritising the safety and wellbeing of our students in our policy and decision making. 

We will support study and work abroad plans, where it is practical and safe to travel. Please read through the guidance below carefully. If you have any questions, please contact the member of staff in your department who is responsible for your period abroad. 

Study/work abroad starting in semester one

Study or work placements abroad in semester one are permitted where the destination is on the UK government’s green or amber lists. We are unable to support study/work abroad placements in red list countries for semester one. These lists are regularly reviewed. You can check the latest government guidance on red, amber and green list rules for entering England.

We recommend that you familiarise youself with any Covid-19 restrictions in your study/work destination and consider the impact these may have on your ability to travel and engage in activities during your time abroad. We advise that you allow for as much flexibility as possible when making any financial commitments to travel or accommodation.

You must also

  • complete a risk assessment and ensure this is reviewed and signed by the academic member of staff in your department/school/faculty who is responsible for your period abroad
  • obtain adequate insurance cover (see below).

Travel insurance

You will be covered through the University’s travel insurance policy during your time abroad. However, the insurers will not currently provide cover for cancellation or curtailment of travel, quarantine or vaccination costs as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19.

If study/work abroad is a mandatory part of your degree, the University will underwrite these exemptions. If your period abroad is not a mandatory part of your degree (as per the programme regulations), the University will not underwrite these exemptions. However, if you face financial hardship due to unforeseen costs you may be able to apply for financial support from the University's hardship fund.

All students who need to submit a claim for costs incurred during the period abroad, as a direct or indirect result of Covid-19, should contact insurance@sheffield.ac.uk in the first instance.

Changes to destination travel status

If the category of your planned study or work destination changes (for example from amber to red) before or during your period abroad, you should contact your academic department to discuss the best course of action. If, as a result, the trip needs to be changed or curtailed, the University underwrite or financial support will apply as above.

If your travel plans are for semester two to a destination currently on the red list, please do not make any plans for travel. Any financial commitments made to travel to red list countries will not be covered by the University’s travel insurance. We'lll review guidance on an ongoing basis and contact you during semester one to discuss your options.

More information on overseas study and work placements

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.