New and current students: arrangements for 2021-22

COVID-19 will be a feature of our lives for the foreseeable future, and it is critical that our university community continues to act with great care and keeps our COVID numbers low. We need everyone to continue to support each other and work together to keep our community safe and well.

We’re really looking forward to the start of the new academic year. Over the last year education and research have been at the heart of helping the world through these unprecedented times, and we look forward to continuing to do so in partnership with our students and wider communities.

We have been working hard to ensure we’re ready to welcome you back to an exciting, stimulating and supportive student experience this September. We are striving to keep our campuses safe, providing vibrant and safe learning spaces in line with Government guidelines. We’ll ensure that you can study in a supportive learning community both on campus and online.

When you're on campus, we encourage you to continue to wear face coverings (unless you’re exempt). Ensuring you keep your distance – where possible – from others on campus will also help with reducing the spread of infection. Whilst social distancing restrictions have been lifted, we ask staff and students to keep left in corridors and thoroughfares and respect each other's space. We'll continue to review these measures. Government and University guidance related to reducing the spread of COVID-19 is likely to change, so please ensure you are up to date with the latest information.

This page contains information about:

Teaching arrangements 

September-December 2021

Our on-campus experience is going to focus on in-person active and inclusive learning and teaching: you’ll have seminars, practicals and workshops with your peers and in our specialist labs and workspaces. And we’ve continued to structure the face-to-face timetable in teaching blocks as we know this helps you plan your week. We’ve also made changes to our non-teaching spaces to provide flexible and safe places for you to meet between and after classes, and catch up with friends, study or relax.

We’ve listened and learnt from our students since the start of the pandemic, and they’ve told us what works better online. You’ll find weekly course materials, activities and support through our Canvas platform; with online MS Teams areas to support group, tutor and individual study activities (except ARU College students). The combination of on-campus learning supported by online content and collaboration provides the flexibility needed to make sure all students feel part of our community, regardless of their individual situation or needs and, importantly, allows us to quickly adapt if the Government asks us to at any given point.

If you need to study with us online only for the first trimester, you will join the same learning community and receive the same or similar content as our face-to-face teaching, to enable you to join us on campus easily when you’re able to. You will receive your Trimester 1 timetable on 16 August (or within five working days of registering if you register on or after this date). If your course has an online only delivery option, you’ll be contacted and offered the option to change your study preference.

We know how important it is to you that you realise your ambitions and feel supported doing so, so please use your Careers and Employability Service and Health and Wellbeing hub – we’re here to support you every step of the way.

We are really looking forward to seeing you in September, and will send you further information over the summer. Please continue to check your student email account and, if things need to change due to the pandemic, we’ll be in touch.

If you have any queries or concerns in the meantime please contact our team in the i-Centre who will be able to help you. Email


EU and international students

If you are an international or EU/EEA student, please see our FAQs which contain the most recent advice from UKVI.

We also encourage you to check your ARU email account regularly.

If you are due to travel to the UK it is important that you familiarise yourself with UK Government travel requirements before you make any travel plans. As UK Government rules can change at short notice, visit the Gov.UK website for the latest pre-departure and arrival information.

If you are required to self-isolate on arrival you can join a range of social and wellbeing events online. Further support is available if you are self-isolating in university accommodation.

Students on clinical placements

Your clinical placement is continuing as usual. If you have any queries please contact your Course Leader.

Asymptomatic testing

While Government COVID-19 restrictions have lifted, the virus is still present in the UK – which means there are still measures in place to try and reduce the risk of infection.

We ask that you continue to take twice-weekly asymptomatic tests and to report the results of these tests to the NHS. With one in three people with COVID-19 showing no symptoms, rapid testing helps to identify positive cases quickly, helping prevent the spread of infection.

You can continue to collect self-test kits from ARU campuses over the summer, from:

  • reception in Guild House at our Peterborough campus
  • the Student Centre in the Queen's Building at our Chelmsford campus
  • the iCentre and Library at our Cambridge campus.

There are also other options for ordering and collecting the kits for free, such as:

For further information and guidance on asymptomatic tests, visit the NHS website.

How to take a home test

Home test instructions are included in the testing kit, but here’s a step by step guide to self testing.

Or you can watch this video to find out more.  

Report your result

Report your test result to the NHS, regardless of whether it’s positive or negative. This helps the NHS to monitor the spread of the virus. Visit the Government website to find out how to report your test no matter the result.

If you receive a positive test result

If you receive a positive lateral flow test, you must:

What should I do if the test result is negative?

This indicates you’re unlikely to have the virus at the time of the test, but no test is perfect. You still need to practice safe behaviours, respect people's personal space where possible, continue with good hand and surface hygiene and wear a face covering where appropriate – even if you have received a negative result.

For more information about testing, see Gov.UK.

Entering the UK from overseas

If you are entering the UK from overseas, you will be required to take a coronavirus test before arrival. You will also need to follow any self-isolation (quarantine) requirements that are in place at the time. Our FAQs page has the latest information: see the sections for international and EU students.

We continue to support students who are self-isolating. We understand that this might be a difficult time, so our Counselling and Wellbeing team are available to talk to and we have a variety of wellbeing workshops which you can get involved in. We are here for you. 

Keeping our community safe

We've worked hard to keep our community safe and manage the risk of coronavirus transmission.


  • have carried out a COVID-19 risk assessment
  • encourage everyone on campus to continue to wear a face covering (unless exempt) 
  • have hand sanitiser and anti-bacterial wipes stationed around campuses 
  • have asked for those on campus to keep left when moving around – to ensure people's personal space is respected, where possible
  • provide lateral flow coronavirus test kits – available to collect from campuses 

Student services

We know how important it is that you receive excellent study support. You are able to access:

  • library resources and digital support online
  • campus libraries 
  • all student services – including disability and dyslexia support, employability and placement services, ARU Temps, and Study Skills – face to face and online
  • your Health and Wellbeing hub. Our Counselling and Wellbeing team offer daily drop-in sessions Monday-Friday from 11am-12 noon with a counsellor or mental health adviser and 2pm-3pm (term time only) with a wellbeing adviser. We are also running weekly workshops to build your confidence and skills to succeed in your studies.
  • the iCentre (open on campus 9am-1pm and 1.30-5pm, Monday-Friday, or email
  • open access PC areas, with some computers available on a drop-in basis
  • access to support from key contacts if your studies involve a placement.

Offering a wider student experience

It's never been more important to have some fun, relax and enjoy a bit of 'normality' in our lives. And so:

  • your Students’ Union continues to organise activities to help you have some fun and relax
  • student-run societies continue to have fantastic events and activities
  • your confidential advice service is open, by appointment, to provide support and guidance
  • our campus gyms are open and Team ARU encourages you to enjoy social and competitive sports in a safe way
  • we’ve also provided space on campus for group and personal study, and relaxation.


In the event of a national or national lockdown we will continue to follow the National Institute for Health Protection guidance and ask all students to remain in their current accommodation.

If you live in ARU accommodation and want to be released from a tenancy agreement please contact our Residential Service Team.

If you live in a nomination hall (CB1, The Railyard, Sedley Court, the YMCA), please contact the staff in your accommodation.

Visit Student News for full details of all these changes.