This section provides general guidance that is applicable for all students. For more specific information regarding your particular cohort, please see the undergraduate or postgraduate student pages.
Lent term: Update 7 January 2021
The University and Colleges remain open, and will continue to engage in research, learning and education.
After considerable reflection, we have taken the difficult decision to move all teaching and learning for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students online for the entirety of the Lent term. Undergraduate and postgraduate taught students should remain where they are currently staying. Postgraduate research students who are able to work from their out-of-term address should do so. Postgraduate research students who consider Cambridge to be their primary place of residence should review the information at the following link.
For exceptions, and for more information, see the message issued by the Vice-Chancellor on 6 January 2021.
The University and Colleges of Cambridge are committed to excellence in education, learning and research. Every College remains proud to be their students’ Cambridge home.
In the light of the COVID-19 pandemic we seek to mitigate risks to health by applying social distancing and other government guidelines and continuing to respond to the changing public health situation through appropriate changes to our courses, services and facilities. Where official guidance or concerns for the health of students and staff demand it, we will review our approach. The #StaySafeCambridgeUni webpages are where you will find information about how we can protect ourselves and each other at Cambridge. Each of us has a responsibility to minimise the spread of COVID-19. We are members of a wider community and have a responsibility to others in Cambridge and beyond.
Cambridge University Libraries
A blend of online and zero-contact services is available to you across Cambridge University Libraries, giving you the access you need to resources and support wherever you are working or studying this term. To keep students and staff safe, and to ensure that we can keep services running effectively, we are keeping the services and the support we offer under constant review.
For current information on using the libraries see www.lib.cam.ac.uk/using-library
Your Faculty or Department is likely to use Moodle to help set work and assessment.
Moodle is available globally to all University of Cambridge staff and students, using their CRSid and Raven password. All you need to access Moodle is a computer, tablet or smartphone with an appropriate browser.
If you need help and support using Moodle, you can use the drop-down list of Help topics on the top right of all Moodle pages.
For further help contact the Moodle help desk.
This usually operates 9am-5pm (UK time), Monday to Friday, excluding UK Bank Holiday and University closures. During the coronavirus pandemic, some delays are possible due to illness and increased demand.
As teaching, assessment and support services will continue to be available remotely through Lent Term, tuition fees will be due.
This position is in line with that of the Department for Education and with Universities UK, which has stated that ‘where there is wide-ranging support for active and ongoing learning and progression, students should not expect any fee refund from their university’.
Provision for students in financial hardship
Students who find themselves in unexpected financial need due to coronavirus can apply to University Hardship Funds:
Special Hardship Fund — All students, including intermitting students, can access this fund. It will cover unexpected, direct and immediate costs as a result of Coronavirus that can be evidenced, for example cost of flights.
Childcare Funds — For help with childcare costs, all parent students can access this fund, which will run in rounds.
Crane’s Charity — For help to those in need of support with mental or physical wellbeing. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
Bell, Abbot and Barnes — For help with long-term financial needs such as maintenance and rental costs. (for undergraduates, clinical medics and part III students only)
The Postgraduate Hardship Fund —For help with long-term financial needs such as maintenance and rental costs (for MPhil and PhD students only)
As the Special Hardship Fund has received a high volume of applications, you should also speak to your College Tutor and explore all other available support such as:
- Departmental Funding
- Funding agencies
- Your College’s Hardship Funds
- The Alternative Guide to Funding (for postgraduate students only)
Provision of accommodation in the event of significant travel restrictions
In the case of a second or local lockdown, the University and the Colleges will as ever be guided by the advice of Public Health England and the country's legislation. Within these limits, Colleges are committed to providing accommodation on a case-by-case basis to all students who do not have any other home to go to. Examples would include care-leavers, estranged students, and UK or international students who cannot travel to their own home town, or country, due to local travel restrictions. Please consult individual Colleges' webpages for further information about their specific arrangements.
The University has taken the decision to continue to postpone in-person Congregation ceremonies. The health and safety of our graduands and guests remains our priority and no in-person Congregations will take place until further notice.
During this period, we are putting in place exceptional measures that will allow the University to continue conferring degrees. Students who meet the requirements of their course will be able to graduate in absentia (in absence).
If you choose to graduate in absentia, it will not be possible to attend a future graduation ceremony.
The University and the Colleges recognise the importance of celebrating students' achievements in a fitting way. For students who graduate in absence because of the pandemic, the University and Colleges’ Congregations Working Group has adopted the key principle of seeking to offer a ceremony in the Senate House that will be as close as possible to the usual in-person graduation. Our aim is to make it possible for students to reunite in their College and to process together to the Senate House in academic dress, where those still to graduate will have their degrees conferred and those who have graduated in absence will have their degrees celebrated in a similar way. How soon this can happen will depend on when large gatherings are again possible, but in the hope that this could take place during this year, the Working Group has consulted with Colleges on a range of potential dates for later in 2021.
All potential dates are available here: www.cambridgestudents.cam.ac.uk/your-course/graduation-and-what-next/degree-ceremony-dates
If you do not wish to graduate in absentia and would rather defer graduation until in-person Degree Congregations can resume as usual, you should contact your College Praelector. Please be aware that in-person Congregations may not resume for some time.
You will not be able to obtain a degree certificate (online or paper copy) without graduating (in absence or in person). However, if you have fulfilled the requirements of your course, you can still claim to have completed your degree and obtain a transcript to confirm this.
Transcripts for degrees awarded during the COVID-19 period will include brief wording explaining that the candidate undertook alternative assessments, and provide a link to a fuller explanation of the nature of the assessment, hosted on the CamData website.
A subscription service to Digitary allows you to access an electronic version of your official transcript, which can be shared online with other organisations such as employers or other educational institutions.
Degree certificates are available online for those who have graduated in absence since March 2020.
All graduands between March and December 2020 should have received an email advising them how to access their online certificate. If you have not received this email and you have graduated in absence since March 2020 please contact firstname.lastname@example.org. Online certificates are not available to anyone who graduated prior to March 2020.
If you are graduating in absence in Lent Term 2021, you will receive an email within 10 working days of the ceremony to advise you how to access your online certificate. If you do not receive an email please contact email@example.com.
Paper copies of certificates and transcripts for everyone who has graduated in absence since March 2020 will be produced and posted as soon as staff are able to do this.
If you are unhappy with your learning experience, you are entitled to raise a complaint with the University as outlined in the Student Complaint Procedure.
You should raise any dissatisfaction with the relevant department, faculty or service at the earliest opportunity so that an effective remedy can be put in place. If you remain dissatisfied following raising the matter at a local level, you can raise a formal complaint using the form on this webpage. You must normally raise a formal complaint within 28 days of attempting local resolution or within 28 days of the matter arising. However, the 28-day timeframe will not apply for formal complaints relating to the impact of COVID-19 in the academic year 2020-21.
If your complaint relates to the impact of COVID-19 you should contact your Department or Faculty as soon as possible but if you remain dissatisfied with the response then please be aware that formal complaints may not be considered until the end of the academic year, so that the University can assess the full impact of the complaint and any mitigating actions. All students will be informed in Easter term of procedures and deadlines for raising complaints relating to COVID-19 and the impact either on their learning experience or assessment results.
If you consider that your assessment results have been affected then there are review mechanisms available to you. More information is available on this webpage. Please be aware that there are deadlines relating to these options.
If you are in need of further guidance, please first consult the general University coronavirus pages to see if your query can be answered.
If you are still in need of further advice then you should reach out in the following ways:
- For questions about assessments or online teaching, please contact your Faculty or Departmental Teaching Office, or your Director of Studies.
- For questions about pastoral care, welfare, finance and counselling contact your College via Tutor or Senior Tutors.
- Postgraduates should approach their Supervisor, Course Director or Graduate Tutor, as appropriate.
Please be aware that some staff might be unavailable due to illness, caring for dependents or working non-standard hours due to caring responsibilities. They may also be dealing with a high volume of queries.
Every effort will be made to reply to your questions but staff may not be able to provide an immediate response.
If you receive an out-of-office message, you should contact generic Faculty, Departmental and College email addresses. These will continue to be monitored.