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.
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.
Next academic year
In the light of changing government guidance on social distancing, the University is making preparations for the academic year 2021-22. Cambridge’s college system is very effective at providing small group teaching, and offering strong communities where students can live and work. The Senior Pro-Vice-Chancellor wrote to students on 30 July with information on our plans for the academic year 2021-22.
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 continue to be available, 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 should apply to their funder in the first instance for additional support.
In addition to hardship funding offered by your College, the University provides the following funds:
- 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).
Childcare Funds — For help with childcare costs, parent students can access this fund, which will run in rounds.
Crane’s Charity — For help with costs towards the support of mental or physical wellbeing. Applications are considered on a rolling basis.
Postgraduate Hardship Fund —For help with long-term financial needs such as maintenance and rental costs (for MPhil and PhD students only). Includes the PGR CAS scheme above for self-funding eligible postgraduate research students impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Special Hardship Fund* — For the academic year 2021-22 the Special Hardship Fund may be able to provide support with unexpected, direct and immediate costs as a result of COVID-19 that can be evidenced, for example cost of flights or hotel quarantine. It is also accessible to intermitting students with no other form of financial support.
UK hotel quarantine costs for study in 2021-22
Students travelling to the UK from "red list" countries currently have to book a hotel quarantine package from 14 days before their date of travel (at a cost of £1750) – further information and advice is available on our webpage for international students travelling to the UK. Please read this before booking your travel and be aware that the situation is subject to change.
The University wishes all students to be able to take up their places to study, or return to their studies, in Cambridge in October 2021. The Collegiate University does not want the cost of hotel quarantine to be a deterrent for our students. The University cannot cover these costs routinely, but it will be able to provide financial support to students requiring it once they arrive in Cambridge.
Students will need to cover these costs upfront either themselves or through their funding sponsors (the University cannot offer financial support before a student commences their studies). However, if, upon arrival in Cambridge, a student finds themselves in financial difficulties due to the cost of hotel quarantine, they may apply for hardship funding. This may cover up to the full cost of hotel quarantine in the following circumstances:
- Students can demonstrate financial hardship caused by the cost of UK hotel quarantine
- Students (on both full time and part time courses) make only one application for hardship funding based on UK quarantine costs per academic year (except in exceptional circumstances)
- Students are not applying for financial support towards quarantine costs outside the UK (eg for fieldwork purposes).
The Collegiate University has agreed the following approach to access hardship funding in the first instance:
- Students who have a funding sponsor should approach their sponsor first to request financial support. The leading funders of international students at Cambridge (the Cambridge Trust, Gates Trust and Harding Distinguished Postgraduate Scholars Programme) have agreed that students may approach them directly (with the exception of UKRI funded students who should approach the University Special Hardship fund– see 3 below)
- Undergraduate students should approach their College Tutor and apply for College Hardship funding if necessary
- Postgraduate students, without a funding sponsor able to provide support, may apply to the University’s Special Hardship fund (from 1st October 2021). Students on Judge Business School (JBS) MBA, MFin, EMBA and MAcc programmes may approach their course co-ordinators if, in exceptional circumstances, they find themselves in unexpected financial difficulties for unplanned costs due to changes in quarantine rules post-enrolment.
Students in categories 1-3 above who find that their funding sponsor/College/Department is unable to provide support should request a written statement to that effect in order to apply to the University’s Special Hardship fund.
Postgraduate Research funded extensions due to Covid-19 disruption
Postgraduate Research students will find more about the approach to funded extensions taken by funders within Cambridge University here.
Students who cannot gain additional support from their funder can apply to University Hardship Funds.
Students who are self-funded can apply to the new Postgraduate Research COVID-19 Assistance Fund (PGR CAS). This new fund was created by the University in July 2021 to support self-funding postgraduate research students who have been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic. The fund is intended to provide up to 3 months' maintenance allowance to enable students to complete their research and submit their degree. Students will need to show that they have attempted to adapt their projects to mitigate the impact of disruption from COVID-19. Awards will be means tested, ensuring that funding is targeted at those students most in need. Students can apply through the Postgraduate Hardship Fund and by completing an additional application form (PGR CAS).
* 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:
- Funding agencies
- Your College’s Hardship Funds
- Cambridge Funding search and the Alternative Guide to PG Funding (for postgraduate students only)
Provision of accommodation in the event of significant travel restrictions
In the case of a 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 and the Colleges recognise the importance of celebrating students' achievements in a fitting way. The following options are available in 2021:
- Graduating at an in-person, no-guest ceremony at General Admission (30 June to 3 July 2021): BTh, BA, VetMB and BA with MEng or MMath or MSci degrees only.
- Graduating at an in-person, no-guest ceremony on another date: If students are unable to proceed to their degree at General Admission, their College can advise on opportunities to graduate at no-guest ceremonies at a later date. All potential dates are available on the Cambridge Students webpage.
- Graduating in absence: Students may proceed to their degree in absence at General Admission (BTh, BA, VetMB and BA with MEng or MMath or MSci degrees only) or at later Congregations. If you graduate in absence, it will be possible for you to attend a ceremony in the Senate-House at a later date to celebrate your degree in person. Your College will advise you when this is possible. Please note that it might be some time before ceremonies with guests can resume.
- Deferring graduation until in-person ceremonies with guests can resume: Please be aware that there are currently no confirmed dates for such ceremonies, and they may not resume for some time. Please note that no certificate of degree can be issued until your degree has been conferred, whether in absence or in person, however you may use a digital transcript to confirm your entitlement to a degree (for example, if an employer requests this).
- To graduate at General Admission, either in person or in absence, please either apply via the graduation tile on your self-service by 5pm on Monday 31 May, or directly to your college by the same deadline if your college does not use the graduation facility of CamSIS.
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.