This section contains archival information about the academic year 2021/21 from general guidance that was applicable for all students in Michaelmas 2020.

Academic year 2020–21

Cambridge will be open to students. We will do all we reasonably can to accommodate the needs of students whose individual circumstances mean that they cannot attend any in-person teaching (more information here).

The academic year will start as normal and term dates will not be changed. Michaelmas Term will start on Tuesday 6 October and end on Friday 4 December, although some postgraduate courses may start earlier as previously advertised. New and returning undergraduate and postgraduate students are advised to be flexible in their travel plans at this stage; more advice about arrangements for the start of term will be provided during July.

Teaching at Cambridge is currently delivered by a blend of in-person and online provision, and we have adapted our timetables, teaching methods and course content accordingly. The balance of in-person to online teaching depends on the stringency of social distancing and other regulations in force. At the moment, all lectures are delivered online and are recorded for students to access at their convenience. In line with current government guidance, where possible, seminars, practicals, and supervisions are taking place in person. If large-scale lecturing in person becomes permissible, the University will reintroduce it as soon as possible. We recognise that this is a worrying time and have put stringent measures in place to minimise risk. This includes adopting a flexible approach for individuals who have concerns about their health and wellbeing. We are working closely with the Government and local public health officials to monitor the situation in Cambridge and will react to any changes either at a local or national level.

Research and learning facilities: it is our aim that all students who require it for their studies will have sufficient and suitable access to research laboratories, libraries, museums and other facilities, subject to the restrictions of social distancing.

Minimising risk: All University and College buildings will be risk-assessed and managed on an ongoing basis, following UK Government guidelines and advice. This may involve managing how we all enter and leave buildings to allow for social distancing, reducing numbers of people allowed into a building or area, appropriate cleaning regimes, altered timings of events and any other measures considered appropriate to mitigate risk of exposure to COVID-19. We will promote health and infection control measures across the entire University, and communicate and implement changes to any of these measures resulting from local-lockdown requirements as required.

Accommodation: As many students as possible are accommodated in their own College. The Colleges and the University work closely together to help all our students find accommodation within the University or in Cambridge.

Support: As well as teaching, Colleges offer a home environment and pastoral support to their students; the University additionally provides centralised student support, including the Student Counselling Service, Disability Resource Centre, Careers Service, support for mature students, student parents and care leavers. These services continue to be provided, either in person or via real time face-to-face technology. For more information on our welfare support, see and your College’s website. 

Assessment: Information on arrangements for assessment this year is available on the Assessment 2020-21 page.