This section contains archival information that applied to Michaelmas Term 2020 (academic year 2020/21).

Advice on exceptional circumstances affecting your ability to study in Cambridge in the academic year 2020-21

Guidance for students on taught programmes (UG/PGT)

The University is a residential institution and the expectation is that all full time students on degree-level courses should be in residence in Cambridge in 2020-21, unless there are exceptional reasons why this would not be possible. The Colleges and University will consider a disability or a health condition which results in an individual being more susceptible to infectious diseases, or where the student is unable to travel to Cambridge, as potentially ‘exceptional circumstances’. 

Students on undergraduate and postgraduate taught programmes who have a disability (including a mental health condition that can be defined as a disability), which they have reason to believe would be exacerbated by living in Cambridge under current circumstances, and those with any known increased susceptibility to infectious diseases may be approved to study remotely if this is feasible for their programme of study.

Students who were approved to study remotely for Michaelmas Term 2020 should contact their College to determine whether arrangements for remote study can continue for Lent Term 2021. It is not necessary to provide additional medical evidence in support of a request to continue these arrangements for Lent Term. Students on MPhil and MRes programmes will need to submit an application to work away through their CamSIS self-service. 

Students who were resident in Cambridge for Michaelmas Term 2020 but whose circumstances have changed and now wish to be approved to study remotely for Lent Term should contact their College. They will need to provide satisfactory medical evidence. The College will refer to the relevant Department/Faculty who will advise whether remote study for the full term is possible. If, after consultation with the Faculty or Department, it is determined that remote study is appropriate, a period of remote study will be confirmed. Students on MPhil and MRes programmes will also need to submit an application to work away through their CamSIS self-service. 

Travel disruption due to COVID-19 may affect some students' ability to return to Cambridge for the start of Lent Term. Students who due to travel restrictions were unable to be resident in Cambridge for Michaelmas Term should make every effort to arrive in Cambridge for the beginning of Lent Term.

Taught Masters students wishing to request permission to arrive late should initially make the request through their College via email. Approval for late arrival is likely to only be granted for a defined and limited period but further short-term extensions may be granted on a rolling basis.

If a student has symptoms of COVID-19, has received a positive test result, or is self-isolating for any reason (such as being a contact or having travelled abroad), they should not travel to Cambridge. In this circumstance they should contact their College to discuss remote study until their period of self-isolation is completed.

Permission to study remotely because of the reasons above will be granted for a limited period of at most one term at a time, and the arrangement will be kept under active review by the College and the Faculty or Department. If arrangements for remote working are not working satisfactorily other options, such as intermission, will be considered.

Applications to work away on the grounds of COVID-19 which do not meet the criteria above will not be approved, even if the application is supported by your Course Director. A preference to remain away from Cambridge or a reluctance to return owing to concerns about the spread of COVID-19 are not appropriate reasons for approval to study remotely.

 

Guidance for students on research programmes (Doctoral and Master’s by Thesis and Oral)

The University is a residential institution and the expectation is that all full time students on degree-level courses should be in residence in Cambridge in 2020-21, unless there are exceptional reasons why this would not be possible. The Colleges and University will consider the following to be potentially exceptional circumstances:

  1. disability which they have reason to believe would be exacerbated by living in Cambridge under current circumstances, and those with any known increased susceptibility to infectious diseases
  2. restricted access to University facilities
  3. inability to travel to Cambridge

Permission to work remotely because of the reasons above will normally be granted for a limited period of at most one term at a time, and the arrangement will be kept under active review by the College and the Faculty or Department. If arrangements for remote working are not working satisfactorily other options, such as intermission, will need to be considered.

Disability or other health condition

Students on research courses (Doctoral and Master’s) who have a disability, including a mental health condition that can be defined as a disability, which they have reason to believe would be exacerbated by living in Cambridge under current circumstances, and those with any known increased susceptibility to infectious diseases may be permitted to study remotely if this is possible given their area of research.  Students

Students who have a confirmed offer to start their course in Lent Term 2021 may also seek to defer entry to the start of the Easter Term 2021 through the Postgraduate Admissions Office.

Students who were approved to study remotely for Michaelmas Term 2020 should contact their College to determine whether arrangements for remote study can continue for Lent Term 2021.  It will not be necessary to provide additional medical evidence in support of a request to continue these arrangements for Lent Term, but students will be required to submit a new application to work away from Cambridge. 

Students who were resident in Cambridge for Michaelmas Term 2020 but whose circumstances have changed such that they now have increased susceptibility to infectious disease, or who are experiencing anxiety due to the covid-19 situation to a level that is seriously impacting on their studies, and for these reasons seek approval to study remotely for Lent Term, should contact their College.  They will need to provide satisfactory medical evidence. The College will refer to the relevant Department/Faculty who will advise whether remote study for the full term is possible. If, after consultation with the Faculty or Department, it is determined that remote study is appropriate, the student should make an application to work away using CamSIS self-service (see below). 

Access to University facilities

Research students can apply to work away from Cambridge if their access to University facilities is restricted due to building closures or social distancing measures. Applications will be approved where the supervisor confirms that access to facilities is restricted and:

  1. it is clear that remote working is in the best interests of the student and their study.
  2. the student is working at an institution or organisation elsewhere, or is able to work remotely to the satisfaction of their Supervisor and Department/Faculty without the need for additional provision (such as off-site software licences); 
  3. appropriate remote supervision arrangements can be put in place;
  4. the application is supported by both the student’s College and Degree Committee.

Students should submit an application to work away. Through the application process Supervisors will be asked to confirm that access is limited and that points 1-3 above can be met. 

Delayed return to Cambridge for Lent Term

Travel disruption due to COVID-19 may affect some students' ability to return to Cambridge for the start of Lent Term. Students who due to travel restrictions were unable to be resident in Cambridge for Michaelmas Term should make every effort to arrive in Cambridge for the beginning of Lent Term.

Taught Masters students wishing to request permission to arrive late should initially make the request through their College via email. Research students should make the request by email through their Department/Faculty (via their Supervisor). Approval for late arrival is likely to only be granted for a defined and limited period but further short-term extensions may be granted on a rolling basis.

If a student has symptoms of COVID-19, has received a positive test result, or is self-isolating for any reason (such as being a contact or having travelled abroad), they should not travel to Cambridge. In this circumstance they should contact their College to discuss remote study until their period of self-isolation is completed.

Applications made for other reasons

Applications to work away made on the grounds of COVID-19 which do not meet the criteria above will not be approved.  This includes applications made on the grounds of finance, convenience, preference to reside elsewhere, or reluctance to reside in Cambridge due to COVID-19. This is the case even if your application is supported by your supervisor and/or Department.

Applications to work away for fieldwork, writing up or for another reason should continue to be made in the same way. Further guidance is available on the Cambridge students website