Here you will find information for students and staff on COVID-19. 

See below for frequently asked questions (FAQs) for students and staff which reflect the current position and which we hope you will find reassuring. 

Last updated: 25 March 2020, 6.10pm

In addition to the general FAQs below, you will find more FAQs specific to you on the following pages:

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs

What is the coronavirus?

A coronavirus is a type of respiratory virus. As a group, coronaviruses are common across the world. Seasonal influenza is a coronavirus. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. Novel coronavirus (2019-nCov) is a new strain of coronavirus first identified in Wuhan City, China.

What are the symptoms?

Typical symptoms of coronavirus include fever, a cough or a shortness of breath that may progress to a severe pneumonia causing breathing difficulties. Please be aware that these symptoms are similar to influenza and other respiratory viruses.

If you have symptoms, please follow the advice from NHS Inform.

What are the precautionary measures I should take?

  • adhering to the Government instructions on social distancing.
  • washing your hands often - with soap and water, or use alcohol based hand sanitiser if handwashing facilities are not available. This is particularly important after taking public transport.
  • covering your cough or sneeze with a tissue, then throwing the tissue in a bin.
  • washing your hands:
    • before leaving home;
    • after using the toilet;
    • after sporting activities;
    • before food preparation;
    • before eating any food, including snacks;.
  • use an alcohol based hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap, and water are not available.
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands. Do remember that washing hands with soap and water is the most effective means of preventing a spread and using hand sanitisers can give a false sense of cleanliness, in particular if their use is not followed up by proper hand washing.
  • avoid close contact with people who are unwell.
  • clean and disinfect frequently touched objects and surfaces.
  • avoid leaving open food stuffs such as crisps or platters of sandwiches in shared areas
  • ensure any crockery and cutlery in shared kitchen areas is cleaned thoroughly with warm water and washing up liquid, dried well and stored
  • if you are worried about your symptoms or those of a student or colleague, please call your GP or NHS24 (111). Do not go directly to your GP or other healthcare environment but phone.
  • If you are concerned because you have an existing medical condition or disability, please discuss this with your GP in the first instance.
  • If you do not have symptoms and are looking for general information on coronavirus (Covid-19), a free NHS helpline has been set up on 0800 028 2816. The helpline is open:Monday to Friday, 8.00am to 10.00pm, and Saturday and Sunday, 9.00am to 5.00pm
  • see further information on the HPS COVID-19 website and NHS Inform.

What is social distancing?

Social distancing helps reduce social interactions between people in order to slow the spread of coronavirus. The government has published full guidance on social distancing, for everyone in the UK as well as in order to protect older people and vulnerable adults.

How can I contact University staff and departments who are not working on campus?

Most University services will remain contactable by email, and by existing online routes. For example, you will continue to be able to access the support of the Assist team and the Student Services team. 

Staff working from home are still available via email. In addition, please see below for a list of useful contacts.

Disability Advice
Finance Office
Graduate School
Human Resources
International Office
Learning Resource Centre (Library)
Press Office
Research and Knowledge Exchange
School Office
Student Funding
Student Services
Students’ Union

Should I stay away from the campus?

With the exception of students living in residences and essential Campus Services staff, you should stay away from the campus.

What do I do if I am a heightened risk because of a pre-existing health condition?

Please see the advice under 'Should I stay away from the campus?'.

What advice is there if I have recently returned from travel abroad?

Please consult and follow the latest advice from the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and Health Protection Scotland.

What do I do if I have been in contact with someone who has recently travelled to an affected area or who has had contact with an infected person?

If you do not have the symptoms associated with the coronavirus but have been in contact with someone who recently travelled to an affected area or who has had contact with an infected person, it may be necessary on risk grounds to ask you not to attend work (staff) or your studies (students).

In the case of staff, your line manager should seek advice from HR before making this decision. In the case of students, your Programme Leader would provide you with guidance, based on advice they receive from their dean or head of division.

(Note, since this FAQ was written, we have moved to home working and teaching has moved online but the FAQ remains for completeness.)

Are QMU first aiders briefed on the virus?

Yes, first aiders have been briefed.

Will graduation and other events take place?

All QMU public events are postponed as of 23 March.

Our July 2020 graduation ceremonies will be rescheduled, most likely to autumn 2020. All student degree awards will be approved and signed off by the University Senate, as they are each year in the normal course of events. This means that if you would have been eligible to graduate at the July ceremony, your degree award certificate will be sent to you in July this year at your registered home address. Your degree award will be recorded as having been conferred upon you on the date that Senate approves the award. Importantly, receipt of your award certification does not prevent you from participating fully in the rescheduled graduation ceremony. Further details on the rescheduled graduation ceremonies will be communicated once they are available.

Is QMU's campus open?

There is restricted access to the campus, which is intended to ensure that we are able to deliver essential services and support students living on campus. Staff are contactable by email but most are working from home. Exams and assessments are being delivered online. See our updates for the current status.

Acutely conscious of our duty of care to students living on campus, we still have security staff in place, of course. They can be contacted on 0131 474 0000 and extension 2222. Students living on campus can also reach them via the intercom points across campus (eg at the entrance to the main academic building and accommodation).

Working remotely, our RES:LIFE team  continue to support students living on campus, working in partnership with the Student Services team and the Students’ Union.

We continue to offer a pop-up shop for students living on campus, providing essential provisions. Except for access to the pop-up shop, the Sports/Students’ Union building will be closed.

Beyond essential Campus Services (security) staff, no staff are permitted on campus. All non-essential cleaning and maintenance will be suspended, and the Finance Office will remain closed (although still available via e-mail at ).

Students' Union staff will be available during normal working hours either via or on Facebook @qmusu

All teaching is being delivered online

Academic staff  are decidiing how best to conduct teaching and learning activities, using a range of resources to best support students.

Exams and assessments are taking place online

All taught undergraduate and taught postgraduate exams and assessments scheduled from Monday 23rd March, including those for the Semester 2 exam period (commencing Monday 20th April), and reassessments scheduled for the end of July, will be delivered online or by other methods of alternate assessment.  

Assessment type will be guided by academic discipline and academic staff expertise. Students will be notified as early as possible about what online assessments mean in practice. Individual Learning Plan Adjustments will also continue.


Is the Learning Resource Centre open?

The Learning Resource Centre is closed. For information on online resources, see the Library section of our website.

Are QMU's halls of residences open?

The student residences remain open. ResLife support for students in residences will continue to be available (online); all students are welcome to talk to their Senior Residents, the RLAs, and the Residence Life Coordinator at any point.  The team will keep residents up to date via the ResLife Facebook page

Where can I find guidance on how to look after my mental health and wellbeing?

There are various helpful sources  of information including:.

Coronavirus and your wellbeing - Mind

What do to if you're anxious about coronavirus - YoungMinds 

Mental Health Considerations during COVID-19 outbreak - World Health Organisation (pdf)

These resources supplement the University resources available to students through QMU’s Student Services and staff through the HR team (including our Employee Assistance Programme - intranet link).

Our Wellbeing service also has a webpage with useful resources.

What do I do if I am still feeling worried?

If you have any further concerns related to your work, study or wellbeing at QMU not covered above, please draw on the standard support networks. For students, this includes your personal academic tutor and the Students’ Union. For staff, this includes your line manager and HR partner.

Looking after one another

We understand that this is a worrying time and so we ask you to look out for one another. Please also be mindful of how your actions and words, however motivated, may be perceived by others.

More FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for Staff

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs

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