University of Chester

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Practical Classes Return 8th March

Dear Students  

As you may have heard from the Prime Minister’s announcement, universities are to be permitted to hold some further in-person teaching, but please wait until you hear from your department about whether or not this is relevant to your programme of study before making any decision about returning to campus. The Universities Minister has also written a letter to students which you can see here. This is in addition to the very limited number of key worker courses in health, teaching and policing that were permitted to return for face-to-face teaching in January and for whom current arrangements and schedules continue unchanged. The Department for Education’s guidance now states that universities can

resume in-person teaching and learning for undergraduate and postgraduate students who are studying practical or practice-based (including creative arts) subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities from 8 March. Universities should not ask students to return if their course can reasonably be continued online.


Which students this will affect

For undergraduate and postgraduate taught students in the practical disciplines which have been defined by the new UK Government guidance, your tutors will schedule classes that require the use of the specialist facilities from the week commencing 8th March. This will include facilities such as laboratories, studios and workshops. Your department will let you know by the end of this week if you will have in-person classes between 8th March and the Easter vacation. All other classes will need to remain online. Please note that in order to make best use of the limited time the classes may differ from those originally timetabled. You will be notified when your timetable has been updated on the App.

Practical sessions that require specialist facilities within the following areas will be being scheduled. Please note though that not all courses or year of study in these departments will have sessions that fall within the permitted designation during this initial period, so do wait for confirmation and keep checking your University email account.

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

  • Art and Design
  • Archaeology
  • Music, Media and Performance

Faculty of Medicine and Life Sciences

  • Biological Sciences
  • Chester Medical School
  • Clinical Sciences and Nutrition
  • Sport and Exercise Sciences

Faculty of Science and Engineering

  • Chemical Engineering
  • Computer Science, Electronics and Electrical Engineering
  • Physical Sciences courses
  • Mechanical Engineering

Faculty of Social Science

  • Geography & International Development

Travel and other arrangements

Please await details of classes that will be scheduled for in-person sessions before making any travel or other arrangements, including accommodation. Not all courses in these areas will be returning at this time.


If you are returning from home to accommodation in Chester UK Government guidance states that you should get a test before you travel if community testing is available in your area.

All students using University premises for any reason MUST have tests twice a week at the University. Details including a link to the booking system are here on Portal.

Financial support

Students are reminded that there are several avenues for financial hardship support. In addition to the Financial Assistance Fund, we have established a COVID Support Fund for students that are continuing to pay rent on two locations or have lost their job due to the pandemic. We also have the Digital Inclusion Fund open to any student that is struggling to access online content due to their hardware or connectivity problems. Details on all funds can be found here

Shielding students

If you are classed as Clinically Extremely Vulnerable (CEV) and are therefore shielding you MUST continue to do so at the address where you are currently living and continue to engage in online classes only. Further guidance can be found here

Access to facilities

Students that are permitted to return are able to access the University’s COVID-secure sites, including: libraries; study spaces; specialist facilities (such as laboratories, studios, workshops and suites;) dining rooms for residential students and catering outlets. In line with UK Government guidelines, bars are closed for now. Although it is also required that gyms and other leisure facilities currently remain closed, there are opportunities for outdoor exercise.

Students not yet permitted to return

For all those students who we are not yet permitted to offer in-person sessions, online provision will continue. Please be assured that your tutors will continue to provide support both in the online sessions and outside of scheduled sessions. The University’s services to support students will continue to be there for you and to provide services online.

Further return of students

The UK Government will review measures during the Easter vacation and I will let you know when there is further information regarding the summer term.

With very best wishes for your studies


Jonathan Moores



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