This page will cover information and provide answers specifically related to the Students’ Union, our clubs, societies, facilities and activities. This page will also provide advice, guidance and signposting on academic, mental health and housing matters.

This page will summarise some of the information from UCL’s Coronavirus advice page, however, this page will not duplicate any information provided by UCL so as to avoid any risk of giving conflicting advice in a fast-moving situation. It’s vital in the coming days and months that you have the most up-to-date and accurate information. For advice on symptoms, hygiene, self-isolation and support, please visit UCL’s Coronavirus advice page.

We will update this page frequently when new information becomes available. Please check this page regularly and/or look out for newsletters and emails.

We are actively involved in planning and delivering UCL’s response to Coronavirus. Our Sabbatical Officers are part of UCL’s response team who meet daily. 

As a community of 45,000+ students, we all have a responsibility to take advice seriously, to stay informed and look after one another. This is an anxious time for all, and together with UCL, we will be providing ongoing support.

Read UCL's latest update.


Frequently Asked Questions



I’m very worried, or I have experienced bullying or abuse related to coronavirus. Who can I talk to?

UCL works in partnership with Care First, an independent advice and counselling service, to provide students with telephone and online support. To find out more and access support, please visit the Student Support and Wellbeing website, contact us through askUCL or call +44 (0)20 7679 0100. 

UCL does not tolerate abuse of any kind within our community. Please report this directly to the police. If you are a UCL student or member of staff, you can also use our online Report + Support tool

I am an international student. I’m very worried and I have lots of questions.

Advice on immigration matters and visas is a specialist and regulated area. One of the best sources of information and advice for international students is UKCISA (UK Council for International Student Affairs). Lots of guidance can be found on their info for international students webpage (which is constantly updated as the situation evolves).

You can also contact our Advice Service who will do their best to answer your queries or signpost you to the right place for help. Please contact [email protected] or use our online contact form with your query as a first step and our advisors will respond to you.

I’m thinking of interrupting my studies now. Will I be eligible for any benefits if I do?

If you interrupt your studies and are no longer an enrolled student at UCL, your eligibility for benefits will change. You may find some useful information about Coronavirus and claiming benefits on the Government’s Understanding Universal Credit Coronavirus update.

You can also contact our Advice Service who will do their best to offer support, answer your queries or signpost you to the right place for help. Please contact [email protected] or use our online contact form with your query as a first step and our advisors will respond to you.

I am a disabled student. I am very worried and have lots of questions.

We know that the current situation is causing uncertainty for everyone at UCL, but we are also aware that disabled students will have some specific worries and concerns during this time. One of the best sources of information and advice for disabled people is Disability Rights UK; lots of guidance can be found on their Coronavirus webpage (which is being constantly updated).

Upcoming assessments scheduled by UCL should use an inclusive model, so it is hoped they will be appropriate for most students. If you do not have access to your reasonable adjustments (such as specialist IT or ergonomic equipment) or should have a reader/scribe, then you may need further support. The Disability team in Student Support and Wellbeing are offering remote support to students and are in contact with departments if it is likely students will have difficulty with digital content. If you are facing any issues or need any additional support, you should contact your Disability Advisor as soon as possible to discuss this; you can get in touch through askUCL or call 020 7679 0100.

You can also contact our Advice Service who will do their best to offer support, answer your queries or signpost you to the right place for help. Please contact [email protected] or use our online contact form with your query as a first step and our advisors will respond to you.


Union facilities and services

Are Union cafes, bars and spaces open again?

We’ll slowly be reopening our spaces again and we’ve carefully considered which spaces to open first, with your safety, and the safety of the students who work in our spaces, our number one priority. Bloomsbury Café has opened already and we’re looking forward to welcome you again! Our other cafes and bars and also the gym will gradually follow. We’ll share our current reopening plans with you, but please be aware that things can change quickly these days. But you’ll be the first to know: 

Bloomsbury Café: Open Monday – Friday 11:00 – 15:00 
Bloomsbury Fitness: Tuesday 1 September 2020 
Union Shop: Monday 21 September
Institute Bar: Monday 21 September
Phineas: During Term 1 
Gordons Café: During Term 1
Print Room: During Term 1

Once these spaces a reopened safely, we’ll move on our others in Lewis’s Building; the Huntley, Mully’s and the George Farha Cafe. We’ll carefully open more of our facilities as the year progresses and inline with the latest advice. You’ll be the first to know.

When will Bloomsbury Fitness reopen?

After closing our doors in March, we’re thrilled to tell you that we'll be re-opening Bloomsbury Fitness on Tuesday, 1 September at 09:00. It has been a long time and we cannot wait to welcome you back into your gym. We’re still the same Gym you know and love, but how we operate will feel a little different to usual so that we can keep you safe. You can find out more on our Bloomsbury Fitness website. 

Can I defer my Bloomsbury Fitness membership?

Yes, we will freeze your current membership and will extend your contract for the closure period. You will be able to use the gym as normal when we reopen on Monday 1 September 2020.

Are Clubs and Society facilities still open, i.e the Activities Reception desk, Common Room, Film Studio, Dance Studio etc.?

No, all spaces are now closed. Staff are still working remotely, picking up emails and available on the phone if needed. Our work isn’t stopping, and we’re still here to support you.

Can I still contact the Advice Service?

Our Advice Service remains open, but all advice will be delivered remotely until further notice. We can offer appointments by telephone or digitally by Microsoft Teams and can also provide advice by email. 

Please contact [email protected] or use our online contact form with your query as a first step and our advisors will respond to you.


Advice on changes to teaching and assessment

How will I know if my planned teaching events have moved online?

Your department will contact you to outline new arrangements as soon as they have been confirmed, through their usual communication channels. This may take some time and UCL are working as fast as possible to confirm all the new arrangements. Use your Moodle page (or whatever you usually use)  to talk to others on your course about coordinating communication with your department.

I’m not satisfied with UCL’s approach, can I be refunded for changes or cancellations to teaching?

UCL is following advice from the UK Government and Public Health England on a fast moving and developing public health issue, now classified as a pandemic by the World Health Organisation.

UCL's current position is that they are unable to refund accommodation or tuition fees for students who choose to return home.

Whilst we appreciate the frustration many students may feel with this approach, as the situation is still unfolding, we don’t feel that it’s appropriate at this time to begin conversations with UCL on students behalf about refunds to missed teaching.

It’s too early to establish the full impact on students' education. Right now the primary concern is looking after students health and wellbeing and supporting students through the immediate situation.

Will my exams - or the alternative assessment - be brought forward?

UCL’s intention is to make sure the online alternatives take place on the same date as your timetabled exam would have taken place - albeit depending on the form of the assessment the length of your exam may change.

In terms of a revision schedule - stick to the plans you already made.

Every first year undergraduate student will be required to undertake a single short reflective piece to consider learning across all the modules studied this year (see separate FAQ on first year assessments)

When will I find out about my alternative assessment?

This will vary between departments, and they are working hard to put this together as quickly as possible. 

We’re working with UCL to establish a deadline by which they must let you know about the alternative arrangement.

I have a question that hasn’t been answered?

Please contact Ashley, our Education Officer, directly about other learning and teaching changes.




I live in UCL or Unite Halls, do I need to leave? and if I leave early, will I have to pay?

In light of new Government advice, if you are currently in Halls you should stay where you are and follow Government advice about limiting your movement. 

UCL has confirmed that students who choose to end their housing contract early will not have have to pay rent for the third term. Unite have also confirmed that students who leave early will not have to pay third term rent. Find out more here.

If you have any concerns about your living arrangements, please contact the Accommodation Office. You can also speak to your local Student Residence Advisors (SRAs) and Wardens who provide out of hours support in UCL managed accommodation.

I live in private rental accommodation and want to terminate my tenancy early, can you help?

Most assured shorthold tenancies are for a fixed period (usually 12 months). However, when unexpected issues arise and you need to leave your accommodation earlier than originally planned, there are few ways you can look to do this.

The Advice Service can go through options such as break clauses, assignment, subletting and surrender with you in more detail to see if any of these would work for you. It’s not always possible to leave your tenancy early, but by reviewing your agreement and other documentation our team can make sure you are fully aware of your rights and obligations.

You can contact the Advice Service by email ([email protected]) or via our online contact form.

I am concerned that I might become homeless.

Please contact Student Support and Wellbeing as soon as possible, they have different ways they can support you, depending on your situation and they will do everything they can to help.

Student Support and Wellbeing's drop-in sessions are suspended until further notice. However, students still have full access to support. To speak to an adviser or make an appointment, you can get in touch through askUCL or call 020 7679 0100.

The Advice Service can also provide you with independent advice, regarding any options you may have with your housing. This includes discussing both your housing rights and any queries around funding accommodation.
There are numerous protections you may still have, and services you may be able to access if you're struggling.
You can contact the Advice Service by email ( [email protected] ) or via our online contact form.

Further information related to housing can be found on the University of London Housing Services site and on the Shelter COVID-19 page.


Actions the Union is taking


How is the Union representing me on the ongoing issues related to Coronavirus?

We are actively involved in planning and delivering UCL’s response to Coronavirus, including assessments, moving teaching online and student support. Our Sabbatical Officers are part of UCL’s response team who meet daily, they represent students and ensure the actions UCL take are in the best interests of students.

What is the Union doing about accommodation costs?

Sabbatical Officers have written to the Provost asking that UCL allow students in halls to prematurely end their accommodation contracts.


Union activities and events

I'd like to volunteer to help - how do I get involved?

We've put together all the volunteering opportunities with organisations delivering support to communities. Browse opportunities here.

I lead a club or society, what about my event?

All face-to-face activities have been suspended – including all remaining sports fixtures, competitions, training sessions and guest speaker events. This decision is in line with UCL’s latest advice and as much as this is disappointing and frustrating – it’s the right thing to do.

Will I still be able to book rooms in UCL and the Union in Term Three?

No, there will be no further room bookings allocated and all current bookings will be cancelled.

Can I get a refund on cancelled events?

If the event is run by the Union, you will receive an automatic refund. There is no need to contact us. We will process your refund as quickly as possible, however this may take several weeks to process.

If the event is run by a club, society or a third-party, please check the event details or contact the event organiser. If you are a Club or Society and you are cancelling an event you can email activities reception to request that all ticket holders are refunded.

I run a club or society, can the Union support me to cancel my events?

Yes, we can support you in dealing with suppliers and contacting your ticket holders. Please email [email protected].

How will I know if an event has been cancelled or just been moved online?

All events are listed on the Union’s What’s On calendar and cancelled events will be clearly marked.

If the event is ticketed, you will receive an email from the Union to confirm that the event has been cancelled.

If the event/meeting has been moved online, further information will be provided in the event description.

I’m due to go on a trip or have booked a guest speaker from overseas, what happens now?

Following on from the latest guidance from UCL advising against all international UCL trips for staff, undergraduate students, contractors and visitors, in-bound and out-bound, please note the following:

  • All upcoming Club & Society trips or tours abroad will be cancelled
  • We will make no further payments towards planned future trips
  • No new trips or tours abroad will be approved or paid for
  • Any external speaker due to attend a Union event will be cancelled

The length of time these measures will be in place will be reviewed regularly based on UCL guidance. More information can be viewed here.

I’ve registered to volunteer with an external community organisation, what should I do?

In the first instance, you’ll be contacted by your supervisor about the steps the community organisation is taking. If you haven’t heard from your supervisor, please get in touch with the Volunteering Service who will be able to assist.

I lead or am part of a Student-Led Volunteering Project, what should I do?

All Student-Led Projects have been paused for the remainder of Term Two and for Term Three. The Volunteering Service will contact you with further details.

I lead a club or society, what can I do to help?

Over 15,500 students are a member of one or more of our clubs and societies, they are often the social circles and friendship groups that offer support and guidance when times are tough.

As committee members, if you feel comfortable doing so, you still have a role to play during the remainder of the academic year. We encourage you all to consider how your club or society can continue to function remotely, in at least a social way, whilst we all deal with this situation. We all have a role to play in helping those that have to self-isolate continue to feel part of the UCL community.



I’m not getting UCL’s Coronavirus emails, what should I do?

UCL sends regular updates to your email address. The emails will be sent from ‘UCL Communications’. If you’re not receiving these please check your junk/spam folders and mark any and all UCL communication as not spam.

We’re working with UCL to improve their communications with students on this matter.

All the news shared in student emails can be found here. Past issues of MyUCL can be found here.

I have more questions for UCL

Please use UCL’s ‘AskUCL’ service