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Studying at LSE during COVID-19

Your LSE education

Campus life and staying safe

Here you'll find information about studying at LSE during COVID-19, including what we're expecting for your teaching and learning during the academic year 2021/22, getting tested on campus, and what updates to UK guidance mean for you.

Travel to the UK

Ther are quarantining and testing protocols you must follow when travelling to England, which are being run by the UK government:  

More information about travelling to the UK can be found on our Getting tested webpage

Studying at LSE during COVID-19

What are the current plans for the 2021/22 academic year?

Your teaching and learning in Michaelmas Term 2021

Our expectation for the 2021/22 academic year is that all LSE students will be in London and studying on campus, where many of your learning experiences will be in-person, supplemented by some online elements. This approach has been informed by our student and academic community, building upon the innovations and improvements we have put in place over the past year.

From the start of Michaelmas Term 2021, we anticipate the following to be in place:

  • We will deliver all compulsory teaching and learning activity in person, including seminars, tutorials, workshops, classes and Harvard style teaching sessions. However, there may be occasional rare circumstances which must be well-justified where we may need to move an activity online.
  • We are not planning to have mandated social distancing in classrooms. However, we are prepared to reintroduce this if the need arises.
  • The standard expectation is that other types of staff-student engagement will take place in-person on campus. These include office hours, academic mentoring and dissertation/thesis supervision.
  • Some other aspects of your programme may also be online but when this happens, we will always prioritise on-campus opportunities for interactive engagement.

Lecture arrangements for Michaelmas Term

  • Lectures, which are non-compulsory, will normally be delivered online - either synchronously or asynchronously. We will aim to deliver a small number of lectures in-person.
  • All lectures, whether in-person or online, will be recorded for your benefit.
  • It may be possible to deliver more lectures in-person in Lent Term and we will continue to explore this.
  • This approach towards lectures means that, should we need to reintroduce social distancing measures, we would be able to continue providing face-to-face class and seminar teaching for a much larger number of courses in-person on campus. This will also enable us to use these spaces for community building, networking activities as well as peer and faculty engagement while these measures are not in place.

Returning to campus for Michaelmas Term

  • We expect you and all fellow students to join us on campus in London to study from the start of term, Monday 27 September.
  • However, we understand that due to exceptional circumstances outside of your control, such as visas or local COVID challenges, you may not be able to arrive at this time.
  • If this is the case, we will continue to support you remotely during the first few weeks of term before your arrival. We will aim to offer hybrid teaching to ensure your experience at LSE is maintained despite other delays outside of your control.
  • You will still need to come to London so that you can complete your studies which will include in-person components for all students, and you should aim to arrive within a few weeks of the start of term, enrolling by  22 October at the latest.

Understanding UK guidance and restrictions

Find out more information on the UK government website.

It's essential to follow England and LSE's rules, to help us resume in-person activities safely and maintain a low-risk environment. We all have a role to play and everyone’s efforts can make a huge difference.

What happens if I need to self isolate?

Take a look at our self-isolation guidance for information and support if you need to self-isolate.

If you're staying in halls, our halls of residence webpages provide more information on the health and safety measures we have put in place for COVID-19.

I have concerns about my visa - what should I do?

Our International Student Visa Advice Team (ISVAT) have a dedicated FAQ page for coronavirus (COVID-19) immigration advice for current and prospective students.

If your question is not answered in their FAQs, use their query form to contact the team for advice.

What support is available for students travelling from red list countries?

Applying for deferred payment for hotel quarantine

If you will find it difficult to pay for the Managed Quarantine Package fee of £1,750 immediately, you can apply for ‘deferred payment due to financial hardship’ as a student with a visa to study in the UK. To find out how to do this, please click on the link at the very bottom of the quarantine hotel booking page. This is the section of the Booking page which says: If you are facing financial hardship and unable to pay immediately - find more details here.

On arrival, you must quarantine in the hotel you’ve booked for 10 days. If you test positive for COVID-19 while in quarantine, you may need to quarantine for longer.

You should book your quarantine package in good time so that you can campus enrol at LSE for the start of your studies.

Means-tested financial support for students from red list countries

LSE has a means-tested In-Course Support fund available for registered students who face unexpected financial hardship once they have enrolled at the School. Students from red-listed countries who face financial difficulties, as a result of paying for the hotel quarantine arrangements, can apply to this fund during their studies should they need to do so. It is not possible to apply for funding prior to campus-enrolling at the School.

How is LSE planning for a range of scenarios?

LSE has in place a number of comprehensive health and safety measures on campus to keep you safe and secure while on campus and in the halls of residence.

We hope that London does not experience another lockdown in the 2021-22 academic year. However, we are also preparing for a range of scenarios that will allow us to flex our approach to teaching and learning swiftly with the minimum disruption to our community, should we need to respond to changing health advice over the winter months.

If we are required to reintroduce social distancing we could pivot a minority of in-person classes and seminars online to ensure the majority of face-to-face teaching can continue in a safely distanced and secure environment. 

If we are no longer permitted to teach in-person on campus for a period of time, all teaching and learning will pivot online, similar to Lent and Summer Terms 2021 where we kept campus open as much as possible. 

A key aspect of planning for all scenarios is keeping lectures normally online in Michaelmas Term.

Below is a summary of the actions the School could take in the event of further COVID disruption:

  • Issue clear guidance from the School and your department regarding the plans for teaching, learning and support; 
  • Implement government advice regarding student and staff access to campus;
  • Provide lectures online; 
  • Pivot in-person teaching to synchronous and asynchronous online provision using the mechanisms in place in 2020/21 to support those students unable travel to campus; 
  • Deliver departmental teaching materials via Moodle; 
  • Provide support services remotely, via Zoom, Teams, email, telephone, Livechat, etc.  
  • Provide support and guidance for your health and well-being via Zoom appointments and web-based information; 
  • Continue office hours with class teachers and academic mentors online; 
  • Maintain access to the online Library materials; 
  • Deliver department-appropriate assessments online, taking into account the specific needs of quantitative and qualitative programmes; 
  • Provide support and advice to students resident in LSE and UoL halls of residence; 
  • Make available hardship funds for vulnerable students adversely affected by the pandemic; 
  • Offer practical guidance and adopt a sympathetic approach to students seeking to interrupt or defer their studies.


Campus life and staying safe

What's been done to make campus as safe as possible?

Your health and safety is paramount. Across campus and halls of residences we have introduced enhanced health and safety measures. Where appropriate it is likely that we will go beyond government guidance, based on scientific advice and the expertise of our academic faculty. 

To help prevent the spread of COVID-19, everyone on campus must adhere to the following requirements:

Testing: Staff, students and visitors coming to LSE buildings must be tested regularly, with evidence of a valid negative COVID test taken within the last 4 days. At present, this is also required for those who have received both vaccinations

More information on testing and booking

Mask wearing: Masks must be worn in all lifts on campus and for teaching and learning activities during the Summer School period (until 20 August),  unless they are exempt from doing so for medical or disability related reasons.

We strongly encourage all staff, students and visitors to wear masks in all LSE buildings, especially in high-traffic or ocnfined areas, for the safety of our community.

Social Distancing: Until 20 August, we will require social distancing in classrooms, where Summer School and Executive programmes are taking place. We also encourage everyone on campus to maintain a respectful distance from others when possible to help minimise the risk of asympromatic spreading of the virus.

Self-Monitoring: Anyone coming to campus must self-monitor for symptoms and stay at home if they have potentially been exposed to COVID-19 or have had any symptoms over the past two weeks. Anyone with symptoms should self-isolate and get tested for coronavirus. For further guidance on symptoms and related matters please see this NHS page.

Track and Trace: We ask that you use our LSE Trace system to enable us to look after your health, safety and wellbeing, as well as that of other members of our community.

COVID-19 Reporting: If you test positive for COVID-19 you must self-isolate as per the NHS guidance and inform the School via our LSE trace system as soon as possible.

Will LSE Students' Union be running clubs and societies?

There are lots of ways you can get involved with the Students’ Union this year. Visit the LSESU website for information on what's on and how to join in.

What's being done to make sure my student experience is the best it can be?

We know your experience at LSE is shaped outside of the classroom too, and we will offer you a range of exciting opportunities to develop skills and try new things. 

These include giving back through volunteering, developing your entrepreneurial ideas via LSE Generate, shaping your community through LSE Students’ Union activities and societies and our new online public lecture programme. You can also access thriving regional alumni groups too, which operate across the globe.

We are committed to working in partnership with you to enhance your experiences and Disability and Wellbeing Services, Careers, Student Advice and LSE LIFE will continue to be available to guide you through the next academic year and beyond.

What is the advice for students who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’, or living with someone who is?

We are working hard to keep our community safe, well and supported as we have put in place a range of measures to help make LSE COVID-secure
However, it is important that students who are ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ and students who live with someone who is ‘clinically extremely vulnerable’ read and follow the advice available on the NHS website
If you are ‘clinically vulnerable’, or live with someone who is clinically vulnerable, you should also read and follow the advice available on the NHS website.

If you would like to speak to a member of staff about your wellbeing on campus please contact the Disability and Wellbeing Service by emailing disabilitydyslexia@lse.ac.uk.

Why do I need to follow LSE’s health and safety measures on campus?

LSE has undertaken extensive and rigourous risk assessments and health and safety assessments on all rooms and communal areas of the LSE campus. 

The measures we have in place are designed to keep our community as safe as possible. We are unapologetic about the fact that we will sometimes go beyond UK government guidance to ensure our campus is safe. 

What if I'm exempt from wearing a face mask?

If you're exempt from wearing a face mask, then you'll need to register as exempt with the Student Wellbeing Service and display an identifying sticker on your LSE ID card. Find out more about registering and collecting your sticker on the student mask exemptions webpage.

Do I need to get tested to come on to campus?

Yes - students and staff coming to LSE's campus to access facilities must be tested twice a week for COVID-19. This is in line with government guidance, and is required to access buildings on campus.

More information on testing and booking is available online

I have already tested positive for COVID-19, and have completed my self-isolation, do I need to take another test? 

If you are planning to come to campus and have had COVID-19 in the past 90 days, you must ensure that you have followed all self-isolation protocols and that you are well before you come to campus. You will still need to take a rapid test before accessing facilities to show that you do not currently have COVID-19. 

Experts advise not to take another PCR test within 90 days of your first positive test as individuals who have recovered may continue to shed fragments of virus (these fragments cannot transmit the disease) in sufficient quantities to test positive again.