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Coronavirus (COVID-19) Advice

Coronavirus (COVID-19) advice for current students

Information and updates for current undergraduate and postgraduate students studying at York St John.

Important updates

This content was last reviewed on Friday 11 September 2020.

Detailed guidance

How to access student services

Find out what support services are available to you and how to access them from home.

Staying safe on campus

How we are using the latest public health advice to keep you safe on campus

How your course will be taught

View information about how your course will be taught in this academic year.

Frequently asked questions

General advice for students

We want you to be rewarded for your hard work and achievement and have the opportunity to achieve your potential in meeting the learning outcomes for your degree.

To do this, we have:

  • Introduced a Safety Net policy to guarantee that your programme-level average will not be lower than a benchmark calculated from confirmed assessment outcomes so far;
  • Changed our approach to assessment; and
  • Introduced greater flexibility in the application of exceptional circumstances in response to the impact on you.

The impact of the global coronavirus (COVID19) pandemic and stringent social distancing measures introduced by the government have changed the way universities operate. Our response aims to protect your safety and your long-term academic success.

After careful review and consultation on what will work best for York St John University students, we believe our COVID-19 assessment arrangements ensure that you are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond your control.

Our overriding priority continues to be your wellbeing and long-term success.

We want you to be able to receive your award or progress to the next level of study. The implementation of our safety net policy means that it will take us a bit longer to process your results, which will now be confirmed at a Progress and Award Panel on 10 August. You will receive your results shortly after that.

If you have resits confirmed after the Panel, the deadline will now be 4 September 2020, with online resit examinations taking place between 1-4 September.

If you do have a resit in September, your marks will be confirmed at a Progress and Award Panel in October.

If you are progressing to your next level of study and have resits in September, or deferred assessments, you will be progressed conditionally and your status reviewed once all marks have been received in October. Your enrolment status will be considered at risk, until your full profile of marks are known in October and, should you fail any resit or deferred assessment, you are at risk of the termination of your studies.

Find more information in the Learning and Teaching FAQs section below.

Students who are self-isolating may find this information valuable

York COVID -19 Community Hub  

City of York Council are coordinating a York COVID-19 Community Hub to ensure there is support for everyone that needs it. To volunteer, register online. To get help, email  or call 01904 551550.  See more on their public group on Facebook.  


Local businesses offering food and drink delivery

City of York Council and YorkMix have teamed up to connect independent retailers across York with shoppers, which includes a comprehensive list of food and drink for delivery.  


Food delivery

Acomb grocery - on line shopping, no delivery charge over £25.00 

Bishy Weigh – Eco friendly re-fill shop (take your own container). Operating by collection but have recently introduced a next day delivery service for those who need it; only those people who cannot get out. Call 01904 631410 between 10am-12.00 noon Monday, Wednesday or Friday to order.

Blue bird bakery - operating a ‘dough to door’ delivery service for fresh bread, ordered via their online shop 

Deliveroo - now includes groceries, including a range of essentials from Morrisons and Spar

Fodder and Forage – Local greengrocer and florist offering home deliveries of fresh fruit and vegetables

Food circle - A community project that usually provides locally grown food via food stalls etc.  Direct message them on Instagram (@food_circle_york) to be added to their weekly newsletter and ordering system. Offering doorstep deliveries on Thursdays and Saturdays from suppliers including: Haxby BakehouseAcorn DairyHodmedods (frozen meat and dried goods) 

Fruitique  Bishopthorpe Road greengrocer and general store offering deliveries of bread, groceries, pantry items, fresh fruit and veg, dairy products as well as cleaning products. More info on their facebook page. - Fresh meat and pies, with some other items available

Heslington Fresh Foods - Fresh fruit, vegetables, dairy produce and bread, plus assorted other items delivered 


Morrisons supermarket - offering a small range of boxes filled with essential food and household items, all available for delivery 

Richardson’s Produce - same day delivery of fresh produce

Uber Eats

The Government has provided this specific advice for anyone living in shared accommodation.

To ensure the safety of our University community, all teaching, learning, assessment and contact time is taking place remotely.

Access more information on our Support for students webpage.

All of the library’s ebooks, electronic journals, newspaper and television archives, and search tools can be accessed away from campus, via the library website.

To help all students working remotely, Adobe has provided temporary, free access to Adobe products from home. Please follow the instructions below to enable access to Creative Cloud Desktop Apps on your personal device.
  1. Visit and use your York St John IT credentials to sign in.
  2. If prompted, select Company or School Account and then enter your York St John IT password. Or provide your credentials in your school’s login screen.
  3. From the Creative Cloud website, browse for and download your desired app. Click Apps on the top of the page to view all apps.


For more information on how to download or install apps, see Download and Install Creative Cloud apps.

Any items that you have on loan will be extended until September - no fines will be issued during this period. 

A contact-free book return box is available on the ground floor of Holgate from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm.



If you need advice or support, email

Please contact your one of your course tutors or email 

Our preparation for the return to campus includes a full deep clean of the entire campus and the introduction of new handwashing and hygiene stations.

Plans are in place to rearrange teaching rooms to accommodate physical distancing and reduced capacity will be reflected in the timetable for semester one.

ITS are reviewing provision to give staff and students access to the technology they need to work and study.

Academic staff are preparing to deliver a blended learning approach of teaching online and in smaller groups where possible.

Campus and student services are adapting to provide on and off campus support.

A phased return to campus is planned for all staff. Measures are continuously reviewed to prioritise your safety, minimise risk and adhere to latest guidance.

Please log a job as usual and someone will contact you. 

If you are struggling financially please contact the Funding Advice Team for information and support at There is a YSJ Student Support Fund available that students facing unforeseen financial hardship can apply to (once in receipt of all the funding you are entitled to from the funding body). When completing the online Student Support application, please make sure you use exact figures because these will be used in the assessment. During the application process your income and expenditure will be assessed so please be prepared to provide evidence of this if requested. Please note there are no guarantees with this fund.

Michelle Donelan MP, Minister of State for Universities, has written to all international students to provide information on the steps being taken by the UK government to keep you safe and to mitigate the worst effects of COVID-19 on you and your education. You can download and read the letter below.

Letter from Minister Donelan to International Students ( PDF 0.2 MB)

Teaching and Assessment

Face-to-face teaching was stopped from 18 March on our campuses in York and London. The University introduced remote teaching and assessment from Monday 20 April.

We appreciate that this is a very worrying and difficult time for our students. We share the concerns our students have expressed to ensure that their interests are protected, and that they are not disadvantaged as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

Our objectives remain:

• to ensure that, wherever possible, students are able to complete their programme of study or to progress to their next academic year on time;
• to ensure students are not disadvantaged by the current unprecedented circumstances and;
• to protect students by maintaining quality and standards in teaching, learning and assessment and ensuring that their qualifications hold value over time.

To meet these, we have:

• Introduced a Safety Net policy to guarantee that your programme-level average will not be lower than a benchmark calculated from confirmed assessment outcomes so far;
• Changed our approach to assessment; and
• Introduced greater flexibility in the application of exceptional circumstances in response to the impact on you.

After careful review and consultation on what will work best for York St John University students, we believe our COVID-19 assessment arrangements ensure that you are not disadvantaged by circumstances beyond your control.

Our overriding priority continues to be our students’ wellbeing and long-term success.

The University is now working to put plans in place for teaching and learning for the next academic year and is committed to delivering a blend of face-to-face and online learning and teaching from September 2020.

If you have resits confirmed after the Progress and Award Panel on 10 August, the deadline will now be 4 September 2020, with online resit examinations taking place between 1-4 September.

We are committed to providing an inclusive experience for everyone who studies at the University. Your support needs will continue to be taken into account for any alternative assessment, although may differ for assessment type; for example, adjustments for examinations would normally differ from those for written coursework.

The University has extended the 17 April Semester 1 resit deadline by two weeks to 1 May 2020, for all students.

Should you need an extension for a Semester 1 resit or any other assessment, please use the Exceptional Circumstances policy in the usual way. You do not need to submit medical evidence related to Covid-19 or any other illness at this time.

We understand that the current situation may mean that you feel unable to complete your assessments.

If this is due to health reasons our Disability Advice Team are contactable to offer support remotely on

Our Wellbeing Team are also contactable to offer wellbeing support via email on

If the current situation means that you are caring for dependents, you can get in touch with our dedicated contact for student carers on who can chat to you about the support available to you.

If you feel unable to complete your assessments due to the current situation, either due to medical reasons, including mental health, or lack of technology, please contact us.

The University is asking all students who do not have access to technology and/or broadband in order to be able to complete their assignments to let us know if this is the case. We can then work with you to discuss your options and how we can support you at this time. This may include an alternative form of assessment (e.g. by telephone), deferring your assessments, or discussing the options for suspending your studies, if that is appropriate.

During your studies you might be faced with unforeseen personal, medical or family problems that are outside your control that are negatively affecting your academic performance in your assessments.

These are exceptional circumstances and you can submit an exceptional circumstances claim form so that the University can decide what action can be taken if your circumstances have affected your performance or your ability to complete your assessment.

Many of our support services are operating remotely to support you during this time. You can find out about the support available through the University support pages.

From Monday 23 March, the majority of University staff will be working from home. This means that you will be supported at a distance. 

Please look out for updates from your tutor or supervisor via e:vison, moodle and email.

The University contacted all students to ensure they had the right equipment and internet at home to be able to study and complete assessments. If you find that you do not have access to a computer or to internet at home, please contact us at 

If you do not have a home environment where you are able to effectively study, please follow the Exceptional Circumstances process and we will defer your assessments or approve an extension, whichever is more appropriate for you.

You should also apply through the Exceptional Circumstances process, and we will agree an extension or defer your assessments, whichever is more appropriate for you.

You should contact your supervisor to discuss your individual circumstances and how your access to resources may be affecting your dissertation.

If you are unable to access the resources required for your research, you should have an initial conversation with your supervisor to discuss the situation. You can apply through the Exceptional Circumstances process for an extension or suspend your study until access to the University and resources is available again.

If you are able to access new resources, we will grant you an additional week to be able to access and familiarise yourself with the alternative resources. This can be done through the Exceptional Circumstances process. 

In individual cases, the loss of resources may require a reconfiguring of the research project, which will mean you need the assessment to be deferred, a more significant extension to be granted or to suspend your studies, you should also apply through the Exceptional Circumstances process. You should discuss your options with your supervisor.

Due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the pressure on our NHS services, you will not need to submit any medical evidence related to either Covid-19 or any other illness. Please apply through the Exceptional Circumstances process in the usual way.

If you are unable to complete your alternative assessments, you can submit a claim for an extension or deferral of the assessment through the University’s Exceptional Circumstances Policy. You should discuss this with the Associate Head for your programme of study, or your academic tutor, to go through what options are available to you.

You can apply through the Exceptional Circumstances Policy if you feel your performance has been impacted, and you have completed the assessment and submitted it. Alternatively, you can also apply for an extension if you feel you would benefit from more time to complete the assessment.

Advice and support for postgraduate researchers

From Monday 23 March, the majority of University staff will be working from home. This means that PhD supervision will be supported at a distance. Your supervisor will contact you to confirm arrangements for remote supervision in the coming days and weeks.

You should talk to your supervisor about field work and decide what is appropriate for your project. There are so many different types of field work that an individual response is needed. You should follow the travel guidance below, and consider the social aspects of any field work when you decide upon the best course of action. If there are funding conditions that are concerning you, then speak to your supervisor who in turn can seek advice from the University as it relates to any funding or degree requirements.

Formal supervision meetings are expected to continue via suitable online meeting platforms (e.g. Microsoft Teams). Any documentation should be shared electronically prior to the meeting. Please continue to maintain your Supervision Logs as these provide a record of your discussion, agreed action points, and targets for the next meeting.

Any first formal or annual reviews will remain planned as normal, but these should be conducted via a suitable online meeting platform (e.g. Microsoft Teams). You will need to provide documentation to the Chair, at least one week prior to the review date, who will review the documentation and share with the supervisory team. Progress report sign-off and discussions will be completed electronically by the Chair and supervisory team.

Any transfers will remain planned as normal, but these should be conducted via a suitable online meeting platform (e.g. Microsoft Teams). You will need to provide the necessary documentation as normal to the Chair, at least two weeks prior to the meeting, who will review the documentation and share electronically with the panel member(s) for review and feedback. Online meetings often have a “share my screen” function for those who may have presentations.  

Any oral examinations (viva voce) are to be undertaken via video conferencing means (e.g. Microsoft Teams) and be recorded in line with 6.3.e of the University’s Regulations for Research Degree Awards. The following University requirements for viva voce are suspended:

  • For the candidate to be in attendance in person;
  • For at least one examiner and independent chair to be present in the same room as the candidate;
  • For permission to be sought from the Research Degree Examination Panel (RDEP) for the use of video conferencing.

With immediate effect, the Research Office will no longer book any travel or accommodation related to PGR expenses until further notice. The University has restricted any domestic and international travel in line with advice from the UK Government. Please discuss any alternative arrangements with your supervisor relating to your fieldwork, this should be remotely using electronic means where possible. PGRs and supervisors are encouraged to review plans for fieldwork and where possible, prioritise activities that can continue at a distance. PGRs are expected to keep a record of any disruption to fieldwork and discuss with supervisors accordingly.

If you have previously booked travel and accommodation from your PGR expenses, please contact the Research Office

All teaching and learning continues to take place at a distance. Whilst a small number of essential staff are on site, staff and students continue to work and study from home where possible. The University is committed to delivering a blend of face-to-face and online learning and teaching from September 2020. We will keep PGR students updated on any changes.

Due to ongoing events, you can request an extension or suspension of your studies as normal, and these will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. lease discuss a request for extension or suspension with your supervisor in the first instance. 

In line with the University’s guidance, which has suspended any domestic and international travel, the Research Office will not be booking any travel or accommodation for the foreseeable future. If you wish to attend a conference remotely, this will still be possible and will be processed in line with the PGR expense guidance.

We understand that everyone is having to adapt to the current situation by home working for those who can. However, we are not able to reimburse purchases made for equipment (e.g. laptops and/or furniture).

Most texts are still available online or on demand. As with the guidelines, if there is a text that cannot be obtained through one of the normal channels and that would be essential to your research, you would need to ask your supervisor to put in an exceptional claim to the Research Office prior to purchase. The same would go for any technical training courses should they not be something we can provide at YSJ.

Policies and documents related to postgraduate research can be found here. Please also visit the Virtual Graduate Centre for more information.

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