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Coronavirus FAQs for Prospective students

Here you will find our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) regarding UCL Accommodation during coronavirus. These will be updated as the situation evolves.

Last Updated

Thursday 7 January 2021


Please note, due to the national lockdown, we are currently advising students not to travel to UCL until 22 February 2021 at the earliest.

Your Accommodation


Options for 2020/2021 Academic Year

Which halls will be open for the 2020/2021 academic year?

Unfortunately, as England is currently under a national lockdown from 5 January 2021 to the end of February 2021, meaning there will be no in-person teaching on campus until Monday 22 February at the earliest (except for a small number of exempt subjects), we are not allocating any new accommodation until the lockdown is lifted. 

You have two options if you have made an application:

  1. You can cancel your application.
  2. Change your expected arrival date to Term 3 or for after the end of February 2021.

You can perform both of these actions by logging in to UCL Student Accommodation Online Services.

In line with current guidelines, and developments made since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, once allocations begin again we plan to allocate to UCL en-suite and non en-suite self-catered halls and both catered and self-catered UoL halls. Offers of accommodation will be made to students who have met our eligibility criteria to be guaranteed accommodation. No allocations for twin rooms and UCL catered accommodation (with the exception of UoL catered accommodation) will be made at this time. 

There will be additional cleaning in place for communal areas such as common rooms, study spaces, shared bathrooms and kitchens, focusing on high touch points. Clear guidance will also be given to students on social distancing measures whilst living in halls and support will be available on-site 24/7. 

List of UCL halls that we currently plan to allocate to include:

•    Arthur Tattersal House
•    Bernard Johnson House
•    Campbell House East
•    Campbell House West
•    Endsleigh Gardens
•    Frances Gardner House
•    Goldsmid House
•    Ian Baker House
•    James Lighthill House
•    John Dodgson House
•    John Tovell House
•    Langton Close
•    New Hall
•    Prankerd House
•    Unite Beaumont Court 
•    Unite Stapleton House

Changes to allocations

Due to a change in guidance from Public Health England, we are no longer welcoming new students to move into the following halls until after the national lockdown is lifted:

  • Astor College
  • Schafer House
  • John Adams Hall
  • St Pancras way

This is to ensure that all our students are safe and able to access the support you need. 

If you are still intending to join UCL during this period, we would be happy to welcome you at Stapleton House, however we are currently advising students not to travel to UCL until 22 February 2021, at the earliest. 

Please note that you will not be liable for rent during this time. 

List of UoL Halls that we currently plan to allocate after the national lockdown is lifted are:

•    College Hall
•    Connaught Hall
•    Garden Halls
•    Handel Mansions
•    International Hall
•    Lillian Penson Hall
•    Nutford House

For the University of London's lastest information on Covid-19, specific to intercollegiate halls of residence, please take a look at their Campus Life site here.

Due to increased demand, we have also obtained additional rooms with private providers. We will also allocate to:

  • Urbanest Kings Cross
  • Urbanest St Pancras
  • Unite Drapery Plaza
  • Unite Stratford ONE
What if I have applied for catered accommodation?

In line with current guidelines, and developments made since the start of the coronavirus pandemic, we plan to allocate to UCL en-suite and non en-suite self-catered halls and both catered and self-catered UoL halls. Offers of accommodation will be made to students who have met our eligibility criteria to be guaranteed accommodation. No allocations for twin rooms and UCL catered accommodation (with the exception of UoL catered accommodation) will be made at this time. 

You can accept the offer made to you for UCL self-catered accommodation or UoL catered/self-catered accommodation as appropriate. Alternatively, if you do not accept the accommodation allocated, you will need to seek alternative non UCL Accommodation. Please note that as long as current social distancing guidelines are in place, we do not plan on allocating to UCL catered halls.    

 Your Offer

When will I receive my accommodation offer?

Unfortunately, as England is currently under a national lockdown from 5 January 2021 to the end of February 2021, meaning there will be no in-person teaching on campus until Monday 22 February at the earliest (except for a small number of exempt subjects), we are not allocating any new accommodation at this time. 

You now have two options if you have made an application:

  1. You can cancel your application.
  2. Change your expected arrival date to Term 3 or for after the end of February 2021.

You can perform both of these actions by logging in to UCL Student Accommodation Online Services.

If you choose to delay your arrival, you will not be charged rent for this period and we will keep you updated should government guidance alter this procedure any further.

I have decided to defer my application? Can I defer my accommodation application?

No, unfortunately you cannot defer your accommodation application. If you plan to defer your studies, you are required to cancel your current accommodation application and re-apply for accommodation for your deferred year of entry. Our standard eligibility criteria will apply. 

If I decline my accommodation offer, is there a penalty or a charge?

Under the current circumstances, as long as you decline your offer before your contract start date, you will incur no penalty or charge.

After initially being declined, I have now received an offer to study at UCL after the U-turn in exam results. Will I still be guaranteed accommmodation?

Unfortunately, as England is currently under a national lockdown from 5 January 2021 to the end of February 2021, meaning there will be no in-person teaching on campus until Monday 22 February at the earliest (except for a small number of exempt subjects), we are not allocating any new accommodation at this time.

If you are a student who missed your offer conditions initially but met them after, providing you met the eligibility criteria, you are guaranteed a room offer. If you did not meet the eligibility criteria, you should look into alternative accommodation options. If you will be under 18 on arrival, missed the offer conditions initially but met them after, a room offer is guaranteed, subject to availability in our U18 locations. 

Late Arrivals

I am a UG student who has applied for accommodation. Can I arrive in January 2021 for Term 2 and Term 3 only? 

Please note that as England is currently under a national lockdown from 5 January 2021 to the end of February 2021, meaning there will be no in-person teaching on campus until Monday 22 February, at the earliest (except for a small number of exempt subjects), we are currently advising students to arrive after 22 February or until the national lockdown is lifted.

If you have not yet been offered a place, please be aware that we will not be allocating any new accommodation until the national lockdown is lifted. 

You now have two options if you have made an application: You can either cancel your application or change your expected arrival date to Term 3 or for after the end of February 2021. Both of these actions can be performed by logging in to  UCL Student Accommodation Online Services.

I am a PG student who has applied for accommodation. Can I arrive in January 2021 for Term 2 and Term 3 only? 

Please note that as England is currently under a national lockdown from 5 January 2021 to the end of February 2021, meaning there will be no in-person teaching on campus until Monday 22 February, at the earliest (except for a small number of exempt subjects), we are currently advising students to arrive after 22 February or until the national lockdown is lifted.

If you have not yet been offered a place, please be aware that we will not be allocating any new accommodation until the national lockdown is lifted. 

You now have two options if you have made an application: You can either cancel your application or change your expected arrival date to Term 3 or for after the end of February 2021. Both of these actions can be performed by logging in to UCL Student Accommodation Online Services.

I am an affiliate student who has applied for accommodation. Can I arrive in January 2021 for Term 2 and Term 3 only? 

Please note that as England is currently under a national lockdown from 5 January 2021 to the end of February 2021, meaning there will be no in-person teaching on campus until Monday 22 February, at the earliest (except for a small number of exempt subjects), we are currently advising students to arrive after 22 February or until the national lockdown is lifted.

If you have not yet been offered a place, please be aware that we will not be allocating any new accommodation until the national lockdown is lifted. 

You now have two options if you have made an application: You can either cancel your application or change your expected arrival date to Term 3 or for after the end of February 2021. Both of these actions can be performed by logging in to UCL Student Accommodation Online Services.


Self-isolation


I have an offer of accommodation from UCL. Will UCL support me if I need to self-isolate on arrival in the UK? 

UCL is closely following the UK government’s advice with regard to any quarantine requirements for students travelling to the UK in order to understand any impact it may have upon them checking into our halls. Please note that we are advising students not to travel to UCL until the current national lockdown has been lifted.

According to the latest Government advice for entering the UK, if you are travelling from outside of the UK you will need to quarantine for the first 10 days after you arrive as per the current guidance, unless you choose to take a private test as part of the Government’s new test to release scheme

We are currently able to provide support towards your food costs during your period of self-isolation. This will be in the form of a food voucher from a third party food delivery provider. 

For further information on quarantine, including how to submit your Late Arrival Notification, support available during your time, details about food throughout the 10 days and more, check out our self-isolating in halls page.

What if the current self-isolation guidance changes?

If the UK government’s current self-isolation guidance changes, we will be in touch with you as soon as possible with more information. 

How will I get food during self-isolation?

We are currently able to provide support towards your food costs during your period of self-isolation. This will be in the form of a food voucher from a third-party food delivery provider. You will also be provided with a cleaning pack including bin bags, wipes and disinfectant spray to be used to sanitise your room and dispose of any waste.
Details of how to order will be provided with you vouchers. 

I will be arriving from the 4 January 2021 onwards, where will I self-isolate?

We are advising students not to travel to UCL until the current national lockdown has been lifted.

According to the latest Government advice for entering the UK, if you are an international student, coming directly to London from another country, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon your arrival, unless you choose to take a private test as part of the Government’s new test to release scheme

You will be able to notify UCL of your need to self-isolate when you book your arrival slot. We are currently able to provide support towards your food costs during your period of self-isolation. This will be in the form of a food voucher from a third-party food delivery provider. You will also be provided with a cleaning pack including bin bags, wipes and disinfectant spray to be used to sanitise your room and dispose of any waste.

If you have been allocated an en-suite room, you will be able to self-isolate in your permanently allocated room. If you have been allocated a non en-suite room, you will be housed temporarily in alternative UCL Accommodation to complete the 10 day quarantine period before being able to move into your permanently allocated room. This will be arranged directly with you once you have booked your arrival slot.

We also advise that you take a look at our self-isolating in halls page to be aware of the measures you would need to follow.

Do I have to complete self-isolation in UCL Accommodation?

If you are an international student, coming directly to London from another country, you will be required to self-isolate for 10 days upon your arrival in line with UK Government guidance, unless you choose to take a private test as part of the Government’s new test to release scheme

You can complete your self-isolation elsewhere first before moving into halls, however if you need to complete the 10 days self-isolation period in your hall, you will be able to notify UCL of your need to self-isolate when you book your arrival slot.  

If you do not have an en-suite room you will self-isolate in alternative accommodation. We also advise that you take a look at our self-isolating in halls page to be aware of the measures you would need to follow.


Your Experience in Halls


Will there still be events for me in halls?

Yes, as part of Flourish – our virtual community for residents, you will have activities and events that you can get involved with as a community in a digital format. A series of activities and sessions, held as virtual events, give you opportunities to build relationships with your new community whilst following social distancing guidelines. With events ranging from yoga to quiz nights to live music, there is something for everyone. Take a look at the timetable and session details, book in and get involved!

Will I have access to the communal spaces in my hall?

In line with current government guidance communal areas will now be closed and laundry facilities will only be accessible with a booked time slot. 

Will there be enhanced cleaning regimes in my hall?

Yes, we have already introduced new and enhanced cleaning regimes in our halls that are currently open and this will continue across all our halls that will be open for start of the 2020/2021 academic year as well. 

Will I still be sharing a kitchen with other residents?

Unless you have been offered a studio or self-contained flat, yes, you will be sharing a kitchen with other residents. It will be the responsibility of residents who share the kitchen to comply with local social distancing guidelines when using the kitchen. Thorough kitchen cleaning will take place every day in UCL halls and weekly in Unite halls, but we do ask that residents still clean up after themselves to encourage good hygiene in the communal space. 

Will I still be allowed visitors, and could they stay in my room overnight?

In line with current social distancing guidelines, unfortunately visitors will not be allowed into halls.       

Will my hall reception be open?

Receptions will be open. Although they will be staffed 24/7, we encourage students to email or call reception first before coming down in person to help with social distancing. Students must also wear a face covering when walking around the building and should follow the distancing guidelines that are clearly displayed.

Will I be able to receive post and parcels as normal?

You will still be able to receive post and parcels. You will be notified by email when a delivery has been received on your behalf. Contactless collection will take place following social distancing guidelines with parcels being placed in a neutral pick up point. However, we ask that during this busy time that you do not make unnecessary orders. 

Will my hall have 24/7 security?

Yes, all our halls that are open will have 24/7 security cover. 

Will I be allowed to have a social gathering or party in my hall?

In line with current social distancing guidelines, unfortunately social gatherings or parties will not be permitted in halls. However, as part of ‘Flourish’, our virtual community for residents, there is a host of activities and events that you can get involved with as a community in a digital format.  


Your Next Steps - Moving In


Will I be able to move into halls in time for the start of Term 2?

We are advising students not to travel to UCL until the current national lockdown has been lifted and ask that you rebook your arrival slot via the UCL Accommodation Portal

You must pre-book a time slot in advance for your planned arrival date. This will allow social distancing measures to be followed and make your check-in a safe and seamless process. You can find out more about this on our dedicated moving in during coronavirus page including how to pre-book.

If you are an international student who has accepted an offer of UCL accommodation, you will be required by the UK government to self-isolate for 10 days on arrival, unless you choose to take a private test as part of the Government’s new test to release scheme

Read our guide to self-isolation in halls for more detailed information.

How will moving in be adapted? Will the check in process change at all?

To ensure the moving in process is safe for both our students and staff, you must pre-book a check-in slot in advance for your planned arrival date. This will allow social distancing measures to be followed and make your check-in a safe and stress free process. You can find out more information regarding the details and how to book your check-in slot on our moving in during coronavirus page. You will also receive further information in direct emails in the lead up to your arrival.

If I do not like my room or hall, will I be able to move to another room or hall?

Unless in the event of exceptional circumstances which would be considered on an individual basis, no, unfortunately you will not be able to move to another room or hall.  


Financial

Do I have to pay for self-isolation accommodation?

If you have been allocated a room that is not en-suite, you will be moved to an en-suite room for the duration of your 10 day self-isolation period for no extra charge.

For further information on self-isolation, including how to submit Late Arrival Notification, support available during your time, details about food throughout the 10 days and more, check out our self-isolating in halls page.

I have an Access UCL offer. Will I still get my accommodation bursary?

Yes, if you have an Access UCL offer (firm or insurance) and meet the eligibility criteria to be guaranteed accommodation, you will receive the accommodation bursary.  

If I decline my accommodation offer, is there a penalty or charge?

Under usual circumstances, as long as you decline your offer before your contract start date, there is no penalty or charge. 

However, as we are currently advising students not to travel until the national lockdown is lifted this date will be extended to 22 February at the earliest.


General


I have a health condition which puts me at higher risk of Coronavirus, what should I do?

If your health condition puts you in a higher risk category, as stated by Public Health England (PHE), you should follow the Public Health England (PHE) stay at home guidance. The Government guidelines apply to everyone, and everyone should follow them regardless of their age or whether or not they are more at risk from the infection. The guidelines are designed to stop the spread of the virus – this includes passing the virus on to those who are more vulnerable.

If you would like to discuss your application or room allocation, please contact our Accommodation Office by emailing accommodation@ucl.ac.uk

For further support onsite, UCL’s Student Support and Wellbeing services can help you look after your health and wellbeing during this difficult time, including resources to support your mental health. These are designed to help you manage stress, anxiety, depression, or trouble sleeping. You can also find information about looking after your mental and physical health on our online platform, UCLcares

Will response times be affected with the university working offsite?

The UCL Accommodation Office team are continuing to work from home and enquiries are being processed as quickly as possible. We kindly ask that applicants are as patient as possible as it may take slightly longer than normal to process applications. 

Will the accommodation office be open?

The Accommodation Office will continue to operate as an online service only and will not be open for face to face enquiries. Should you have the need to contact the team, then please email accommodation@ucl.ac.uk