Covid-19 FAQs

The Courtauld is monitoring the Covid-19 pandemic, and is closely following the advice of Public Health England. We understand that you may have concerns, and we are taking steps to ensure the safety of our students, staff and visitors during the situation. The Courtauld can confirm that we have complied with the government’s guidance on managing the risk of COVID-19 – read our Staying COVID-19 Secure statement. 

Current national restrictions

What restrictions are currently in place?

Accessing free Covid-19 tests

Am I still able to access free testing?

Yes, all Courtauld students and staff members are able to access free lateral flow tests at either King’s College London (Bush House) or the University of London site (Malet Street).

Courtauld students who reside in Duchy House should book lateral flow tests via the King’s College London portal.

All other Courtauld students should book lateral flow tests via the University of London portal. NOTE: tests cannot be booked at this site on Wednesdays from 11:00-18:00.

You may be able to access testing in your local area.  Please with your check your local borough, and consult with the government website for testing in areas.

What is the advice on testing?

Whereas previously the UK Government advised all students to be tested twice on their return from the winter break, they are now advising that students and staff who are accessing campus or university accommodation be tested twice per week, three to four days apart.

For students who may only be attending the building infrequently, we encourage you to have arranged a test the day before or in the morning before your arrival.

I have recently tested positive for coronavirus. Should I still access free lateral flow tests, too?

If you have recently (within 90 days) tested positive for COVID-19, you are likely to have developed some immunity.

You are exempt from testing by both PCR and LFD within 90 days of a previous positive test, unless you develop new symptoms.

However, you may choose to take a LFD test after the isolation period.  If found positive on LFD test, you are required to self-isolate for 10 days or longer if symptomatic. This should only be done after completion of the required self-isolation period (

You are still required to self-isolate if identified as a close contact of a positive case, even if this is within the 90 day window.

What is a lateral flow test?

The Lateral Flow antigen test is a form of testing that detects virus protein when levels are at the most infectious. The test involves taking a swab of your throat and nose and the samples are processed on site without the need for laboratory equipment. The whole process takes around 10 minutes. This short video from the NHS gives some information about what can be involved in taking a Lateral Flow antigen test.

If I test positive for coronavirus following a lateral flow test, should I still seek a confirmatory PCR test?

No, the requirement for a confirmatory PCR tests after a positive LFD test is being temporarily removed to help ease the pressure on PCR laboratory capacity.

Do I need to take part on regular Covid-19 testing if I’ve been vaccinated?

Yes, you will still need to be tested on a regular basis.

About the virus

What are the symptoms of COVID-19?

The main symptoms of coronavirus are:

  • a high temperature – this means you feel hot to touch on your chest or back
  • a new, continuous cough – this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or 3 or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if you usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual)
  • a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste – this means you’ve noticed you cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal

Most people with coronavirus have at least 1 of these symptoms.

Read more about the symptoms here.

Generally, COVID-19 can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long‐term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease.

What should I do if I experience any of the symptoms?

If you have symptoms of COVID-19 however mild, you must self-isolate for at least 10 days from when your symptoms started.

Please inform us at as soon as possible, stating when you first displayed symptoms and who you have been in contact with at The Courtauld in the 48 hours prior.

You should arrange to have a test to see if you have COVID-19. You can book a test online here or by calling NHS 119. Do not go to a GP surgery, pharmacy or hospital.

If you are not experiencing symptoms but have tested positive for COVID-19 you also must self-isolate for at least 10 days, starting from the day the test was taken. If you develop symptoms during this isolation period, you must restart your 10-day isolation from the day you develop symptoms.

After 10 days, if you still have a temperature you should continue to self-isolate and seek medical advice. You do not need to self-isolate after 10 days if you only have a cough or loss of sense of smell or taste, as these symptoms can last for several weeks after the infection has gone. See the ending isolation section below for more information.

If you live with others, all other household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days. The 10 day period starts from the day when the first person in the household became ill or if they do not have symptoms, from the day their test was taken. If anyone else in the household starts displaying symptoms, they must stay at home for at least 10 days from when their symptoms appear, regardless of what day they are on in their original 10-day isolation period.

Read further guidance about self-isolating here.

What can I do to protect myself from the virus?

  • Wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds.
  • Always wash your hands when you get home or into work or university.
  • Use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available.
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze.
  • Put used tissues in the bin straight away and wash your hands afterwards.
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth.
  • Adhere to social distancing guidelines, and ensure that you maintain 2 metre distance from anyone outside your household wherever possible.
  • Wear face coverings, unless exempt, in busy areas where social distancing might not be possible.

What is the NHS Test and Trace service?

The NHS Test and Trace service ensures that anyone who develops symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) can quickly be tested to find out if they have the virus. The service also helps to trace close recent contacts of anyone who tests positive for coronavirus and, if necessary, notifies them that they must self-isolate at home to help stop the spread of the virus.

Find out more information about the NHS test and trace service

How does The Courtauld define self-isolating?

Self-isolation is when you stay at home because you have or might have coronavirus (COVID-19).

You should self-isolate if:

  • You have any symptoms of coronavirus (a high temperature, a new, continuous cough or a loss or change to your sense of smell or taste)
  • You’ve tested positive for coronavirus – this means you have coronavirus
  • You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
  • Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive
  • If you’ve been informed that you’ve been in contact with someone with COVID-19, either by the NHS Test and Trace programme or by The Courtauld

For more information on self-isolating, visit

For more information on NHS Test and Trace, visit

How does The Courtauld define shielding?

Shielding refers to people who are extremely clinically vulnerable, and have been contacted by their Dr. or GP and advised to take additional precautions during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to official guidance, clinically extremely vulnerable people may include:

  • Solid organ transplant recipients
  • People with specific cancers
  • People with cancer who are undergoing active chemotherapy
  • People with lung cancer who are undergoing radical radiotherapy
  • People with cancers of the blood or bone marrow such as leukaemia, lymphoma or myeloma who are at any stage of treatment
  • People having immunotherapy or other continuing antibody treatments for cancer
  • People having other targeted cancer treatments which can affect the immune system, such as protein kinase inhibitors or PARP inhibitors
  • People who have had bone marrow or stem cell transplants in the last 6 months, or who are still taking immunosuppression drugs
  • People with severe respiratory conditions including all cystic fibrosis, severe asthma and severe chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD)
  • People with rare diseases that significantly increase the risk of infections (such as severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID), homozygous sickle cell)
  • People on immunosuppression therapies sufficient to significantly increase risk of infection
  • Women who are pregnant with significant heart disease, congenital or acquired
  • Other people who have also been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, based on clinical judgement and an assessment of their needs

For more information about who has been classed as clinically extremely vulnerable, please visit the NHS Digital website.

The UK Government updated its advice on shielding on 4 November 2020.

During the period of national restrictions (5 November – 2 December inclusive), those who are clinically extremely vulnerable are advised to:

  • stay at home as much as possible, except to exercise outdoors or attend essential health appointments;
  • work from home. If this is not possible, those who are clinically extremely vulnerable should not attend work during this period of restrictions;
  • avoid all non-essential travel by private or public transport; and
  • shop online for groceries and medicines.

For more information on shielding, please consult the updated government guidance.

Health and safety

How many confirmed cases of COVID-19 are there at The Courtauld?

From 1 September 2020 – 29 January 2021 inclusive, The Courtauld has received 35 confirmed reports of Covid-19 affecting members of our community. This includes direct staff, students and visitors. Of these, one had attended The Courtauld’s sites within the relevant period.

We encourage all staff members, students and visitors to inform as soon as possible if they develop any symptoms of Covid-19. We will be able to provide advice, alert any potential contacts at The Courtauld and engage with our local Public Health England teams. In doing so, we can reduce the likelihood of the spread of the virus. A case number is assigned to each notification of symptoms in order to preserve anonymity throughout the process.

Do I have to wear a face covering?

Unless you are exempt, all staff, students, volunteers and visitors must wear a face covering that covers their nose and mouth whenever on property or in buildings occupied by The Courtauld. This includes, but is not limited to:

  • all buildings and external grounds
  • seminar rooms
  • lecture theatres
  • conservation studios
  • libraries
  • offices
  • communal spaces ie common rooms (unless eating and drinking)
  • corridors

Wearing a face covering does not alter the requirement to adhere to social distancing. All staff, students, volunteers and visitors should continue to maintain social distancing in line with UK Government guidance.

If you have a disability or health condition that means that you are exempt from wearing a face covering, please do contact, who will be able to share further information on how to get an exemption card – or you can print your own using this link.


  • Individuals are not required to wear a face covering when alone in a room, cubicle or when the only other individuals present are part of their household.
  • Individuals are not required to wear a face covering outdoors if they are able to maintain physical distancing of at least two metres from others with the exception of a member of their household.
  • Residents of Duchy House (The Courtauld’s Hall of Residence) are not required to wear a face covering when in their own living space ie their bedroom and whilst using the communal kitchens. However, face coverings are required in common spaces, including but not limited to, common rooms (unless eating and drinking), corridors and staircases, unless alone in these spaces. Residents are required to wear a face covering in their living space when Courtauld staff must enter the space for maintenance, inspection, emergency response or other services.
  • Faculty, ie those conducting face-to-face teaching, are expected to wear a face-covering whilst teaching unless they themselves are distanced at least two metres away from the nearest student/s in the room – this would be applicable in for example the lecture theatres at Vernon Square but not seminar rooms and conservation studios based on current socially distanced layouts.
  • Faculty, ie those conducting face-to-face teaching, are expected to wear a face-covering whilst teaching unless a student/s in their class is known to be of hard of hearing in which case, the removal of the face covering may be permitted so that the student/s can lip read. Where this is necessary the staff member should alternately wear a plastic face shield/visor (which The Courtauld will supply).
  •  If wearing a face covering impedes the ability to complete a job or task, contact the Head of Estates and Facilities and/or Deputy Estates and Facilities Manager for an assessment and evaluation of alternative solutions.
  • Individuals for whom wearing a face covering would inhibit their health may be exempt from wearing one. This includes, but is not limited to, the existence of a medical condition, such as difficulty breathing or inability to place or remove the face covering without assistance.

In England, you must wear a face covering in the following indoor settings (a list of examples for each is included in the brackets):

  • public transport (aeroplanes, trains, trams and buses)
  • transport hubs (airports, rail and tram stations and terminals, maritime ports and terminals, bus and coach stations and terminals)
  • shops and supermarkets (places which offer goods or services for retail sale or hire)
  • shopping centres (malls and indoor markets)
  • auction houses
  • premises providing professional, legal or financial services (post offices, banks, building societies, high-street solicitors and accountants, credit unions, short-term loan providers, savings clubs and money service businesses)
  • premises providing personal care and beauty treatments (hair salons, barbers, nail salons, massage centres, tattoo and piercing parlours)
  • premises providing veterinary services
  • visitor attractions and entertainment venues (museums, galleries, cinemas, theatres, concert halls, cultural and heritage sites, aquariums, indoor zoos and visitor farms, bingo halls, amusement arcades, adventure activity centres, funfairs, theme parks, casinos, skating rinks, bowling alleys, indoor play areas including soft-play areas)
  • libraries and public reading rooms
  • places of worship
  • funeral service providers (funeral homes, crematoria and burial ground chapels)
  • community centres, youth centres and social clubs
  • exhibition halls and conference centres
  • public areas in hotels and hostels
  • storage and distribution facilities

Face coverings do not replace social distancing. If you have symptoms of COVID-19, you and your household must isolate at home: wearing a face covering does not change this.

A face covering is not the same as the surgical masks or respirators used by healthcare and other workers as part of personal protective equipment. These should continue to be reserved for those who need them to protect against risks in their workplace, such as health and care workers, and those in industrial settings, like those exposed to dust hazards.

You can make face-coverings at home. The key thing is it should cover the mouth and nose. It is important to use face coverings properly and wash your hands before putting them on and taking them off.

How should a face covering be worn?

A face covering should:

  • cover your nose and mouth while allowing you to breathe comfortably
  • fit comfortably but securely against the side of the face
  • be secured to the head with ties or ear loops
  • be made of a material that you find to be comfortable and breathable, such as cotton
  • ideally include at least two layers of fabric (the World Health Organisation recommends three depending on the fabric used)
  • unless disposable, it should be able to be washed with other items of laundry according to fabric washing instructions and dried without causing the face covering to be damaged

When wearing a face covering you should:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before putting a face covering on
  • avoid wearing on your neck or forehead
  • avoid touching the part of the face covering in contact with your mouth and nose, as it could be contaminated with the virus
  • change the face covering if it becomes damp or if you’ve touched it
  • avoid taking it off and putting it back on a lot in quick succession (for example, when leaving and entering shops on a high street)

When removing a face covering:

  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser before removing
  • only handle the straps, ties or clips
  • do not give it to someone else to use
  • if single-use, dispose of it carefully in a residual waste bin and do not recycle
  • if reusable, wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric
  • wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser once removed

Find out more.

Will you provide face coverings for staff / students?

We will have a stock of face coverings available for students, staff or visitors who have forgotten their own, as well as for those staff who need them due to their front line role. However, as face coverings are needed for many other aspects of London life – including travel – we would recommend that staff and students also buy a supply of their own.

What impact will 1m + have?

In a small number of our seminar groups, we slightly reduced spacing from 2m distance to 1.5m distance.

Where can I find out more about the Covid-19 vaccines?

International travel

I am planning to travel to England - will I have to self-isolate?

If you are travelling to England, you must either quarantine in the place you’re staying or in a managed quarantine hotel for 10 days because of coronavirus (COVID-19). What you need to do depends on where you travel in the 10 days before you arrive in England.

You must also get 2 coronavirus tests after you arrive in England. You’ll need to book these before you travel.

Find out more about travelling here.

Specific guidance for international students is here 

You can read the general guidance on self-isolating after travelling to the UK here.

I am planning to travel outside the UK soon - what should I do?

We strongly recommend that all students and staff follow FCO guidelines.

The Courtauld has cancelled all non-essential international travel for Courtauld work / study-related purposes.  This is to protect the Courtauld community from the risk of COVID-19 transmission and to reduce the impact on students & the workplace caused by quarantine requirements on return (bearing in mind the list of exempt countries is constantly changing).

If you have Courtauld-related travel plans that you believe are essential for work or study and cannot reasonably be postponed or cancelled, you must request exceptional approval for this travel.  Please contact Student and Academic Services if you are a student, and contact your line manager, cc Human Resources if you are a member of staff.  All Faculty must request permission from their Head of Department and the Dean & Deputy Director.

If approved, this must be processed through the travel insurance portal.

Buildings and facilities

Are Courtauld buildings open?

Somerset House building: remains closed, including The Witt Library and Conway libraries at Somerset House.

Vernon Square building: If you are a London-based student who does not have suitable study facilities, you can book study space or a PC at Vernon Square through our Stay and Study Service.

The PhD workspace is available for use, if you cannot work anywhere else. Please book your space here.

There are 4 spaces available in the PhD Study Room based on current distancing rules. Students using the spaces should remain socially distanced at all times (ideally 2m apart) and must wear face coverings unless exempt, as these are communal areas.

How can I travel to The Courtauld?

The Courtauld is within walking distance of our student accommodation and the other University of London Halls of Residence, and we also have bike parking space for those students who wish to cycle. There are many public transport options, but students must wear a face covering, and where possible, we strongly recommend avoiding rush hour and busy interchange stations. There are also a small number of car parking spaces at Vernon Square which we will be making available via a booking system, with priority going to those staff and students who need to drive in for health and disability reasons. Please note – Vernon Square is on the edge of the Congestion Charge Zone, which applies from 7am to 10pm, Monday to Sunday. There is also an NCP public car park at London Kings Cross.

Is there parking available at The Courtauld?

For staff who wish to avoid public transport, there will be an increased number of car parking spaces available at Vernon Square.

Priority will be given to staff with disabilities or other health conditions. Should you not be able to book a space at Vernon Square, there is also paid car parking available at NCP Kings Cross St Pancras.

Are there cycle racks at Vernon Square?

Yes, for staff or students who wish to cycle, bike racks will be available. Further information on routes, parking and training for cyclists can be found on the TFL website.

Can I access the Library at Vernon Square?

If you are a London-based student who does not have suitable study facilities, you can book study space or a PC at Vernon Square through our Stay and Study Service.

The Library has relaunched its Scan and Deliver Service last week to support students with selected submissions. So far they have been able to respond to student requests within two working days. Please help the Library team to continue doing so by only requesting scans that are essential to your coursework. If you need help identifying the specific extract you would like scanned, please contact us before completing the form.

Please do not worry if your library books are overdue and you cannot renew them online, you do not need to return them during the current lockdown. We will not apply any penalties for overdue books and will make sure you are able to request items when we are able to resume our Click and Collect Service.

The Library team can help you make the most of The Courtauld’s growing collections of e-bookse-journals and online resources. You also have access to Senate House Library’s huge digital collections. Our Researching from home page provides guides and top tips on finding and using these materials. Please contact with any questions, or make an appointment for a one-to-one with a member of the team through our Book a librarian service.

Is click and collect available?

The Library has resumed our Click and Collect Service, allowing London-based students completing specific assessments to borrow books. As continuing Covid-19 restrictions mean that only a very small number of Library staff can be on site, and to make sure we can help those of you who need access to resources most, please only request books that are essential to your essays. You can order a maximum of seven books for your PhD research, MA dissertation, Postgraduate Diploma (Conservation) submissions, Graduate Diploma (History of Art) Foundations essay and assessed essay, BA (Year 3) Lessons in Critical Interpretation presentation and assessed essay, and BA (Year 2) assessed essay.

To make a request:

  1. Search the library cataloguefor the book that you need

If we do not hold it, please visit our Interloans web page as we may be able to request a chapter from another library.

  1. Select Library and check the availability of the book

If it is on loan, we will be unable to issue it to you until at least 72 hours after your friend has returned it. If it is a reference item, you can request a scan of a chapter through our Scan and Deliver Service.

  1. Enter your Username/ Library Barcode (the barcode number on your student ID card beginning 900…)
  2. Enter your Password/ Library PIN (your Courtauld student number, for example 1234567)
  3. Change the Institution to Courtauld
  4. Select Login
  5. Select Go to complete you request

We will send an email when your book is ready to collect. You can also check the status of your order through your library account. Please note that books you request at the same time may be available on different days.  

  1. Once we have emailed to confirmed it is ready for you, collect your book from Reception at Vernon Square

You will find your book under your surname. We will keep the book for you for seven days before returning it and issuing it to any of your friends who have requested it.

The Library staff will do our best to make the books you order available as quickly as possible. We will be prioritising the Scan and Deliver Service as this benefits all students and the colleagues at Vernon Square today will be clearing historic requests so those there tomorrow can process the new ones, but expect to make your books available within five working days. Whatever happens, we will continue to keep you updated on the situation through our web pages and the student email newsletter on Fridays. Both Click and Collect and Scan and Deliver will operate through the Spring Vacation, except 1 – 6 April 2021 when The Courtauld is closed. You can find more information about Click and Collect, together with a video and FAQs on the Service web page.

Will I be able to access Senate House and other libraries?

You can find a A-Z of the online resources you can access through Senate House Library, and details of its Library’s Click, Collect & Return service on its website.

Find out more here.

What about the Witt Library and the Conway Library at Somerset House?

The Witt Library and Conway libraries at Somerset House are currently closed.

What if I can’t work at home?

If you are a London-based student who does not have suitable study facilities, you can book study space or a PC at Vernon Square through our Stay and Study Service.

The PhD workspace is available for use, if you cannot work anywhere else. Please book your space here.

Is there be food and drink on site?

Our catering Hub at Vernon Square offers light snacks and drinks.

There are also a number of coffee shops and cafes in the surrounding area.

What’s happening with the PhD workspace?

The PhD workspace is available for use. Please book your space here.

There are 4 spaces available in the PhD Study Room based on current distancing rules.

Students using the spaces should remain socially distanced at all times (ideally 2m apart) and must wear face coverings unless exempt, as these are communal areas.

Events and schools outreach

I am due to attend an event at The Courtauld - will this be affected?

We have had to cancel, postpone or move our events online due to the ongoing situation.

Please find further information on our event pages: Research Forum and Public Programmes.

Are your partner exhibitions still open to the public?

Visit our website to find out the latest about our partner exhibitions and when they will reopen.

Please view the latest information.

Are you continuing your outreach programme with schools?

As a result of COVID-19 our schools and young people’s workshops have moved online and will be delivered live via Microsoft Teams, or similar streaming platform.

These interactive and exploratory workshops will continue to be run by our specialist educators and have been adapted to maximise the online experience.

For more information, please see our website:

Schools Programme – streamed live into your classroom

Young People’s Programme – streamed live, wherever you are

Please contact us directly on or 0203 947 7589 to discuss how this will work best for your group.

You can also take advantage of our online Learning Resourcesvirtual gallery tour, and family activities to discover something new about our collection.

Current student queries

I need to access Wellbeing services - what should I do?

Our Wellbeing services can still be accessed – please email

We are offering remote appointments through Zoom or telephone.

Where can I access out of hours wellbeing support?


If you are experiencing emotional distress, the Samaritans provide a 24-hour confidential listening service.



T: 116 123


Run for and by students, Nightline provides the opportunity to talk to or instant message someone about anything you like. It is an independent, non-judgmental listening, support and information service with no political, religious or moral bias. You may drop in for coffee and a chat. There is always one male and one female in the office. Confidentiality is assured and you do not have to give your name.



T: 0207 631 0101

Mental Health

Besides the support offered by the Wellbeing Manager, Courtauld Counsellors, and your GP, there are many useful websites and services that can help with mental health issues:

There are several online mental health resources:

  • Charlie Waller Memorial Trust: Free e-learning for university staff and a few podcasts.
  • Mental Health Foundation: A-Z on mental health. Publications on tips and advice on how to look after your own mental health.
  • Mind: Publications for adults with information about various conditions, treatment options, and practical issues.
  • NHS: Information on student mental health.
  • Papyrus: Tips for students and information on talking about suicide.
  • Royal College of Psychiatrists: Information on how to get help and about the various mental health conditions.
  • Student Minds: Information of different mental health difficulties and tips.
  • The Mix: A range of services and information for you adults, including mental health, finance, housing and others.
  • Transitions: resource for students who are starting university.
  • Youth access: A directory, which gives information about local voluntary sector services for 15-25 year olds that provide range of provision under one roof, for example counselling, drug advice, and others. Especially useful for students living outside the Borough of Westminster.

Can I still access the Careers Service?

Yes, we are still providing support to currents students and alumni who have graduated within the last 2 years, as usual.

Please email

I am a student / parent / guardian with further queries - who should I contact?

Please contact our Student and Academic Services at

Student accommodation queries

How can I self-isolate in student accommodation?

How will 'households' operate in Duchy House?

Your floor will be your household and you are not permitted to visit other floors including rooms, kitchen and common rooms that are not on your floor.

Prospective student queries

Will the coronavirus outbreak delay my application being reviewed?

Our Admissions team are working to process all applications and provide decisions as soon as possible

What is happening to Open Days and Campus Tours?

Our Open Days been moved online – please explore our Undergraduate Open Day Hub and Postgraduate Open Day Hub.

Unfortunately, we will not be delivering campus tours in 2020. We will update the campus tours page when they resume.

I have further questions about a current or future application - whom should I contact?

Email: Please contact us at: for undergraduate applications or for postgraduate applications.

Phone: Our switchboard is available Monday to Friday during the following hours (BST):

10:30 until 12:30
14:00 until 16:00

Switchboard number: +44 (0) 203 9477 670

Staff queries

Should I work from home?

We expect staff to work from home, unless you are on a front line line / a  role with a requirement to be physically on site to carry out your job.

For more information, please see SharePoint.

I am unwell, in self-isolation, or have childcare responsibilities - who should I inform?

If you are unwell, in self-isolation due to another member of your household being unwell, or your childcare responsibilities change or affect your ability to work your normal hours, please inform your line manager and

Extenuating circumstances and support

Has the Extenuating Circumstances Policy been updated due to COVID-19?

Due to the continued impact of COVID-19 and implementation of a second lockdown, The Courtauld has reviewed its Extenuating Circumstances (EC) policy.

You will not be required to submit independent evidence to validate requests for extenuating circumstances due to the impact of COVID-19. To submit an extenuating circumstances request, please follow the steps below:

  • As with all requests for ECs, you should submit the appropriate form, which can be found on The Courtauld website here. Please submit your EC form as soon as possible. Ideally before, or on the due day of the assessment, if possible.
  • Please outline on the EC form how the impact of COVID-19 has resulted in you requiring an extension, or not being able to complete an assessment. We have changed the EC policy, so you do not need to submit independent evidence to substantiate your request if it involves COVID-19.
  • We will operate a flexible and supportive approach to granting EC requests as we understand that COVID-19 is having a significant impact. Extension requests are typically granted for one week, but we can provide additional time in certain cases if you need it due to the impact of COVID-19.
  • If you are not able to submit an assessment, or sit an exam due to the impact of COVID-19, then you will need to attempt the assessment again during the September re-sit period. We will clarify these dates at a later stage for those who require to re-sit assessments.

What if I have a disability – can I get extra support?

We are fully committed to supporting students with disabilities. Please contact to discuss how we can best support you.

What if you don’t have the technology to access online lectures?

We do not want anyone to be disadvantaged by their personal circumstances, and are committed that no one is impacted by inequalities of digital access. We will be providing a computer hardware loan scheme for those students who need it most – please contact if you would like more information.

Will there still be a quiet reflection room available onsite for prayer on campus?

Yes, there will – as with other small spaces, there will be a limit to how many people can be in this room at a time. There will not be a booking system for this room, so staff and students will need to be considerate and collaborative in their use of this space.

How will we ensure community spirit when so much is being delivered online?

This is very much at the front of our minds, and we have extensive plans in place. We delivered a fully online Welcome Week, which gave everyone the opportunity to meet people on line and find out more about life at The Courtauld. Throughout the Autumn Term, we will also be running online ‘Meet the Faculty’ sessions, to enable students to find out more about the academics they’ll be working with.

Students in seminar groups will be encouraged to set up a buddy system to support each other, and we’re also building an online Student Hub to better share information – there’ll also be a weekly Student Newsletter in term time. Finally, we have an active Student Union, who are planning a range of student support activities and social events.

How will you support people with their writing skills?

The Courtauld will be supporting students with their writing skills by setting up an online Writing Centre. The Writing Centre will provide training and resources for students, including one-to-one support. It will also offer opportunities for volunteer mentoring of ‘writing buddies’ and a student ‘language pool’ to share language skills among the student body.

I’m not familiar with technology like Teams, Zoom and the Virtual Learning Environment – can I get help?

The Courtauld has IT Support available Monday to Friday during standard working hours, and will be able to offer advice and help – but please be reassured, the systems are very simple to use!  Please contact for help and advice.

Teaching and learning - autumn 2021

What will teaching and learning look like in autumn 2021?

Current Government plans state that before the start of our next Academic Year (October 2021), social distancing measures should have come to an end, thanks to a largely vaccinated UK adult population. To support this, The Courtauld is encouraging all our students – current and incoming – to take up their full course of vaccinations when it is offered to them.

Provided that social distancing restrictions have been lifted, The Courtauld is planning that:

  • Lectures, seminars and tutorials will be delivered in-person in the 2021/22 Academic Year Libraries, study and social spaces will be open for student use. Some content from the Conservation Department may be delivered online, such as guest lectures.
  • Student support services will be available in person, though may be supplemented through online services where this is more appropriate.
  • In-person events to be part of programmes such as Welcome Week, the Research Forum and the Students’ Union – although certain events will be online where this is appropriate.

However, much can change in the next six months. Student support for self-isolation and testing will be important in order to avoid outbreaks, and even small changes in government guidance could impact on use of space, and could mean that aspects of this plan have to change.

Should social distancing be retained or reintroduced, The Courtauld would move to deliver lectures and tutorials online rather than in person; restrictions may also be introduced to library study and social spaces; and events and support services moved online.

There is also still much uncertainty about international trips or research travel which will need careful monitoring; international trips should not, at this stage, be counted on. A reintroduction of social distancing or travel restrictions may also mean the postponement or cancellation of trips or visits within the UK.

In the worst-case scenario of another lockdown, all teaching would be moved online and access to Vernon Square and to the libraries further restricted. However, even under these extremely difficult circumstances, The Courtauld has shown it can still deliver outstanding teaching and learning.

New situations that might fall between these examples and require a different response – but any changes will be communicated as early as possible, and consulted on with The Courtauld Students’ Union and Trades’ Unions.

Will I be able to access lectures online?

Lectures will be available online, for those students who might have to miss them due to illness, or would benefit from watching them again. However, we would encourage students to attend lectures in person where this is possible. Some content from the Conservation Department may be delivered online, such as guest lectures.

Do I have to live in London?

As long as we are offering face-to-face teaching and student facilities, yes, you will need to live in London (or within a commutable distance).

Can I choose to attend seminars remotely?

We believe that our students will get the most from small, face-to-face teaching, and that this is done best in person. If you are unable to attend seminars for medical reasons or because of Covid-19 related extenuating circumstances such as travel quarantine, we will do our best to support you with online teaching – however, we would strongly recommend you attend your seminars in person wherever possible. Seminars will not be recorded, as we want students to feel comfortable to express their views.

What about visits and trips?

As long as there are no restrictions on social distancing, group size or travel within the UK, UK-based trips and visits should go ahead. Social distancing, a return to the Rule of 6 or travel restrictions may all mean UK-based trips and visits have to be suspended.

The situation is much more complex with international trips. Trips would only be considered to ‘Green List’ countries and even then, might not be possible due to restrictions, or make specific requirements of students such as testing or vaccination. At this stage, international trips should not be counted on.

How would social distancing affect how The Courtauld delivers teaching and learning?

Should social distancing be retained or reintroduced, we will move to delivering lectures, tutorials and supervisions online rather than in person; restrictions may also be introduced to library study and social spaces; conservation studio teaching would become socially distanced; UK trips and visits would be cancelled or postponed; and events and support services would move online. Depending on the exact nature of the restrictions and guidelines, further changes may also be required.

How would a further lockdown affect The Courtauld’s teaching and learning?

In the worst-case scenario of another lockdown, all teaching and learning would be moved online and access to Vernon Square and the libraries restricted in line with Government guidance. We do, however, know from the past year that even under these extremely difficult circumstances, we can still deliver outstanding teaching and learning.

If you moved to online lectures, how much notice would I get?

We would endeavor to give you as much notice as possible, but experience has shown that sometimes these decisions need to be made very swiftly, to help keep our staff and students safe.

Access to facilities and support - autumn 2021

Will I be able to browse the Library at Vernon Square? Will I need a booking?

Subject to all restrictions being lifted, yes students will be able to browse the library. For NHS Test and Trace purposes, we may still need to keep bookings in place.

Will I be able to access Senate House and other libraries?

We would expect this to be the case, but each library will have their own rules and processes.

What about the Witt Library at Somerset House? And the Book Library at Somerset House?

The Witt Library at Somerset House should reopen in time for the next academic year but attendance will need to be pre-booked. The Book Library will remain closed – but if you need a publication from there, it can be ordered and viewed either in the Witt or in Vernon Square.

Will there be study space available?

We have offered study space at Vernon Square for almost all of the pandemic period, to support students who could not work at home. We will continue to ensure student study space is available, unless we are instructed specifically that it must be closed.

Will there be food and drink on site?

Yes – there will be food and drink available in the Common Room.

What about student social spaces?

As long as restrictions are lifted, students will have access to indoor and outdoor social spaces.

What about events?

Although some events will still be held online – especially when they are accessible to more people through online delivery – as long as all restrictions are lifted, we expect Welcome Week, the Research Forum programme and Students’ Union activity to all include some in-person events.

Can I access student support service in person?

Student advice and support will be available in person at Vernon Square, but may be supplemented by online support – for example counselling services – which we know from the pandemic has worked well for some students.

Covid-prevention measures - autumn 2021

How will The Courtauld help keep me safe?

We are committed to following the latest government guidelines and regulations and will ensure they are implemented across all of our buildings, particularly around ventilation, cleaning, hand hygiene, contact tracing, testing and isolation.

How can I help keep everyone safe?

Guidance will be regularly issued to students. Even if all restrictions are lifted, please do not come to The Courtauld if you feel unwell or have been in contact with anyone with Covid-19. We expect testing to still be in place, and would ask students to be part of this programme. Most importantly, we encourage all of our students to take up their full course of Covid-19 vaccination when it is offered to them.

Will I have to wear a face covering?

This will depend on the latest government regulations and guidance, which we will expect all staff and students to follow. If face coverings are optional, we would also support any student or staff member who wished to wear them.

Will I have to be vaccinated against Covid-19?

We strongly encourage all students to take up the full course of Covid-19 vaccinations when they are offered to you, in order to keep everyone safe.

Extenuating circumstances and support - autumn 2021

What will happen if international students need to go home, or can’t get here for the start of term?

If some students are unable to participate due to specific Covid-19 related circumstances, we will look to include them where possible via online routes. Our Library also has a huge range of online materials. However, we would strongly encourage you to plan to be here for the start of term.

What about students who need to self-isolate?

The health and safety of our students and staff is our top priority. If you need to self-isolate, please contact so that we can ensure that you receive online teaching and support where possible.

What about staff who self-isolate?

If staff need to self-isolate, but are well, we will look at rescheduling teaching or delivering this online. If staff are unwell, teaching will either be rescheduled or delivered by someone else.

What if I’m unwell and miss teaching?

We will provide you with every opportunity to catch up – information from each class or lecture will be posted on the VLE.

What if I have a disability – can I get extra support?

We are fully committed to supporting students with disabilities. Please contact to discuss how we can best support you.

How can I self-isolate in student accommodation?

We have detailed protocols in place for self-isolation in our student accommodation – if you are staying in Duchy House, this will be provided to you.

How can I quarantine in student accommodation?

We have detailed protocols in place for quarantine in our student accommodation – if you are staying in Duchy House, this will be provided to you.

Will there still be a quiet reflection room available onsite for prayer?

Yes, there will.


Further information and questions

Further information

I have additional questions - who should I contact?

General: If your question relates to the coronavirus, please contact Anthony Tyrell at: or phone 020 3947 7593.

Students: Please contact Student and Academic Services by email in the first instance:

Phone: Our switchboard is available Monday to Friday during the following hours (BST):

10:30 until 12:30
14:00 until 16:00

Switchboard number: +44 (0) 203 9477 670

Staff: If you are travelling overseas and / or your work is affected by the coronavirus, please contact Human Resources

Visitors: Please get in touch with the event organiser – contact details of our departments can be found here.

Local community: If you live or work in the community around our Vernon Square campus and your question relates to The Courtauld’s response to the coronavirus, please contact:

Telephone: 44 (0) 20 3947 7717 (office hours, Monday to Friday)


The Department for Education: has launched a helpline to answer questions about COVID-19 related to education. Please email or phone 0800 046 8687. The helpline is open from 8am to 6pm, Monday to Friday.

This page will be reviewed on a regular basis.