Here you will find information for students on COVID-19 and on-campus accommodation.

Last updated: 22 April 2021

The Accommodation Services team can be contacted on accommodation@qmu.ac.uk should you have any questions or concerns relating to accommodation on campus.

The halls of residence remain open, and we are continuing to offer support through the ResLife team. If you are in need of advice or support, please get in touch with our Residence Life Coordinator, Alice Kerr, by emailing reslife@qmu.ac.uk.

If you are living in halls and require urgent help, then be reassured that the Security team are on duty 24/7 keeping you safe. You can contact them by calling 0131 474 0000 and asking for Security, or via one of the intercom points across campus.

 

Can my family or friends park on campus to pick me up from student accommodation?

Yes, but they must not enter your flat and should avoid communal areas within the residences if at all possible

Can I book accommodation on campus for 2020-21?

Yes we have a limited number of bedrooms available so you can still apply for Accommodation during the current semester.

Your wellbeing is our top priority and we are following all public health measures to ensure a safe and enjoyable experience living on campus.

 

What can I expect living on campus in student accommodation?

There are many benefits of living in our student accommodation on campus. Our adherence to government guidelines means we will do everything we can to ensure your accommodation is a safe space to live and enjoy student life to the full. This includes a ResLife programme, events and activities, 24/7 security and wellbeing support.

We will be adapting our student spaces, cafes, sports centre, and library to meet social distancing guidelines so you can still enjoy the experience of campus life.

Is QMU accommodation safe to live in? What safety measures are in place?

Yes. We have taken extensive advice from Health Protection Scotland and are following government guidance to ensure our accommodation is safe. We have invested in additional specialised cleaning of our accommodation buildings so they are ready for your arrival.

Rooms and facilities within accommodation form small households of up to 6, allowing students to observe social distancing but still enjoy an on-campus experience. Risk assessments have been conducted within our accommodation to ensure current public health measures are implemented and guidelines provided to residents.

On campus we have a further extensive set of safety measures including one-way systems on campus, physical distancing measures, temperature checks and provision of handwashing and hand sanitizing stations.

What do I do if I think my flatmate is unwell with the virus?

If your flatmate is unwell, please see the advice at NHS Inform.

Please also see the advice on our general Student Coronavirus FAQs.

If you live in the residences on campus, please contact Security by calling 0131 474 0000 then 2222.

 

What is the University’s policy on accommodation contracts in respect of COVID?

The Scottish Government has issued stay at home guidance and the country is currently in temporary lockdown. Most students will now be taught online throughout January and February, with the vast majority not expected back on campuses until the start of March as part of the Scottish Government’s revised plan for their return in light of the spread of the new variant of COVID-19.

We would like to offer reassurance that our accommodation will remain open throughout the lockdown and students who are already living in our accommodation can continue to do so and support will be available to them.

The Scottish Government has advised that students who opted to travel home over the winter break should remain at home and only return to campus when the University advises them to do so. If you are a student who has been asked to delay your return because the resumption of your face to face teaching has been postponed, you may have been eligible for a rent reduction for the period of the delayed start, providing you do not actually return to your accommodation beforehand. Alternatively, if on reflection you would now prefer to study from home permanently because of the impact COVID-19 has had on your timetable or living arrangements, you can terminate your contract with 28 days’ notice. For more information email accommodation@qmu.ac.uk.

Are QMU's halls of residences open?

Yes. ResLife support for students in residences will continue to be available (online); all students are welcome to talk to their Senior Residents, the RLAs, and the Residence Life Coordinator at any point. The team will keep residents up to date via the ResLife Facebook page

What happens if I live in residences and need to extend my contract or move out of accommodation early?

We anticipate that we may be able to provide accommodation for any students who wish to stay beyond their current occupancy end date, and may be able to assist students whose private rental accommodation is coming to an end and would like to move into our halls of residence (for further information contact accommodation@qmu.ac.uk

If you are planning to leave your accommodation or have left already, please read our leaving accommodation page to find out what you need to do next.

If I can’t move in at the start of the academic year due to government travel restrictions what does this mean for my accommodation contract?

If you can’t travel to Edinburgh, but are still a matriculated student and expect to come to campus at some stage in the future, we will either (subject to availability):

  • hold your room for you until you can arrive; or
  • release you from your contract and refund your prepayment. You will be able to apply again once government restrictions have eased and we will do our best to find a new room for you.

What will happen if there is another lockdown during the academic year?

If the University has to close due to another lockdown the accommodation will continue to remain open. However, in these circumstances you will be allowed to end your tenancy agreement by giving 28 days’ notice if you decide to move out of your accommodation.

How will you support me if I am joining as an international student in semester 2 and need to self-isolate (quarantine) when I arrive?

If you have accepted a contract to live in our campus accommodation and you are required to self-isolate for 10 days when you arrive in the UK, you will be able to do so in your allocated room. Please do ensure that you inform Accommodation Services prior to arriving so that we can provide you with guidance and support to make your self-isolation period as comfortable as possible, including assisting you with accessing food and basic provisions and checking-in on you regularly.

International students in this situation who are not going to live on campus should refer to Scottish Government guidance, and, as ever, you can call on our International Office and Wellbeing teams for more general support as required.

If my circumstances change and I will no longer be attending the University, can I cancel my accommodation contract?

If you have formally declined your course offer and will no longer be studying at Queen Margaret University then you can request to cancel your accommodation contract prior to the tenancy start date. We will refund any balance of the prepayment and/or accommodation fee which may have been paid in advance.

If you have a firm course offer (or are a continuing student) then our normal Tenancy Terms & Conditions apply and you will be liable to pay the total accommodation fees for the full duration of your accommodation contract unless you are able to find a suitable replacement student to take over your tenancy.

Alternatively you can cancel your accommodation contract for a reason relating to coronavirus, you can provide us with 28 days’ notice to end the contract, in accordance with the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020.

To formally give notice you should respond to this email confirming you wish to give 28 days’ notice and include the following information:

· NAME
· STUDENT ID NUMBER
· BLOCK / FLAT / ROOM
· DATE NOTICE WILL END (a minimum of 28 days must be given)
· YOUR COVID RELATED REASON

 

Can my parents drop off food to me when I am self-isolating?

Yes, they can hand packages over to the Accommodation Reception, who will arrange delivery to your flat.

 

What support is available if I need to self-isolate?

If you need to self-isolate in halls of residence it is important that you inform Accommodation Services by calling 0131 474 0000 ext. 4902. Outside normal office hours you should inform Security by calling 0131 474 0000 ext. 2222.

It is important that you also inform your flatmates if you have symptoms or have tested positive for Coronavirus, as they will also need to self-isolate. If you test positive, you will need to remain in the flat for 10 days from when your symptoms started, and your flatmates will need to self-isolate for 10 days. Anyone self-isolating should not leave the flat unless it is a fire alarm or a medical emergency.

There are lots of ways to get food and supplies while you are self-isolating. Our on campus catering company will be able to provide a pay as you go catering service to all students. You can pre-order by emailing online-catering@qmu.ac.uk. You can also contact them through their social media.

Companies like Deliveroo, Uber Eats, Just Eat, and Domino’s offer lots of different takeaway food options that can be delivered directly to your door.

Supermarkets like Tesco and Asda provide an online delivery service that you can arrange. If you need food urgently, Shoply (Levenhall Village Store), Uber Eats (Londis) and Deliveroo (the Co-op) can provide basic essentials within the hour.

Once you’ve let us know that you are self-isolating, we will provide you with some additional cleaning products and we advise you of when your rubbish will be collected if your entire household is isolating. To minimise risk it’s important that all rubbish is double-bagged. If you receive any mail or parcels, we’ll delivery this to your flat door on a daily basis if everyone in your household is isolating.

There will be ongoing wellbeing support for you as a self-isolating student. This includes a phone call by one of our RLAs every couple of days to check in with you and to see if you need anything. You can also reach out to your Senior Resident for support during this time.

If you ever need someone to talk to, you can call the ResLife team on 0131 474 0000 (say ‘Accommodation’ when prompted). The Wellbeing Service is also available to support you during this time. You can contact them on wellbeing@qmu.ac.uk to arrange a telephone appointment with the Wellbeing Advisor.

If I am asked to delay my return to campus because the resumption of my face to face teaching has been postponed in light of the Scottish Government’s plans for a staggered return to in-person teaching, will I receive a rent rebate?

It is important to note that many of our undergraduate programmes are practical in nature, and include placement and other practical activity at the start of semester two, a significant volume of which is a prerequisite to subsequent placement activity. As a result, a proportion of our delivery falls within the activity exempted under the Scottish Government guidance i.e. critical and time-sensitive learning, and work placements that cannot be delivered remotely or postponed.

If you are a student who has been asked to delay your return because the resumption of your face to face teaching has been postponed, you may have been eligible for a rent rebate for the period of the delayed start, providing you do not actually return to your accommodation beforehand.

For more information email accommodation@qmu.ac.uk.

Can I end my accommodation contract early?

To terminate your accommodation contract for a reason relating to coronavirus, you can provide us with 28 days’ notice to end the contract, in accordance with the Coronavirus (Scotland) (No.2) Act 2020.

To formally give notice you should respond to this email confirming you wish to give 28 days’ notice and include the following information:

· NAME
· STUDENT ID NUMBER
· BLOCK / FLAT / ROOM
· DATE NOTICE WILL END (a minimum of 28 days must be given)
· YOUR COVID RELATED REASON

Once we receive your email we will acknowledge receipt and provide you with further guidance on moving out arrangements. Your contract will then be terminated at the end of the 28 days’ notice.

Where can I find Scottish Government guidance on semester two?

See the Scottish Government's Student Information Scotland website. This website provides Scottish Government guidance on topics such as when you can to term-time accommodation, and safe travel.

I am returning to the University (while complying with coronavirus restrictions). I’ve heard students are being asked to get a PCR test (free of charge)  before they change address in such a situation. Where can I find out more?

You can find information on this on the section of the  Student Information Scotland website concerned with semester two return, in the sub-section headed ‘Student accommodation/Testing’.

How can I get a COVID test?

If you have symptoms:

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a  PCR COVID test and self-isolate immediately.

COVID test booking for people with symptoms

People with symptoms can also book a PCR testing  by calling 0800 028 2816.

In the event that you need assistance in arranging transport to a testing site, you should contact either Accommodation services or Security for assistance.  If you live in the halls of residence, speak to the Accommodation Services team as they have a supply of testing kits for use in particular circumstances.

If you don't have symptoms:

Regular rapid (lateral flow) testing is available for everyone in Scotland without symptoms.  This provision is to help find cases that would otherwise go undetected, so those people can self-isolate and avoid transmitting the virus to those around them.

Find out more about regular COVID testing for those without symptoms

There are specific COVID testing arrangements for University student and staff without symptoms

In addition, please note that students returning to the University are being asked to obtain a PCR test (free of charge) before they change address. For more information, see the section of the  Student Information Scotland website concerned with semester two return, in the sub-section headed ‘Student accommodation/Testing’.

 

 

 

Can I return to my accommodation if I don’t have any in-person teaching?

The laws and guidance covering the return of students to universities in Scotland are made by the Scottish Government, not the University.

The Scottish Government has advised that students should not return to their term-time accommodation other than in specific special circumstances, for example:

  • Your in-person teaching has commenced
  • You are currently in temporary accommodation which you need to vacate
  • For employment purposes (for work that cannot be undertaken from home)
  • Your home location is unsuitable for study
  • You need to access health and wellbeing support which can only be provided in Edinburgh

Under the current Scottish Government law, students can only return if it is for what is deemed as a ’reasonable excuse’. It is the responsibility of each individual student to know the current law and guidance and, if necessary, to provide proof of a reasonable excuse to legal authorities if you are challenged.

Our student accommodation remains open and we will continue to support all students who are staying in our student accommodation.

If you are planning to travel back to campus because of specific special circumstances, you must notify us before you travel and to let us know why you need to return to student accommodation under the current restrictions.

The Scottish Government has published further Information and FAQs for students on the Student Information Scotland website.

I want to collect my belongings, what should I do?

The Scottish Government has encouraged students to avoid travel and not to return to term-time accommodation to retrieve your belonging, if at all possible.

However, if it is essential that you must return to collect your belongings, please follow government travel guidance and guidance on moving home. You will need to book a time-slot to arrive at your accommodation using our online booking system - this will notify us of your planned date for the collection of your belongings.

If you are unable to return to collect your belongings we can provide details of packing, storage and shipping services.

Where can I get further guidance on travelling to campus?

Visit the Scottish Government's website for guidance on travel to and from student accommodation. You should, however, regularly check this site as guidance is subject to change.

Can I go home and visit my family and friends?

If you are living away from home, your parents count as a separate household and so you should follow the rules about avoiding visiting other households

You might find the following information useful: Scottish Government's Student Information website (features rules and guidance on travel).

International students who are considering a visit home, with the intention of returning to Scotland afterwards, must follow the guidance on international travel and quarantine as appropriate when arriving back in Scotland. They should also note any quarantine rules which may apply in their home country.

FAQs about leaving accommodation

Accommodation Enquiries

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Monday - Thursday 9am – 5pm

Friday 9am – 4:30pm

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0131 474 0000
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