Here you will find answers to coronavirus FAQs specifically for staff. Please also see the general coronavirus FAQs. Staff will find more information on our COVID intranet site (remember you need to be logged into the Remote Desktop to access the intranet). You might also find the archive of COVID updates to students and staff useful.

Last updated: 22 April 2021

When should I self-isolate?

You should self-isolate immediately 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.
  • you live with someone who has symptoms or tested positive. · you've been told to self-isolate by NHS Test and Protect.
  • If you are not sure whether or not you should self-isolate in any particular scenario, you can seek advice via the NHS WebChat tool.

See Test and Protect for more information on self-isolation.

Should I self-isolate if I come into contact with someone who has COVID-like symptoms or is awaiting a test result?

If you think you've been in contact with someone who has coronavirus, but you do not have symptoms and have not been told to self-isolate, simply continue to adhere to social distancing rules (unless you share a household with the person with symptoms, in which case you need to self-isolate).

If you are not sure whether or not you should self-isolate in any particular scenario, you can seek advice via the NHS WebChat tool.

See Test and Protect for more information on self-isolation.

Who do I tell in the University if I am self-isolating, suspect I have coronavirus, or have been diagnosed with coronavirus?

If you suspect you have coronavirus, please stay home and visit NHS Inform for advice.

If you are self-isolating or suspect you have coronavirus or have been diagnosed with coronavirus, it is important that you tell us. Please:

1. Tell Security (tel 0131 474 0000 ext 2222) the Head of Human Resources at 

3. advise your line manager.

If you experience symptoms while on campus, it is important that you tell Security immediately (wherever possible by phone - 0131 474 0000 ext 2222 - rather than travelling across campus to see them in person).

You can find out more information about leave and pay arrangements here.

Not sure if you have COVID or a cold? See the guidance on the Scottish Government’s student information website.

How do I book a coronavirus test?

If you have symptoms:

If you develop COVID-19 symptoms, you should book a  PCR COVID test and self-isolate immediately. You can choose either to have a test sent to your home or to attend a testing site, which are located across Scotland.

COVID test booking for people with symptoms

Students - 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:

If you do not have symptoms: everyone in Scotland can now order lateral flow tests online or collect them from a test site, for fast twice weekly testing at home. Many people have COVID-19 but have no symptoms, which is one of the ways it can spread quickly to different people. That’s why being tested is so important. It protects everyone within your household and in our community.

Find out more about regular COVID testing for those without symptoms

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




If I need to self-isolate (or can’t return to the UK), how will I be treated by the University?

If you are a member of staff, please contact your line manager for support, who, in turn, must inform the Head of HR at

As a general rule, if you are feeling well you would be required to work from home (where possible) and return to work only if you did not develop symptoms during the incubation period. If home working were not possible for some or all of the recommended period, authorised paid leave would be allowed. If you are unwell, the University’s Sickness Absence Management Policy and Procedure applies. You can find out more information about leave and pay arrangements here.

What access is there to the campus just now, and what processes do I need to follow before returning to work on campus or holding a meeting on campus?

Please note that the general guidance below related to current access levels is subject to current Scottish Government advice on travel, work etc.

All staff who need to work on campus must complete the online ‘Working Safely on Campus’ e-learning module (accessed through your WorkRite Login).  It takes just 10 minutes to complete and is designed to ensure that you are familiar with the COVID workplace adaptations we have implemented to keep you safe, and your role and responsibilities while on campus.  When logging in for the first time, please click on the “Forgot Password” link to create a new password.  

In addition, before staff return to work on campus, their manager should go through the Manager's Checklist (intranet link) with them, which might result in a need for an  individualised risk assessment (intranet link)

Current access levels

  • Until announced otherwise, staff should only visit campus for essential reasons or if you are unable to do your job from home, and that attendance on campus should be agreed with your line manager.  
  • Staff offices are open, for those who need to attend the campus, but with limited capacity to allow for physical distancing. Access to the offices is controlled via staff card.  As physical distancing limits us to 50% occupancy, please coordinate with colleagues in your area if you plan to access the staff offices.
  • Even when staff have to be on campus, meetings should be held online rather than face to face except in exceptional circumstances.  In addition, the need for cleaning etc means that meeting rooms need to be booked in advance as set out on the COVID section of the intranet.
  • Staff tea points are available, with limitations on use.




Where can I find guidance, training info and support on teaching and learning in our current circumstances?

Practical and pedagogical guidance.

Staff will find further FAQs on the QMU intranet. 

Where can I find guidance on one way systems on campus and information on teaching room locations?

Our Academic Building Wayfinding document provides this information. We will feature this information on boards within the atrium on campus.



Where can I find the University's COVID risk assessments and guidance on when local risk assessments are required?

This information is found on the Risk Assessment section of the COVID intranet site.

Where can I find information on the campus adaptations introduced to address COVID?

You can find full information, including architect drawings, on the Campus Adaptations section of the COVID intranet site.

How was teaching delivered in semester one?

All new first year students received six hours on-campus teaching per week from the very start of their course, in two to three hour blocks across two to three days a week. All new (full-time) postgraduate students received five hours on-campus teaching from the very start of their courses, again delivered in two to three hour blocks across two days a week.

Level 2-4 students have also been receiving a combination of on-campus and online learning, the balance of which varies according to programme requirements.

The level of teaching of students in other years (i.e. not first year and PG courses) is being  decided by the programme team, working within certain parameters. Where programme teams have questions or concerns about parameters and arrangements, they should contact their Head of Division.

The teaching day has been extended so that it runs from 9am to 8pm, though we are minimising the number of times any student or staff member is scheduled to be on campus in the evening. No student or staff member will be timetabled to be on campus for more than 8 hours on any day. The timetabling team will do everything possible to ensure the best use of space, to avoid, for example classes having to move from one seminar room to another as far as possible.

We are allowing for physical distancing in our face to face teaching.

What was the extent of activity taking place in semester one?

Induction Week began on 7th September  and teaching and learning started on 14th September (with a few exceptions as set in the message of 29 May).

We maximised opportunities for face to face delivery in support of the student experience.

Lectures are being delivered online and recorded (by staff, at home). This means that students can access online lectures at a time that suits them, rather than all students having to “attend” a lecture at the same time. As we will have to allow for social distancing on campus, the removal of lectures from the face to face timetable frees up space and time for the other elements of teaching, such as seminars and tutorials, where students will gain more benefit from face to face interaction.

Most seminars and tutorials were delivered face to face on campus, with practicals generally postponed to seminar 2.

The Learning Resource Centre (LRC) was, and remains, available for self-development.


What is the University’s approach to teaching in semester two, including for those courses that are scheduled for delayed start in semester two (ie starting in semester two instead of semester one)?

Anticipating a continued requirement for social distancing and other COVID-19 health and safety restrictions for the next six months, we are maintaining our current blended approach to learning and teaching into semester two (the semester that began in January).  We have also been adapting our planned delivery in semester in line with changing coronavirus restrictions, following Scottish Government advice. See our updates to students and staff for information.

Our blended approach involves a mix of on-campus and online activity. The actual number of hours students will be timetabled for, and the balance of that mix, will vary by programme and level of study, and for some programmes from week to week. It will also depend on Scottish Government guidance.

As well as reflecting government advice, the  variation in hours across programmes and levels of study is to take account of students' different levels of familiarity with the University's approach to learning and teaching, its support systems, and the requirements of individual programmes.

Digital learning opportunities (such as recorded online lectures and online live discussion) will be provided to compensate for any reduction in standard levels of timetabled on campus learning.

Students can access lectures recorded online at a time that suits them. The removal of lectures from the face to face timetable also frees up space and time for the other elements of teaching, such as seminars and tutorials, where students will gain more benefit from face to face interaction.

We can confirm that those courses which have been postponed from semester one to start in semester two started in semester two.  The semester two timetable has also been accommodating some delayed activity from semester one.

As with semester one, we will not be holding on-campus written examinations at the end of semester two. 

In line with government guidance, we are implementing a staggered return of undergraduate students in semester two.  Details are as per the published timetable, which is subject to change. The timing of resumption of face to face classes  will depend on your programme requirements, including, for example, the need for practical sessions and any essential pre-placement practical sessions, and your level of study.




What if I am due to travel on University business?

The University will consider requests for travel, both in the UK and abroad, on a case by case basis. If you are a staff member with plans to travel on QMU business, please discuss this with your line manager. Your travel will be permitted if they agree that it is required and appropriate, having regard to a risk assessment of the proposed travel and Scottish Government travel advice. The risk assessment should be sent to QMU Health and Safety before agreement to the requested travel is confirmed. Please be aware that there are currently restrictions on the level of insurance cover provided by the University’s travel policy in respect of risks related to COVID-19. Please check this out with the Finance Office when you are completing your risk assessment, and ensure that any restrictions on insurance cover are taken into account in completing the risk assessment.

Students planning travel related to their studies at QMU should speak to their Programme Leader, who will then need to seek the advice of QMU Health and Safety.

Please also check the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website for advice.

The University will not allow work or study related trips which are not covered by the University insurance policy.

Remember, the guidance above relates to travelling on University business only. For advice on personal travel, see section below.

There is some useful general travel advice at Travel Health Pro.









What is the University’s advice on personal travel?

Please see Scottish Government advice on travel, quarantine etc.

While the University is not responsible for you on personal trips, we all have a social duty to help avoid the spread of coronavirus and to help minimise the disruption arising from it.  When travel is possible, we  strongly recommend that you follow the advice and guidance found on the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) website at all times. This includes advice on whether it is safe to travel to a particular country, advice on health and security, including advice on coronavirus, and advice on what to do when returning from a trip e.g. whether it is necessary to self-isolate for example. If you decide to travel against FCO advice, be aware there may be travel restrictions imposed that may impede your return to the UK.  Please also check your own travel insurance policy. 

Given the evolving situation, managers will be sympathetic to requests from employees to cancel or amend annual leave, even at short notice. If you find yourself in a situation where you need to quarantine on return from travel aboard, and you need to be on campus during your period of quarantine, please talk to your line manager.

There is some useful general travel advice at Travel Health Pro.


What is the University’s policy on annual leave for staff during the coronavirus situation?

We all need to keep ourselves fit and well. Taking annual leave contributes to that, even if our vacation opportunities are limited.  We would ask staff to continue to take annual leave during the coronavirus situation and to switch off entirely from work when they are on annual leave.

Staff are asked to note that the Senior Leadership Team agreed a relaxation to the annual leave carry over arrangements for the 2019/20 leave year (ending 31 July).The relaxation was designed to ensure that those staff who have additional or altered workload requirements as a result of COVID-19, which mean where they were unable to take their accrued leave within the normal time frame, they are provided with additional time in which to take their leave.  Further details are available on the intranet (accessible when you use the remote desktop).

What do I do if I need to care for children because their school is closed?

We expect colleagues in this situation to continue to work from home where possible, but we recognise that it may be difficult for those with young children to do so during their normal working hours and/or to work a full working day. We will continue to provide full pay to all staff in this position, and in return we would ask that staff, where possible, exercise a degree of flexibility.

We recognise that some members of staff may wish to take additional annual leave to allow them to fulfil childcare commitments, and we can confirm that line managers will be as flexible as possible in responding to any such requests.

You can find out more in our Caring Responsibilities at Home Guide.  

What do I do if I need to care for a dependent parent or other family member?

We expect colleagues in this situation to continue to work from home where possible, but we recognise that it may be difficult to do so during their normal working hours and/or to work a full working day. We will continue to provide full pay to all staff in this position, and in return we would ask that staff, where possible, exercise a degree of flexibility.

We recognise that some members of staff may wish to take additional annual leave to allow them to fulfil caring commitments, and we can confirm that line managers will be as flexible as possible in responding to any such requests.

(See separate FAQ about caring for children when schools are closed.)

You can find out more in our Caring Responsibilities at Home Guide. 

Is there advice on working safely and effectively at home?

While working remotely, we all need to ensure that we take breaks and take other steps to protect our wellbeing.  

The HR team has provided guidance for staff on tips for working from home and work station set up. These are in addition to the existing Working from Home Guidelines, and can be found on the staff intranet.There is also guidance for line managers on managing staff working from home.

We have also created QMU@Home, a new web page to support staff by bringing together useful resources related to working from home, including maintaining a good work/life balance, health and wellbeing advice, and ways of staying in touch with the QMU community during this uncertain time. The site also provides details of key contacts if you need specific support from colleagues. In addition, it features blogs in which individual staff members describe how our present circumstances are affecting them and how they are adjusting.

Training session: Working Successfully from Home

You might like to access a one hour ‘Working Successfully From Home’ training session that is delivered online via Zoom by our training partners Positive People.

The session is presented by David Longstaff who has delivered the Ease the Load session to staff in the past. The session will be most useful to those that are unfamiliar with working from home.

Sign up for a session here

Just enter your details at the link and add PREPAIDQMU in the coupon code box.

There are a number of dates available and more will be added.

Please access Zoom via your browser rather than through the Horizon desktop in order for voice and video to work. 

Session content includes:

  • the value of daily routines
  • dealing with distractions
  • juggling work and children
  • focusing on priorities
  • getting exercise
  • knowing when to stop work
  • overcoming guilt

How do I request equipment for safer home working?

Staff can find information on the process for requesting equipment on our COVID-19 intranet pages. If you think you need equipment that is not available from the campus, please speak to your line manager or the Health and Safety Adviser ( for advice, as there is a process to enable such purchases. Please don’t order equipment yourself because we may not be able to refund you.

Our Health and Safety Adviser, Mike Kennedy, has also written a blog for the QMU@Home section of our website, which features some useful information on setting up your home working area.

Where can I find guidance on remote working and video conferencing?

See our you can do IT at home webpage for information, guidance and tips.

Our IT team has prepared a brief document detailing steps to take to ensure your Zoom meetings are as secure as possible.

How are trade unions supporting staff through the current situation?

The University is implementing and adapting contingency plans as appropriate through regular Business Continuity Group meetings with student and staff health and wellbeing foremost in mind. The three campus trade unions are represented on the Business Continuity Group meetings and play a full part in its work.  TU reps are attending meetings in order to liaise around issues such as work contracts and conditions resulting from changing working practices due to COVID 19. The unions are liaising with each other over representation on the group and feeding back to each other. We have written a series of info e mails which we can send out to you if you missed them. Below are names and contact details of the reps dealing with case work etc linked to Covid 19. Members are most welcome to contact them with any issues that they would like raised with the Business Continuity Group or specific issues and case work arising through your work.

Your trade union reps are:

UCU: Oonagh O’Brien and Stephen Darling, UCU

Unison Franziska McPherson, (, Kitty Flynn

EIS Andy Hendry  Irvine Allan

How will the current situation affect REF2021?

REF has pulled together a comprehensive list of their own FAQs. You can read these in full on the REF website.

What is the advice regarding research projects?

Advice for ongoing research involving human participants

Issued 06 April 2020 (updated 10 September 2020)

In accordance with the UK Government guidance on social distancing and remote working, staff and research students in receipt of ethical approval from QMU had been directed to take account of and follow the instructions below until further notice with specific regard to all on-going and planned research data collection that involves face-to-face interaction with human participants. As the Scottish Government and the University move through their Route Maps, there is a gradual relaxation on restrictions on research involving human participants. Specifically, as the University moves through its phase 2 to phase 3 transition plan, researchers can begin to conduct research with small numbers of participants on campus from the week beginning 17th August where it is not possible to adapt the design to conduct participant interactions remotely. However, where it is possible to do so, research should continue to be conducted remotely.

Staff and research students are directed to the specific guidance follow.

If it is not possible to adapt the design to conduct participant interactions remotely, or within the restrictions for on-campus research activity, the following documentation should be submitted to the QMU Research Ethics Panel for consideration:

  • A completed Notification of Changes form
  • Amended versions of the research proposal, research ethics application, participant information sheets and consent forms with all changes highlighted in yellow.
  • A completed QMU risk assessment form (Please contact to request a copy of this document.)

If you require further information or guidance in relation to this please contact

For those researchers that are carrying out research, or intend to carry out research, that involves the NHS please see the Chief Scientist Office statement on the Restart Framework.

If conducting research outwith the QMU campus, please adhere to the policies and guidance in place at the external research location in line with local and national restrictions.

Where research is simply paused for a number of months the QMU Research Ethics Panel will not require notification, but if significant changes to research design are required then a notification of change form will need to be submitted ( and approved by the QMU REP prior to the research resuming.

Guidance for Staff and Students

Given the exceptional nature of the situation arising as a result of the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, the QMU Research Ethics Panel (REP) continues to require all ongoing and planned research to make changes to how the majority of participant interactions are conducted.

In addition, the QMU REP has temporarily suspended the requirement for approval of changes to research projects that relate only to changes to participant interactions from face-to-face to remote, unless there is a substantial change to the protocol as a result of the change.

Students - If you are unsure if it will be appropriate to change to remote interaction you should discuss this with your supervisor as soon as possible. Once the appropriate way forward has been agreed, please follow the guidance below to adapt your research.

Guidance for those who need to pause their research

You must inform your participants that the research has been paused. It will be key that in whatever communication you send to participants that you describe how any actively enrolled participants will be managed, particularly concerning any safety monitoring / follow-up etc. where applicable.

Unless the changes made to pause the study result in a substantial change to protocol, the pausing of a research study and issue of an update to participants will not need to be considered as a notification of change by REP.

Guidance for those who will conduct their research remotely

1. If you have not yet begun data collection but have ethical approval to do so you should amend your recruitment plan to recruit and interact remotely. Unless the changes made to the way in which you interact with participants results in a substantial change to protocol, you will not need to submit a notification of change form. Simply update your recruitment documents to outline how you will remotely interact and then proceed.

2. If you have already begun data collection and will now change to remote participant interaction then unless the changes made to the way in which you interact with participants results in a substantial change to protocol you will not need to submit a notification of change form. Simply update your recruitment documents to outline how you will remotely interact with participants and use this version moving forward. Any already active participants must be informed of the switch to remote interaction and be provided with the updated participant information sheet. It is important that you make clear to participants that if they no longer wish to participate owing to this change, or for any other reason, that they are free to withdraw at any point.

A substantial change to protocol might be a change that would alter the level of risk to the participant i.e. if you are working with vulnerable participants, to do so remotely might remove the safeguard of the researcher being able to detect distress face-to-face and mitigate risk by referring to an appropriately trained person.

New submissions for ethical approval

Researchers may continue to submit research ethics applications and they will continue to be reviewed. However, as will be made clear on your outcome letter, you are not permitted to begin data collection which requires any face-to-face interactions with participants in person until further notice. The following options are possible/appropriate:

  1. Obtain ethical approval for a project involving face-to-face interactions with participants in person.
    • If you wish to commence data collection immediately you must amend these interactions to be conducted remotely as outlined above.
    • If it is not possible to conduct your participant interactions remotely then you must then wait until you are advised by the University that face-to-face interactions can recommence before you begin any data collection in person.
  2. If you are a student with time constraints around conducting your research and cannot conduct remote participant interactions, it is recommended that you change your research to involve secondary data analysis only (i.e. data which has already been collected) so that no primary data collection is required.

If you are a student in the Division for Dietetics, Nutrition & Biological Sciences, Physiotherapy, Podiatry & Radiography and undertaking a dissertation please follow the advice of your supervisor/module leader for alternative options.

New studies relating to COVID-19

An expedited review process will be considered for any new studies relating to COVID-19 where there are proven public health grounds to commence. In order for such a study to gain clearance to proceed with face-to-face participant interactions, and for this review to be expedited, the Principal Investigator must provide the following information to prior to submitting an ethical approval application:

  1. What are the public health grounds for the study to be conducted?
  2. What is the rationale for the study to be conducted at this time? Why can it not be conducted at a later time?
  3. Evidence of a Risk Assessment, considering the potential risk to the researcher themselves, signed off by the relevant Head of Division.

Researchers should send the answers to these questions to the QMU Research Ethics Panel for consideration via Please title the email “New Study relating to COVID-19” and your email will be prioritised.

Where can I find QMU's route map for the return to campus and normal operations?

Is the LRC open?

The Learning Resource Centre is open. For information on current operating arrangements, please see our Library website.  If you have any specific requirements please contact the LRC staff in advance


Where can I find the guidance issued on approaches to emails and meetings to minimise the negative impact on staff time?

Where can I find guidance and support on wellbeing?

In the first instance, please visit QMU@Home

Please also see the Wellbeing section of the COVID intranet site.  Here, among other things, you will find













Can I get time off for a vaccination appointment?

We encourage all staff to take the opportunity of a COVID vaccination when it is offered to you.  You are entitled to reasonable time off during your normal working hours to attend medical appointments, including an appointment to receive your vaccination. When you receive your invitation, please inform your manager of the time and date of your appointment.  You might also like to note that UCEA (the Universities & Colleges Employers’ Association, of which QMU is a member) and the five sector HE trade unions have  agreed a joint statement on vaccinations for staff.


More FAQs

General coronavirus FAQs

FAQs for Students

FAQs for International Students

FAQs for Applicants and Offer Holders

Accommodation FAQs