Parents and supporters’ welcome information

Studying at the University of Plymouth is a life-changing, transformative experience, and we know that at times of change it’s important to feel supported. Because of that, the University offers a range of support services to students – be that helping them find a part-time job, developing their academic skills, finding accommodation or support with their wellbeing.

But, we also know supporting someone at university – a son, daughter, partner or family member, can also be daunting. This webpage outlines key information about the university experience for those of you who are the parent or supporter of a current student, to help you understand their life at university and how you can help them.

Student life during the COVID-19 pandemic

We know that parents and supporters of students may be worried about what life is like at University while faced with a pandemic, but we want to reassure you that safety is our highest priority. The University has put in place a number of measures to ensure student safety around campus and within accommodation.

We want to ensure that students have the best possible university experience and are able to access all the support that they need. The University has a range of mental health services for students, be that online support via our subscription to or ongoing counselling.

For students with underlying health problems or a disability, we also have a dedicated Disability Services Team. Find out more about Student Services.

If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our Student Services team on +44 1752 587676 or email (opening hours Monday to Thursday 8:30–17:00, Friday 8:30–16:30).

In the event of a crisis out of hours, a range of external services can be contacted. The University Security team should be contacted in the event of an emergency: +44 1752 588400.

Easing of restrictions and students returning in 2021

We look forward to welcoming all of our students back when we can to continue their study programmes supported by a mix of face-to-face and online teaching. Those students who are undertaking training and study for the following courses have already returned: Medicine and dentistry; subjects allied to medicine/health; Education (initial teacher training); Social work; and courses which require Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body (PSRB) assessments and or mandatory activity which is scheduled for January and which cannot be rescheduled (programme will notify students if this applies to them). Students on practical or practice-based courses that require access to specialist equipment or facilities (laboratories, studios, workshops and performance spaces) returned from 8 March.

For the remaining students, the Government has confirmed there will be no further student returns to face-to-face teaching until 17 May earliest alongside Step 3 of the Roadmap. These students who should remain studying online until advised to return to their term-time accommodation. 

There are some exceptions, including if students do not have access to study space, for health and safety reasons or where there is concern for a student’s mental health or wellbeing – despite teaching still being online.

For those students who are eligible for face-to-face teaching, they can meet in groups of more than their household as part of formal education or training, where necessary. Students should expect to follow the guidance and restrictions, including socially distancing from anyone they do not live with wherever possible.

If your family member lives at university, they should not move back and forward between their permanent home and student home during term time.

Lateral Flow Testing is available on the main Plymouth campus by appointment and all returning students should be tested twice weekly. Students should book via our test centre page on the Student Portal where there is also further detail and FAQs, including how students studying in Exeter and Truro can access testing more locally. Students who are living in an area which is offering the use of local community testing programmes should seek to get tested before their return if they can.


COVID-19 reporting

Specifically in relation to COVID-19, we ask any students who are displaying symptoms or who may have had a positive test to please let us know by way of a simple form. This is so that we can help keep everyone safe and ensure that any students who need to self-isolate get the support they need via our dedicated Covid Advice Team, who are on-hand to help with everything from a check-in call through to food deliveries and mental health support. We are here for you.

Disclosing student information

Parents, relatives and supporters often contact the University to ask for specific information about a student and/or their studies. Due to the Data Protection Act, the University is unable to disclose any information, even to parents, unless the student has given consent for the University to do so.

We do appreciate that this is a difficult situation and do understand that parents and supporters may be concerned about their son or daughter but without their consent, we can only discuss general University procedure and support.

We always ask that parents and supporters contact students directly rather than trying to make contact via the University and encourage our students to talk to their personal tutors or our support services if they have any issues or concerns. Thank you for your understanding.