The latest guidance on extending or interrupting your studies amid the COVID-19 outbreak

Last updated on 6 May 2020

We aim at keeping students informed about new developments and will continue to regularly review this page with new announcements.

PhD Students

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced that UKRI funded doctoral students in their final year of study whose funded period ends between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021, will receive a six-months extension to their studies. We encourage all final year students, whose research has been impacted by the current situation, to get in contact with us at to obtain an Extension Request Form. The deadline for returning the Extension Request Form is Friday 22 of May.

For funded students whose end date is after 31st March 2021, UKRI is committing to reviewing the situation later this year. Whilst we understand that this might cause a lot of uncertainty, we encourage students to explore the possibility of revising their initial research timetable/plan, with their supervisor’s help, in order to focus on work that is easier to complete under the current circumstances.

Post-doctoral Fellows

UKRI has not issued an update on Post-doctoral Fellowships. Whilst we understand that this might cause a lot of uncertainty, we encourage Post-doctoral Fellows to explore the possibility of revising their initial research timetable/plan, with their department’s help, in order to focus on work that is easier to complete under the current circumstances.


Students/Post-doctoral Fellows who wish to interrupt their studies should contact their department in the first instance and update UBEL DTP when the interruption has been confirmed


Support available to students during the Easter closure period (Thursday 9th of April – Weds 15th of April)

Phone and online support – Care First

Care First is a free telephone and online counselling service available to UCL students outside of standard office hours for non-academic concerns.

Information and counselling are currently provided via telephone 24/7 during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak.

Phone: +44 (0)800 197 4510

You can also speak to a Care First adviser online through one-to-one instant messaging. This is available through the Care First Lifestyle website (username = uclstudent / password = bentham)

Doctor – Urgent support

GP (General Practitioner/Doctor) should be a first point of contact for any issues related to physical and mental health. Doctors also provide support if you are feeling distressed and need urgent support. To access this support you should contact your GP/Doctor’s surgery in order to request an emergency appointment. If your GP/Doctor’s surgery isn’t open, call the free NHS out-of-hours medical line on 111 for guidance.

Please be aware that during the current coronavirus outbreak, you should always call your doctor before visiting in person. You may be given an appointment over the phone rather than face to face.

Many UCL students living near our main Bloomsbury campus can register at the Ridgmount Practice:

Crisis support

If you need urgent medical attention, including for a mental health crisis in which you are concerned about keeping yourself safe, call 999 for urgent support (or your local equivalent if you are overseas) – you may be directed to an A&E department or an ambulance may be sent to you.

Samaritans – (116 123) offer support 24 hours a day, 365 days a year and you can contact them to talk about anything that’s troubling you, no matter how large or small the issue.

Befrienders Worldwide is a global network of similar listening organisations – visit their website to find a support service near you if you are overseas –

Further information on support during the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak

Comprehensive information on the support services available to you during the current pandemic is available on the Student Support and Wellbeing website.

We recommend all students keep themselves up to date with the latest information from UCL by regular checking both their UCL email account and the FAQs online.

Preparing for assessments

Many students will be revising for assessments during the Easter break. Our Exam Success Guide is full of useful information and resources to help you get the most out of your revision and perform at your best on the day.

Remember that in-person exams will not take place as planned, but will be replaced with alternative assessments. Further information is available on the UCL Students website.


Internship opportunities at the Royal Institution

The Royal Institution (Ri) currently has the following placement opportunities for ESRC-funded PhD students:

Education Programmes Assistant

One internship available to join the Ri’s Schools Programme for a three-month placement to gain experience of education outreach and science communication. The internship was originally planned for May to July 2020 but will now be flexible depending on circumstances (possibly September to December 2020).

The Education Programme Assistant will lead on the evaluation of the Ri’s Science in Schools programme and will be a key member of the outreach team assisting with the development and roll out of the Ri’s new Science in Schools show.

The closing date for receipt of applications has been extended and is now 9.00am on Monday 6 April 2020.

Job Description and Person Specification

Christmas Lectures Assistant

One internship available to join the Ri for three months at its busiest and most exciting time of the year: the planning, filming and broadcast of the Christmas Lectures. The Ri is looking for someone from the end of September to the end of December 2020.

The intern will be a key part of the delivery team for the lectures, working alongside the Ri Team. They will assist with preparations for the creation, development and implementation of the Christmas Lectures and associated activities.

The closing date for receipt of applications is 9.00am on Tuesday 21 April 2020.

Job Desrciption and Person Specification

More information about these programmes can be found on the Ri website here: