COVID-19 security for university students

PDA student members and reps have been sharing their challenges and experiences of the new university term as we all face a second wave of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Wed 14th October 2020 The PDA

Students beginning MPharm courses were expecting some ‘face to face’ teaching and are finding lectures are swiftly moving online and timetables are being adjusted. Other students are managing COVID-19 symptoms, lockdowns, and isolation rules within university accommodation.

The practical elements of pharmacy courses are currently on hold in many pharmacy schools or are planned to be delivered remotely, with many pharmacy students concerned that they will not develop the practical skills required to move forward to the following year or for 4th years, to become pre-regs. A few students have shared that their home is not a conducive environment for their learning and fear this will impact on their progress.

Communication and support from universities appears to be mixed; at best providing open tutor support sessions and no detriment study policies, several more offering residential students rent rebates for periods of quarantine, food vouchers and care packages.

These unprecedented events at the start of their university experience leave some cohorts questioning whether they should be expected to pay full fees for a teaching and learning experience which on the whole is being delivered remotely online.

PDA advice to students

The PDA advise students that, as you are studying a health sector course, there is a higher expectation of you to follow the guidelines and university policies in relation to face masks, social distancing and other activities to slow the spread of the virus.

If you are in university accommodation and are having to isolate and require support with food or medicines, please contact your university support services.

Keep up to date with information regarding your course on your portals, government guidelines and university guidance on the relevant websites and via your university social media accounts.

We want all students to stay safe, so please:

  • Regularly wash your hands
  • Wear a face covering when required
  • Get a test and self-isolate if you have symptoms
  • Seek guidance from your GP if necessary
  • Keep up to date and follow government guidance for the part of the UK that you are living in. To view local lockdown rules and check the COVID-19 restrictions for your area click here.
  • Keep 2m distance where possible
  • Socialise with no more than a maximum of 6 people
  • Use the NHS Test and Trace app

Get involved

Not already a PDA member? Why not join the PDA today. It’s FREE for students and pre-regs!

join the pda

Find out how you can become a PDA Student Rep and play a key role in supporting our work, together with PDA staff, to increase awareness of the PDA and enhance our student membership offer. This is alongside helping to develop our engagement and support for student members.


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The Pharmacists' Defence Association is a company limited by guarantee. Registered in England; Company No 4746656.

The Pharmacists' Defence Association is an appointed representative in respect of insurance mediation activities only of
The Pharmacy Insurance Agency Limited which is registered in England and Wales under company number 2591975
and is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority (Register No 307063)

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