Testing on campus
The University has established three Covid-19 testing centres at City Centre Campus, City South Campus and School of Jewellery. Testing is available for students and staff who are coming onto campus and show no symptoms of Covid-19.
Staff and students coming onto campus are encouraged to take two rapid Covid-19 tests per week to help prevent asymptomatic transmission. You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you are attending throughout the week it is recommended to get tested twice per week while on site.
As well as offering free testing on campus, from Monday 17 May staff and students will be able to collect lateral flow device (LFD) testing kits from campus to use at home. You will be able to collect a home testing kit from any of the three on-campus testing centres after 10am on days when the centre is open.
As ever, the safety of our community is our top priority.
Testing on campus
What tests are the University providing for students?
Birmingham City University has two asymptomatic Covid-19 testing sites on campus. The sites offer lateral flow device (LFD) tests to students and staff who are permitted to return to campus, and can give results within an hour.
Can anyone take a test?
Testing is open to staff and students who are permitted to return to campus. Find details about access to campus here. This is only available for those who aren’t showing any Covid-19 symptoms. If you are showing symptoms, book a NHS test as soon as possible at your nearest test site. NHS test sites are open seven days a week.
You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you are authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended to get tested twice per week while on site.
Why should I take a test?
The LFD test can detect levels of the virus on people who aren’t experiencing symptoms, so the results could help prevent the possibility of you passing the virus to others without knowing. To ensure the safety of our BCU community, we encourage any staff and students who are authorised to come onto campus to take two rapid Covid-19 tests per week to help prevent asymptomatic transmission.
The University has also launched a loyalty card scheme for students where you can claim a variety of rewards on campus each time you take two tests.
How often should I get tested?
You should book two tests per week for every week you are on campus. These should be booked three days apart.
Do I have to take a test?
No, the tests are not compulsory. However, we would strongly encourage all staff and students to be tested regularly to reduce the risk of spreading the virus on campus and within our communities.
You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you have been authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended to get tested twice per week while on site.
What does the test involve?
Once you enter the test site, you will be given a sealed sterile swab. You will be asked to enter a testing area to use the swab to collect your own sample from your nose and throat.
After you’ve used the swab, place it back into the extraction tube for it to be tested by a staff member to determine the result.
Staff members will be available on site, equipped with the appropriate personal protective equipment, to guide you through the process.
When can I take a test?
Appointments are available at City Centre and City South campuses, between 8.30am and 3pm on weekdays, and at the School of Jewellery between 8.30am and 12noon on weekdays.
You should not come to campus solely to take a test, but if you are authorised to attend throughout the week it is recommended they get tested two times per week while on site.
How do I book a test?
You will need to book an appointment online before visiting a test centre. You can book two tests at a time.
Where are the test sites?
There are three test sites across our campuses:
- C087 (Ground Floor Lecture Theatre), Curzon Building, City Centre Campus
- Seacole Canteen (Ground Floor), Seacole Building, City South Campus
- Vittoria Street Gallery (Ground Floor), Vittoria Street, School of Jewellery
Do not attend either site without a booking confirmation.
Can I book a test at a different testing site?
What should I bring?
When you come to the test site, you must bring your booking confirmation and your mobile phone as you will need to register with the NHS to get your results.
If you do not have a mobile phone, please print your booking confirmation and tell staff when you arrive that you do not have a phone.
How and when will I get my results?
Results will be sent to you by SMS and/or email depending on the information you provided when registering with the NHS system on arrival at the centre.
You can expect to receive the results very quickly – usually within an hour.
Will the University know my result?
No. You receive your result directly – the University will not be told whether you have a positive or a negative test. Therefore, to ensure we can trace any close contacts, if you test positive, it is important for you to let us know using the Notify system.
What happens if I test positive?
If you test positive, you should self-isolate immediately for 10 days. You will also need to notify the University of your results the Notify system.
Government guidance has been updated and if you get a positive test result from a rapid lateral flow test, you do not need to take a confirmatory PCR test from the NHS.
What happens if my flat mate tests positive?
If a close contact tests positive from an LFD test on campus, you will be instructed to self-isolate.
What support is available if I test positive?
If you are required to self-isolate, the University will provide a package of support for you including:
- Guidance documents - Dedicated guidance documents to help you understand the NHS, navigate health services, access BCU services and support and stay well during your isolation period.
- Wellbeing check-ins - Regular wellbeing check-ins by phone, e-mail or text message, according to your preferred method and frequency (daily, twice weekly or weekly).
- Wellbeing services - Access to mental health, wellbeing or disability services following assessment of need.
- Supermarket vouchers - Free, non-means tested supermarket vouchers to purchase food and essential supplies from online shops.
- Financial advice - You will have access to financial advice from specialist advisers including access to additional means-tested financial support.
- Academic support - You will have access to support from academic teams with online digital materials and pastoral support from personal tutors who may advise you on resetting coursework hand-in dates.
- Students’ Union advice - You will have access to Students’ Union free and impartial advice, including academic advice and support with accommodation issues.
- Online social activities - You will have access to Students’ Union social activities online to keep you entertained and connected during your self-isolation.
If I'm arriving in the UK and need to self-isolate, can I take a test on campus to reduce my isolation period?
How does the loyalty card scheme work?
As a small thank you for playing your part in keeping our campuses and community safe, students will be able to claim a variety of rewards each time they take two tests at one of our on-campus testing centres. For every test you have (up to a maximum of two tests per week), you’ll get one loyalty stamp, and stamps = rewards.
Rewards include a free drink, slice of cake or cooke from one of our campus cafes or restaurants. Simply show your stamped card at the till.
The scheme will close on Friday 30 April – stamps cannot be collected or redeemed beyond this date.
Stamps can be built up over time, even if you are only taking one test per week at a campus location. Maximum two tests per week can claim stamps.
Who is eligible for a testing loyalty card?
The loyalty scheme is open to students permitted to be on campus only. You should not come to campus just to take a test.
How do I get a testing loyalty card?
At your next test, you’ll be given a loyalty card and your first stamp.