Free twice-weekly Covid tests for students with no symptoms

Students coming to campus should book and take two rapid Covid tests, three days apart, upon arrival or self-isolate for 10 days and inform the University through the Coronavirus reporting form.

We can now offer regular, twice-weekly rapid Covid-19 tests to students who are coming onto campus. Each week, you can now book two rapid Covid-19 tests, three days apart.

Regular testing of students and staff on campus will help to stop the spread of Covid-19 and we strongly encourage you to book your two appointments, three days apart, each week. You should book appointments in advance to fit in with your timetable and when you’ll be coming onto campus, but walk-ins may be available.

As in Semester 1, tests are only available to students who do not have symptoms of Covid-19 (‘Asymptomatic Testing’). They are also available to students who have previously had Covid-19.

Tests are simple, fast and free of charge. They are voluntary but we strongly encourage all students who wish to return safely to campus to take them - it will help to stop the spread of the virus and protect your friends, other students, staff and the local community. Students who do not take the tests will need to self-isolate for 10 days and inform the University through the Coronavirus reporting form.

We strongly encourage you to take two tests, three days apart, each week. Again, tests will be rapidly processed on site; you may receive your results in as little as an hour, however it could take longer. If it is not possible to take two tests, please book at least one test.

International students and those travelling from overseas

If you have travelled overseas recently, you may have been required to show evidence of a negative Covid-19 PCR test prior to travelling to the UK. 

We strongly recommend that you also book and take a rapid Covid-19 test on your return to, or arrival on, campus as you may have come into contact with Covid-19 during your travel.

If you have travelled from a non-air corridor country and are required to quarantine on your arrival in the UK, then a rapid Covid-19 test will be available to you when your quarantine ends, 

From 15 February, you must take two PCR Covid-19 tests during your quarantine. These must be booked pre arrival and cost £210. You must book these via the dedicated government website. The rapid Covid-19 tests offered by the University DO NOT replace the two PCR tests you must take as part of your quarantine. 

The International Student Advice Team has useful information on the requirements for travelling to the UK and a helpful Self-isolation Guide, with advice on what you need to do and what you can do during your self-isolation period. 

Students returning to campus

• international students who have remained in the UK and those who have arrived and do not have alternative accommodation

• those who have remained in their university accommodation over the winter break

• those who have returned to university accommodation in exceptional circumstances, for example because they are without access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their vacation accommodation

• those requiring additional support, including those with mental health and wellbeing issues

• commuter students, on an exceptional basis where they are not in the first tranche of returners, who require access to university facilities to access online learning (for example because they do not have access to appropriate study spaces or facilities in their usual accommodation)

• researchers and research students who require access to specialist facilities for their work. If research students can work from home, they are encouraged to do so.

Booking your tests

You can book your tests using our simple online booking system. Testing is available at our Headington (at The Terrace, John Henry Brookes Building), Harcourt Hill and Swindon campuses.

When booking your testing slots, you should bear in mind when you intend to return to your term-time accommodation and when your face-to-face teaching resumes. 

Tests will be rapidly processed on site. You may receive your results in as little as an hour, however it could take longer.


All Oxford Brookes rapid Covid-19 (lateral flow) testing centres will be closed from Friday 2 April to Tuesday 6 April inclusive.

  • The Headington Testing Centre will reopen on Wednesday 7 April
  • The Harcourt Hill Testing Centre will reopen on Monday 12 April.


The current opening hours for the rapid Covid-19 testing centres are as follows:

  • Headington (The Terrace) -
    • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday - 9:20am-1:20pm (morning only) and 
    • Tuesday and Friday: 12:20-4:20pm (afternoon only)
  • Harcourt (Westminster Hall) - 10.00am-1.00pm - Monday and Thursday
  • Swindon (G.04) - 
    • 11.00am-12.30pm - Tuesdays only and
    • 9.20-11.00am - Fridays only.

Last appointments are 20 minutes before close. Last walk-ins are 40 minutes before close.

About the test

The test is self-administered - you will do it yourself at one of our testing facilities on campus, with support from a testing helper. The test involves rubbing a swab (similar to a long cotton bud) at the back of your throat and up your nostril. 

Test results

You will receive a message with your results either via the NHS Test & Trace app, by text or email, depending on which details you provided when you registered. You may also receive a call from the Oxford Brookes Covid Response Team. Tests will be rapidly processed on-site; you may receive your results in as little as an hour, however it could take longer.

Anyone whose test returns a positive outcome will need to self-isolate for 10 days. From 30 March 2021, you will also need to book a PCR test (NHS Covid test) to confirm your positive result in accordance with Government guidance. Please also inform Oxford Brookes using the Coronavirus Reporting Form and update your Covid Learning Status on Student Information. See the Test and trace, reporting and self-isolation webpage for more guidance on this.

If you test negative but are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you should follow the instructions from NHS Test & Trace or from the Oxford Brookes Covid Response Team.

Pop-up testing centres at Headington

Two pop-up, walk-in rapid Covid-19 testing centres will be available to students and staff with no Covid-19 symptoms from week beginning Monday 19 April and will run until Friday 30 April.

John Henry Brookes Building reception

This pop-up test centre will be open from 19-29 April on Mondays and Thursdays from 9.20am-1.20pm.

Postgraduate Centre, Clive Booth Student Village

This pop-up test centre will be open from 20-30 April on Tuesdays and Fridays from 11.40am-3.20pm.

At both pop-up testing centres you will be able to walk in and request a rapid Covid-19 test without a booking. The testing process will be conducted in the same way as the other testing centres.

Our existing test centres, including the one located at the Terrace, Headington campus, will continue to operate as usual with booked appointments and walk-ins available. 

Thank you for testing regularly

As a thank you for doing your bit to help keep the Oxford Brookes community safe, when you come for the second of your twice-weekly tests we’ll offer you a voucher for a free medium tea or coffee to spend at our on-campus food and drink outlets*. You’ll collect stamps on a loyalty card and pick up your voucher when you arrive for your second test of the week.

Please login to the booking website and book your tests so you can attend at a time that suits you. Why not book appointments for the same time each week to coincide with when you’re coming onto campus for your face-to-face teaching? Check opening times here or add a weekly reminder to your Google Calendar to book your tests.

If you prefer to decide on the day, walk-ins will still be available, although at busy times staff may ask you to return later. 


*Vouchers issued at Oxford Testing Centres can be redeemed at Headington, Harcourt, Marston Road or Wheatley catering outlets only and will run initially until the end of March 2021. Vouchers issued at Swindon can be redeemed in Swindon only.