Free start of semester 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.

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. 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 during the festive period, 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 test will be available to you when your quarantine ends. 

The International Student Advice Team has useful information on the requirements for travelling to the UK

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.


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

  • Headington (The Terrace) - 9:20am-1:20pm - Monday to Friday
  • Harcourt (Westminster Hall) - 10.00am-1.00pm - Monday and Thursday
  • Swindon (G.04) - 9.20-11.00am - Fridays only

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


For the Headington test centre only, from 8 February the opening times will change to:

  • Monday, Wednesday, Thursday - 9:20am-1:20pm (morning only)
  • Tuesday and Friday: 12:20-4:20pm (afternoon only)

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 and book an NHS (PCR) test in accordance with current 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.

Test and travel - end of Semester 1 arrangements

Once you have received a second negative result, you should aim to travel as soon as possible and avoid unnecessary socialising.

Should you need to use public transport to return home, please observe social distancing measures, wear a face covering and wash your hands regularly during your journey.