New and returning students

We’re looking forward to welcoming you, or welcoming you back, in October. We understand that you may be a bit unsure of what to expect, so we’ve put together some information to get you started.

Updated 1 October 2021

All students

Safety guidance 

Full details of Imperial College London's safety guidance can be found on the COVID-19 – updates and guidance page. They include: 

  • We still expect everyone to wear a face covering indoors.
  • This applies to most indoor settings on campus, with some local exceptions and unless you are exempt. See the face coverings page for more details. 
  • You are required to take weekly tests if you attend campus and/or live in halls of residence.
  • Get fully vaccinated. Vaccination is free for everyone in the UK, including international students.

It’s really important that you report each of your tests results, no matter what the result, and to follow the given guidance if you test positive for COVID-19, have symptoms of COVID-19 or have been in contact with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19. 

For students arriving to the UK from abroad, there is additional guidance for you including details of quarantining.

Student support

The Department has a dedicated Student Wellbeing Advisor, Faith Marsh, who is able to offer appointments remotely or, if preferred, you can request a face-to-face appointment. She can provide confidential support and advice on a variety of issues such as accommodation, finance, mental health and general wellbeing tips.

Faith will be contacting students next week to request updated contact details and the details of someone who you wish to be a nominated contact in case of concern for your wellbeing. This person can be anyone that you wish such as a course mate or family member and will help her assist you quickly when needed.

She is also the Departmental Disability Officer so will be your first point of contact if you need further support in this area.

Faith Marsh can be contacted via email ( or phone (+44 782 185 6848).

Naomi Jackson-Macfarlane, Student Wellbeing Advisor in Mechanical Engineering, ( is available to provide confidential support for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority students across the Faculty of Engineering. Regardless of your reason, if you would feel more comfortable talking about race or your specific experience to a member of staff who is also an Ethnic minority.

Additional resources for student support can be found on our website.

Microsoft Teams

If you’re not already familiar with Microsoft Teams we highly recommend you familiarise yourself with it before the start of term as this will be the tool used for online lectures and potentially for other meetings.

We’ve produced some a Netiquette document which gives some best practice guidance on how to use Teams, and the Imperial website has a useful guide to getting started. 

Undergraduate and MSc students

Learning and teaching

Your course will be delivered in a hybrid way this year, which means that some activities will take place in person, and some will take place online.

We have designed the course delivery this year in a way that prioritises your in-person learning through labs and group work, to give you maximum practical experience and opportunities to collaborate with your peers. These in-person sessions will be run with COVID-19 guidance in place, which means limiting numbers to maintain social distancing and wearing face coverings, but it will provide you with hands-on experience and interactions with classmates.

You will continue to meet your learning objectives as you would if you were attending pre-pandemic, and you’ll benefit from our first-rate remote teaching experience as developed by our Teaching Fellows. Programmes like CREATE Labs have been designed in collaboration with students and provide the additional experience of preparing you for workplaces where you may need to operate technology and collaborate with teams remotely.

Why do we still have restrictions in place?

We understand that it’s a strange time for everyone, with legal COVID-19 restrictions having been relaxed but local restrictions remaining in many places, including our own department. The reason that some restrictions are still in place is simple: the pandemic is ongoing and we have a duty to protect our students and staff as best we can.

Even though weekly testing is required and vaccination is encouraged, these are just two control measures of many which can be implemented to reduce the risk of COVID-19 transmission. Others include social distancing, ventilation and practising good hygiene like handwashing, and these also help protect those who are unable or unwilling to be vaccinated. 

Risk assessments have been carried out on all our rooms and these have been used to determine a maximum occupancy number, which we have used when planning our in-person activities.

We understand that some of you may feel frustrated at not being able to return to 100% in-person teaching and we feel that frustration too – but we’re fortunate that we have the expertise and resources within our staff and department to be able to continue providing a first-class learning and teaching experience for our students. And if there are challenges with the hybrid system that we can address let us know – we always welcome feedback and we’ve been working closely with our student reps throughout this period.

Our plans are focused on the autumn term as things could change between now and Christmas, so we will continue to monitor and assess the situation and make adjustments where we are able to, or where we need to, depending on the ongoing situation and guidance issued.

ChemEng Soc

Message from the ChemEng Soc

Our aim is to provide all of our students with the best university experience by offering awesome social events, continuous wellbeing and academic support, and unparalleled access to industry throughout your time in the department. Members from other departments with an interest in ChemEng are welcome too!

We organise social events throughout the year catering to all interests. Whether you want to go to laser tag with your friends, attend the long-running ChemEng Talent Show, or enjoy one of our new Wine & Cheese nights, you can always find something to do with ChemEngSoc! Finally, don’t forget the annual (FREE) Welcome Dinner for all new members. These are perfect opportunities to meet new people from the course and make lasting memories!

As a member, you will have access to a huge range of careers and academic events to help you transfer into your dream career. Whether it’s chemicals or consulting (or something in between!) we’ve got it covered with uniquely tailored sessions. We offer workshops, mock interviews, networking sessions, and invitations to presentations from international experts – all completely free to members in all years. Our comprehensive alumni network is also available to help through our dedicated networking events.

You can be confident that your interests drive everything we do as a Soc. We always want to hear from our members, so get in touch at if you’ve got feedback or ideas. See you at an event soon!

You can find out more about the Society on their website.

Study space in the department and the library

There are designated study areas for UG and MSc students in the Department, details of which will be in your handbooks. They will be open but there will be a maximum number of people allowed in each space at one time this year. This will be displayed clearly outside the room.

We trust our students to ensure they are adhering to these room capacities and continue to socially distance and wear a face covering when using these spaces. However, if you see any instances where guidelines are not being followed please report this to your course director, (UG – Andreas Kogelbauer, MSc – Rongjun Chen) the Chemical Engineering Safety Team ( or to the Head of Department (

The Library is open on the South Kensington Campus (and libraries are open on other campuses) with reduced capacity. You must continue to follow social distancing and wear a face covering when using these spaces. 

You can find full details of how to use the Library and opening hours on the Library website.