Imperial College London

COVID-19 drives creative student connections and events


DJ mixing at Imperial College Business School virtual event

DJ set at virtual event organised by Imperial College Business School

The Imperial community is helping students feel connected to their studies and social life with innovative events and course adaptations.

As online learning continues, the Imperial community is working hard to help students feel connected to their studies and social life. From poker nights to DJ sets, and murder mysteries to escape rooms, student societies and faculties have been getting creative. 

Before the pandemic a virtual pub crawl probably didn’t exist, but innovative and unusual social activities have been a big hit with students who want to socialise with friends. Halls of residence have run gaming tournaments, crafting competitions and an environmental and sustainability lecture series. Dessert-making nights have seen ingredients delivered to each household and everyone cooking together in an online class.    

With gyms closed, the Move Imperial team have been running a MoveFromHome campaign. 1-2-1 Personal Trainer sessions have been particularly popular. 

Research Associate, Caroline Golden said: 

“The 1-2-1’s were great, it was really nice to have access to the sessions during lockdown as it can be really hard to motivate oneself. The instructors were always really nice and helpful too. The 1-2-1 sessions were great to keep my fitness going over lockdown, and really pushed me harder than I would have if left to my own devices. Thanks for setting them up!” 

Diverse events   

Student society events in the Faculty of Engineering have brought competitive streaks and creative abilities to the fore, with an online games night run by ChemEng Soc and a talent show by the Materials Society. In the Faculty of Natural Sciences PhySoc and second year students have set up a magazine – Imperial Physics Review – written by students for students. 

Digital flyer for Imperial College Business School flyer #turnthetables2020 Mastering the Art of Global Busiess DiningMeanwhile students in the Imperial College Business School have been busy with gin tasting, yoga and undertaking masterclasses in subjects as diverse as “networking at a dinner party” and “business fashion in the 21st century”. 

Courses adapted 

Courses have been adapted so that students working remotely receive online pastoral and academic support and are able to develop strong bonds with their course mates and tutors.  The Faculty of Medicine has run an online simulated outbreak investigation with staff playing patients and new data and interviews released in live sessions each week.

The cross-College Change Makers programme has developed a 24-hour classroom so that students across all time zones feel engaged. Virtual common rooms have become a feature of learning in the Faculty of Engineering, along with fortnightly personal tutor sessions.


Sarah Saxton

Sarah Saxton
Communications and Public Affairs


Students, Coronavirus
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