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Department of Sociology


The Department of Sociology is committed to supporting the learning and wellbeing of our students during the coronavirus pandemic.

We know that this unprecedented time is challenging and uncertain for all of us, and we want the Department to be a site of community and support for all of its students and wider members. To that end, we have put together information below related to adjustments due to the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19), which we will update as more information becomes available.  

Page last updated 21/10/2020

Departmental Premises

The Department of Sociology premises at 16 Mill Lane are now open on a limited basis to PhD students and staff booked onto the desk rota. In order to reduce the number of people on site, undergraduate and MPhil students are not permitted to enter the Department until further notice. We are trying to be as accommodating as possible within the limits of what is safe, and will follow all university and government guidance and keep students informed of any developments.

Library Access

University libraries remain open online: click the link to find all the information you need about loans, online resources, remote assistance and more. In addition, new zero-contact services have been developed to enable students safe access to the texts they need for their studies during the COVID-19 pandemic. You can contact the SPS Library team if you are struggling to access required readings for your course.

Teaching Policy

Our current policy on online teaching is guided by University and PHE guidance on safe practices in the current COVID situation. Given the size of most of our UG and PG lectures, we have decided to put our teaching and supervision online so as to avoid congregation in small spaces and the risk of contagion. This is not only responsible, but avoids the possibility of disruption if there were to be local lockdowns and a second wave in the Michaelmas term. We will update our policy as the guidance on safety shifts and where possible, we will revert to in-person teaching subject to availability of teaching and supervision spaces.

For more information, please check our undergraduate teaching FAQs.

Assessments and Exams

Students who are taking undergraduate exams from the 2019-20 cycle in the second sitting can find information on alternative assessment criteria here. Arrangements for all other students will be communicated in due course.


We recognise that some students may become ill, or need to care for others affected by coronavirus. Students can find out about intermission procedures online, and should reach out if they need any assistance or advice. Undergraduate students are advised to contact their Tutors and their Directors of Studies at their Colleges. Postgraduate students are advised to contact their supervisor at the Department. We recommend affected students reach out the relevant persons as soon as possible to explore their options.  

Staying Safe

The Department recognises the unique pressures placed upon students at this difficult time. We strongly encourage students to follow official advice from the Government, NHS and Public Health England regarding personal hygiene and social distancing, as well as taking reasonable precautions such as avoiding unnecessary travel and consulting the FCO for travel advice.

Mental Health

We would encourage everyone to try to keep in regular touch with friends, family, colleagues and social networks as a way to stay connected and to get support. Students can also consult our Support & Wellbeing page for information about the mental health services available through the Unviersity.

Keeping Connected

Despite all the disruption, we are hopeful we can also discover new ways to connect across our academic community, and create spaces for shared learning and research that may even go beyond what we’re used to in Cambridge. We will continue to explore options for facilitating online interactions and keep students updated on these efforts. Thank you for your patience and understanding in this difficult time, and know that the Department is committed to ensuring that all students can get the most out of their degrees and time with us.

Further information

The Cambridge University Students Union has compiled a compendium of useful information for students, which you can access via the CUSU website.

Please check the University notices for more information. Do be aware that the uncertain nature of the current situation means that any advice may be subject to rapid change. 


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