No symptoms testing for students

To support the safe return of students after the winter break, we are implementing a carefully-managed, staggered return for students over several weeks. We encourage all students returning to their accommodation to take advantage of free no-symptoms testing.

Change to opening hours – 18 January 2021

The test centre has temporarily reduced its opening hours. This is because heightened restrictions have meant fewer students returning to campus at the moment. These hours will be revised as restrictions ease. 

From Monday 18 January 2021, the test centre hours are:

Monday to Friday: 9:00am and 1:00pm

These hours will be in place until at least mid-February. Additional booking slots will be added as required. 

If you had previously booked an appointment that is now no longer available, please re-book using the link below. We apologise for any inconvenience.

No-symptoms testing at University of Stirling

There are two types of COVID-19 tests. The most common is the PCR test, which detects the virus's genetic material and is processed in a laboratory. PCR tests are offered to those with symptoms by the NHS. PCR tests for those without symptoms can also be booked privately, and may be required for international travel. The University is offering to reimburse any students who are required to book a private PCR test in order to travel internationally for the holidays

The second type is a lateral flow test which detects an antigen in those with the virus. These results are fast because they do not need a laboratory to process the result. Lateral flow tests are medically validated, provide trusted results and have undergone rigorous evaluation to make sure they are safe for use. 

No symptoms testing consists of two tests, three days apart. These tests will provide your results within 60 minutes. These tests are for those without COVID-19 symptoms.

Lateral flow 'no symptoms' tests

  • Quick and easy

  • Self-administered

  • Reliable results in 60 minutes

  • Free and confidential

  • Not for those with COVID-19 symptoms

  • Not suitable for international travel

  • Not for those who have tested postive in the last 90 days

Why you should get tested

Tests are not compulsory but are strongly recommended for those intending to spend time in a different household. Testing people with no symptoms is a way of reducing the risk of people infecting family and friends.

No symptoms testing and international travel

If you intend to travel internationally over the Christmas period, please check the requirements set by each country for international travel. If your destination country, or any countries you will be travelling through, require you to provide a test result before entering then it is very likely that this will need to be PCR test. These are only available for free if you have symptoms. If you have no symptoms and need a negative test for international travel, you will need to find a private PCR test provider and pay for this test.

The University is offering to reimburse any students who are required to book a private PCR test in order to travel to another country for the holidays. Access the form you need to claim your reimbursement.

Most countries require this test to have been conducted, and results available, within a short time frame prior to your international travel. Visit the UK Government’s Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) website to check what requirements are in place for your destination.

If you've had a positive PCR test within the last 90 days

You should not have a no symptoms test if you've had a positive PCR test in the past 90 days.  If you've never been tested, have tested negative before, or if have tested positive more than 90 days ago then you can take the tests.

The test and testing process

The test is self-administered – that means you do your own test. You'll be given a swab, and advised how to swab your nose and throat correctly. You'll then hand this to staff for analysis. The test is not painful, and involves no needles or drawing blood. It is a quick appointment in total, from registration to completion. You'll get your results shortly after, within a day though usually much sooner. 

What the test involves

The test involves swabbing your nose and throat. Here's what you'll be asked to do at the test centre. 

Student testing instructions

The testing process

No symptoms testing is carried out in two stages. It involves booking online, registering a barcode with NHS Test & Protect and self-administering the test. The test process is outlined below:

Step one: Register

  • Book a test slot via Eventbrite.
  • Enter test site at Pathfoot and visit registration desk
  • Receive test kit, test card with QR code and copies of barcode
  • Scan QR code on card and register your test with the NHS

Step two: Test

  • Go to a booth as directed
  • Attach barcode to lateral flow device and self-administer swab

Step three: Analyse

  • Pass the swab through the booth hatch for processing
  • Leave the site with your barcode attached to your test card

Step four: Get result

  • Receive test results via text and email, and act on your result
  • If your test is negative, book your second test via Eventbrite.

Coming for your second test

No symptoms testing is carried out in two stages. A first test and then a second 3 - 5 days later. However: you should only come back for a second test if you are still symptom-free. 

You must not return for your second test if:

  • your first test comes back positive
  • you develop COVID-19 symptoms after your first test

Test centre location

The 'No symptoms' test centre is located at the back of the Pathfoot Building. There will be signs on-site to direct you to the right place.

The test centre is open daily from 9am - 5pm, and access is via the back of the building (via Grange Road) only. Queue management is in operation.

Map of Pathfoot building location


Keeping others safe

Do not come to this test centre if you have any symptoms of COVID-19. If you have symptoms, you should have a PCR test at the mobile test unit in the East Car Park, or book a local/postal test via the NHS

If your test result is negative

If you test negative on your first test then you should book another straight away, within 3 days. You can continue to work/attend class as normal. Continue to follow the FACTS guidance and local restrictions.

If your second test is also negative, you should continue to follow FACTS and local guidance, and travel home safely.  A negative result still means that there is a risk you could have or develop COVID. Remember: a test is a reflection of one point in time. 

If your test result is positive

If you test positive after your first test, you must not return for a second no symptom test. 

You should take a confirmatory PCR test by booking through NHS Inform or by calling 0800 028 2816. Select the ‘I have been asked to get a test’ category. You should self-isolate immediately, and whilst you wait for your PCR test result. Follow the guidance on self-isolation.

You should also contact anyone you've had close contact with (particularly household members) and tell them to self-isolate until you have your PCR result. If you receive a positive PCR result, you should work with the Test & Protect contact tracing team when they get in touch. Close contacts will be asked to self-isolate. As with any positive tests, you must self-isolate and report this to the University using the COVID-19 symptoms reporting form.

You should self-isolate at your term-time address. We know there will be circumstances where it's not possible to stay here (for example, wellbeing reasons). Please think very carefully about a return home any return home, and follow Scottish Government guidance for student home visits.

Your privacy and data

The University will not hold your data. Whilst the University of Stirling are facilitating tests, they are unable to link results to individuals. Test results related to each barcode are linked to NHS Test & Protect system.

You'll receive your results via text message and/or an e-mail using contact details recorded at registration. Results are usually within an hour, though can be up to within a day of the test. The University will not be notified of your result.

If you do you test positive, please let the University know via the COVID-19 reporting form. Results will be shared with NHS Test & Protect and will be sent you your GP and Public Health Scotland. 

No Symptom Test Centre Student Story

In this video, our Students' Union President will take you through the steps of our new no symptoms student testing process.