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Arriving in the UK

The coronavirus (COVID-19) testing and quarantine rules you need to follow depends on where you have been in the 10 days before you arrive in the UK. We are closely monitoring government advice and our planning will be responsive to changing public health requirements.

For the latest coronavirus advice on travelling to England from another country, please read the latest Government guidance.

Flying to the UK

We highly recommend that you fly into Manchester Airport as this is the closest Airport to all our campuses. This may allow you to use our University Airport Transfer service as it is only available from Manchester Airport, so if you choose to fly into another UK airport, be sure to check what transport links are available to get you to Campus.

If your flight into the UK arrives at Manchester airport on one of our transfer dates, you may be to request an Airport Transfer. For more information on our Airport Transfer service, you can register your interest here

We are making plans so you can study online for the two weeks of quarantine so you only need to arrive ready for your term start date. If you are living in University Halls of Residence, we will assist you with daily living needs, dropping off equipment and course materials.

Please check if your airline has put in place any additional rules regarding face coverings and other personal protective clothing on their flights.

What to bring with you

We strongly advise you to not bring more than two suitcases and one piece of hand luggage. If you bring any more than this, you may be unable use the airport transfer service mentioned above due to the limited luggage space available and you may find it difficult if you are travelling to campus by public transport. There are plenty of shops close to our Preston campus where you can purchase household goods such as crockery, cutlery, bedding, towels and kitchen appliances if needed. If you arrive after the shops have closed, bedding packs can be provided on loan by UCLan Security for overnight use.

UK weather can be unpredictable and varied, therefore you will need appropriate clothing for all types of conditions. Further information on the types of weather that you can expect in the UK can be found on the Met Office webpages.

You will also need to remember to bring any prescription contact lenses or medication that you are currently taking as required.

What to expect at the airport

On arrival at Manchester Airport, you will need to pass through Immigration Control. Please make sure you have your passport and visa or valid Biometric Residence Permit (BRP) card (if you already have one) ready to show at Immigration Control.

The Immigration Officer may also ask to see documents you submitted as part of your visa application, or your CAS letter from UCLan, as proof that you are going to be studying in the UK. For further information on entering the UK, please read the website advice.

Whilst the COVID-19 pandemic is ongoing, there is the potential for extra checks being performed when arriving into the UK and through the first few weeks of your stay. You may be expected to self-isolate for up to 10 days after arrival and the Border Officer could ask where you will be living. If you are unable to answer, your entry into the country can be refused so please be sure to have this information available. Border force have also been known to make checks on foreign nationals who have arrived in the UK to ensure they are adhering to the self-isolation. It is important that you follow the rules otherwise you could be asked to leave the UK and your visa will be cancelled.

You may also have your temperature taken and be asked to wear gloves or a face covering when passing through the airport so do remember to bring these with you if you can. Additionally, please note that face coverings are currently mandatory for all passengers on public transport within the UK.

If you are coming to the UK on a short-term Visa, you need to ensure you get a stamp of entry so do not use the E-Gates if you are directed to do so. If an Airport member of staff directs you to use the e-Gates, please politely explain that you need a Visa stamp and ask that you see a Border Officer.

Travelling to Campus

The University offers a free airport transfer for all new overseas UCLan students. To register your interest in the service, please complete our online form and we will contact you prior to the start of term in order to confirm details about the service that we are able to offer.

All three of our UK campuses can also be reached by public transport either by road or rail.

It is important to remember before booking any transport to check what time you are due to land, allowing plenty of time to pass through immigration and to collect your bags.

Need help planning your journey?

Once you have received your CAS letter, Student Services staff will contact you by email with further information that will help you prepare for your arrival in the UK. Should you have any questions or concerns you can respond to the emails or contact us direct on

If you are going to take a taxi we would recommend you either book in advance via a reputable taxi firm in the North West before you fly to the UK, or by using the Manchester Airport approved Taxi firm Street Cars.

Many firms based in Preston, Burnley and the Lake District offer Airport pick-up services, so please do some research on these and contact them for quotes. All licenced taxi firms in the UK are obliged to provide a quote for your journey before departure and then only charge that specified amount.

If you decide not to book in advance but take a taxi upon arrival, we would urge you to book this through the Streetcars stands within the Airport terminals. This will ensure you travel with a licenced taxi driver. Again, ask for quotes before you set off and check what forms of payment they will accept. We would normally expect a Taxi to cost the following prices, dependant on the time of day you are travelling:

  • Manchester Airport to Preston: £50-£75
  • Manchester Airport to Burnley: £100-£125
  • Manchester Airport to Whitehaven (for Westlakes Campus) : £200-£250

For a cheaper option, you could look at trains from the Airport to the relevant campus you will be studying at.

Travelling to Preston by train is straight forward and often direct. To Burnley and Westlakes is a little more complicated as you may need to change trains once or twice, however they still offer a good value alternative to taking a Taxi.

You can use the National Rail website to look for the best route to take by train depending on the time of day you arrive. You will be required to wear a face covering whilst on the train.

Please find out more about options to travelling to out Westlakes Campus and Burnley Campus.