COVID Asymptomatic Testing

Queen Margaret University is participating in a UK-wide scheme offering a COVID-19 test to eligible students when they return to their term-time accommodation for semester two. This follows a scheme offering testing to students before changing household for the festive period. The service is also open to students who stayed in on-campus accommodation over the winter break.

We are offering this testing to students of the University returning to term-time accommodation, students who have been living in our on-campus accommodation over the winter break, and residential students at Newbattle College and Edinburgh College. QMU students who live in the centre of Edinburgh can opt to be tested on a University of Edinburgh site.

Having run a series of testing dates on campus since the start of semester two, we will announce further dates in due course, aligned with the staggered return to face to face teaching and demand levels.  When new on-campus dates are announced, you will find a link to our booking tool on this page. In the meantime and up until Easter, QMU students can be tested at the University of Edinburgh’s Pleasance Sports and Exercise Complex (46 Pleasance, Edinburgh EH8 9TJ) from 10 am to 1.50pm weekdays. No booking is required - simply turn up between those times.

In addition, please note that students returning to the University (while complying with coronavirus restrictions) are being asked to obtain a PCR test (free of charge) before they change address. For more information, see the section of the  Student Information Scotland website concerned with semester two return, in the sub-section headed ‘Student accommodation/Testing’.

Taking a test is voluntary, but we encourage you strongly to do so. By participating in testing, you will help avoid the spread of COVID. The testing process is quick and easy – usually taking under 10 minutes – and results are sent to you by text within thirty minutes.

Please note the following important details:


The testing process is quick and easy using the ‘lateral flow’ method, which is designed to detect the level of virus in individuals who do not experience or show any symptoms (i.e. they are asymptomatic), but who may still be infectious and pass the virus to others.

The test is ‘self administered’ which means that you conduct the test, but with support from testing assistants on site. More details of the testing process.

Results are available to you in twenty to thirty minutes.

  • If you have a positive test result, you will be asked to self-isolate in line with government guidelines and to take a PCR test (see FAQS for information about PCR tests). If your confirmatory PCR test does NOT confirm that you are positive, you and your household can stop isolating. We will, of course, support self-isolating students living on campus, as well as providing advice and support for those students living off campus via our usual Student Services and our COVID inbox
  • If you have a negative test result, you will be asked to take a second, confirmatory test three days later.

After a negative test, you are still susceptible to becoming infected and spreading the virus. Minimising your social contact and continuing to follow the Scottish Government’s FACTS guidance is the most powerful way of stopping the spread of the virus. Indeed, the Scottish Government is asking all students to reduce social mixing for ten days before and after their return to campus. 



Thank you for helping to restrict the transmission of COVID-19.