Travel approvals, Fieldwork and Risk Assessments

Wherever and whenever you travel there will be some form of risk involved.  It is compulsory, regardless of destination, to assess the risks associated with your trip and that a risk assessment is in place before any travel commences.  If you are planning to travel on University business (e.g., conference, research fieldwork) you will require a risk assessment and pre-travel approval.  In Humanities all Schools follow the current University Fieldwork guidance and toolkits.

In addition to the risks involved in travel, any other risks associated with the teaching or research activity also need to be assessed. Students who are required to travel for course related work will be insured under the University travel insurance provided that necessary risk assessments are carried out prior to the planned trip or activity. Each School has their own local process for travel approvals.

University uses AIG, the University’s insurance company’s risk indicators and FCDO foreign travel advice as guidance to categorise travel destinations as low, medium, high, or extreme risk. The University Insurer’s AIG Travel Assistance website can be accessed through here (requires creating an account with the University’s Insurance policy number).

The risks associated with fieldwork are not necessarily confined to  travel related risks. All hazards associated with fieldwork needs to be carefully considered and assessed.

All individual and group fieldwork require a School approval prior to the start of the fieldwork. For further information on travel, fieldwork and risk assessment approvals please contact your School Safety Advisor by using the relevant email address below:

Fieldwork off-campus training

  • TLCO210 Managing Health and Safety in Off Campus Activities -Fieldwork This training will help you understand and appreciate the value of systematic management and planning to fieldwork activities. Drawing on the principles of Risk Assessment and integration of Health and Safety into the overall management process.

  • TLCO300 Principles of Risk Assessment E Learning Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations require you to assess risks to health and safety of anyone that may be affected by your activities. This course will cover methods for identifying hazards and assessing risks, how the perception of risk is influenced by many factors, and how using successful control strategies can minimise the risk of damage/injury.

Application process

Applications to undertake fieldwork should be made using the Postgraduate Research Fieldwork Application Form and send to at least 3 months in advance of the start of the fieldwork.

Advice on travel health, vaccination and protection

If you are travelling outside of the UK for fieldwork or other study visits, you should see the Occupational Health Service’s website for advice on safe travelling, vaccination and protection recommendation. 

Export control

PGRs must discuss with their supervisor and take into consideration whether the activities they carry out could be subject to export control regulations as their studies and research may include movement of tangible and intangible "controlled" items and whether a licence would be required. Export control training is highly recommended and available online.

PGRs travelling internationally need to be aware of the export controls that apply to goods, technology, software and/or knowledge “exported” outside of the UK.

If you are uncertain whether export controls apply to you, please contact the Export Controls Compliance (CCC) Team at for assistance.