Student Health

General advice for students about colds and flu

Colds and flu can occur throughout the year, but appear to be more common in the winter months. It’s important to be aware of the different types of flu-like illnesses you may encounter and look after yourself.

The main symptoms of a cold are sneezing, a sore throat and a blocked or runny nose. This may be accompanied by a high temperature, tiredness and headache. The flu is more severe and symptoms develop quickly, which usually include a fever, severe aches and pains, and exhaustion.

The best way to fight off infection is to have a healthy lifestyle, eat a healthy diet, take regular exercise, get plenty of rest and follow good standards of hygiene.

Steps you can take to minimise the risk of catching or spreading colds and flu:

  • Wash your hands frequently – cold and flu viruses can be passed from hands and other surfaces
  • Avoid touching your eyes, nose and mouth to avoid the spread of infections
  • Use disposable tissues and dispose of them immediately, don’t leave used tissues lying around
  • Cover your mouth when you cough or sneeze to avoid spreading a virus
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has cold or flu symptoms

Some general advice if you develop cold or flu-like symptoms:

  • Drink plenty of water and warm fluids to avoid dehydration
  • Keep warm and rest, avoid strenuous activity
  • Treat pain, fever or discomfort with over the counter medicines and decongestants*
  • Minimise contact with other people for the first few days to reduce the risk of spreading infection
  • Tell a friend you’re feeling poorly and ask them to check on you in case you become more acutely ill

*if taking over the counter medicines, check with the pharmacist that they will not interact with any other medication you are taking. Make sure you don’t take more than the recommended dose.

Most people recover from normal flu within a week or so, although the cough and fatigue may last longer.

If you are still unwell after seven days, it may be an indication of something more serious and you may need to see a GP or call the NHS 111 helpline for advice.

It is important to make sure you are registered with a GP local to the University.

Meningitis - advice for new and returning students

Meningococcal disease is a rare but life threatening disease that occurs mainly in young children and young adults.

The University of Bedfordshire would like to highlight to all students the importance of having a Meningitis vaccination to protect against the disease. More information here

Student Pregnancy, Maternity, Adoption and Partner Leave

The University is aware that some students may have support needs around the above area. See the associated policy for more information [PDF]

General Practitioner (GP) surgeries

  • The University works in partnership with local GP surgeries / GP practices to support your health needs.
  • You will need to register with a local doctor (GP) when you come to University - do not leave this until you are unwell.
  • We recommend you register with a GP during your induction week when representatives are on campus.
  • Registration with any GP surgery is free but you can only register with one GP / Health Centre at any time.

GP surgery for Luton students

Castle Medical Practice is a local GP surgery for students at the Luton campus. It is a 5 minute walk from the University Square building.

GP surgery Bedford students

Goldington Avenue Surgery is the dedicated GP practice for students at the Bedford campus.

GP surgery for Milton Keynes students

Central Milton Keynes Medical Centre is the nearest GP surgery to Milton Keynes campus. It is easy to walk from the campus using the 'Redways' cycle/footpaths.

Registration: 10.30am – 3.30pm Monday - Friday.

Complex health needs

Contact our Disability Advice Team if you have complex medical needs that you feel will affect your academic performance and would like to discuss support requirements.

Accessing Local Support

Sexual Health Advice- Luton Sexual Health is running a Safe Talk service to young people looking for support, advice and guidance around their sexual health. If you would like to know more you can see their leaflet here for more information - LSH Safe Talk [PDF]


Luton campus & other campuses
Level 2, Campus Centre
Luton campus

24/7 SiD Online (student login)


Student Information Desk


Student Information Desk (SiD)

0300 300 0042

Our phone lines are open:

  • Monday - Thursday
    9:00 – 17:00
  • Friday
    9:00 – 16.30