Planning a trip

Check the table for steps you need to take when planning your trip, and refer to the details given below. 

Checklist for travelling for work



UK travel

Travel abroad


Department approval




Risk assessments, fieldwork safety and travelling against FCDO advice

Required for fieldwork



Health advice

Not applicable



Visas and country guidance

Not applicable



Travel insurance




Expenses allowances and advances



1. Department Approval

Obtain department approval

All flights must be authorised as necessary travel by the appropriate authority in your department. Premium economy class and business class flights are only permitted for flight durations of 7 hours or more, and require pre-approval by the Head of Department or their delegate.  Evidence of pre-approval must be retained. First class flights are not permitted.  

You should discuss any pre-existing medical conditions or disabilities that may affect your ability to travel with your department. This will allow your department enough time to give you the relevant advice and support.

2. Complete risk assessments and fieldwork safety

Risk assessments and fieldwork safety

A suitable risk assessment should be undertaken for activities away from the University. The level of detail required depends on the risk involved and personal circumstances. For overseas travel and fieldwork, please refer to the Safety Office advice, complete a risk assessment and obtain appropriate departmental approval. 

Any relevant fieldwork safety training courses should also be attended. The Safety Office runs several courses.

Check government advice on travel to your destination.  

Travelling against FCDO (UK Government) advice  

If a staff member or student plans to travel to a country (or parts of a country) to which the government advises against all travel, or against unnecessary travel, their department must submit a detailed written risk assessment to the University’s Safety Office for review. The Head of Department must approve the proposed travel, in accordance with the University’s Health and Safety Policy on Overseas Travel.


3. Health advice

Check health advice

The University’s Occupational Health Service (OHS) offers a travel health clinic for individuals and groups. Advice is tailored to individual needs and can include assessment of any underlying health conditions and specific health needs, destination, circumstances of travel, and whether additional measures such as travel vaccinations and/or other medications are needed.

Requests for services should be submitted 6-8 weeks before departure using the travel health assessment form.

 Access our forms and find out more about the OHS travel service.

4. Visas and country guidance

Check visas and foreign travel advice

Check the government’s latest foreign travel advice for entry visa requirements to countries to which you are travelling. Obtain the necessary visas before travel. The preferred travel provider can provide visa services.

If you are a sponsored migrant worker, contact the Staff Immigration team for advice about travelling outside the UK for University business.

5. Travel Insurance

The University provides travel insurance for employees, students and volunteers travelling worldwide on University business. The cover is not automatic and must be applied for through the Travel Insurance Application and Travel Registration System (TIRS). Insurance cover includes emergency assistance. Full details of cover, eligibility and how to apply can be found on the Insurance website.

6. Expenses


Check your expenses allowances in the following sections of the Expenses guide on the Finance Division website:

Expense advances

Travel expenses are usually paid in arrears. However, under certain circumstances you may qualify for advance payment of your expenses.

To request an advance payment you will need to complete a form explaining why you are eligible.

Before submitting this form you will need to

  • complete a risk assessment for overseas work
  • arrange appropriate travel insurance cover

You must give at least 5 working days’ notice if you require cash in foreign currencies or a pre-paid travel card.