Supporting our educational community in 2020 and beyond

In unprecedented times, we couldn’t be prouder of how our community has come together. Our main priority right now is to keep our educational community safe. As we develop a clearer picture of what steps are needed to move forward to give you the best learning and teaching experience we can, we’d like to share our plans with you.

Firstly though, we’d like to thank the many current students, staff members, our Students' Union and other partners who have contributed their thoughts to inform this conversation and move our learning strategy forward. Our approach is designed to ensure that no student is academically disadvantaged in any way.

Our capacity to deliver an innovative and engaging digital learning experience has been clear through the supportive comments we’ve received from our current students. As soon as it’s safe to do so, we’re looking forward to re-opening our buildings and adding some face-to-face teaching and learning into the mix. If you can’t join us on campus though, that’s OK – there will be remote delivery too, taught at the same time.

We’ll continue to update these pages as the government advice changes in the immediate future, but this will also be a space where we'll be sharing our longer-term educational plans, developed with the support of our diverse community. 

Professor Donna Whitehead
Deputy Vice-Chancellor

Donna Whitehead
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The start of the autumn term – what to expect for new and returning students

The pandemic may have changed the world – but it hasn’t stopped us doing what we do best. We’re still teaching and our students are still learning – and whether you’re a new or returning student, we want to reassure you that we’ve put plans in place to ensure the new normal means you get the same high-quality teaching while staying safe this autumn. Watch our short video to find out more or read about what we'll be doing below.

Likely teaching options for our students

We've been working closely with our current students and staff through focus groups and feedback, as well as following government guidance and health advice – and based on this, we've developed a new CARE strategy:

  • we'll be COMPASSIONATE 
  • we'll ensure we have ACCESSIBLE courses
  • we'll be RESILIENT 
  • we'll provide you with an EXCELLENT experience 

You can read the full CARE philosophy here

Whilst we're planning for a variety of scenarios, we're focusing on two of the most likely ones:

  1. On-campus delivery as normal. As the restrictions are slowly being lifted, it's possible we'll be able to provide our usual face to-face-delivery in October. We'll be cleaning everything more thoroughly and regularly for your safety. There will be a remote alternative for you if you need it or would prefer not to come in (our digital learning option would be at the same time as the on-campus delivery). 

    OR: 

  2. Remote delivery for all subjects (except for our highly practical courses). With this option, you'd be taught remotely in the same timeslot as if you were on campus, so:

    a) Most students would be taught remotely.

    b) For anyone taking very practical subjects (such as our science and arts-based courses), we'd offer teaching on campus according to the latest government and health guidance (which at the moment limits the number of students who can be on campus together). For any students who can't attend, or don’t feel comfortable coming on to campus, there would be a remote alternative at the same time.

    c) If you're a new student, we wouldn't want you to miss out on face-to-face time. So we'd invite you on to campus to meet with your lecturers and fellow students in safe 'learning cafes' at least once a fortnight. We hope you'd be able to join us in person but if you can't or aren't able to, then we understand and you won't be disadvantaged by not attending these sessions.

We're committed to delivering as much as possible on campus from October and we're reviewing the situation weekly alongside government guidance. 

These two options above are flexible and interchangeable, so that your timetable will stay the same with either option. So you'll still be able to access your 10am Monday module, even if it's off campus.

We've also planned it this way so that if there's another lockdown, we can move to option two very quickly. Our top priority is to keep all our staff and students safe, and we look forward to supporting you in the best way that we can.