We are really looking forward to welcoming our community of students and staff back to campus in September.
We are committed to ensuring you can benefit from all that university life has to offer and we want to reassure you that, subject to the information set out on this webpage, we are committed to delivering your programme to you in accordance with the Terms and Conditions you have received from us. We will deliver the same levels of teaching and high-quality learning experience that we have offered to you, although the way in which some of these things are provided may be different than expected, to protect your health and safety or otherwise as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.
We are adapting our campuses to provide a supportive and flexible learning environment for you, with appropriate social distancing measures in place to protect the health and wellbeing of our students and staff. We have published some information about our arrangements for autumn 2020 for prospective students and applicants and for returning students, which you may find helpful.
In addition to these practical arrangements, we are also making changes to the way we deliver some of our course content, to adhere to government guidance while ensuring you are supported to meet your programme learning outcomes.
For the autumn term we will provide a blended learning environment, combining face-to-face interactive sessions and online core course content. This means that content that would typically be delivered to you through lectures and large group teaching will be replaced by equivalent digital delivery via our virtual learning environment, such as screencasts and interactive online sessions.
Alongside the provision of online course content, we will schedule regular interactive sessions, including seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work sessions. These will be delivered face to face on campus, where it is safe and possible to do so, and will be complemented by online interactive activities for those studying remotely where this is possible.
We do not expect that the overall contact hours for the majority of our programmes will change, although they may be delivered in a different way.
In a small number of cases, we have had to make more significant changes to courses, as outlined on this page.
These arrangements may be extended if social distancing rules or other public health advice remains in place, or new measures related to COVID-19 are introduced (see ‘Future changes’ on this page).
Changes to programmes
It has been necessary to make some more significant changes to a small number of programmes to comply with the latest government advice, or otherwise respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Part 1 Programmes, this is as follows:
- Undergraduate Film, Theatre & Television courses
- Undergraduate Archaeology courses
- Undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes in the Institute of Education (including BA Primary Education, School Direct and PGCE courses). For a full list, please visit our programme changes page.
- BSc Environmental Science
- MPharm Pharmacy and MPharm Pharmacy with a Foundation Year
- MChem Chemistry
Further information about the specific changes made to these programmes is available on our programme changes page.
We are currently assessing whether programme specific changes are required for Parts 2, 3 and 4 of undergraduate programmes or to postgraduate taught programmes. We will write to those students in August, and will update this webpage as information becomes available.
Access to academic and other resources
Student access to welfare services (including careers, employability and placement advice and support), the Library, IT facilities, academic tutors and pastoral support will be available on campus, subject to social distancing rules or other public health advice.
These services will also be available online for students who are unable to travel to Reading for the start of the academic year.
We appreciate that your student experience is about much more than the programme you are studying. Although campus will initially feel different, we will provide opportunities for you to continue your personal development and make the most of your time at university.
Subject to any changes in government advice, our halls, SportsPark and many catering outlets will be open in the autumn term.
While we hope you will not need to use it, we have updated our Student Complaints Procedure to enable us to respond more effectively to student complaints related to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The changes notified to applicants, offer holders and returning students by email and set out in this webpage are the only ones we envisage having to make at this time. However, as the COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-evolving situation, we cannot guarantee that further changes will not be required as a result of changing national or local government guidance or direction, ministerial direction, local public health guidance or direction, required safety measures or changing local or national circumstances.
There may be circumstances outside our control that cannot currently be foreseen or prevented that require us to make further changes to your University experience in 2020/21. Examples may be local or national lockdowns, changes to the law, staffing shortages arising from the effect of the pandemic and guidance, or instructions issued by bodies such as national or local governments, councils or public health authorities. Our responses to these circumstances may mean that we need to make other changes to programmes, including, but not limited to: changing the mode of teaching such as moving all learning online where we are not permitted or it is not safe to teach face to face; changing field trips, study visits or placements (including making these virtual or altering their physical destination); changing assessments and/or moving the order of teaching activity to different times of the year, or amending term dates. In such circumstances we will use all reasonable endeavours to minimise any disruption to students and will communicate any changes as clearly and as quickly as possible.
We have published detailed frequently asked questions for prospective students and applicants and for returning students, which you may find helpful.
If you have any further queries, please contact us and we can provide advice.