Our COVID-19 response
We are actively planning now for the autumn term in 2021 and will communicate those plans to current and prospective students once they have been finalised. In the meantime, to give you a flavour of how we can adapt if that becomes necessary, you can read more about the changes we have made this academic year.
We continue to offer a high-quality learning experience and to provide good support to students, which we have delivered in different ways as required to respond to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic is an ever-evolving situation. The information provided in our prospectus and on our website may be required to change 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.
We have adapted programmes to account for delivery of significantly increased levels of content online and, as government regulation has allowed, continued to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can in a COVID-safe environment.
For the autumn term we provided a blended learning environment, combining face-to-face interactive sessions and online core course content. Content that would typically be delivered through lectures and large group teaching was replaced by equivalent digital delivery via our virtual learning environment, such as screencasts and interactive online sessions. Where it was safe to do so, regular interactive sessions including seminars, workshops, laboratories, and field work sessions were delivered face-to-face on campus and complemented by online interactive activities for those studying remotely.
This spring term, most of our teaching has had to be moved online at the government’s request. Our blended learning environment was designed with this flexibility in mind. Currently, the only programmes that are being delivered on campus due to government guidance are in the following subject areas: Education - Initial Teacher Training, Physician Associates, Pharmacy, and Speech & Language Therapy.
Where safe and permitted to do so, we have continued to safely deliver practical sessions for relevant subjects and provide opportunities such as placements. Due to government guidance and legislation, residential field trips are not permitted this term but have been replaced with virtual alternatives. Colleagues have also adapted assessments to better fit with our current circumstances and style of teaching and learning. We are confident that this flexible approach will enable students to meet their programme learning outcomes, whether they are on campus or studying at a distance.
Welfare and academic support
Our full range of specialist academic and welfare support teams have continued to support students, including our new COVID-19 Support & Behaviour Team and COVID-19 Case Management Team. We have also provided food and support to those students in self-isolation.
Since March 2020, our Support Our Students scheme has assisted those self-isolating or feeling lonely, by pairing students to help one another or have someone to talk to. We have also brought all our events together in one place through Get Together Apart, to make it easier to meet new people and enjoy new experiences.
Careers and development
We have held a number of careers fairs online, linking students up with employers. Our Life Tools programme offers talks on a range of relevant subjects, like managing stress or bouncing back from setbacks.
Our Student Support Fund and Digital Support Fund have awarded more than £145,000 to students. We have also offered Halls fee waivers while the majority of teaching has been delivered online.
Further information for current students is published on our Essentials webpages.
There may be circumstances outside our control that cannot currently be foreseen or prevented that require us to make changes to your University experience in 2021/22. 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.