Face-to-face teaching and moving around campus

Moving around the University campus

Around some parts of the campus, one-way systems or designated walking routes will be in place to support social distancing. Not all University buildings will be open so you may find that your face-to-face teaching sessions are in different buildings to those you are used to using. Any specific routes you are required to take will be clearly signposted.

When moving around the University campus and if you need to wait or queue in any indoor or outdoor spaces, staff and students must maintain social distancing. Safe entry to and exit from buildings for students and staff will be managed via signage.

Face-to-face teaching on campus

Please refer to the aide-memoire which provides guidance on some of the issues you should consider prior to commencing a face-to-face teaching session. Face-to-face teaching on campus will be limited, in line with the Timetabling Principles 2020/21 which outline that all asynchronous and all large-scale synchronous teaching activities will be delivered remotely, regardless of activity type, and will not be roomed in the timetable. It is assumed that teaching staff will deliver or record asynchronous or synchronous activities that are online only from home or another agreed safe place of work, and rooms will not be assigned to staff for this in the timetable. There are also only a limited number of suitable rooms in the University’s estate in which small group teaching can take place in a safe, socially distanced way. Owing to the limitations on useable teaching space, it may not be possible to room all small group teaching activities, and the amount of face-to-face teaching taking place on campus will therefore be significantly less than usual.

Staff and students must maintain social distancing when attending face-to-face teaching sessions on campus. You should give yourself additional time to move around campus, and when arriving for timetabled teaching, observe any safety measures in place in the building, such as hand-sanitiser stations, one-way systems, keeping left in two-way corridors or stairs, or reduced capacity limits on lifts. Requirements may vary from building to building, depending on the layout and usage, but in all buildings signage will make clear what you need to do.

You should not enter the teaching room until previous groups have left, and maintain social distancing whilst waiting outside, and leave space for those in the room to leave safely. If the room is already empty when you arrive, go straight in to avoid waiting in corridors.

It is assumed that the majority of face-to-face teaching will involve one member of teaching staff and a group of students. Any rotation of staff or students around multiple simultaneous groups, or other similar variations, must be discussed with Safety Services before being timetabled to ensure safety measures are not compromised.

Managing student entry to and exit from teaching rooms

You should manage the process of students entering and leaving the room, to ensure that they follow any signed routes around the room and that they fill up and vacate the seating in a way that reduces the need to pass by others. Estates and Campus Services will provide seating and entry/exit plans for all seminar rooms and lecture theatres which will be displayed in the room.

Students should still swipe their ID card to confirm attendance, as this will support the University’s ability to undertake track-and-trace.


Printed handouts or booklets should ideally be printed and quarantined at least 72 hours in advance of the teaching session, and when producing handouts members of staff must wear a face covering and disposable gloves. Students should be asked to pick up their own copy as they enter the room rather than materials being distributed across the class. Where possible, a printed booklet with all the handouts required for the semester could be prepared and handed out at the start.

Cleaning of teaching rooms

Teaching rooms will be cleaned regularly but will not be cleaned between every teaching session. You will be provided with a teaching hygiene pack at the start of term which will include sanitising wipes which you and your students should use to wipe down surfaces and equipment in teaching rooms. It will be your responsibility to ensure that you have sufficient supplies for your own use and for students to use in your taught sessions; information on how to request replacement supplies will be available in due course.

Start and finish times for timetabled teaching

Teaching events will continue to be scheduled in one hour blocks (or multiples of one hour), starting on the hour. However, the teaching time for roomed, face-to-face teaching will be reduced from 50 minutes to 40 minutes per hour block, to allow time for staff and students to clean desks/work stations before or after use and to enter and exit rooms and buildings whilst maintaining social distancing. You will need to exercise judgment and, where possible, flexibility in start and finish times in order to minimise the potential of student interaction at pinch points such as stairways, corridors, toilets and other common facilities.

Teaching in laboratories, workshops and computer rooms

As with other teaching spaces, the maximum occupancy in laboratories, workshops and computer rooms will be reduced in accordance with government guidelines. When teaching in a specialist space, you must ensure that you are familiar with the local safety measures in place in the facility. Each facility will have been assessed and signage will be in place to show how the space should be used, including:

  • Reducing the number of students in bay-system laboratories or workshops
  • Avoiding working face-to-face
  • In facilities with more than one point of entry and exit, a one-way system may be in place
  • Safe transit routes may be marked in laboratories or workshops where necessary. Where they are not marked, care should be taken when moving around and to stay a safe distance away from others
  • Follow any specific safety measures for the facility you are using and the activity you are doing.