FAQs about social distancing on campus

Can I still access the library and other facilities on campus?

Our library, whilst subject to social distancing obligations, will be open. However our digital library with over 550,00 e-books, our enquiry service and support for staff and students is available virtually 24/7.

We have an electronic reading list system embedded in our module resources that links you straight to each digital resource.

Will the students Union still offer social activities?

The University and Students' Union will run a regular programme of virtual and on-campus socially distanced events throughout the year, including more than 200 clubs and societies to chose from.

What interaction will I have with other students?

Academic and social events will be offered on campus and online, allowing opportunities for study and social interactions with other students, observing social-distancing wherever required. We will also take advantage of our Distance Learning expertise to embed group work and social interaction into your online teaching. Many of our courses contain regular group work, group discussions and other community-building activities. We know that you learn better when you feel supported by the community around you.

What interaction will I have with staff?

Personal Tutors or other academics will be available to provide support, along with Student Support Services. You will have regular contact with staff in all your modules, either in person or via interactive online sessions and individual consultations. University support staff will also be available to you either in person or online as UK Government guidelines allow.

Will the lack of in-person lectures have a negative impact on my studies?

The group work with students, your tutorials and seminars are some of the most valuable moments of contact time when studying at University.

With lectures being recorded you can play back and rewatch as many times as you want, as well as being able to contact the academics directly with queries or discussion items. Even in normal times, we encourage staff to record lectures and make them available to students wherever possible. It is hugely valuable to your learning to be able to stop and start the recording and work at your own pace. We will ensure that you still receive the interactive discussions and problem solving sessions, as well as tailored support from lecturers where necessary. We are confident that your educational experience will be high quality in our blended format.

How much of a campus experience will students get if they only attend seminars and virtual lecture captures?

The group work with students, your tutorials and seminars are some of the most valuable moments of contact time when studying at University Combine this with our re-developed social learning spaces, our student support services, University and Students' Union events programme you will get a full university experience.

What are the benefits of blended learning as opposed to distance learning?

Blended learning differs from Distance Learning in that not all learning is remote. Blended learning provides a blend of on-campus and remote learning within a single course.

This will combine pre-prepared non-interactive content accessed online such as recorded lectures, presentations on key concepts and recorded debates with pre-prepared interactive content accessed online such as quizzes, self tests, scenario simulations, then synchronous interactive content and study support accessed online and in person such as seminars, webinars, workshops, Q&A sessions.

How will social distancing be put in place in the labs?

Following guidance produced by the UK Government all laboratory spaces will be subject to social distancing.

Is the Library open 24 hours?

Our library, whilst subject to social distancing obligations will be open. However our digital library with over 550,000 e-books, our enquiry service and support for staff and students is available virtually 24/7.

How will you ensure safety of students in communal areas and that social distancing is adhered to?

All open buildings have been modified to comply with statutory requirements and will be clearly identified as being COVID-19 secure.

There will be social distancing, sanitising and cleaning measures in place with particular attention to teaching spaces, meeting rooms and laboratories. Our security team will also act as wardens to ensure all regulations are adhered to.

How will ‘group’ working take place?

There are many ways in which group working can safely still take place. On campus, we will provide “Specially adapted and bookable social learning spaces for students and staff. Online, we will use our up-to-date digital technology to facilitate discussion boards, online seminars, break out groups and live Q and As.

What extra support will you be providing for students with possible learning disabilities, or disabilities who may find online lectures more of a challenge?

The University offers a range of support, including providing specialist equipment, dedicated study spaces, specialist software, note-takers, personal learning support advisers and academic skills advisers.

Will I still be able to play sports at University?

It will still be possible to play sports at the University, however there may be some restrictions in accordance with UK Government guidelines. Individual sports such as tennis are available now but team sports are not possible.

Will we be required to wear face mask or when we are meeting face to face for personal tutor?

The current University policy is that face coverings will be worn by staff and students whilst working on Campus. It is one of the controls we have put in place to minimise the spread of the virus from individual to individual. We will review our approach, over time, in line with Government guidelines. If you are working alone in an office or seminar room, you will not be required to wear face coverings.

Can we expect the social aspect of university to be quite limited when we start? (e.g sports)

Many of our society experiences will be different to previous years. UK-wide social distancing regulations will make society socials very different, with smaller, in-person events still able to take place (following thorough risk assessment, and taking amended room occupancy into account).

For sports the BUCS national competition will not be starting until the New Year, and training will be taking place following social distancing guidelines. Our Sports & Active Life partners are considering proposals to develop local competitions in the meantime.

Our student groups will be working on community-building activities in digital spaces as well as in smaller face-to-face groups.

Will we still be able to join societies?

A digital Freshers’ Fair will take place on the 28th and 29th September 2020. This will give students a chance to meet all clubs and societies 'in person' and find out what they’ll be offering to prospective members this year before joining.

Students will also be able to join clubs and societies before they arrive, should they wish to do so. The Union has over 230 actively registered groups for the start of the year ahead.