Registration, student experience and student wellbeing support
Please take the time to review the plans for your programme, below, for the start of the new academic year. Our autumn term dates remain as 28 September to 18 December 2020. More information about registration deadlines.
Details regarding student experience and student wellbeing support can be found on our Welcome pages. Something we hope you’ll find particularly helpful is your personal support network. We understand you might be a bit nervous about starting somewhere new, but whatever assistance you need, you’ll have guidance every step of the way. All students are assigned a personal tutor – an academic that you can have regular meetings with about your course and other matters. You will also be assigned a Peer Mentor – a second or third year student from your department to help you navigate your way around University life, and to help you find the answers to any queries you have. You’ll also have access to a Careers Advisor, to help you explore your options and prepare for life after graduation.
Programme Changes 2020/21
Our approach to delivering our programmes in the new academic year is based on the core principle that the safety and wellbeing of our students and staff is paramount. With this in mind, we will deliver our campus-based courses safely in the new academic year using a dual-delivery model of on-campus and online education, which we have called ignite. Through ignite we want to deliver a fun, exciting, supportive and safe learning experience for you all.
We will work hard to open up as much face-to-face teaching and as many on-campus activities as we can when it is safe to do so, but recognise that the balance of online and on-campus teaching is likely to vary across programmes and the academic year to reflect changes in government safety guidance. No matter how the situation develops, our approach will remain focussed on making sure that you receive a high quality educational experience in the prevailing circumstances throughout the 2020/21 academic year.
We would like to emphasise that our commitment to ignite and the flexibility it provides is not just for 2020/21, but for the long term. We want the flexibility provided by our dual-delivery model to introduce new ways for you to learn and engage with your modules and provide you with options to help you manage your education alongside your other commitments. As we progress towards a new, more flexible education we want to ensure it is more inclusive and will lower barriers to access and attainment for all our students. We are excited about the possibilities ignite brings and look forward to developing new ways of learning, we are Citizens of Change.
Your programme will cover the same core content, delivered to a high quality through online and on-campus learning. However, because we cannot be sure of the full impact of COVID-19 throughout the 2020/21 academic year, the amount of on-campus, face-to-face teaching we are able to offer is likely to vary through the year depending on the situation the country and city finds itself in.
Our approach to ignite will provide you with more flexibility about where you can study and, to help support this flexibility, we are replacing our current attendance policy with a policy based on overall engagement with the content of your programme, rather than physical attendance. The new policy will reflect the importance of regular engagement with your programme in ensuring a positive learning experience and a successful outcome.
The design of ignite will allow us to:
- Provide small and medium group, face-to-face, teaching sessions as soon as we can safely do so. All these sessions will run in a Covid-safe environment with all appropriate safety and social distancing measures in place across campus.
- Provide other aspects of your learning online to provide you with more options when engaging with your programme and to ensure you don’t miss out on any content, however the COVID-19 situation may develop. This will include large group lectures, live Q&A sessions and opportunities for discussions.
- Use our experience in high quality distance learning to structure your learning and teaching materials each week into coherent blocks, which you can choose to study at a time that suits you (around work, family or other commitments).
- Guide you through each week of study, with regular, live online sessions with your tutors that you can join and ask questions or engage in discussions and activities with others on your programme.
Your learning experience in 2020/21 will include an equivalent amount of course “contact time” as would your degree in a pre-COVID environment, with the same core learning and an enhanced variety of learning activities and approaches. It is important to note that the term “contact time” does not just include face-to-face teaching, but all forms of teaching where your tutors are present either in person or in your online learning environment, guiding you through the learning materials, meeting you in the regular live sessions and providing feedback and support for your progress and assessments. You will receive broadly the same contact time as the face-to-face teaching time our pre-COVID programmes offered, whether studying online or on campus. As government guidance permits, more of your contact time may return to face-to-face teaching during the 2020/21 academic year.
In addition to redesigning your programme to make it covid-resilient, we are working hard to set up activities to help you meet other students, make friends and socialise safely. We very much hope that you will be able to enjoy your learning experience on our friendly campus throughout 2020/21 and we are fully committed to delivering the best learning experience possible for you.
In summary: we are geared up to provide you with an enhanced and more personalised learning experience, that can respond ‘live’ to any changes in the Covid-19 situation, while ensuring that you have full access to your programme in the safest way possible.
Our approach to learning and teaching for 2020/21 incorporates a framework for assessment that will retain the academic rigour that is so important to your degree while helping to support you through any developments in the Covid-19 situation.
You will be assessed by a mixture of coursework and online, end of module assignments and examinations. These have been carefully designed to support your learning from module to module and from year to year. Formative assessments will be included across degree programmes to help support and develop your learning.
All in-course and end of module assessments will be resilient to any future COVID-19 related lockdowns and will be taken under Covid-safe conditions. Our assessment procedures and practice have been reviewed and redesigned so that they better reflect your learning during the degree. We will ensure that assessments will be academically rigorous, accessible and will prepare students for future careers.
Please do refer back to this website for we are updating these pages regularly as we continue to refine our approach, lecture by lecture, for each end every module committed to ensuring you receive the best education you deserve.
Wider student experience
What will campus be like in September?
Campus will be open, and your safety will be our priority. All students will receive a welcome pack including face coverings and hand sanitiser, and the wearing of face coverings will be mandatory inside our buildings.
The Library, Percy Gee (Students’ Union), and Charles Wilson Building (Student Services), will be the focal points for your wider student experience. Because these buildings will not be operating at full capacity, they will be augmented by additional spaces across campus, including the Attenborough Arts Centre, where you will be able to meet and socialise with other students between your teaching events.
Students will be expected to study as much as possible in “Live and Learn” bubbles, taking account of household groupings to try to limit the number of students with whom you come into contact. You will receive more details about how this will look when you register.
There will be a wide range of events and activities for you to enjoy, including:
- Over 100 events will be available for you to participate in – the events will either be online, in-person, or both – they will help you make friends, support your wellbeing, or support your studies and future career aspirations.
- Student societies and clubs, run through our Students’ Union, will be welcoming new members, although their events may be smaller/fewer than normal.
- International students will benefit from our “Global Café” programme.
Personal Support for Students
Academic and personal support will still be available to you either virtually or face-to-face to respond to your needs. This will include regular check-ins on your progress and well-being.
You will have access to personal support in a number of ways, including:
- The learning community of academic and professional services staff in your School, to guide and support you throughout your studies.
- Your personal tutor, or their equivalent in your School, will offer advice on your academic studies and act as a first port-of-call with any other worries.
- Careers consultants will be available, to coach you and give you advice about work experience and employment after University.
Your wellbeing will be our priority and our student accessibility, counselling and welfare services will always be available to support you. The team has received specific training so that they can support you remotely through digital tools, if a face-to-face appointment is not possible – although these will be available as well. Online services and activities have been significantly enhanced, including a new wellbeing app and reporting portal.