Teaching and learning

Our plans for the new academic year offer an excellent learning experience while ensuring the safety of our University community.

On this page:

Plans for next academic year

We will be welcoming all students to campus from September to participate in welcome activities ahead of beginning or continuing your studies. 

International students travelling to the UK for their studies should refer to specific guidance on this webpage.

Once term begins, which for the majority of courses will be on 27 September, your time spent on campus will include timetabled, in-person teaching sessions for interactive elements of your course such as seminars, tutorials, workshops, practical classes and lab-based activities. These sessions will offer valuable opportunities to regularly interact with other students and your tutors to discuss topics, engage in thoughtful debate, or ask for support. They will also provide full access to any specialist learning environments, including laboratories, studios and practical training rooms, that you need as part of your programme.

Wherever possible, you will be expected to attend your timetabled sessions on campus. You will also be expected to undertake independent study, outside of your timetable, and you will have access to our two libraries which will be fully open, with appropriate public health measures in place, to support you with this. We’ll have teams and resources on-hand, including KnowHow, to help you develop and improve your study skills, including academic writing, referencing, managing your time, working with statistics and more.

While on campus you’ll be able to benefit from our many and varied student facilities, which we anticipate will all be open with appropriate public health measures in place. These include our sports and leisure facilities, on-campus catering, Guild of Students, Student Support Services and Careers Studio. 

Your in-person teaching is likely to be, at least for the first semester, supplemented by online sessions. This is most likely to apply to large group sessions, which are best suited to a virtual experience. Some of your online learning may be held live, using software that enables you to engage with your lecturer and peers. Other sessions and materials may be made available to access and work through in your own time and at your own pace. All online learning will enhance your understanding of topics that you will be able to discuss further during your teaching time on-campus.

Assessments will vary depending on subject, but we expect there to be a mixture of online and in-person assessments depending on programme requirements and learning outcomes. For example, programmes with specific practical and professional requirements are likely to use on-campus, in-person assessments as these will be required at some point in order to progress.

Your learning experience

This planned teaching model is very different to what, due to the unforeseen circumstances, we delivered last year. This year all our students will benefit from regular in-person learning and access to our thriving campus environment.

Of course, the safety of our community is, as always, our main priority. By phasing in the return to normal delivery and maintaining a cautious, balanced, approach over the next few months, this will help keep our community safe while we all adjust to being back on campus, and allow us to respond as quickly as possible to any further changes in restrictions.

Our planning for this year has been closely informed by our students, who have told us that the aspects of online learning they have appreciated include an enhanced ability to pause, rewind, review and learn from a wide variety of materials at their own pace. However, students have also told us that they would like more time to meet with their peers and tutors on campus. With this in mind, the blended approach we will be using allows us to reopen campus responsibly, prioritising our space for interactive sessions and socialising opportunities, while continuing to make the most of our excellent digital resources.

Read more about what blended learning is, and importantly what it isn’t, on the Russell Group’s website.

Looking ahead, the University is also planning for how we will deliver teaching in semester two, and all students will receive further details in due course.

Teaching on your programme

Many of you should now have received your academic timetables and your school will be in touch with further details about the plans for teaching on your programme shortly, if not already, so please keep checking your email.

It is possible, in the event that tighter restrictions are re-introduced by the Government, that we may need to move some or all teaching fully online for a period of time. Our experience from this last year has shown that we can do this very successfully, with external examiners positive about outcomes, standards maintained, and learning outcomes achieved.

However, we understand that any changes to teaching can be a cause for concern and we will continue to keep all our students regularly informed to let you know if, or how any changes will impact you.

Support available

Many of our student services and support continue to be fully accessible in-person via appointments and via our digital channels. This includes among other things, support with your studies through KnowHow, online access to our library services, help identifying and pursuing your chosen career, and access to advice and guidance on everything from mental health to money issues. We’re always here for you, so please continue to take advantage of any support that may be beneficial to you. 

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