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Returning to face-to-face teaching

Our pledge: The majority of your scheduled teaching throughout the 2020/2021 academic year will take place face-to-face on campus. For most courses, this will begin on 21 September 2020 or Monday 25 January 2021. Exact dates for your course will be sent to you when you enrol as a BCU student.

Teacher in class

Key points for you to know

  • In semester 1, we will deliver as much teaching as we are able – lectures will be moved online, and of the remaining teaching some will be face-to-face and some online, but at least half in person. In semester 2, we will increase this, to ensure we deliver the majority of your teaching across the year face-to-face on campus.
  • There will be no reduction in overall contact hours – but there will be a shift between on-campus and off-campus scheduled learning.
  • All planned placements and visits will be made available to you – but the timing might be delayed until it is safe to undertake these off-campus activities.
  • We will not increase the proportion of your course which is assessed by exams.
  • We may extend the standard semester 2 dates by up to a month (if needed to schedule external visits and placements) but we will not extend the standard year beyond the end of June.
  • Our fees will remain the same and we will provide any additional PPE (personal protective equipment) at no cost to you.

What can I expect?

Course content and delivery

In semester 1 (September 2020 to January 2021), we will make sure you have 50% of your scheduled teaching face-to-face on campus with lectures moved online. This will allow us to keep you safe and comply with social distancing rules.

In semester 2 (January 2021 – May 2021), we anticipate that we will be able to increase the amount of face-to-face teaching (as government rules on group sizes are relaxed) allowing a greater percentage of your scheduled teaching to be delivered face-to-face on campus.

Overall contact hours will remain the same across the year, with temporary change between on-campus and off-campus scheduled learning.

The University plans to deliver your course as written in the 2020/21 course specification which you will have seen when you made your application to BCU. This provides a summary of your course (external accreditation, core and optional modules and a structured delivery plan over the years for your course). The content of your course will not change.  The only change will be to the final section which covers student workload and balance of assessment.

Download workload and balance of assessment example

We will commit to making sure you are able to attend all planned placements and external visits but there may be some changes to the timing of these. It is likely that there will be more online learning and fewer placements and visits in semester 1 but any missed placement and visits will be carried forward to a point at which it is safe for you to attend them.

Private study will continue to be supported on campus with access to social learning spaces and a full calendar of events provided by our Centre for Academic Success and Graduate Plus team available both on and off campus.

Course Assessment

Your course specification will outline three types of assessment - coursework, exams and in-person assessments such as presentations. We will not increase the percentage of your course which is assessed by exams. Where possible, we will look to move exams to online alternatives.

Professional accreditation

We commit to continuing to meet external professional body accreditation requirements. Most professional bodies have brought in Covid-19 adaptations to ensure all courses continue to meet requirements for professional accreditation. This may include reduced placement requirements as long as we evidence that you are able to demonstrate the required competencies.

Length of course

Our standard academic year dates for 2020/21 remain unchanged. Semester 1 dates will be unchanged but we have the option to extend semester 2 by up to one month to the end of June 2021 if we need the additional time to deliver what we have outlined above.

We will not extend the undergraduate year beyond June to avoid causing accommodation problems for our students. We will give you a month’s notice if we need to extend the semester. We will support students with flexible arrival until week four, allowing international students an extended arrival to week eight to support any quarantine required, provided they engage online by week 4. In addition, we will make adjustments for those who need to study on-line during the year based on Public Health England advice.

Location of course

We have no plans to change the location of your course teaching delivery on campus but may change location of external visits and placements to ensure safety of staff and students. If overseas visits are planned we will use Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance to determine if it is safe to travel.

Course costs

Our fees will remain as published and any additional PPE equipment required for engaging safely with teaching will be provided at no additional cost to the student.

What are the next steps?

Once your place with us is confirmed, look out for an email inviting you to enrol online. The email will include a link to the enrolment portal with instructions on how to complete the process. This process will also involve a health and safety briefing hosted on our virtual learning platform, Moodle where there will be a declaration for you to complete. Your student ID card will be posted out to you when enrolment process is complete.

When you begin the enrolment process, you will be able to access our online learning platforms.

Closer to the start of term you will be sent your timetable with details of when you have classes on campus. We will also ensure you have details of Welcome Week and the activities available to you.