Most scheduled teaching including seminars, workshops, laboratories, skills labs and studios will be delivered face-to-face on campus where this is permitted and the University considers it safe to do so. This means that you will need to be on campus for this scheduled learning in order to engage with your course. Lectures will be pre-recorded and placed on Moodle unless your timetable shows online live delivery, in which case recordings will be made available afterwards. This follows feedback from our students this year, who told us that they preferred being able to watch lectures online at a time that suited them.
Some courses may require you to engage ‘live’ with your online lectures at the time specified in your timetable. These lectures will still be recorded and made available to students following the live session for revision purposes.
In the event that face-to-face teaching is not permitted or becomes restricted (for example in the event of a national, regional or local lockdown), or the University considers it unsafe, then learning will continue to be delivered online. If this happened, and we needed to move all teaching online, we would revise the teaching delivery to achieve the learning outcomes.
Key points for you to know
- Pre-recorded lectures will be counted within contact teaching hours as detailed in the course specification where lecture hours are clearly set out for each year of study. There may be a shift between on-campus and off-campus delivery (i.e online) for other scheduled learning, depending on the restrictions in place at the time and the University’s own assessment of risk.
- Placements and visits which are integral to the course will be made available to you wherever possible – but the timing might be delayed until it is safe to undertake these off-campus activities. This may mean that the placement will be undertaken in another academic year where it cannot be accommodated in 2021/22. A placement is integral to the course where it is set out in the course specification.
- All meetings with your personal tutor will take place online.
- We will not increase the proportion of your course which is assessed by exams but most assessments will be carried out online.
- We may extend the standard semester 2 dates by up to a month (if needed to schedule further teaching, external visits and/or placements) but we will not extend the standard year beyond the end of June.
- We will provide any additional PPE (personal protective equipment) required at no cost to you.
What can I expect?
Course content and delivery
Recording and delivering lectures online will give you the flexibility to engage with lectures online at a location and time during the week that suits you. However, it is important that you engage with online lectures during the relevant week to ensure that you remain up to date with your studies. Some courses may require you to engage ‘live’ with your on-line lectures at the time specified in your timetable. These lectures will still be recorded and made available to students following the live session for revision purposes.
All meetings with your personal tutor will take place online.
All other teaching such as seminars, workshops, laboratories, skills labs and studios will be delivered on campus, where it is permitted by the government guidance in place at the time and where the University considers it safe. In certain courses, other scheduled learning may be delivered online but you will be informed in advance if this is the case.
Where there is a change in restrictions, or the University’s own assessment of risk means that the University is unable to deliver face-to-face teaching, then all scheduled learning will be provided online to ensure that learning outcomes are met. Where modules, or specific elements of a module, require face-to-face teaching or access to workshops, laboratories or other specialist equipment at a time when this is not possible, the University will make adjustments to intensify other aspects of your learning. For example, more theoretical learning may be delivered during this period and/or alternatives methods may be used to ensure that learning outcomes are met.
Overall contact hours will remain the same during the academic year, but there may be a requirement for the University to alternate between on-campus and off-campus (i.e online) scheduled learning for teaching other than lectures, depending on the restrictions in place.
The University plans to deliver your course in accordance with the course specification which you will have seen when you made your application to BCU. The course specification was also included within the offer letter you received from the University. This provides a summary of your course (such as 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 other than in exceptional cases in accordance with the University’s course modifications procedures and the terms and conditions of the student contract. However, there may be changes to placements and to the final section of the course specification which covers student workload and the balance of assessment.
The University will try its best to ensure you are able to attend all integral placements and external visits but it may be necessary to make changes to the timing of these. This may mean that the placement or visit will take place later in the academic year, or may need to be completed in another academic year where it cannot be accommodated in 2021/22. Your Course Team will contact you with further information in the event that changes need to be made to integral placement/external visits.
If an integral placement/external visit or voluntary placement does not take place and you are in the final year of your course, wherever possible the placement will be re-arranged for the following academic year. You will not be charged any additional tuition fees for the placement taking place in the following academic year, but you should be aware that in these circumstances the completion of course and your graduation will be delayed until the placement has been successfully completed.
Private study will continue to be supported on campus with access to social learning spaces where the current government guidance and the University’s assessment of risk allows. There will also be a full calendar of events provided by our Centre for Academic Success and Graduate+ team available both on campus, where permitted, and off campus.
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. However, exam assessments in the academic 2021/22 will take place online unless this is not permitted due to the requirements of an external professional body, or other exceptional circumstances apply.
We commit to continuing to meet external professional body accreditation requirements. In response to the disruption caused by COVID-19, most professional bodies have introduced temporary adaptations to ensure all courses continue to meet requirements for professional accreditation. This may include reduced placement requirements provided the University is able to evidence that you are able to demonstrate the required competencies. If your course is accredited by an external professional body, the course team will provide information about the requirements in place when you join the University and any changes that may occur throughout your course in response to COVID-19.
Length of course
Our intention is that the standard academic year dates for 2021/22 will remain unchanged, unless it becomes necessary to extend the end of the academic year due to restrictions that have been in place on teaching and/or placements. Semester 1 dates will be unchanged but we may extend semester 2 by up to one month to the end of June 2022 if we need the additional time for further teaching, external visits and/or placements or assessments.
We will not extend the undergraduate year beyond June to avoid as far as possible causing accommodation problems for our students. We will give you two months’ notice if we need to extend the semester. If you experience difficulties with accommodation due to the extension of the academic year, you should contact your School Office who will be able to advise you on the options that may be available, including access to the University’s Hardship Fund.
Please note, some professional courses (e.g. in Health and Education) have extended years as part of the course requirements. For Health courses with integral placements for example, you may be offered placements during the traditional summer holiday period in the event that placement hours or experiences need to be retrieved to enable completion or progression.
We will support students with flexible arrival until week 4, exceptionally allowing international students an extended arrival beyond week 4 to support any quarantine required, provided they engage with online lectures by week 4.
Location of course
We have no plans to change the location of your course delivery on campus but may change the location of external visits and placements to ensure safety of staff and students. If a change in location for a placement or visit is required then will be provide as much notice as possible of the change. If overseas visits are planned, we will use Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) guidance to determine if it is safe to travel at the relevant time and if there are any additional precautions that need to be taken.
There will be no increase or decrease in your tuition fees if changes are made to the arrangements for the delivery of your course.
The tuition fees for your course will remain as set out in your offer letter (and subject to annual increases in accordance with the information provided in that letter and the University’s Tuition Fees Policy).
Any additional PPE equipment required for engaging safely with teaching will be provided by the University at no additional cost to the student.