Academic Session 2020-2021

Academic Session 2020-2021
Health and safety on campus

Last updated 27th May 2021

1.  What systems and controls are in place on campus to support physical distancing and other requirements?

When you come onto campus you will notice signage and clearly marked routes within buildings. Please make sure you follow these to help keep yourself and others safe. Each location will be supported by a Covid Building Coordinator (CBC) and details of the CBC are at the entrance to each building. They are on hand to answer questions about your location and help resolve any issues you are experiencing in that location.

2. Can I arrive come onto campus outwith my teaching sessions?

You are encouraged to come to campus only when you have an on campus sessions or wish to use the Library or one of our other study spaces. Details of study spaces can be found here. Outwith these times, you are encouraged to study from home. 

3. When will buildings be open?

Buildings approved to be open for teaching will be opened at 0845 and will be closed at 1815.  No access outside these times is permitted.

4. Do I need to wear a face covering?

Unless you are exempt, you must wear your face covering inside all buildings. This is not required if you are seated in a dedicated catering space and signage indicates you can remove them or you are studying in a single occupancy study space (i.e. in a room with just one person).

5. What should happen when I arrive for a teaching session?

You shouldn’t congregate in buildings before classes.  Instead, you should aim to arrive just before your class and proceed directly to your class.  Where you are waiting to enter a building or teaching space, you should maintain physical distancing (currently 2 meters) and wear your face covering.

As you enter the classroom, you should:

  • maintain physical distancing;
  • use the cleaning wipes to clean your desk and hard surfaces of their chair;
  • sit in one of the marked seats; and
  • remember to keep your face coverings on during the class unless you are exempt from wearing one.

Please do remember that there may be some people who can’t use the cleaning materials we have provided (for example due to allergies).

6. What will teaching rooms be like?

Teaching spaces have been laid out and specifically designed to comply with guidance on physical distancing. Details of the approved room layout will be at the entrance to each room and the must not be changed.

7. Do I need to clean my space in the classroom?

Cleaning wipes will be provided in each teaching space so that you can wipe down your key touch points. This should include the items you will be touching during class and will include IT equipment (mouse, keyboards and screens) and your desk and chair. Bins are provided in each teaching space for waste.  It is important that you undertake this cleaning at the start and end of each teaching session to supplement the enhanced cleaning regimes that will be in place across campus.

8. What cleaning materials are available for use in the teaching spaces?

Cleaning wipes will be available in all teaching spaces. Hand sanitiser dispensers will be provided across campus and at the entrances to all buildings.

9. Can food or drink be consumed in class?

Other than water in a lidded or resealable container,food and drinks should not be consumed in teaching spaces.

10. What happens if the fire alarm goes off?

On hearing the fire alarm, leave the building immediately, by your nearest safe exit. All exits may be used, and you should observe physical distancing whilst doing so, but only if it is safe to do so. Directional rules do not apply in an emergency as everyone should be moving in the same direction. Physical distancing rules may be broken in order to preserve life.

Go to the assembly point and continue to maintain physical distancing where you can. Once the roll call has been completed and an “all clear” is given, you may re-enter the building. On entry wash or sanitise your hands to remove any contaminants which may have been picked up whilst opening doors. You must not re-enter the building until the Fire Marshal says it’s safe to return and you must follow all instructions from staff supporting the evacuation.

Absence reporting and self-isolation

Last updated 15th March 2021

1. When to self-isolate?
  • Students arriving in the UK are required to self-isolate on arrival at your accommodation for 10 days, unless travelling from an exempt country. 
  • If contacted by the NHS Test and Protect tracing team, self-isolate for 10-days, whether you are displaying any symptoms or not.
  • If you develop symptoms during isolation, you will need to stay in your accommodation for 10 days from the day that the symptoms began.
  • If you live alone and have symptoms of coronavirus illness, however mild, stay at home for 10 days from when your symptoms started.
  • If you live with others and you or one of them have symptoms of coronavirus, then all household members must stay at home and not leave the house for 10 days.
  • Symptoms are likely to include at least one of: a new, persistent cough; a high temperature; a loss of your sense of smell; or a change in your sense of taste. 
2. How to self-isolate or quarantine?
  • If you are entering the UK and need to self-isolate you will find full details of what you need to do on the Scottish Government website. This includes completing a “Passenger Locator Form” before you travel and ensuring you have your accommodation arranged in the UK.
  • While self-isolating you should not:
    • Go to public places or attend classes or other campus activities
    • Go on public transport or use taxis after you have travelled to your accommodation (if you are entering the UK and need to self-isolate)
    • have visitors in your home, including friends and family – except for people providing essential care
    • go out to exercise
  • If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 you should speak with your GP or 111 to advise you on testing and care
  • While self-isolating following travel to the UK you are asked not to leave your accommodation unless it is for essential shopping (such as food of medicine) and you should prioritise food delivery services or the assistance of friends to deliver items to you where you can
  • If you are staying with us in halls of residence and need to self-isolate we will make your options clear to you when you arrive and ensure you have access to all the things you need during your period of self-isolation. More details on what to expect when staying with us are available below
3. Accommodation self-isolation information
Detailed information about accommodation and self-isolation can be found on the following link: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/accommodation/faq/index.php
4. Do I need to quarantine when I arrive?

It is best to check the Scottish Government website for up-to-date travel advice. Click here to view current guidance on health measures at borders, self-isolation, and country exemptions.

Please refer to the government website for updates before travelling.

5. I have to self-isolate and so will miss some of my classes on campus, what should I do?

The majority of teaching is taking place online so you should be able to continue with your studies if you are well while you are self-isolating. If you are unwell and unable to continue studying, you should complete the Absence Reporting Process via Student Hub.  This will allow us to let your Course Coordinators know you won’t be attending your classes.  If you are self-isolating while awaiting a test result and subsequently test negative, please inform your School that you are able to resume on campus teaching. If you are due to attend an on-campus session, please make contact with your School. The contact details for your Schools can be found here.

6. What do I do if I am unwell and unable to participate in my studies?

You should report your absence through the Absence Reporting Process via Student Hub.  This will ensure your course coordinators are informed of your absence. It is important that you let the University know if you are unwell even if you are studying online.

On campus teaching

Last updated 27th May 2021

1. Is there any on campus teaching taking place?

Yes. Some on campus teaching is being delivered for some Postgraduate Taught programmes over the summer. Where this is the case, your School will be in touch to advise if this applies.  Should you not be able to return to campus for this teaching, an online alternative will be provided. 

2. When must face coverings be worn in class?

Face coverings must be worn at all times while delivering or receiving on-campus teaching unless you are exempt.

3. When should my class start?

Teaching sessions, both online and on campus, are scheduled to start at five past the hour, as usual. You should not arrive early for class.

4. When should my class end and how should I leave the space?

Classes should end 10 minutes to the hour to allow all attendees (students and teaching staff) to clean touchpoints, such as desks and IT equipment, and vacate the room fully by five minutes to the hour. This is to ensure that contact is limited between classes vacating and entering the space and to help support the management of building capacities.  

5. Will attendance be recorded?

Yes.  Attendance will be recorded.  This is important both to allow us to check that you are properly engaging with your studies but it is also important for Test & Protect reasons.  The University uses a monitoring system to ensure students are engaged in their studies.  Failure to attend small group teaching sessions (both on campus and online) may lead to you being reported as ‘at risk’ through the monitoring system. 

6. Will we be expected to share documents or equipment in the classroom?

Sharing of equipment, documents, pens and other items should be avoided. Any equipment should be cleaned before and after each use and should not be shared within a single teaching session.

You should leave the building immediately (unless e.g. you need to use toilet facilities) and you should not congregate in corridors or the foyer or in the immediate vicinity of the exits to buildings.

7. Where can I find a study space on campus?

Some study space is available in our libraries  but capacity is limited due to physical distancing requirements. Some single occupancy study spaces are also bookable via CMISGo. These spaces are intended to be used for those requiring private space to participate in online synchronous teaching sessions where you require to interact. Further details are available here.  

8. I have project work to do, can I come to campus to do this?

Access to campus has been approved for some project activity for some postgraduate taught programmes. Where this is the case, your School will be in touch to advise you of the arrangements. 

9. My programme involves placement activity.  How will this work?

Where your programme involves placement activity (e.g. School placements, clinical placements) your School will provide detailed information around how this will work.

10. What will happen with fieldwork?

Some fieldwork activity is starting to become possible. Where this is the case you will be advised

Studying online

Last updated 27th May 2021

1. How do I prepare for an online teaching session?

In advance of your first teaching session, please make sure you can log in to all the IT systems that you might need. You should also try any equipment (such as microphones or headsets) that you plan to use so that you can identify issues that need resolved.

2. What IT specification do I need to study online?

Guidance about IT equipment requirements can be found here. 

3. How will I be able to engage with my class online?

Within the course area for your course in the VLE (e.g. MyAberdeen) you will find all course materials.  Within this there may be a discussion board where you can raise questions or talk to fellow students.  Small group teaching sessions will also be held online (e.g. tutorials).  In these you will be able to engage in discussions with your fellow class members.  Other activities such as group work will provide opportunity for engagement. 

4. If I have questions about my course, how can I get help?

If you have questions about your course, you will be able to ask for help.  Your course coordinator may have specific virtual office hours when you can contact them for help.  Discussion boards or email can also be used to seek advice.

5. Do I need to attend teaching sessions at a particular time or can I choose when to study?

It will vary from course to course.  Lecture material content will normally be available asynchronously – this means you can study it when it suits you.  Other activities such as small group sessions (e.g. tutorials) may happen synchronously.  This means they happen at a specific time and you will normally be expected to attend.

6. My course involves lab work.  How will this work online?

Where you have a lab session, you will be able to participate online.  This may involve observing an experiment online and then undertaking data analysis arising from this.  You will be given specific information about what will be involved by your course coordinator.

7. Can I download and share lecture recordings with others?

No.  The University’s Lecture Capture Policy clearly states that recordings must only be used by the student as a personal aid for study purposes.  They must not be shared, published or otherwise made available in whole or in part to any other person.  Lecture recordings cannot be downloaded for private use, expect with the permission of the lecturer. 

Access to Student Services and Facilities

Last updated 27th May 2021

1. Can I access the library?

Yes, more information can be found on the Library's Covid updates page. This includes a list of FAQs here.

2. How will I have access to the library when I have to study online?
The Library provides a very large number of books, journals and other resources in digital form and these will be available to you online, wherever you are. Advice, support and training will also be provided by Library and IT staff to ensure that you can use our library services effectively. Library staff are available to answer your questions at library@abdn.ac.uk. More information about accessing digital collections when off-campus can be found here.
3. What safety measures will be in place on campus?
Your health, safety and wellbeing are the most important aspect of the planning that is taking place. We will be following national guidance, for our Aberdeen and Qatar campuses so that we can ensure your safety on our campuses.

 Regular cleaning will be in place across all University buildings. Hand sanitising gel will be available upon entry to all buildings and within each of the cafe and dining areas. Face coverings will be encouraged in line with national guidance. Further information will be provided as we develop the detailed principles and guidance for a safe return to campus.

The University is working closely with Government and the wider University sector to ensure the measures we put in place support us to keep our community safe. This includes robust hygiene measures such as providing of hand sanitiser at key locations, detailed guidance for students and staff on physical distancing, One-way systems will be used where appropriate and measures to ensure that building occupancy levels adhere to national guidance.
4. What Student Support services are available and how will I access them?

All our support services are operating virtually and more information about about the variety of online services we are operating is available on the website.

5: What facilities are open on campus?

Catering outlets will be available on campus where they are able under prevailing Government requirements and building facilities (such as lifts and toilets) will be operating with clear physical distancing guidelines. Details on the available catering options can be seen here.

6. Will Student Support and Counselling Services be available?
All of our support services are currently operating virtually offering impartial and confidential advice on a range of issues, including personal, academic, money matters, disabilities and specific learning difficulties, visas and immigration matters, mental health and wellbeing, and more. We are currently offering meetings online and by telephone. All services will continue to be available, through virtual means, until we are able to resume on campus support. You can find more information by visiting the Support & Wellbeing section of the website.
7. Will AUSA Societies and Sport Clubs continue to run, and if so will they hold face to face meetings and events or will they have to be online? Will sports clubs be allowed to train, practice and compete?
AUSA events are currently taking place virtually, in line with Scottish Government guidelines.
8. How can I meet my personal tutor?

Meetings with your personal tutor will happen online.  Your personal tutor should be in touch to arrange to meet with you in the first couple of weeks of term.  However, if you have any questions please don’t hesitate to get in touch with them.  You can find the name of your personal tutor in the Student Hub or by going to your Personal Tutor Organisation on MyAberdeen (Go to “Organisations”, just below “Courses” in the base navigation of MyAberdeen) and “messaging” your Personal Tutor by clicking on their image on the top left and selecting the ‘envelope’ icon. When “messaging” your Personal Tutor we recommend selecting the option to ‘Send an email copy to recipients’ to ensure they receive your message.

9. Where can I find an MFD (Printer / Photocopier)?

MFD’s are available in the library but access to the Sir Duncan Library is limited in line with Government guidelines. Further details are available here.

10. What if I have a general IT related issue?

For general issues with your IT equipment that are not urgent you can make use of our myIT portal. Here you will be able to live-chat with the IT team during the working day, report non-urgent issues and view various self-help solutions.

11. Can I use computer classrooms?

Classrooms will not be accessible while the government guidelines restrict access to campus to essential activity where specific permission has been granted. A limited number of PC’s are available in the library.

12. I don’t have access to IT kit what should I do?

If you are in hardship, support may be available to help you access equipment (e.g. funding or access to a loan device).  You should contact Student Support (student.support@abdn.ac.uk) if you need such support.  Access is also available to student spaces on campus – see here

Graduation

Last updated 15th March 2021

1. Will the June graduations take place?

Regretfully, and following detailed consideration, we have taken the decision to cancel our plans for on-campus summer graduations.  The decision has been taken due to the likelihood of continued restrictions impacting on our ability to deliver traditional in-person ceremonies for all our graduates. Instead we will deliver an online alternative, as we did for last year’s November graduations, which will take place in July. It remains our intention to offer an opportunity to attend a celebratory event in the future, details of which will be made available when circumstances permit us to effectively deliver the event without the risk of cancellation.

Tuition fees

Last updated 28th January 2021

1. Will blended learning or having to study online initially involve any changes in our SAAS applications, funding or student loans?

No, students should continue to apply for funding as normal.

2. Will my tuition fees be adjusted in light of the announcement that some of my degree programme will be delivered through a blended learning approach?

The tuition fees remain unchanged. In line with Government advice we will continue to provide a high-quality education experience that enables you to achieve your potential while meeting required academic standards through blended learning. There are some things that will not be possible while distancing and related restrictions are still in place, such as lectures and large group sessions. But you will not miss out on these experiences, instead teaching and learning activities will be available online so that you can engage with all the learning that you need for your studies.

Further Information:

3. Will a tuition fee refund be available for students who wish to break with their studies?

Applications for refunds are dealt with through our tuition fee refund policy, which is available to access here along with other relevant information.