Term dates

Full details of the term dates for academic year 2021-2022 can be found here.

General FAQs

1. Will there be on campus teaching in September 2021?

In line with all other Universities planning for delivery of teaching for next academic year is well underway and is being taken forward in line with current Scottish Government guidance.  In line with guidance, we anticipate that our delivery will take the form of a blended learning model although we expect to have more on campus teaching than last year as well as other activities.  Teaching will normally involve a mix of in-person teaching on campus and online learning, with on-campus teaching being focused on smaller group activities.  The type of teaching activity delivered on campus will vary between disciplines, student numbers and the most appropriate way to deliver teaching.  We do not expect to deliver large group teaching on campus due to the restrictions.  There will be a small number of areas where teaching will be delivered solely online.  Where this is the case, your School will be in touch with further information.

Schools are in the process of planning teaching and learning for the first half-session and you will hear more from them in due course.  Student feedback received on blended learning delivered during 2020/21 is helping to inform their planning. 

While we expect to be able to welcome as many of you back to campus as possible next academic year, we recognise that some of you may still have challenges which will impact your ability to return to campus (e.g. travel restrictions for international students).  If this situation applies to you, you should access the link here which provides you with the information you will need.

We will of course continue to offer flexibility in response to any change in Covid restrictions. We have successfully delivered students’ learning throughout the pandemic using online and blended learning approaches to provide that flexibility when it has been needed.

2. Covid travel restrictions may mean I can’t get to campus, what will happen?

While we expect to be able to welcome as many of you back to campus as possible next academic year, we recognise that some of you may still have challenges which will impact your ability to return to campus (e.g. travel restrictions for international students).  If this situation applies to you, please don’t worry as you will be able to continue your studies online and we will support you.  We will provide details in due course of what you need to do if you are in the situation you are not able to return to campus for the start of term.

3. What is Blended Learning?

The University of Aberdeen Blended Learning approach is a combination of face-to-face on-campus teaching and learning, where safe and possible, and online delivery. As part of our Blended Learning approach, you will have all the usual levels of support – whether you are on-campus or learning online before joining us in person. We will be following national guidance, for our Aberdeen and Qatar campuses, so that we can ensure your safety when we return to campus.

The specific learning and teaching experience will vary by discipline. All courses will offer students the opportunity to actively engage in the learning process through a variety of approaches that foster a sense of student community, and clearly demonstrate the learning pathways.  Schools will provide you with details of the specific arrangements for your chosen courses in your course handbooks and through induction. In the meantime, Schools have provided some initial information about the types of learning activities that you can expect here.

4. Will I have the same number of contact hours of teaching as I would under normal circumstances?

With blended learning, there will likely be adjustments to the way in which your contact teaching is provided, the course schedule, or the type of classes as appropriate to the individual course. For example, a course with an interactive class might instead have a shorter recorded session by the academic and an interactive class discussion board to allow students to actively engage (both those who have returned to campus and those unable to do so).  Course specific information (e.g. your course handbook or information in your course area in your Virtual Learning Environment (e.g. MyAberdeen)) will provide more detail.

5. What will a typical week / course structure look like? Will there be lectures and tutorials?

Please see our Teaching Delivery in the First Half-Session 2021/22 page for more information.

6. What does a synchronous teaching session mean?

A synchronous teaching session is one which takes place at a specific time. This can be an online session which you attend remotely at a specific time, or timetabled on campus sessions which you attend in person (subject to Covid restrictions). The sessions you choose through MyTimetable are synchronous.

7. What does asynchronous mean in terms of teaching?

Asynchronous delivery means your teaching materials are available for you to access when it suits you.  An example of asynchronous delivery would be recorded lecture material.  You do not have to attend at a specific time to participate in the session.

8. How will assessment work this year?

There will be no formal exam diets at the end of each half-session.  Instead, Schools will use alternative assessment approaches (e.g. timed online assessments, essays) to assess your understanding of the learning outcomes. These may be scheduled throughout the course or timed towards the end of the half-session.  There may be a small number of areas where formal examinations will be required due to professional accreditation reasons. Where this is the case, your School will inform you.

9. I normally study fully online, will anything be different for me this year?

Your studies will continue to be delivered online as usual.  The only change may be where your course would normally involve in person exams where these will be replaced by alternative assessment approached (e.g. timed online assessments, essays).  There may be a small number of areas where formal exams need to continue due to professional accreditation reasons.  Where this is the case, your School will inform you. 

If you are in need of any support during this time, please get in touch with your School in the first instance to let them know. Our Student Support service is also here for you, and can help with a range of non-academic issues. See our Student Support page.

10. Will I have to quarantine if I'm arriving from another country?

Please check the Scottish Government's International Travel and Managed Isolation page for the latest updates and information about red, amber and green list countries.

11. I am currently studying online and want to transition to on campus teaching. How do I do that?

If you are currently studying online, and want to return/change to on campus learning, you should fill out the Change to Study Location form and one of our team will be in touch to arrange the changes to your timetable in order for a smooth transition. If you have any queries or concerns, please email campusreturn@abdn.ac.uk

12. I am arriving late to campus and will not be on time for the start of term. What should I do?

In the event that you will arrive late to campus (ie after the start of term), there are two steps you should follow.

Step 1: You should complete the Study Location form in the Student Hub (Personal Details > Study Location) to let us know you will start the term online. Your school will be in touch with you to discuss your options and how best to support you in your studies through this time.

Step 2: When you are ready to come to campus, you should fill out the Change to Study Location form and one of our team will be in touch to arrange the changes to your timetable in order for a smooth transition.

Managed Quarantine Payments

What costs will the University meet?

The University has confirmed that it will meet the cost of managed quarantine (a maximum of £2285) for our international students* (new and returning) travelling to engage in on-campus learning who are from a UK travel red-list country (the country where you were located when you applied to study at the University of Aberdeen’s UK campus).

*Not available for Qatar Campus Students

Will the University pay for my managed quarantine if I am planning to visit a red list country this summer?

No. We will only pay costs for students that are domiciled in a red list country and will be returning, or coming, to study with us in-person. Students impacted by this are only able to make a single claim on one occasion when they travel to Aberdeen. If you elect to travel to a red list country and then enter the UK (or return) we will not be able to meet this cost.

What if I share my quarantine accommodation with someone else?

If you choose to travel with someone else who you will share a room with in managed quarantine we will only pay your contribution to the cost of the room (50% of the total amount). Make sure the room is in your name so we can see this on the booking. If you are sharing a room with another University of Aberdeen student you will both be able to claim for it, meaning the cost will be fully met.

I am currently in the UK but will be travelling home to a red list country and returning to Aberdeen for September. Will you meet my managed quarantine costs?

No. We will only pay costs for students that are domiciled in a red list country and will be returning, or coming, to study with us in-person. Students impacted by this are only able to make a single claim on one occasion when they travel to Aberdeen. If you elect to travel to a red list country and then enter the UK (or return) we will not be able to meet this cost.

Will you pay costs for those travelling from Amber and Green countries (testing costs)?

No. The University will only be supporting those needing to enter formal, managed quarantine and will not be able to support costs related to tests which all travellers are required to take. As ever, the University has a range of hardship funds available to support anyone in unexpected financial hardship. To find out more about these funds and how to apply, please visit www.abdn.ac.uk/hardship.

How will I get my money?

Payments will be made by direct payment to a UK bank account.

I do not have a UK bank account; how will you pay the money to me?

You will need to set up a bank account in the UK to receive this payment. There are lots of benefits from having a UK bank account and there are free account options available to students. When you complete Online Registration, you will be emailed a letter to support the opening of a UK bank account. Please ensure your bank account is active before submitting a refund application.

Will requesting this financial support impact any scholarship I have applied for?

No.

Will you pay the cost for me or give me money in advance?

No. You will need to pay for the managed quarantine yourself, directly through the Government website. Following completion of your quarantine and your arrival in Aberdeen, you can then submit your application for the refund.

Will you pay the costs if I am a sponsored student, or if someone else pays fees on my behalf?

Yes. You will need to pay for the managed quarantine yourself, directly through the Government website. Following completion of your quarantine and your arrival in Aberdeen, you can then submit your application for the refund. If your sponsor is able to meet the cost of managed quarantine, you should not submit an application for support from the University as well.

I travelled to the UK and had to go into managed quarantine before this announcement. Will you pay my costs?

No. The University is only able to meet the costs of those who entered managed quarantine after the 29th of June, the date the University confirmed its position on this issue.

I am under the age of 18, will I need to enter managed quarantine?

Arriving directly in Scotland

If you’re a child under 18 travelling from a red or amber list country, and you do not have an adult travelling with you, you should isolate at your home address in Scotland as soon as you arrive. Everyone else who lives at the address will also need to isolate for the full 10 days.

If you arrive in Scotland, and do not have an address to travel to, a place where you can isolate will be arranged for you. More details are available on the Government website.

Arriving directly in England

Unaccompanied minors

Children arriving in England from a red list country should not be travelling alone. Arrangements should be made by the parent or guardian to travel with their child and to enter managed quarantine with them on arrival.

If it is not possible for someone with responsibility for the child to travel with them, the parent, guardian or appropriate adult will need to notify DHSC at dhsctesttrace.customerfeedbackteam@nhs.net and request a specific exemption for them to travel alone. Exemptions will only be provided in exceptional circumstances.

In general, a child will not be able to travel alone unless the parent, guardian or appropriate adult already in the UK can enter managed quarantine with the child on their arrival. Adults completing the booking on behalf of a child they have responsibility for should include details of an appropriate adult who will be in the in UK who is designated to enter managed quarantine. More details are available on the Government website.

When will this commitment last until?

The University will commit to meeting the costs of any student travelling from a red list country to attend in-person teaching or research programme. Students are only eligible to make a single claim for the cost of managed quarantine within the first half session (which ends on the 17th December 2021).

Should you have already received a refund for managed quarantine, and then depart the UK and return from a Red List country, you will be liable to cover any future managed quarantine costs yourself. This will be kept under review.

What evidence will I have to provide to submit my claim?
  • Receipt of payment for the managed quarantine
  • Confirmation that the accommodation is booked in your name
  • Confirmation of your flight details with your name clearly displayed on the travel documents
How do I submit my claim?

Before submitting the claim, you must have completed your period of quarantine and arrived in Aberdeen. You must also have completed your University Online Registration before gaining access to the online claim forms. Once fully registered, you should complete the application form and the bank details form.

How long will it take to receive my payment?

It can take up to 28 days from confirming receipt of your application to processing your payment.

Will the University refund the cost of managed quarantine for my dependants?

No, we are only able to refund the cost incurred for each student and are unable to provide financial support to their families or anyone else travelling with them.