Academic Session 2021-2022

Academic Session 2021-2022

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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 the second half-session?

In line with all other Universities, teaching delivery this academic year is being delivered in a blended model in line with current Scottish Government guidance. 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. 

While we expect to be able to welcome as many of you back to campus in January, we recognise that a small number of you may feel that you have exceptional circumstances which will impact your ability to return to campus (e.g. travel restrictions for international students). If these exceptional circumstances apply to you, you should access the link here which provides you with the information you will need and the process you need to follow to request to study online

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 in January, we recognise that a small number of you may feel that you have exceptional circumstances which will impact your ability to return to campus (e.g. travel restrictions for international students). If these exceptional circumstances apply to you, you should access the link here. This provides guidance both on what you need to do if you feel you need to study online for the full second half-session and what to do if you expect to arrive late.   

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.

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 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.

6. 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.

7. 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.

8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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

11. 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), you should follow the guidance on the Teaching Delivery in the Second Half-session 2021/22 page regarding late arrival. Where you are going to be late, you will require to start your studies online to ensure you do not get behind in your studies.