Academic Session 2020-21

To find out more about term dates, accommodation, fees and more, see the Academic Session 2020-21 page.

Students fees and finance

Last updated 31 March 2020

1. ​​​​​​How do I pay my tuition fees, accommodation fees or other debt?

With the exception of face to face payments at the Infohub, the University will continue to accept payment as normal.  The quickest and easiest way to make payment is by credit or debit card using our secure ePayments portal.   All other payment methods will take longer than normal to process.


Information on our payment methods are available on the web at Making a Payment.

2. Have you received my payment?

We do not automatically send receipts for payments but if you require a confirmation, email payments@abdn.ac.uk  However be aware it may take us longer than normal to allocate your payment.

3.  Will my Direct Debit still be collected?

Payment by Direct Debit will continue to be collected on or just after the payment date shown in your agreement.

4. Will I be able to request a payment plan or Direct Debit online?

We will continue to accept requests for payment plans and direct debits online at the present time.  However, it will take us longer than normal to respond to your request. 

5. Can I speak to someone about my debt?

We will not be providing our face to face Credit Control service desk at the Infohub, however you can still contact us at creditctr@abdn.ac.uk

Further information on managing money can be found on our student support pages.

6. I'm a volunteer - will I still receive my payment?

We will continue to process requests for volunteer payments where payment is to be made by BACS, though payment will be slower than normal.  We cannot provide cash for research volunteer payments.

7. I am in financial hardship as a result of the current coronavirus outbreak. Am I eligible for financial assistance?

If you are having financial difficulties, please contact Student Support – student.support@abdn.ac.uk.  You will be given information about the support that is available and how to apply for it.  All students are eligible to apply for financial assistance if they are in hardship as a result of the coronavirus outbreak.  The amount of support available is dependant on your individual circumstances and the evidence you provide.  The funds are limited and will be prioritised on a case by case basis.

Will I need to provide evidence?

You will need to complete an application form and provide evidence of your full financial circumstances including monthly statements for all of your bank accounts and credit cards for 3 full months.

How long will it take for money to reach me, if I am successful?

It can take up to 3 weeks but wherever possible we try to complete payments sooner than this.  You can help to make things as quick and smooth as possible by providing all of the requested documentation with your application.

Student mobility

Last updated 30 June 2020

1. I am an incoming Exchange/Study Abroad/Erasmus student. What does the removal of Level 1 and 2 assessments mean for me?

We will be working with each and every one of our partners to ensure that no student is academically or materially disadvantaged by this decision. Any student who needs a result to enable credits / courses to transfer back, or who wishes to receive a graded assessment, will be provided with assessment to enable a grade to be awarded.

2. I am a Level 2 student on Erasmus/International Exchange – do I still need to complete my assessments for my host institution?

As you are enrolled for courses at your host institution this semester, we expect you to continue to fulfil their requirements in terms of engagement and assessment.

Students who have been enrolled for courses in Aberdeen this semester are deemed to have received sufficient teaching and completed sufficient assessment for credit to be awarded on a pass/fail basis.

The University of Aberdeen is not in a position to determine whether sufficient teaching and assessment have been completed at your host institution to award credit, and therefore you should continue to fulfil their course requirements.

Should students fail to achieve the required number of credits at their host institution, extenuating circumstances will be taken into account during the credit transfer process.

3. I am due to be going on exchange in August/September 2020 - will this still be going ahead?

In light of the ongoing uncertainty around the global Covid-19 pandemic, we have taken the difficult decision to cancel our outgoing full year and fall semester international exchange programmes outside of Europe (not the Erasmus or Swiss mobility programmes) for academic year 2020/21. This decision has been taken to ensure your safety and wellbeing which is of paramount importance to us, and also due to uncertainty around visa processing and insurance coverage, imminent financial outlay, partner university cancellations and early semester start dates.

All students with planned international exchanges outside of Europe have been contacted to explain alternative options available to them.

For destinations within Europe (ie for students due to go on an Erasmus or Swiss exchange), these factors do not impact so heavily. A decision was taken in mid-July to offer students a range of options dependent on their degree programme, so that students could decide whether to continue, defer or withdraw, based on their personal circumstances. Students who have chosen to continue should go ahead with their preparations to go abroad, unless their offer is still conditional on resit results.

4. I am currently a University of Aberdeen student on exchange - should I be returning home because of the impact of coronavirus Covid-19?

While we had been advising our students to strongly consider returning home, we recognise that travel restrictions are making this increasingly difficult. We therefore recommend that students stay where they are, unless they are very confident that they will be able to reach their end destination. We make this recommendation on the basis that the ability to travel is likely to be further restricted in the coming days and weeks, and we don’t want students to be stuck in a midway location without adequate support.

Please be aware that, depending on the area our students are travelling from, they may be quarantined or have to self-isolate if they return home – so this may inform your decision as to whether to travel.

Please check the latest FCO travel advice before making arrangements.

5. I am currently a University of Aberdeen student on exchange. My host university has suspended face-to-face teaching. What does this mean for my academic studies?

The University is in close contact with all our students currently studying on exchange in other countries. We are also working with our network of partner institutions to ensure you are receiving the support you need.

While face-to-face teaching has been suspended at many universities around the world, in most cases, courses have moved online and can be done at a distance. Thereby minimising any disruption to your studies.

If your host university is not offering online courses, please inform the Go Abroad Team so that we can look at alternative ways for you to achieve your required credits.

6. I am no longer able to go on exchange for first half session or the full 2020/2021 academic year- are there alternative options?

If your international exchange has been cancelled the study abroad team will have communicated any alternative options to you via your university email address, please contact them with any questions at studyabroad@abdn.ac.uk.

If you are concerned about, or are considering cancelling, an Erasmus or Swiss Mobility please contact erasmus@abdn.ac.uk.

7. I am an Exchange/Study Abroad student coming to Aberdeen in September 2020. What is blended learning and how will this affect me?
Information and guidance regarding blended learning (along with additional information for students about the upcoming semester) can be found on our dedicated Academic Session 2020-21 page
8. What are my options if I no longer want to/are no longer able to come to Aberdeen in September?

If your home institution has cancelled your study abroad/exchange programme, or you feel that this semester is not the right time to be abroad, please contact us on studyabroad@abdn.ac.uk to discuss your options. Where relevant, we will support any student wanting to defer their place until Spring 2021.

9. Will there be any financial penalty for deferring or withdrawing from the programme?

No. If you notify us of your decision to withdraw or defer before the beginning of the semester, you will not be charged tuition fees.

10. I am due to be going on exchange or Erasmus in second semester (January 2021) - will this still be going ahead?

In light of the ongoing uncertainty around the global Covid-19 pandemic, this is still under review. We certainly hope that circumstances will enable students to participate in their exchange and Erasmus programmes, and we encourage students to move forward with their plans at this time. The Go Abroad Team intends to continue assessing the global landscape and make a final decision around October 2020 in regards to outgoing students for January 2021.

All students with a second semester offer are welcome to contact studyabroad@abdn.ac.uk or erasmus@abdn.ac.uk (as relevant) should they have questions.


Last updated 30 June 2020

1. I am an international student on a visa to study in the UK, what if I want to return to my home country or cannot return to my studies in the UK due to the coronavirus pandemic?

If you hold a Tier 4 visa and wish to return home during term-time due to Covid-19, please ensure you do the following:

  • Check it is safe to travel and you are aware of any travel restrictions issued by your home country and the UK. We recommend following the Foreign and Commonwealth Office for updates. 
  • Ensure you notify the University of your departure from the UK. If you have notified us of your return to your home country on the April 2020 online Tier 4 Visa Check form April 2020 online Tier 4 Visa Check form, you do not need to do anything further. If you have left the UK and not notified us through the April 2020 online Tier 4 Visa Check form, please contact the Tier 4 Compliance Team, stating the date you left the UK and your current address whilst outside of the UK.
  • Continue to engage fully with your learning through any online delivery and assessment arrangements your school have put into place. This is required for the University to evidence to the Home Office (UKVI) that you are actively studying from a distance.
  • Check your University email account regularly for any updates on the situation.
2. My UK visa is due to expire soon and I am unsure if I will be able to extend my visa or return to my home country. What should I do?

If you hold a visa to live, work or study in the UK and your visa is due to expire soon, we understand that you might be anxious and uncertain about the impact the Covid-19 pandemic may have on your ability to either return home before your visa expires, or apply for an extension to your visa.

If your visa expired or is due to expire between 24 January 2020 and 31 July 2020 and you were not intending to extend your leave but cannot leave the UK because of travel restrictions or self-isolation related to Covid-19, the Home Office UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will extend your visa expiry date to 31 July 2020. In order to request this extension, you must complete this form.

After you have submitted the form, the Home Office (UKVI) will email you to request that you confirm your email address, so remember to check your email inbox, including your junk folder. Once you have confirmed your email address, you should receive an email confirming the extension of your leave until 31 July 2020 within 5 working days. If you are a current and registered student, please forward this email to tier4@abdn.ac.uk so the University can update your record to reflect the extension of your leave.

If you have previously applied for the extension until 31 May 2020 and are still unable to return to your home country, your visa will be extended automatically to 31 July 2020. You do not need to resubmit the form.

If you have a valid Tier 4 visa and planned to extend your leave, for example because you are continuing your studies in the UK, you should look to apply under the normal provisions. If your visa is due to expire within the next 3 months and you are planning to extend your Tier 4 visa, please contact the International Student Advisers if you have not already done so.

For more information on this update, please visit The Home Office and UKCISA webpages, and if you have any questions, please contact our International Student Advisers.

3. Will my visa be affected if I return home?

Current guidance from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that distance learning is acceptable under Tier 4 for all students regardless of whether you have remained in the UK or returned overseas.

This arrangement is in place until 31 July 2020, by which time it will be reviewed by UKVI and subsequently extended or amended as required.

Please ensure that you continue to engage with all online teaching materials and adhere to any monitoring process that is set out to you by your school. This is a requirement of your Tier 4 visa.

You are encouraged to check The Home Office and UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) websites for any updates.

4. I am an international student on a visa to study in the UK, where can I find the latest visa information in relation to Covid-19?

We recommend that you regularly check The Home Office (UKVI) and the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA) Covid-19 webpages.

If you have any questions regarding Covid-19 and its impact on your immigration status please get in touch with the International Student Advisers by email: student.international@abdn.ac.uk

5. I am a Postgraduate Research student on a Tier 4 visa, what if I have concerns over my ability to progress with my research due to Covid-19?

If you have any concerns regarding the ability to make progress with your thesis during this time, please discuss with your supervisor whether any work at all can be done on the thesis (e.g. reading, writing, analysis, transcribing etc). The Postgraduate Research Student FAQs may give you some scenarios to help with this conversation.

If after discussing with your supervisor, you are still unable to progress with your thesis as a direct result of the Covid-19 situation, you should complete a postponement form. You can find details of this in the supervisor’s handbook. If you want to take a break from your studies for any reason other than being required to do so as a result of Covid-19, you should complete a suspension application as normal.

Current guidance from UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) states that the University can continue to sponsor your Tier 4 visa should you postpone your studies due to Covid-19.

This arrangement is in place until 31 July 2020, by which time it will be reviewed by UKVI and subsequently extended or amended as required.

6. Can I work full time on my Tier 4 visa now that face-to-face teaching and attendance on campus have been suspended?

Although on-campus teaching has been suspended, you are still engaging in your studies and in order to keep your Tier 4 visa, you cannot work more than 20 hours per week during what would normally be term-time. Please note that a week is defined by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) as “a period of 7 days beginning with a Monday”.

Undergraduate students should refer to the academic calendar for information on when Spring term is scheduled to end for your programme of study.

Postgraduate students are not allowed to work full-time during the summer. You will still be working on a dissertation or project, so the summer months are not classed as a vacation period for postgraduates. This is because although you may not be attending classes, in theory you are still studying, and your course is of 12 months duration.

Postgraduate Research students cannot work more than 20 hours per week. The only exceptions to this are during the scheduled University closure in Winter and during any period that you have requested authorised leave. Please ensure that your leave request has been authorised by your School before undertaking any additional working hours.

If you have deferred/suspended your studies due to the Coronavirus, please seek advice from the International Student Advisers regarding your working conditions during this period.

You can do most kinds of work, but you must not:

  • be self-employed
  • engage in business activity
  • be employed as a professional sportsperson including as a sports coach
  • be employed as an entertainer which includes actors, musicians, dancers and other performers
  • take a permanent full-time job
  • work as a doctor or dentist in training, unless you are on the foundation programme.

Tier 4 students employed by an NHS trust within any of the following professional roles are permitted to work without limit and can therefore work over 20 hours per week during term-time.

  • biochemist
  • biological scientist
  • dental practitioner
  • health professional
  • medical practitioner
  • medical radiographer
  • midwife
  • nurse
  • occupational therapist
  • ophthalmologist
  • paramedic
  • pharmacist
  • physiotherapist
  • podiatrist
  • psychologist
  • social worker
  • speech and language therapist
  • therapy professional

If you are employed as a key-worker in another role (e.g. supermarket worker), please note that you are not permitted to undertake over 20 hours of work per week unless you are in a scheduled vacation period (as set out above).

If you have any further queries regarding your working conditions, please email the International Student Advisers.

7. Will I still be able to stay in campus accommodation?

Yes! Please apply for accommodation as normal. We will be updating you with information on the additional safety and hygiene measures being brought in to ensure your health and wellbeing in campus accommodation as these measures are confirmed.

8. Will there be Orientation activities?

Yes, however due to ongoing social distancing measures these will be slightly different to normal. Specific details on formal Orientation activities will be released closer to your arrival in Aberdeen. The Aberdeen University Students’ Association is also working hard to ensure there will be plenty of exciting opportunities for you to engage with other students during Welcome Week and throughout the semester


Last updated 17th July 2020


1. Not all the teaching for my course has been delivered. What will happen?

Face-to-face teaching will not take place over the next 2 weeks of the term. Staff will continue to prepare teaching and learning materials for alternative online delivery. Please check your course pages on MyAberdeen.

2. I am a Postgraduate Taught student and I have a block teaching course that is due to be delivered. What will happen?

AFG will provide specific guidance about the alternative methods of teaching that will be used (e.g. recorded lectures, online tutorials). There is no planned pause in delivery this week.

3. Not all teaching for my course has been delivered yet. What happens about my assessment?

You will be assessed on the content that has been delivered by any means (face to face or by alternative means). Further details will follow on this shortly.

4. What form will alternative teaching take?

Alternative teaching may take a variety of forms. This may include a range of content in MyAberdeen including recorded lectures and other teaching resources such as texts. Tutorial sessions may be delivered using Collaborate, a tool which allows you to engage virtually in a class setting. Courses may also make use of Discussion Boards. AFG Course Coordinators will guide you as to how teaching will be delivered for your particular course.

5. What support is available to me to help me study remotely?

Guidance on studying online is available here.

6. Will I be able to access the library?

You will be able to access online resources within the Library. Guidance is available here.

7. Can I still approach academic staff for help whilst undertaking alternative methods of teaching?

You should continue to seek advice from academic staff. As teaching is no longer taking place on campus, email may be the best way to make contact. Please be aware that it may take slightly longer than usual for staff to respond to you but they will respond as soon as possible.


1. The University has decided that most Level 1 and Level 2 students will not be required to sit any further assessment (examination or any other outstanding assessment).  Which exams and assessments ARE going ahead? Am I affected?

Some courses for programmes that are accredited by Professional and Statutory Bodies (e.g. Accountancy) will be affected. AFG College will contact you directly via email by 12 noon on Friday 27 March about your situation.

2. My course is one where there will be no further assessment or examination.  What do I need to do to get credit for my course?

Nothing. You will be awarded credit without the need to take any further assessment or examination unless you received a C7 email from Registry before 28 February 2020.   

3. I received a C7 email from Registry before 28 February 2020, what happens to me?

If you received a C7 email from Registry before 28 February 2020, you will not be awarded credit.  Unless you successfully appeal the C7, you will need to achieve these credits by retaking this course or another course next year.

4. If I successfully appeal the C7 and my course is one where exams are not going ahead, what will happen?

If you successfully appeal the C7, you will be awarded credit for the course without the need to take any further assessment or examination.

5. I am enrolled as a resitting student.  How will I be treated?

AFG College will be in touch by 5pm on 31 March 2020 to advise on what assessment you will need to complete and the timeline for its completion.

6. When it comes to applying for work placements or higher degrees or employment, will I be disadvantaged when my transcript shows ‘achieved’ rather than a grade for some of my level 1 or 2 courses?

No. There will be an explanation of the situation on your transcript.  Lots of students will be impacted in this way at other universities too.

7. Why is this decision only applying to level 1 and 2 courses?

Assessments at level 3 directly inform your degree outcome and therefore it is important assessments are in place to ensure appropriate degree outcomes can be awarded.

8. Are assessments going ahead?

On campus exams will not take place.  Assessment will however take place through alternative means.

9. On campus exams have been cancelled. How will I be assessed?

Due to coronavirus restrictions, it is not possible to bring students on to campus to undertake examinations and other face to face assessments.  As a consequence, where these  kinds of assessments were in place, alternatives will be developed. AFG College, and in particular, the Provost (Russell Williams) will provide detailed information and guidance on the assessment that will be used for your course. Please wait for this information and guidance to come out.

10. What is an alternative assessment?

Alternative assessment is assessment which is used in place of in-person exams or assessments.  This may take the form of open book examinations, online assessments or forms of continuous assessment such as essays. 

11. I need to take a resit in the summer resit diet. What should I do?

At present, the resit diet is going ahead as planned. We will inform you if we need to make alternative arrangements.

12. I am a final year student and I am concerned about the impact of alternative assessment on my degree classification. Will this be taken into account?

The Examiners’ will be made fully aware of the change of assessment and will be asked to take account of this when determining your overall course marks and degree classification.

13. I am unwell and not able to take my assessments, what should I do?

Where you are unwell and unable to take your assessments, you should notify AFG through the normal absence reporting in the Student Hub. No medical evidence is required. Where this happens, you will be recorded as MC (medical Certificate) and will be able to undertake the next opportunity of assessment. Where the missed assessment is your first attempt, the next assessment will count as your first attempt.

14. Will I receive my results on time?

At present it is intended that results will be returned by the normal deadline. Should delays occur (e.g. due to staff illness), you will be advised. Where necessary, priority will be given to results for final year students.

15. Can I choose not to take the alternative assessments and instead sit my exam during the summer resit diet of exams as a first attempt?

No. Unless you are unwell or have other good cause, it will be expected that you will undertake the alternative method of assessments.

16. Will I be able to appeal my result if I am not happy with it due to the changes to teaching and alternative methods of assessment?

No. The Examiners will be informed about the change to alternative assessment and will be asked to take account of this in determining overall CGS marks for your course. Provided this is done, there would be no grounds of appeal.

17. I received an email from the University about assessment. What does this mean?

This email advised that Level 1 and Level 2 students will not be required to complete any further assessment (examination or any other outstanding assessment) for this semester. Included in the Level 1 and 2 communication was additional information was a note about Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body requirements: There are a small number of exceptions for Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body requirements (eg Law, Accountancy, Medicine and Dentistry).  Schools will be in touch with those students concerned directly to confirm the alternative assessment plans by midday on Friday 27 MarchPlease wait to hear from your School.

18. Does this apply to me as an Accounting and Finance Level 1 or 2 student?

For L1 and L2 students studying in Qatar this does not apply to you. As a Level 1 or Level 2 student in Qatar, you will not be required to complete any further semester 2 assessment (examination or any other outstanding assessment). 



1. I am an Undergraduate student, will I be able to progress to my next year if it is not possible for me to undertake my assessment, or if I fail an alternative form of assessment?

Where necessary, the credit requirements for progression to the next year of study may be revised to recognise the impact of the situation (e.g. where exceptionally it has not been possible to provide an alternative assessment for a course). Where you are unwell and unable to take an assessment, this will be taken into account as usual.

Technical Issues

1. I am unable to access MyAberdeen from home due to no internet access or no access to a suitable device or computer. What should I do?

If you are in this situation, you should contact AFG to discuss whether alternatives can be offered.

Academic Session 2020-2021

1: What social distancing plans are being made for the campus in Qatar?

The Qatar Campus is following the  University’s Principles and Priorities for Return to Campus Working. This places the health, safety and well-being of students, staff and visitors to the campus at the centre of the decisions that are being made about return. We are committed to providing a safe campus, a caring community, a nurturing environment, blended learning and a student experience.

Physical distancing measures and enhanced hygiene procedures will be in place to help protect our Qatar community. Sanitiser will be provided at entrances to buildings and key locations. There will also be additional cleaning schedules particularly of communal areas and touch points.

Our students, staff and community are our main priority. We’re adapting our teaching spaces, libraries, student spaces and cafes in line with physical distancing guidelines, so you can still enjoy campus life and the sense of community that is part of being a member of the Aberdeen Family. Importantly, we are adopting a blended learning approach . What this means is that your lectures will be online with your tutorial and seminars being reduced in size to allow for physical distancing requirements.   See the Academic Session 2020-21 page.

2: I'm at the Qatar campus and  If I need to stay at home next semester for health, travel or other reasons, do I have to contact someone specifically?

An update on what study and campus life will look like next academic year on the Qatar campus will be sent out shortly. If you need further information, or want to talk to someone about your study please contact the Student Hub:   studenthub@afg-aberdeen.edu.qa

Postgraduate Research Students

Postgraduate Research Students

Last updated 07 October 2020

Please remember to tell us where you are studying this session. Click here to update.

Return to Campus guidance

Covid-19 Requests to Return to Campus Due to Exceptional Circumstances

Policy to minimise the impact of Covid-19 on Research Degrees

1. I am a new PGR student – can I come on to campus to start my research degree?

At all times you should follow Scottish Government guidelines. At this time if you can work from home you should do so. You can start your degree programme online (in Aberdeen or at a distance). Only when it is safe to do so, and, you and your supervisor have received permission from your Head of School can you come on to campus. If you can only start your degree programme on campus, you should discuss with your supervisor in the first instance.

There are a small number of study spaces, including computer classrooms, available. Find out more.

All new PGR students can undertake the online orientation programme and online training available via the PGR School, including the mandatory training programme.

2. I'm self-isolating, do I need to provide proof?

There will be no requirement for you to provide supporting medical evidence but you must inform the University using the forms https://www.abdn.ac.uk/about/coronavirus/.

You should also report your absence to your supervisor and PGR School Administrator.

If you are on a Tier 4 visa, please contact tier4@abdn.ac.uk for guidance. If you are UKRI funded, please also contact pgrs-studentships@abdn.ac.uk.

3. I am a PGR student; can I still meet my supervisor?
You should continue to follow current Government advice for social distancing and so you should arrange to meet virtually with your supervisor using whichever means best suit you eg Microsoft Teams, Skype or by phone.
4. What if my PhD supervisor is unwell or unable to support me in the longer term?
All PGR students have at least two supervisors and you should contact your second supervisor as your main point of contact. If you cannot contact them or are unaware who they are, please contact the PGR Coordinator/Director in your school or discipline for guidance.
5. I’m an on-campus Tier 4 student unable to sign in; what should I do?
Please see immigration pages above for more information.
6. I’m worried that I have not been able to make much or any progress on my research topic at this time. What should I do.

The University recently launched the Policy to Minimise the impact of covid-19 on Research Degrees  which outlines measures we have put in place to support your research degrees and is supported by a set of Frequently Asked Questions.

Please discuss with your supervisors how you can continue to work on your research topic/thesis at this time and any impact on your PhD will be assessed once normal working practices are resumed.

7. Should I suspend my studies?

As above, there are likely to me many tasks which you can conduct off campus and, unless you are affected by caring responsibilities, physical or mental health issues or you do not have access to resources or suitable working environment.

Wherever possible, please do continue to work on your research, now is a good time to have those conversations with your supervisor(s) about how you can creatively think about your project. Will you need to shift the focus slightly? Will you need to rearrange your plan of work? If this is not possible, then I hope you will be reassured that there are measures in place to mitigate, as much as possible, any impact.

8. I cannot continue working at home because I cannot access the software I need/I do not have a suitable PC to work from/my internet is not suitable should I do?

At the current time, the Scottish Government default position remains to continue to work at home where possible.

We are aware this may be leading to ongoing IT issues with some PGR students who do not have sufficient IT requirements to effectively continue with their research at home.

If you cannot continue to progress your research due to IT and computing issues, for example, access to software on university PCs or you are using personal computing devices that are not fit for purpose, you should complete this form. This will allow us to identify an IT solution to enable you to continue working from home. If a suitable IT solution which allows you to work at home cannot be found, you should discuss with your supervisor and apply for a “Return to campus by exception” 

9. How do any delays to my PhD research affect my funding?
This will vary by funder and their particular terms and conditions, for UKRI funded students please refer to our guidance. Other funders are continuing to develop their guidance and we will update these pages accordingly.Please also refer to our Policy to Minimise the impact of covid-19 on Research Degrees for further guidance.
10. I need to travel to visit archives/ undertake a placement/research secondment – am I able to?
Any travel within the UK must be in line with local Government guidelines. For UK-based researchers who will be required to travel abroad for their research, please note the guidance published in the separate FAQs under ‘Business Travel’.
11. My research involves working with human participants – can this work (re)start?
For all (re)commencing all research involving human subjects or human tissues, contact your supervisor who will discuss with the Head of School and refer to the specific guidance on the research FAQ pages.
12. I am a PGR student undertaking lab work, what should I do?

Please refer to the return to campus pages for further information

13. I am a PGR student undertaking quantitative or qualitative fieldwork, what should I do?

It’s likely that any fieldwork in the UK is going to be difficult and should be rescheduled if possible. Any such research must be in line with Scottish Government guidelines and ALL requests to commence fieldwork must be approved by your Head of School using this form.

Please ensure you discuss this with your supervisor in the first instance. This applies also if you are applying for ethical approval. Please also refer to the research pages for specific information related to work involving the NHS and Digital Research.

14. I’m a PGR student undertaking archival research, what should I do?

If you are overseas undertaking archival research and wish to (and are able to) return to your place of usual residence, please contact your supervisor to discuss this.

If you are in the UK undertaking (or due to undertake) archival research you must refer to the Covid travel checklist and complete a coronavirus (Covid-19) risk assessment form for approval by your Head of School.

15. I’m a PGR student whose research involves recruitment of new participants to a clinical research study for face-to-face contact, what do I do?
Please refer to our research pages for specific information related to work involving the NHS and/or Human Participants
16. I’m a PGR student who has already recruited human participants to a study, what do I do?
Please refer to our research pages for specific information related to work involving the NHS and/or Human Participants
17. Can I submit my thesis electronically?

If you are submitting your thesis for examination (pre viva voce), you should submit to postgraduate@abdn.ac.uk. If you have had your viva voce  and are submitting the final version of your thesis, you should submit to cataloguing@abdn.ac.uk

In each case, your thesis must be in PDF format. If files are larger than 20MB (Outlook attachment’s size limit) then you can send them via: https://zendto.abdn.ac.uk. At this time it is not necessary to submit a soft or hard bound copy of your thesis. You may be asked to submit a hardbound copy at a later date but the PhD award will no longer be contingent on submission of a physical copy.

18. My Viva Voce is scheduled to take place soon. What should I do?

PhD viva examinations will continue as scheduled (where all parties are in agreement to do so). With immediate effect, these will be conducted by videoconference (using suitable technology eg Microsoft Teams, Skype). Your School has guidance for the conducting of viva examinations by video conference, please contact your PGR Coordinator/Director for more details and review this guidance document.

If you do not have access to IT equipment to attend your viva digitally, please discuss this with your internal examiner to agree a suitable plan.

19. I am due to complete my annual progression exercise to proceed into my next year of study, but I am unable to do so whilst I am unable to return to Aberdeen/access resources. How will my progression be affected?
You will not be disadvantaged due to your circumstances. If you are unable to undertake your progression assessment, you will be permitted to continue with your programme whilst you await completion of the assessment. You should contact your supervisor or your School Postgraduate Research Administrator to discuss the timing of the assessment.
20. How will review processes continue at this time?

Six monthly review forms will continue to be issued as normal, you should use these forms to raise and any concerns you have that are arising due to the coronavirus situation.

The Initial Skills audit will not be issued at this time. You may request an ISA if you would find this helpful in your planning.

21. Do I still need to complete the mandatory training?
You will not be required to undertake mandatory training at this time. Please be reassured that there will be no detriment to your studies.
22. I am due to commence my research degree soon but, I would like to request a delayed start date (or will I be asked to start at a later date)?
You can make a request to defer your start date, please discuss this with your School PGR Administrator.
23. I am a UKRI funded student, will I still receive my stipend?
Please see the UKRI student section.
24. What impact will there be upon my studentship in the event that I need to return home or am unable to work on my research project?
Please refer to the Policy to Minimise the impact of covid-19 on Research Degrees for further guidance.
25. I am considering applying to the University of Aberdeen to undertake a PhD. What should I do?

We would be very happy to hear from you. You can send a general enquiry to pgrs-admission@abdn.ac.uk

You will also find a number of PhD opportunities are being advertised which can be viewed here.

UKRI Funded Students

Last updated 10 April 2020
1. Will I still receive my stipend payments if I am required to self-isolate or work from home?

Yes, stipend payments will continue as normal. We would expect that where possible you will continue with your PhD research to the best of your ability from home (or where you are self-isolating from).

To maintain your supervision, we would expect communication with your supervisor via means other than face-to-face meetings, e.g. email/phone/video call. This time period will not count towards your 13 weeks of sick pay as we would expect you to continue with your research.

If your personal circumstances mean you are unable to continue with your research during home working/self-isolation, please contact pgrs-studentships@abdn.ac.uk.

2. I am funded by one of the Research Councils and I am off sick, will I continue to receive my stipend?

As per the standard sickness policy, you will continue to receive your stipend for up to 13 weeks of illness within a 12-month period.

Normally, a period of sickness should be medically certified, however, we are aware that the government advice is not to attend your doctor surgery if you have, or suspect you have Covid-19. Studentships will be extended to cover the period of absence, up to 13 weeks.

3. Do I need to inform the University that I am ill with Covid-19?
You must inform us via pgrs-studentships@abdn.ac.uk when you are off with any sickness so that it can be recorded and your stipend payments and required submission date can be extended to cover the time lost.
4. What should I do when my supervisor is self-isolating or working from home?

If your supervisor is working from home you should continue working with your supervisor via email/phone or video call.

If your supervisor is off sick, please seek supervision from your second supervisor. If this is not possible, please contact your School PGR Director.

5. What should I do if self-isolating or working from home and will prevent me from submitting within the funded period?

Extensions will be considered on a case by case basis, please contact pgrs-studentships@abdn.ac.uk. Examples (not exhaustive) of when an extension may need to be applied include:

  • A significant period of self-isolation (we do not define significant as this is likely to be proportional to the time left in the funded period)
  • Postponement of critical activities where alternatives aren’t available. Examples could include: experiments due to take place at a national/international facility which will delay the research for a significant amount of time; access to critical archives being unavailable for a significant period
6. What should I do if I am currently aboard and undertaking Overseas Fieldwork (OFW), Overseas Institutional Visit (OIV), Difficult Language Training, or attending an international conference/training ever (or similar)?
Ensure that you follow the official travel advice provided by the Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), the country you are visiting and the University.
7. I am in my final year and my studies have been disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic, will I receive a funded extension?

UKRI-funded doctoral students in their final year of study whose funded period ends between 1 March 2020 and 31 March 2021 are eligible for an additional six months funded extension. For the avoidance of doubt, this does not include students who were writing up on 1 March 2020 after their studentship stipend has ended.

For funded students whose end date is after 31st March 2021, UKRI has committed to reviewing the situation later this year. Further details are available in the UKRI FAQ document for PhD Students.