The University continues to monitor advice regarding the coronavirus (Covid-19) outbreak. The advice is changing quickly, and the University’s updates can also be found on these pages along with links to information from other sources.

A list of frequently asked questions is available below. If you have any concerns or questions not covered in the FAQs below, please email coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Last updated Wednesday 01 July

General information

Last updated 20 March 2020

1. Where can I get the most up-to-date Health advice?

For the latest information for the public on the outbreak of coronavirus, please visit the government website.

For information on how to help prevent the spread of coronavirus and other questions use the NHS information and Health Protection Scotland.

2. Where can I get the most up-to-date Travel Advice?

All work and study related travel outside the UK should be postponed until further notice. Field trips and study visits in the UK should also be suspended. We are also strongly recommending that potential visitors to the Aberdeen campus from overseas should delay their travel at this time. Any queries related to this should be directed to coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk.

Those planning to travel outside the UK for personal reasons should follow latest Foreign and Commonwealth Office advice for your destination and for any country you will be transiting through. You should be aware that severe travel restrictions are being increasingly introduced around the world, and if you decide to travel there is a risk that you may find it difficult to return to the UK.

3. Who should I contact if I have any further concerns?
If you are worried and can't find the answer to your questions in our FAQs, please email coronavirus@abdn.ac.uk
Travel

Last updated 27 March 2020

All work and study related travel should be postponed until further notice. The University campuses are no longer open for visitors, and the large majority of staff are now working remotely, in line with Government advice. Potential visitors should therefore not travel to the University of Aberdeen.  

The UK government is recommending against all but essential travel outside the UK. It is important that everyone follows UK Government advice, for work but also personal travel. For the latest advice, go to the Foreign and Commonwealth Office.

1. What are the current travel restrictions to and from the UK?

Travel from the UK: The UK government is advising against all non-essential travel for British people worldwide. This advice took effect immediately on the 17th of March and applies initially for a period of 30 days.                                                                                   

Travel to the UK: Anyone wishing to travel to the UK should ensure they are aware of the travel advice from their home country BEFORE booking and/or embarking on travel. The Covid-19 pandemic has lead to unprecedented international border closures and other restrictions. All countries may restrict travel without notice. It is important to note that the UK Government has put in place significant restrictions across the UK and therefore travel is strongly advised against.

2. I am a University of Aberdeen student and I'm due to be taking part in an outgoing summer school - will this be going ahead?

Unfortunately the University, working with our partners across the world, has made the decision to cancel the outgoing summer schools due to take place over the Summer of 2020. The Go Abroad team will contact impacted students directly. 

3. I have work related travel booked - will costs be covered if I decide not to go?

The University’s insurance policy does not cover costs if the insured person decides not to travel prior to the commencement of the trip, or if already on a trip decides not to continue, UNLESS this decision is made as a result of the FCO advising against all or all but essential travel AND the advice had not been given before the trip was booked.

If you need to claim for any costs already incurred, you can request a claim form by e-mailing insurance@abdn.ac.uk.

4. Can I book for future travel?
As the University has now advised that all work and study related travel outside the UK should be postponed until further notice, and field trips and study visits in the UK should be suspended, you should not book travel for future dates.
Academic Session 2020/2021

Last updated 1 June 2020

The latest information and guidance for current and prospective students is available on our dedicated Academic Session 2020/2021 page.

Study and Teaching - Session 2019/2020

Last updated 7 May 2020

Teaching

1. What form will alternative teaching take?

Alternative teaching may take a variety of forms. This may include a range of content in MyAberdeen included recorded lectures. Tutorial sessions may be delivered using Collaborate, a tool which allows you to engage virtually in a class setting.

Guidance on studying online is available here. Your School(s) or course coordinator will guide you as to how teaching will be delivered for your particular course.

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

We expect to be able to deliver all of the remaining teaching using alternative methods. You will only be assessed on the content that has been delivered, this includes content delivered by face to face or by online teaching.

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

Your School will provide specific guidance about the alternative methods of teaching that may be used, such as recorded lectures and online tutorials that will be used where possible.

4. My course / programme involves work placements / field trips. What will happen?

All taught fieldwork is cancelled or postponed at present. Where the fieldwork is an essential part of your course or programme alternative arrangements will be made. Alternatives may include changes to the fieldwork or rescheduling to a later date. Your progress to the next year of study will not be affected. Your School will be in touch to update you. 

5. I am due to complete a lab-based/fieldwork-based project. How will this be done if I cannot work in the lab/field?

Should you be unable to complete a lab-based or fieldwork based project, you will be offered a desk-based alternative. This may take a number of forms including a literature review, systematic review or data analysis. Your School will advise you of the alternative project options.

6. I am due to go on placement (excl.school). What will happen?

As all face-to-face teaching has ceased, your placements will not go ahead as planned. Your School will be in touch with you to advise on the arrangements that will apply to you.

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. Schools will let you know how best to communicate with staff.

Please be aware that it may take slightly longer than usual for staff to respond.

8. I am an online student. Will this change affect me?

As a current online student, the University’s shift of on-campus teaching to online should not directly affect you.

However, we know that Coronavirus is impacting our online students in a range of ways. You may now be trying to study while having to adjust to working from home, home schooling your children, caring for loved ones, or encountering more day-to-day anxiety or financial worries.

If you are struggling in any way, 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 receive a refund for missed teaching?

No. Teaching has transitioned to online and alternative means so no teaching should be missed.

10. Can I come on to campus to collect my stuff?

No. Campus is now closed.

Assessment for students at all study levels

1. What is the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on May examinations and the July Resit diet?

On campus exams will not take place.  Assessment at levels 1 and 2 for students studying professionally accredited programmes and for all Level 3, 4 and 5 students (including postgraduate taught (PGTs)) and online learning students will however take place through alternative means. Schools will be in touch with you directly.

For clarity, the majority of alternative assessment in lieu of on campus May exams will all have taken place by the end of May 2020. Schools will be in touch with you directly with details about what form this will take and when it will take place.

Alternative assessment in lieu of on campus July resit exams will be made available by your School at some point during July.  Schools will be in touch with you directly with details about what form this will take and when it will take place.

2. How do I know if I am taking a course at level 1/2/3/4 or 5? 

Courses begin with a two-letter prefix or subject code (i.e. HI or EC) followed by 4 digits e.g. 15xx or 45xx. The first digit signifies level of study, the ‘5’ signifies it’s a 2nd half session course. E.g., HI1501 is a level 1 course in the 2nd half session, EC4501 is a level 4 course in the 2nd half session. If you are in your first or second year of study (unless you are registered for the MBChB or BDS), you will be studying courses at levels 1 or 2. PGT students will usually study level 5 courses. In a very small number of cases, you may be taking a level 1,2 or 3 course in a later year of study.

3. How do I know if I am taking a professionally accredited course at level 1 or 2?

You are probably taking a programme that is accredited by Professional and Statutory Bodies if you are studying Law, Education, Biological Sciences, Engineering, Accountancy, Education, Medicine and Dentistry. Not all professional bodies will require students to complete L1 or L2 exam or alternative assessments for second half session courses. Your School should have been in contact you directly via email about your situation if you need to take further assessments. If you have not heard from your School please contact your School Office.
 

Level 1 and 2 Assessments

1. I am a Level 1 or 2 student who has to take alternative assessments for professionally accredited purposes. Will the No Detriment procedures apply to me too?

Yes, where appropriate, and if permitted by the professional body accrediting your programme, the following will all apply to you during the period affected by Covid-19 (16 March to the end of the 2019/20 academic year):

  • Increased flexibility in the setting of alternative assessments;
  • Appropriate extensions for the submission of outstanding work;
  • No requirement for evidence to be submitted for the award of MC or GC;
  • Automatic consideration by the SPC where a student fails to meet the requirements for progression

2. I am a Level 1 or 2 student who has to take alternative assessments for resit purposes or as a first sitting because of mitigating circumstances from last half session or last academic year. Will the No Detriment procedures apply to me too?

Yes, where appropriate the following will all apply to you during the period affected by Covid-19 (16 March to the end of the 2019/20 academic year):

  • Increased flexibility in the setting of alternative assessments;
  • Appropriate extensions for the submission of outstanding work;
  • No requirement for evidence to be submitted for the award of MC or GC;
  • Automatic consideration by the SPC where a student fails to meet the requirements for progression

3. 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. Law, Education, Biological Sciences, Accountancy, Education, Medicine and Dentistry) will be affected. Your School should have been in contact you directly via email about your situation. If you have not heard from your School please contact your School Office.

4. Should I complete any outstanding pieces of assessment?

You can receive the credit without undertaking the remaining assessment, provided the course you are taking is not professionally accredited. You may, however, wish to submit outstanding coursework for feedback to ensure you progress to the next year of your studies with as much information as to your understanding of the course as possible. You will not, however, receive a grade for the assessment or an overall course grade.

5. I have failed a piece of assessment that forms part of a second half session course. Do I need to resubmit?

No. You will be awarded credit for the course without the need to take any further assessment or examination, provided it has not been categorised as professionally accredited course.

6. My course is one where there will be no further assessment or examination.  What do I need to do to get credit for my L1 or 2 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.   

7. Will I receive a grade for my level 1 or 2 course(s) and will it appear on my transcript?

No. You will not receive an overall mark or a grade (unless on some professional programmes/courses), but the University will record that you have passed your level 1 or 2 course(s) on your student record. You will be considered to have achieved these courses. This will be recorded on your transcript as the credit associated with the course having been achieved, but with no grade listed.

8. 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.

9. 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. This is because the C7 means you have lost your class certificate for this course because you had not sufficiently engaged with the course prior to 28 February and therefore it was considered that you are unable to achieve the learning outcomes. Unless you successfully appeal the C7, you will need to achieve these credits by retaking this course (if it is compulsory for your degree programme) or another course (if this was one of your optional courses) next year.

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

Information on how to appeal a C7 is available here.

10. Will all level 1 and level 2 students progress to next academic year automatically?

No. Some students may already be in a position where they are carrying too many failed credits from last academic year or the first half session in order to progress. If you are in this position your School will contact you by the end of April 2020 to offer you resit assessments and to advise of the format and timeline for completion.

11. I have failed L1 or L2 courses outstanding that I intended to, or have registered to, resit during the May or summer resit exam diets. Do I still have to take these?

Yes, you will still be required to take resits which are outstanding from the first half session or the last academic year in order to make up your outstanding credit.

  • If you have already applied to take a resit then alternative assessment will be offered during either the May or July assessment periods depending on the date you specified in your application.  Your School will be in touch with more information about the format and timing of the resit assessment and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.
  • If you have not yet applied to resit then the next opportunity for you undertake a resit will be in the July 2020 assessment diet. Details of how to apply, the deadline for applications, and associated fees (where applicable) are available from our Reassessment webpages. Once your application has been received and processed your School will be in will be in touch with more information about the format and timing of the resit assessment and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course

12. I have an MC/GC for an L1 or L2 course taken last academic year or in the first half session of this year and had planned to do this exam as a first sitting in the May or summer resit diet. Will I still need to?

Yes, you will still be required to make up your outstanding credit from the first half session or the last academic year. Alternative assessment will be put in place and your School will be in touch by end of April with more information about what form this will take and when it will take place.

  • If you have already applied to re-take the assessment for the courses for which you have a MC/GC this summer then alternative assessment will be offered  during either the May or July assessment periods depending on the date you specified in your application.  Your School will be in will be in touch by end of April with more information about what form this will take and when it will take place and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.
  • If you have not yet applied then the next opportunity for you undertake a resit will be in the July 2020 assessment diet. Details of how to apply, the deadline for applications, and associated fees (where applicable) are available from our Reassessment webpages. Once your application has been received and processed your School will be in will be in touch with more information about the format and timing of the resit assessment and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.

13. I am a level 1 or 2 student taking professionally accredited assessments in May. If I fail an alternative assessment will I have the opportunity to resit it before the next academic year? 

Yes. If you require a Summer 2020 reassessment opportunity following a first attempt assessment during May 2020, you should email exams@abdn.ac.uk to request registration for reassessment.

Please provide your Student ID number (e.g. 58194252), full name, Course Code (e.g. LS3545) and title of the course. There will be no reassessment fees due following a first attempt during the May 2020 assessment period.

14. I’m taking a course for which assessment will continue because it forms part of an accredited programme. I am not, however, registered for the accredited programme. Do I need to take the assessment?  

No. You can receive the credit without undertaking the remaining assessment. However, please be aware that choosing to accept credit rather than completing the assessment will result in you not being eligible to transfer to an accredited programme at a later date.

15. I have heard that some year 1 and 2 exams are still running in the Business School. Do I need to sit the exam for my course?

A small number of courses in years 1 and 2 are offering exams for accountancy accreditation purposes. A list of these is provided below. You only need to sit the exam if you think you might do chartered accountancy training with the Institute of Chartered Accountants of Scotland (ICAS) after your degree. If you do not sit the exams now, it does not mean that you cannot train with ICAS, but you will be required to sit the ICAS exams at that point instead. Other professional accountancy bodies such as ICAEW, ACCA and CIMA do not currently accredit our programme so if you plan to train with any of them you do not need to sit the exams.

Courses requiring an exam for Accountancy Accreditation

Level 1 Courses

  • AC1011 Accounting and Accountability
  • AC1515 Accounting and Entrepreneurship
  • EC1006 Economics for Business and Society
  • EC1506 The Global Economy
  • FI1004 Finance 1: Finance, Risk and Investment

Level 2 courses

  • AC2031 Management Accounting 2
  • AC2530 Financial Accounting 2
  • FI2004 Finance 2: Business Finance
  • FI2501 Financial Markets and Regulation
  • LS2533 Business Law

16. I am a level 1 or 2 student in the School of Biological Sciences – do I have to complete my outstanding coursework and take final exams?

Yes, if you are registered for an accredited programme. The programmes affected are:

Animal Behaviour, Behavioural Biology, Biological Sciences (BSc), Biology, Conservation Biology, Ecology, Environmental Science, Marine Biology, Plant and Soil Science, and Zoology.

Please look for correspondence from the School for details of how the assessments will be adapted for the circumstances.

17. I am a level 1 or 2 student in the School of Biological Sciences –I am scheduled to complete an online level 2 virtual field course this year but it hasn’t started yet.  Do I still need to do this field course and the assessment associated with it?

This is relevant for EV2802 and BI25F6.  If you would like to receive the credits for this field course this academic year, then yes, you must do the field course and the associated assessments.  The virtual field courses have been constructed to allow flexibility in terms of when they are completed.  However, if you would prefer not to do the field course this year, you will be allowed to progress into your next year of study and will be given the opportunity to take an equivalent field course next year.  It may mean that you are carrying forward a credit shortfall.  Please contact your School to confirm your status in regard to credits and progression.

18. I am a level 1 or 2 student in the School of Biological Sciences – I am a level 3 or a level 4 student enrolled in a level 2 field course and would like to achieve these credits in this academic year.  Do I need to complete the assessments for this field course?

Yes, if you would like to achieve credits for this field course you will need to fully engage with the course and pass the assessment.

19. I am an MA Education student. Does this decision apply to me?

If you are an MA Education student studying to become a teacher, your assessments will continue. The continuation of assessment is to support you by ensuring that you meet the requirements to become a teacher. The MA Education is professionally regulated and accredited by the General Teaching Council for Scotland. Unlike non-professional programmes, the assessments are required, being a part of the accredited programme design, in order to demonstrate the achievement of the professional teaching standard.

20. I am a BA Childhood Practice student. Does this decision apply to me?

If you are a BA Childhood Practice student studying to become an Early Learning and Childcare (ELC) professional, your assessments will continue. The continuation of assessment is to support you by ensuring that you meet the requirements to become an ELC professional. The BA Childhood Practice is professionally regulated and accredited by the Scottish Social Services Council (SSSC). Unlike non-professional programmes, the assessments are required, being a part of the accredited programme design, in order to demonstrate the achievement of the professional Standard for Childhood Practice.

Students who must take alternative May or resit assessments

1. What form might an alternative assessment take?

Unless it is unavoidable, May exams will be replaced with an alternative assessment delivered remotely (normally via MyAberdeen) over a longer timescale (48 hours or more). If not via MyAberdeen your School will provide further details.

2. Will I be permitted to use the textbooks or materials I have been studying with during the assessments?

For most alternative assessments you may use the text or material you have been studying. In most cases, these assessments will be made available for you to complete within at least a 48 -hour period (you do not need to spend 48 hours working on your answer!) An assessment will typically take approximately the same length of time as the original to complete; the extra time allows all students to complete comfortably, including where they normally receive additional time to complete an exam as a reasonable adjustment. The 48-hour period applies no matter your personal circumstances or which time zone you are in.

However, please note, any work you submit:

  • Must be written in your own words (i.e. not plagiarised, not copied and pasted from other sources such as course materials, textbooks or internet sources).  Essay or short answer-type assignments will be submitted through Turnitin plagiarism detection software.
  • Must not have been prepared in collaboration with others (collusion)
  • Must be prepared by you and not by a third party (contract cheating)

Where possible, Schools will ensure all alternative assessments (that are text based) will be checked by Turnitin software to monitor for plagiarism and collusion.

3. Will assessments be timed?

Students will be expected to complete the majority of assessments in a specified time period (minimum 48-hours) in your own time.  Some students may have assessments that must be completed in a specified period in your own time but with a fixed duration e.g. 3 hours. The duration will begin from the point at which a student begins their examination.

4. I’m in a different time-zone – will the alternative assessments make allowances for this?

Unless it is unavoidable, all alternative assessments will be offered in a minimum 48-hour period. This will allow you to complete the exams at a suitable time, wherever you may be. The 48-hour period exists to allow all students to engage with the assessment no matter in which time zone you are living.

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

If you are unwell and unable to take your assessments, you should notify your School through the normal absence reporting in Student Hub. No medical evidence is required. Where this happens, you will be recorded as MC (Medical Certificate) or GC (Good Cause) and will be eligible to undertake the next opportunity of assessment. Where the missed assessment is your first attempt, the next assessment will count as your first attempt. It is important that you are aware that, if you are in your final year of study, this may impact on your graduation date.

If you require a Summer 2020 reassessment opportunity following an unsuccessful first attempt assessment during May 2020, you should email exams@abdn.ac.uk to request registration. Please provide your Student ID number (eg. 58194252), full name, Course Code (eg. LS3545) and title of the course. There will be no reassessment fees due following a first attempt during the May 2020 assessment period.

6. Will I receive my results on time?

Given the changes in assessment periods, we have amended our dates for Schools to return grades. We will publish revised dates as soon as possible.

7. How are examination marks reviewed and scrutinised?

We will mark and moderate assessments and ensure review by our External Examiners as per normal University of Aberdeen procedures and as detailed in our Academic Quality Handbook. All results will be scrutinised at the level of each course and of each individual student at the University’s Examiners Meetings.

8. I am better at exams than coursework and deliberately chose courses that had a large exam component. Will you take this into account?

No. We know that some students choose their courses depending on the type of assessment. However, we work with detailed guidelines on the equivalencies between different forms of in-course assessment and exams. The Examiners considers all student performance across courses at the end of each year and will consider all of your grades for all of your assessments in the light of these exceptional circumstances, including changes to assessment format.

9. 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.

10. I do not have the appropriate IT equipment or a suitable internet connection to complete alternative assessments online/remotely. What can I do?

We understand that there may be circumstances where you have difficulty completing assessment remotely due to having limited access to a laptop, PC or broadband. If this is the case please advise your School as soon as possible specifying exactly what the issue is and we will do our best to support you.

11. I’m a level 1 or 2 student. When will I receive my overall course grades for second half session courses?

The deadline for the return of all level 1 and 2 course results is 12 June 2020.

12. I’m a level 3, 4 or 5 student. When will I receive my overall course grades for second half session courses?

The deadline for the return of all level 3, 4 and 5 course results is 19 June 2020.

13. I need to take a resit during the summer. How do I apply to do this?

Students who require a Summer 2020 reassessment opportunity following a first attempt assessment over May 2020 should email exams@abdn.ac.uk to request registration for reassessment. Please provide your Student ID number (eg. 58194252), Full name, Course Code (eg. LS3545) and Title of the course. There will be no reassessment fees due following a first attempt during the May 2020 assessment period.

Students who require a Summer 2020 reassessment opportunity from December 2019 or from the previous academic year (December 2018 or May 2019) should apply via the Online Store as normal. Reassessment fees will apply.

Students with medical or extenuating circumstances can apply before the Reassessment Application Deadline by downloading the Reassessment Application form and emailing it to exams@abdn.ac.uk.

The Reassessment Application Deadline is 28 June 2020.

14. When will the summer resit diet take place?

The summer resit diet will take place between 6 and 31 July 2020.

15. When will I receive my overall course grades following the resit diet?

The deadline for the return of all resit course results is 31 August 2020.

Level 3, 4 and 5 Assessments (Including Postgraduate Taught)

1. Were students consulted in the development of the No Detriment Procedures?

AUSA (Aberdeen University Students’ Association) was consulted at all stages of the development of the No Detriment Procedures and engaged with the AUSA Education Committee as part of the consultation. AUSA’s input was helpful in informing the work that enabled us to finalise the procedures and the communications.

2. What period do the No Detriment Procedures apply to?

The University ceased face to face teaching on the 13 March 2020 and therefore the No Detriment procedures apply to the period between 16 March 2020 and the end of the 2019/20 academic year, referred to as the context, period or impact of Covid-19.

3. I am a L3/4/5 student. Will No Detriment apply to me?

Yes. The University ‘s principle during these challenging times is No Detriment, No Exception. We have a range of different measures which will support different students in different circumstances in different ways. Assessment that you undertake during the impact of Covid-19 will not have a detrimental impact on your degree classification or PGT Award when you graduate.

4. I am a final year UG or PGT student. If I underperform in my courses during the impact of Covid-19 will my degree classification be affected?

No. Assessment that you undertake during the period of Covid-19 will not have a detrimental impact on your degree classification or PGT Award.

5. I am in an Honours year but am not due to graduate this year. If I underperform in my courses during the impact of Covid-19, will my degree classification be affected in the future?

No. Assessment that you undertake during the period of Covid-19 will not have a detrimental impact on your final degree classification or PGT Award.

Our no detriment procedures enable us to support you to progress with your studies within normal timescales by, where possible, extending or relaxing our existing policies and procedures.

6. If I underperform in my assessments during the impact of Covid-19 will I still be able to progress to the next stage of my degree?

Our no detriment procedures enable us to support you to progress with your studies within normal timescales by, where possible, extending or relaxing our existing policies and procedures.

If you fail to achieve a pass grade for a course or courses in May, you will be eligible to resit at the next available opportunity (likely in July). Usually, resit grades for students resitting courses at level 3 or above are capped at CGS D3 for degree classification purposes but for those resitting as a result of Covid-19 they will not be capped and the mark you achieve will be used in GPA calculations.

Should you fail the resit and not have enough credits to progress you will automatically be considered by the Students’ Progress Committee (SPC). The SPC will consider your grades across all courses to determine the appropriateness of progression to the next programme year despite a shortfall of credits or despite not having achieved a pass in a course compulsory for your degree programme.

Crucially, even if your progression is delayed, which we hope will not be the case, assessment that you undertake during the impact of Covid-19 will not have a detrimental impact on your final degree classification or PGT Award.

7. I am a final year Medical Science student who does not have any grades from the first term as all my exams are in May. How can the no detriment procedures apply to me?

The School has done extensive analysis of grades achieved by their students in level 3 and the corresponding degree classification achieved. Although level 3 grades are not currently used to calculate degree class, they give a very good indication of future performance in level 4 and the degree class you are likely to achieve. In addition, ranking of the class from level 3 grades mirrors the final ranking of degree classification so if any student’s performance drops as a result of the impact of Covid-19, this will be apparent and will be taken into consideration at Examiners’ Meetings. If you feel that your performance has been affected you should contact the School, either before the alternative assessments or within seven days of the assessment, through the absence reporting in the Student Hub. No medical evidence will be required and the School will work with you to arrange alternative times and dates for reassessment.

8. I am an intercalating medical student. How can the no detriment procedures apply to me?

The School already has processes in place to map the level of achievement of intercalating medical students in the third year of the medical programme to the corresponding achievement of medical science students in the third year of the medical science programme.  This is done so that intercalating medical students can be appropriately ranked for allocation of the final project. Similar mechanisms will be used to identify whether any intercalating medical student has underperformed during the period of Covid-19 and will then be taken into consideration at the examiners’ meeting.  If you feel that your performance has been affected you should contact the School, either before the alternative assessments or within seven days of the assessment through the absence reporting in the Student Hub. No medical evidence will be required and the School will work with you to arrange alternative times and dates for reassessment.

9. Why are Level 3, 4 and 5 students still required to sit any further assessment (examination or any other outstanding assessment)?

Assessments and overall course outcomes at levels 3, 4 and 5 directly inform your degree outcome. It is therefore important that the University continues to put appropriate assessments in place to ensure you can achieve an overall mark and consequently an appropriate degree outcome. Assessment will, however, allow as much flexibility as possible so that you have the opportunity to complete assessment, even in these difficult circumstances. Schools are currently working on the development of alternative assessment and will be in touch soon.

10. I am a Level 3, 4 or 5 student taking courses at Levels 1 and/or 2 this half session. Am I required to sit any further assessment (examination or any other outstanding assessment)?

No. If you are at Levels 3, 4 or 5 registered for Level 1 or 2 courses this half session you will not be required to take any further assessments for these courses, provided they are not professionally accredited. Students will be awarded credit without the need to take any further action.

11. I am a Level 3, 4 or 5 student who is carrying a fail for a course at Levels 1 and/or 2. Do I still need to take a resit?

Yes. If you have a shortfall of credits and are not taking additional courses this year to make up the credit shortfall, you will be required to undertake resits for Level 1 or 2 courses. Level 1 and 2 resits are not capped.

  • If you have already applied to re-take the assessment for the courses for which you have a MC/GC this summer then alternative assessment will be offered  during either the May or July assessment periods depending on the date you specified in your application.  Your School will be in will be in touch by end of April with more information about what form this will take and when it will take place and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.
  • If you have not yet applied then the next opportunity for you undertake a resit will be in the July 2020 assessment diet. Details of how to apply, the deadline for applications, and associated fees (where applicable) are available from our Reassessment webpages. Once your application has been received and processed your School will be in will be in touch with more information about the format and timing of the resit assessment and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.

12. I am worried and struggling to deal with the impact of Covid-19 and don’t feel I can perform at my best. Can I defer my studies?

We understand you might be worried about coronavirus and that you might feel it difficult or stressful to study.

We recommend that, wherever possible and appropriate, you continue with your studies, and would encourage you to note the range of flexible approaches we have put in place to help you continue with your studies, without detriment, in this unprecedented time.  However, if your circumstances are such that it is not possible for you to undertake assessment prior to the start of the new academic year, your circumstances will be reviewed individually to determine how best we can support you.

It is possible to take a break and withdraw from studies until the Covid-19 situation has settled down. Please note however this will lead to an increase in the time it takes to complete your degree studies and may have an impact on how your degree is funded. Your Registry Officer  can offer advice if you would like to discuss withdrawing from studies.

Please remember that if you are feeling overwhelmed you can contact our student support team.

13. I am a Level 3, 4 or 5 student and am unwell. Will l be required to take required assessment (or examination)?

If you are unable to take your assessment(s) as a consequence of ill health, you must notify your School through the normal absence reporting in Student Hub. No medical evidence is required. Where it is not possible to inform the School within the usual timescales, students should contact the appropriate School Office directly, as soon as possible. Where this happens, you will be recorded as having an MC (Medical Certificate) or GC (Good Cause) for the course(s) concerned and will be eligible to undertake the required assessment at the next available opportunity. It is important that you are aware that this may impact on your graduation date or your ability to progress with your studies although our No Detriment procedures may help to mitigate the impact on students seeking to progress to the next year of study.

14. I am Level 3, 4 or 5 student and have extenuating circumstances. Will I be required to take assessment (or examination)?

If you are unable to take your assessment as a consequence of extenuating circumstances (e.g. bereavement, family illness or you are classed as a critical worker) you must notify your School through the absence reporting in the Student Hub and no evidence will be required. Where it is not possible to inform the School within the usual timescales, students should contact the appropriate School Office directly, as soon as possible. Where extenuating circumstances are reported, students will be recorded as having a GC (Good Cause) for the course(s) concerned and will be eligible to undertake the required assessment as a first attempt at the next available opportunity. It is important that you are aware that this may impact on your graduation date or your ability to progress with your studies. although our No Detriment procedures may help to mitigate the impact on students seeking to progress to the next year of study.

15. I do not have the appropriate IT equipment or a suitable internet connection to complete alternative assessments online/remotely. What can I do?

We understand that there may be circumstances where you have difficulty completing assessment remotely due to having limited access to a laptop, PC or broadband. If this is the case please advise your School as soon as possible in case there is something we can do to support you to complete your assessment.

If, however, you are unable to take your assessment as a consequence of IT or related extenuating circumstances please report this to your School by specifying exactly what the issue is via the Circumstances Box through the absence reporting in the Student Hub.

16. Has there been any change to plans for submission deadlines or processes for dissertations?

Final year undergraduate students who are required to submit a dissertation should still complete and submit their dissertations. Your School will be in touch to advise you if the deadlines for submission have changed.

Postgraduate taught students are still expected to prepare for the dissertation phase of their studies. We recognise that for some of you it may be necessary to change the focus of your dissertation and your School will be ready to support you with that.

17. I am a Level 3, 4 or 5 student with outstanding coursework, but I will be unable to meet the advertised submission deadline. Can I request an extension?

If you are unable to meet published deadlines, please contact your School directly to explain your circumstances and request an individual extension.

18. If my performance during the period of Covid-19 examinations/alternative assessments has been adversely impacted and my grades are not as high as they have been previously will No Detriment procedures change my grades to a higher grade?

No. All assessments will be marked and grades returned in accordance with previously published assessment criteria (or equivalent criteria to reflect new assessment formats) and our normal moderation and marking policies. This is important in ensuring we uphold the standard of our degrees. Your transcript will detail the actual grade that you achieved for each course and will contain a note to indicate which of the courses on your transcript were assessed during Covid-19.

However, our No Detriment procedures enable us to support you to complete or progress with your studies within normal timescales by, where possible, extending or relaxing our existing policies and procedures. Crucially, assessment undertaken during Covid-19 will not have a detrimental impact upon undergraduate degree classification or postgraduate taught degree award, for any student.

19. I am a Level 3, 4 or 5 student. How many credits do I need to graduate?

This depends on the degree for which you are registered. Further details on the credit totals required for graduation are available within the Minimum Credit Requirements for Awards.

20. I am a Level 3 or 4 student. How many credits do I need to progress to the next programme year?

In order to progress to the next year of your degree programme, you must achieve a minimum number of credits. Detailed information on the number you will need can be found in the General Regulations for First Degrees (regulation 16 applies). In summary:

  • from programme year 3 of a non-honours degree to programme year 4 of an Honours degree programme:  you need to have achieved at least 330 credit points by the end of level 3, including any level 1 or 2 credits you were carrying when you entered programme year 3 [including those required to enter programme year 4 for the degree programme for which they are currently registered].
  • within an Honours programme: at least 330 credit points by the end of level 3 [including those required to enter programme year 4 for the degree programme for which they are currently registered].

In addition students must also satisfy any further requirements governing progression between programme years as may be prescribed in the Supplementary Regulations governing award of the degree programme for which they are registered.

If you have any queries in regard to your progress please contact your Registry Officer in the first instance.

21. What is a borderline candidate?

Degree award is determined by the calculation of an aggregate Grade Point Average (GPA). Details of the GPA bands associated with each honours degree classification and PGT award are provided below. If you are a borderline candidate you will have achieved one particular classification but your GPA is nearing the level required for a higher classification. As such, all borderline candidates will be considered in detail at the examiners meeting to see whether their overall performance suggests that a higher classification be awarded.

 

Grade Point Average

Undergraduate

Degree Classification

Postgraduate Award

18.0-22.0

First Class

MSc with Distinction

greater than 17.0, less than 18.0

Borderline 2.1/1st

MSc Commendation Borderline Distinction

15.0 – 17.0

Upper Second Class

MSc with Commendation

greater than 14.0, less than 15.0

Borderline 2.2/2.1

MSc Borderline Commendation

12.0 – 14.0

Lower Second Class

MSc

greater than 11.0, less than 12.0

Borderline 3rd/2.2

MSc

9.0 – 11.0

Third Class

MSc

greater than 8.0, less than 9.0

Borderline Fail/3rd

Borderline Fail/MSc

0 – 8.0

Fail

Fail

 

22. What happens if my performance during the May Assessment diet has been adversely impacted by Covid-19 but I am not classed as a Borderline Candidate? How will No Detriment apply to me?

Exams Officers for each School will look at the overall grade profile (i.e. look at all your course results together) of each final year undergraduate student and PGT student before the examiners’ meeting. Any student whose grade profile indicates a negative impact of Covid-19 will be presented for the examiners to consider at their meeting in addition to borderline students. 

23. What is the Students’ Progress Committee and how will it decide if I am allowed to progress to the next academic year?

The Students’ Progress Committee (SPC) considers the cases of individual undergraduate students who do not have enough credits to allow them to satisfy the minimum requirements to progress to the next year of study.

The SPC will consider each student on an individual basis. It will scrutinise all of your course results and performance as a whole across your studies to date and assess whether the extraordinary circumstances in which you have undertaken assessments this year have had an impact on your grade profile and performance. The SPC will then make a judgement as to whether it is possible for you to carry the shortfall of credits in addition to the normal workload you will be expected to undertake the following year. Should you be allowed to progress with an extra shortfall of credits you will be expected to make up the extra credit required at the next available opportunity.

24. I am a final year undergraduate student. How do I know if the course I have failed is eligible for compensatory credits?

Students who have achieved a Grade of E1, E2 or E3 in courses at Level 4 or above taken as part of an Honours programme may be eligible for the award of an equivalent amount of compensatory Level 1 credit to a maximum of 30 credit points.  Such compensatory credit can only be awarded where students have already achieved 90 Credit points at Level 4 and where the failed course (s) are not compulsory. Compulsory courses are courses that must be studied and passed in order for you to be awarded your degree. The Programme Specification for your degree which can be found in the University Calendar will identify all the compulsory courses for your degree.

25. I am a postgraduate taught student. Could I be eligible for compensatory credits?

In exceptional circumstances, at the recommendation of the examiners meeting, candidates with a marginal fail in up to 30 credits may be eligible for the award of 30 Level 3 credits.

This may only be considered if all of the following apply:

(a) The student must have gained passes in courses amounting to 150 credits at SCQF Level 11

(b) The student must have a GPA equivalent of at least C3

(c) The student must have either had MC or GC in their first opportunity to sit the course and marginally failed the resit or have marginally failed their first attempt at the course and had MC or GC for the resit diet. A marginal fail is called as a grade of either E1, E2, or E3.

(d) The next available opportunity for the student to resit the course is not until the next academic year following completion of the programme.

26. I have failed courses outstanding that I intended to, or have registered to, resit during the May or summer resit exam diets. Do I still have to take these?

Yes, you will still be required to take resits which are outstanding from the first half session or the last academic year in order to make up your outstanding credit.

  • If you have already applied to take a resit then alternative assessment will be offered during either the May or July assessment periods depending on the date you specified in your application.  Your School will be in will be in touch by end of April with more information about the format and timing of the resit assessment and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.
  • If you have not yet applied to resit then the next opportunity for you undertake a resit will be in the July 2020 assessment diet. Details of how to apply, the deadline for applications, and associated fees (where applicable) are available from our Reassessment webpages. Once your application has been received and processed your School will be in will be in touch with more information about the format and timing of the resit assessment and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course

27. I have an MC/GC for a course taken last academic year or in the first half session of this year and had planned to do this exam as a first sitting in the May or summer resit diet. Will I still need to?

Yes, you will still be required to make up your outstanding credit from the first half session or the last academic year. Alternative assessment will be put in place and your School will be in touch by end of April with more information about what form this will take and when it will take place.

  • If you have already applied to re-take the assessment for the courses for which you have a MC/GC this summer then alternative assessment will be offered  during either the May or July assessment periods depending on the date you specified in your application.  Your School will be in will be in touch by end of April with more information about what form this will take and when it will take place and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.
  • If you have not yet applied then the next opportunity for you undertake a resit will be in the July 2020 assessment diet. Details of how to apply, the deadline for applications, and associated fees (where applicable) are available from our Reassessment webpages. Once your application has been received and processed your School will be in will be in touch with more information about the format and timing of the resit assessment and you will be given access to the MyAberdeen site for this course.

28. What do you mean when you say reassessment marks will not be capped for students undertaking resits as a consequence of the impact of Covid-19?

Usually, resit grades for students resitting courses at level 3 or above are capped at D3 for degree classification purposes. I.e. even if you receive a grade higher than D3, a maximum of 9 (the grade associated with the D3 alphanumeric) will be used to calculate your Grade Point Average. This mark of D3 would be recorded on your degree transcript as your result for this resit.

If you are taking an examination/alternative assessment as a first attempt in May 2020 and fail, so that you subsequently have to take a resit in the alternative resit assessment period in July 2020, we will NOT cap your resit at D3 (9) and instead will use the grade you actually receive in the GPA calculation. This uncapped grade would be recorded on your degree transcript as your result for this resit.

29. I am a Level 3, 4 or 5 student taking a resit examination for a course I failed in a previous academic year or in the first half session of this academic year. Will my resit grade be capped?

Yes. As you initially failed your course before the Covid-19 outbreak and your studies in that course were not impacted by Covid-19 your resit grade WILL be capped at grade D3 for degree classification purposes.

30. I am a level 3, 4 or 5 student who received an extension for coursework, my project or dissertation with an initial deadline pre the Covid-19 period ( i.e. before 16 March 2020).  Will No Detriment apply to me for this assessment?

No. No Detriment procedures apply only to assessments that have an original deadline/assessment date that falls within the Covid-19 period only; i.e. 16 March 2020 until the end of this academic year.  

If your assessment has been impacted as a consequence of medical or extenuating circumstances (e.g. bereavement, family illness or you are classed as a critical worker) you must notify your School through the absence reporting in the Student Hub and no evidence will be required. Where it is not possible to inform the School within the usual timescales, students should contact the appropriate School Office directly, as soon as possible.

Progression and Graduation

1. What is the impact on graduations?

It is with great sadness that we have taken the decision to postpone the summer 2020 graduation ceremonies. This is not a decision that we have taken lightly, however these are exceptional times and the safety of our community must remain our first priority. 
 
Unfortunately since the university is closed due to the Covid-19 situation we are unable to print graduation certificates. These will be produced as soon as reasonably possible once we return to a normal working environment. If a potential employer requires verification of your qualification they can contact studentrecords@abdn.ac.uk to obtain this.

There will be an opportunity to attend a ceremony at a future point to mark your graduation, we will provide more details about your options for graduation in due course. 

2. I have been away on ERASMUS exchange/Study Abroad this academic year/half-session. Will the changes to teaching and assessment affect my progression to the next year?

The changes to teaching and alternative methods of assessment should have no effect on your progression. As per our standard procedure any credit achieved whilst at the partner institution will be considered by our ERASMUS/Study Abroad team as well as Student Progress Committee Convenors (if required) and will be processed.

Access 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?

You should contact your School to discuss which alternatives can be offered

2. How can I familiarise myself with online learning resources?

We have setup a dedicated page with guidance and links to support. View our studying remotely page.

3. Can I still access the Student Learning Service for advice on Academic Writing and Academic Skills or Maths support?

Yes, the Student Learning Service is still open to students, although face-to-face appointments, workshops and Maths drop-ins have been cancelled. In the meantime, students should consult the online resources in Achieve (for Undergraduate students) and Achieve+ (for Postgraduate students) via the ‘Organisations’ tab in MyAberdeen.

If you have any questions, please contact sls@abdn.ac.uk where you will be given the option of an online appointment.

4. Can I still speak with an Academic Skills, Academic Writing or Maths Specialist Adviser?

Yes, please e-mail sls@abdn.ac.uk and provide us with some details e.g. topic and subject area. The relevant Adviser will get in back in touch with you and offer an online alternative to a face-to-face meeting.

Changes to assessment processes, inclusion and support provisions for disabled students

1. What will happen to my exam now that we are all off campus?

Unless it is unavoidable, timed exams will be replaced by Schools with an alternative assessment delivered online, with a minimum of 1 week allocated for completion. For courses which have this timeframe of a minimum of 1 week for completion, the period is the same for all students. Extra time has been built-in as an inclusive measure, to provide flexibility for planning and time allocation for all students, including those with protected characteristics. No additional time will be provided for students who would otherwise receive it. In some cases, Schools have decided that there needs to be a shorter limit for completion and some individual adjustments will then be made for students who require this for disability-related reasons. This is considered in the question below.

2. I would normally get extra time for on-campus exams, how will that work online for assessments which have shorter periods for completion?

If your School considers it necessary for a course to have a timed online assessment to be completed in a period of less than one week, then you will receive the amount of extra time that you usually receive in an on-campus exam.

3. Can you tell me a bit more? I am worried about the whole process.

It is not expected that it will take students the full time to complete the assessment. Your School should provide more information on this point. It is recommended that Schools will provide students with an opportunity to complete a practice assessment on a straightforward question (e.g. what is your name?) well in advance of the assessment period and that Schools should also make clear to you the criteria by which work will be marked, that the assessment will reflect material which has been able to be taught this half session, indicative word length if applicable and guidance as to the regard to be had to grammar and spelling.

4. I have more than one assessment for completion wholly or partly within the same period and I usually get extra time for on-campus exams. Will I get more time?

No. The time periods allowed for online assessments should allow you to plan your time and complete your assessments. 

5. I receive the provision of a scribe in on-campus exams, how will I be supported to write my online assessments?

Your school will contact you to discuss your individual support arrangements. If you work with a scribe in on-campus exams, you may be offered the opportunity to submit your answers verbally using Panopto or the ‘dictate’ function in Microsoft Office 365. Students who use this will not be penalised for poor punctation and/or grammar (commas, semicolons, full stops etc. all must be dictated) as long as the meaning is clear. If you have access to voice recognition software, you can use this to produce your exam answers.

6. I receive the provision of a reader in on-campus exams, how will I be supported to read my online assessments?

Your school will contact you to discuss your individual support arrangements. Where applicable online assessment papers will be accessible in the form of a Word document where possible. You will be able to adjust the type of font, font size and line spacing. You will be able to use ‘Text to Speech’ functions built into Word.  If the online assessment paper is in the form of a PDF document and you have text to speech software, please use this. For some courses, ALLY will be of use to convert the papers to MP3 format on MyAberdeen, for you to download and listen to (see https://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/teaching/accessibility-7775.php,  https://support.office.com/en-gb/article/add-a-heading-3eb8b917-56dc-4a17-891a-a026b2c790f2).  If you need any advice with regards to using text to speech software and/or how to access this, please email atech@abdn.ac.uk. If technology cannot be used to read the online assessments (e.g. the paper may include graphs), the School will explore alternative arrangements with you.

7. I don’t have access to a stable Internet connection and/or a personal computer in order to undertake online assessments, what are my options?

Contact your School Office to make them aware of your circumstances as soon as possible.  The contact details for the School Offices can be found here. The recommendation to Schools is that you would be given a Good Cause (GC) for the May assessment diet, although it may be possible for some other forms of completing assessment to be explored, for example scanning written work using a mobile phone, or for there to be a different form of assessment.

8. What are the options if I require financial assistance to study or complete assessments online?

Please contact your School Office to make them aware of your circumstances. The contact details for the School Offices can be found here.

If you do not have the funds available to purchase a computer and/or access the Internet, please contact Student Advise and Support. 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 dependent on your individual circumstances and the evidence you provide. The funds are limited and will be prioritised on a case by case basis. You will need to complete an application form and provide evidence of your full financial circumstances including monthly statements for all your bank accounts and credit cards for 3 full months. It can take up to 3 weeks to receive the payment but, wherever possible we try to complete payments in a shorter timeframe. You can help by providing all the requested documentation with your application.

9. I am unwell, or I have experienced extenuating circumstances which have affected my performance in an assessment or have led me to miss an assessment, what should I do?

If you feel that your performance in an assessment has been affected by extenuating circumstances, or you have been unable to complete an assessment, you should report this through the Absence Reporting system, links to which are available through MyAberdeen and the Student Hub.  For further information, please access the Info Hub. You will not be required to provide evidence to support your absence report.

10. I have disability support provisions however I am concerned about completing my assessments and I do not think that the information provided so far addresses my situation.  

Please contact the Student Advice and Support Office at student.support@abdn.ac.uk and an Adviser will discuss your circumstances with you.   

11. I do not presently have relevant disability support provisions however I am concerned about completing my assessments and I think I would benefit from support.

Please email Student Advice and Support Office at student.support@abdn.ac.uk and they will be in touch.    

Student fees and finance - Session 2019/2020

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.

Staff related

View our dedicated page for information on Finances and Furlough.

Last updated 8 June 2020

General

1. How do I report self-isolation and sickness?

Line managers should report all instances of staff reporting that they may have coronavirus to their HR Partner/Adviser, stating their name and staff number where known. The HR Partner/Adviser will then record this information centrally and contact the individual as appropriate to gather further information and offer support.

2. What support is available for teaching and working remotely?

The eLearning team has developed useful resources and guidance, available here: Teaching Remotely

3. I work in a role that can't be done from home, what will be expected of me?

There are a very small number of roles that require staff to be on campus.

Where you work in a role that otherwise can’t be undertaken at home, your line manager will explore with you the possibility of undertaking activities that can be undertaken from home. Such activities would fall within the grade of your current role.

Otherwise, staff will be paid normal pay.

4. My job requires me to continue to be on campus. Does the fact staff are being asked to work from home mean it is not safe for me to work on campus?

No it does not mean this. There have been no confirmed cases on campus and were there to be the local public health team would advise on requirements regarding closure of buildings, cleaning etc.

Where staff continue to be required to work on campus, the University will put in place measures to ensure ‘social distancing’ in line with the national guidance.

5. My role requires me to have face-to-face contact with individuals, eg to provide support to them. What adjustments are being made to ensure it is safe for me to do so?

These scenarios should be minimised but speak to your line manager where this cannot be avoided. Physical contact and being in close proximity should still be avoided and good hygiene standards will need to be maintained.

Your manager can seek advice from the Health, Safety and Wellbeing Team if necessary.

6. I am on a temporary services agreement or guaranteed minimum hours contract. What support is in place for me?

We are aware that those on temporary services or guaranteed minimum hours contracts are concerned about the long-term implications for their income as a result of the disruption.

We are committed to paying for any work already scheduled and we are exploring ways of minimising any impact on those who have recently undertaken regular activity for the University.

Those scheduled to work at events that have now been cancelled, will still be paid for their time and are advised to complete a timesheet in the normal way.

7. My child / dependant is self-isolating, am I entitled to time off work?

Where a close contact has been identified by a medical expert as needing to self-isolate, is undergoing tests or has tested positive for Coronavirus, you may also be required to self-isolate.

In this period where we are all required to be in isolation, please remember to report any instance of medically recommended self-isolation to your HR Partner/Adviser.

If you are well and able, you may continue to work from home.

If you are not able to work from home or feel unwell you will be paid normal pay.

8. My child / dependant's school is closed/ I am required to care for a relative who is unwell.

If you are able to work from home you should do so. Please discuss with your line manager. It is recognised during this period that you may not be able to undertake normal activities and/or work normal hours.

Should you not be able to undertake work from home please discuss with your line manager.

During this period staff will continue to be paid as normal.

9. I or a person in my household has received a letter from the NHS advising that I/they are in the most vulnerable category 

We are aware that letters have started to be issued to individuals that the NHS deem most vulnerable. More information on this can be found at the NHS Inform website

If you receive a letter, we are aware that this may cause additional impact on your wellbeing.  Further support can be found at the NHS website and the Health & Wellbeing section of this page. We would also encourage staff in this position to discuss any issues they have with their line manager.

Annual Leave during Covid-19

1. I have annual leave already approved by my line manager, can I still take it?

Yes you can still take your leave and the University would stress that during this period, where many staff are working from home, it is important to take leave in order to have a proper period of rest away from work and to avoid building up leave towards the end of the holiday year.

2. I have annual leave approved by my line manager but want to cancel it as I can no longer travel to my holiday destination.

The University understands that given the severe travel restrictions in place and steps being taken by airlines, hotels etc that planned holidays may no longer be able to go ahead. If you want to amend the amount of leave you wish to take or cancel altogether leave that your manager has already approved please discuss with your line manager.

Your manager should be sympathetic to your request while being mindful of the overall guidance that leave should still be taken this year to ensure proper rest from work and to avoid build up on leave towards of the 2019/20 annual leave year. Your request to cancel may be declined where there is a clear operational justification. If you have any concerns where a request to cancel has been declined you may raise this with your HR Partner who in turn will discuss with the line manager.

3. Am I able to book annual leave at this time?

Yes you are able to book annual leave and are encouraged to do so in order to ensure a period of proper rest from work during this time and to avoid building up leave towards of the holiday year – please seek approval of your line manager in the usual way.

4. What if I am unable to take all of my annual leave in this leave year due to Coronavirus?

The University is aware that taking all of your annual leave entitlement may be more difficult in the circumstances. You are encouraged to book annual leave in order to ensure proper rest from work.

Any carry over of leave to the next holiday year is expected to be in line with the Annual Leave Guidance ie no more than 7 days (pro rata for part time staff) will be carried over to the 2020/21 leave year. Discretion is encouraged regarding the expectation of no more than 7 days (pro-rata for staff who work part-time) carry over. Examples of where discretion will apply include but are not limited to: - where operational demands prevent staff from being able to take annual leave; - where resource circumstances prevent staff from taking leave (for example covering the absence of a colleague); - where agreed in advance, staff wish to carry over additional days on a one-off, or ”holiday of a lifetime” basis.

5. The government has eased restrictions on the carry-over of statutory leave, can I now carry forward more than 7 days annual leave?

In general, no, you will not able to carry forward additional annual leave in to the 2020/21 leave year. Although the government has eased the restrictions on carry-over of statutory leave, this is aimed at key workers who are unable to take their leave due to their work in tackling the Covid-19 epidemic. It is not aimed at staff who choose not to take their leave but are not prevented from doing so by their work. The government has specified that the carry over applies “Where it is not reasonably practicable for a worker to take some, or all, of the holiday to which they are entitled due to the coronavirus.” This will not apply to the majority of university staff who remain able to take their leave, albeit they are not able to go away.

However, if you are unable to take your leave because you are a key worker, for example you are a clinical academic and have increased your hours working with the NHS, then you should speak to your manager about leave carry over. HR will need to be informed of any agreements you reach.

More information

Payroll

1. Will I get paid?

For salaried staff, payment will be on the last banking day of the month, as normal.

Timesheets must be received by the Payroll Deadline to be guaranteed for payment at the end of the month.

Any timesheets not received by the deadline will be carried forward to the following month.

2. What if I have a query about my pay?

Contact payroll@abdn.ac.uk

3. Will I still receive a hardcopy payslip?

During this time, we will suspend printing and mailing hardcopy payslips via internal mail. Normal service will resume as soon as practicable. Access to payslips will continue via the MyHR portal.

4. I am about to retire and need to contact pensions, what should I do?

Contact pensions@abdn.ac.uk

Finance and Procurement

Payments to Suppliers

1. Will suppliers be paid?

We will continue to process and pay authorised supplier invoices as normal.  It may take us longer than normal to process invoices, but if an invoice is not authorised payment will be delayed.  Please ensure you continue to review and process your tasks on the Finance System.

2. What if a supplier puts the University’s account on stop?

If a supplier puts the University’s account on stop due to non-payment please contact the Accounts Payable team (acpayable@abdn.ac.uk) who will investigate.

3. How do I make an urgent purchase?

Each SAO and Professional Services Directorate has access to a Credit Card that can be used for emergency purposes.

Other Payments

1. What if I need to pay a student urgently?

Students should contact their School Planning Accountant to advise them of their situation.  Contact information can be found on the University website here. The School/Section will contact the Accounts Payable team (acpayable@abdn.ac.uk) to arrange payment.  We will be able to make urgent payments if required. 

Recurring student stipend payments will continue to be paid on the normal payment dates each month.

2. Will staff expenses be paid?

We will continue to pay expense claims each week which have been approved by the respective line manager.  You should enter your expense claim as normal into the Finance System and providing the budget holder (or line manager) approves the claim you will receive payment.

3. Will third party expenses be paid?

We no longer have access to postal services but can process third party expenses if received electronically.  Completed third party forms and receipts should be sent as a single electronic file to Accounts Payable email (acpayable@abdn.ac.uk), preferably in pdf format (one file per claim).  If forms and receipts are being photographed or a scanning app is used to create the electronic document the final output must be legible.  We still require forms to be completed correctly i.e. coded and clear totals for payment, but will accept electronic signatures.  If a signature is not available please include an email from the appropriate budget holder or Head of School confirming that the expense is authorised.

Procurement

Any procurement queries will be dealt with as normal.

For any queries including issues with setting up new suppliers or to request a copy of a PO, contact procurement@abdn.ac.uk

Accounting Teams – Financial Planning & Budgeting / Financial Accounting

Queries will be dealt with as normal but please note we may be slightly slower in responding.

International

Any queries should be sent to Scott Sinclair to deal with remotely as required.


For any other queries, please find the appropriate email contact from the Finance Contacts page.

Immigration

1. How will restriction on travel impact my immigration status?

Please review the Home Office guidance online and liaise with your line manager and HR Partner to discuss this further.

2. My UK visa is due to expire but travel advice is that I should not return to my home country - What does it mean if I overstay my visa?

Due to travel restrictions caused by coronavirus, some individuals may be facing uncertainty in relation to the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. The Home Office understands that in many cases this is because of circumstances outside of your control.

The Home Office has advised that those with leave that was due to expire between 24 January and 31 July 2020, will have their visa extended to 31 July 2020. Individuals must request an extension to 31 July 2020 by updating their records directly with the Home Office by completing an online form.  Those who contacted the Home Office to extend to 31 May 2020 (the previous COVID extension date) will automatically be extended to 31 July 2020.  

Please refer to the Home Office website for the latest information and full guidance regarding the above.

For further support, please contact our HR Specialist.

Return to Campus

1. When will I be asked to return to campus to work?

This is an evolving situation and advice will continue to be updated based on Government guidance. The default position remains that those who are able to work remotely/from home should continue to do so. On the whole, access to buildings remains restricted to those people who have been identified as carrying out business critical work or providing essential services on campus. This includes some research, work to keep our campus safe and maintenance of equipment. Staff working in these areas will already be aware of their need to be on campus.

The University is making plans for a gradual return to campus in line with the Scottish Government Covid-19 route map which in turn is informing the recommendations of the University’s planning groups. 

The phased return to campus will be sequenced and will start with research staff, in line with the Scottish Government’s Routemap:

(https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-what-you-can-and-cannot-do/ )

Work is also commencing on preparing for parts of our teaching activity to be able to be delivered on campus from September.  Details will be shared when plans are further developed. 

For those being considered for a return to on-campus working, you will be notified and a discussion will take place with your manager.  As part of this and to facilitate discussion and consideration of suitability for you to return to on campus working, you will be asked to complete a Personal Risk Assessment Form.  The information gathered will be used to help planning and in line with the University’s Privacy Notice.  It will be securely destroyed once used for such planning purposes. 

You should not return to campus unless your return has been discussed and agreed.

Thereafter, it is likely that different members of staff will return at different times, and it’s highly likely that returns to campus will be staggered over a number of months with people continuing to work off campus where appropriate as well as some staff working both on campus and at home for periods of time. It’s also likely that in some areas there will be rota arrangements for people to work on campus. We will continue to monitor the guidance and will provide updates as often as appropriate.

 

2. What plans are in place to ensure a safe return to campus for staff?

We are working through the practicalities around planning a return to campus, including looking at how different groups of staff might safely return to work on campus at the appropriate times and always in line with Government guidelines.

The Campus Planning Group is responsible for overseeing a framework for the safe return to work on campus which includes a checklist of the stages that will be followed to allow a safe return, the roles and responsibilities of specific staff and a thorough risk assessment that must be completed before any work resumes.

The framework aligns with the recently published UUK principles for reopening campuses and will be revised and updated as Government guidance develops and in consultation with our trade union colleagues.

In addition, the key principles and priorities developed by the Campus Planning Group will be followed

https://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/working-here/coronavirus/planning-group.php#panel10703

We will also develop a new online training course, which will be mandatory for all staff returning to work on campus. This will be available shortly. Those who have been working on campus throughout the lockdown period will be familiar with the content but will be asked to complete the training as part of ongoing measures to keep awareness levels high. If you are due to return to campus, you will receive details of the course, alongside all relevant risk assessments and other considerations from your school or directorate.

 

3. What timescale is the University working to regarding staff being back working on campus?

We are closely following Government guidance to inform when it is appropriate for staff to return to campus.  The return to campus will then be sequenced according to  the need for roles to be undertaken on campus (ie they cannot be undertaken at home or there is an increasing need for staff to be on campus for all or part of their working hours).

This is an evolving situation and advice will continue to be updated in line with Government guidance.  


4. I have childcare responsibilities, what does this mean for working from home?

As schools and childcare providers have closed for most children, except for those of key workers and the most vulnerable children, we know that many colleagues may be responsible for childcare at home. If you are in this position, we understand that looking after children will limit your ability to work from home and we encourage you and your manager to be as flexible and pragmatic as possible about the amount of and type of work that can be undertaken in these circumstances.

It is really important for you and your manager to stay in regular contact to review what work is achievable, and for you to do what you can, whilst acknowledging that care responsibilities may need to take priority. If anyone in your household is classed as a key worker as defined by the government, your manager should also take this into account. If this applies to you, we know that you may have less flexibility.

During this time away from the University, you will be paid at your normal rate, whether your job allows you to work from home or not.

This situation is clearly evolving and we will provide further guidance as and when it is possible to do so. 

If you have any questions, please speak to your line manager or HR Partner.

 

5. I am in a role that can’t be done remotely but I have childcare responsibilities due to the closure of schools. What should I do?

If you haven’t already, you should discuss your personal circumstances with your line manager so that they are aware of your situation. They can then factor this in when making plans for work to be carried out on campus. The University will seek to ensure that any working arrangements accommodate childcare responsibilities due to the current closure of schools and the likely ongoing limited opening. This situation is evolving and we will provide further guidance as and when appropriate. 

 

6. I have a disability which is making working from home challenging, what should I do?

If you have a disability, mental or physical, the disruption caused by the requirement to work from home may be significant and be causing you a greater deal of anxiety than it may do for others. Please speak to your line manager to discuss any reasonable adjustments and additional support that may assist you at this time.

 

7. I am worried about travelling into campus/being on campus, what should I do?

If you are notified of a return to work but have concerns about travelling to and/or being on campus, you should speak with your line manager in the first instance to share these concerns and to discuss any potential support that may be put in place. Examples of such support can include working from home where possible, or working more flexible hours/staggering shifts in order to avoid busier travel times.

 

8. Will I be asked to return if I am shielding?

If you have received a shielding letter (i.e. extremely clinically vulnerable) you should continue to follow the Government advice and stay at home. Those who are unable to work from home in their normal role may be able to carry out other duties/project work from home.

If you haven’t already, you should discuss your personal circumstances with your line manager so that they are aware of your situation. If you feel unable to discuss with your line manager you may wish to discuss with your HR Partner. They can then factor this in when making plans for work to be carried out on campus. The University recognises that this is a worrying time for many people, especially those with an underlying health condition.

 

9. Will I be asked to return if I live with someone who is shielding?

Those who are able to work from home should continue to do so. Where work is required to be carried out on campus, this will be planned and managed in line with the available Government advice and line managers will discuss plans and requirements on an individual basis.

If you haven’t already, you should discuss your personal circumstances with your line manager so that they are aware of your situation. They can then factor this in when making plans for work to be carried out on campus. The University recognises that this is a worrying time for many people, especially those with an underlying health condition and we will continue to follow the advice given by the NHS.

 

10. I have an underlying health condition /am over 70/am pregnant- will I be asked to return?

Staff who are able to work from home should continue to do so. Where work is required to be carried out on campus, this will be planned and managed in line with the available Government advice (including in line with appropriate risk assessments and the Campus Planning Group principles) and line managers will discuss plans and requirements on an individual basis.

If you haven’t already, you should discuss your personal circumstances with your line manager so that they are aware of your situation. They can then factor this in when making plans for work to be carried out on campus. The University recognises that this is a worrying time for many people, especially those with an underlying health condition and we will continue to follow the advice given by the NHS.

 

11. I don’t have an underlying health condition or caring responsibilities, but I am nervous about returning to campus. What should I do?

It’s important to remember that the campus is very safe. The risk comes with large numbers of people returning to campus which is why the phased return will be managed very carefully. It’s understandable that staff may feel concerned about returning to campus but a huge amount of work is taking place before staff will be asked to return to campus to ensure that appropriate and safe arrangements are in place. For example, campus buildings will be reconfigured to ensure physical distancing rules can be maintained, e.g. one-way systems for communal areas, enhanced cleaning regimes and reconfiguring of desks/rooms to ensure physical distancing. If you continue to have concerns please discuss them with your line manager or HR Partner as they will be able to reassure you and support you. It’s also worth being aware that the University is working closely with the campus unions on these arrangements, so you can also seek advice from them. 

 

12. What is being done to make shared spaces, such as toilets and kitchen areas safe?

A ‘one in, one out’ procedure will be implemented within communal kitchens. It will be  recommended that staff bring in and use their own crockery/cutlery, rather than shared items from the kitchen. It is also advised that everyone washes their hands thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, in line with Government guidance, on entering the kitchen.

Multi-occupancy toilet facilities will change to a ‘one in, one out’ system, with knock and call signs on the outer doors. You should also ensure you maintain good hand hygiene, in line with Government guidance.

13. I don’t feel well. Should I continue to stay away from campus?

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (see link below), you should self-isolate for at least 7 days from the onset of the symptoms. If you live with someone who displays these symptoms, you should not leave your home for 14 days. Further information, including an online coronavirus service, is available on the NHS website. If you are not well enough to work, you should report your sickness in the usual way.

https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

 

14. I am considered to be in vulnerable group. Should I return to campus?

Those in vulnerable groups should continue working from home where possible for the time-being. Those in an extremely vulnerable group, as defined by Government guidance, should definitely remain at home.  Your line manager may discuss with you a referral to Occupational Health as appropriate to determine if it is safe for you to return to campus where your role requires you to be on campus.  

 

15. I am able to work from home but I really want to come back to campus. Can I go into the office?

We are not planning on the basis of staff who are able to work from home returning to work on campus at the moment. There are a number of reasons for this. For example, only some buildings will be open on campus which means cleaning will not take place in all areas and physical distancing arrangements will not have been put in place for all buildings.

If you have particular personal circumstances that mean you need to come onto campus to work, you should discuss these with your line manager. It may be possible for you to work in one of the buildings that is due to open, but an appropriate risk assessment will need to be carried out before this can happen.

 

16. I have difficulty working at home and am able to come onto campus to work can I return to campus?

If you have particular home circumstances that mean you could work more effectively on campus you should discuss these with your line manager. It may be possible for you to work in one of the buildings that is due to open, but an appropriate risk assessment will need to be carried out before this can happen.

 

 17. When back on campus should I continue to set up virtual meetings?

Meetings should ideally be held virtually for the time-being. If a face-to-face meeting is unavoidable, you must get approval from your manager to hold the meeting and then ensure that you are able to maintain physical distancing by remaining at least 2 metres apart, in line with Government guidance.

 

18. Am I allowed to travel for work purposes now?

In line with the Government’s latest advice, travel to work, if you cannot work from home and have been asked to return to campus by your manager, is permitted.


19. Am I allowed to move around campus, eg at lunchtimes?

Yes, but you must remain at least 2 metres apart from others at all times.

 

20. When back on campus will I be able to organise events?

You should not organise an event that requires people’s attendance. However, you can organise virtual events. IT Services can advise on the tools that you could consider using to do this, or the University Events team can offer you advice on the organisation of larger scale virtual events.

 

21. Will I be able to work from home permanently when staff start to return to campus?

It is likely that permanently working from home will only be suitable in the minority of cases in the University’s context in the longer term. However, working from home for a proportion of time may be acceptable and even beneficial. We are developing a Homeworking Policy to support longer term working from home.

 

22. When I return to campus what do I do if someone is not following guidance eg relating to physical distancing or other guidance for safe working on campus?

We have developed a protocol to address this which can be found here.

 

Research

Research Funders Quick Links | Research Grants and Contracts | Research involving the NHS | Research involving human participantsResearch Excellence Framework | Digital Research | Postgraduate Research StudentsUKRI Funded Students

Research Funders Quick Links

Last updated 03 June 2020

Quick links

This page contains guidance on Coronavirus and advice for researchers being issued from the major funders of research for the University of Aberdeen. This is an evolving situation so please review this page and your funders' own webpages regularly for updates.

Research Grants and Contracts

Last updated 23 March 2020

1. I'm preparing a grant application. Will I still be able to submit it during the disruption?

R&I remains operational however please allow extra time ahead of the funder submission deadline, and ensure your School approver’s are available to approve.  If your School approvers are not available, please contact your BDO as soon as possible.

2. I’m applying to a Covid-19 rapid call.  Do I have to do anything in addition?

Please contact your BDO in R&I as soon as possible so that we can fast track your application.

3. Will funders be extending the submission deadlines for Funding Calls?

Most funders are taking a pragmatic approach to dealing with the evolving situation, and we are aware that some deadlines have been extended. However this is likely to be Funder and / or scheme specific so please check the Funder website for further information.

4. I have a research contract that needs an authorised signature. Will it still be signed?

Arrangements are in place to ensure contracts are signed on schedule. Please contact your R&I School contacts as usual to arrange.

5. I have just been awarded a new project I need to accept by a fixed deadline. What should I do?

R&I remains operational. Please liaise with your usual R&I contacts. If your acceptance requires a “wet” signature we will work with you and the Funder to ensure this is complete.

6. Do I need to delay the start of my new research project?

Where allowable within the funder’s terms and conditions it may be worth considering delaying the start of your project to ensure there is minimal impact on your research. Please contact your BDO/RF cost accountant for advice.

7. I have a subcontractor who requires payment?

Presuming this is in line with the contract (e.g. the work has been completed, or that advance payments were agreed), please ensure your subcontractor sends the invoice electronically to the email address in the agreement with all the relevant backing documentation and this will be paid as per normal processes. If you receive the invoice directly please forward to your grant administrator.

8. I have field work (including interview and observations) in the UK currently underway or about to start. What should I do?

It’s likely that any fieldwork in the UK is going to be difficult and should be rescheduled for later in the year if possible. If your fieldwork is dependent on the time of year, then you may need to consider alternative arrangements and discuss this directly with your Funder and your Head of School.

9. If I get an extension and my project incurs additional costs, who will cover these costs?

This will vary dependent on the funder and the nature of cost, approval to secure an extension should be sought via R&I in the first instance.  The University of Aberdeen is actively engaging with funders to seek clarity on this.

10. My confirmed activities or travel plans have had to be cancelled and my project has lost money. Will the project be reimbursed?

We anticipate that funders will adopt a pragmatic approach on this, however it is likely to be variable, as such please refer to the individual funder’s guidance. Where travel plans have been cancelled upon government advice, the costs should be recovered from the travel supplier where possible. Further guidance can be found from the University’s Insurance office.

11. Can I proceed with recruitment to any grant-funded posts?

This is being considered on a case-by-case basis. However you may wish to consider delaying if you anticipate impact on your research project due to Covid-19.

12. How will I be able to review the financial expenditure on the grant?

You will be able to monitor your budget via the finance system.

You can request budget updates from your grant administrator but depending on the urgency of your request there may be a delay in responding.

13. I have long-term research in progress (archival studies/laboratory/field work) - how will I ensure these can be maintained?

In the first instance you should make your line manager, Director of Research and Head of School aware of the requirements.

Research involving the NHS

Last updated 23 March 2020

1. Suspension of recruitment to all studies sponsored by NHS Grampian, University of Aberdeen or co-sponsored by NHS Grampian and University of Aberdeen apart from Covid-19 studies.

In order to address the current and potential implications of the Covid-19 outbreak on our patient population we have taken the difficult decision to suspend new recruitment into all studies sponsored by NHS Grampian, University of Aberdeen or co-sponsored by NHS Grampian and University of Aberdeen involving NHS patients across the UK. This would not impact on any potential Covid-19 studies.

As from 16th March 2020, please advise all participating sites not to approach any new patients regarding imminent clinical study participation. Patients who have already signed informed consent should continue to screen and register for the trial where the local principal investigator considers it safe and in the patient’s best interests to do so. Please consider that face-to-face follow-up visits may also be suspended in the near future. Patients may still be approached about observational studies or pre-screening studies where this participation requires no additional visit attendance by the patient or face-to-face contact with the study team and the study team have capacity.

There may be some studies which, through our risk assessment process, will be categorised as providing “essential clinical care”. If you feel your study meets this criteria please contact researchgovernance@abdn.ac.uk with details of the study (CI, IRAS number, Title) along with a justification, and plan for ongoing recruitment including the availability of study specific staff.

At this stage we advise sites to continue with planned follow up visits, in accordance with the study protocol. Where possible amendments should be made to the study protocol, and sent to the Research Governance Team as detailed below, to allow follow-up visits to take place remotely. However, be aware that this is a rapidly changing situation and further updates will follow as required.

In order to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 for our sponsored studies, the sponsor team will work with you to:

  1. Prepare and submit study amendments in order to allow follow-up visits to take place remotely were possible.
  2. Detail protocol deviations - For CTIMPs the MHRA expect there to be an increase in protocol deviations but have requested that these are documented in the normal manner. Please contact the research governance team regarding these as per normal practice

In addition, the sponsor team will

  1. Postpone any site or study monitoring and auditing visits unless there is a subject safety issue which cannot be addressed remotely. Where required, we will make arrangements for remote monitoring  and auditing and will submit necessary amendments
  2. Postpone any Sponsor initiation visits.  We recommend that on-site initiation visits be postponed by study teams or done remotely, and that new sites are not opened at this time.

We are in the process of monitoring IMP supplies for our Sponsored CTIMPs and if extra orders are required for sites these will be ordered where appropriate.  We have slightly less control when participating sites have to supply IMP from NHS stock and NHS are not permitted to stockpile.  However, if NHS supply chains remain intact there should be no issue.

HRA advice is available at https://www.hra.nhs.uk/planning-and-improving-research/policies-standards-legislation/covid-19-guidance-sponsors-sites-and-research

MHRA advice is available at https://mhrainspectorate.blog.gov.uk/2020/03/12/advice-for-management-of-clinical-trials-in-relation-to-coronavirus/

We ask that you communicate this information to Principal Investigators involved in your study (s) and participating sites for your trial(s), feel free to share with other stakeholders e.g funders. Project managers will help with this task. Ongoing contingency planning is underway and further correspondence will follow should the situation change.

Visits to participants in the community: Following updated advice from the UK and Scottish Governments to avoid unnecessary travel and to implement the recommended social distancing guidance, please be aware that all face-to-face visits to research participants in the community, for both NHS and non NHS participants,  should now be suspended. This information supersedes advice issued previously and should take effect immediately.

Should you have any queries please direct them to researchgovernance@abdn.ac.uk

Research involving human participants

Last updated 08 July 2020

1. My research will be taking place in the UK. Which guidance should I follow?

All UK-based research studies that involve direct face to face human contact remain suspended. This decision will be reviewed as the COVID-19 guidance from the four UK nations (Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland) is updated.

2. My research is taking place outwith the UK. Which guidance should I follow?

For research involving human participants outwith the UK, researchers must comply with the current health advice issued by the country in which the research is taking place.

For UK-based researchers who will be required to travel abroad for their research, please note that the current Foreign and Commonwealth Office travel guidance currently advises against all but essential international travel.  Once international travel is permitted for research purposes, all overseas travel on university business must comply with the University’s Policy on Overseas Travel and associated travel insurance requirements.

3. I have ethical approval to conduct research that involves face to face interviews or human contact which now cannot go ahead.  What do I do?

All ongoing research must be reviewed (and revised where necessary) to introduce changes in how interactions with human participants are conducted. For all approved research projects that involve face to face contact e.g. interviews, focus groups, etc, researchers must consider if they can adapt their research to enable remote interactions with their participants. If this will not be possible, then the research must be paused. 

For research that involves NHS participants, please contact researchgovernance@abdn.ac.uk or refer to the separate FAQ guidance published on “Research involving the NHS”.  

The School of Psychology have circulated email guidance to their students and staff on this issue.  If you have any queries regarding ethical approval of Psychology research, please contact the Psychology Ethics Chair, Dr Jasna Martinovic, on j.martinovic@abdn.ac.uk.

4. Does my ethical approval have to be amended if I simply replace face to face contact by online interviews via skype (or similar) or by an online survey?

University Ethics Committees have *temporarily suspended the requirement for approval of amendments that relate only to changes to participant interactions from face to face to remote interactions, unless there will also be a *substantial change to the research protocol as a result of the change.

(A *substantial change to protocol might be a change that would alter the level of risk to the participant i.e. if the research involves vulnerable participants, to do so remotely might remove the safeguard of the researcher being able to detect distress face to face and mitigate risk by referring the participant to an appropriately trained person).

(*Note that a change in contact method would normally require the submission of an amended application for ethical approval of research and will again once the current situation has ended.)

5. My research does not involve face to face contact – can it go ahead?

Participants may still be approached about observational studies e.g. via Skype or online surveys/questionnaires where this was included in the original research proposal and has already received ethical approval.

Participants who have already signed informed consent forms for research that does not involve face to face contact can continue where the researcher considers it safe, and where it is in the participant’s best interests to do so.

6. I have to pause my research – what do I need to do?

Researchers must inform all participants that the research has been paused. It will be essential that in whatever communication is issued to participants, they are advised how any actively enrolled participants will be managed, particularly concerning any safety monitoring/follow-up etc where applicable.

Unless the changes made to pause the research result in a *substantial change to protocol, the pausing of a research study and issue of an update to participants will not be considered as a modification to their previously approved research (i.e. researchers will not be required to submit an amended application for ethical approval). However, they must retain details of the temporary pause within their own research records.

7. What do I need to bear in mind if my research will go ahead remotely?

If data collection has not yet commenced, the recruitment plan must be amended to reflect the changes made to recruit and interact with research participants remotely. The updated recruitment plan should be retained by the researcher, and an amended application for ethical approval will not be required unless these changes will also result in a *substantial change to the research protocol.

If data collection has already commenced and will now change to remote participant interaction, the recruitment documents must be updated to outline how the remote interaction will occur, and this revised version must be used from now onwards. Unless these changes will also result in a *substantial change to the research protocol, an amendment to the application for ethical approval will not be required. Instead, any current participants must be informed of the change to remote participation and be provided with an updated participant information sheet. Participants must be advised that if they no longer wish to participate in the research (either due to this change or for any other reason), then they are free to withdraw at any stage.

8. My research will now take place as a web-based survey – what tools and guidance are available for this?

Researchers are responsible for ensuring that data collection is undertaken using University approved data collection mechanisms and is carried out with the necessary institutional consent, approvals, and data protection in place.

The Digital Research team (digitalresearch@abdn.ac.uk) will be happy to discuss with researchers the most appropriate method for online data collection.  Online workshops on ‘Introduction to Survey Software’ are also available and places can be booked using the online course booking system.  If researchers decide to use external survey systems, they should be aware that this is against University policy and has inherent risks, not only in respect of personal data but also in ownership of the data collected.

9. My research involves school pupils. What should I do?

In view of the current school closures across the UK, all research in areas which involves site visits to schools must be suspended until further notice.

Any research involving school pupils where researchers are now planning to change from face to face data collection to remote data collection will have to be negotiated in partnership with the school’s Headteacher. Headteachers will be able to provide guidance on appropriate contact methods that remain in line with GDPR and other child safety policies and can assist with liaison with the relevant staff in the Local Authority to ensure that remote data gathering is done appropriately.

10. My project has not received ethical approval yet. What do I need to do to get approval?

Applications for ethical approval should continue to be submitted using the agreed application processes for each of the Ethics Committees.

Applicants will not be permitted to begin data collection which requires face to face interaction with research participants until further notice. Applicants must amend their applications to ensure that these interactions are conducted remotely. If this is not possible, then this should be explained within the application and it should then be submitted for ethical review. If the application is subsequently approved, then please note this approval will only come into effect once the suspension is lifted i.e. the research cannot commence until the University has issued notification that face to face interactions can be resumed.

If researchers have time constraints around conducting their research and cannot conduct remote participation, it is recommended that the research be amended to involve secondary data analysis only (i.e. data which has already been collected) so that no primary data collection is required.

11. I am planning research around the Covid-19 pandemic and need ethical approval.  What is the guidance around that?

Ethical review of any new studies relating to Covid-19 will be considered where there are proven public benefits for this to commence. Researchers are reminded that face to face contact is not currently permitted and all proposed participant interaction must take place remotely. Applications should be submitted via the appropriate Ethics Committee application process.

12. Where can I obtain further advice regarding ethical approval of research?

For any further queries relating to the ethical approval of research involving human participants, please contact the following:-

  • Arts, Social Sciences & Business: 
  • Physical Sciences & Engineering:
  • CERB (Medicine, Medical Sciences & Nutrition: Contact Dr Katie Crosley, k.crosley@abdn.ac.uk and include ‘CERB’ in the email subject line. (Note: CERB also reviews ethics applications from the School of Biological Sciences where the research involves human participants in a medical setting)
  • Psychology: Contact the Chair of Ethics, Dr Patric Bach, patric.bach@abdn.ac.uk. (Note: The Psychology Ethics Board also reviews ethics applications from the School of Biological Sciences where the research involves human participants in a non-medical setting)
  • Rowett: Contact the Chair of Ethics, Professor Alex Johnstone, alex.johnstone@abdn.ac.uk
13. I am a PGR student.  Where can I obtain specific advice for PGR students undertaking research during the Covid-19 restrictions?

Further guidance for PGR students on Covid-19 and research can be found here.  Please also refer to the Postgraduate Research Students FAQs below.

Research Excellence Framework

Last updated 29 June 2020

1. REF preparations – what will happen now that the University has moved to home working?

The R&I REF team will continue to work on the REF submission from home, and we will offer meetings via Teams. We will focus on the development of impact and environment narratives.

We will continue to monitor the dedicated e-mail addresses: REF@abdn.ac.uk; REFcircumstances@abdn.ac.uk and REFappeals@abdn.ac.uk and respond to any enquiries.

For queries that are directed to your Unit of Assessment lead or School Director of Research, business continuity will depend on the measures put in place by the Schools. You should contact your School Administrative Officer or Director of Research in the first instance.

2. REF panel Nominations - deadline 7th September 2020

The funding councils have announced a deadline for the nomination of additional panel members: https://ref.ac.uk/news/new-deadline-set-for-panel-nominations/ - they are looking for further panel members from 'a diverse range of backgrounds, institution types and geographical region.

Nomination of candidates from under-represented groups are particularly welcomed, including people from black and ethnic minority backgrounds'. Nominations have to be made through nominating bodies which are listed on the REF2021 - Further information about submitting nominations is available here.

Universities Scotland are happy to put forward nominations on our behalf, so if you wish a nomination to be made through this route please let me know. We currently have some panel members for panels A and C, but very few, if any, for panels B and D. Please get in touch with Marlis Barraclough or your Dean of Research if you have any questions around this.

3. Is Pure available for home working?
Pure is a web-based application that can be accessed on any device that has a wi-fi connection, and the full range of functionality is available.
4. Will I be able to make sure my publication complies with REF open access requirements if the University shuts down?
The library team is continuing service levels around open access in the event the University shuts down, and researchers are encouraged to submit their accepted papers to paperaccepted@abdn.ac.uk as usual.
5. Will Pure be continued to be updated?
We expect to upgrade Pure twice before submission in November – version 5.17 is currently in test and we plan to implement shortly; we will upgrade to version 5.18 during the summer. This will provide all the functionality we need to transfer our REF data from Pure to the Research England REF submission system. Because Pure is web-based, we can test from home, and IT Services have confirmed that we can upgrade remotely too.
6. Will Elsevier continue to develop Pure and the interface with the REF submission system?
Elsevier have said the following: ‘For the Pure team, specifically, the current situation means that, based on recent recommendations from health authorities in many countries, we will continue to provide help and support as usual, but our staff will mainly be working from home. Consequently, it may be difficult to reach us by phone, but the Pure support desk system (Jira) is open for business as usual, and we will assist you – as usual.’
7. What will happen to new appointments due to start before census date?
Please contact your HR partner for an update on recruitment and appointments.
8. What is the current deadline for REF?

Earlier this year, the funding councils suspended the original REF submission deadline of 26th November 2020. They have recently announced a new submission deadline of 31 March 2021, and an extension of the impact assessment period to 31 December 2020. That means that we will be able to include activities and impacts up to that date in our impact case studies.

9. Because of social distancing and lockdown, planned activities and events that are vital for my impact case study will now not happen. What should I do?

The funding councils have just announced that the assessment period for impact has been extended to 31 December 2020.  This may enable some activities to take place, and also allow for the inclusion of COVID-19 related impacts.

The funding councils considered further mitigations, such as the inclusion of potential impact in impact case studies, but have, on balance, decided against those. Instead, they are seeking our views on whether a contextual statement of 100 words should be allowed where specific impact case studies have been severely affected by the COVID restrictions.

10. When is the REF census date? What about other significant REF dates?

The REF census date remains in place on 31 July 2020. The assessment period for environment metrics (1 August 2013 to 31 July 2020) remains in place, as does the assessment period for publications (1 January 2014 to 31 December 2020).

The funding councils are currently consulting on whether a case by case exception should be introduced where publications are demonstrably delayed by COVID-19.

Digital Research

Last updated 02 April 2020

1. Can I access the Maxwell HPC from home?

Maxwell is operating as normal and remote access is possible both by command line and via the x2go graphical interface. The relevant permissions have already been set for most Maxwell users. Existing users should therefore follow the guidance for remote access.

If you are having trouble connecting to Maxwell or are not yet a Maxwell user, please contact us at digitalresearch@abdn.ac.uk for assistance. 

2. I am trying to continue my research at home, but my PC is struggling to perform the computational tasks. What can I do?

If your home computers processing speed or the size of its memory is limiting your work you should contact us at digitalresearch@abdn.ac.uk for assistance.

It’s possible that Maxwell, the High-Performance Computer Cluster at the University of Aberdeen, is a solution for you. It can be accessed remotely, and we have a highly motivated team providing assistance. Further information on the HPC can be found in the toolkit video.

3. Can I install the SNAP11 survey software on my personal device?

University staff can download SNAP11 from the software download centre when off campus. At present it is not possible for students to download and install SNAP11. However, if you need to use SNAP11 while working remotely you can access it using the virtual desktop infrastructure. Further information on the use of SNAP11 can be found in the toolkit page.

4. Can I still request an appointment with a digital research specialist?
Yes. While circumstances preclude in-person meetings, we are happy to schedule group and one-to-one meetings via Microsoft teams. If you would like to talk to one of our team, about anything at all, please contact us directly digitalresearch@abdn.ac.uk to arrange a meeting. 
5. Will you still assist in costing of tech for grant proposals?
Yes. While we still advise that applicants consult the IT costing tool which covers the most common items, we are more than happy to offer advice and/or bespoke quotes upon requests to digitalresearch@abdn.ac.uk.
6. Who can I ask to help me with some of the more technical requirements of my research project?
Our Digital Research Team will do our best to support you with decision making, accessing appropriate technologies, ensuring you can maximise benefits and operate safely.
7. I would like to continue my research from home, but I'm not sure if I’m permitted to hold the data on my personal device.
Before transferring data to your home device, you should get approval to do so from the data owner. However, there is likely a better way of accessing the data remotely. Contact the service desk for further details.
8. What do I do if I need IT Services to move data for me from one drive to another?

IT Services are unable to move any data from one location to another without approval from the data owner. Therefore, all requests to move data should come to IT Services from the data owner. Please contact this person if you know who it is. If not, IT Services may be able to advise on who this is.

Postgraduate Research Students

Last updated 27 May 2020

1. I'm self-isolating, do I need to provide proof?
There will be no requirement for you to provide supporting medical evidence but you should state your reason for absence (e.g. self-isolation). You must 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
2. 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, Zoom or by phone.
3. 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.
4. I’m an on-campus Tier 4 student unable to sign in; what should I do?
You should contact your School PGR Administrator in the first instance. They will be able to give you instructions for sign-in during this time.
5. I’m worried I will not be able to make any progress on my research topic at this time, what should I do?
Please discuss with your supervisors how you can continue to work on your research topic/thesis at this time. If you are unable to continue working in a laboratory and are unable to continue working remotely on your research in any capacity, you should complete a ‘Postponement of Research Degree due to Coronavirus (Covid-19)’ form and return to pgrs-engagement@abdn.ac.uk. Please be assured, there will be no detriment to your studies. Any impact on your PhD will be assessed once normal working practices are resumed. If you do not have access to IT facilities at home, please raise this with your supervisor in the first instance.
6. 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 physical or mental health issues, we would expect you to keep working. A suspension of studies may be recommended following review of a ‘Postponement of Research Degree due to Coronavirus (Covid-19)’ form.
7. 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 research pages for further information.
8. I am a PGR student undertaking lab work, what should I do?

At this time, all university buildings are closed and there is no access to any laboratory facilities. Please discuss with your supervisor a plan for what you can reasonable achieve during this time.

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

Please discuss this with your supervisor in the first instance, there are many types of fieldwork and individual circumstances should be considered which take into account Government guidelines for social distancing. It’s likely that any fieldwork in the UK is going to be difficult and should be postponed until further notice.

If you are currently overseas or are in the UK undertaking fieldwork and wish to continue to do so, you must contact your supervisor immediately to discuss if this is a viable option. You will have to complete a Coronavirus (Covid-19) risk assessment form for approval by your Head of School.

If you are currently overseas or are in the UK undertaking fieldwork - the University and UK government has advised that all work and study related travel should be postponed until further notice. Please refer to our FAQs on travel and contact your supervisor to discuss this.

PGRs undertaking qualitative fieldwork via eg surveys, interviews - should continue to do so only via digital means, continuing to comply within agreed ethical approval, if you need to amend your protocol, please discuss with your supervisor in the first instance.

If you are due to undertake fieldwork or placements imminently, you must seek approval from your supervisor and Head of School to do so.

If you plan to submit a new application for ethical of approval of research involving human participants (non-clinical research projects),  please refer to the latest guidance here.

10. I’m a PGR students 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 complete a coronavirus (Covid-19) risk assessment form for approval by your Head of School.

11. 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 the latest guidance for clinical research involving human participants.
12. I’m a PGR student who has already recruited human participants to a study, what do I do?
studyPlease refer to the research FAQ section for guidance.
13. 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.

14. 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.

15. 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.
16. 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.

17. 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.
18. 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.
19. I am a UKRI funded student, will I still receive my stipend?
Please see the UKRI student section.
20. 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?
You should refer to your query to the PGR School (pgrs-studentships@abdn.ac.uk) to discuss any impact upon your studentship. Most funders are working to ensure any impact is minimised.
21. 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.

International and Exchange Students

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.

For destinations within Europe (ie for students due to go on an Erasmus or Swiss exchange), these factors do not yet impact so heavily. Therefore, students should continue with their preparations to go abroad. All offers will be considered conditional until mid-July 2020, when final decisions will be made.

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

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 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.
8. 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.

9. 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.

10. 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

11. 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 thesupervisor’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.

12. 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.

 

13. 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
14. 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.

15. 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

16. 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.

17. 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.

18. What is the current situation in Scotland, and what are Scottish government policies/guidelines surrounding Covid-19?

Detailed information on Scottish government guidelines and statistics related to Covid-19 can be found here.

Qatar

Last updated 26 March 2020

Teaching

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.

Assessment

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). 

 

Progression

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.

Health and Wellbeing

1. I am feeling worried by the coronavirus-Covid-19 outbreak and it is impacting upon my mental health - is there support available?

We understand you might be worried about coronavirus and that being asked to stay at home or avoid other people might feel difficult or stressful. There are lots of things you can try that could help your wellbeing. Some examples include: connecting with people digitally; trying to keep active; finding ways to relax and keep your mind challenged (which can be study related, work related or otherwise). For more information about how you can take care of your mental health and wellbeing during the Coronavirus break please visit the MIND website.

If you are feeling overwhelmed students can contact ourstudent support team and staff can contact the university’s confidential employee assistance programme or talk to your line manager or HR partner.

2. I don’t have the same equipment and desk at home that I had in the office. How can I be expected to get the same amount of work done and do it without affecting my health and safety?

You are not expected to work on a laptop, without a separate keyboard and mouse, for extended periods. If you do not have access the these, and/or are not able to achieve a comfortable working posture, or start to experience pain or discomfort, you are empowered to take a break and take much more frequent future breaks than would ordinarily be the case. Your health and safety must not be compromised.

More guidance is available at https://www.abdn.ac.uk/staffnet/working-here/coronavirus/working-from-home/index.php#panel10425

Events

Last updated 20 March

1. Should my event/gathering go ahead?
All events, gatherings and meetings which require individuals to meet in person are to be postponed or cancelled until further notice. This includes Field Trips and Study Visits.
2. What if I have sent invites/marketing materials out for an event that is taking place later in the year? Do I continue to organise this event?

If the event is scheduled to take place before August, we would strongly recommend that you postpone or cancel.

Should you choose to continue to organise an event for later in the year, please ensure you have contingency plans in place and are able to contact audience/guests to inform them if anything changes. You should be advising attendees to be mindful of travel advice and consider delaying booking travel and accommodation until nearer the event.

3. If I cancel my plans, should I claim a refund for travel or accommodation expenses?
You should contact the supplier and request a refund. If this is not available, try to get a voucher or credit note instead. This should then be put towards covering the cost of future business travel or accommodation.
4. Is there a form of words you can provide that can assist in informing of an event cancellation or postponement?

The University has (POSTPONED/CANCELLED EVENT) due to take place at (VENUE) on (DATE). 

Please accept our sincere apologises for any inconvenience this may cause but do be assured, the decision has been taken only after much consideration and reflects government issued guidance.  The continued safety and wellbeing of you, visitors, the University and the wider community are very much our priority.

We will seek to update you on any plans to stage this event at a later date.

Library services

All library buildings are now closed but we continue to provide a digital library service for staff and students.

Find out more information on our Coronavirus and Library Services page.

IT Services

For guidance on using IT when on working from home - including IT security, remote access services, and using MS Teams and other online collaboration tools - please visit the Working from Home page.

Information Governance and Security

1. What health data will be collected in respect regarding staff and students?

Acknowledging that we have a health & safety responsibility to staff, students and visitors to campus, we still need to collect personal data in accordance with the data protection principles:

  • We gather health data if we have a contingency plan that requires that information, i.e. when one of our plans is instruct only the immune-suppressed to self-isolate, or to limit those people’s return to campus on re-opening.
     
  • We gather the minimum amount of health data necessary to fulfil the task, i.e. if we are seeking to identify those staff / students with suppressed immunity, we ask that to be declared, not the underlying health condition. The health data required is specified and consistent across each campus.
     
  • We use a process that maintains accurate health data, i.e. if we are reliant on this data for key decisions about presence on campus, that the data remains accurate for that purpose.
     
  • We are clear who will have access to the health data, how it will be used and when it will be destroyed. We give staff / students a means to object to their health data being collected and used in this way.
     
  • We use technology that ensures the confidentiality and availability of the health data, and particularly that it is not available to third parties and internationally without appropriate safeguards being in place.
     
  • Please contact Digital & Information Services if you intend on collecting data for guidance on the best tool to use.
Revisions to Services – July 2020

Last updated 02 July 2020

1. Can I still collect and send mail at the University?

PARTIAL REINSTATEMENT OF THE MAILROOM AND OUTGOING MAIL SERVICES

Old Aberdeen

The University Mailroom at 9a Dunbar Street, Kings Campus, will open for 2 half days on:
•    Tuesday 14 July 2020     0900 – 1200 hours, and
•    Thursday 16 July 2020    0900 – 1200 hours

in order to process any outgoing mail. It will be open every Monday and Thursday between these times thereafter, with an increase in operational hours and capacity to be reviewed on a weekly basis going forward.

Mail will for all areas of Kings continue to either be retained in the Mailroom or stored securely elsewhere on campus. 

Staff will not be able to collect mail directly from the mailroom.  

Foresterhill

Incoming mail will continue to be sorted between 9-10am Monday to Friday then placed in relevant pigeonholes for collection.  Mail can be collected anytime but only by nominated people, a list of which should be supplied to Polwarth Porters.

Sample deliveries by couriers should be made to the South Tower at the main ARI building where NHS receive deliveries (as per the Christmas closure process).
 
Deliveries

Moving forward, please do not place orders for goods that are not business critical or have personal items delivered to the University.

There will be no mail redirection service from either Old Aberdeen or Foresterhill until further notice. 

Mailroom operations will be scaled up as required according to operational need.  

2. Are there still cleaning services throughout the University?

Cleaning activities are currently being reinstated in line with government guidance and University priorities. This includes cleaning and preparing buildings for reoccupation, reinstating existing cleaning services and undertaking an enhanced cleaning regime.

Information on the changes to the cleaning service are provided .

It is important to clarify that changes to the cleaning services are only one element of a suite of preventative activities which contribute towards minimizing the risk and opportunity for the possible transmission of Covid-19.

All staff, students and visitors have a shared responsibility for themselves and towards others to ensure they are supporting our community by practicing good hand hygiene, using hand sanitiser, adhering to and respecting physical distancing measures, and using face coverings and PPE appropriately.  

3. Will there be portering services on campus?

From 6 July, basic portering services are back in operation, with altered duties, staffing levels and activities to reflect front line requirements. 

These will be scaled up according to operational need. 

4. Will maintenance and security services still be available?

Maintenance

Reactive maintenance continues for the buildings that are open and in the process of reopening. Emergencies and call outs continue as before, although response times may still be affected.  

Statutory testing and other important compliance checks are in the process of being undertaken across campus as part of the reinstatement process and the ongoing cycle of these checks is recommencing as activities on campus increase.   

All repairs should be directed via the online reporting portal, or to efrequests@abdn.ac.uk.

Grounds and the Botanic Gardens

While Grounds maintenance activities have recommenced on campus the Cruickshank Botanic Garden remains closed with staff returning to this area from furlough on Wednesday 1st July to prepare the garden for future opening.

Security

Emergencies should continue to be reported to Security Control. 

The Security team continue to operate as normal but with a reduced staffing complement.  Please contact estates@abdn.ac.uk with any queries.

5. Can I still access the buildings on campus?

There is now no access to any University premises for staff and students, with the exception of key core designated staff who have access requirements pre-arranged through their Head of School or Director.

Buildings will be physically locked down and all swipe access permissions will be removed, including local administrator amendment rights. This will be centrally controlled through Estates and Facilities for the foreseeable future.

Pre-authorised access

Access arrangements have been made for staff undertaking certain core business critical functions and have been pre-authorised by Heads of School and Directors.

A specified cohort of staff will have swipe access enabled to specific pre-agreed areas within the campus to enable business critical activity.  We would ask that you let Security know on x3327 when you arrive and leave the premises for lone working purposes.

Some staff will have facilitated access through Security.  This will mean they must attend at Security Control to sign in and will be escorted by a Security Officer or a Porter to their destination. They must then sign out at Security afterwards.

Campus wide access is restricted to specifically designated Estates and Facilities and DDIS staff only.

Requests for access

Any requests for access should be routed through estates@abdn.ac.uk.   Individuals must provide written email authorisation from their Head of School or Department/Directorate in advance, and submit it to estates@abdn.ac.uk.  

The following details should be supplied with any access request:

  • Name
  • Building
  • Staff ID number
  • Where access is required
  • Activity
  • Frequency of Access (one off, daily, weekly etc)
  • Contact
  • Department
  • Authorisation from HoS/Director

Because access is being managed remotely, it will not be immediate and may take a day or two.

All essential/nominated staff are encouraged to download the SafeZone App and utilise it for lone working purposes when they are coming onto campus.

Queries relating to building access requests should be directed to estates@abdn.ac.uk.

6. Will the 9U shuttle bus still be running?

The 9U shuttle bus will not be operating until further notice.

7. Will waste still be uplifted from campus?

Waste services (non-hazardous, recyclates and confidential waste) are gradually being reinstated in line with University priorities, but in some cases on reduced uplifts.  This will be monitored and adjusted as required.

Any issues or requests relating to waste should be reported through estates@abdn.ac.uk.

 

8. Are campus car parks still available for use?

Car park enforcement at Old Aberdeen remains on hold for the time being, except at Foresterhill, where the parking barriers and restrictions have been reinstated.

Campus Cleaning Services

Last updated 02 July 2020

Interim revisions to the cleaning service

In this difficult time, we are doing our best to make sure the campus environment is suitable for working and studying in. 
 
The pre-Covid cleaning activities at the University will be reinstated incrementally as they were prior to lockdown, with some changes and enhancements planned. 

It is very important to clarify at the outset that changes to the cleaning regime will not eliminate the risk of transferring or preventing Covid-19 infections.

Changes to cleaning provision are only one element of a suite of other preventative activities such as encouraging good hand hygiene, physical distancing, use of face coverings, provision of hand sanitiser etc, all of which contribute towards minimizing opportunity for a surface to become contaminated immediately after cleaning, thus reducing transmission risk. 

Key changes to the existing service

Due to the ongoing requirement for physical distancing and minimizing risk there will be some slight alterations to services in the short to medium term.

Personal/individual offices will not be cleaned in Semester 1.  This will be reviewed on an ongoing basis.  All shared office areas will continue to be cleaned weekly.

Computer and IT Classrooms

Computer classrooms will be cleaned as per the normal cleaning cycle. In addition, each room will have cleaning wipe dispensers installed which users can use to clean equipment. These will be replenished by Estates and Facilities.  

IT Classroom Users will be expected to maintain good hand hygiene and practices including wiping down their desk, mouse, keyboard and monitor before and after use.

Other Teaching Facilities 
(This includes lecture theatres, seminar rooms and teaching classrooms)

Centrally timetabled teaching facilities will be cleaned as per the normal cleaning cycle.  In addition, each room will have cleaning wipe dispensers installed which users can use to clean desks.  These will be replenished by Estates and Facilities.   
 
Staff, students and room users will be expected to maintain good hand hygiene and cleanliness practices including wiping down desks, chairs and any IT or other equipment used before and after use. 

Hand Sanitiser Stations

A total of 700 hand sanitiser dispensers are to be installed in the following areas:
•    All entry/exit points to each building on campus, both at Kings and Foresterhill 
•    Throughout key core circulation areas in buildings with normal occupancy levels over 100 people 

These dispensers will be replenished daily by Estates and Facilities. 

The services do not include provision of hand sanitiser at MFDs, vending machines, every kitchen area, keypads, IT classrooms etc.

Daytime touchpoint cleans

In addition to the normal cleaning service levels, the following will be undertaken using relevant appropriate disinfectant and antibacterial solutions, equipment and disposable cloths and wipes:

1.    Enhanced touchpoint cleaning to specified agreed touch points.  These include (but are not limited to)

•    Door handles (except inside individual offices)
•    Lifts
•    Push plates
•    Light switches and sockets
•    Sanitary ware touchpoints in toilet areas
•    Keyboards and mice in IT facilities, computer classrooms 
•    Toilet and washroom areas including taps, toilet flushes, sanitary bin lids etc
•    Waste receptacle lids
•    Kitchenettes (with support from users)

These will be cleaned through the day, Monday – Friday.  The target minimum clean is twice per day, resource dependent.


Enhanced touch point cleaning is only guaranteed to be effective at the time the clean is undertaken - after that cleanliness is totally dependent on building user hygiene.  

Workplace Hygiene Programme

We have installed a Workplace Hygiene Programme in some of our bigger buildings which will support staff and students in remembering to undertake enhanced hand hygiene after touching certain contact points.  

The programme identifies certain key touch points (through use of a sticker) where the risk of potential contamination to users is higher, thus prompting them themselves to take appropriate action i.e. going on to wash or sanitise their hands.  It also clearly highlights these touchpoints as areas where cleaning is targeted at regular frequencies through the day. 

Please look out for the touchpoints:

                

Please also read and follow the guidance provided on the blue board available at the main entrance to your building.

User cleaning responsibilities

Building users and occupiers have a shared responsibility to maintaining good personal hygiene practices. 

Schools and depts are expected to make relevant local arrangements for purchasing gloves, wipes for telephones/keyboards and screens, providing sanitising wipes for local school, department or personal use, providing masks/face coverings and goggles, and any other appropriate additional supplies.  

In recognition of the fact that the revised cleaning regime is very resource intensive, this provides valuable supplementary local support alongside the centrally provided services.

We would ask for support and cooperation from all staff and students to ensure that they maintain the highest levels of hygiene, and take a responsible, shared approach to hand hygiene and general cleanliness.

When on campus, users are expected to clean

•    Their own desk, telephone, keyboard, mouse and screen 
•    Personal Offices - Office door handles and light switches/touchpoints
•    Any lecterns, IT or other controls, desktop equipment, projectors, laptops, mice and keyboards which have been in use during a class (before and after use)
•    Their own pens, stationery items and cutlery and crockery
•    Touchpoints in kitchens after they have used them e.g. kettles, toasters, microwaves, cupboard handles, water coolers etc

Schools and Departments will be expected to make appropriate arrangements to provide staff with the relevant appropriate PPE and equipment required for their day to day activities. 

Laboratories (including research)

Laboratory users in specialist areas or dealing with specialist equipment will be expected to clean their own equipment and touchpoints within the labs.  Schools are required to purchase the appropriate materials to do so, e.g. 
 
Hoists, monitors, gym equipment, specialist laboratory equipment e.g. microscopes, autoclaves etc and including sinks and taps, etc.  
 
Schools and Departments are also expected to provide their own sanitiser in these areas and make arrangements to ensure specialist equipment is cleaned and maintained.  

Electrostatic cleaning

Regular disinfection of High Footfall areas will take place by Facilities staff utilising the electrostatic cleaning system, e.g.

Lifts
Reception areas
Foyers and entrances
Library desks and chairs
Eating areas:  including chairs, tables door handles, vending machines etc.

Enhanced service summary 

Please note that delivery of these revised services is resource contingent.

Door handles, exit buttons, push plates and digital locks

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Eating areas: including chairs, door handles, vending machines etc.

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant &antibacterial solutions

Catering staff (once service reinstated)

Entry card readers

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and Library staff

Food service areas

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Catering staff (once service reinstated)

Handrails on staircases and corridors

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Kitchenettes – kettles, fridge handles, cupboard handles, microwave door, dispensers

Once daily, touchpoints twice daily

 

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff, seconded staff and users – shared responsibilities

Keyboards

Twice daily by cleaning team

 

Disinfectant wipes available through schools & departments & computer labs

Cleaning staff and users – shared responsibilities

Lift controls

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Light switches

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Office desks

Recommended once daily

 

 

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant &antibacterial solutions

will be available through Schools for users.

Users

Personal (Single Occupancy) Offices

Service suspended

 

 

Photocopiers, MFDs and other office equipment

Clean after each use

Disinfectant wipes available in all offices & computer labs

Cleaning staff and users – shared responsibilities

Reception desks

Once per hour

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Front of House and Library staff

Rubbish collections and bins

 

Twice daily

Appropriate disinfectant & antibacterial solutions

Cleaning and Portering staff

Specialist Equipment (e.g. lab & schools equipment)

Clean after each use

Disinfectant wipes available through schools & departments

Users

Taps, dispensers and hand washing facilities

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant and antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource

Telephone equipment

Before and after use

Disinfectant wipes available through schools & departments

Users

Toilet flushes, hand dryers, sanitary bin lids, seats

Twice daily

Appropriate wipes, disinfectant and antibacterial solutions

Cleaning staff and seconded resource