Your studies

During restricted campus operations, the University will be delivering teaching and assessment online. We understand that this will raise many questions. Information is provided below about the move to online teaching, learning and assessment; placements; libraries, study spaces and on-campus services; and studying well. Please be aware that information on this page will continue to be updated as the situation develops.

Changes to the summer examination period

There are significant changes to assessments for the summer exam period. Arrangements vary for Postgraduate Taught (PGT) students, final year Undergraduate students, and students due to continue their studies next year. Please use the FAQs below to understand more about the arrangements relevant to you.

Detailed information will be sent to all Postgraduate Taught and final year Undergraduates by Friday 3 April 2020.

We understand that you will have many questions and that students will be facing a range of circumstances at this time. However, please avoid contacting staff with individual requests so that they can continue to work to get information to all students as quickly as possible. We ask for your patience as we continue to work through the detail and will continue to provide you with further information as soon as we are sure that it is correct.

Final year Undergraduate students

Information for final year Undergraduate students

Will I need to do any exams this summer?

We will graduate as many final year undergraduate students as possible without the need for you to do any exams this summer.
We can only do this if we can evidence that you have met the Programme Learning Outcomes across your whole period of study with us.

Where we have insufficient evidence, we will be setting some coursework or short tests as appropriate to your course.
We will not ask you to do anything that is unfamiliar to you. We are aiming to give you the best possible opportunity to be successful.

When will I know whether I need to complete additional coursework or tests?

We will tell you by Friday 3 April 2020 at the latest whether you need to complete any further assessments during the exam period.

In order to do this, our staff will be looking at the marks that we will have available for every final year student on every programme. To ensure the integrity of your degrees, the teaching experiences and marks you have received will be mapped again each Programme Learning Outcome to ensure there are no gaps.

Remember  that although you may be on the same programme as your peers, you may have taken different optional modules with different assessment patterns, meaning we have more or less marks available for you resulting in different decisions.

Please be patient and avoid contacting staff with individual requests, so that they can continue to work to provide information to all students as soon as possible. 

What will the additional coursework or tests look like?

Where relevant and appropriate, one or more pieces of coursework will be set as the replacement for any remaining exams. These will be kept to a minimum and will be adapted from the original examination that you were expecting. 

We will be allowing as much flexibility as possible in the time period that this can be completed in order for students to graduate on time. We will also offer some online tutor support to ensure you are prepared.

In technical or numerical disciplines, the coursework may include some time-limited online ‘competency’ tests. We will discuss these with the relevant Professional Bodies to meet particular learning outcomes. There will multiple opportunities to take these tests and they will be marked pass/fail. If students are unable to access these tests, other formats will be made available.

Appropriate comparable arrangements will be made for Joint Honours and LANS students.

For students on professional programmes, such as those relating to the medical, teaching or social work programmes, we are following advice from your regulatory bodies. Your programme team will be in regular contact with you about next steps. Requirements are specific to each profession, and so your Programme teams will be clarifying requirements with the relevant Professional Bodies.

For students in health-related professions, work is well advanced on plans to ensure you are available to enter the workforce immediately. Please continue to refer to communications from your department for the most up-to-date and relevant information for your programme.

I am on a professional programme, how will this affect me?

For students on professional programmes, such as those relating to the medical, teaching or social work programmes, we are following advice from your regulatory bodies. Your programme team will be in regular contact with you about next steps. Requirements are specific to each profession, and so your Programme teams will be clarifying requirements with the relevant Professional Bodies.

For students in health-related professions, work is well advanced on plans to ensure you are available to enter the workforce immediately. Please continue to refer to communications from your department for the most up-to-date and relevant information for your programme.

Does it matter that I have taken different modules to other students on my programme?

We recognise that each Programme and set of module options is different. We will undoubtedly have to exercise some discretion where students on the same Programme have taken different options. We will do everything possible to ensure that every student is treated fairly and no one is disadvantaged because of their option choices. 

What are the Programme Learning Outcomes?

Programme Learning Outcomes are very broad outcomes that are usually met in different ways across multiple modules. In this emergency situation, we can check that we have enough evidence to satisfy an Examination Board that the outcomes have been met overall. Staff will be checking this Programme by Programme and student by student. Senate has granted us the powers to take the actions required in this emergency situation.

Therefore for all graduating students, we will be able to take into account the previous years’ learning experiences and marks, any coursework marks for this final year (including those still outstanding in some programmes) from both semesters and – importantly - the dissertation/project marks.

Will I get a degree classification?

We will be able to award degree classifications, although it is recognised that some marks will be missing on students’ transcripts. 

It is important to remember that the entire national (and global) Graduating Cohort of 2020 is unique given the circumstances in which they have graduated. 

In awarding classifications, we will do everything possible to give everyone the maximum opportunity to be successful in the circumstances in which we all find ourselves. 

Postgraduate Taught students

Information for Postgraduate Taught students

If exams are cancelled how will I progress/complete my course?

Where we have sufficient evidence that students have met the expected Programme Learning Outcomes at this stage of the programme (i.e. including all outstanding coursework marks from this semester, minus the dissertation/project), we will cancel all exams scheduled for the summer period. 

What if I don’t have sufficient evidence of meeting the learning outcomes?

On Programmes where we have insufficient marks available and the Programme Learning Outcomes have not been met for this stage of your programme, we will be setting some coursework or short tests as appropriate to the nature of the discipline. We will let you know by Friday 3 April 2020.

Where relevant and appropriate, one or more pieces of coursework will be set as the replacement for any remaining exams. These will be kept to a minimum and will be adapted from the original examination that you were expecting. 

In technical or numerical disciplines, the coursework may include some time-limited online ‘competency’ tests. We will discuss these with the relevant Professional Bodies to meet particular learning outcomes. There will multiple opportunities to take these tests and they will be marked pass/fail. If students are unable to access these tests, other formats will be made available.

For students on professional programmes, such as those relating to the medical, teaching or social work programmes, we are following advice from your regulatory bodies. Your programme team will be in regular contact with you about next steps. Requirements are specific to each profession, and so your Programme teams will be clarifying requirements with the relevant Professional Bodies.

For students in health-related professions, work is well advanced on plans to ensure you are available to enter the workforce immediately. Please continue to refer to communications from your department for the most up-to-date and relevant information for your programme.

Non-final year Undergraduate students

Information for non-final year Undergraduate students

Will I have any exams this summer?

No. We will be cancelling all exams scheduled in the summer period.

You do need to complete any outstanding coursework assessments for individual modules. You will need to refer to information from your School or department with regards to deadlines for these assessments, and any extensions or alternative arrangements.

In order to progress to the next year of study, we will be asking you to complete a piece of bridging coursework.

This will be a single, overarching piece of coursework that will act as a bridge from this year of study to the next, so that you are ready to progress.

Do I still need to complete my current coursework?

Yes. You need to complete any outstanding coursework assessments for individual modules. You will need to refer to information from your School or department with regards to deadlines for these assessments, and any extensions or alternative arrangements.

What is the ‘bridging coursework’?

The bridging coursework is a single, overarching piece of coursework that you will be asked to engage with so that you are ready to progress to the next year of study.

You will need to engage with it before the next academic year, and engagement with it will count as a ‘pass’. This is designed to put you in the best possible position to succeed in your future studies.

Our aim is to make this exercise as interesting and engaging for you as possible. We will be very flexible about when you do it, any time before the next academic year.

We will provide detailed information on the bridging coursework after Easter. We understand there will be many questions and that students are facing a wide range of different circumstances. Please avoid emailing individual requests at this time to enable staff to provide information for all students more quickly.

Will modules in 2020-21 take into account the changes to this academic year?

Staff will be working hard across the summer to modify Semester 1 modules to take into account the lost assessments this year.

I am on a four year MEng/MSci programme, do I count as a returning undergraduate student?

Yes. These arrangements also cover students on four year MSci/MEng programmes.

Information for Postgraduate Research students

The University Graduate School has prepared information for PGR students and their supervisors.

Transition to online teaching, learning and assessment

There is no face-to-face teaching activity currently at the University, with any remaining taught content and materials for this term to be delivered through Canvas and other online platforms and channels.

Your School and Programme Office will communicate with you and are best placed to answer specific questions relating to your programmes and assessments, but please bear with them at this time of change. 

Online study support

We offer a range of useful online academic skills resources to help you with your studies, including unlimited access to LinkedIn Learning. The Academic Skills Centre online resources cover a wide range of topics to support your studies, including academic writing, exam revision, and time management.

Submitting assessments and dissertations

You should continue to complete and submit end of module assessments and dissertations in the normal way.

  • Undergraduate students: keep focussing on submitting dissertations, projects and assessments as guided by your Programmes.
  • Postgraduate Taught students: you will soon be working with your tutors to come up with revised dissertations/projects to make them viable in the current context.
  • Postgraduate Research students: you should continue to work alongside your Supervisor to arrange ongoing support.

Extenuating circumstances

You should follow your School’s normal processes and deadlines for requesting extensions/deferrals or submitting Extenuating Circumstances.  However, we appreciate that you may not be able to provide evidence that you have been advised to self-isolate (for example, if NHS 111 have provided you with advice over the phone).  Please do not worry about this. You can submit extension/deferral requests and Extenuating Circumstances without evidence, as long as you explain clearly why you have been advised to self-isolate.  

Placements

If you are undertaking a placement as part of your programme, your School will be in direct contact regarding arrangements and next steps. 

We are aware that a number of our partner NHS Trusts have put additional containment measures in place, recognising the potential for additional risk in a health care or clinical setting. This may vary between Trusts and different clinical settings or placement types for staff and students. You must follow the advice of your local Trust or placement setting, which may require you to not attend your NHS place of work/placement for a period of self-isolation. 

Please continue to refer to NHS 111 and your local guidance for the latest advice on whether you need to self-isolate or take any other action.

You should notify your Course Lead or Head of School of any change of circumstances. We are dealing with specific students' placements on a case by case basis.

Social Policy (including all social work programmes)

Please contact your department, via Nick Sheward.

College of Medical and Dental Sciences on placements or electives

(incuding MBChB, BDS, BNurs, MPharm, Physicians Associate, BSc Biomedical Science and PGT/PGR students)

The College of MDS ask that you refer to the specific communications that you have already been sent and check Canvas regularly. Please ensure the notifications are on.

If there are any specific questions not covered in these, please contact the MDS Student Services Desk.

Physiotherapy

Please check all school updates form Dr Vikki Burns (Head of Education).

For all enquiries regarding Physiotherapy clinical placements please contact us by email.

Programme-related academic matters should be directed to Clive Liles.

Other departments

If you are on a placement for a programme of study within a different department, your Programme and Module Leads will be best placed to advise on any questions that you have.

 Libraries, study spaces and on-campus services

As the University moves towards restricted opening, there will be fewer buildings open on campus than usual.  

The Main Library will be closed from 5pm on 20 March. We are enhancing our online library services for all students, so you can still access services, including online skills support, additional e-books, e-journals and other online resources available via the Library website and FindIt@Bham

During this period Library Services will not issue fines for overdue items. If you have items which are due to be returned, please hold onto these until the Main Library re-opens.

 

For further information visit Library Services update: COVID-19.

Visit our campus page for further information on opening during this time.

Studying well

During this time of uncertainty, you are being asking to work in different ways.Many of you will be working from family homes, whilst others will be studying on campus with restricted services. If you are self-isolating, staying at home, or generally worried about the current situation, please visit our wellbeing pages for support.  

Colleges

Professional Services