New Academic Teaching Year (NATY)

The University is to rebalance the academic teaching year by introducing a new framework. The new structure will be implemented for the 2020-21 academic year, which starts with Welcome Week on the 21 September. It will modernise the student experience, offer new learning opportunities, and ensure students can manage their workload more effectively.

The new teaching year retains the same number of formal teaching weeks (22 in total, 11 per semester) while offering some new opportunities for you, the students, but there are some key changes:

1. More time for revision

More time for revision and assessment support in both semesters one and two through the assessment support weeks that will take place in semester one before the Christmas vacation and two weeks in May. The type of activities that will take place during assessment support weeks will vary by module and student, and may include revision lectures, tutorials, online and in-person study skills support, and wellbeing workshops.

2. Two examination periods (Two weeks of exams in January and three weeks in May / June).

A formal, centrally-supported examination and assessment period at the end of semester one, and also at the end of semester two.

3. Campus-wide student UoBe Festival

A new, campus-wide student UoBe Festival between the end of semester one and the start of semester two will provide students with the chance to unwind and have fun after the January exam period and feel part of a thriving university community. The events held during UoBe Festival (formerly Enrichment Week) are being designed alongside students to help deliver ‘real world’ personal skills and enhance employability. Activities will likely include careers fairs and CV clinics, life skills sessions to develop skills beyond taught programmes, wellbeing events, sports, special talks and events on topical issues, student society taster events, and performances from musicians, artists and more.

Why change the academic teaching year structure?

Our existing framework is based on the premise that teaching takes place across two terms, with summative assessment for both terms taking place in the summer term. Over time, however, Schools have introduced more exams in January and also summative coursework at the end of term one. As a result, the summer term is not always being used for teaching students, as was originally planned. Given the amount of local assessment now happening in January - there is a pressing need for a formal, centrally supported examination / assessment period at this point in the year to relieve the workload pressure on students and staff in a number of Schools.

The new academic year is designed to make us more flexible in our delivery to accommodate new part-time learners, increasingly flexible degree apprenticeship models, and more student mobility options such as single-semester opportunities that are accessible to a wider range of students.

To find out more please visit the NATY FAQ page.  


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