Teaching in the 2021/22 academic year

Below sets out our intention for how teaching will look in the 2021/2022 academic year. 

Plan A

How we’re expecting to organise your teaching if there are no restrictions in September

All HE courses (UG and PG) except Creative Services:

Our intention is that if we can, we will offer all of our teaching in a similar way to what we would have done pre-pandemic. This means that at least 75% of your teaching will be face-to-face. Lectures, seminars and practical teaching will be face-to-face in almost all circumstances. During the pandemic, we’ve developed our online resources substantially and the use of digital platforms is both part of your education as well as a mechanism for delivering your studies. As the world has adapted to working remotely, we consider this as good preparation for your career. That will vary by course, and is likely to include things like one-to-one tutorials, and larger lectures being offered online, as we know that’s easier for most students.

Creative Services courses (Specialist Hair and Media Make-up and Aesthetic Practitioner):

Blending intense practical sessions with digital delivery, we will prioritise face-to-face teaching in state-of-the-art studios and clinics in 2021/22. Therefore, you can expect your course to be a minimum of 60% face-to-face, with additional workshops available during reading weeks and semester breaks.

All HE courses:

We also have lecture capture software in many of our rooms, which means if you do miss a lecture, or want to listen to it again for revision, you can do that via our Virtual Learning Environment, Canvas.

More details on the specific teaching patterns we are planning for each course will be linked from this page by late July.

Alternative plans if restrictions apply

Plan B - how we’re expecting to organise your teaching if there are restrictions relating to social distancing or group sizes

If there are still restrictions on group sizes and social distancing by the time the autumn term starts then we will need to offer a more blended teaching timetable. That will mean that practical teaching and small group teaching like seminars will mostly be face-to-face, in small socially-distanced groups. Lectures and some other large group teaching will be online. It’s likely that in this situation, all courses would be able to offer at least 40% of teaching face-to-face, and many would be able to offer more.

If this is the case, we will keep the timetable under review, and switch back to more face-to-face teaching if it becomes possible again. We would always give you at least 2 weeks’ notice of a switch to more face-to-face teaching.

Contingency plans if required - if there are local or national restrictions

If there are local or national restrictions that mean we are not able to offer in-person teaching to all students for a period, we will switch to mostly-online or fully-online teaching if necessary. We know that we can teach most courses we offer online if necessary, and have backup plans if we need them. If there were any content we weren’t able to teach online, we would offer it in catch-up sessions at a later point.

Under these circumstances, if it were within our control we would prioritise offering face-to-face activities in the following order:

  1. Keeping library, IT and other learning resources open on campus
  2. Practical teaching for courses with external body requirements to complete
  3. Practical teaching for other courses, prioritising students whose course finishes in the current academic year if necessary
  4. Seminars and small group teaching for final year students
  5. Seminars and small group teaching for other students

During previous lockdowns, we have usually been given guidance from local or national government on what was allowed to happen in person, so the priority order above might have to change. We will always let you know as quickly as possible if we do need to change your teaching mode or timetable temporarily.

  • Students with placements in 2021/22

We’re expecting that placements will go ahead as planned, but we do have backup plans in case the industry that you’re working in continues to be disrupted by Covid. Your placement tutors will be in touch, and you can contact them if you have any questions.

  • How and when will we decide whether we are doing plan A, B or Contingency plans if required?

At the moment we are expecting to be able to do plan A. However, we will keep this under review dependent on government guidance. We’re expecting an update on rules around social distancing in June 2021, and will update our plans if necessary then.

We will give you as much notice of any changes as we can, but it’s possible that we might have to change our plans at short notice, or move between A, B and Contingency plans if required, depending on national or local government guidance. If this happens before you have enrolled with us, we will let you know by keeping this page up to date, and you will be reminded of planned teaching patterns during the enrolment process. If we have to change our plans after you have enrolled, we’ll let you know by emailing your University account, and posting updates on Canvas.

  • What if you can’t reach us by the start of Semester 1?

At the moment our plans are based on students being able to reach us by the start of term. We know there’s a lot of uncertainty for students who are overseas about how easy it might be to get to the UK in September.

We should be able to offer some flexibility for the first few weeks of term if you might be late, but please let us know as soon as you can if you think that’s likely, so we can make sure we know when to expect you. If you will be later than that, we will need to consider the options for each student on a case-by-case basis. International students should contact international@ucb.ac.uk to discuss. However, please refer to our website for regular updates.

We will update our plans if it looks likely that lots of students won’t be able to make it, and will let you know if that’s the case.

If you’re coming from overseas and need to quarantine when you arrive, contact the Accommodation team on accommodation@ucb.ac.uk, and they will be able to explain the support we can offer.

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