FAQ for students when starting in September 2020

This page contains the latest information for students in the 2020/21 academic year. Information in blue was updated in January 2021.

It should be noted that our plans are subject to ongoing review as additional guidance is provided to us by the OfS (Office for Students), Public Health England (PHE) and the DfE (Department of Education).

Our commitment to you is that we will continue to update all of our students as we adapt our plans. Weekly information will be provided to you via our Student Briefing (sent to your student email) and updates on the main Supporting students during Covid webpage.

What you can expect from us in 2020/21
  • Students will receive a timetabled programme of study whether it is accessed on-site or online. Semester 2 will commence online due to government guidelines and we will return to offering face-to-face teaching with a blended learning approach when possible. Your timetable will remain the same. We will update you via your weekly Student Briefing email.
  • We will continue to provide a supportive and student-centred approach.
  • We will provide academic support and pastoral support, so you feel confident in transitioning into higher education in these unusual and unforeseen circumstances.
  • We will optimise the delivery of online and face-to-teaching to ensure all students have the support and contact they require, and we will listen and respond to your on-going feedback so we can continually improve. 
  • We will provide reliable forms of assessment and feedback so that you have a record of your achievements and are clear about your academic progress and what you must do to improve and achieve your goals. In semester 2, formal examinations will be replaced by alternative assessments. We are currently awaiting confirmation from awarding bodies.
  • We will provide access to suitable study resources to enable you to explore your subject and develop your knowledge.
  • We will offer a rich and rewarding course experience in which students will work together.
  • We will develop your digital literacy and confidence in studying online through bespoke training sessions.
  • We will continue to provide additional opportunities for engaging in course-related and extracurricular activities for the benefit of all students.
  • We will ensure that assessment tasks will be identical for all students, irrespective of the mode of delivery undertaken by individual students.
  • Where the demands of developing and accessing skills cannot be met due to circumstances beyond the control of UCP (e.g. constraints imposed by social distancing and difficulties with travelling to campus in person), reasonable and accessible alternative approaches will be explored in consultation with you, awarding and professional bodies.
What does ‘blended learning’ mean for me?

Blended learning is a combination of face-to-face teaching and online learning. Due to the Coronavirus pandemic, universities and higher education institutions are restricted by the number of students who can safely be on campus at the same time.

As UCP is a smaller institution, we have been able to allow students to come onto campus for one day of face-to-face teaching per week and the other day of the week will be delivered via online learning (for courses studied two full days a week). The method of this will depend on the course you are studying and we will communicate with you further before your course starts. In January 2021, we had to amend this approach for the start of Semester 2, which will be delivered online.

In March 2020 when we entered lockdown, we were able to easily transition to this method of learning so all students could continue with their course without disruption. We use industry standard software which will provide students with transferrable employability skills.

What if I am in a vulnerable category with an underlying or temporary health concern?

We will ensure all students are accommodated if this means you cannot attend face-to-face lectures or seminars. How this is done, will depend on your condition, the course and the module you are studying (as it may involve practical sessions).

To help us plan ahead, we are keen to hear from students with underlying or temporary health concerns (or with vulnerable dependents in your household). Whilst some students have already declared conditions to Student Support, we invite any student with health considerations to complete a short COVID-19 Health Notification Form (see link below) and return it to support@ucp.ac.uk to ensure that we can effectively plan support for you. Please contact support@ucp.ac.uk if you need any further clarification.

How can I get additional learning support (ASL) for when I start my course?

The UCP Student Support team is committed to helping guide students through a large network of services in order to access the relevant support they may need as a result of a disability, long term health condition, learning difficulty or mental health condition. We strongly urge any student to contact Student Support if you have a known diagnosis, or suspect you have a specific need. This is so that your support is put in place as quickly as possible and you are not placed at a disadvantage.

You can include details of the diagnosis on your UCAS application (when applying now or through Clearing) then in these cases the Student Support team will contact individually. Alternatively, you can complete the ALS Disclosure Form on the link below.

There is more information about how additional learning support works at UCP on the download link below and you can contact support@ucp.ac.uk if you need any further help.

Can I be on campus when I do not have lectures/seminars?

To start off with, students will only be allowed on campus on the days on which they have timetabled lectures/seminars or scheduled appointments. We are following strict guidelines to ensure that as many students can be on campus as is allowed. To enable this, students cannot be on campus when they do not have lectures/seminars.

Will I still get individual and group tutorials with my lecturers?

Absolutely. You will still have the same amount of access to your lecturers and they will be available to support you in exactly the same way as before. As we have smaller classes than many other institutions, our academic staff will be able to give you all the support and feedback you will need to ensure you achieve the best in your degree.

When will we return to face-to-face teaching?

As soon as we know, we will inform all students. We have to strictly adhere to guidance set by government. We would like to return to face-to-face teaching as soon as we are allowed.

What safety procedures are being put in place so student and staff are safe?

The safety of our students and staff is our upmost priority and we will follow Public Health England and Universities UK guidance to ensure social distancing measures are in place as well as introducing our own safety measures.

  • Entry to campus will be controlled. If anyone feels unwell with COVID-19 symptoms they will not be allowed to enter.
  • Face masks / coverings must be worn at all times in the building and when in class (unless you have a medical exemption - please contact Student Support as we can provide an identification badge so other staff and students are aware). 
  • Social distancing measures will be employed with markings and signage around the campus. Students and staff will sit 2 meters apart in classrooms and offices and this will be reviewed as government guidance changes.
  • Where possible we will determine one-way routes around the campus to ensure that there is no crossing in corridors.
  • Entrances and exits will be clearly marked as part of the one-way route.
  • We will spread out student groups and they will operate in curriculum ‘bubbles’ to minimise social contact.
  • Cleaning materials and hand-sanitiser will be supplied for use in classrooms and offices.
  • All rooms that have been used will be cleaned at the end of each day.
  • Staff are encouraged to naturally ventilate the room which they are using. No air-conditioning will be used until further notice.
  • Access will be strictly limited.
Can I mix with students from other courses?

To ensure that we follow social distancing measures, we will be asking students to remain in their class bubble when they are on campus. When this can be relaxed we will of course let you know. We will be creating an online community and activities so students can engage with each other.

Will there still be events and activities for students?

The Student Council, student support teams and academic staff will be planning a variety of events and activities in the academic year to help students engage and enjoy the wider student experience. Details of the events and activities will be promoted during enrolment.

Will the catering facilities on-site be open?

The catering outlets will be providing a streamlined service which we will continue to review in light of guidance. We will adopt additional protective measures around food hygiene, production, and delivery to limit and reduce risk. For example, this will include PPE, limited menu choice, pre-wrapped offer and contactless payments only. You can of course bring in a packed lunch with you.

Can I still park my car on-site?

Yes. There is free car parking for students on campus who live more than 2 miles away. As there will be fewer students allowed on campus to start off with you should find it easier to get a parking space. You will be required to register for a parking permit and details of this will be provided during enrolment. There are bike racks outside the campus building and public transport links if coming by train or bus. Students will need to abide by government guidance when travelling on public transport. Students who can travel to campus on foot or by cycling should do so.

Will student accommodation be available for students?

Yes. To discuss your student accommodation requirements email accommodation@ucp.ac.uk - please give details of the course you will be studying.

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