University news

Our plans for your studies in Semester 2

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We appreciate that you are keen to understand the plans for teaching delivery in Semester 2. We can confirm that, as previously planned, we expect all undergraduate and taught postgraduate students to return to on-campus study for Semester 2, unless there is a major change in UK government guidance. We will of course write to you again with a further update, should this be the case.

This does not apply to postgraduate research students (PGRs) as there is already an expectation that PGRs conduct their research on campus, unless they are on approved off-campus activities such as fieldwork or are researching remotely under the UKVI concession which expires on 6 April 2022.

We know there continue to be some uncertainties, most recently with the new Omicron COVID variant. We are confident that our campus is a safe environment, and we will continue to act in line with any UK government guidance and regulations, as we have always done. The safety of our students and staff will always come first.

If you have in-person assessments on campus during the January exam period, you should ensure you have returned in time for these. Otherwise you should return for the beginning of Semester 2 on 7 February. Make sure you arrive in time to complete any required quarantine period before your exams or teaching activities start (further information on travel below).

As we have done throughout the pandemic, we will continue to assess the current situation in relation to COVID and the Omicron variant, review any emerging UK government guidance over the coming weeks and be ready to make any adaptations if necessary.

Studying on campus

Most of our programmes are designed for learning on campus – primarily in-person on-campus teaching and interaction with your lecturers and other students.

Some programmes also require specific in-person activities or assessment to qualify for accreditation or recognition (for instance by the relevant professional bodies), which can only be delivered on campus.

We also believe that being on campus is important to get the most out of your programme and your whole university experience. As well as in-person teaching, being here in person allows you to make the most of all our facilities and services – the Library, study spaces, wellbeing support, the Students’ Union, sports and societies. And, of course, you are here in our great city.

Safety on campus

We understand that some of you may have concerns about returning, especially with the current uncertainty around the Omicron variant. Throughout Semester 1, our campus has been a COVID-safe environment and case numbers have been very low. We are continually reviewing our COVID safety guidelines.

The vast majority of our students and staff are now vaccinated – returners can also get vaccinated for free after they arrive. In-line with recent UK government guidance, face coverings are mandatory in all indoor spaces across campus. We also encourage everyone on campus to get regular COVID tests, by collecting free testing kits from campus or ordering them to their home address. Find out more about vaccination and testing on campus.

Visas and travel

If you are travelling from overseas to join us on campus in January or February 2022, please be aware that UK government rules for travel and quarantine vary depending on where you travel from. You should check the guidance regularly before you travel, as it is likely to change as the Omicron variant situation develops.

If you live in a “red list” country and are travelling to campus for the first time  this academic year and must undertake quarantine in a UK government approved hotel, we will pay the cost of your required stay. Find out how to apply for the quarantine hotel cost support fund here. We are also in the process of negotiating a preferential rate for PCR tests with a dedicated booking portal – we’ll communicate more details on this soon.

If you have not yet applied for a student visa, you can find information about this on our visa guidance web pages.

Find out more

Go to our student FAQs for more information about studying on campus, COVID safety, travel, and other things you may need to consider before returning. If you’re feeling anxious or need help making the transition back to campus, our support and wellbeing services are available to you.

If you are not able to return, we will help you to explore what may be best for you – which may involve an interruption of study. See our student FAQs to find out who to contact to discuss this.

We commend and thank you for your perseverance and continued commitment to your studies – whether you’ve been studying with us on campus, or remotely this semester. We look forward to welcoming everyone back to campus in the new year.

Professor April McMahon
Vice-President Teaching, Learning and Students