Coronavirus guidance for students

We have moved to online teaching for the rest of the academic year. Online provision has been put in place for you to engage with your studies remotely.

Following on from the Government’s announcement on Monday 23 March, all UWE Bristol campus buildings are now closed. Every single one of us now has a part to play in this pandemic. Stay at home. Do not gather in groups of more than two, unless you live together. Everybody is instructed to comply with these new measures.

The Government will look again at these measures in three weeks, and relax them if the evidence shows this is possible.

The single most important action we can all take, in fighting coronavirus, is to stay at home in order to protect the NHS and save lives. When we reduce our day-to-day contact with other people, we will reduce the spread of the infection.

Government response: Coronavirus (COVID-19): what you need to do

Key University messages:

  • The University will be taking a 'no-detriment' approach to the 2019/20 academic year. This means that as long as you qualify to progress or graduate based on the marks obtained this academic year, we will ensure that your final academic year average is the same as, or higher than, the average you attained up to Wednesday 18 March 2020 (the day teaching moved online).

    In practice, this means that any upcoming assessments can lift your average for the year, but you won't get penalised if they take your average down. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn't continue to work on your assignments and prepare for your exams - take the time to put your learning into action and improve your marks.
  • New academic regulations have been put in place to ensure you progress and/or complete your award.
  • We have applied Personal Circumstances to all students, covering all assessment due to have been submitted between 18 March (when we moved to online teaching) and the end of the 19/20 academic year. No evidence will be required.
  • All existing coursework hand-in dates have been extended until 14:00 on Thursday 23 April 2020. There will be no 24-hour late window as all students will be entitled to one uncapped resit on modules in the current semester. Professional Law students should refer to programmatic regulations for personal circumstances, fit to sit and deferred sit regulations. Students studying at an International partner need to check deadlines with your home college/university.

What areas of the University will be open?

Teaching, support and administration is available to you using online methods.

All buildings are now on swipe access only, and only staff who have been identified as needed to support core critical functions will be allowed on-site. Students will not be able to access any buildings.

The Students’ Union U Block Shop is still open for students and staff on campus, offering takeaway food, as well as being well-stocked for grocery items and other necessities. The Shop is operating on reduced hours and is open from 08:00-16:00 Monday-Friday.

The Village Shop on Frenchay Campus is also open.

We are conscious that a number of you need access to specialist equipment or spaces. As the University has closed its buildings, this will not be possible in the short term. If you are needing to build up your portfolio of work before entering the job market, we will look to accommodate access when the Government lifts its restrictions. Please bear with us.

I live in UWE Bristol accommodation.

If you are a student still living on campus, we are taking all the steps we can to protect your health and safety. The Students’ Union U Block Shop is still open for students and staff on campus, offering takeaway food, as well as being well-stocked for grocery items and other necessities. The Shop is operating on reduced hours and is open from 08:00-16:00 Monday-Friday. The Village Shop on Frenchay Campus is also open.

You must follow the government's measures on staying home and away from others. Stay inside. Do not gather in groups of more than two, unless you live together.

All buildings are now on swipe access only, and only staff who have been identified as needed to support core critical functions will be allowed on-site. Students will not be able to access any university buildings.

If you live in UWE Bristol accommodation, you must let us know if you have vacated your room. We will then be able to release you from your accommodation contract for the final term.

I live in UNITE accommodation.

If you live in UNITE accommodation and are planning to move out or have moved out, please read their statement about surrendering your tenancy and what steps you need to take to make this happen.

Frequently asked questions

[Last updated: 1 April 2020 11:30]

Study and assessments

Now we have moved to online teaching, how can I engage with my studies remotely?

Programme-specific information will be communicated to you via Blackboard and your academic tutors. Please continue to check Blackboard, your UWE Bristol email and the Coronavirus guidance pages to stay up to date. The guidance pages are being kept updated with Frequently Asked Questions and is the best source of general information over the next weeks.

I’m in year 0 or year 1 of my undergraduate or postgraduate taught programme.

The University has decided to suspend all post-Easter controlled conditions assessments for Foundation and Year 1 students. If you already have online assessments that were set during the teaching term then you should complete them and submit as normal. No new work should be set for you. Your progression will consider the work you’ve already undertaken.

If a professional body requires your assessment to be in controlled conditions, the University will endeavour to put controlled condition exams in place whilst observing current social distancing principles. However, this may be at a later date. Please keep checking Blackboard for more information if this applies to you.

I’m in level 2 of my undergraduate programme

We're currently reviewing how level 2 students will be assessed this academic year. You will not be disadvantaged and we will keep you updated when decisions are made.

I’m due to complete my undergraduate degree or postgraduate taught award this year.

If possible, outstanding assessments will be converted to online assessments. If a professional body requires assessment to be in controlled conditions, the University will endeavour to put controlled condition exams in place whilst observing current social distancing principles. However, this may be at a later date over the summer.

International students may undertake any controlled conditions exam overseas at no additional cost.

If you have already met the learning outcomes for the module then you may not need to undertake additional alternative assessment; this is being considered by staff within your Department who will then advise you of the outcome for that module.

If we are unable to set an assessment in controlled conditions due to University premises being closed we will work closely with the relevant professional body to decide how we can ensure you can complete your award.

I’m due to sit a controlled condition assessment in the normal May exam period, will this still take place?

No. The formal exam period 2 will no longer take place. Controlled conditions exams will be replaced with alternative online assessment unless there is a specific requirement from a professional body.

If a professional body requires assessment to be in controlled conditions, the University will endeavour to put controlled condition exams in place whilst observing current social distancing principles, however, this may be at a later date over the summer. If you are compiling a portfolio or final project we are working to ensure it can be submitted online where appropriate.

We would expect the alternative online assessment to start/be published at the scheduled start time on the published examination timetable.

My hand-in date is scheduled prior to the Easter break. Has this been extended?

Yes all existing coursework hand-in dates have been extended until 14:00 on Thursday 23 April 2020. There will be no 24-hour late window as all students will be entitled to one uncapped resit. Professional Law students should refer to programmatic regulations for personal circumstances, fit to sit and deferred sit regulations.

My hand-in is currently a physical hand-in. What should I do?

If at all possible, this will change to an online submission. In the unlikely scenario that your module leader is unable to change the submission method, they will tell you. All dissertations and final year projects can be submitted online. Blackboard will be updated to reflect submission method.

I have reasonable adjustments. What arrangements are being made?

Alternative assessments will be as inclusive as possible. Academic staff have been advised that a timed online assessment should be avoided unless for very specific professional body requirements. As soon as information is released in Blackboard please consider the new assessment method set and liaise with the academic team if you have concerns about being able to access this assessment to work out an appropriate alternative assessment. Where you are unable to find a solution you and the academic can contact Disability Service via disability.advisers@uwe.ac.uk to explore this further.

What about Personal Circumstances (PCs)?

We have applied Personal Circumstances to all students, covering all assessment due to have been submitted between 18 March and the end of the 19/20 academic year. No evidence will be required. You don't need to do anything.

I’m final year and need access to specialist equipment or spaces.

We are working with the professional bodies to ensure we meet their requirements but in a way that is appropriate for the circumstances we find ourselves in.

However, we are conscious that a number of students will require access to specialist equipment or spaces.

You will still complete your award. Students who are building up a portfolio of work before entering the job market, we will look to accommodate access to specialist equipment or spaces once the government lifts restrictions on movement. As the University will be closing at 17:00 on 24 March this will not be possible in the short term. Please bear with us.

What if I pass my module with a low mark and want to have the mark removed and reattempt the assessment?

You will still need to apply to have a mark removed and provide appropriate evidence that you did not feel fit to complete the assessment at the time. This can be done on the usual way.

Due to the coronavirus pandemic, Personal Circumstances have been applied to all students for all assessment due to have been submitted between 18 March (when the University moved its provision online) and the end of 19/20 academic year. All students will also be entitled to one uncapped resit. If you pass the module first time, you won’t be entitled to an uncapped resit, but you may still want the mark removed. If you wish to have the mark removed and reattempt the assessment, you’ll need to provide evidence that you were not fit to complete the assessment at the time. Professional Law students should refer to programmatic regulations for personal circumstances, fit to sit and deferred sit regulations.

Is my exam timetable right?

Yes, as much as possible, your exam timetable will have the correct start times for your online assessment. However, as they won’t be a controlled condition exam, you’ll have more time to complete.

Will I complete my award on time?

We are doing everything we can to ensure you can complete your award. Our new alternative academic regulations allow us to consider your academic profile to date in light of the overall programme requirements and, if necessary, to make a judgement as to whether the degree can be awarded and classified on that basis.

Will graduation go ahead this summer?

We will continue to follow the guidance from Public Health England (PHE), the NHS, the World Health Organization (WHO) and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) and will continue to communicate with you on graduation events.

Information for International Students

I'm an international student and I'm worried I won't be able to complete my assessment online, what do I do?

If you have a Tier 4 visa and are returning to your home country, or moving off campus, please let the University know please let us know by completing the Tier 4 absence form available online

If you need to sit an exam overseas, there won't be any charge for you to complete your assessment at an assessment centre.

How should be recording my attendance now I’m not on campus?

The Home Office has lifted the restriction on reporting non-attendance of more than 60 days and UWE Bristol will continue to sponsor you as a Tier 4 student.

I’m staying in the UK, now we’ve moved to online teaching, am I able to work for more than 20 hours a week with a Tier 4 visa?

No, this guidance has not changed.

I've already travelled home.

If you have a Tier 4 visa and are returning to your home country, or moving off campus, please let the University know please let us know by completing the Tier 4 absence form available online

Information for work or study abroad students

I'm working or studying abroad.

The FCO COVID-19 Exceptional Travel Advisory notice has been updated, and the UK Government is now advising all UK nationals travelling abroad to come home while commercial flights are still available.

If commercial flights are still available you should contact your airline or travel company now to arrange your immediate return. If commercial flights are not currently available for you to return to home, please continue to seek the advice of the 24/7 Global Response team on +44(0)2920662425 to agree appropriate arrangements while you remain in your current host country.

While you are attempting to return to the UK you should sign up to FCO specific alerts and follow the relevant embassy or high commission’s social media for the country you are in. Once flights become available you will be notified and must then return to the UK as soon as possible. During this time UWE’s travel insurance will continue to remain in place. For further assistance/information please contact the relevant local British Embassy who will be able to give you more detail regarding travel arrangements to return to the UK.

If you require any emergency or medical assistance, Global Response will be able to assist 24/7 on +44 (0)2920 662425 (UWE insurance cover = UMAL/068 or visit the UMAL website).

Should you need urgent funds, or wish to apply for reimbursement of funds, please contact the Student Money Service on sms@uwe.ac.uk  

Information for placement students

Is there specific advice for Nursing and Midwifery or Allied Health Profession students on or about to go on professional placements?

This advice is only for Nursing and Midwifery and Allied Health Profession students

Due to the escalating situation with Covid-19 and the resulting strain that it is placing on healthcare services, clinical staff and students, the University has made the decision to suspend placements for all Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 students with 6 months or more remaining on their programme. We will be working with clinical and practice partners to review this. Students who are currently on placement, should make arrangements to finish their placement in an orderly manner by 17:00 Friday 27 March 2020, students can arrange to finish sooner in discussion with their placement area.

This excludes all year 3 September cohorts for nursing and midwifery and year 2 physicians associates.

Currently our intention is to try and maintain year 3 nursing and midwifery students with less than 6 months remaining on their programmes and Year 2 MSc Physician Associate students in placements in order to facilitate your completion and subsequent registration. However, many of you won’t be able to continue with your placement due to their own needs to social distance or self-isolate in line with Public Health England guidelines. We continue to encourage you to prioritise your own health and wellbeing and step off your placement in order to return home and manage your own health and worries during this time.

We understand that you will be concerned about the impact that this will have on your programmes and practice hours and we are working with the relevant professional body to understand the impact that these decisions will have on your student journey and potential implications for the future workforce. For students who do not undertake a placement currently or who have hours to make up, there will be further opportunities to do so and you will be supported to do this in the future once the situation becomes more stable and normal business is able to resume.

Specific guidance will be communicated to you via Blackboard, so please continue to check it.

The Nursing and Midwifery Council and the Health Education England websites also have useful guidance for you.

I'm a trainee teacher, is there specific advice for students on placements?

If you have been added to your school’s rota and are currently essential to enable the school to provide face-to-face provision for children who need it, then you should continue to attend. If this is not the case then do not attend school. If you are unsure about this then please do check with your school and get in touch with us if you need support with this. If you can support distance learning from home then please do that. If your school does not need you at the moment, and/or if you are unable to work at the moment because of your own circumstances then this is obviously completely understandable. In our previous message we emphasised the importance of looking after your own wellbeing and those of your loved ones – please do and continue to look out for your colleagues in schools and each other at this difficult time.

I’m on a sandwich or short term placement, is there any specific advice?

We understand that this may be a worrying time and that those of you who have not yet completed your placement will have questions about how this unprecedented situation may affect the remainder of your time on placement.

You have probably already been experiencing some disruption at your place of work. Please continue to follow the advice of your placement provider, which may include making arrangements to work remotely. If you need to self-isolate please inform the University's Student and Academic Services, details of how to self-isolate are available on our guidance pages.

If your placement finishes earlier than planned or you wish to leave your placement, please notify us at Placements@uwe.ac.uk in the first instance. We don't currently have all the answers but we will do what we can to make sure that you aren't disadvantaged. Updates will be available from your Programme Team via Blackboard over the coming weeks.

If you have concerns about the financial impact that any change in circumstances will have on you please contact the Student Money Service at sms@uwe.ac.uk for further advice.

Please otherwise continue to check Blackboard, your UWE Bristol email and the Coronavirus guidance pages to stay up to date. The guidance pages are being kept updated with Frequently Asked Questions and is the best source of general information over the next weeks.

If you require any further support please contact us at placements@uwe.ac.uk and someone will get back to you as soon as possible.

Information for Degree Apprenticeship students

I’m on a work based apprenticeship, how will this affect me?

Please contact your employer about changes or disruptions to your workplace activities. They will be able to advise you on any special instructions or issues regarding where, when and how you understand your job, in line with the government guidance for employees, employers and businesses.

If you aren’t feeling well, please follow your employer’s sickness absence reporting guidelines. Please keep a record of your sickness days and contact your Apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead by email or telephone.

If you are a healthcare or essential services related apprentice we understand that you might be required to support your employers to deliver essential services during this period. In line with government policy, the University is committed to supporting affected apprentices involved in essential services while minimising any negative impact on their Apprenticeship programmes in the longer term. If you are one of these apprentices, please advise your Apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead by email or telephone as soon as conveniently possible.

Are classes and on campus activities still going ahead?

UWE Bristol has now moved to online teaching for the rest of the academic year.

I have a progress review coming up, how will I complete this now?

If you have a face-to-face appointment booked, this will be re-scheduled or will be conducted online via Skype or WhatsApp.

I am approaching my end point assessment, what will happen?

If this is the case, your EPA organisation may get in touch with you to discuss possible delays. If you know who your EPA organisation, please keep an eye on their website.

If you do not know who the organisation is, please contact your Apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead for further information.

Do I still need to record my off-the-job learning?

Please continue to record your off-the-job learning when you are not on campus or at work, even if it does not follow the schedule or content laid out in your training plan.

The Department for Education's guide to off-the-job learning tells you what to include.

How will this affect my breaks in learning?

Breaks in learning allow you to take time away from their studies, usually for sickness absence or parental leave.

In response to developments regarding Covid-19, The Department for Education has eased the regulations for breaks in learning. This allows us University to minimise the negative impact on you if you are forced to take a break from your studies.

If you think you will need a break in learning, please contact your Apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead by email or telephone.

Information for students who live in UWE Bristol accommodation

I have moved out of university accommodation, what do I need to do?

If you choose to leave your accommodation, either temporarily or permanently, it’s very important that you tell us by completing our absence reporting form.

Please then hand in your key/card and remove all your belongings from your room. We will then be able to release you from your accommodation contract for the final term.

I have decided to stay in my accommodation, can I invite visitors?

No, you cannot have visitors in your UWE Bristol accommodation. Every single one of us now has a part to play in this pandemic. Stay at home. Do not gather in groups of more than two, unless you live together. Everybody is instructed to comply with these new measures.

We are at a unique moment in our world’s history of public health challenges and it is important for us to follow the advice provided and do our part in preventing the spread of the virus.

I’m still living on campus, are the buses still running?

If you need to travel please check your journey in advance as some services may not be running. Please check Travel West England and First West of England, webpages and social media regularly for updated travel information.

I live in shared accommodation. What should I do?

Refer to the NHS guidelines on how to keep yourself healthy. This includes washing your hands more frequently and using social distancing to avoid catching and spreading coronavirus. Every single one of us now has a part to play in this pandemic. Stay at home. Do not gather in groups of more than two, unless you live together. Everybody is instructed to comply with these new measures.

If you live in shared accommodation, you'll need to make sure that everybody is following good hygiene practices:

Do

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • always wash your hands when you get home or into work
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze
  • put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • try to avoid close contact with people who are unwell

Don't

  • do not touch your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean

If you or anybody you live with starts feeling ill, NHS has developed online guidance for COVID-19 and you should familiarise yourself with it and take action as necessary.

If you are currently staying in UWE Bristol accommodation and are self-isolating, please let the University know by contacting the University's Student and Academic Services using their contact details. You do not need to tell the university that you are self-isolating unless you are currently staying in UWE Bristol accommodation.

Health and wellbeing

I'm living with someone who has symptoms, what should I do?

Please follow the NHS for up to date advice.

I'm really worried, what do I do?

We understand that this situation may be worrying. The current evidence is that most cases appear to be mild. Generally, coronavirus can cause more severe symptoms in people with weakened immune systems, older people, and those with long-term conditions like diabetes, cancer and chronic lung disease. Try to continue life as normal, remembering to follow good hygiene practices.

If you'd like to speak to somebody, visit our wellbeing support options webpage. If you have assessments or deadlines coming up that you think may be affected, please read about our support processes for assessment. You might also read Coronavirus: Looking after your mental health from the BBC.

Archive of emails sent to UWE Bristol students, relating to Coronavirus:

Student support

We understand that this situation may be worrying, especially if you have family or friends in the region. If you'd like to speak to somebody, visit our wellbeing support options. If you have assessments or deadlines coming up that you think may be affected, please read about our support processes for assessment.

UWE Bristol is committed to providing an inclusive and supportive environment to live, work and study. Please don't allow this situation to affect how we treat others. If you see or hear something that isn't right, please Speak Up using our Report and Support tool.

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