Academic FAQs

Academic FAQs

Please note, these responses are from the University. The questions were collated by Jenny following feedback from students.


Learning and Teaching Provisions

Will I be receiving an extension on my assignments given the circumstances?

The University has extended the 17 April Semester 1 resit deadline by two weeks to 1 May 2020, for all students.

Should you need an extension for a Semester 1 resit or any other assessment, please use the Exceptional Circumstances policy in the usual way. You do not need to submit medical evidence related to COVID-19 (Coronavirus) or any other illness at this time.


How are my lectures now happening?

The University has now moved to delivery online, where possible. Your School will be in contact with you to let you know where you can access teaching and learning.


Are my exams/practical assignments going ahead?

All in-person assessment that requires face to face contact or gathering together in large groups (e.g. examinations, practicals) have now been cancelled.

The University is working to finalise alternative assessment where possible to allow you to complete your programme of study on time. In a very small number of cases, this may not be possible, and your assessment will need to be deferred. This will be because the University is unable to assess your skills in any other way. Your School will be in contact with you as soon as possible to let you know the form your assessments will take and when the deadlines will be.


I don’t feel capable of completing my assignments in my new working environment, what do I do?

If you feel unable to complete your assessments due to the current situation, either due to medical reasons, including mental health, or lack of technology, please contact us.

The University is contacting all students who do not have access to technology and/or broadband in order to be able to complete their assignments to ask you to let us know if this is the case. We will then work with you to discuss your options and how we can support you at this time. This may include an alternative form of assessment (e.g. by telephone), deferring your assessments, or discussing the options for suspending your studies, if that is appropriate.


Are there any new Exceptional Circumstances policies?

The Exceptional Circumstances policy remains the same, but the University has removed the need to supply evidence relating to COVID-19 (Coronavirus). This includes medical evidence whether you are experiencing symptoms relating to the virus, or any other illness for which you might otherwise seek medical evidence.


I am a research student/obtaining research for my dissertation, what should I do?

You should contact your supervisor to discuss your individual circumstances and how your access to resources may be affecting your dissertation.

If you are unable to access the resources required for your research, you should have an initial conversation with your supervisor to discuss the situation. You can apply through the Exceptional Circumstances process for an extension or to suspend your study until access to the University and resources is available again.

If you are able to access new resources, we will grant you an additional week to be able to access and familiarise yourself with the alternative resources. This can be done through the Exceptional Circumstances process.

In individual cases, the loss of resources may require a reconfiguring of the research project, which will mean you need the assessment to be deferred, a more significant extension to be granted or to suspend your studies. You should also apply through the Exceptional Circumstances process. You should discuss your options with your supervisor.


I don’t have access to a computer/the internet at home, what do you advise me to do?

The University will shortly be contacting all students to find out if you have the access needed at home to be able to complete your assessments. Please respond to let us know if this is not the case – you can do this by calling 01904 876244 and leaving a message with your name, your student number and contact details. We will call you by Wednesday 15 April to discuss your options with you.


I am in my final year of my undergraduate degree, what does this all mean for me?

The University is working hard to help you complete your programme of study on time, to allow you to receive your award. We are looking to put in place a number of initiatives to ensure that you are not disadvantaged by the current situation and will continue to publish updated FAQs on the University website.


What if I am unable to complete my alternative assessments?

If you are unable to complete your alternative assessments, you can submit a claim for an extension or deferral of the assessment through the University’s Exceptional Circumstances Policy. You should discuss this with the Associate Head for your programme of study, or your academic tutor, to go through what options are available to you.


I am working on coursework, but feel my competency has been interrupted by the current situation, what can be done?

You can apply through the Exceptional Circumstances Policy if you feel your performance has been impacted, and you have completed the assessment and submitted it. Alternatively, you can also apply for an extension if you feel you would benefit from more time to complete the assessment.



Facilities & Resources

Is the library open?

No, following UK Government guidance the Library is now closed, and you are unable to physically access the resources there. However, all of the library’s ebooks, electronic journals, newspaper and television archives, and search tools can be accessed away from campus, via the library website.


Can I borrow equipment/media equipment?

Please note that the University has limited equipment that it can loan to students. Please contact the Innovation and Technology Services (ITS) Helpdesk via email ([email protected]).

We will shortly be contacting all students who have indicated they do not have access to IT equipment or broadband to talk through how the University can support you and will being to do this from Monday 6 April.


Am I going to get charged for the library resources I have that are due back?

Any items that you have on loan will be extended until September - no fines will be issued during this period.


Can I still have library tutorials i.e with the Digital Team or my Academic Liaison Librarian?

Academic Liaison Librarians and the Digital Training team will be available to answer questions online and deliver online tutorials Monday to Friday: 9:00am to 5:00pm

Please see our website for further information about Academic Liaison Librarians and the Digital Training team.


I need access to items in my university account documents, who do I contact?

If you are having trouble accessing documents on your University account, please contact the Innovation and Technology Services (ITS) Helpdesk via email ([email protected]).



International Students

Will my Tier 4 Visa be affected?

Please check our website for all the latest information on what this means for your visa.


What if I can’t return for exams/assessments?

The University has cancelled all face to face assessments, so there is no need for you to return to the University to sit or submit assessment. Your School will be in touch with you about arrangements for alternative assessments that can be submitted online.


Will my study abroad credits still be counted?

Once we receive the transcript from your Study Abroad institution, we will convert these into University credit as normal. Your School will put in place any individual learning modules needed in order to make up any credit missed at your host institution.




Where can I find more information out about software I need access to?

You can find information about University provided software on our website.


I need support accessing specialist software, who can I contact to help?

Please contact the Innovation and Technology Services (ITS) Helpdesk via email ([email protected]) with any specific requests.



Wellbeing and Support

Is my personal tutor still available to talk to?

Yes, your personal tutor is still available for you to talk to. Even though University buildings are closed, staff are still working from home, so can be contacted by email.


Can I still access the wellbeing team?

The Wellbeing team have suspended face to face support following the government advice but are offering a support service via email. You can contact them via email and they will be answering emails from 9:00am to 5:00pm on Monday to Friday. Further details can be found on our website.



Marking and Grading

Will my marks get capped if I submit late?

You should still submit your assessments to the advertised deadline, unless you have an agreed extension through the Exceptional Circumstances process. As in normal operation, we would advise that you try to submit well before the deadline to get around any issues with technology or broadband.

If you have responded to our text to say you do not have access to technology and/or broadband necessary for your assessments, we will be in touch with you to discuss your individual circumstances and advise you what to do next.


Will this affect the overall grading of my classification?

The University have introduced a Safety Net policy to ensure student's are not disadvantaged by the current situation and able to complete their studies with a fair approach to grading. 


Where can I found out more about the Safety Net Policy?

The University have created these Safety Net FAQ's to answer any questions you might have about the policy. Equally you can contact [email protected] for more information.


Are my exams going ahead as planned?

No, all examinations have been cancelled. Your School will be in touch with you to give you details of your alternative assessment and associated deadlines. Please be patient – this is an unprecedented situation and our academic Schools are working very hard to get alternative assessments in place, but this may take some time.


What provisions are in place to guarantee new alternative assessments are fair?

We are using our external examiners to ensure that the alternative assessment we put in place are fair and meet the same learning outcomes that the original assessments were designed to meet.

Our external examiners are unbiased subject experts, and initially approved all our assessments, and are doing so for alternative assessments in the same way.

Where this isn’t possible, due to illness, each Head of School will scrutinise the alternative assessment to ensure that it is fair. Each School approves each alternative assessment through a School Quality Panel, made up on subject area experts, to give an extra level of scrutiny.


I don’t feel I can perform as well in my alternative assessments, what do you suggest?

Please talk to your academic tutor in the first instance. Any Learning Support Plan extensions will be honoured for your alternative assessments as they would be for any other assessment.

If you are unwell or have other circumstances that you feel would affect your ability to complete the assessment, then please use our Exceptional Circumstances procedure as usual. If you don’t have the access to technology or broadband needed, we will be in touch with you, as above, once you have responded to our text message.




My required placement hours have been cut short, what does this mean for my final result?

We are making a decision on each placement on a case by case basis and will be in touch with you individually to explain what this will mean.


I am on placement with suspected or confirmed Coronavirus cases – what should I do?

If you feel you should no longer be on placement, please talk to your workplace mentor and your academic supervisor who will be able to advise you on next steps.