Your course 2020/21
Learning is through a blend of in-person and online teaching throughout this academic year. Find out more about how you will be taught.
- Stay in your living circle (if you are in halls) or household and,
- Follow social distancing when outside your group.
If you do, you can:
- Enjoy face-to-face teaching
- Keep our community safe
- Make the most of your student experience
Teaching for the year
We have adapted our teaching to include more online delivery, so we can keep everyone as safe as possible. We call this blended learning. We will be offering as many in-person teaching opportunities as safely possible. Blended learning includes:
- in-person learning, following the social distancing guidelines in place at the time
- live online learning, using a range of software
- online learning using recordings teachers have prepared for you to watch in your own time, with associated activities
- self-study tasks eg reading or structured problems for you to work on.
You will have regular contact with your lecturers and fellow students, and tasks may include group work. The mix of learning methods will be different for each subject.
Your school will let you know about any individual requirements for your course.
You can access a wide range of study support.
How lectures work
All lectures are online for the whole 2020/21 academic year. This is because of large group sizes and the difficulty of lecturing in a safe, socially-distanced way.
Lecturers may include interactive quizzes or break-out rooms for you to discuss topics with other students. You may also be able to ask questions and talk or send messages to the lecturer.
How tutorials, seminars, small groups, practicals, labs and field trips work
- Individual and some small group tutorials are live, either in person or online.
- Seminars and teaching in small groups are a mixture of in-person and live online.
- We are making arrangements to ensure that practicals in subjects like theatre, music, science and engineering can operate safely for students and staff.
- We are currently planning how best to manage field trips, which will need to follow the government guidance at the time around travel and social distancing.
We recognise the importance of in-person learning and are doing our best to make sure this can happen as much as possible, while keeping students and staff safe.
Your school will let you know about the specific plans for your course in September.
How research-based courses work
If you are a research student, your supervisor or your school will contact you to talk through the approach that best suits your research needs and identify how your research can be undertaken safely. Find out more advice for postgraduate research students.
Teaching week: extended hours
To make sure we can offer as much in-person teaching as possible, we are extending our teaching hours.
Teaching during teaching block 1 (October 2020 - January 2021) takes place at the following times:
- Monday 9 am to 8 pm
- Tuesday 9 am to 8 pm
- Wednesday 9 am to 2 pm (potentially to 6 pm for some teaching in specialist spaces eg. laboratories)
- Thursday 9 am to 8 pm
- Friday 9 am to 6 pm
Increasing the number hours allows us to spread out teaching across the week so we can offer more in-person teaching and greater access to our specialist facilities in line with social distancing guidelines.
We will review these hours for the second half of the academic year, when we know what the social-distancing rules are at that time.
If you are unable to attend teaching scheduled during extended hours
We know that some students may have have commitments or find it difficult to attend teaching in the evenings.
If you are unable to attend teaching scheduled during these hours, you will be able to engage with online learning as part of our blended offer.
Equipment and IT support for online learning
As much of our teaching will be online, you need access to a computer and internet connectivity to fully engage in your studies. Although there are computers available in study spaces across campus, due to occupancy restrictions needed to keep you safe, you are unlikely to be able to access these whenever you need them. We strongly recommend you bring your own computer (eg laptop). You also need internet connectivity from your accommodation or usual place of study. Wifi connectivity is provided automatically in University accommodation.
We provide access to the software you need for online learning and support with how to use it. We are committed to ensuring that no student will be disadvantaged by online teaching and assessment, and to making our teaching accessible. Find out what IT support and guidance is available.
If you need help with the costs of IT equipment or connectivity find out what financial support is available.
Problems accessing online teaching and resources
We are very aware that some students will have issues with connectivity and technology, and that online teaching poses different challenges for different people.
If you cannot participate in teaching activities, let your school office know. You must tell them once in any 7-day period.
If you are struggling to access online resources, contact your school office for support. They will direct you to suitable technical support or put alternative arrangements in place.
If you have questions about using assistive software, contact Disability Services.
What happens if you are unable to come to Bristol
We understand that some of you will not be able to come to Bristol due to circumstances beyond your control.
If you need to study online only, complete the Location of study form to tell us so we can support you in the right way.
Courses that require you to be on-campus
Some courses cannot be taken online only and require you to be on-campus. Look at our on-campus course list to find out if you are required to be on campus for learning.
Adapting teaching during the academic year
Blended learning will be in place for the whole academic year as we will be delivering all lectures online.
Safety for our students and staff is our top priority. We are planning for a range of scenarios over the coming months so we can either:
- increase the in-person components during the year if the pandemic resolves more quickly than expected, or
- increase the online components if subsequent waves occur and lead to further restrictions.
We are constantly reviewing this approach in line with the evolving public health situation and advice from government and our own scientists.
What your course will look like
Content of course
The content of most courses will not change significantly. We will only make changes if we cannot deliver content in a blended way. If your course content changes significantly, we will let you know what is changing.
We are working with professional bodies to ensure accreditation is not impacted on our professional courses.
Intended awards (eg. BA, MSc, BEng, MEng) will not change - though in a few cases the precise title may be amended if a placement component is no longer available.
Length of course
The length of most courses will not change.
Find out our term dates for 2020/21.
The academic dates may vary for some programmes of study, in particular postgraduate or professional programmes. You can view all non-standard start dates.
Cost of course
The cost of courses will not change.
Examinations and assessments
The next examination period is January 2021. Examinations will be online.
Some practical assessments may still be in person.
We expect you to hand in your assessments on time. If you are having difficulties, speak to your school.
Find out more about examinations and assessments during the 2020/21 academic year.
Suspending your studies
Your transcript is a record of the unit marks you achieved and your award. It is not intended to provide a narrative of how your award was classified, or a commentary on your particular circumstances.
What a transcript does and doesn't include
- The units which have been taken in each year of study
- The overall marks for each unit, together with a mark signal indicating whether a unit was passed or failed, and whether credit has been awarded
- The total number of credits gained in each unit taken and in each year of study
- The degree awarded, degree classification and date of award (where applicable)
- A glossary to explain any mark signals which appear on the transcript
Transcripts don't include:
- Year marks
- Programme or safety net* marks
- Which units or assessments were included in the safety net*
- whether your degree was classified using your programme or safety net* marks
- an explanation of how every award has been made. There is a risk in trying to do so, that your individual circumstances may be misrepresented or misinterpreted.
- What allowance was made for any extenuating circumstances
Any context can be provided in a reference if appropriate.
*Safety net: only applies to students studying in 2019/20 whose marks counted towards their degree classification.
Transcripts for students studying in 2019/20
Where assessment was withdrawn in 2019/20 due to coronavirus, your transcript will show a mark of zero, together with a signal to show that credit was awarded.
If you have not been able to complete all of the assessment for a unit, but the board of examiners considered that you had demonstrated that you had met the intended learning outcomes, your transcript may show a zero and a signal to indicate that you had passed the unit, notwithstanding your circumstances.
These zeroes indicate the absence of a mark, rather than a true zero.
Find out about Mark signals on your assessment units and transcripts (PDF, 189kB) which you may see alongside your assessment and unit marks and what they mean.
Libraries and study spaces
We have adapted our libraries and study spaces in line with social distancing guidelines and so you can still make use of these facilities safely.
If you have any questions about your course or teaching methods, or if you are unable to access online teaching and assessments, email your school office.
For other questions, email: email@example.com.
We have made every effort to ensure all details are correct.
However, since this information is subject to change, undergraduate and postgraduate taught students are advised to check the University's Unit and Programmes Catalogue for the latest course updates and these advice pages for all other updates. Postgraduate research students need to contact their research supervisor.
Unit teaching and assessment details, and other information published here, is indicative and may be altered due to changes imposed due to the current coronavirus.
Try a range of activities and resources to get you ready to start your studies.
If you are struggling, contact our student wellbeing service.