Your Learning: Current Students

The Government has announced that University students in England will be able to travel home from 3 to 9 December to spend the festive period with their families, once the national restrictions end on 2 December. The Government has asked us to consider staggering return dates with other universities in our region to manage pressure on transport. We’ll keep you posted.
Here’s some key information about your teaching, assessments and off-site learning/placements:

  • The University remains open and teaching and assessments will continue until this semester ends on 18 December, as scheduled.
  • There will be a temporary move to online delivery from 3 December until term ends, in line with the Government’s announcement. We will do our very best to ensure that online sessions are recorded so that if you can’t log in for any reason, you don’t miss out.
  • We’re bringing forward activities and assessment which rely on face-to-face interaction so these important aspects of your course can take place while you’re still on campus. As a last resort – and only in exceptional circumstances – we’ll postpone sessions until next term.
  • Your course leader will keep you updated, and also make sure that students on clinical placements, or studying off site, know what to do.

If you’re on placement or studying off site, we’ll make sure that course leaders are clear on what this new Government guidance means for you soon.

If you are a nursing student, you will need to remain in clinical placement to complete your scheduled hours, unless otherwise directed by the Trust or government guidance changes. Your course leaders will be able to advise you further.

Semester Two

For Semester 2 we are keeping with the principles set in Semester 1 and are planning that all students will have as much in-person face-to-face teaching as possible and in line with Government guidance.  And as before, there will be no large in-person lectures on campus to ensure the safety of staff and students using appropriate social distancing protocols.

Some smaller lectures will take place on campus, and larger lectures will take place online using our online learning platform Blackboard Collaborate. All our course teams have re-designed their modules using our hybrid approach designed around both in-person and online teaching.

All returning students will have an opportunity to meet their personal tutor within the first month of teaching. If you are unable to be on campus due to personal circumstance, we will ensure that you get an opportunity for a one-to-one phone or video call instead. Personal tutors will be available throughout the semester and there will be regular opportunities to catch up with them.

Recognising how important it is to you that you have opportunities to come into campus to meet and learn with other students, your safety remains our key priority so we are working hard to plan your learning experience in line with UK Government guidelines.

The number of in-person hours of contact will differ between student groups, depending on the course you are studying. But you will be provided with all the classes, guidance and support you need for your learning experience.

We are working on these now and when they are ready for you to access we will be in touch. When your timetable becomes available you will be able to find it under the ‘My Timetable’ tab in Blackboard or by visitng MyTimetable. Please use our Timetable guide to help you navigate around the timetable section.

If you have any questions about your timetable, please read these Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) first.

Our course timetables are designed with a number of principles in mind. The first is the safety of our staff and students. We also want to reduce the number of times you have to come on to campus for very short periods, are keen to reduce strains on public transport and wish to make sure we don’t overload the campus while social distancing measures remain in place. We can’t give you a firm number of days at the moment, but this will be provided when you get access to your timetable.

It depends. Your module tutors will be recording live sessions (or aspects of them) if it is appropriate and practical to do so. However, please note, we are encouraging staff to design live sessions to be as interactive or practical as possible – whether in-person or online – to make the most of timetabled learning opportunities. Highly interactive or practical sessions are generally less easy to record, and less accessible and difficult to follow when recordings are watched back.

Where a recording of the live session is not available, details about the session - its activities, any short video clips, any required outcomes and any post-session reflections – will be made available online. This is particularly important for anyone who cannot take part in the live session and is also a helpful and inclusive learning resource for those who can attend.

Your tutor will record your attendance at face-to-face sessions and this information will be used to undertake ‘Track and Trace’ should you or a member of staff or a fellow student test positive for COVID-19. Please ensure that the tutor knows of your presence in the session so that they can record your attendance. Your cooperation and patience while this is done will be much appreciated.

To avoid long socially distanced queues in corridors, all in-person face-to-face teaching sessions will start promptly on the hour, and will complete promptly 10 minutes before the end of the timetabled session. This will mean that you will be able to leave a session in a socially distanced way at 10 minutes to the hour and other students will be able to arrive and enter the room rather than queue in the corridor on the hour.

All our student support services will remain fully operational, and all students will have access to support and help when they need it. We will offer a mixture of online and face-to-face services to ensure we are responsive to all our students at their point of need.

Please visit our website for all the support that is available for you.

In the first instance you can go to the Academic Advice pages for current students.

You should check your assignment brief for details of how to submit your assessed work but most assessed work will be submitted online.

You must ensure that the Student Centre and your Personal Tutor know that you are self-isolating. If you are feeling well and can continue with your learning, our staff are working to create support materials to help you to engage wherever you are. These won’t be an exact replica of any sessions that you have missed, but will include enough information and materials to ensure that you won’t fall behind during your period of self-isolation.

The support materials will differ between courses, due to the different teaching approaches they adopt and the topics under study, so please talk to your tutor to find out what is on offer for you and how best to engage with it. Please also remember that if you feel your learning has been negatively impacted by any absence during Semester 2 you will be eligible to apply for mitigating circumstances. Or if you feel you have been affected negatively since the start of the new ‘lockdown until the end of Semester 1 then the No Detriment Policy is in place, see below questions.

No Detriment Policy: Emergency Measures - applicable until 29 January 2021

This policy is in place to provide for additional measures to support you at times when circumstances beyond the University’s control may impact on your studies and your academic performance.  The national lockdown in November 2020 has been recognised as one of those circumstances, and the University has therefore agreed that a number of supportive measures from the Policy be put in place for the remainder of Semester 1 (up to 29 January 2021).  These measures cover Mitigating Circumstances and Extensions, late submission of coursework, and reassessment from Semester 1 modules.

The University is relaxing the requirement for you to provide evidence as part of a request for an Extension or a claim for Mitigating Circumstances. You may self-certify rather than seek independent evidence which should make the process of applying quicker and easier.

Further information and the forms can be found on the Exceptional Circumstances page.

Yes you can: the University is relaxing the requirement for you to provide evidence as part of a request for an Extension or a claim for Mitigating Circumstances.

  • If you are a Bucks-campus student who is self-isolating due to Coronavirus, the fact that you have informed the Student Centre will be enough evidence for your claim/request.
  • Partner students should follow their own reporting mechanism: claims should include a supporting statement from the Partner College.
  • For further information and the forms can be found on the Exceptional Circumstances page.

Under standard regulations you may normally submit assignments up to 10 working days later than the original submission date, and they will be marked and given a capped mark – a maximum of 40%. Under the No Detriment Policy, the measure will waive this penalty, so assignments submitted for the first time in the late submission period will be given the full mark. Pass/fail assessments will also be given a late submission opportunity.

If you are a Bucks campus February intake, co-taught with September intake students, you should stick to the specific assessment deadlines set for your programme. Additional No Detriment measures are in place to support you.

If you are a Bucks campus-based February intake student, taught alongside students whose year runs from September, you should continue to follow the assessment deadlines as set for your programme - the No Detriment policy will help you when your results are considered at Assessment Boards in January. We will be able to apply additional measures where you have not passed up to 30 credits to enable you to continue on your programme. These include an aegrotat pass for modules where you have attempted the assessment but not achieved the pass mark, or you may be allowed to “trail” modules into your next year. You should do your best to complete and submit the assessments to put yourself in the best position for progression at the Assessment Board.

Assessment Boards will normally allow you to undertake reassessment. Under normal circumstances this is usually capped at a maximum of 40%. However with the No Detriment Policy in place until 29 January 2021, any reassessment from Semester 1 modules will be given the full mark, so you’ll not be disadvantaged.