How your learning will work from September

We are planning that all students will have as much in person face-to-face teaching as possible in Semester 1. However, we have made the decision that there will be no large in person lectures on campus. This is so that we can ensure the safety of staff and students using appropriate social distancing protocols. Even if a further relaxation of social distancing has occurred, we need to timetable to maintain social distancing in case of a return in restrictions due to spike in infections, either locally or nationally.

Some smaller lectures may be able to take place on campus, and larger lectures can take place online using our online learning platform BlackBoard Collaborate. All our course teams are using the summer period to re-design their modules using a hybrid approach designed around both in person and online teaching. We will update you on your timetable and what this means for you as soon as we can.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

All students will have an opportunity to meet their personal tutor within the first month of Semester 1 teaching. We are planning that this will take place face to face wherever possible, but also understand that this may not be possible in some cases. Where an alternative is needed, we will ensure that you get an opportunity for a one-to-one phone or video call instead. Personal tutors will be available throughout Semester 1 and there will be regular opportunities to catch up with them.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

We understand how important it is to you that you have opportunities to come into campus for teaching and learning and to meet and learn with other students. Safety remains our key priority, and with current Government guidelines in mind, we are working hard to put timetables together as quickly as possible. As you can imagine, this is taking us a little longer than usual to work out.

The number of in person hours of contact will differ between student groups, depending on the course you are studying. You will be provided, through a combination of in-person and online opportunities, with all the classes, guidance and support you need to engage in your learning experience.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

We are revising our course timetables 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 we are working hard to put timetables together as quickly as possible.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

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 or practical, 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 could attend.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

All our student support services will be fully operational in Semester 1 and all students 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 available.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

We understand that some of you may be anxious about starting or returning to University because of the Covid-19 outbreak. Our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy, and we are working hard to ensure that the campus is a safe environment for you to come to. We’re also working hard to ensure there is help, advice and support for those who may be shielding or have other concerns.

New students – Your virtual Welcome Week kicks off on Monday 21 September 2020 with our academic Schools holding an online welcome conference for all new students. You will be introduced to your course, find out what is expected of you, and what you can expect from the University throughout your time at Bucks. We also have sessions to support you with your study and career aspirations, discover our library, learn more about our support services, enjoy activities and events with Bucks Students’ Union and you can even join our Gateway Gym in some virtual fitness classes. You will have access to online workshops to promote student success, have Q&A sessions with our Student Centre, demos of our virtual learning environment - Blackboard, small group tours of campus, among other things.

Did you know you can check out our facilities at all three of our campuses from the comfort of your own home? Get exploring your campus virtually here. But please note, when you arrive on campus things may look a little different with one-way systems, safety screens and other safety measures in place.

Returning students - Our new academic year kicks off on Monday 28 September 2020 with ‘Welcome back to Bucks’ online sessions to support you with your study and career aspirations, rediscover our library and its services, learn more about our support services, refresh yourself with Blackboard, enjoy activities and events with Bucks Students’ Union and even join our Gateway Gym in some virtual fitness classes. When you return to campus things will look a little different to your last visit, with one-way systems, safety screens and other safety measures in place.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

Bucks Students’ Union will offer a broad and diverse range of events and activities through The Big Deal and all completely free of charge and following safety guidelines. There’s also the chance to develop new skills and take part in volunteering opportunities. You’ll have plenty of chances to reconnect with friends and peers, meet new people and get involved within Bucks’ friendly student community. Find out more about this year’s programme from entertainment to societies and internships, finding jobs and boosting your employability here.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

A big thank you to all of you who took the time to fill in the surveys - your feedback helps to make things better at Bucks. We have conducted two surveys around your remote learning - one in May and one in June. Some of the ‘you said, we listened’ actions were shared on social media but you can see a full list of how your voice has made remote learning better for all our students here. We are working on our action plans following the June survey and are reviewing all of our Semester 1 activities ready for September with this feedback in mind.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

Our No Detriment Policy was written to ensure the best possible outcomes for all students during the initial Covid-19 outbreak period, as we moved to remote learning. From September we will return to using our normal University regulations in line with national expectations of standards and quality set by the Quality Assurance Agency. We are, however, revisiting and reviewing the no detriment approach for September 2020, to ensure that if we need to move in to another emergency teaching situation we are ready and able to do so.

Last updated: 12 September 2020

These FAQs will be continually updated as plans develop and decisions progress or as Government guidance changes.

If you have any further questions about how your learning may look in September please email student.centre@bucks.ac.uk