FAQs

Will I still receive my funding from Student Finance?

Student Finance England (SFE) have confirmed that all students’ finance will be paid as scheduled.  We will confirm your ‘virtual’ attendance in early April to ensure there is no delay in payments made by SFE.

For those students in receipt of a bursary from UCSD, we have made the decision to make the bursary payment earlier than scheduled to further financially support students.  This will be paid by 1st April 2020.

Will the College be reimbursing my tuition fees?

We have now moved to online teaching and assessments for the rest of the academic year, in keeping with the Government’s advice on limiting social interaction and non-essential travel. During this time, we are working to maintain the quality of teaching experience while you work remotely. We are focused on ensuring the defined learning outcomes and that students can either complete their studies this year or progress to the next phase of their studies.

While this is a different mode of delivery, our staff are working hard to ensure delivery and to provide support through the virtual learning environments, remote counselling, e-library, etc. The supporting infrastructures that your fees pay for remain in place.

Will I still receive my next bursary instalment?

For those students in receipt of a bursary from UCSD, we have made the decision to make the bursary payment earlier than scheduled to further financially support students. This will be paid by 1st April 2020.

Are there any facilities available?

From Monday 30th March, our dedicated HE Learning Zone located in room 2.089 will close, as will the Vantage Point Building.  Limited college services will move into the University Centre for the Easter period (27th March – 17th April).  Therefore, there will be no physical library access from 1500hrs on Friday 27th March, with limited access to the University Centre from 0900-1500hrs Monday to Friday (excluding bank holidays).

The facilities we are providing are for those who do not have IT access and/or internet connectivity at home.  Please do not use our facilities for social purposes.  If you would like to speak to the Wellbeing team, please find details of how to contact them here.

It is essential that students follow the latest advice from both the Government and the NHS.

  • You must not come into the College if you are displaying any symptoms or are living with someone who does.  Follow the latest advice.
  • Please wash your hands before using the facilities and equipment, following the guidance on handwashing.

We are planning to keep our facilities open while we can, however if we are required to close them or cannot staff the facilities then we will update you again.  Students are encouraged to make progress on assessments while they can.

How can I study remotely? 

UCSD are committed to supporting students to study effectively from home or remotely. Click here to find out more about online learning. Please note, arrangements may vary between programmes. 

We recommend that where possible you install Microsoft Teams on your devices to access the full set of features the application offers. Teams is included in your Office 365 package and is completely free to use and install for all students. 

What will happen to Tutorial?

It’s vital to keep in touch with your Personal Tutor during this difficult time. Tutorial sessions may take place online or by telephone. Your tutor will provide more information. 

Additionally, for academic support you can contact our HE Study team on 01803 540780 or [email protected]. For Wellbeing support, please email [email protected] for a call back. 

I have a disability – will reasonable adjustments be made?

Where students have particular needs, we will make every attempt to make appropriate adjustments to support them to continue their studies.

All assessments have been designed to be inclusive and accessible for all, but if you are having difficulties with your online teaching, learning and assessment please contact [email protected].

Can I study offline?

We recognise that not all students have access to the internet or digital devices at home, and have investigated ways in which we can support you to access teaching resources. 

Please ensure that you notify your programme team if you are having difficulty accessing online learning, so that your support needs can be assessed. 

How are assessments and exams affected?

You should continue to prepare for assessments in the usual way as all modules will be assessed remotely. There will be no face-to-face, invigilated examinations this academic year. Alternative assessment arrangements have been put in place. Further details about your own assessments have been provided by your programme lead. Please note, arrangements may vary from one programme to another. 

In some cases we have been working with our External Examiners for your programmes to ensure that assessment continues to meet the requirements of the programme learning outcomes. 

If your assignment cannot be submitted digitally (for example, artwork), your programme team should have been in touch with details of alternative assessment arrangements. 

When will I receive my feedback and marks?

The 10 working day extension to deadlines for students also extends the deadline for marking and returning results (i.e. an increase from 20 days to 30 days after the original deadline). 

How will the recent changes made by the University Centre affect my progress?

Our aim is to make sure you can continue with your studies and progress at the same rate as you would with a normal teaching schedule.

If you are due to complete your studies this year, we fully expect you to be able to do so. As you can imagine, staff are working hard to develop alternative approaches for you in these highly unusual circumstances. 

Are planned field trips going ahead?

In accordance with the transition to online learning, the University Centre has taken the decision to cancel educational trips for the rest of the academic year. This is in the interest of safety for students and staff alike. 

Can I access library resources remotely?

You will continue to have online access to library resources as you normally would for your programmeincluding online journals, Plymouth Primo and ebooks.  

How is my work-based apprenticeship affected?

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 reviewer 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, UCSD 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. 

For all other Apprentices, please liaise with your programme lead to discuss any factors that are impacting on your ability to complete the learning and assessments. 

I submitted a piece of coursework up to 10 working days after the original deadline (after 16 March) will my grade be capped at 40%?

No, you will not be capped at 40% (unlesthis is a second or final attempt). For all assessments, apart from time-limited assessments (e.g. a take-home test) due on or after the 16th March, students are eligible for an automatic extension of 10 working days when your work will be marked as normal.  

I had an online test, which I submitted after the deadline. Will I be capped?

No, you will be offered a re-assessment opportunity without penalty in the same way as you would under the standard Extenuating Circumstances regulations for a non-attendance at a test and formal examination.  

I need to do a re-assessment as part of summer referral, will I be given a new task in my Assessment Brief?

No, the task for the re-assessment as part of summer referrals will be the same as your original assessment task unless it was an online test. 

How can I get support with my assessments?

Your Personal Tutor will have provided you with the contact details of who can support you with your assessments or summer re-assessments and when they are available. 

Remember you can also ask for help from the HE Study team who can support you with understanding the assessment brief, planning your assessment and developing your academic skills to boost your grades. 

How many credits can I study as a summer referral?

You will be able to study up to and including 80 credits of assessment over the summer referral period.  The deadline for summer referral is 20th August 2020.

When will I know about summer referral assessments?

You should keep in contact with your Personal Tutor about which assessments you might need to undertake in the summer referral period.

The AwarAssessment Board will make a final decision about which modules and/or assessments you need to complete and this will be communicated to you with your Academic Transcript on 16 July 2020. 

Glossary of Terms

In light of the Covid-19 situation, our Academic Regulations have been revised to be more flexible in order to support students to achieve. The following explanations have been amended to reflect these changes. 

Assessment – a general term for processes that measure students’ learning, skills, knowledge and understanding. Assessment can be diagnostic, formative or summative.

Assessment alternative – alternative assessment helps students to meet learning outcomes and assessment criteria using a different assessment approach.

Assessment Board – the Assessment Board is reponsible for:

  • making decisions on progression and awards for all students registered for the named awards for which the board is responsible 
  • making sure that decisions are arrived at fairly and democratically and in line with  regulations and that justice is done to the individual student  
  • making sure that threshold academic standards of student performance are being maintained at award level 
  • making sure that, when making decisions, all circumstances relating to individual students are fully taken into account, and 
  • receiving information on all proven examination and assessment offences and confirming penalties recommended by panels and committees of investigation through subject assessment panels. 

Extenuating Circumstances – circumstances which are outside the control of a student and which affect their ability to attend or complete assessments, can be confirmed by independent evidence and which occurred during or shortly before the assessment in question.

Extended Referral – an extended referral allows a student to progress to the next Level of study while completing referral work in a maximum of 40 credits. 

Referral – this term is commonly used to describe reassessments that take place before the start of the next academic year, therefore giving you the best chance of progressing to the next stage. If a student has failed up to 80 credits, they will be given the opportunity to have a referral (this is up from 60 credits prior to the COVID-19 changes). 

Repeating modules – sometimes a student may be required, or request to repeat an entire module during the following academic year. If you have failed more than 80 credits over the academic year, you will be given the opportunity to repeat these modules, with attendance.  

Working day – due to COVID-19, staff continue to provide key support for students online through MS Teams and other software. Therefore, a working day excludes weekends and Bank Holidays.