FAQs for 20/21

Whether you’re starting an exciting new chapter or returning back to campus during this time of change, our priority is to ensure that you can enjoy a safe and successful student experience. 

We want you to feel comfortable, knowing what to expect and how to prepare for university life at UCSD. 

We’ve used this opportunity to reimagine our teaching to provide you with an academically rewarding student experience: 

  • we’re building on pre-existing online and virtual technologies to deliver high-quality learning, which aims to strike the right balance between physical and digital environments
  • the majority of your assessments will take place online, and resources have been developed to help you prepare
  • you will also have face-to-face assessments where needed and where it is safe to do so
  • we are committed to keeping you safe through social distancing and creative delivery of accessible course content
  • it is our aim to make you feel at ease, whether you are with us in person or working through online platforms
  • we recognise that all courses will experience changes, but they will be delivered safely and tailored to your needs.

When can I return to face-to-face teaching? 

Following the national lockdown announcement on 4th January 2021, the government has published detailed guidance. 

The guidance confirms that universities should limit the return of students for face-to-face teaching in January to select courses. Your programme will let you know if this applies to you. 

Other courses will currently continue to be delivered online, however, we are planning to resume face-to-face teaching as soon as we are allowed by the government. We will update you as we know more.  

Which student support services are available online? 

The Student Support Hub continues to remain open for remote access for students who have queries or require help and support. 

You can access 1-1 support via phone, email and MS Teams with dyslexia and disability support, funding, mental health, employment and career development, writing and academic support. 

Full details are available on our Student Support Hub webpage.   

Student Space 

Student Space is a new online student wellbeing platform developed to make it easier for university students to find the support they need during the coronavirus pandemic. Get dedicated support by phone or text, browse information and tools to help you through the challenges of coronavirus and find what support is available to you at UCSD. 

The Learning Resources Centre (LRC) 

The Learning Resources Centre will reopen on the 14th September (Mon-Fri between 8:30am and 4pm). This service provides access to a collection of over 25,000 books and a wealth of online material including eJournals, eBooks and multimedia databases. The LRC is split across two floors, each providing access to bookable PCs and laptop devices.  

Browsing and borrowing books and journals:  

Due to current safety restrictions in place, users will not be able to physically browse the library books and journals within the LRC, however all of our resources are fully browsable via the Heritage Online catalogue, so you can search and check stock availability. Simply fill out this request form with your contact details and the details of the resources you wish to borrow.  

Accessing online resources: 

We also have an ever-growing collection of fantastic online resources that you can access via our eLibrary Moodle page. For support and guidance around using these resources please contact [email protected].  

Where can I find help on studying remotely? 

UCSD is committed to supporting students to study effectively from home or remotely. You can find information and advice on studying remotely on our Online Learning for Students page. 

I am struggling financially as a result of COVID-19 – what can I do? 

Many of you may find yourself in unexpected financial hardship during this difficult time. Please ensure you first check the government guidance on support you may be entitled to.  

You can also find details of the UCSD Hardship Fund and links to financial support on our Links to Financial Support page 

How are assessments and exams affected?

We planned before the start of this academic year to deliver the majority of assessments online, so you should continue to prepare for assessments in the usual way. Modules will be assessed remotely, unless you have been notified by your Personal Tutor/Module Leader otherwise.  

Alternative arrangements for the majority of invigilated examinations have been put in place in the form of open-book assessments.  

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

What should I do if I can’t complete my placement through no fault of my own?  

If your placement has been affected because e.g. you are shielding or vulnerable, or your provider has cut the placement short, please contact your Personal Tutor or Programme Manager for advice.  

Can I expect to complete this year of study in the usual timeframe?  

 Yes, 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.  

How is my work-based apprenticeship affected?  

If you are experiencing any changes or disruption to your role which is impacting on your ability to commit to your apprenticeship, please in the first instance inform your employer and Personal Tutor.  

Do the usual extenuating circumstances apply?  

For detailed information on extenuating circumstances, please refer to our Extenuating Circumstances page.  

What happens if I do not pass some of my modules? 

As usual, Award Assessment Boards will make decisions on what happens if you do not pass some of your modules.   

 If you submit or attend an assessment and fail, or have applied for Extenuating Circumstances for non-submission/non-attendance, your referral or your repeat will be at the same attempt, without being penalised.  

For detailed information on repeating/referring in modules, please refer to our Safety Net 20/21 page. 

What are my options if I want to put my study on hold? 

If you are a current student, the option to interrupt your studies can be made at any time. However, such decisions need to be carefully considered. Please refer to our Withdrawing or Suspending Study page for more information and advice. 


What do I need to do if I want to withdraw? 

If you are a current student, and you are considering withdrawing from UCSD for any reason, please consult your Personal Tutor.  

Please refer to our Withdrawing or Suspending Study page for more information and advice. 

What can I do if I do not feel the teaching and assessment on my programme has been delivered as communicated?

We planned for the possibility of COVID-19 providing further disruption this academic year. In doing so, we reviewed our face-to-face teaching and assessment practices to ensure that we could continue to deliver all elements of programmes or in some cases provide alternative arrangements should we need to move to exclusive online delivery.   

We have also implemented additional measures such as the Safety Net, provided access to facilities and wider information on bursary and hardship funding to support students’ learning and achievement.  

As we outlined in our commitment to new and returning students at the beginning of the academic year, our priority is to offer great teaching, learning and a positive experience for all our students while ensuring the safety of students and staff. This remains and we will continue to deliver learning in line with government guidelines.  

We continue to communicate via email any changes and their implications to students and staffYou can also access the latest update and COVID-19 communications archive on our dedicated webpage.   

Therefore, we would not consider there to be grounds for students to seek refunds. However, if you do not feel the teaching and assessment on your programme has been delivered as communicated, please refer to our Complaints page

What to do if you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) 

If you have symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19) you should get a test as soon as possible. It is important to only get a test if you have coronavirus symptoms or have been asked to get tested. This will help make sure people who need a test can get one.  

Please report your absence to us in the normal manner. Tests can be booked online at Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting tested, or ordered by telephone via NHS 119 for those without access to the internet.   

For those who test positive, we will work with the Local Authority and Health Protection Teams and will provide advice and guidance directly to you about the next steps. If you are identified as a contact by the NHS Test and Trace team, further information is available in the guidance NHS Test and Trace: how it works. 

What to do if someone you live with develops symptoms of coronavirus

We do have students living in private residences, private landlord accommodation and in houses of multiple occupation (HMOs). If you develop symptoms of coronavirus you should self-isolate in your current accommodation. If a resident of an HMO has coronavirus symptoms, all residents must isolate for 14 days, follow the COVID-19: guidance for households with possible coronavirus infection guidance. 

Please notify us of your absence and we will support you to receive the food and medicines you need for the duration of your isolation. Please be assured that we will work with the Director of Public Health in our local authority in order to control or manage any outbreak in an integrated fashion.

Where can I find information about the last academic year?

All of the information and FAQs relating to the last academic year (19/20) are available to view here.

Updated: 29th January 2021. Access our September 2020 FAQ archive here.