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.

Safety measures on campus 

Measures are in place to ensure the safety of all students, staff and visitors:  

  • one-way systems to reduce risks in high-traffic areas including the entrance and exit of the University Centre
  • regular deep cleans with antiviral disinfectant in high-traffic common areas
  • increased hand sanitiser points and antiviral sprays 
  • course-specific health and safety instructions 
  • wearing of face coverings during lectures unless there is a specific reason as to why this is not possible 
  • increased spacing of tables in all areas 
  • cafés will be open but will have reduced seating 
  • personalised support for those with medical conditions 
  • following the latest Government guidelines at all times. 

Plans for September 2020

Will my course be delivered online or on campus in September?

The context of Higher Education at UCSD is that in the majority of cases we have smaller groups sizes, with this context, along with other mitigations in place it continues to be our intention to offer the majority of delivery as face-to-face.  We understand how important it is for students to have the opportunity to attend sessions in person, and this has been at the forefront of our planning.

In order to support this delivery for the majority of courses, whilst on the college estate all students are required to wear face coverings at all times when in buildings, this will be reviewed as required following the latest government guidance.

If they are needed, either to enable social distancing or to support your individual circumstances, remote access or online may be available alongside the face-to-face experience, and we would encourage you to speak to your programme tutor about this. We know that we all may need to adapt if Covid conditions change.

How will my programme be delivered?

Every programme has been designed to get the most from your sessions, and will be specific to the needs of the students on that programme. 

  • Teaching sessions, such as lectures and seminarswe intend to deliver on campus
  • Group Tutorials will be delivered on campus 
  • Practical learningsuch as laboratory based, performance, clinical skills, and studio based will take place on campus
  • One2one support and tutorials will be delivered online in most cases

Your academic staff will also be available to support you throughout the year as normal, both in person and online. 

What will my assessments look like?

The majority of your assessments will take place online, and resources have been developed to support you to prepare for these. You will also have face-to-face assessments where needed and where it is safe to do so. 

What is online enrolment?

Online enrolment is an essential first step to being officially part of UCSD and should be completed as soon as possible. 

Completing online enrolment will enable you to gain access to your course timetable and our vast range of resources through Moodle and to engage with your academic induction programme. 

To complete enrolment, you are required to complete a number of steps: 

  • enrol via the online portal 
    • Visit https://ebsontrackprospect.southdevon.ac.uk/ and login with your student number as username and Ucsd with your full 8-digit date of birth as the password (for example: Ucsd01012001) 
    • Once logged in, click on the ‘applications’ tab on the left and follow the steps through to ‘enrol’ 
  • attend UCSD to have a new photo taken 
  • provide confirmation of your identity 
  • and if you are an international student there will be additional steps related to compliance with the Tier 4 immigration permissions. 

If you have any questions about the enrolment process, please email [email protected] or call 08000 213181. 

What do I need to know before I enrol?

We are committed to ensuring that your experience at UCSD is a fantastic one, that you engage in exceptional learning and teaching in all formats, and that you are supported to achieve your goals and ambitions.  

Where there have been substantial changes to programmes to ensure your safety and enable you to meet programme learning outcomes, specific information will be published about the changes. 

If you are a new student, you will have access to induction materials before you begin your study from the 28th September. These resources will be published on the website and available from the 17th September. Once you have enrolled, you will be able to access more detailed programme information through SDConnect. Click here for more information and to download the app.

Though things may look a little different this year, your experience will still be of high quality and sustainable education and research, grounded in community engagement, and we can’t wait for you to join us. 

When will more detailed information about my programme be available?

Staff across UCSD are currently working hard to design learning programmes and produce a timetable of activities for all students. 

Your timetable will be published on SDConnect, and further information about your programme will be available before you start your studies in September. 

Can I start or continue my studies remotely?

We have put measures in place to protect staff and students and have designed a mixed approach to learning in both remote and face-to-face formats to support social distancing, whilst maximising learning opportunities. We understand that there will be multiple reasons why students may not be able to return to study on campus in September, or who may need to learn remotely for a period of time this semester. 

We are committed to helping our students to access their learning. Where it is possible, we will support you to learn remotely, through a wide variety of formats, including remote access to live sessions if you are unable to attend sessions in person, recorded teaching sessions, and virtual tutor meetings. 

There are some programmes where face-to-face contact is essential, and it will not be possible to continue your studies at a distance, and we have alternative mechanisms in place to support you. There is normally no fee reduction available for studying remotely as you will still be supported to access your learning and support services will be available to you whether you are on campus or at a distance. 

If you are a new student, please contact [email protected] for more information about your specific case.

If you are a returning student, please contact your programme team for more information. 

There may be additional visa requirements if you are an international student, so please check this first. 

Do I need a laptop and is there technical support from UCSD?

We recommend that all students have access to their own technology to access their programme in 2020 and 2021, including the right hardware (for example, a laptop), software and connectivity (for example, broadband). 

If you’re purchasing a laptop, you should review the specifications listed below. If you’re unsure about the requirements for your course, make sure to ask your programme team before you buy anything. 

Minimum recommended specification for machines (enabling use of SDC web-based systems and general purpose applications such as Office365): 

  • Intel Core i3 
  • 8GB RAM 
  • 64GB Storage 
  • Full HD Display or equivalent 
  • Windows 10 home

Specialist – if your programme requires the use of applications that are computing or graphics intensive (for example, CAD, gaming, film or design) you may need a higher specification computer. In this case please contact your programme team for advice. 

South Devon College (SDC) provides a remote desktop access service to PCs on campus. This enables students to access the full suite of SDC software, from their own device without travelling to campus. 

If you find that obtaining the right technology is difficult because of financial reasons, we are pleased to be able to offer a range of bursaries to support students. Contact [email protected] for more information.

What student support services will be available from September?

Your wellbeing – physically, mentally and financially – is at the heart of everything we do. We consider your personal life equally as important as your academic life, which is why our Student Support Hub is here to offer student support and wellbeing services and allow you to make the most of your time at UCSD. 

All of our services are available online via email, video call and over the phone and from September, in-person, at the Student Support Hub based on the ground floor of the University Centre.

You can use the Hub to ask questions and find out information about dyslexia and disability support, funding, mental health, employment and career development, writing and academic supportin fact anything about your student life! 

We encourage all students to find out about our support and wellbeing services – this isn’t because we expect all our students to struggle – on the contrary. University is where many people thrive, but we all have times where we can need a little bit of help and making contact with someone who can help and support us in whatever difficulties we are having, is really important. Your success is our goal, so let us help you make the most of university and cope after any bumps in the road. 

Our friendly, confidential and impartial Student Support Hub team will be pleased to help you. No issue is too big and no question is too small.  You can email member of the team, call them on 01803 540780 or drop-in and see them from September. 

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 catalogueso 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]. 

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

We are working hard across UCSD to make your experience this year as safe and enjoyable as possible. If for any reason you do not wish to take up your place this year, as a new student you have the option to defer your place to the next academic year. We have a process in place for those wishing to defer and you should contact the University Centre via email or phone on 08000 213181 for more information.

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 –  further advice can be obtained from [email protected], including policies regarding fees.

Before making your final decision, please contact the University Centre to talk through the considerations as they will be able to help you make a decision that will best support you in your personal circumstances. 

I have received an extended referral, what does this mean?

An extended referral allows a student to progress to the next level of study while completing referral work in a maximum of 40 credits. The student will be required to complete that referral work by the 10th December of the next academic year.

If you have up to 40 credits not achieved in the 2019/20 academic year, you will have been offered the opportunity to redeem these modules over an extended referral period.

A final year student may be given an extended referral opportunity, which will mean that they can complete referral assessment by the 10th December of the next academic year, without having to attend. Final year students can only complete extended referral work in a maximum of 40 credits.

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.

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 and you will be contacted by your tutor to discuss testing options. We do have local arrangements to access a test. Tests can also be booked online at Coronavirus (COVID-19): getting testedor 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 to identify close contacts of the symptomatic individual 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

If they are needed, either to enable social distancing or to support your individual circumstances, options for remote access or online and blended learning will be available alongside the face-to-face experience. We know that we all may need to adapt if Covid conditions change.   

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.