Information for Students


Ways of learning

We keep our teaching delivery under review, in line with NI Executive guidance.

Visit our Student Guide to learn more about University life and your campus learning experience.


Return to Campus for Semester Two

Learning, Teaching and Working

The experience of our staff and students remains a top priority for the University as a safe place of work and study. After the Easter holiday and as Semester Two draws to a close, we are preparing to gradually make the final phase of transition back to the campus life that is so central to our University purpose.

More than two years after the beginning of the pandemic, the time has come to return to the vibrant and inspiring campus environment that is so central to the identity and purpose of Ulster University.

Students should continue to check Blackboard and University emails regularly for information on delivery plans for individual courses and modules.

Libraries, sports centres, study spaces and student wellbeing services remain open with adjusted measures in place, in line with the lifting of Government restrictions and continued guidance.

Assessments

Ulster University took the decision before the start of the academic year to hold all end of semester assessments online, except where professional, statutory and regulatory bodies require on-campus examination or where the module outcomes necessitate this form of assessment.

Therefore, where an assessment has been scheduled as an on-campus examination, this will continue to be the case.  All on-campus examinations will take place with COVID mitigations in place to protect the health, safety and wellbeing of students and staff.

Let’s work together to keep each other safe

Although many of the legal restrictions have been lifted, guidance and some measures remain in place on campus, and we can all still play our part to make campuses a safe and comfortable place to work and study.

The range and extent of mitigations on campus are kept under review to reflect current public health advice and Government guidance.

We ask that all staff and students on campus follow the guidance and participate in the measures that remain in place.  Acting responsibly and with consideration for others on campus can make all the difference to the confidence of those studying and working around us.

Lateral Flow testing on campus has now concluded but anyone in Northern Ireland can still access free Rapid Lateral Flow Tests to help keep friends, family, and colleagues safe.

We strongly encourage students and staff to take up the opportunity to be vaccinated and boosted as this offers the best protection available against the virus and the path towards full, stable and permanent on-campus operations.

We ask that all students and staff help us to gather the most up-to-date information about the spread of Covid by continuing to report any positive cases.

Over the past two years we’ve been fully flexible, agile and responsive to the NI Executive Guidance.

Up-to-date information for our University community will always be available on these UU COVID web pages.


Staying safe on campus

  • What measures are in place on campus to keep us safe?

    From 25th April, the following measures will be retained on campus:

    • Hand sanitising stations
    • Social distancing and the wearing of face coverings will be strongly encouraged
    • ‘Keep left’ markers to support the comfortable movement of staff and students around campus.
    • Enhanced mechanical ventilation
    • Perspex screens in reception areas
    • Isolation room for use by anyone who may become symptomatic on campus
  • What are the requirements for social distancing?

    We continue to strongly encourage social distancing on campus where possible.

    Staff and students should try to keep their distance from others when moving around campus, and follow the ‘Keep Left’ signs to support this.

  • Will students be required to wear face coverings on campus? 

    Students and Staff will be required to wear face-coverings both on campus and during classes. It is important that everyone follows this guidance in order that we can create a safe university community for all.

    You can find out more about wearing face coverings.

    We recognise that there are circumstances, including medical conditions that may make it difficult for students and staff to wear face-coverings. We are committed to building and maintaining an inclusive and supportive environment for everyone.

    It is important to remember that it is not always obvious why a person may not be wearing a face-covering. That does not mean that they do not have a legitimate reason and so we ask staff and students to be mindful of this and respectful of one another.

    The familiar Sunflower Lanyard scheme discreetly indicates hidden disabilities, and in the context of the pandemic, some people are opting to wear this to explain that they are not able to wear a face covering.

  • What should I do if I forget or misplace my face-covering before a face-to-face teaching session?

    We strongly encourage the continued use of face coverings on campus. Thank you for wearing a face covering if you can.

    If you forget or misplace your face-covering, you can collect a disposable face-covering from campus reception.

  • What does mechanical and natural ventilation mean for me and what do I need to do?

    We are retaining our enhanced mechanical and natural ventilation protocols on campus, building on continuous improvements over the past year in both new buildings and older teaching spaces

    This continued measure may make the ambient temperatures in teaching and communal spaces cooler than usual so you may wish to bear this in mind when deciding what to wear on campus.


On-campus learning

  • Which courses are returning to face-to-face on campus delivery?

    In August, the NI Executive confirmed that universities and colleges would resume face-to-face teaching. In line with this guidance, all Ulster University courses that were previously delivered face-to-face will be resuming on campus.

    We are looking forward to being able to deliver an on-campus learning experience on all programmes for this academic year.  We keep our teaching delivery under review in line with NI Executive guidance.

  • What sort of disruption might we expect?

    In the context of the ongoing global pandemic, it is important that we are realistic and acknowledge that there will almost certainly be some disruption to teaching during the semester.

    This might take the form of members of staff being unable to teach due to illness or the rescheduling of classes to online delivery where a member of staff needs to isolate.

    If a teaching session needs to be moved online or rescheduled, the course director will contact you.

    Please do check your emails regularly to stay up to date with any adjustments that may be necessary and potentially at short notice.

  • How will I know if a member of staff is unwell or isolating due to Covid-19? 

    If it becomes necessary to vary the delivery of classes due to staff illness or isolation you will be notified through the virtual learning environment and by email.

    It is therefore important that you regularly check announcements on the VLE and your email for the most up to date information.

    If you have provided your mobile phone number to the University, you may also receive text notifications.

  • Will my course have blended or online learning?

    Building on many of our shared experiences and successes, we will continue to make full use of the innovation and opportunity that online and blended delivery brought to us all over the past year.

    We are working to retain the benefits of these methods where we believe this will enhance student learning and complement our on-campus teaching delivery.

    Decisions about course content delivery are taken by the relevant subject experts with a view to providing a high-quality learning experience.

  • Will Ulster University adapt current courses to reflect the impact on our economy and future careers?

    We know that many sectors have already changed in response to the impact of the global pandemic, re-imagining their business for the future.

    At Ulster University we are committed to ensuring that the learning experience also supports you to adapt in your chosen career path.

    We will continue to adjust and refresh our programmes to match emerging market needs and opportunities as our economy and society begins the journey to recovery.

    We have worked closely with the Department for the Economy to deliver a range of bespoke skills programmes to support career development, post-pandemic recovery for individuals, sectors and the local economy.

  • I was supposed to be on my placement year this year, but I am not sure what the arrangements will be?

    We continue to operate our popular placement programmes and are keeping in regular contact with employers to develop high quality placement opportunities.

    If you were considering a placement year, we encourage you to continue to find a placement opportunity, as this experience is invaluable in preparing you for a successful future and career.

    Placements may be required to be undertaken ‘off site’ through remote working, or by undertaking a series of virtual projects or internships, either individually or as a group.

    The University will provide ongoing support to help you to navigate this new way of working and ensure you are aware of all health and safety requirements expected of you and your employer.

    Since any adjustments to placement opportunities with individual employers in the incoming year may vary, we are offering enhanced flexibility for placement employers, with placements able to start up to January 2022.

    Keep in touch with your placement tutor who will update you and discuss any alternatives or adjustments that may arise.

  • I would prefer to continue to learn online for now rather than come onto campus, is that possible?

    In line with the NI Executive announcement on 12 August, all Ulster University courses that were previously face-to-face will be resuming on campus delivery.

    As such, it will not be possible for you to continue your studies at Ulster University  fully online. A safe, thriving, and vibrant campus experience is at the heart of Ulster University. We are looking forward to welcoming students back onto campus, with a wide range of protective measures in place for your safety, comfort and wellbeing.  as we deliver a high-quality inclusive learning experience.

    If there are medical reasons why you are unable to attend campus, such as a disability or long-term medical condition, you may be able to access reasonable adjustments to support you during this time if the learning outcomes of your course can still be met.  It is important that you contact Student Wellbeing to discuss your situation.

    If you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, you are encouraged to make us aware of this at enrolment so that we can best support your individual circumstances and put in place adjustments that could support you to progress in your studies.

    Students who do not have a certified medical reason confirming they cannot be present on campus will be expected to attend scheduled teaching sessions as online alternatives will not be routinely available.

  • Will there be formal on-campus examinations on campus in 21/22?

    Course teams will use a wide variety of means, appropriate to your subject area and which have been quality approved, to assess students and support your learning progression.

    In most cases, course teams will provide alternative assessments in modules that would normally contain examinations, and your Module Team will ensure that you have full details of these.

    Formal on-campus examinations will be used only in certain circumstances, such as when required by Professional Bodies that accredit your programme of study.

  • What should I do if my studies are affected because of my own Covid illness and or long Covid?

    If your studies are affected by COVID-19, any other illness, or indeed any other personal circumstances, you should inform your Studies Advisor and Course Director, and complete an Extenuating Circumstances form.

    This will allow your Course Team to consider how they can best support your personal circumstances. Self-Certification can be accepted and in light of the ongoing pandemic, the self-certification period for Extenuating Circumstances remains extended to 10 working days.

    If you have a diagnosis of long COVID and you can provide medical evidence of this, you may be able to access reasonable adjustment recommendations to support any additional study needs caused by your condition and you may also be eligible to funded support through the Disabled Students’ Allowance such as assistive technology equipment and software.

    Contact the Student Wellbeing team to discuss your needs via 028 9536 7000 or email studentwellbeing@ulster.ac.uk

  • What happens if we have to go back into lockdown?

    If the public health situation deteriorates or it becomes necessary to comply with social distancing measures that would be impossible to operationalise without significantly compromising the student on-campus learning experience, we are agile, ready and able to pivot teaching and support services back to online delivery.

  • When will I receive my timetable for Semester 2?

    Your Semester 2 timetable will be available in January approximately 2 weeks prior to the start of term.


Sustainable travel between Jordanstown and Belfast

163a - Metro U2 service

Translink’s 163a service is being renamed!

From 4 January, Translink’s Uni-Link bus service will have a new service number – U2.  Metro U2 services will operate a similar timetable and serve the same route as the previous Ulsterbus 163a Uni-Link service.  The Metro U2 service departs from University Square, Botanic Avenue, stops at the Belfast campus entrance, Block BD on York Street travelling to the Jordanstown campus and back.

For the latest Translink bus and rail service information download the Translink NI App or plan your journey online.

Needs based assessment for parking on Belfast campus

Remember for those students who are Blue Badge holders, have a Disabled Students Allowance fuel allowance, or who can evidence that they are unable to use public transport for disability-related reasons can apply for a car parking permit for our new Belfast campus.

Keep an eye on your emails for further Covid updates and for more information and helpful FAQs, please visit our A New Chapter webpages.


On-campus services and facilities

Our services and facilities are part of a vibrant campus experience and students can be reassured that University facilities on campus reflect the appropriate public health and government guidance.

Sport

At Ulster, we aim to create active campus communities by providing opportunities for more of us, to be more active, more often through the delivery of high-quality services, facilities and innovative programmes.

Our Sports Centres are open and operating to the highest standards and public health guidelines, to ensure your safety in our gyms, popular live and on-demand classes and throughout our facilities, allowing you to train with confidence.

Find out more about our full range of sports services.

Catering

A range of popular catering outlets will be open on campus in line with NI Executive guidance for indoor hospitality.

From the grab n’ go The Link on Belfast campus offering fresh breakfast and lunch options, to the relaxed UEat café in Jordanstown, the exciting dishes from around the world at Flow & Co in Coleraine and the vibrant Rock Road Social café bar at Magee, there’s plenty to choose from across our campuses to suit all tastes.

You can find out more about our catering outlets and menus.


Student health, wellbeing and support

Across study, retail, hospitality, leisure and so many aspects of life, we understand that this may still be an anxious and unsettling time for some in our University community.

As always, our Student Wellbeing team is on hand with support as you return to your studies or join us for the first time.

You can be reassured there is plenty of help available for you, academically and personally to ensure that you make the most of all that University life has to offer.

  • I am anxious about the easing of restrictions and the return to campus; where can I go for support? 

    With life gradually returning to something more recognisable for us all, we understand that this will be an anxious time for some in our University community, particularly after such a prolonged period of restrictions.

    It is natural to feel apprehensive, but you can be assured that the University has robust health and safety measures in place to mitigate the risks associated with a return to campus. We must all however, play our part in reducing the risk of Covid-19 by wearing a face-covering, following handwashing and sanitising protocols and following the guidelines that the university provides to students.

    The Student Wellbeing team is available to support you both now and throughout your time at UU. There is plenty of help available for you, academically and personally, to ensure that you can make the most of all that University life has to offer.

    You can find out more at Student Wellbeing or contact the team at studentwellbeing@ulster.ac.uk

    If you are a new or existing student in crisis or distress or alternatively if you are worried about someone else, you can contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.

    Support services

    Our extensive support services are wide ranging, and students will be able to access telephone, video and face to face appointments with the Student Wellbeing team in the new academic year.  The Student Wellbeing team has qualified Mental Health and Wellbeing Advisors to support students with a broad range of wellbeing concerns as well as AccessAbility Advisers to provide robust support to students who have a disability or additional study needs.

    We also have Student Money Coordinators to provide money management and budgeting advice as well as some financial support for students in financial hardship.  The Student Wellbeing team can also refer you to our counselling provider for therapeutic counselling sessions if appropriate.

    Our student led mental health initiative ‘Mind Your Mood’ will host regular events and training workshops, both on campus and online to remove the stigma of mental health and enhance our students’ mental fitness and resilience and from mid-October Student Wellbeing will also host a fortnightly ‘Wellbeing Wednesday’ webinar.

    For the incoming year, we are also providing further academic, study skills and pastoral student wellbeing interventions.  Look out for the introduction of a student peer mentoring service, alongside Students’ Union initiatives such as the ‘Here for You’ online wellbeing hub and a student wellbeing hotline that will proactively reach out to students to ensure they are accessing any services they may need.

    Your Students’ Union (UUSU) will also be investing in the University’s Quiet Rooms, supporting safe spaces on campus for specific needs, investing in the Mind Your Mood student-led mental health programme, and implementing skills training for student representatives right across the University’s four campuses to provide peer support in times of need.

  • I am Clinically Extremely Vulnerable/ live with someone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable/ have medical issues that may prevent me attending face to face teaching, what should I do?

    Our priority is to support students to progress with confidence in their studies.  Please talk to your course director in you have any concerns, or circumstances that it would be helpful for us to know about, in order to best support your learning.

    When you enrol online as a new or a returning student you will be asked whether you are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or live with someone during term time who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable.

    Students will have the option not to disclose this information however, we strongly encourage students to share this information at enrolment.

    If you are a student who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable you should contact the Student Wellbeing team via 028 9536 7000 or studentwellbeing@ulster.ac.uk to discuss how you can access reasonable adjustment recommendations to support your additional study needs.

    You may also be eligible for additional funded disability support if you have not previously engaged with disability support from the Student Wellbeing team.

    These recommendations will be made based on your individual needs and will require you to provide medical evidence to the Student Wellbeing team as part of this process.

    Whilst the University will make every effort to put in place reasonable adjustments for those students who have certificated medical reasons for being unable to attend face to face teaching sessions on campus, there may be elements of a course which cannot be delivered online and for which campus attendance will be mandatory.

    In some instances, this may be linked to the need to satisfy the accreditation requirements of professional or statutory bodies and will be integral to the achievement of the programme level learning outcomes.

    It is anticipated that only a small number of students will be affected by these circumstances, and if your course is one which mandates face-to-face teaching the Student Wellbeing Team will be able to advise. In this situation, you may be asked to take a period of Leave of Absence until the public health situation improves sufficiently to enable their safe return to on-campus learning.

    Get more detailed information on the process and nature of support that can be offered to students who are Clinically Extremely Vulnerable, who live with someone who is Clinically Extremely Vulnerable or students that are pregnant.

  • What should I do if my health has deteriorated since I was last on campus or if my disability status has changed?

    We recognised that the global pandemic has had a disproportionate impact on those with pre-existing health conditions and those with disabilities. It may be the case that since you were last on campus you have developed a health condition, experienced a deterioration in your health, experienced a change in disability status.

    We strongly encourage all students in any of these situations to contact Student Wellbeing before you return to campus to disclose your disability or medical condition for the first time, or to declare a change in circumstances or new diagnosis if you have previously sought disability support and reasonable adjustments through the Student Wellbeing team.

    You will be asked to provide some background information about support you may have accessed before, and you will also be asked to provide medical evidence of your condition.  An explanation on what is required can be found in the Disability section of the Student Wellbeing website.


Covid vaccination, testing and symptoms