Information for Students
Find out how we will support and guide you this year. If you don’t find the answer to your query, you can contact us using the enquiry form or request a call back, and we’ll be happy to respond personally.
Our track record in digital learning means that you can continue to receive a high-quality learning and student experience.
We know that meeting up with fellow students is such an important part of your time at Ulster, and we’re also working closely with our Students’ Union to explore ways to enable you to participate in other aspects of University life. We have also listened to your concerns and have responded with helpful information to support you - #wegotthis
As we re-imagine University life alongside this pandemic, you can look forward to vibrant, inspiring and productive time at Ulster University.
Symptoms and self-isolation
Covid-19 Steps to take
Get COVID-19 advice and guidance for Northern Ireland from PHA NI
Be alert for the main symptoms of coronavirus (COVID-19):
- a high temperature: this means a person feels hot to touch on the chest or back (there is no need to measure their temperature) or
- a new, continuous cough: this means coughing a lot for more than an hour, or three or more coughing episodes in 24 hours (if they usually have a cough, it may be worse than usual) or
- a loss or change to sense of smell or taste: this means they have noticed they cannot smell or taste anything, or things smell or taste different to normal.
If you develop COVID19 Symptoms on campus
- Inform your Course Director without delay and arrange to leave for home straight away.
- Avoid touching anything unnecessarily.
- Cough or sneeze into a tissue and put it in a bin, or cough/sneeze into your arm.
- Put on a face covering if not already wearing one.
- Try to maintain a minimum of 2m social distance from others as you leave the campus.
When to self-isolate
You must stay at home and self-isolate when any of the following criteria are met:
- You have any symptoms of coronavirus
- You have tested positive for coronavirus
- You live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive
- Someone in your support bubble has symptoms or has tested positive
- You have been told by Public Health Agency NI Test and Trace (either by phone or StopCOVIDNI App) that you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID19.
- If you have tested positive previously and are identified as a Close Contact on a further occasion, you must self-isolate again for 10-days from last contact with the Positive Case
- If you are identified as a close contact and test negative you must still complete the 10 day isolation period. Only request a test if you have symptoms.
Who to inform if you need to self-isolate
Please complete the online COVID-19 Notification Form and inform your Course Director if you meet any of these criteria and are therefore self-isolating.
If you are in University Accomodation within a cluster apartment or in private rented accommodation off-campus, you and those you are living with are considered as an individual household, or bubble.
You won’t need to socially distance from others within this household but once you have established this social bubble, you can’t change who is in it. If anyone in the household develops symptoms or tests positive for COVID19, everyone living there needs to self-isolate.
If you are moving into University residences, comprehensive guidance is available at the Residents Life webpage.
We’ve introduced protective measures and requirements in our student accommodation so that our residents are safe and comfortable in their student home from home.
What to do if you test positive for COVID19
Please inform your Course Director and complete online the COVID-19 Notification Form
You will need to complete the close contact section in relation to any recent attendance on campus and to collate University close contacts only. Confirmed close contacts within the University community will be contacted by the Employee Wellbeing or Student Wellbeing team and advised to self-isolate.
On confirmation of a positive diagnosis the University will liaise directly with the Public Health Agency and forward all collated information on close contacts within the Ulster University staff or student community.
Contact tracing undertaken by the PHA is vital in helping to prevent further spread of the infection. If you have tested positive for COVID-19, in addition to completing the University’s notification form including your University close contacts ( UU staff and fellow students), you can now share your wider community contacts quickly and easily online by using the PHA Digital Service
What is a Close Contact
Within the 48 hours preceding the start of self-isolation, a Close Contact is:
- a person who has been within 2 metres of you for more than 15 minutes either as a one-off contact, or added up together over one day
- a person who has travelled in a vehicle with you
- a person who has had face-to-face contact with you:
- being coughed on
- having a face-to-face conversation within one metre
- having skin-to-skin physical contact, or
- contact within one metre for one minute or longer
What is not considered Close Contact
- Keeping more than 2 metres away or short indirect contact such as passing in corridors.
- Being within 2 metres for longer than 15 minutes but with effective mitigations in place such as separated by a screen/partition or using PPE.
Guidance if you are returning to your studies after travelling
Take care to follow the travel guidance if you are entering or returning to the UK following travel.
The regulations mean that you must self-isolate for 10 days if you return to Northern Ireland from a country outside the Common Travel Area (CTA) unless you are travelling from, or transiting through, a low to medium risk country that is exempt.
You may not have to self-isolate when you arrive in Northern Ireland if you're returning from certain countries.
The exemption details are continually reviewed in line with public health guidance.
If you’ve been abroad and you're required to self-isolate on your return from travel, you should:
- head straight home or to your accommodation which is the address you provided on the contact form.
- self-isolate in one place for the full 10 days
- not come onto campus for study
- not go into public areas
- not go shopping – ask friends or family for support, or use online delivery
- only use public transport if you've no other option and be sure to follow all guidance for public transport
We have put in place self-isolation 10-day packages for students joining us from overseas or who are returning from travel.
How we will support your learning if you are affected by COVID19
We will support you to continue to learn and progress in your programme if COVID affects your studies.
Students who are self-isolating will be able to access course materials and participate in class activities remotely.
All our support and wellbeing services are fully accessible online, and our Student Wellbeing team is on hand to provide additional support to deal with self-isolation, wherever you live – on campus, off campus or at your family home.
What to do if are unable to attend an on-campus teaching session because of COVID19
If you are unable to attend a scheduled class on campus because of local restrictions where you live, or because you are symptomatic or have been advised by the PHA that you have been in close contact with a person who has COVID19, here’s what to do:
Let your Course Director know straight away by e-mail, telling us:
- the nature and timing of self-isolation/restrictions
- the date and time of the campus-based teaching session(s), the associated module/course and module coordinator.
- any pending campus-based assessment deadlines that may not be achievable. If you have to miss this campus-based assessment deadline then please complete and submit an EC1 form
What to do if you are unable to attend an on-campus teaching session that includes an assessment, because of COVID19
After sharing details with your Course Director, you will be asked to complete an EC1 form for extenuating circumstances.
Your Course team will aim to provide you with another on-campus session later in the semester. It is possible that an alternative date may have to be offered in semester 2 or 3.
In this case, you will simply defer the assessment in semester 1 and progress into the next semester(s) carrying the assessment deferral.
Download the StopCOVID NI App
Developed by the Department of Health, the Northern Ireland STOPCOVID NI app helps to speed up the process to identify people at risk of catching the virus and slow down its spread. Using the app along with existing public health measures will help the public to stay safe when they meet up, socialise, work or travel.
A Message from Professor Paul Bartholomew
COVID 19 DISCIPLINARY PROCEDURES
Visit our Community Relations Webpage, for links to further resources of student advice and safety, including off campus living, student support and helpful contacts.
Your Questions Answered
How will you decide which programmes will be delivered on campus?
Our first term will commence as planned on 21 September and we will be prepared to deliver lectures and other teaching online for Semester One. Some on-campus activities will take place, based on a robust local risk assessment and priority will be given to using campus spaces for practice-based learning activities including lab work.
Where it is safe to do so, we will be exploring face to face activities that can be held on campus. However, we are mindful that for public health reasons there may be an effective limit on how many students we can have on campus at a given time.
Blended learning combines online teaching materials and delivery, including opportunities for interactive learning, with on-campus delivery through means such as lectures, practicals or small group teaching; as well as opportunities to access on-campus learning facilities and resources, such as our libraries.
What can I do if I no longer wish to stay in student accommodation during the pandemic?
Our ResLife team offers a personalised wrap around service and support package for our residential students in accommodation, with protective measures and enhanced cleaning in place to support health, safety and wellbeing.
We appreciate that some student residents may face particular challenges, and requests to leave student accommodation early will be considered on an individual basis by completing and submitting our Departure Form.
What facilities will be open on campus for students whose programmes will be delivered on campus from September?
The University is looking to open facilities on campus as soon as it is safe to do so, in line with the appropriate public health guidance and restrictions.
Sport is an important part of University life and our external sports facilities and sports centres are now open again, operating within public health guidelines, and with additional cleaning in place.
You can find out more at our Sports Services FAQs page.
Our popular online programs and classes will continue to be available for sports members.
Our libraries are open to staff and students.
For more information visit:
We have working closely with our catering operators and following careful risk assessment have re-opened catering provision on each campus.
Will students be required to wear face coverings on campus?
To protect others and to support a safe University community for all, staff and students must wear a face covering on campus in general circulation spaces, social spaces, other enclosed spaces, e.g. toilets, retail units, lecture theatres and teaching spaces, practical classes, and any other area in our buildings where maintaining 2m social distancing is not possible.
2m social distancing must still be maintained in lecture theatres, libraries, teaching spaces and offices.
We will supply disposable and reusable face coverings for all staff and students, although you may wish to wear your own.
We recognise that there are circumstances, including medical reasons, that may make it difficult for people to wear a face covering and so we ask our University community to be respectful, and mindful that the reasons for not wearing a face covering may not always be visible.
Will Ulster University adapt current courses to reflect the impact on our economy and future careers?
We know that many sectors will change in response to the impact of this pandemic, re-imagining their business for the future.
At Ulster University we will make sure that your learning experience also supports you to adapt in your chosen career path; we’ll be adjusting and refreshing our programmes to match emerging market needs and opportunities as our economy and society begins the journey to recovery.
I’m finding this ongoing situation stressful; where can I go for support?
It’s understandable that the circumstances of this pandemic may make you feel anxious.
Our student wellbeing team is available to support you both now and throughout your time at Ulster.
If you are in crisis or distress or worried about someone else, you should contact Lifeline on 0808 808 8000.
I was supposed to be on my placement 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 would 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.
Whilst at this stage we cannot be certain of the extent of any adjustments to placement opportunities with individual employers in the incoming year, we are offering enhanced flexibility for placement employers, with placements able to start up to January 2021.
Keep in touch with your placement tutor who will update you and discuss any alternatives or adjustments that may arise.
Updates to information on placements will be found in the Work Placement section.
If my programme is to be delivered on campus but I am unable to attend for health or family reasons related to COVID, what can I do?
Students who cannot attend campus for health or other reasons related to family or caring responsibilities should contact their Course Director as soon as possible to discuss.
I’m concerned that I won’t have access to the right technology to participate fully in my programme if I am not learning on campus?
Technology recommendations for accessing Ulster systems to support your study in a blended learning environment are available from ISD.
If you are eligible for our Widening Access cash bursary, you may wish to put this towards technology resources.
The University acknowledges that some students may not have the technology to engage in education by digital channels - and we keep this under review.
Will there be a reduction in fees for the first semester?
In response to these unprecedented circumstances, we have repurposed our education provision to maintain continuity of teaching through digital channels.
Every course is continuing to provide alternatives to support learning, teaching and assessment by other means during this period. We are also taking steps to ensure that students whose studies may be affected by the COVID-19 pandemic are not disadvantaged at the point of assessment, whilst protecting learning outcomes and the academic integrity of their Ulster University degree.
Providing opportunities for our students to learn at home is the only option available to us whilst the current social distancing measures are in place. Moving to online provision in this way is costly, however we are fortunate to have a high quality digital infrastructure that allows us the flexibility necessary in these circumstances; and this means that you can continue to receive a rewarding learning experience. We are committed to maintaining these digital platforms to support our students to progress in their learning journey with confidence.
Ulster University’s firm commitment is to ensure that our students are not deprived of the opportunity to learn and to move forward in their studies and future career, on schedule and as planned. In this context we do not anticipate fee reduction.