Academic Year 2020/21 - Information for Students
Information related to the Academic Year 2020/21 for Students at Ulster University.
Despite the challenges presented by the ongoing restrictions, we will continue to make it possible for you to engage in your programme of study in the most meaningful and effective ways.
Our track record in digital learning means that you can continue to receive a high-quality learning and student experience.
Your feedback over recent months has helped us to refine our online provision further as we prepare for the incoming year.
We know that meeting up with fellow students is such an important part of your time at Ulster, and so we’re also working closely with our Students’ Union to explore ways to enable you to participate in other aspects of University life.
Check these pages regularly for updates as you prepare to continue your studies with us.
As we re-imagine University life alongside this pandemic, you can look forward to vibrant, inspiring and productive time, and we look forward to welcoming you back to Ulster University.
A Message from Professor Paul Bartholomew
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
Can I book University student accommodation on campus for 20/21?
Applications are now open for new and returning students for our student accommodation on each campus.
There are many benefits of living in Ulster University student accommodation.
Appropriate robust risk assessments will be undertaken to ensure that student accommodation is available in line with all current public health measures.
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. Our popular online programs and classes will continue to be available for sports members.
We are also working closely with our catering operators, and the availability of facilities will be based on a careful risk assessment, with solutions to address any risks identified.
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?
Where possible, students who cannot attend campus for health or other reasons related to family or caring responsibilities will be able to engage with their learning fully online.
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.
I am a Tier 4 student. Will I be able to continue my studies if my course will be delivered online in Semester 1?
Concessions to the Tier 4 regulations mean that you are permitted to study online and maintain your Tier 4 visa.
I am a Tier 4 student currently living in my home country. When can I return to the UK?
If you have a valid Tier 4 visa, you may return to the UK at any time to continue your studies.
Can I get a visa and come to the UK, but do my studies online?
The UK Home Office has advised that if your course will be delivered fully online, you will not need to be in the UK to undertake your studies.
You will, therefore, not need to apply for a Tier 4 visa.
We are monitoring UK Home Office guidance closely and will update our FAQs when we receive any further details or if this advice changes.
What should I do if the centre for a biometrics appointment is still closed?
All Visa Application Centres are currently closed due to Covid-19.
Visa Application Centres will re-open when safe to do so.
Until then, it is not possible to apply for a visa from outside the UK.
You can find out here if your nearest Visa Application Centre is open.
Can I apply for University accommodation? If so, can I apply before I have a CAS/Visa?
As an international student you can apply up to 14 August 2020 for a place in University accommodation.
You can apply before you have received a CAS or Visa.
As part of your application for University accommodation, you will be requested to pay a booking deposit of £100, which is fully refundable up until you decide to accept our accommodation offer.
If you decide not to accept our offer, we will refund your deposit in full.
To talk you through your accommodation options, we will be running a virtual accommodation open day on 12 June 2020 at 2pm (BST).