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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: 22 JULY 2020

In response to the nationally evolving coronavirus situation, University of the West of Scotland is continuing to operate remotely. We are planning to begin our next academic year on 28 September 2020, when induction will commence for new and returning students, with teaching starting from the week beginning 5 October.

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Colleagues from across UWS have been working extremely hard to develop a new hybrid model of learning that means all students will be able to access a blend of both on-campus and online delivery of learning and teaching, in line with the Scottish Government’s four-phase plan for coming out of the COVID-19 lockdown.

We are working with governments, funders, health professionals and others to ensure UWS is compliant with national guidance in our planning for a welcoming and COVID-19 secure learning and campus experience for all students and colleagues. The slightly later start date to the academic year will give new and returning students, and UWS colleagues, more time to effectively prepare for the start of term.

It is important to stress that UWS continues to operate remotely. Student services and residences remain available, with colleagues continuing to deliver high levels of service right across our operations.

We have remained in regular contact with our students regarding detailed teaching, learning and assessment arrangements and further guidance is also provided into the additional FAQs below.

All UWS activity and planning is informed by NHS public health as well as UK and Scottish Government advice and guidance. We have local structures in place to allow us to react appropriately to any developments.

We will continue to keep our community up-to-date over the coming weeks, providing more detailed information as the situation regarding the easing of lockdown further develops.

Frequently Asked Questions

General

What do I do if I have a cough or fever?

Please visit the NHS website or NHS Inform website for guidance.

I have further questions about coronavirus – what should I do?

Visit the NHS websiteNHS Inform, or call the new national coronavirus helpline free on 0800 028 2816.

What can people do to help?

It’s essential we all continue to follow national public health advice as we seek to play our part in the national efforts to limit the spread of coronavirus and protect the health of ourselves, our loved ones and our communities. Simple measures like thorough hand-washing, coughing or sneezing into tissues and disposing of them, and following any individual advice provided by medical professionals, including social distancing, are all key factors that everybody can do to play their part limiting the spread of coronavirus. The NHS website and NHS Inform provide a range of guidance, including on how to avoid catching infections.

What happens if coronavirus affects my immigration status?

Home Office helpline has been set up: please note, officials can only speak to the visa holder or applicant about their specific query. If you are a third party (for example, family member or sponsor) and wish to speak on their behalf, officials must have the visa holder’s permission. The UKCISA website also has useful updates on how the Coronavirus may affect your immigration permission.

I’m worried about coronavirus – what should I do?

If you’re feeling stressed or concerned about coronavirus, please visit the charity Mind’s dedicated web page.

Current students

WELFARE AND SUPPORT

Will the current situation affect my SAAS payments in any way?

SAAS have provided assurance that students who continue to engage with the remote and alternative teaching and learning provided by their universities, following the postponement of face-to-face teaching, will continue to be funded.

What support is available to me?

A broad range of support continues to be available to students and you can find out more about these here. Online and phone appointments are also available, which can be made with the Counselling, Disability, International Advice, Academic Skills, Careers and Funding and Advice teams, by emailing hub@uws.ac.uk or calling 0141 848 3800. For Academic Skills and Careers, you can also access resources or book online and phone appointments directly by logging into the system, or through MyDay.Will the current situation affect my funding?

The University  suspended face-to-face teaching in March and moved to remote learning in advance of the launch of a new hybrid model of delivery for new and returning students in September 2020 . Students who engage in their studies remotely will continue to receive statutory funding as normal from Student Awards Agency Scotland and Student Loans Company. We will continue to liaise closely with those agencies as they monitor the nationally evolving situation and will update students accordingly.

We understand that many students will also be facing reductions in income as a result of part-time employment being impacted. We are committed to using our resources to best-support students in this situation and will monitor the action of Government to ensure we have a coordinated approach that allows us to do this fairly.

The Funding and Advice Team continue to encourage eligible students to apply to the Discretionary Funds and are able to accept applications via email submission. Students can find out more about these funds on our website.

Is there any support I can access as an international or EU student?

We’re aware that – across the university sector – some international students and EU students may experience financial difficulties due to the impact of coronavirus on the wider economy. At the outset of the pandemic, we established a special emergency fund for this group of students in reaction to the quickly developing situation. Now that we are several weeks on from that point, we are dealing with all  international student welfare issues through our International Advice Team.  Please contact the team on Internationaladvice@uws.ac.uk to discuss your situation.

Where can I access library information?

Regularly check the library home page www.uws.ac.uk/library and follow the team on Twitter @uwslib.

I’ve just arrived at University/relocated and am not registered with a local doctor: what should I do?

Registering with a General Practitioner (GP) is a straightforward process. The NHS website and NHS Inform has information to help you find your nearest doctor and register with them quickly. Meanwhile, if you develop any symptoms outlined above or feel unwell, contact NHS24 by dialling 111.

As an existing student what IT support can I access?

Students are encouraged to access Moodle.

Students can also visit www.office.com, to download the Microsoft Office suite for free, using their University login details.

For those students who require access Microsoft Creative Cloud or specialist computing software, Schools will be in touch directly to make necessary arrangements where possible.

The IT Helpdesk continues to be available to help students maximise the benefits of the various software and applications available – helpdesk@uws.ac.uk. If students have any issues logging in, they can access support here or by emailing the address above. 

The library has lots of support on the UWS website to help you study and access resources.

Is there any academic skills support available?

Our Academic Skills staff continue to provide support during this current situation. You can access our services online, including study support tools, academic writing materials and essay writing resources by clicking here or via the Student Support tile in MyDay 

We have a wide range of resources which includes interactive presentations, information guides and videos on our YouTube channel. Students can also book appointments with Academic Skills advisers which can be via email or phone (with screen sharing options to allow interactive feedback on written work).

Students can book appointments online and can also contact the Hub for any initial enquiries via hub@uws.ac.uk or by calling 0141 848 3800.

What IT support is available to help me work remotely?

You are invited to regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates. As outlined above, the library offers a wide range of online learning and research resources.

For those students with a pressing need for access to a computer – and who have no other way of accessing one – there is an extremely limited number of laptops that may be available upon request, depending on demand: please email the IT helpdesk at helpdesk@uws.ac.uk

I’m a student and I’m feeling stressed, anxious and/or depressed – what support can you offer?

We are aware of the uncertainty that many students are facing as a result of this unprecedented situation. A broad range of support continues to be available to students and you can find out more about these here. Online and phone appointments are also available, which can be made with the Counselling, Disability, International Advice, Academic Skills, Careers and Funding and Advice teams, by emailing hub@uws.ac.uk or calling 0141 848 3800. For Academic Skills and Careers, you can also access resources or book online and phone appointments directly by logging into the system, or through MyDay.

We recognise this is a worrying time for everyone – and, here at UWS, your mental health is incredibly important to us. We’d therefore also encourage students to check out SilverCloud – an online programme which can help you learn practical strategies for dealing with stress, anxiety and depression. It’s free and confidential, and you can work at your own pace. It’s easy to use - interactive tools and activities make your experience interesting and motivational. Silvercloud gives you secure, immediate access to interactive and engaging online CBT (cognitive behavioural therapy) modules. It offers a supportive framework available to all students, across campuses, enhancing wellbeing and providing support for issues such as depression, anxiety and stress. For information and to sign up, please visit our SilverCloud webpage.

I have questions about my finances, income and funding – what should I do?

Please visit our dedicated funding and advice page on myDay, which includes a range of information, resources and contacts.

Library info for current students

Is the library open at the moment?

Not at the moment but a wide range of resources and support are available online. In response to the nationally evolving coronavirus situation, from 5pm on Monday 23 March, University buildings – across all five campuses – are currently closed.

How do I return books?

Please hold onto any books you have until you have been notified that the University has re-opened.

Do I need to renew my books?

All books have been automatically renewed until 7 September 2020.

Will I have fines for overdue books?

All fines have been suspended from 13th March 2020.

Can I access books and articles online?

UWS Library has an extensive collection of online resources that support teaching, learning and research. For more information about our online resources, please visit our Finding Books, Articles & More page of the Library website. You can search our library collection 24/7 using One Search. Some of our suppliers have provided additional access to resources to assist students and staff who are working off-campus during the current situation. You can find more information on the One Search homepage.

What sort of support can the library offer?

We can help you with any of the following:

  • finding relevant and accessible literature
  • using databases and e-resources
  • referencing and citation

If you require library support during the closure period, remember you can access this online via email (library@uws.ac.uk) or via the Self Service Portal (hub.uws.ac.uk). Our staff will be available remotely to assist you. We also offer a number of online guides, videos and FAQs which you can access at #uwslibTalks Padlet.

Information for current international students

I’m an international student – do you have any specific advice for me?

If you’re concerned about your Tier 4 status, please visit the UKCISA information page.

If you are an international student on a Tier 4 visa who has travelled home and are unable to return to the UK, please be reassured that you are not in breach of your Tier 4 visa conditions whilst you are continuing to engage academically with your studies in the manner outlined by your School.

International students on a Tier 4 visa who are unable to return home due to current travel restrictions and are worried about breaching their Tier 4 visa conditions (becoming an overstayer) should call the Home Office helpline as exceptional circumstances may be considered.

For the most up-to-date information for returning international students, please check MyDay here.

What about international travel?

On 23 March 2020, the UK Government advised all British travellers to return to the UK.

If you are overseas and require support and assistance with making arrangements to return to the UK, please contact your School or Department.

I’m an international/EU student living in Scotland – is there any support I can access?

We’re aware that – across the university sector – some international students and EU students may experience financial difficulties due to the impact of coronavirus on the wider economy. In recognition of the fact they’re not eligible for statutory funding, we’re creating a dedicated hardship fund for our international and EU students who are currently living in the UK and have not returned to their home country. Any award will be made at the discretion of the University.

Who can apply?

Applicants must be international or EU students currently living in the UK and who are not be in receipt of living cost support from the Scottish or UK government.

Applicants must be able to evidence that they are facing immediate financial hardship as a direct result of covid-19.

How to apply

Apply using your Banner email to euandinternationalfund@uws.ac.uk, stating your current address and date of birth.

Your email should include a short paragraph, explaining: 

  • How has covid-19 directly impacted on your financial position?
  • If your income from employment has been affected, please provide details, including:
    • details of your employer, the type of contract you are/were on, the earnings you were used to receiving on a weekly/monthly basis, the new earnings you now expect to receive on a weekly/monthly basis.
  • How many adults and children in your household who are dependent on you?

Evidence may be attached as appropriate.

I STILL HAVE QUESTIONS

If you are a student, and you still have further University-specific questions, you can email hub@uws.ac.uk.

Adapted approach to assessment, progression and degree classification for current students

Adapted approach to assessment, progression and degree classification for current UWS students during Term 2 (January - April/May2020) and Term 3 (May/June – September 2020)

We have produced updated guidelines for assessment, progression and degree classification for current students for Term 3 (May/June - September), following the temporary change in guidelines to support current students during Term 2 (January - April/May). Below you will find information about the adapted approach for both Term 2 and Term 3.

TERM 2

What is different about the updated approach in Term 2?

You were still required to pass all 120 credits: however, instead of Honours classification being calculated using the full 120 credits, the average marks across the top 80 credits achieved in the Honours year were used to determine your degree classification.

How many modules do I need to pass in order progress onto the next level?

Your progression to the next level of study will be determined in line with the existing programme regulations, as stated in the published programme specification. It is, therefore, important that you do your utmost to engage as fully as you are able to with the remainder of your teaching, learning and assessment. If you are required to undertake any reassessment as a result of term 2 outcomes, you should also engage with these activities. For students in level 7 and level 8, if you have gained 80 credits at your current level and met any prerequisite requirements as stated in the programme specification, then you may be able to progress to the next level and carry up to 40 credits of deficit.

If you are awarded an ongoing decision for modules this does not count as credit deficit. An ongoing decision will be awarded for module where UWS is unable to provide you with an opportunity to complete or undertake an assessment due to the emergency situation (such as a placement or other task that cannot be assessed by any other alternative).

I am a first year (level 7) student, what are the adapted assessment and progression arrangements in place to support me?

The assessment diet for term 2 continues and you should have received details of the arrangements for that from your School. You are encouraged to participate in that assessment diet. There will be no formal exams and instead adapted assessments will be offered. If you decide that circumstances are such that you feel you will not be able to perform at your optimum level in the current diet, you can defer to the next assessment diet in June/July.

For assessments, you can also request a 10-day extension for submission.

And as noted above, you can submit an ECS.

Arrangements have been made for you to carry 40 credits of deficit into Level 8 if required.

If you have been undertaking a placement and there is no opportunity for assessment, you will be allowed to progress to L8.

I am a second year (level 8) student, what are the adapted assessment and progression arrangements in place to support me?

As for L7 students, the assessment diet for term 2 continues and you should have received details of the arrangements for that from your School. You are encouraged to participate in that assessment diet. There will be no formal exams and instead adapted assessments will be offered. If you decide that circumstances are such that you feel you will not be able to perform at your optimum level in the current diet, you can defer to the next assessment diet in June/July.

For assessments, you can also request a 10-day extension for submission.

And as noted above, you can submit an ECS.

Arrangements have been made for you to carry 40 credits of deficit into Level 9 if required.

If you have been undertaking a placement and there is no opportunity for assessment, you will be allowed to progress to 9.

I am a third year (level 9) student, what are the adapted assessment and progression arrangements in place to support me?

As for L7 and L8 students, the assessment diet for term 2 continues and you should have received details of the arrangements for that from your School. You are encouraged to participate in that assessment diet. There will be no formal exams and instead adapted assessments will be offered. If you decide that circumstances are such that you feel you will not be able to perform at your optimum level in the current diet, you can defer to the next assessment diet in June/July.

For assessments, you can also request a 10-day extension for submission.

And as noted above, you can submit an ECS.

If you have been undertaking a placement and there is no opportunity for assessment, you will be allowed to progress to L10.

I’m an honours year student: how will my award and classification be impacted?

Your honours award will based on the requirements of the published programme specification: you will still be required to complete the required amount of credit and pass all the learning outcomes. It is, therefore, important that you do your utmost to engage as fully as you are able to with the remainder of your teaching, learning and assessment. 

Normally your honours degree classification is based on a mean mark achieved across the 120 credits achieved across your final year (unless there is a revised classification to meet a professional body requirement for accreditation). These are the current ways that UWS classifies your honours degree:

First class

Mean mark of 70% or above

OR Mean mark of at least 67% and a majority of the credits in the final year stage at grade A

Upper second class

Mean mark of 60% or above

OR Mean mark of at least 57% and a majority of the credits in the final year stage at grade B1 or better

Lower second class

Mean mark of 50% or above

OR Mean mark of at least 47% and a majority of the credits in the final year stage at grade B2 or better Third class Mean mark of 40% or above

Third class

Mean mark of 40% or above

 


For honours students affected in term 2 by the Covid-19 pandemic, we will calculate your honours over a mean of your top 80 credits. You will still be able to take advantage of the two routes to each classification as identified above. Don’t worry if your programme has larger credits modules; we will break these down into multiples of 20 credit to ensure we use your best 80 credits.

Will I still be eligible for distinction?

For students affected by the Covid-19 outbreak in term 2, the School Board of Examiners will base the award of distinction on your top 100 credits for CertHE/DipHE/Degree/Graduate Diploma and Postgraduate Diploma awards, rather than over the full 120 credits. For Masters programmes, distinction will based on top 140 credits rather that the full 180 credits. Don’t worry if your programme has larger credits modules; we will break these down into multiples of 20 credit to ensure we use your best credits. Distinction will still require you to pass all learning outcomes and for these to be achieved at the first diet, as per regulation 3.25.

For part-time students affected by term 2 of session 2019/20, this criteria will be applied regardless of when your final Board takes place.

I am a Postgraduate Diploma / Masters student: how are you going to classify my award?

You will still be required to pass all 120 credits: however, instead of distinctions being calculated using the full 120 (PgT) or 180 (Masters) credits, the average marks across the top 100 (PgT) or 140 (Masters) credits achieved will be used to determine a classification.

I’ve been told my level 7 exam won’t happen and there’s no replacement. How will you give me a grade for my module?

Individual module teams within the Schools have already taken action to address assessment requirements and put in place additional support and, where necessary, adapted assessment mechanisms, in line with the guidance approved at Senate in March 2020. Formal examinations have been removed across the board and replaced, where needed, by online exams or other forms of adapted assessments. For some level 7 and 8 modules where there is more than one assessment component, and where the module team are content that the assessment already completed have met the learning outcomes, further assessments have been waived and students will be given a mark based on work completed to date.

If you have been undertaking a placement and there is no opportunity for assessment, you will be allowed to progress.

Your lecturers will be able to give you the details pertaining to your particular programme.

I have further questions.

If you have any specific questions in relation to the University’s adapted approach to assessment, progression and degree classification, please email your programme leader.

TERM 3

UWS is committed to ensuring a fair and reasonable approach to assessment, progression and degree classification for all students. Our priority is to ensure that no student is disadvantaged as a result of the ongoing impact of COVID-19, while at the same time, maintaining the integrity of their higher education journey. It is with this in mind that we have produced updated guidelines for assessment, progression and degree classification for Term 3.

Term 3 update

During the immediate COVID-19 crisis, the regulations for the calculation of Honours classification were adjusted for those students whose assessments were affected in Term 2 session 2019/20. This will continue to apply for the assessment boards making award decisions up until the end of September 2020. For 2020/21, Honours classification for full-time students will be calculated in the usual way as outlined in the Regulatory Framework.

What do we mean by ‘assessments affected in Term 2’? 

We recognise that students who were in the middle of a taught module towards the end of Term 2 in session 2019/20 when the University moved to online learning and assessments were affected by the emergency arrangements. This swift move to a new mode of learning and teaching meant that there may have been adjustments to the previously indicated form of assessment. We also recognise that students who had a resit assessment at that time were affected.

Students had the opportunity to defer assessments and were offered up to 10 days extension for submissions. The following guidance applies for those students with resits or deferred assessments in Term 3 and explains what this means for moving into session 2020/21.

I have a resit in Term 3, how will my Honours classification be calculated?

For those who did not pass their assessment in the Term 2 diet, they will have an opportunity to be reassessed in Term 3. The Honours classification will be based on the emergency regulations. That means that the classification will be based on the top 80 credits from all 120 credits studied at the final year stage (level 10).

I deferred my assessment in Term 2, how will my Honours classification be calculated?

For those who deferred their Term 2 assessment via Extenuating Circumstances and submitted in Term 3, the emergency regulations will apply for the calculation of classification of Honours. That means that the classification will be based on the top 80 credits from all 120 credits studied at the final year stage (level 10).

I am a part-time Honours student, how will my Honours classification be calculated?

For part-time Honours students who were affected by Term 2 assessments in 2019/20, the emergency regulations used as part of COVID-19 will apply for the calculation of Honours regardless of when their final classification is calculated. That means that the classification will be based on the top 80 credits from all 120 credits studied at the final year stage (level 10)..

I have deferred my assessment in Term 2 and Term 3, what happens with my Honours classification?

Any assessments submitted from the new Term 1 of 2020/21 onwards will have the Honours classification calculated based on the normal regulations for Honours classification.

I have a resit in Term 3. What will happen if I don’t pass my resit?

For students with resits being carried forward into session 2020/21 the normal regulations for classification of Honours will apply.

I am a postgraduate student, how many attempts at assessment do I get?

Postgraduate taught students affected by the Term 2 diet in session 2019/20 had the number of attempts at a module increased from two to three in line with undergraduate regulations. This only applies to modules assessed in Term 2 of session 2019/20, and the regulation will revert to normal regulations from the start of session 2020/21.

I was on my second attempt at assessment in Term 2, am I entitled to a further attempt?

If you did not pass your second attempt in Term 2, then you will be entitled to a third attempt in this instance.

Will I still be eligible for distinction if I deferred my assessment in Term 2?

The adjusted calculation for distinction will apply for part-time and full-time students who undertook any module assessment during Term 2 of 2019/20. Hence, a deferred assessment from Term 2 will result in the final decision on distinction being calculated on the ‘emergency’ criteria.

UWS arrangement for welcoming new and returning students in September 2020

Please click below for detailed information on our plans for welcoming new and returning students in September 2020 to help you prepare for the next academic session:

September 2020 Plans

Last updated: 22/07/2020