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Coronavirus (COVID-19)

Updated: 18 JUNE 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 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

CAMPUS FACILITIES AND ARRANGEMENTS 

When will the academic year start?

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. 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 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.

Will there be safety measures on campus?

Please be assured that 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.

Are UWS campuses closed?

In response to the nationally evolving coronavirus situation, University of the West of Scotland is continuing to operate remotely.

We took the decision to close our buildings on Monday 23 March. This does not, however, affect our residential accommodation for students, which remains open. In the small number of cases where essential access is required to our Paisley campus, adjustments have been made to ensure strict social distancing measures are observed. These measures are vital in supporting national efforts to mitigate the impact of coronavirus and are of paramount importance in keeping our University community safe and well.

How has the University been preparing?

Colleagues have been monitoring and responding to the situation closely since January, in line with official guidance from the UK and Scottish Governments, Health Protection Scotland, Health Protection England, the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and other relevant agencies. We continue to be guided by Government and NHS public health advice.

WELFARE AND SUPPORT

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.

Applicants and offer holders

Will my application still be considered?

The admissions team are working remotely and are processing applications as normal.

We’re aware that, as well as UK applicants, there may be an impact on applicants from EU and non-EU countries and processes are in place to ensure we continue to make decisions on these applications too.

Will academic session 2020/21 begin in September?

We are planning to begin our next academic year on 28 September 2020. 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 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.

My exams have been cancelled – what will I do?

We will do everything we can to be flexible with our applicants at this difficult and unsettling time. The University is already in discussion with academic colleagues, the relevant qualification authorities and the Scottish and UK Governments on how we move forward positively. Further information on this will follow when it becomes available; however, we will work to ensure that no applicant is in any way disadvantaged.

I am at college, what if I don’t complete my award?

We’re doing everything we can to be flexible with our applicants and are working with colleges to minimise the impact on our applicants. Further detailed information for college students is available on the SQA website.

Can I still apply for University accommodation?

We’ve a range of high-quality, competitively priced accommodation and you can apply now for a place in the University’s halls of residence. You’ll find instructions on how to apply and details of our accommodation for 2020 entry at https://www.uws.ac.uk/university-life/accommodation/ and you can make your booking at https://hallpad.uws.ac.uk/hallpad

How can offer-holder find out more about UWS campuses and student life?

We have dedicated areas on our website for offer-holders, where you can immerse yourself in a 360-degree campus experience, alongside more information on student life at UWS and financial advice: visit Ayr Campus, Lanarkshire Campus, Dumfries Campus and Paisley Campus.

If offer holders have any specific questions, please contact ask@uws.ac.uk or on 0800 027 1000.

Should I defer my place?

We’re assessing new applications and preparing to welcome our new students in September 2020 as normal. If you’re thinking of deferring, please contact the admissions team at admissions@uws.ac.uk.

I’m keen to apply to study at UWS under my home university’s overseas exchange programme with UWS. Should I still apply?

Please apply as normal for an exchange programme and, if there are any changes, applicants will be contacted, in addition to updates being made to this page.

The borders of my home country have closed – should I still apply?

The University would encourage you to still apply as this situation may change considerably in the coming months. If you're successful in gaining an offer, we'll be in touch to advise you on the next steps you should take. In the meantime, please continue to follow public health guidance for your home country and keep up to date with advice for the UK on the Government’s coronavirus action plan and the Foreign & Commonwealth Office website. It is our absolute priority to support you in any way we can.

What happens if I can’t get my visa?

We’re aware visa centres have been closed for some time in some countries and we’re monitoring the situation. Further information can be found on the UKVI website. Postgraduate research students should contact their supervisor if they're unable to apply for a visa.

What should I do if my local English language testing centre is closed due to the pandemic?

We’re aware English language exams have been suspended in some countries. If you can’t book an IELTS test, we may consider other English language qualifications. Please submit evidence of English language with your application and the admissions team will consider this.

Students

Academic year 2020/21

When will the academic year start?

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. 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 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.

Will I receive any face-to-face teaching or will it be online?

Based on current national information, we expect to be able to deliver a hybrid learning model that will combine on-campus engagement, combined with a technology-supported experience, at the beginning of the academic year, in line with national guidance at the time. It is our aim to provide as much in-person learning and teaching, and as many support services and extra-curricular activities on our campuses, as public health advice and government guidance will enable. However, the hybrid model of online and face-to-face student experience we have developed means that, even if we do have to be physically distanced for an element of your study, you will continue to receive the highest quality teaching and education experience from UWS.

Will I have a fulfilling student experience and be able to access support?

Despite the global challenges caused by the current pandemic, we want you to know that you can expect high-quality, accessible and engaging teaching and learning at UWS – and that you can look forward to a positive student experience, with wide-ranging support. 

Will you keep me updated as your plans progress?

We will be back in touch with you again in the coming weeks to provide more detailed information as the situation regarding the easing of lockdown further develops. This will include further information in relation to your specific programme of study, student residences and on-campus facilities. We’re also working closely with the Students’ Union, and our colleagues, to plan for the key issues that may be foremost in your mind as you start to plan for life as a UWS student in September. We will, however, continue to update our COVID-19 information hub on our website as our plans for the next academic year continue to develop, so please also check here regularly.

Teaching, Learning and Assessments

How will my teaching and learning be delivered until the end of the current term (term two)?

Following the postponement of face-to-face teaching for the remaining two weeks of the current term (term two), module teams or individual module leaders are seeking to provide alternative activity to attendance at lectures, tutorials, seminars, laboratories and workshops, and will be in contact with you directly. This activity will cover the final two weeks of term two and be designed to ensure that learning outcomes for your modules are met. This may include:

  1. Lectures delivered in real time online
  2. Recorded lectures, or other suitable resources, which students can access at any time
  3. Directed reading
  4. Online activities

You are invited to regularly check Moodle for latest course-specific teaching and learning updates.

How does this impact on my exams and assessments?

In line with other Scottish universities, arrangements are being made so that level seven (first year undergraduate) and level eight (second year undergraduate) examinations do not need to take place in term two. There will be no requirement to set alternative forms of assessment unless it is set out by the Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs). Arrangements will, however, be made to set dates for term one resit assessments.

Level 9, 10 and 11 examinations will be replaced by alternative forms of assessment. This can include open book examinations or coursework as an alternative. Current Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRB) requirements will still apply. Alternatives should also be set for term one resit examinations. As above, Schools will provide detailed information to students directly on these arrangements at a programme level.

Can students apply for extensions?

During the immediate COVID-19 crisis, students were able to request a 10-day extension to a submission date. This was to deal with disruptions arising from the swift move to lockdown. However, as we are now working within a new norm, the extension request period will revert to five days for T3 assessment submissions. This is to enable sufficient time for marking and moderation in advance of scheduled assessment boards. Requests for extensions to assignment deadlines or for other resit opportunities that fall within the normal timeframe of the module (usually one whole trimester) should continue to be submitted directly to the relevant module coordinator or other named person in the School.

ECS can also be applied when an agreed extension to the submission date is in place (you would previously have had to appeal if an extension was in place). When completing an ECS, you should clearly state the assessment date (if the original assessment date or an agreed extended date). Please note that no third party evidence is required when submitting an ECS.

The full Extenuating Circumstances procedure is available online.

What information can you provide about assessments?

The majority of students should have been notified via Moodle of alternative assessment arrangements. There are some exceptions where there is a Professional Statutory Regulatory Body Requirement (PSRB) and on-site facilities are required. These assessments will be rescheduled and students should be notified of the arrangements for these separately.

For students at levels 7 (first year undergraduate) or 8 (second year undergraduate), where there are no PSRB requirements, details include:

  • There will be no term 2 examinations for students at level 7 or 8
  • Students will be assessed on the basis of work already submitted or due to be submitted by end of term 2 (2nd May 2020)
  • Resit opportunities for Term 1 and 2 will be offered at usual timescales.
  • For term 1 resits, alternatives to examination should be developed.
  • Progression and award decisions will be based on existing regulations and credit requirements

For students at levels 9, 10 and 11:

  • There will be no examinations at end of term 2
  • Alternative assessments will be developed: either coursework or open book examination
  • All resit assessments from earlier terms will be coursework-based

Placements

I'm a nursing and midwifery student, can you advise what's happening with my placement?

Colleagues from the University have been working closely with the Scottish Government, other universities and regulatory bodies to secure clear guidance and advice to enable us to arrive at a nationally agreed position for students regarding clinical placements and experience in practical learning environments. 

We fully recognise that this is a challenging time and, as always, we are here to provide support to our students, however, nursing education is part of a nationally controlled system, with links across universities, the NHS and Government - and so it is more difficult for universities to act independently.

Recent guidance has been issued by the NHS, the Scottish Government and the Nursing and Midwifery Council, amongst other regulatory organisations, on plans to expand the nursing and midwifery workforce amidst the coronavirus outbreak, maximising the potential contribution of student nurses and midwives.

Due to the developing nature of this guidance and that certain information applies to different cohorts, the University is committed to communicating relevant information directly with students, as we have been, as soon as we can. Detailed information by programme and year will also be communicated via Moodle when available and updated regularly.

As ever, we continue to encourage students to check our coronavirus information hub on the University’s website which includes regularly updated frequently asked questions, as well as links to official, national sources of information. The NMC website also has a range of helpful resources.

Can you advise what’s happening with other student placements?

The General Teaching Council for Scotland has issued advice to teacher education students – and our School of Education and Social Sciences has cascaded that as appropriate – that all Initial Teacher Education (ITE) placements in schools will end as of Monday 16 March, and for the remainder of this academic session. This includes placements for all undergraduate and postgraduate students in all years of their ITE programmes.

Social Work placements have also been suspended.

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?

We are aware of the uncertainty that many students are facing as a result of this unprecedented situation.

A range of support continues to be available to students. This includes online and phone appointments, 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.

The University has suspended face-to-face teaching and moved to a remote learning model. 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.

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 or 0141 848 3999.

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 recognise this is a worrying time for everyone – and, here at UWS, your mental health is incredibly important to us. We’d therefore 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.

International 

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.

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.

Residences 

I live in University accommodation: what advice can you offer?

We recognise that our campuses are home to many students and residences continue to remain open. We are aware this is a difficult period for all residents and that some have chosen to depart and we would request that you inform us if you have already returned home or if you intend to leave the residences in the near future. Please contact accommodation@uws.ac.uk regarding your current status, as it’s important for us to know who is in the building for a variety of housekeeping and health and safety reasons.

If you develop symptoms related to coronavirus, we would ask that you contactaccommodation@uws.ac.uk or call 0141 848 3159 and follow the Government advice with regards to self-isolation: health guidance can be found on the NHS Inform website.

We consider a shared flat to be similar to a household environment; therefore; if one of your flatmates develops symptoms related to coronavirus, we would insist that all flatmates isolate as per Government advice. Our team can advise locally of additional measures to support a self-isolation period.

All non-essential maintenance has been suspended until further notice to limit unnecessary face-to-face contact.

To limit the number of people in residences at any one time, in line with public health guidance, we will no longer be permitting any visitors and non-UWS residents into our buildings. All overnight guest requests will no longer be granted. Please be assured, our team is still onsite and available to continue to support you 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We’d encourage you to familiarise yourself with Government guidance for households too.

I’m a student with a question that isn’t answered in these FAQs: whom can I contact?

If you have read through the information contained on the University’s coronavirus update page and in the FAQs, and still feel you would like to contact us, please email hub@uws.ac.uk.

Where can I find wellbeing advice?

I still have questions

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

Staff

Working support and arrangements

Will I be able to work remotely, if required?

Deans of School and Directors have been given authority to make arrangements to support temporary remote working. You will be given guidance by your line manager on the arrangements and requirements that we are developing to support you. A copy of guidance for line managers is available on the staff intranet.

In addition, we specifically ask that any colleagues at an increased risk of severe illness discuss with their line manager any arrangements that need to be put in place, as a matter of urgency.

When working remotely, it is important we ensure all information we are dealing with is securely handled. This applies not only to the personal data of staff and students but to any information you are working with that is confidential to the University. You should be aware of a number of important points when working remotely. Please visit our GDPR remote working guidance document on the intranet for more information on this.

Should I include any information in my email signatures?

As the vast majority of colleagues will be working from home, it is important for us to be consistent in the information we share outside our organisation. To help you with this, we’ve suggested text for you to add to your email signatures. You may wish to adapt as appropriate, including the option of adding a telephone contact number, if appropriate.

  • Suggested text:

In response to the nationally evolving coronavirus situation, University of the West of Scotland colleagues are now working remotely. I can still be contacted during my usual working hours and the best way to reach me is via this email address [OPTION TO ADD TELEPHONE NUMBER IF APPROPRIATE].

Is IT support available remotely?

Our IT department has worked extremely hard to support colleagues so that they have the infrastructure to work remotely. The team can be contacted via the IT helpdesk on 0141 848 3999, or by emailing helpdesk@uws.ac.uk, if you still require any help with equipment to facilitate working off campus.

I have an hourly paid contract with the University and my scheduled hours of work have been agreed, but I am unable to work these hours due as the University is currently closed.  Will I still be paid for these scheduled hours?

Where work has been agreed, but can no longer be carried because the University is closed due to the nationwide pandemic, you will still receive payment for this scheduled work in the normal way.

I have an hourly paid contract with the University, but have no work currently scheduled.  Will I still receive payment from the University for hours I could have worked or been offered?

As there has been no agreement for work to be carried out and the University is not currently in a position to offer you any work,due to campus closures in line with government advice, you will not be eligible to receive any payment from the University.

I have a fixed term contract with the university which is coming to an end.  Will this be extended?

Where there is a business need for the contract to continue then this may be extended.  Otherwise your contract will come to an end as confirmed in your contract of employment. You will hear directly from your line manager and / or HR Business Partner on this.

Teaching, learning and assessments

Can students apply for extensions?

To account for the campus closures and the exceptional circumstances of coronavirus, students are now able to apply for extensions of up to 10 working days (by emailing their lecturer) or to defer to the next assessment opportunity by submitting an Extenuating Circumstances Submission (ECS). Requests for extensions to assignment deadlines or for other resit opportunities that fall within the normal timeframe of the module (usually one whole trimester) should continue to be submitted directly to the relevant module coordinator or other named person in the School.

ECS can also be applied when an agreed extension to the submission date is in place (you would previously have had to appeal if an extension was in place). When completing an ECS, you should clearly state the assessment date (if the original assessment date or an agreed extended date). Please note that no third party evidence is required when submitting an ECS.

The full Extenuating Circumstances procedure is available online.

What information can you provide about assessments?

The majority of students should have been notified via Moodle of alternative assessment arrangements. There are some exceptions where there is a Professional Statutory Regulatory Body Requirement (PSRB) and on-site facilities are required. These assessments will be rescheduled and students should be notified of the arrangements for these separately.

For students at levels 7 (first year undergraduate) or 8 (second year undergraduate), where there are no PSRB requirements, details include:

  • There will be no term 2 examinations for students at level 7 or 8
  • Students will be assessed on the basis of work already submitted or due to be submitted by end of term 2 (2nd May 2020)
  • Resit opportunities for Term 1 and 2 will be offered at usual timescales.
  • For term 1 resits, alternatives to examination should be developed.
  • Progression and award decisions will be based on existing regulations and credit requirements

For students at levels 9, 10 and 11:

  • There will be no examinations at end of term 2
  • Alternative assessments will be developed: either coursework or open book examination
  • All resit assessments from earlier terms will be coursework-based

Welfare and support

If am self isolating in line with national public health advice: what should I do? Will I get sick pay?

Your absence would be treated as sickness absence in the usual way and in line with the Absence Management Procedure. Therefore, if someone is self-isolating in line with national guidance it will be treated as sickness absence. The one amendment to the normal absence management procedure is that we will waive the requirement to produce a Fit Note for the second week, and staff can complete a self certificate to cover both weeks on their return to work.  

I have a dependant who’s been advised to self-isolate: what should I do?

Please contact your line-manager and inform them of the situation, in order to make any necessary arrangements. We have established procedures to deal with family emergencies. You can find the University’s family friendly procedures here.

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

We recognise this is a worrying time for everyone – and, here at UWS, your mental health is incredibly important to us. We’d therefore encourage colleagues 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 colleagues, across campuses, enhancing wellbeing and providing support for issues such as depression, anxiety and stress. For information and to sign up using your UWS email address, please visit our SilverCloud webpage.

Where can I find wellbeing advice?

I still have questions

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

Library

Is the library open?

No 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 – 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 websiteYou can search our library collection 24/7 using One SearchSome 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.

Adapted approach to assessment, progression and degree classification - Term 2

How will the new approach differ from the above?

You will still be 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 will be 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.

Adapted approach to assessment, progression and degree classification - 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.

MESSAGE FROM THE PRINCIPAL - 24 MARCH 2020

Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Craig Mahoney

Speaking the day after the UK and Scottish governments announced strict measures to mitigate the spread of coronavirus, our Principal and Vice-Chancellor Professor Craig Mahoney – working from home – shared an update with the University of the West of Scotland community.

Watch the video here

Last updated: 18/06/2020