Future Students FAQs
How will my course be delivered in 2020-21?
Enrolment and central induction will be carried out remotely, online, and students will not be expected to attend campus for these activities apart from in exceptional circumstances where there is no other way to confirm identification or previous qualifications. Arrangements for individual programme induction and teaching is being planned and will be confirmed by programme teams.
UCS will be offering a blended learning approach based on two key principles:
(a) For modules that are theoretical in nature, and for elements of practical modules that are theoretical, delivery will be online until such a point is reached that it can move on-campus. This will be achieved via online lectures, tutorials, group learning and individual support. UCS has an excellent track record of high-quality online delivery. This method of delivery will enable discussion and interaction with lecturers and other students whilst maintaining everyone’s safety. It typically includes live sessions as well as access to information and resources for use at a time of your choice.
(b) Where practical activities are required, workshops and other specialist facilities will be available on-campus. Student groups, on-campus will be limited to ensure social distancing and other Public Health England guidelines are followed. Workshop spaces will be re-configured to ensure practical activities can be achieved in a safe environment.
What wellbeing and support will be available to me?
It is important that students feel able to cope with the methods of delivery outlined above and to be provided in more detail by each programme team. It is important that students are fit and well enough to undertake courses on this basis in line with the UCS and university partners’ fitness to study policies.
UCS will continue to provide effective student support through the support service teams. This includes Learning Resource Centres (library services), IT support, Advice and Guidance, Additional Learning Support for those with specific learning difficulties, Wellbeing, Safeguarding and Counselling. This support will be available remotely/online in the first instance, which provides ease of access.
What can I expect about the content of my course?
UCS is working closely with its partner Universities to ensure that all programme learning outcomes can be met to the appropriate quality and standards.
We hope that over the academic year we will increasingly be able to move to more on-campus delivery. However this will be dependent on the advice issued by Public Health England and will be affected by any requirements for further lockdown. We are therefore adopting a flexible approach to delivery, focused mostly on remote online delivery, able to react to changing guidance from Public Health England and any moves into or out of lockdown (and therefore more online or less online), whilst not compromising on quality and standards. Whether on campus or remotely, you will be provided with the learning and support to succeed in your studies.
UCS courses will continue to follow the usual learning outcomes for the programmes. Programme teams are working with university partners to find solutions in the small number of cases where this proves difficult when using an online method of delivery. Programmes that require access to specialist resources and equipment in order to meet the learning outcomes will take priority when planning for on-campus access, to enable students on these courses to meet their learning outcomes.
UCS will continue to work with industry sector contacts to enable work based learning activities to continue wherever this is possible. This will be in line with Public Health England guidance at any given point in time and through discussion and negotiation with individual employers.
What will the length of my course be?
UCS courses are expected to run for the usual length of time within the academic year. We are planning on this basis.
What will the cost of my course be?
Costs will remain as previously published. These can be checked on UCAS or the UCS website.
Due to the need to work online because of the COVID-19 pandemic you will need to have access to a suitable computer or laptop, as well as an appropriate place to be able to concentrate, engage in remote learning and time to dedicate to your studies and complete your assessments.
Those who are eligible, are encouraged to apply for a Bursary which may help with the purchase of IT equipment. This will be on a first come, first served basis with priority for certain groups of students as set out in the UCS Access and Participation Plan for the academic year which is available on the UCS website www.somerset.ac.uk
How will my course be assessed?
Assessment arrangements are being agreed with awarding universities and External Examiners. We are planning for assessment to be possible via coursework or online, designed, as usual, to meet the learning outcomes for the programme. It is unlikely that formal exams will take place due to social distancing requirements, unless these are relaxed later in the year. However your lecturers will be able to confirm the situation for your course, as assessment methods vary from one course to another.
What Award / Qualification will I receive?
You will work towards the qualification/award for which you enrol.
If future Public Health England advice means that UCS is able to resume more face to face delivery on campus, where will my course be delivered?
The prospectus and website will show you the normal campus for the delivery of your programme. For delivery that does not take place online, it will take place on this campus.
What options do I have?
Continuing or starting your studies with UCS - Having read the information provided above and in due course, having read the more detailed programme level information that the course team are working to produce for you, we hope that you will feel reassured that we are taking your health and wellbeing very seriously whilst providing robust teaching, learning and assessment in line with the quality and standards that you would expect. We hope that you would like to start or to continue to study with us. If you have any concerns, do please raise these with the Course Leader so that we can try to assist you.
However, the following options also exist:
- Defer/suspend/interrupt - If you are an existing student at UCS and you decide that you do not wish to continue with your studies during 2020-21 you have the option to defer/suspend/interrupt your studies in line with the academic regulations of the awarding university who validates your programme. These do vary, so please check if there is a maximum length of time for you to defer/suspend/interrupt your studies before returning to continue in the future.
- Transfer into or out of an HE Provider - In some circumstances it is also possible to transfer from one HE Provider to another and to continue with a course at this provider. This would involve providing evidence of the study you have already undertaken. Students are able to transfer into and out of UCS provided the learning outcomes already studied fit with the programme you wish to join. The relevant Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) policy would need to be followed. Advice can be sought from the relevant Admissions Manager.
- Withdraw – If you are an existing student and wish to completely stop your programme it is possible to discuss this with your tutor and to withdraw from the programme.
How did University Centre Somerset help students to succeed during the pandemic in 2019-20?
Teaching moved immediately online when the lockdown started and continued throughout the academic year in order to ensure that students had the opportunity to meet their programmes learning outcomes whilst being compliant with government guidance and the lockdown. Good practice in online delivery was shared between curriculum teams.
University Centre Somerset has supported students throughout the pandemic through the Extenuating Circumstances process, giving extensions and problem solving other issues on an individual basis. In addition to the support provided by teaching teams, the support teams have also been working with students individually to help them to succeed, this has included the IT Support Team, Learning Resource Services and the Wellbeing and Counselling Teams.
I am concerned about the cancellation of exams.
With the cancellation of examinations for the majority of students, we are aware you may have concerns regarding meeting your conditions to attend one of our courses in September. We are currently working with UCAS and Awarding Bodies regarding how your current qualifications will be assessed and results released. Please be assured that all of us are committed to making this process as fair as possible.
Who can I contact if I have a question that remains unanswered?
We will provide any further updates on this website as we receive them, however if you have any specific concerns please contact Fiona Henman, Progressions and HE Admissions Manager on firstname.lastname@example.org.