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Coronavirus (COVID-19)


Page last updated: 17/10/2020

Teaching and learning

Information around student assessment, mitigation arrangements, tuition fees and complaint processes relating to coronavirus.

2020/21: TEACHING AND LEARNING ARRANGEMENTS FROM SEPTEMBER

Plus Icon What does my learning and teaching experience in 2020/21 look like?

In academic year 2020/21, your course will be delivered via a blend of online and digital learning and on-campus teaching and learning, with the necessary Covid-19 social distancing and other measures in place on campus informed by Government and Public Health England advice and guidance. Importantly, the teaching content you will receive won’t change; it will be what was planned for the academic year 2020/21 before the current Covid-19 outbreak. Not only does this maximise your learning experience, it also ensures that we support our more vulnerable learners, including those who may need to self-isolate or shield. 

The key points about your learning and teaching experience are:

  • Your start date will not change and you will start university at the original planned time
  • Course delivery will typically be in three 10-week blocks
  • To comply with social distancing, you will experience a ‘blended’ approach to learning – this is a mix of face-to-face on-campus and online teaching and learning
  • In the period up to December 2020 (teaching block 1) we are working within the government 2 metre social distancing measures. During this time, we will prioritise small-group and specialist teaching and are not planning to deliver large-group teaching on campus throughout 2020/2021. This will ensure that maximum space will be available for work that requires the use of specialist space or resources
  • We remain determined that as many students as possible will access on-campus contact with tutors in each term. However, in most cases, if you choose not to attend, or are not able, to attend campus due to Covid-19 (e.g. due to self-isolation, shielding or travel restrictions), the taught content will be available online
  • Wherever possible we have created ‘study bubbles’ – these are groups of students who consistently study together
  • In the event of a further government lockdown in response to Covid-19, we will prioritise digital and online learning and support to enable students to continue with and complete their studies. This will include the achievement of all learning outcomes including any specified professional statutory and regulatory body accreditation requirements where this applies
  • If there is an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, we will continue to provide blended delivery for teaching block 1 or semester 1 in 2020/21. We will keep teaching blocks 2 and 3 or semester 2 under review, informed by Public Health England advice
Plus Icon How will study bubbles work?

 

  • What is a study bubble?
    We have scheduled teaching for student groups within your course and modules in specific zones on campus. You will study in these allocated teaching groups for campus-based core modules and this will be your study bubble. 
  • How do study bubbles work?
    By remaining in your allocated study bubbles you will limit contact with other students. This can help to mitigate Covid-19 infection risks. It is important that you keep to your allocated bubbles and do not swap bubbles with other students after teaching commences.
  • How many study bubbles am I in?
    The majority of students will be in one or two study bubbles but elective choices, academic adviser sessions or specialist lab-based modules may result in you being in other study bubbles.
  • Can I change study bubbles?
    To minimise the risk of spread of the Covid-19 infection, you should attend your scheduled on-campus sessions and remain in your allocated study bubbles. You must not swap or attend study bubbles that you are not allocated to.  
  • What happens if there is a confirmed Covid-19 case in my study bubble?  
    You will be notified if there is a risk of possible Covid-19 infection and if any sessions need to be changed. All teaching rooms are cleaned in accordance with our Cleaning Charter and this minimises the risk of infection for students and staff.  
  • Will I be turned away if I turn up to class and it’s not my study bubble in session?
    To minimise the risk of spread of the Covid-19 infection, you should attend your scheduled on-campus sessions and remain in your allocated study bubbles. Tutors will check the study bubble list with students attending before the session begins. You will be asked to leave any study bubble sessions on campus that you have not been scheduled to attend. If you have not received your timetable and do not have details of your scheduled sessions, please contact administrators in your School office who can assist you. 
  • I’m in accommodation. How do study bubbles work with my household?
    There is no relationship between study and accommodation bubbles apart from nursing students. Students will be in different accommodation and study bubbles. You should ensure that you follow the social distancing

 

Plus Icon Is it safe to come onto campus?

We have created detailed plans for learning and teaching which will meet social distancing rules and will create a safe environment in which you can learn. This involves moving to teaching students in small groups face-to-face, holding lectures online, reducing the number of students within specialist facilities and teaching students within specified zones of the campus. We will continue to follow Government and PHE guidance around Covid-19 in order to ensure the safety and wellbeing of both students and staff.

Watch this animation for an overview of what life on campus will be like.

Plus Icon My course is accredited, will I still be able to meet these requirements?

We will prioritise face-to-face teaching and practical teaching to meet the intended learning outcomes and any requirements of relevant professional, statutory and regulatory bodies (PSRB) if your course includes these elements. This will ensure that your course retains its full professional status.

Plus Icon Will things change if the Covid-19 alert level changes?

If there is an easing of Covid-19 restrictions, we will continue to provide blended delivery for teaching block 1 or semester 1 in 2020/21. We will keep teaching blocks 2 and 3 or semester 2 under review, informed by Government and Public Health England advice.

In the event of a further government lockdown in response to Covid-19, we will prioritise digital and online learning and support to enable students to continue with and complete their studies. This will include the achievement of all learning outcomes including any specified professional statutory and regulatory body accreditation requirements where this applies.

Plus Icon What learning support is available for students?

We are committed to ensuring you continue to have opportunities to access the learning and wellbeing support that you need over the forthcoming year. General learning spaces, including access to libraries, will be available to be booked online; and where specialist space is needed, this will either be provided: as normal; created in newly adapted spaces; or replicated as part of an enhanced suite of online resources. Library support will be provided 24/7 online.

Plus Icon What wellbeing support is available for students?

We believe the wellbeing of our students is very important. We are offering the same high-quality support services in the next academic year as usual. These will mainly be delivered online and cover money advice, mental health support and disability services.

Our Students’ Union will also be providing their usual support and activities, some of which will be delivered online, covering welfare, education, housing and social matters. 

Plus Icon Can I have a refund on my tuition fees?

We will not be offering refunds or offering discounted tuition fees to all students as standard. The pandemic has resulted in changes to how courses are delivered. However, we continue to support all our students to achieve their desired outcomes and ensure no-one is academically disadvantaged by the current situation caused by Covid-19.

Your course will be delivered via a blend of online and digital learning and on-campus teaching and learning. The course content you will receive and the learning outcomes you are working towards this academic year won’t change; it will remain as planned for the academic year 2020/21 before the current Covid-19 outbreak and as communicated to you by your course team in June, July & August.

We have put additional measures in place to mitigate the impact of Covid-19 on teaching and assessments by adapting assessments and introducing new guidelines for our mitigation process. We have invested in making our campuses Covid-secure and to provide additional and necessary student support services in response to student feedback.

These changes have been made to comply with government guidance and reduce the risk of transmission on campus. All the decisions that the university is making to respond to the changes Covid-19 has imposed on our lives are being made to ensure that you can progress your studies and earn a qualification that you are proud of, and that will be valued by employers and accrediting bodies, in what we all acknowledge are less than ideal circumstances.

We believe that the measures we’ve put in place ensure the ongoing delivery of your educational experience and outcome, but we recognise that there may be some specific circumstances in which we may need to consider the impact of these adjustments and what we are able to continue to deliver through the pandemic as it evolves.  We will consider these issues on a case-by-case basis. If you consider that you have been disadvantaged as a result of the actions that we have taken, please speak to your course team in the first instance. If you wish to make a formal complaint, please complete the Covid-19 complaints form.

If you’re experiencing financial difficulties as a result of the pandemic and the measures that have been taken, please contact our Money Advice Team. They’re here to provide advice on budgeting, managing debt and signposting potential sources of financial support.

Course changes 2020/21

Plus Icon What does it mean if I chose to defer my studies?
  • Your request will be considered by your course team.
  • Should your request be permitted this would mean you would suspend your studies and recommence these in 2021/22. 
  • This may mean that you need to study a different version of the course or that some option modules may have changed. You will be notified of this nearer the time.  
  • You will also need to consider if there are implications for any professional accreditation associated with your course. Your course team will be able to advise you on this.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, or your visa if you are an international student.
  • Further advice and guidance are available from the Student Money Advice Team, Student Immigration Advice & Compliance or the Students’ Union Advice Service.
Plus Icon I am considering transferring to another course at Leeds Beckett University, what do I need to know?
  • Places on courses may not be available for 2020/21 entry;
  • You would need to satisfy any applicable course admission requirements and professional requirements (where applicable) and processes for entry with advanced standing or credit transfer.
  • This may have implications for any professional, regulatory or statutory body accreditation status where applicable. Your course team will be able to advise you on this.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, particularly if you were required by the other provider to start afresh on your selected course. 
  • You would retain any credit you have successfully achieved and been awarded at Leeds Beckett University. This may not meet the applicable course admission or professional requirements for admission to another course and this will need to be considered. 
  • You would be awarded any credit or contained award you have successfully achieved by Leeds Beckett University.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, particularly if you were to continue studies at another provider and were required to start afresh on your selected course.
  • Further advice and guidance are available from your course team, the Student Money Advice Team or the Students’ Union Advice Service.
Plus Icon Can I transfer to another provider?
  • Yes, however, the new provider will make the decision as to whether to accept your application.
  • You will need to satisfy any applicable course admission requirements and processes for entry with advanced standing or credit transfer. 
  • Places on courses at other higher education providers may not be available for 2020/21 or 2021/22 entry.
  • This may have implications for any professional, regulatory or statutory body accreditation status where applicable.
  • This may also have implications for your student loan, particularly if you were required by the other provider to start afresh on your selected course.
  • Other higher education providers may also be making changes to courses and methods of delivery in response to Covid-19 for 2020/21;
  • You would be awarded any credit or contained award you have successfully achieved at Leeds Beckett University.
  • Further detail can be found in our Student Transfer Plan 

2020/21: Teaching AND Learning, Mitigation AND EXTENUATING CIRCUMSTANCES 

Plus Icon How will my achievements be assessed this year?

When examiners assess your work, they make academic decisions based on your academic performance against the learning outcomes.  The University’s academic regulations 2020/21 set out the requirements for assessments and awards.

In April 2020, the Academic Board  agreed a plan, guidance and changes to the Academic Regulations for academic year 2019/20 to enable the University to make appropriate academic decisions covering assessment, student progression and the award of academic credit and degrees on undergraduate and taught postgraduate courses during the Covid-19 pandemic

These may be used for academic decisions relating to students whose studies may have been affected by the Covid-19 pandemic in 2019/20 academic year and for students who were affected by the Covid-19 Pandemic in 2019/20 and whose awards or progression decisions will be concluded in 2020/21 academic year.

Further information on the approved 2020/21 Covid-19 pandemic arrangements and a factsheet for students  is available under Section 4 of our Academic Regulations for the applicable academic year.

Our full University academic regulations apply for 2020/21 with regulations for extenuating circumstances and mitigation addressing circumstances, including for example illness or associated Covid-19 related impact, which may mean that students are unable to complete or submit assessments. Information on these arrangements, seeking extensions to assessment deadlines or requesting that extenuating circumstances and mitigation be considered is provided below in the FAQs.

Plus Icon Can I apply for an extension to an assessment deadline?

We recognise that circumstances may arise in which you are unable to complete or submit assessments. These are known as extenuating circumstances.

Students may submit details of their extenuating circumstances to request

  • an extension to an assessment deadline (mitigation at the point of assessment); or
  • apply for mitigation to lessen the harmful effect of their extenuating circumstances on assessment outcomes.

You are entitled to submit individual requests for extenuating circumstances where you are seeking an extension to an assessment deadline or mitigation under our academic regulations (section 8).

In considering the assessment of students, the University will consider individual requests for mitigation due to extenuating circumstances which might have affected a student’s performance.

Plus Icon What is the extenuating circumstances and mitigation process?

We encourage all students to do their best and to submit their assessments.

We recognise that circumstances may arise in which students are unable to complete or submit assessments or may impact on students’ engagement with their studies and assessed work. These are known as extenuating circumstances.

If you have extenuating circumstances that are affecting you and you are unable to meet the assessment deadlines you should advise us and  contact your tutor and submit a request for mitigation.

If the submitted extenuating circumstances are found to be valid, mitigation in respect of these will be considered in accordance with the University Regulations.

Extenuating Circumstances and Mitigation

You can apply for extensions to assessment deadlines, a deferral or an authorised absence if there are circumstances impacting on your ability to submit work. These circumstances don’t have to be related to Covid-19.

This may lead to your School deciding to give you:

a) An extension to an assessment deadline, at the point of assessment; or
b) If an extension is not possible and you have extenuating circumstances which are affecting you, then these may be considered by Progression and Award Boards for mitigation when making academic decisions relating to progression and award.

As indicated above if you do not submit an assessment and have not without good cause provided us with information on extenuating circumstances, then normally this would result in a recording of a non-submission of assessment which will impact on progression.

Categories of Mitigation

Mitigation is categorised in section 8.3.13 and 8.3.15 of our Academic Regulations according to the seriousness of extenuating circumstances as follows:

a) Category A – Very serious - Category A mitigation permits the Progression and Award Board to consider alternative forms of mitigation in their determination of academic judgments and decisions

b) Category B – Sufficiently serious to defer assessment

c) Rejected – the Panel will reject claims which are late or are not deemed sufficiently serious to warrant deferral. Where a student’s extenuating circumstances and request for mitigation relates to periods in excess of 2 weeks, then independent documentary or medical evidence normally will be required to be submitted by students to support mitigation requests.

Role of Progression and Award Boards

If the submitted extenuating circumstances are found to be valid, mitigation in respect of these will be duly considered in accordance with the University Regulations.

The Progression and Award Board will also receive a report on all extensions to assessment deadlines granted at the point of assessment and all outcomes of requests for authorised absence granted.

The mitigation permitted by the Progression and Award Board will normally be deferral of assessment to permit the student to be assessed as if for the first time (Section 8.3.15 Academic Regulations).

Category A mitigation permits the Progression and Award Board to consider alternative forms of mitigation in their determination of academic judgments and decisions (see section 8.3.15 of the Academic Regulations).

General Principles of Student Progression and Award

The University operates a principle of fit to sit/submit in regard to extenuating circumstances and mitigation. The principle asserts that students who undertake an assessment declare themselves fit to take that assessment; any claim for extenuating circumstances in relation to that assessment will not, normally, be considered.

It is your responsibility to bring extenuating circumstances to the University’s attention in accordance with Section 8 of our Academic Regulations.

Plus Icon What if I do not submit my assessments?

We encourage all students to do their best and to submit their assessments.

If you do not submit an assessment and have not without good cause provided us with information on extenuating circumstances, then normally this would result in a recording of a non-submission of assessment (see Sections 8.2.5 to 8.2.7 of the University’s Academic Regulations).

If you have not submitted assessments, this may mean that there may not be sufficient evidence that you have passed the learning outcomes of the level/award and may mean that you will need to complete further reassessments or may result in other outcomes including failing the year.  This may also impact on your ability to evidence and meet any specific Professional Statutory and Regulatory Body requirements.

If you have specific individual extenuating circumstances that are affecting you and you are unable to meet the extended deadlines you should advise us and submit a request for mitigation for these individual extenuating circumstances.

In accordance with our Academic Regulations, Progression & Award Boards may consider the application of Category A mitigation for extenuating circumstances relating to Covid-19 when making academic decisions in accordance with the University’s Academic Regulations 2020/21.

Further information on mitigation is provided below in the FAQs.

Plus Icon How are mitigation decisions categorised?

Mitigations decisions by the University’s Progression and Award Boards are categorised as Category A – Very Serious or Category B – Sufficiently Serious to defer assessment.

The mitigation decided by the Board will normally be deferral of assessment to allow the student to be assessed as if for the first time.

Alternative forms of mitigation available for consideration by the University’s Progression and Award Board in relation to Category A mitigation are detailed in section 8.3.15 of the Academic Regulations.

Plus Icon How do I submit requests for consideration of extenuating circumstances and mitigation?

You may apply for extensions, mitigation or authorised absence if you have specific extenuating circumstances that may be affecting your engagement with your studies or your assessment or examinations, these may be Covid-19 related or other non-Covid circumstances.

We have adapted our usual mitigation processes reflecting the current exceptional circumstances due to coronavirus (Covid-19). Please be assured that should you fall ill with this virus and have to self-isolate, now, or at any time, we will make sure you do not suffer academic disadvantage. You are still entitled to submit individual claims for mitigation that recognise particular circumstances.

Self-certification for extenuating circumstances and requests for mitigation for extenuation or extensions of deadlines of up to 2 weeks will be permitted.  Where a student’s extenuating circumstances and request for mitigation relates to periods in excess of 2 weeks, then independent documentary or medical evidence normally will be required to be submitted by students to support mitigation requests and for those where Category A mitigation may be sought in accordance with our University’s Academic Regulations.

The ongoing process for notification to the University by students of self-isolation or illness due to Covid-19 remains in force.

Process

If you believe you have symptoms or have been diagnosed with the Coronavirus (Covid-19), or are aware of any students affected, you must complete the Student Service Covid--19 form. The team will retain details of the form to ensure our response is appropriate, and so that we can update you in the event that the situation and/or guidance provided by the government’s latest advice. Please be assured that should you fall ill with this virus and have to self-isolate at any time, we will make sure you are not academically disadvantaged. Be aware that the requirement to self-isolate extends to all members of a household where one member of the household presents with symptoms associated with the virus. The Government is also advising all those who are at increased risk of severe illness from Coronavirus (Covid-19) to be more stringent in following social distancing measures.

If you are not ill but the requirement to self-isolate impacts on your ability to complete assessment/ attend exams, you may also apply for an extension or mitigation due to extenuating circumstances which may have affected your performance. Similarly, there may be other factors related to the virus which are impacting on your ability to complete assessment/ attend exams. You may also apply for an extension or mitigation related to these factors.

View our revised extenuating circumstances and mitigation process on MyHub.

Our student fact sheet on the revised extenuating circumstances and mitigation process in the case of coronavirus (Covid-19) for 2021 is currently being updated and will be available to view shortly from Section 8 of our Academic Regulations.

Plus Icon If I have category A Covid-19 mitigation applied do I still need to submit all work?

Yes. We have encouraged and are supporting all students to continue with their studies and to submit all their assessed work.

Please be assured that should you fall ill with this virus and have to self-isolate, now, or at any time, we will make sure you do not suffer academic disadvantage. Students who are advised to self-isolate, or who are ill due to the coronavirus (Covid-19) can apply for mitigation or an authorised absence.

Plus Icon My course is PSRB (Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Body) accredited. May I apply for extenuating circumstances and mitigation?

Yes, where the application of mitigation is permitted by the PSRB. This will need to take account of any specific PSRB requirements in respect of essential modules that must be successfully completed and passed, any requirement for a minimum pass mark, skill or level of achievement or attendance or other PSRB related regulatory requirement.

Please contact your course director for more information.

Plus Icon If I have mitigating circumstances that don’t relate to Covid-19 should I still apply for mitigation?

Yes. The University needs to understand where you have specific extenuating circumstances so that appropriate mitigation can be defined. Normally, students will receive one mitigation outcome even if there are multiple extenuating circumstances in play (e.g. both personal and Covid-19 related).

View our revised extenuating circumstances and mitigation process on MyHub.

Plus Icon How do I submit a student complaint relating to coronavirus (Covid-19)? 

A streamlined version of the student complaints procedure is in place to handle complaints relating to coronavirus (Covid-19). You can find the complaint form and procedure on our student complaints page.

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