Skip to main content Skip to navigation

Heads of Department Update 02 December


You’ll be aware that Govt Guidelines on the January return came out a few hours ago. We’ve had a number of discussions around these guidelines, building on the scenarios we covered last week. We are working within the guidelines in broad terms and the proposals below are based on a need to balance the following:

  • The broad parameters in the Government Guidelines including specific teaching and learning requirements (eg specific needs in SEM/practical subjects, needs of joint courses);
  • The fact that there will already be a significant on-campus student population (over 2000) when the first batch of students return;
  • Our asymptomatic mass testing capacity (to ensure we can deliver two tests to all students due to return to some f2f teaching at the specified times);
  • The need to stagger the return of students to campus to align with the guidelines and the need to be sensitive to student movements back to off-campus accommodation;
  • The need to recognise that students have the right to access and use their accommodation should they wish to.

The plan is:

  • MBChB and ITT continue as planned after 4th
  • w/b 11 Jan: our standard blended model (including ftf) commences for:
    • All of the SEM faculty (incl. WMG);
    • International Foundation Programme;
    • Relevant courses in Theatre and Performing Arts.
  • w/b 25 Jan: our standard blended model (including ftf)commences for:
    • all other first year UGs;
    • all other PGT;

So for these students, the first 2 weeks of teaching will be online only.

  • w/b 1 Feb: our standard blended model (including ftf) commences for:
    • all others ie other second and third year UG;

So for these students, the first 3 weeks of teaching will be online only.

Separate guidance will be issued to departments delivering Degree Apprenticeships.

PGRs will continue as researchers and so arrangements will not change (if they need to work on campus they can but if they can work from home, they should).

As things stand and unless there is separate guidance about changes in delivery, it will be essential that all Departments deliver some f2f teaching to the relevant students during the week that we have promised. From the feedback that I received, I don’t think this is a problem, but in the interests of fairness, we need to ensure that there is some f2f for all students in the week that we promise it.

The communications to students will lay out this model and will stress that:

  • they must be mindful of government guidelines on the timing of their return to campus;
  • the guidelines state that they should be tested twice, for the safety of their community. This means they need to return sometime during the week before their f2f teaching commences in sufficient time to get two tests;
  • we cannot stop them coming back and accessing their accommodation before f2f teaching occurs.

Specific comms to students will go tomorrow (and the central team will share these with you) and there will be broader community comms in due course (probably Friday), but you’re free to share this message as you think appropriate.

If you need any more specific help with comms to your students the central team will be available to help.



Professor Christine Ennew OBE