Plans for Semester 1

The University has announced its plans for Semester 1, including arrival dates, teaching and safety arrangements.

Your learning

We anticipate introducing a hybrid model of learning that would provide the best student experience while accounting for appropriate social distancing and hygiene regimes. In such a model you would receive a mix of face-to-face teaching in smaller group classes and laboratories (not large lectures) and virtual teaching sessions.

With this in mind, academic colleagues across the institution are working hard to think through how each of your programmes might be delivered to ensure the best possible experience.

As you may know, we are distinct from many other universities in having a long and established track record of highly regarded postgraduate online learning provision and we will be putting this experience to good use as we develop our plans.

As we have previously communicated, these plans mean that our ability to deliver some modules during 2020/21 and the ability to deliver some content or assessment types within a given module may be subject to change. Please be assured that where this is the case you will be informed directly, and all reasonable steps will be taken to mitigate the effects that this may have on you. In some cases, you may already have been contacted by your School Office to discuss making alternative module registration arrangements.

Semester start dates

For most students, the semester will begin with a university-wide Foundation Week which will run between 5 and 9 October, one week later than the original planned start of teaching.

If you are on a healthcare or veterinary programme, you are likely to have a slightly different schedule and your School will be in touch with you directly with the details.

The date by which you will need to return to Liverpool to begin your studies may differ slightly, depending on whether you are arriving from the UK or overseas.

This is because, based on the most recent update from the UK Government, non-UK based students may need to plan to return earlier for a 14 day ‘quarantine’ period.

Although we cannot be certain that this measure will still be in place when you join us in a few months’ time, in the interest of helping you have adequate time to plan, we wanted to make you aware of current Government policy and our plans to support you with it.

It is important to say that the UK Government’s approach to quarantine is different from that of many other countries. On arrival, current Government advice indicates that you will be asked to complete a form providing your contact and travel information before being asked to self-isolate in your planned accommodation for 14 days. This means you will be able to self-isolate either in University halls or in your own private accommodation, depending on which you have booked for the coming year.

In terms of dates for returning to Liverpool, then, this means that (pending other dates agreed on a faculty basis):

  • UK-based undergraduates will be welcomed on campus when teaching resumes but prior to this will take part in the university-wide Foundation Week from 5-9 October.
  • Overseas undergraduates who are booked to live in University halls will be welcomed back and move into halls between 19 and 25 September to allow for the ‘quarantine’ period. During self-isolation, we will support you with accessing supplies. You will also have check-in chats and the Halls Life Student Experience team and Student Support will be on hand for further support. Study and support materials will be made available during this time.
  • Overseas undergraduates living in private accommodation will also be welcomed back to Liverpool between 19 and 25 September to allow for the ‘quarantine’ period. We are working closely with landlords in the private sector to clarify arrangements they have in place for supporting you during this time and we are also in the process of working with local partners to establish plans for support in accessing supplies. You will also have check-in chats and Student Support will be on hand to support you through this period.

Whatever your return date, all students in university-owned accommodation will only be charged for their room from 5 October onwards.

Although our aim is for students to study with us here in Liverpool, we recognise that the course of the pandemic is unpredictable and may cause further disruption. If you are unable to study on campus from the beginning of term, for example because of government travel restrictions on travel, or if you would prefer to delay your arrival based on your own personal circumstances, provision will be made for you to begin your studies online.

Campus measures

In preparation for these start dates, we are putting in place a range of additional measures to make sure our campus remains a safe and welcoming place to live, work and study. The University has been at the forefront of regional and national efforts to respond to the pandemic and we are well placed to use our expertise and facilities to put in place innovative measures to help protect our staff and student community. The measures we plan to introduce will include (but not be limited to):

  • A campus environment that continues to offer safe access to the University grounds and buildings, supported by new arrangements to ensure that safe, socially distant study space is available in our libraries, a teaching schedule that reduces the volume of students moving around the campus at any one time, one-way walking routes, adapted catering facilities and, where possible and in line with government guidance, sports and leisure opportunities.
  • The provision of washable face coverings for every student and staff member, which will be distributed along with guidance on how they should be used.
  • Access for all students and staff to free COVID-19 testing on campus, with results provided within 24 hours, to complement any testing arrangements available publicly at the time and support a ‘test and trace’ approach to containing the virus. While we await more detail from central Government regarding how testing availability will be rolled out, we are developing plans to implement this from the start of term using our own facilities and staff.
  • Arrangements that allow you to continue to enjoy the same high standards of accommodation in our University halls of residence, with measures to enable social distancing, including a phased and contactless arrivals process, use of automatic gates and doors, tailored warden welcome and induction events, quarantine support for overseas students and new cleaning regimes.
  • Continued support from the Advice and Guidance team. The team will be operating a hybrid model, with a mixture of online, telephone and face-to-face services, which will be tailored to reflect the current circumstances and to meet your needs.
  • A range of opportunities to ensure that you can continue to participate in university- and Guild-run social activities in a safe way.
  • Prior to our move off campus, we had already put in place a more rigorous cleaning regime throughout university buildings and made hand sanitiser more widely available. Both these important measures will continue and hand sanitiser points will be clearly labelled across campus.

Further information

There is additional information available on the above measures, together with details on how we will support disabled students, access to hardship funds and a range of other important information, in our FAQs.

The University will continue to develop our plans over the coming weeks and months and will be following any new guidance issued by the Government.