Update on new dates for the start of the academic year
As academic staff have been informed, we are now deep in planning from academic year 2020/21. Covid-19 is not going away, and public health measures, including social distancing, are likely to be in effect for the significant future. Tertiary education institutions across the world are planning for a disrupted academic year.
Previously we highlighted that a proposal was with Academic Board regarding moving to a blended form of learning and teaching, where teaching was to be moved online where possible, while allowing for socially-distanced practical and experiential learning on campus.
To support the move to blended learning, providing colleagues time to prepare (and taking the opportunity to realign blocks and terms), the proposal also incorporated a delay to the start of Autumn term with consequential changes for the academic year. You can view the revised academic timetable here.
We can now confirm that this proposal was passed at Academic Board: the Autumn Term will start on 28 September 2020, with a wholly online welcome week / study weekends starting the w/c 21 September 2020. We will continue to follow the Scottish Government’s COVID-19: Framework for Decision Making throughout our planning process and we’ll continue to monitor the advice and guidance as the new term date approaches.
The team in Campus and Estates will be keeping you up to date with preparations to support our return to buildings over the weeks and months ahead.
Campuses are now closed so students may not attend while face to face teaching is suspended.We ask that you engage with all learning opportunities and assessment that SRUC teaching staff make available to you. In line with SFC guidance, we are moving to a situation of monitoring engagement and not attendance.
What should I do if I am unable to engage in my studies due to illness/caring responsibilities related to Coronavirus?
The existing Student Attendance Policy makes provision for students unable to study in the event of illness or other good cause. In this instance, good cause will be extended to include self-isolation or caring responsibilities relating to Coronavirus. You must notify your Year Tutor and discuss your situation with them as per normal absence procedures in the first instance. If you are affected by caring responsibilities should complete the “Absence request form”, those who are required to self isolate or become ill should complete the self certification of sickness absence form. The approved self-certification period will be extended as appropriate in line with government guidance and a new form of alternative evidence to the current “fit note”, an “isolation note”, which is now available through NHS online. In these circumstances, the normal procedures for alternative assessment in the light of good cause will apply.
Will I be able to stay in halls of residence?
Most students have now vacated the Halls of Residence though we have a very small number of students still resident who are being supported. Government advice is such that students who vacated the Halls of Residence may not return to them at this time. If you have any concerns please contact your usual support person or see ‘Local Email Contacts’ below.
Will I still need to pay for my accommodation even if I have vacated?
In order to support our international and residential students at this difficult time, we have decided not to collect accommodation fees due to be paid by direct debit on 15 May. This includes the students who have remained on campus at Craibstone, Elmwood and Oatridge.
We are in the vanguard of further and higher education institutions making this decision while we remain in lockdown. A decision about the collection of the final instalment of fees due on 15 May will be made later, and we will continue to provide support to any students remaining in accommodation after this time.
I have a classroom assistant to support my learning. What type of support will I get at home?
Please contact your Tutor to log your requirements and we will investigate and implement appropriate solutions. For contact details, see ‘Local Email Contacts’ below.
How do I know my reasonable adjustments will still be fulfilled?
We will take reasonable adjustments in to account when making alternative arrangements. Please contact your usual support person or the Senior Tutor if you have any concerns. For contact details, see ‘Local Email Contacts’ below.
How can I access student support?
We are developing online support and will update as appropriatehave developed online support via the SRUC Student Wellbeing area on Moodle. There you can find advice and guidance on a range of matters from coping with exam stress to accessing support to physical wellbeing.. For now, pleaseYou can also contact your usual support person or the Senior Tutor. For contact details, see via the ‘Local Email Contacts’ below.
How can I access a mental health counsellor?
All students at SRUC can now access free online support via our internal Big White Wall platform. Whether suffering from study-related stress, struggling to sleep, or simply needing a listening ear, Big White Wall can help you get the right support, take control and feel better.We are developing online support and will update as appropriate. For now, pleaseYou can also contact your usual support person or the Senior Tutor. For contact details, see via the ‘Local Email Contacts’ below.
Can I still come into campus to meet up with student/mental health support?
SRUC Campuses are now closed and should not be accessed. Please email your local campus for additional support requirements – please see ‘Local Email Contacts’ below.
Are there any other resources for student mental health support?
The SRUCSA Student Support and Student Space channels on Teams offer a range of ways to connect. There are also a number of external resources that you may find helpful:
• NHS One You: Every Mind Matters
• Samaritans Scotland
• Student Minds
Does Covid 19 count as exceptional circumstances if I don’t meet a deadline?
If you are ill or have caring responsibilities which are impacted by Coronavirus, please see above. Any other exceptional circumstances related to Coronavirus will be assessed on a case by case basis.
Impact on Studies
I am a 3rd or 4th Year Degree student, what arrangements are in place for me?
Your lecturers have been working very hard to ensure you are still able to complete the year, adapting the end-of-semester exams into activities that can be undertaken online.
These alternatives range from open book exams, to essays, to reports. We have provided guidance regarding open book exams; for further information, please contact your lecturer or year tutor. Your lecturer will also provide guidance for other alternatives as well.
Owing to these changes, the exam schedule has, unfortunately, had to be altered. The new schedule along with the open book exam guidance are on Moodle and have been sent to you, so please check your SRUC inbox. The schedule is cross-SRUC, rather than on a campus-by-campus basis.
Please note that the schedule does not include any coursework that might still have to be completed, but the format of which has not changed. You will hear from your lecturers if there are any changes to deadlines for these.
I am a veterinary nursing student, how will my studies be affected?
Students on City and Guilds programmes and the Veterinary Nursing degree are receiving regular information from their Programme Leaders.
For students undertaking the degree in Veterinary Nursing at Barony, the University of Glasgow and RCVS have approved the use of timed online exams, to be overseen through remote invigilation. SRUC will be using ProctorExam for remote invigilation and colleagues from the delivery team are sending out guidance to students on the degree programme on how this works. Further information on the use of ProctorExam can be found on their test taker support page.
If you have any queries in relation to the Veterinary Nursing degree in Barony please contact Kirsty Young.
How do I get support for my exams?
The first port of call for any issues you may have concerning your online exams is your course lecturer/tutor. They should be contacted before the Digital Learning Team.
During the exam period within SRUC, the Digital Learning Team is providing Exam Helplines for students who encounter technical issues with their online exams within Moodle.
You can either use the Moodle Live Help facility, found in the Help menu in Moodle or call the Exam Helpline centre (0131 297 0050).
Both the Moodle Live Help and Exam Helpline are available:
Saturday-Sunday: 10:00am -6:00pm
I am studying for an SQA qualification, including HN, NC and NPA awards, as well as NQ units. How will my studies be affected?
SRUC will be continuing to deliver learning, teaching and assessment remotely wherever possible whilst recognising that some changes will be necessary. We want to help support you to achieve your qualification and to progress on to your next activity be it further study or in to the work place.Specific guidance for students undertaking SQA awards is on Moodle and has been sent to you, so please check your SRUC inbox. If you have any queries please contact your Year Tutor.
Will I be able to progress with my HN or Degree studies if I have not been able to complete all units/ modules during this year?
We recognise that the current circumstances are particularly challenging and we want to support you to progress with your studies. We have reviewed the current progression criteria and have added an amendment that will allow learners to carry incomplete credits where there are specific mitigating circumstances or where for good reason, a unit/module has been deferred for a whole group of learners. These circumstances will need to be discussed and agreed by the Programme Management Team and ratified by the Assessment Board or Exam Board..
I am expecting certificated skills training with SRUC before the summer, will that still happen?
As with face to face teaching provision, skills training is currently suspended. As and when we can resume, we will be prioritising opportunities for students until the end of June. Make sure your contact details on the student portal are up to date so that we can contact you once training resumes.
I am an apprentice and am due an assessor visit soon, will it still go ahead?
Visits to apprentices and employers are currently suspended and we will use alternate arrangements for evidence gathering and review, as directed by SDS. Your assessor will be in touch to keep you informed and agree what can be progressed during this time.
I can’t find specific advice for my award here. What arrangements are in place for me and who should I contact for information?
SRUC is in regular contact with all the Awarding Bodies (City and Guilds, IMI, BHSQ and Education Group – formerly ABC Awards- etc.). At present we are continuing to deliver as much teaching, learning and assessment as we can. However, we realise there are some practical elements that you may not be able to complete at this time. We are currently working with the Awarding Bodies to come up with suitable alternative arrangements where possible. If you have any queries or worries about your studies or your programme, please contact your Year Tutor.
I don’t have access to a computer at home, how can I keep up with my studies?
We have purchased a small number of laptops available for loans to students over the next three months. These will have to be returned to SRUC at the end of the Academic Year. Priority will be given to any student who has no access to a device at home. If you wish to be considered for one of these loan laptops please email email@example.com as soon as possible explaining briefly why you need it. If you are awarded a loan laptop you will be responsible for the safe keeping of the laptop. A failure to return the laptop will result in you being asked to cover the value of the laptop.
I was hoping to go on an ERASMUS exchange for the first semester of Academic Year 2020/21, will that happen?
Unfortunately, we have made the difficult decision to postpone ERASMUS exchanges planned for Semester One to Semester Two. This is in line with Government advice for Biritish nationals against all non-essential international travel for an indefinite period. If you have any queries about ERASMUS exchanges, please contact Martina Bradacova.
Help not Hinder
SRUC is conscious of the general impact of Covid-19 on students e.g. increased stress and anxiety caused by the pandemic, reduced contact with relatives and friends; lack of access to physical resources, e.g. library materials and reduced access to supervision/academic advice on learning, teaching and assessment.
To take account of this impact, SRUC has devised the “Help not Hinder” approach to support degree Year 3 and 4 as well as taught postgraduate students to achieve the best possible outcome they can, based on their achievement during this academic year.
Why has SRUC created a ‘Help not Hinder’ procedure for degree Year 3 and 4 as well as taught postgraduate students?
Outcomes achieved at Year 3, 4 and taught postgraduate level have an impact on the overall degree classifications for these students.
Why does this procedure not apply to further education (FE), Higher National (HN) and degree Year 1 and 2 students?
SRUC is conscious of the general impact of Covid19 on all students, steps are already being taken to enable students to complete these programmes in line with Awarding Body guidance. In the most cases Degree Year 1 and 2 students are following an HN pathway which is being addressed in line with Scottish Qualifications Authority (SQA) guidance.
Why are the BSc Veterinary Nursing Year 1 and 2 students being treated differently?
The BSc Veterinary Nursing programme is a licence to practice qualification, which means that there are additional conditions associated with achievement. These conditions are part of the requirements of the professional body i.e. the Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons.
SRUC is however aware of the impact that the current circumstances are having and wishes to support everyone to continue with their studies as effectively as possible. Although we cannot apply the full “Help not Hinder” approach, any BSc Veterinary Nursing student who has failed an exam (at the first sitting) during the recent exam diet will be permitted to re-sit the assessment during the re-assessment week (week commencing the 27th July). This will be treated as a first attempt assessment and will not be capped.
How will the ‘Help not Hinder’ procedure work?
Outcomes of any assessment with deadlines for submission after the 23rd March will be compared with your previous performance prior to the impact of Covid19. Where this outcome is better than your previous average then the results will be entered into UNIT-e (the SRUC management information system) as per normal. This gives you an opportunity to maintain or improve your grades in line with your previous performance. Where the outcome of these assessments are poorer than your original module or grade point average, steps will be taken by the Module Leader and the Exam Board (as appropriate) to ensure that these do not have a negative impact on your grade point average. You can find more information on the procedure via Moodle.
I am Year 3 degree or taught postgraduate student, what if I have reassessments?
Reassessments will be scheduled for week commencing the 27th July 2020. The outcome of reassessments will be capped at D3 as per normal procedures. Note, capping does not apply to those students who have additional mitigating circumstances and are taking their assessments for the first time during the re-assessment week.
Student Results and Graduation
How can I keep up to date with my results from home?
Programme teams will be entering results as per normal procedures and you will be able to access your results through the student portal as they are updated. The student portal can be reached via the following link: www.student.sruc.ac.uk. Once you access the page, you can login using your student email address (Sxxxxxxxx@student.sruc.ac.uk) and your usual password. The first page that appears lists the course you are enrolled on currently and you will then be able to click through to find your results.
I am a 3rd or 4th Year Degree student, will I see my results in the student portal?
Normally, exam results are hidden from students from the end of April until June. As we are not running exams this year, the results will not be hidden. Please note: all results will be provisional until they have been considered by the External Examiners and confirmed at the exam boards which are currently scheduled for late May. At this time, we are planning for these meetings to continue but will update you if there is any change to those arrangements.
What should I do if I want to discuss my results with someone?
Please contact your unit/module leader in the first instance to have a discussion. If you cannot reach them, then please contact your Programme Leader as an alternative.
In consultation with SRUCSA, we have taken the very difficult decision to postpone the HN and Degree graduation ceremonies scheduled for Monday 6 July.
Depending on venue availability and government guidance, we hope to reschedule the event to later in the year. If you have any questions in the meantime, please don’t hesitate to email firstname.lastname@example.org.
We have taken the very difficult decision to cancel the prize-giving ceremonies to have been held at Barony (16th June), Elmwood (29th May) and Oatridge (12th June). We are currently looking at how we can ensure the achievements of our students are recognised and celebrated this year..
This section should be read in conjunction with the advice for PGR students from your degree awarding partner. The majority of our students are registered with the University of Edinburgh but please check with your degree awarding university or school within that university.
Should I stop working on my research project?
While much of the experimental activity at SRUC has been suspended at this time you should continue to work on your project remotely. Have a discussion with your supervisory panel on what work can reasonably been undertaken during this period and how your study plan can be adapted to the current circumstances.
What if I need to suspend my studies?
If you are unable to continue with your studies at this time, then you should discuss this with your supervisory panel and follow the guidance for your registered institution and as detailed in the SRUC PGR Codes of Practice on Moodle.
What support is available for me?
Your primary SRUC supervisor should be your first point of contact and you should continue to stay in touch with them and your other supervisors remotely. Research students are also encouraged to support each other during this time. A Teams site has been set up for the PGR student community to meet virtually and share ideas and resources which all SRUC PGR students have been invited to join. If you have not received an invitation to join the Teams site, or you have any other concerns please contact email@example.com.
Will my funding be affected?
While work is continuing on your research project and you are not on an interruption to studies your SRUC funding will continue. If you are unable to continue working, you should discuss an interruption or extension request with your supervisors depending on the length of time you are impacted following the SRUC and registering university procedures. This should be sought as soon as possible. In the majority of cases of an interruption to studies would result in the clock being stopped on your studies with the expectation that no work on the project will be undertaken during this time. In these instances it is normal practice for the funding to stop during the time. If nearing the end of the studies and you cannot work during this time you may seek an extension to the target submission date of your thesis, which would be normally unfunded.
What if I become ill?
Should you become ill during this time, you should advise your supervisors as soon as possible and consider if you require an interruption to studies or extension, following the procedures of SRUC and the registering University. For SRUC funded students there is a sick pay policy in place should your funding be suspended more details of which can be found in the SRUC PGR Codes of Practice.
Our libraries are now closed to students until further notice and cannot be used as study spaces.
I need to speak to a librarian – how do I do that?
There is now a single email address which all our campus libraries are monitoring. Please get in touch at firstname.lastname@example.org which will be staffed office hours (Mon-Fri, 10am -2pm) and somebody will be able to help you.
My books are due back – what do I do?
All items on loan have already been renewed to 1st September so you don’t need to worry about that.
My book was already a few days overdue when it was bulk renewed – will I have a fine?
All fines have been waived.
I’d like to borrow books – how do I do that?
For the moment it isn’t possible to borrow hard copies but please contact us and we’ll try to help you find online alternatives.
My book was already a few days overdue when it was bulk renewed – will I have a fine?
All fines have been waived.
How do I access e-resources from home?
Please contact us on email@example.com and we’ll do our best to help you with access.
If you need to get advice on student funding then please contact your local Senior Tutor. For contact details, see ‘Local Email Contacts’ below. For information regarding SAAS student loan payments please go to: https://www.studentinformation.gov.scot/coronavirus .
Students continuing to engage in their studies will continue to receive bursary funding though any payments normally paid for transport will be removed following Scottish Funding Council Guidance.
As the National Guidance stands External Providers will still receive payments.
FE and HE Discretionary Funding
Students already assessed will receive their payments as normal. Any further applications received will be assessed based on circumstances and available funding left.
If you have any questions please contact your local Senior Tutor (see below) or contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Local Email Contacts
To ensure that your query is dealt with as effectively as possible, please use the following email addresses when contacting Senior Tutors or other support staff: