We appreciate this is a difficult time for us all. These are some of the common enquiries we get from students currently studying at BU. If there’s anything we haven’t covered, please get in touch.
Can I travel back to my accommodation?
The government has introduced the national lockdown to reduce the spread of coronavirus. Travel is not permitted other than for exceptional reasons and universities have been asked to ensure all teaching is online during the lockdown period other than for those needing to attend face-to-face teaching (at BU this is only selected programmes).
There is currently no face to face teaching for my course, am I permitted to travel back to Bournemouth?
The government has asked all students not to travel back to university unless essential. Essential reasons would include where you are receiving mental health support in Bournemouth and you can only access in the local area or where you do not have adequate study facilities in your vacation accommodation. If you do need to return, please book a lateral flow test at the BU Covid testing site on your return or self-isolate for a period of 10 days (neither of these are needed if you have had a positive PCR test in the last 90 days).
Although this is not a legal requirement, it will help us to protect you, your fellow students and the local community.
I need to collect some items from my accommodation but do not wish to remain in Bournemouth. Is this permitted?
The government has allowed an exemption for students to return to collect medical equipment or essential items for their studies only and return back home. Although this is legally permitted please do think carefully if your journey is essential and avoid unnecessary travel. If you do have to collect your items please ensure that you follow the physical distancing guidelines and limit your interactions with others during the collection period.
Can I come onto campus?
We are now in a period of national lockdown and the government guidance is to stay at home. Only students who have face-to-face teaching, have booked tests at our on-campus Covid-19 testing facility, or are in the local area and are not able to study at home should come onto campus. Students who are unable to study at home may only come to campus for individual study.
What is open on campus?
Students are permitted to travel safely to campus to make use of facilities for very limited reasons, such as if they are in the local area and are not able to partake in individual study from home.
The majority of our campuses will be closed but we plan to keep the libraries, open access centres and Student Centre open for these students. Further details about access to campus and opening times can be found on our what's open on campus page. Please book your space before travelling.
All other services and activity will continue remotely.
I had face-to-face teaching scheduled – what happens now?
During this period of national lockdown, the government has also asked us to limit our face-to-face teaching.
Only students who are studying practical or practice-based subjects and require specialist equipment and facilities are permitted to have face-to-face activity and these students will be informed if they can return to campus via their programme team. All other learning will take place online until at least Easter.
I am a postgraduate research student, can I come onto campus?
Postgraduate research students should work from home as far as possible. If you do need to come on to campus, please discuss this with your supervisor and update any relevant risk assessment beforehand. Only essential activity will be taking place on campus during the period of national lockdown.
Can I still come onto campus for my Covid-19 tests?
Our Covid-19 testing facility on Talbot Campus, for people who don’t have symptoms, will remain open for students who have returned to the local area or have face-to-face teaching.
In line with Government advice, from 1 February any student accessing campus for face-to-face teaching or to access study space, and any staff member with permission to access campus, will also be eligible for a test up to twice-a-week.
Please visit the campus testing web page for the latest information about opening hours or access to the test facility.
How will I be taught in semester two?
We are currently reviewing activity for semester two following the latest Government announcement of their roadmap out of the national lockdown. This will always be subject to national guidelines in place at the time, and we will provide further updates whenever possible. It is likely to see a continuation of a blended model with virtual teaching and some on-campus teaching, especially for those courses that require access to specialist equipment or spaces.
During the national lockdown in England, which started on 5 January 2021 and is set to continue in higher education settings until at least the end of March, the Government has advised universities to limit face-to-face teaching during this time. The Government has also confirmed that more information is due in April.
How has BU ensured the campuses are safe?
We have worked hard to make sure both our campuses are safe spaces that make it easy for staff and students to respect physical distancing and to follow Government guidance on cleanliness. Some of the solutions we have put in place are:
- New layouts in lecture theatres, seminar rooms and specialist facilities
- One-way systems operating inside some buildings and around our campuses, with signage to help you see where you are meant to go
- We’ve timetabled courses so that physical distancing guidelines can be followed, to avoid large numbers of students being on campus at one time and having to share facilities and resources
- Screens have been installed in places where they are needed, for example at reception areas
- Hand sanitiser will be available at the entrance to every building
- All our buildings will have enhanced cleaning every day, and we are providing cleaning stations so that staff and students can clean the spaces they use before and after doing so.
Do I need to wear a face covering when on campus?
We expect staff, students and visitors to comply with the Government guidance around face coverings and wear one where legally required or strongly recommended. On our campuses, face coverings must be worn at all times while in indoor spaces, as well as any outdoor space where social distancing cannot be maintained. Exemptions will be honoured for those who are medically unable to wear a face covering or when working in a single occupancy office (and can be removed when eating and drinking), but a face covering should be worn at all times in line with these guidelines and will be challenged if not adhered to.
Please note, as per latest Government guidance, masks should be worn at all times in our library facilities.
World Health Organisation (WHO) advice suggests that the most effective type of personal face covering should be cloth (washable) and have three layers of material. Alternatively, WHO confirms that other versions of face coverings should meet the minimum threshold of personal protection such as the medical grade disposable type or 'filtering facepiece' (FFP) standard.
We expect all staff, students and visitors to wear a face covering on our campuses as stated above, except those people who are legally exempt including young children, people with breathing difficulties and people living with a disability. You can see the full list of exemptions on the Government website. Please treat those in this situation with kindness and consideration and follow other physical distancing measures as much as possible.
As per Government advice, you should not be routinely required to provide written proof of your exemption. However, if you are unable to wear a face covering and would feel more comfortable showing something that says so, there are some templates available on the Government website which you can download. However, this is a personal choice and is not necessary in law.
What services and activities are available on campus?
During the national lockdown in England, the majority of facilities on our campus will be closed.
Students are permitted to travel safely to campus to make use of facilities only if they are in the local area and are not able to partake in individual study from home.
Therefore, we plan to keep the libraries, open-access centres and Student Centre open for these students only. Please book a space before travelling to campus, and consider whether it is essential for you to access campus during the period of national lockdown.
BU's services and activities will continue remotely during this time.
Where can I see what events and activities are taking place?
SUBU’s clubs and societies are a great way to get involved and meet new people. With academic, sporting, cultural, faith and many more clubs and societies, there is something for everyone.
If you are living in one of our halls of residence or Student Village, then look out for the ResLifeBU team, who will have a range of activities planned.
A page of activities has also been collated providing more information about the events and activities available for students.
I am a student experiencing financial difficulty as a result of the pandemic, what should I do?
We understand that you may have been financially impacted by Covid-19. You can find a range of information and advice of this website. If you need further financial support, please take a look at the financial support section of this website or get in touch with AskBU for guidance about your situation.
How is the students’ union operating?
We’re working closely with the Students’ Union at Bournemouth University (SUBU), as one community, to ensure the whole campus and all our facilities are safe for everybody. SUBU continues to work on a range of activities for all students.
What campus sport activity/gym facilities are open?
I am on placement during 2020/21 academic year – what do I need to know?
We know that the Covid-19 pandemic has raised concerns for those of you thinking about, or currently on, your placement this year. Placements are an extremely valuable experience, and we want to ensure the majority of placement activity can still occur.
To enable this in the current climate, we have made changes to help ensure those of you currently seeking or undertaking a placement can still fulfil this aspect of your degree and still achieve the intended learning outcomes associated with this experience. Changes include greater flexibility on the duration of a sandwich degree placement and additional options for students undertaking a short placement as part of your programme. Please contact your Placement Development Adviser to discuss this further.
It has been confirmed that those in the clinically extremely vulnerable category are advised to shield during the national lockdown and should not go to work. Please discuss this with your workplace provider and your Placement Development Adviser if you are in this category.
If you do not fall into this category you should follow guidance from your workplace on how your placement will be delivered during this period. If you have concerns about work, please also discuss these with your workplace provider (asking for a copy of their Risk Assessment) and your Placement Development Adviser.
I’m an international student, what about my immigration/Tier 4 status?
Due to travel restrictions because of coronavirus some people may have queries about the expiry date of their current visa or leave to remain in the United Kingdom. The Home Office has provided further guidance around this, which you can read on the gov.uk website.
If you are a student and have any further concerns about your visa please contact the Immigration Compliance and Advice Team via AskBU.
If you are on a Tier 4 visa:
- The Home Office understand that these are exceptional times and have provided some guidance. BU students who are unable to engage with their studies online for over 60 days due to Covid-19, will not be reported.
- The guidance also allows T4 students to engage with their studies online either from their home country or within the UK (including if they need to self-isolate but have no symptoms). These students also do not need to be reported to the Home Office.
In both these situations, your Tier 4 visa status will not be affected.
During the current UK wide national lockdown, the Foreign Nationals Office have confirmed that registering with the police is not classed as essential travel and the office is closed. Therefore you should not visit the police station to register during this time.
I am an international student, can I travel to the UK?
The government’s advice for international students travelling from overseas for the Spring term is to consider whether you need to travel to the UK at this time, particularly if your course does not require you to be on campus. You should consider delaying your travel plans if travel plans can be rearranged without undue costs.
For those who do need to travel, as a Student visa holder, you are still allowed to travel to the UK under the new quarantine laws, and you must follow all quarantine regulations.
From 15 February, if you are travelling from, or your flight route takes you through a country on the UK’s banned travel list (sometimes called the ‘red list’) in the last 10 days, you will need to quarantine (self-isolate) in a government quarantine hotel for 10 days. You need to book your hotel before you travel and book two Covid-19 tests to take during your quarantine period at your own expense. Further information on travelling from a country on the ‘red list’ is available on the gov.uk website.
If you are travelling from a country that is not on the banned travel list, you will need to quarantine at home for 10 days and you will need to book two Covid-19 tests before you arrive to take during your quarantine period. Further guidance for how to quarantine when you arrive in the UK is available on the gov.uk website.
All international arrivals must complete a passenger locator form on arrival in the UK and must take a Covid-19 test and get a negative result during the three days before you travel. More information about testing before you travel to England is available on the gov.uk website.
Please ensure that you adhere to both the UK regulations and the regulations of your home country before you travel.
If I don’t come to the UK to study in January, will I still be eligible for the Graduate Immigration Route after my studies?
The Government has confirmed that existing international students who have been studying by distance/blended learning will remain eligible to apply for the Graduate route provided they are in the UK by 6 April 2021 and meet the other requirements of the route. This is applicable for the 2020/21 academic year. In addition, students who commence a one-year Master’s programme in January 2021 will also remain eligible for the Graduate route, even if they are studying remotely, provided they enter the UK before 27 September 2021 and complete the final semester of their studies in the UK.
I'm a Postgraduate Research student - where can I find specific information from the Doctoral College?
Please see our specific FAQ for Postgraduate Research students which details many of our policies & procedures around undertaking research in the context of Covid-19.
Is No Detriment being applied in 2020/21?
In March 2020, the university implemented new emergency assessment regulations to support student outcomes and progression due to the impact of Covid. These regulations allowed Assessment Boards to recognise student achievement and support progression that may have been adversely impacted by the situation at that time.
As part of these regulations 'No Detriment' was applied as an exceptional response to the unique circumstances of that period. This meant that a student’s level/stage outcome was maintained or improved, from the identified point of disruption (15 March 2020), using assessments completed before that date as a baseline for performance. This was possible because the majority of students had completed a whole semester of study and assessment within an academic level or stage prior to the pandemic impacting.
We are not able to apply 'No Detriment' in the same way in 2020/21 because students have not completed any assessments pre-pandemic at the current academic level which could act as a baseline for performance in this academic year. For 2020/21 we need a different approach to mitigating the impact of the pandemic on student assessment and achievement.
Therefore, we are continuing to apply key elements of the approach from 2019/20, to support your learning and ensure the impact of Covid 19 on your performance is taken into account. Find out more on our Protecting Student Outcomes 2020/21 webpage.
What is in place to support assessment in 2020/21?
BU’s assessment regulations allow us to recognise disadvantage where it has occurred and to take action to ensure no detriment so that students achieve the results that reflect their academic ability.
These mechanisms include the ability of Assessment Boards to adjust marks where there is evidence a cohort or unit has been adversely impacted in an assessment.
We have also introduced:
- Reduced evidence requirement for Exceptional Circumstances: This year if you have any Covid circumstances that are impacting your ability to study for an assessment, the requirement to provide evidence to support this request has been removed. We have also extended the self-certification period to 14 days.
- Additional flexibility around extensions: Students who have been directly impacted by Covid are able to ask for extensions. This would include when the student or their family was ill, or there was some other direct or indirect impact that means they cannot meet their deadline in time. We have also removed the requirement to provide evidence for Covid-related illness.
- A grace period has been introduced for late submissions in case IT or technical problems prevent you submitting on time.
A summary of these measures can be found on the Protecting Student Outcomes 2020/21 webpage and additional measures may be added if the pandemic continues to have a significant impact.
What is the university doing to support students who are paying for accommodation they are not living in?
Where a student pays rent direct to BU (i.e. those students whose accommodation contracts are directly with BU) we have already offered a 50% accommodation rent credit to students who are not in their accommodation from the start of term until the end of this initial lockdown period (11 January to 5 February). On 22 February, the Government also requested that we extend the period for limited face-to-face teaching and campus access for most students until after Easter. Therefore, we will also extend the 50% accommodation rent credit offer to cover the period up to 29 March.
Many private housing providers, including some of those who partner with BU, have also been able to offer a accommodation rent credit, rebate or similar to students in their properties and we welcome this. However, we also recognise that not every housing provider is in a position to be able to offer financial support and students living with one of these providers who are facing financial hardship in respect of their rent can apply for support via BU’s student financial support funds.
For more information, visit BU's financial support information page.
The pandemic is affecting my mental health/wellbeing. Where can I go for support?
We do not want any student or member of the BU community to feel alone, and anyone in need of support is actively encouraged to reach out to our wellbeing services. The full list of services for students is available on the wellbeing pages of the BU website.
In addition, we have created a page of wellbeing resources, available for any staff, student or member of the public in need of support.
Looking for something else? Go back to our main FAQ hub.