New students: arrangements for September 2020

We can't wait to welcome you to ARU in September, and wanted to share some of our plans for the new academic year.

Student on a university campus - second student in background

As your health and wellbeing is our absolute priority, we're thinking carefully about how we can offer the best teaching, support, accommodation options, and student experience – and help you settle into life at ARU.

Creating a COVID-19 secure environment

In line with Government, Public Health England and Universities UK guidelines, we're putting social distancing measures in place and are doing everything practical to manage the risk of transmission.

This includes:

  • introducing one-way systems in campus buildings wherever possible
  • increasing cleaning regimes
  • providing hand sanitizer stations around campus for your use
  • restructuring the timetable to stagger break times, and prevent crowds from forming outside teaching spaces
  • changing the layout of classrooms and other specialist learning spaces, such as workshops and science labs, to comply with social distancing requirements
  • offering grab-and-go options at our catering outlets, and using cashless payment.

We'll continually review the situation as restrictions ease. However, if we need to enter lockdown again, we'll be in a strong position to continue your education uninterrupted.

Over the summer, we've been making changes to the details you use to access systems at ARU, so you’ll be able to use the most up-to-date technology. These changes will allow you to collaborate more easily with staff and other students. Stay up to date with these changes on our Student News blog.

Supporting you academically

We're committed to providing a supportive and inclusive environment for you to start your studies.

From September you'll be able to access campus every day and be taught in smaller groups, ensuring excellent support:

  • Teaching timetables for Trimester 1 will be published on 7 September and your personal teaching timetable will be available via eVision – your student portal. You can also view your timetable on the ARU app.
  • Teaching blocks of four hours, on campus one day a week (for example 8am–12, 12–4pm or 4–8pm). You won't have to attend more than one teaching block on that day but you will be able to access other facilities outside your teaching block. We'll publish teaching timetables week commencing 7 September
  • Campus teaching may include seminars, workshops, practicals and labs (where relevant)
  • Campus teaching will be supplemented by a rich range of online group teaching and learning activities delivered through Microsoft Teams, such as virtual practicals, online assessments, discussion boards and group work exercises
  • Courses that use specialist learning spaces, such as skill labs, will have additional time allocated in those spaces
  • We're installing some of the specialist applications software that are normally only available in our IT teaching labs on computers in Open Access areas to increase availability outside teaching hours
  • We're also arranging for specialist facilities to be available for booking for self-directed learning, when they're not in use for timetabled teaching
  • We've published guidelines on technical requirements for online learning.

If there is a local or national lockdown we will continue to support students and, unless told otherwise by public health officials, will continue to follow the National Institute for Health Protection guidance and ask all students to remain in their current accommodation. We will also move to online teaching, learning and assessment and support.

Supporting your studies

We know how important it is that you receive excellent support. You'll be able to access:

  • Library resources and digital support online
  • Campus libraries from 1 September (with reduced opening hours and seating to allow for social distancing)
  • All student services, including counselling and wellbeing, disability and dyslexia support, employability and placement services, and Study Skills both face-to-face (by appointment) and online
  • The iCentre and ARU Temps recruitment agency without appointments
  • Open access PC areas, with some computers available on a drop-in basis, and some bookable in advance.

Offering a wider student experience

It's never been more important to have some fun, relax and enjoy a bit of 'normality' in our lives. And so:

  • Your Students’ Union will be putting on activities to help you meet like-minded people, make friends, and have some fun and relax
  • Student-run societies will continue to have fantastic events and activities
  • Your confidential advice service will be open to provide support and guidance if you ever have any questions
  • Campus gyms will be open, and Team ARU welcomes you back to enjoy social and competitive sports in a safe and socially distanced way
  • We’ll also be providing space on campus for socially distanced social activities, group and personal study, and relaxation.

Accommodation

Our accommodation team are putting social distancing measures in place.

We still have accommodation available for September; to explore your options and book a room, visit our accommodation pages.

If there is a local or national lockdown we will continue to follow the National Institute for Health Protection guidance and ask all students to remain in their current accommodation. We will also move to online teaching, learning and assessment and support.

Choice and flexibility

We understand that everyone’s circumstances are different due to the pandemic.

If you are unable to or do not wish to start on campus in September, you can choose to start your studies online for the first trimester (September-December).

We're pioneers in online teaching, delivering courses in this way since 2003. You can be sure you'll receive the same or similar teaching content, and be ready to join us on campus when you’re able to.

If you decide that you want to start your studies online, please let us know.

We've emailed all our applicants with more details.

  • If you decide that you want to study online for the first trimester, you can submit your request by logging into your eVision account and changing your preference by 23:59 on Sunday 6 September. We will then consider your request and confirm the outcome to you in time for the start of Teaching Week One. You will also be able to change your preference at other key points in the first trimester.
  • If you plan to study on campus, you don't need to complete the form.
  • If you planned to study online but change your mind before teaching starts, that's fine. Please do let us know by submitting your change in preference. This will help us to make sure we can maintain social distancing measures on campus.
  • After teaching starts, there will be specific points at which you’ll be able to request a change in mode of delivery, subject to social distancing measures and approval by your Course Leader.

If your course includes a placement or practical skills sessions in trimester 1 to meet Professional, Statutory and Regulatory Bodies (PSRBs) requirements, we'll be in touch with you again shortly to clarify our approach, and to invite you to discuss these requirements with us.