This is a further update on our plans for welcoming new students to our community in September. In particular, I  will be focusing on the approach we are taking to learning and teaching and the measures we are putting in place to ensure your safety and comfort in our student accommodation.

We are very much looking forward to the beginning of the new academic year and want you to feel that you belong at Bath, right from the start.

Learning and Teaching

Academic staff are currently working on the revised programme of study for students commencing their degrees in 2020, to ensure that you will be taught safely, and that we can minimise risks to staff and other students.

Effective learning both in-person and online

Our starting point has been to identify what activity needs to be available through in-person teaching and engagement on site. Within your full timetable of learning activities, you will typically receive 4 hours a week of in-person learning. This will mainly take the form of small group tutorials and seminars, peer-to-peer learning and group discussions. Where relevant, in-person time will also be spent on lab work. In addition to this, there will be live interactive sessions using Microsoft Teams and other online platforms as well as independent study. We are not planning to provide in-person large group teaching and lectures, instead utilising alternative tools for this to be delivered online, so that you can access this when it fits best with your schedule.

The University already has a number of courses that run entirely online, and teaching and assessment had to adapt during lockdown, so the way we intend to provide your course next year is building upon existing expertise and feedback from current students on what worked well in the period from March to July 2020. 

Medha, one of our postgraduate students, shares her experience of learning during lockdown in this blog post.

Flexibility for those who need it

For students who are unable to travel to Bath for the start of the semester or are unable to attend due to reasons related to COVID-19, we will be organising interactive sessions that you can engage with online in place of the in-person teaching and engagement we will be offering on-campus.

The University will continue to update you over the coming weeks as the proposals are developed further, and we will notify you of any material and significant changes to the content or structure of your course in mid-August.

Accommodation

The University has asked all students who wish to apply for university owned or managed accommodation and are holding an offer from Bath as their firm choice to submit an application expressing their preference for the accommodation they would wish to occupy. The accommodation applications received by 17 June 2020 are now being processed, and the Student Accommodation team will start allocating accommodation using this information from mid-August. If you have not yet submitted an accommodation application, further information will be provided to you in mid-August, once we have received the bulk of results on applicant qualifications.

Student Living Ambassadors

We understand that you will want to feel part of a community when living in our accommodation. The University has a team of Student Living Ambassadors who will provide support to everyone moving into our accommodation with the initial period of settling in and also throughout your stay in the property.

Watch our video to find out more about how our Student Living Ambassadors can help you during your first year at Bath.

Student Accommodation Security team

We also have a dedicated Student Accommodation Security team who will provide assistance 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

Watch our video to find out what the Security team does to make the University campus as safe as possible.

See our accommodation in 360-degrees

Use our 360-degree images to get a feel for our accommodation before you arrive.

Enhanced safety and support measures

The safety and support for our students is very important to us. New students will only be placed in single room accommodation. They will have access to their own, assigned hand-wash basin in their accommodation, however this may be situated within a shared bathroom if it is not en-suite accommodation.

The University will be prioritising the safety of our students and staff, ensuring that the accommodation we offer is thoroughly and regularly cleaned to mitigate against transmission of COVID-19.

If you are arriving from international locations where you may be required to undertake a period of quarantine, it is our intention to provide free accommodation and food for a two-week period prior to the start of your degree for those who will be living in University managed accommodation.

To ensure we can support you in this way before the start of term, we are asking that new students to the University requiring this two-week quarantine aim to arrive on or before 5 September 2020. We are, however, making alternative arrangements to support those who require quarantine after this date because of the availability of flights or delays in securing a visa. Once your travel plans are confirmed, if you know you will be arriving after 5 September, please contact the Accommodation Office with any enquiries via quarantine@bath.ac.uk

To ensure that you are safe and have all the necessary bedding and cooking utensils to support your stay, the University has developed a student welcome pack that will enable you to set up in your quarantine accommodation, and also provide you with the equipment to then move to your self-catering accommodation when quarantine ends. There will be a charge of £60 for this pack.

You can find out what life has been like for Adebola, one of our postgraduate students from Nigeria, in her blog on 'Living in University accommodation during lockdown'.

Make friends before you arrive

Connect with other students joining in September and keep up-to-date on plans for Freshers' Week by joining the Students' Union Freshers 2020 Facebook group. Go to the Students' Union website for more information.

We will be in touch regularly between now and when semester starts, with important updates about your course, induction, accommodation, student life at Bath, and how we are continuing to make campus as safe as possible. In the meantime, if you have questions about your course, admissions or the University of Bath please email pgtadmissions@bath.ac.uk

Best wishes,
Professor Bernie Morley
Deputy Vice Chancellor & Provost