Your course and learning


Spring Term arrangements

We wrote to all students on 26 January about our Spring Term plans and confirmed that the University would take a decision by 26 February on whether more courses could return to blended learning, including access to on-campus face-to face teaching, during the current Spring Term.

In light of the UK Prime Minister’s announcement on 22 February about changes to the national lockdown restrictions, we have agreed some changes to the arrangements for face-to-face teaching for the remainder of the Spring Term.

We are pleased to confirm that students on a small number of courses will be permitted to return to on-campus, face-to-face teaching from 8 March 2021 in addition to those already doing so.

Existing courses permitted on campus

  • Nursing
  • Some allied health professions courses
  • Oral health
  • Social work
  • Physiotherapy

Additional courses permitted to continue on campus from Monday 8 March 2021

Social Sciences

Languages and Linguistics

  • DIP Chinese-English Translation and Interpreting
  • MA Conference Interpreting with Advanced Technologies (Chinese-English)
  • MA Advanced Interpreting with Specialised Translation (Chinese-English)
  • MA Conference Interpreting and Translation (Chinese-English)

Science and Health

Life Sciences

  • BSc Biomedical Science - Year 2 students (completion of the course and access to specialist facilities)

Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

  • PG Cert, PG Dip, MSc Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Imaging (completion of the course, access to specialist facilities and for the completion of assessments)


Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

  • LT225 Documentary Filmmaking (requires specialist equipment)
  • TH245 Gender in Performance (required for learning outcomes; needs performance space)
  • TH343 Theatre and Human Rights (required for learning outcomes; needs performance space)

East 15

For all performance courses students need face-to-face teaching for the completion of the course; and access to specialist facilities is required; and completion of assessments. Creative Producing students access to specialist facilities. Stage and Production Management need access to access to specialist facilities.

  • BA Physical Theatre – Year 1
  • Creative Producing - Year 1
  • Acting and Stage Combat / Acting & Community Theatre / World Performance – Year 1
  • Creative Producing - Year 2
  • BA Acting and Community Theatre / Acting and Stage Combat / Physical Theatre / World Performance - Years 2/3
  • Creative Producing - Year 3
  • CERT HE Theatre Arts
  • BA Acting / Acting and Contemporary Theatre
  • BA Acting International - Combined First Year
  • BA Stage and Production Management - Years 1/2/3
  • BA Acting - Year 2
  • BA Acting International / Acting and Contemporary Theatre - Years 2/3
  • BA Acting - Year 3
  • MA Acting
  • MA/MFA International - Year 1
  • MFA Acting International - Year 2
  • MA/MFA Directing
  • CERT HE Theatre Art

Summer term 

Additional courses permitted to continue on campus from Monday 26 April 2021

Science and Health

Life Sciences

  • BSc Biomedical Science - Year 2 students (professional body requirement and completion of course)
  • BSc Biological Sciences - Year 2 and 3 students (completion of course)
  • BSc Marine Biology - Year 2 and 3 students (completion of course) 

Sport, Rehabilitation and Exercise Sciences

  • BSc Sports Therapy - Year 1 students (access to specialist facilities) 
  • BSc, MSc Sports and Exercise Science (access to specialist facilities)
  • BSc Sports Performance and Coaching (access to specialist facilities)
  • MSc Coaching Science (access to specialist facilities)
  • MSc Sports and Exercise Psychology (access to specialist facilities)


Edge Hotel School

  • BA Hospitality Management (2-year) - Level 5 students (completion of course, access to specialist facilities)
  • BA Events Management with Hospitality (2-year) - Level 5 students (completion of course, access to specialist facilities)

Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies

  • TH141 Introduction to Theatre Studies (completion of course, access to specialist facilities, assessment)
  • LT122 Introduction to Film Production (completion of course, access to specialist facilities, assessment)
  • LT226 Fiction Film-Making (completion of course, access to specialist facilities, assessment)
  • LT227 Directing Actors for Film (completion of course, assessment)
  • TH144 Voice and Movement (completion of course, assessment)
  • TH205 Performing Shakespeare (completion of course, assessment)
  • LT313 Newsroom Practice (access to specialist facilities, assessment)

All students affected by the changes have already been contacted by their Department or School.

All other courses remain online

All other students will continue to access their learning remotely.

We remain committed to delivering face-to-face teaching as soon as we are permitted and we judge that it is safe to do so.

University Protection Level

Although we have been able to introduce more face-to-face teaching, the University will remain in Enhanced Protection during the Summer Term. Our protection levels remain under constant review and any changes to the protection level will be communicated in due course.

Studying remotely?

All decisions on face-to-face teaching will not affect students who need to study wholly remotely in line with our dual delivery plan, which is designed to provide flexibility.

All our plans continue to be shaped by the progress of the pandemic, the safety and wellbeing of our community and any requirements placed on us by the Government.

Help and support

We know these are challenging times. If you have any questions or concerns about your teaching, course or modules, let us know as soon as possible. Please contact your personal tutor or the administrative team in your Department or School. Our Students’ Union can also help. There are also Course Representatives at the Colchester, Southend and Loughton Campuses, who can support you, provide feedback, and help to resolve any issues.

Who took this decision?

Government guidance requires universities to phase their return to campus and face-to-face teaching.

Consultation was undertaken with members of the COVID-19 Operational Group, including the Director of Estates and Campus Services, the Director of People and Culture, the Director of Communications and External Relations, the Academic Registrar and the Assistant Registrar.

Consultation was also conducted with all Heads of Departments. 

What evidence is being used?

The evidence we are using to guide our decision making includes a range of external and internal data points.

We are continually reviewing the pattern of infection on our campuses; the effectiveness of our support and other services in being able to respond appropriately in supporting students who are unwell or self-isolating; and the experience of other universities in the UK and internationally.

Evidence indicates that the steps we have taken, including antibody and antigen testing and a phased return to teaching, as well as the support from our students and staff in behaving responsibly to keep each other safe is resulting in our campuses being successfully COVID-19 secure, to date. 

We are tracking and publishing information of our cases on the COVID-19 dashboard

To date we have managed to avoid significant numbers of COVID-19 cases on our campuses, despite rising rates of infection within our wider communities. We are one of the UK Universities with the lowest number of COVID cases and we want to do all that we can to maintain this.

Will tuition fee rebates be available?

Our priority throughout the pandemic is to offer our students the best teaching and learning and student experience we can, and to ensure continuity of learning irrespective of whether our students are learning on or off campus.

This has been both an opportunity and a challenge, as we have fast tracked planned advancements to develop the amount of blended learning in our programmes.

We are confident that there are benefits for students from this approach: this is why our Education Strategy, approved before the pandemic, committed to embedding more blended activities in all of our courses over the next five years.

We are confident that our teaching and learning – although different – will remain of the quality and standard that our students expect.

The changes we have put in place in response to COVID-19 to support the delivery of teaching, student support and wider student services have included additional investments of £10m to support blended and online delivery.

We have also offered the option of fully online learning, as well as offering a flexible accommodation policy so that our students can choose how they prefer to study through the year.

If any students have any concerns about their learning, we encourage you to raise these as soon as possible so that they can be addressed.

Please contact your department in the first instance.

This does not affect any of your legal rights under our student contract. We are committed to addressing any problems you may experience so please do let your Department know so we can take action.

Can I come on campus if I am not accessing face-to-face teaching?

Following the Prime Minister’s announcement on 4 January 2021, the UK is now in a national lockdown. Students are asked to stay at home and only come to campus if absolutely necessary.

Our campuses remain open and our libraries, study spaces and facilities are available to use and our libraries, study spaces and facilities are available to use but have reduced opening hours. If you are living on campus or in the local area, or you need to come to campus to access learning resources, facilities or student support services you can book study space on campus through our booking system, which is designed to manage social distancing on campus.


An update on the impact of this decision upon accommodation can be found on our student accommodation web pages.

Applicant information

 Information for applicants can be found on our dedicated applicant web pages.

Teaching and learning overview for 2020-21

What will this mean for my learning experience?

For the 2020 academic year, we are focusing on ensuring that we are able to deliver a quality education and that your teaching and learning can continue if there is further disruption. The changes we have made to support you and protect your health and wellbeing mean that, for most of our courses, this will include blended learning – with lectures, classes and other teaching taking place both online and face to face. Much of this teaching will be offered “live” (even if online/ virtual) but will also be available to access at times that suit you.

We know that your learning experience is about more than just attending classes, and our campuses can provide you with all you need to make the most of your studies. This includes private space to study, in your on-campus study bedrooms as well as in PC labs and other spaces on our three campuses for self-study. We can also offer you access to laptops on loan and access to our library services; as well as enhanced wifi provision across our campuses.

Your learning experience will also include:

  • Flexible learning

If you can’t live on or travel to campus, you will be able to study online, switching to campus-based study when you can.

  • Online discussion forums

All lectures will be complemented by an online discussion forum in which you can access the lecture, ask questions and prepare for the next session. This will be mixed with on-campus and online teaching in smaller groups. Smaller group teaching will be carefully organised with plenty of time to prepare and focused questions to allow you to participate fully.

  • No changes to module content with flexible learning

Module content will be the same as other years.

  • Live webinars, pre-recorded lectures and online discussions

Students studying online will have live webinars, bespoke pre-recorded lectures, live online seminars, and online discussions with lecturers available to answer your questions.

  • Academic support hours

Your tutors will hold weekly academic support hours online and (where possible) in-person, offering you one-to-one support and guidance.

  • Virtual drop in sessions

You will have the opportunity to access virtual ‘drop in sessions’ for every module we teach, to encourage you to ask questions and get any support you might need.

  • Reduced number of assessments

We have reduced the number of assessments and included more opportunities for you to practice the assignments for different modules before you submit them to be marked.

  • Carefully designed assessments

Your assessments have been carefully designed to ensure that they are clearly structured and organised to help you to succeed. You’ll be doing a whole range of different things, and we will guide and explain what you need to do so that you get the best out of them that you can.

  • Access to digital resources

You will have access to online digital resources, such as; reading lists; important core texts; and recorded lectures. We are well-placed to support you, whether you will be learning face-to-face or online. We are adapting all our resources to be available online, with new ways for you to contribute to discussions and different means of engaging with fellow students and staff.

  • Weekly virtual ‘Open Door’ meetings with the Head of Department

The Head of Department will hold a regular virtual ‘Open Door’ meeting with students every week, so you can tell us about what you think is going well and any areas where you need more help. We also have a number of History students who act as representatives for their fellow students, should you wish to provide feedback through them.

How long can I study online? Can I do the whole year online?

We want as many of our students to join us on campus as possible; this is not an online degree. We hope that if you begin studying online, you will be able to join us on Campus as soon as you can.

Please note that whether you can study online for the whole year is dependent on what department and course you are applying for. To find out more please visit our department pages which have further details about how teaching will be delivered. These pages will be updated further once we have more information, so please check back again over the coming weeks.

If you are an East 15 Acting School applicant, please refer to East 15 website for updates on term information.

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