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Academic Year 2020/21


Find out about our plans for the academic year 2020/21

Message from Professor Paul Layzell, Principal on 22 July 2020

Over the last couple of months I’ve written to you to update you on our plans for the new academic year.

In response to the pandemic, we are working hard to adapt your course to combine face-to-face and online teaching and learning support. More information about this will be shared with you over the course of the summer and as we get closer to the start of the new academic year. Planning for the academic year is complicated and your timetable for term one will be available from 16 September, with timetables for terms two and three following on later in the first term. We continue to plan to welcome students back to campus for the start of session on Monday 21 September.

The safety of our whole community remains our top priority and in my last update on 24 June, I talked briefly about the measures we’re taking to make sure campus is as safe as possible for you, our students, and our staff.

In the video below you can find out more about the steps we’ve taken and the progress we’ve made in planning what your social and personal experience might be like when you return to your studies.

 

 

You can find more information in our FAQs on the student intranet which we will continue to update.

I will be writing to you again next month to provide you with a further update on the progress we’re making to safely welcome you back to campus and ensure that you can continue to engage with the activities that are important to you and that you can succeed in your studies. 
 
Best wishes
Professor Paul Layzell
Principal 

Message from Professor Paul Layzell, Principal on 24 June 2020

I wrote to you at the end of last month to update you on our plans for the next academic year, including our return to campus for the start of term, and how we are adapting your course so that it combines face-to-face activity with online teaching and learning support.

I wanted to give you an update on the progress we’re making and give you more information about the changes we’re implementing on campus to keep you safe and what activities you can expect to be available to you. Our plans are based on the current guidelines but, as we know, things are changing all the time and we may need to adapt our plans further if new or different restrictions are introduced.   

Your course 

We are adapting your course to combine face-to-face and online teaching and learning support. This looks like a mixture of tutorials and small group seminars in person on campus, interactive online sessions with your tutor and classmates, and online lectures.

We are planning to welcome students to campus from the start of session on Monday 21 September. If travel restrictions are in place or your personal circumstances mean you are not able to arrive on campus for the start of term, you won’t miss out. You will be able to start your course online and work as part of your class wherever you are. Our flexible approach means that if you are not able to come to campus for the start of term, you will be able to engage with your studies online, and you can then join the class on campus and in person when you are able to.

Keeping you safe 

The health and safety of our community remains our highest priority, and so we are putting in place social distancing measures, which will reflect government guidelines at the time, which are designed to protect everyone on campus. This will apply to all buildings and public spaces.
 
We are organising the campus to ensure students and staff can move around easily and safely and there will be restrictions on the number of people who can be in one room at the same time. You will be reminded to frequently wash your hands, as this is one of the best ways to reduce the risk of catching coronavirus (Covid-19). Hand sanitiser will be available across campus.
 
Face coverings are not currently compulsory in the UK. While wearing a face covering does not offer protection to the user, it does help to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. By wearing a face covering you help to protect others and play your part in helping to protect the whole campus community. We will be encouraging everyone to wear face coverings when they feel it’s appropriate to do so. 
 
If you will be living in Halls, you will be provided with additional health and safety information, guidance and support.
 
Campus life

Campus life will be different because of the pandemic, but we want to reassure you that there will be lots of social activities available and plenty of opportunities for you to meet with your friends. We are developing a range of activities that will meet social distancing requirements, and there will be lots of online activities too. Our library, cafes, bars, shop and sport facilities will be open, although things may be slightly different in the larger spaces to allow for social distancing. Booking systems may be in place for some areas. Clubs and societies are looking forward to welcoming you back, whether face-to-face or online.

Travelling to campus 

We will be increasing our provision for parking on campus to allow you to travel to campus by car and park for free. We will also continue to ensure social distancing remains in place on our College buses in line with government guidance.

Arriving on campus from outside the UK

If you’re travelling back to campus from outside the UK you may have to self-isolate for 14 days. Our health, wellbeing and academic support teams will be able to provide you with support online during this period.

Supporting you 

I have spoken before about how we are living through events that are unprecedented in our lifetime and the importance of reaching out for support if you need it. We are committed to supporting your mental health now and next academic year and I want to reassure you that wellbeing support will continue to be available to you, both online and in person.

Staying connected 

Our flexible learning approach means that if you are not able to come to campus for the start of term you will be able to engage fully with your studies online, including staying connected to classmates and tutors. There will also be plenty of opportunities to get involved socially online, with a programme of virtual events open to all students.

You can find more information in our FAQs on the student intranet which we will continue to update.

The new academic year will be different for us all, but I want to reassure you we are working hard to ensure that you can continue to engage with the activities that are important to you and that you can succeed in your studies. I will be writing to you again next month, and I continue to look forward to welcoming you back to campus for the new academic year.
 
Best wishes
Professor Paul Layzell
Principal

Message from Professor Paul Layzell, Principal on 29 May 2020

As the coronavirus (Covid 19) pandemic continues to create uncertainty in all aspects of life, I wanted to update you on our plans for the next academic year.
 
Royal Holloway is a campus university and we understand how much you value engaging with the academics on your course and having easy access to the facilities and resources you need. We also recognise that the conditions set by Covid-19 mean that, to keep you safe and on track with your studies, some things will need to change. When considering these changes we are focussed on how we can continue to inspire you in your studies and ensure you receive the support you need to help you to succeed in your goals.
 
I want to reassure you that we are planning so that you can return to campus for the start of term, 21 September 2020 and our plans will ensure that we prioritise the health and safety of our whole campus community. We are also adapting your courses so that they will combine face-to-face activity, for example tutorials and small group seminars, with online lectures and teaching support. As you will be aware, for the last year most lectures have been available online, a move which was well received by students. Having lectures available online means you can watch again at a time convenient to you and use the recordings to prepare for smaller groups discussions. By adopting an approach that combines face-to-face with online activity we build in flexibility that accommodates social distancing and seeks to ensure that if further restrictions or lock downs are imposed, you won’t miss out or have interrupted study.
 
We are also conscious that self-isolation, illness or existing health conditions might mean that some students are not able to come to campus for the start of term. In response, we are setting up each course to accommodate a mix of students studying face-to-face and remotely at any one time. Our flexible approach means that if you are not able to come to campus for the start of term, you will be able to engage with your studies online, and then join back in with your classes in person when your circumstances allow it.
 
I recognise that the move to online teaching and learning support at the end of term two was sudden and no one had any time to prepare. Over the summer we will be working hard to reshape teaching and learning support so that we can combine the benefits of technology, such as being able to watch lectures again and again, with real time, face-to-face engagement in the forums that we know matter most to you. We are also harnessing the benefits of technology to support the student experience and other on-campus services. We want to enable you to continue to meet new people, learn new skills and study alongside classmates even if social distancing measures are in place, this includes being able to interact with a range of the Students' Union's clubs and societies, many of which will continue to operate in a virtual environment while social distancing rules are in place.
 
You can find FAQs about teaching and learning for 2020/21 on the student intranet and more detail will follow.  We will also be providing more information on how we’re making the campus Covid-19 secure.
 
I’ve talked before about how we are living through events that are unprecedented in our lifetime and I appreciate what a challenging time this is for us all however, support is available to you if you need it. If you are anxious or concerned and would like to talk to someone, please email supportingyou@royalholloway.ac.uk.

Please stay safe.
 
Professor Paul Layzell
Principal, Royal Holloway, University of London

 

 

Frequently asked questions

Study options and start dates

What options do I have for my year abroad?

We appreciate how difficult it has been for you to prepare for your Year Abroad in 2020-21 due to the many uncertainties created by the coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic. We have been monitoring the situation, in line with the British Council and the majority of universities in the UK and abroad and we have been listening to your many concerns.

The options that we are setting out today are designed to set your minds at rest in terms of safety and to ensure you have maximum flexibility next year.  They allow those of you who are able to move ahead with your Year Abroad in the autumn.  They also give the option of continuing your studies at the College and completing a Year Abroad in the following academic year.  Please note that, as the global situation evolves, they may also be subject to change.

1. Flexible Year Abroad

This option would mean that you continue with your current plans for study or work placements next academic year.  This may mean studying/working online at the beginning of the year and travelling to your chosen destination when you are able and confident to do so.

For those on study placements, most of our Erasmus+ partners are working to ensure online teaching is available, if required. If it becomes apparent that your university cannot offer online learning, we will contact you to discuss alternative options. If your Year Abroad is delayed or even interrupted due to Covid-19 restrictions, we offer language resources and support so that your continued learning of the language is not disrupted.

There are some important things to take into consideration when deciding to continue with your Year Abroad:

  •  For both the work and study placements the Erasmus+ mobility grant will only become available once you have arrived at your chosen destination
  • All students are covered by the Safety Net and Best 90 policy set out in the Emergency Regulations. This means that you can confidently take up your placements and do the required assessments even if you experience the odd delay or interruption to the year.
  • If you have a British Council assistantship, it may be possible to teach remotely depending on the particular school. The British Council will inform assistants directly about such alternatives.

2. Fourth Year Abroad

This option means that you choose to enrol for your final year (stage 4) courses this coming September 2020 at Royal Holloway and then you can decide whether to take your Year Abroad (stage 3) in September 2021-22. 

This may also mean studying/working online at the beginning of the academic year and travelling to your chosen destination when you are able and confident to do so, depending on the pandemic.

There are some important things to take into consideration when deciding to delay your Year Abroad:

  • The Year Abroad assessments will be slightly different (details tbc) and crucially will be final-year weighted. Also, since Year Abroad oral exams are taken in term three, you will be examined remotely. All students are covered by the Safety Net and Best 90 policy set out in the Emergency Regulations.
  • You will need to inform the School by 1 July 2020 if you wish to take up this option so you can register in good time for third-year modules starting in September. ( If you would like to be considered for halls accommodation in 2020-21 you can submit an application via the Online Accommodation System)
  • Language learning resources and support will be available so that you are better prepared for entering final-year language courses.
  • Should you feel, however, by the end of February 2021 that you no longer wish to go on a Year Abroad, you will be able to apply for a Year Abroad waiver.
  • If you take up the Fourth Year Abroad option, you will have to re-start the application process for your Year Abroad placements and attend all the required Year Abroad meetings. It is important also to point out that the range of opportunities for the Year Abroad in 2021-22 may be reduced due to Brexit, notably in the case of study placements.
  • Finally, please bear in mind that if you’re intending to attend Graduation in July 2022, this may have potential implications for the type of placement you decide to organise for the second half of the year (including length of placement and location).

We appreciate that there is a lot of information here and we hope that the options are clear and reassuring. 

The Year Abroad team are available to discuss your options with you in greater detail. Please contact Professor James Williams in the first instance. Your Personal tutor will also be happy to help you with this decision.

If we don’t hear from you by 1 July 2020, we will assume that you are taking the ‘Flexible Year Abroad’ option and continuing with your preparations for the Year Abroad 2020-21.

As you will understand, as a College we have never come across circumstances like these before and we can understand how this may be a very difficult decision for you. We’re here to help you talk through your options, so please do get in touch if we can help.

All best wishes,

Sarah, James and the Year Abroad Team

What changes are you making to my course to manage the impact of coronavirus?

For the next academic year 2020/2021 we are re-arranging your course to make it possible for you to move seamlessly between face-to-face and online teaching. We are planning a September start on campus, but if travel restrictions mean you are not able to arrive for the start of term, or social distancing measures are in place on campus, you won’t miss out on the beginning of this academic year. 

Will my course be online?

No. All courses will have a combination of face-to-face and online activity during the academic year 2020/21. 

Social distancing measures will be in place to ensure that tutorials and small group seminars can safely be held on campus, giving you face-to-face engagement with academics in the forums that you tell us matter most to you. This face-to-face activity will be combined with online lectures and learning support.

Don’t worry if your arrival on campus is delayed. Each course will be set up to accommodate a mix of students studying face-to-face and remotely at any one time.

Our combination of face-to-face and online lectures and learning support means that if travel restrictions are in place and you are not able to arrive in the UK or to campus for the start of the academic year, you won’t miss out.  You will be able to confidently continue your studies online, joining in virtual sessions like tutorials and small group seminars with your class mates until you’re able to return to campus.

Our approach also means that if you are on campus and new social distancing measures are introduced, you will be able to continue with your studies without interruption.

What will the online activity look like?

This academic year in response to coronavirus (Covid-19), we will be mixing face-to-face activity, such as tutorials and small group seminars, with online lectures and learning support. Each course will be set up to accommodate a mix of students studying face-to-face and remotely at any one time.

For the last year we have made most of our lectures available online with lecture recording, a move which we know was well received because it meant that you could watch your lectures again at a time convenient to you, and watch them throughout the academic year to support your studies.

By mixing online lectures and learning support with face-to-face activity, such as tutorials and small group seminars, we can combine the benefits of technology with real time face-to-face engagement in the forums that you tell us matter most.

I live outside of the UK and don’t know if I will be able to come to campus in September, what do I do?

We understand that the pandemic means there is a lot of uncertainty, particularly if you are resident outside the UK and may face ongoing travel restrictions.

 That’s why all undergraduate courses for the academic year 2020/21 will combine face-to-face and online teaching and learning support. This combination means that even if you are not able to travel to the UK for the start of term you won’t miss out and will still be able to continue your studies remotely from wherever you are. Each course will be set up to accommodate a mix of students studying face-to-face and remotely at any one time.

I live in the UK and I don’t know if I will be able to come to campus in September, what do I do?

If you are resident in the UK, we are expecting to be able to welcome you to campus in September. However, if new social distancing measures are introduced or travel restrictions are in place, our combination of face-to-face and online teaching and learning support means that you can continue your course remotely from wherever you are. Each course will be set up to accommodate a mix of students studying face-to-face and remotely at any one time.

When you do arrive on campus, you can be confident that as long as you have kept up with the work of the class online, you will be able to join the class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

Will I miss out on face-to-face activity if travel restrictions mean I am not able to return to campus in September?

No. While we expect to be able to welcome students back to campus for the start of term, we understand that possible travel restrictions may make that difficult for some students who are resident overseas.  We have adapted our courses for 2020/21 to take account of the possible impact of coronavirus (Covid-19).  Each course will be set up to accommodate a mix of students studying face-to-face and remotely at any one time.

Some elements of your course may require face-to-face participation in particular activities, such as some practical work, skills development activities, end-of-year examinations and field trips.

Some of these can be offered online but as far as possible, we will offer these activities face-to-face. The exact approach will depend on your degree course or modules. In the event that coronavirus continues to disrupt travel, we will ensure that the key practical and fieldwork skills are provided online with activities rescheduled later in the year, by which point travel restrictions may have lifted. If your arrival on campus is very significantly delayed you will be able to discuss your particular situation with your course leader so that you can together decide the best option for you.

Our approach means that you can be confident that if you are resident overseas and your arrival on campus is delayed, you can start your course remotely from wherever you are. When you do arrive on campus, you can be confident that as long as you have kept up with the work of the class online, you will be able to join the class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

My course has a lot of practical work. What happens if I am not able to come to campus until late into the second term?

 We know that activities in some subjects rely on face-to-face participation.  Examples include practical work, skills development activities, end-of-year examinations and field trips. Some of these can be offered online but as far as possible, we will offer these activities face-to-face. The exact approach will depend on your degree course or modules. In the event that coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to disrupt travel, we will ensure that the key practical and fieldwork skills are provided online with activities rescheduled later in the year, by which point travel restrictions may have lifted.  If your return to campus is very significantly delayed you will be able to discuss your particular situation with your course leader so that you can together decide the best option for you.

What happens if, when I arrive on campus, the UK goes back into lockdown?

All undergraduate courses for the academic year 2020/21 will combine face-to-face and online teaching and learning support. This combination means that even if the UK reintroduces lock down measures, you will be able to continue with your studies. 

I’m an international student living in the UK, can I study on campus from September 2020?

We expect that the majority of our students will start their course in September. If you are already in the UK we look forward to welcoming you to the campus in September.  The start of term is Monday 21 September 2020.

I want to continue my studies at Royal Holloway but I don’t want to travel back to the UK. Can I stay at home and study online for the rest of my course?

No, we expect all students to come to campus as soon as they are able to travel. We believe that the opportunity to engage face-to-face with academic staff and other students is an important part of your university experience however, we also recognise that coronavirus means we have to adapt our approach.  That’s why our plan for the academic year 2020/2021 is to combine face-to-face with online teaching and learning support.  By combining face-to-face with online, our students gain the benefits of studying in an academic environment, and it means you won’t miss out if travel restrictions are in place for the start of term.  Our approach means you can confidently continue your studies online if you need to and join us on campus, in person, as soon as you are able to. 

Some elements such as practical work, end of year examinations, skills development and activities and field trips also require face-to-face engagement.

The health and safety of our community is our highest priority, and we are putting in place measures designed to help protect everyone on campus.

 

Course content and study methods

If travel restrictions or further periods of social distancing mean I need to study some of my course online, what will that look like?

This academic year in response to coronavirus (Covid-19), we will be mixing face-to-face activity, such as tutorials and small group seminars, with online lectures and learning support.

For the last year we have made most of our lectures available online with lecture recording, a move which was well received because it meant that you could watch again your lectures at a time convenient to you, and watch them throughout the academic year to support your studies.

By mixing online lectures and learning support with face-to-face activity, such as tutorials and small group seminars, we can combine the benefits of technology with real time face-to-face engagement in the forums that you tell us matter most.

Each course will be set up to accommodate a mix of students studying face-to-face and remotely at any one time.

Some activities will require face-to-face participation in particular activities, such as some practical work, skills development activities, end-of-year examinations and field trips. Some of these can be offered online but as far as possible, we will offer these activities face-to-face. The exact approach will depend on your degree course and modules. In the event that coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to disrupt travel, we will ensure that the key practical and fieldwork skills are provided online with activities rescheduled later in the year, by which point travel restrictions may have lifted.

Our approach means that you can be confident that as long as you have kept up with the work of the class online, you will be able to join the class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

What platform will online teaching take place on and how will I access this in my country?

We use Moodle and Microsoft Teams for Education, both of which can be accessed through our website.

If I am not able to travel to the UK immediately and need to begin my course online in China, will I need a VPN to have access to teaching and resources?

We don’t anticipate any need for a VPN to access resources. We use Moodle and Microsoft Teams for Education, both of which can be accessed through our website.

 

How many hours will I have to study each day/week if I study online?

The exact number of online study hours may vary according to your personal circumstances and the course you are taking. Each course will be set up to accommodate a mix of students studying in face-to-face and remotely at any one time. Some elements of your course will require face-to-face participation in particular activities, such as some practical work, skills development activities, end-of-year examinations and field trips. Some of these can be offered online but as far as possible, we will offer these activities face-to-face. The exact approach will depend on your degree course and modules. In the event that coronavirus (Covid-19) continues to disrupt travel, we will ensure that the key practical and fieldwork skills are provided online with activities rescheduled later in the year.   Our approach means that you can be confident that as long as you have kept up with the work of the class online, you will be able to join the class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

 

If my course is a mixture of online and face-to-face, and I’m not on campus, how will the face-to-face activity be replaced for me?

You will be able to take part in face-to-face activities such as small group seminars and tutorials using online platforms such as Microsoft Teams for Education.  You will join the seminar or tutorial online, joining in with classmates who are on campus. This means that you can continue to benefit from group activity. You will also have regular one to one contact with your personal tutor again using Microsoft Teams for Education.  This means that, when you arrive on campus, you will be able to join your class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

If I study some elements of my course online, will there be live sessions with lecturers or will it all be recorded?

Small group seminars and tutorials will be live and will be conducted with your classmates and hosted by your tutor. You will also have individual contact with your personal tutor using Microsoft Teams for Education.  We will be mixing these face-to-face activities with online learning support and lectures, which means you will be able to engage with aspects of your learning at a time and place that is convenient for you.  Online lectures are available to watch again and again. This gives you the chance to prepare questions and think about ideas that you might want to discuss in more detail when you meet with your course leader and classmates in small group seminars and tutorials.

If I can’t come to campus and start my course online, how will the time difference be accommodated?

We will, as far as possible, arrange small group seminars, tutorials and meetings with your personal tutor at times appropriate to the students attending them. 

If I am not able to come to campus and continue my course online, will I be able to connect with my fellow classmates?

Yes.You will take part in small group seminars and tutorials online, joining in with classmates who are on campus. This means that you can continue to benefit from group activity and when you arrive on campus, you will be able to join your class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.  

What support will be available to me if I’m continuing my course online?

We will offer a support package which is tailored to your needs. You will be allocated and supported by a personal tutor. We will also provide additional support to help you understand how you can get the best from the technology we will be using to support your studies.  Students who are not able to come to campus for the start of the academic year will also receive extra support so that you are confident joining classes remotely. Throughout your course, our academic and wellbeing services will all be available online as well as on campus.

Will there be set hours that I have to be available online to study the online option?

We will, as far as possible, arrange small group seminars, tutorials and meetings with your personal tutor at times appropriate to the students attending them.  

Online lectures and learning support means you will be able to engage with other aspects of your learning at a time and place that is convenient for you.  Online lectures are available to watch again and again. This gives you the chance to prepare questions and think about ideas that you might want to discuss in more detail when you meet with your course leader and classmates in small group seminars and tutorials.

The degree I’m studying provides accreditation by a professional body. Will this still be available if I study online?

Yes, it will meet all professional body requirements.

If I can’t come to campus and continue my course online, will I be taught by the same academics as classmates who are on campus?

 Yes.You will take part in small group seminars and tutorials online, joining in with classmates who are on campus.

Lectures and other learning support will be recorded by your lecturer and made available to the whole class at the same time. This means that you will be able to watch lectures at a time and place that is most convenient to you. Online lectures are available to watch again and again. This gives you the chance to prepare questions and think about ideas that you might want to discuss in more detail when you meet with your course leader and classmates in small group seminars and tutorials.

My country does not recognise online degrees, will my degree certificate show that I studied part of my degree online?

Royal Holloway does not offer an online degree and this is not an online degree.  All courses will have a combination of face-to-face and online activity during the academic year 2020/21.  This combination means that even if you are not able to arrive on campus for the start of term, or social distancing measures are in place, you won’t miss out and will still be able to continue your studies. Our expectation is that when you are able to travel to campus you will return to Royal Holloway.  Our aim is to support you to be an active learner wherever you are based, and we place great emphasis on interaction with staff and other learners.

What would a typical week look like with a combination of face-to-face and online teaching and learning support?

The exact approach will depend on your degree course and modules and the kind of support needed to meet learning objectives. You can be confident that, if the conditions allow, we will be combining face-to-face activity on campus, such as tutorials and small group seminars, with interactive online sessions with your tutor and classmates and online lectures.

For the last year we have made most of our lectures available online, a move which was well received by you, our students, because it meant that you could watch your lectures again at a time convenient to you and throughout the academic year to support you studies.

How will labs and practical work be organised if I can’t come to campus for the start of term and have to start the next academic year online at home?

The exact approach will depend on your degree course or modules. Where possible, laboratory and other practical sessions will run to the normal timetable. We will record laboratory sessions for those students who are unable to attend in person. If necessary, sessions delivered during the first two terms will also be repeated in term three and we will provide alternative ways of meeting learning objectives.

Will I need any special equipment to study online?

You will need a PC or laptop with a working wifi connection. We have a Study Support Grant scheme and other support funds which can help you (if you meet certain criteria) to buy IT equipment.

I have a disability, how will I be able to join in with online classes?

If you have a disability (including specific learning difficulties), our Disability and Dyslexia Services team can advise you on the support available to you to enable you to participate.  We would encourage you to register with the team as soon as possible so we can assess your support needs.

When will I get my timetable?

Your timetable for term one will be available from 16 September, with timetables for terms two and three following on later in the first term. 

Tuition fees and funding

Will the changes to the course structure make any difference to the tuition fee?

No. We have adapted our courses to combine both face-to-face and online activity in response to the global pandemic. We are not offering an online degree. We are using a number of different approaches to ensure that if your arrival on campus is delayed, you can continue your course and will have the same access to world class academics and excellent teaching and learning support as the students on your course who are on campus.   Our expectation is that you will arrive on campus as soon as you are able to and that, as long as you have kept up with the work of the class online, you will be able to join the class in person and carry on with your course without interruption.

Arriving on campus

 

What arrangements will be in place to support my return to campus?

If you have booked accommodation on campus, we will send you arrival information nearer the time.

If you are arriving from outside the UK, you should note that the UK government currently requires that you will not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in the UK. This is known as ‘self-isolating’ but has also been referred to as ‘quarantine’. You can read the UK government’s information here, which includes details of any exceptions.

If you have an allocated place in one of our Halls of Residence on campus we will provide you with accommodation for your 14 days of self-isolation. The first date this accommodation will be available to you is Tuesday 1 September. If you arrive to campus before Tuesday 1 September we may not be able to provide you with accommodation for your 14 days of self-isolation and you will not be able to move into your allocated place in one of our halls of residence on campus.

I am travelling from outside the UK and want to arrive on campus early?

The UK government currently requires that if you arrive in the UK from overseas you will not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in the UK.  This is known as ‘self-isolating’ but has also been referred to as ‘quarantine’. You can read the UK government’s information here, which includes details of any exceptions.

If you have an allocated place in one of halls of residence on campus we will provide you with accommodation for your 14 days of self-isolation. The first date this accommodation will be available to you is Tuesday 1 September. If you arrive to campus before Tuesday 1 September we may not be able to provide you with accommodation for your 14 days of self-isolation and you will not be able to move into your allocated place in one of our halls of residence on campus.

If I arrive after the start of term, how will I be able to meet my friends and classmates?

If you are not able to travel to campus for the start of term, you can start your course online where you live. You will be able to take part in face-to-face activities such as small group seminars and tutorials using online platforms such as Microsoft Teams for Education, joining in with classmates who are on campus as well as with classmates who are, like you, also online.

If you have booked accommodation on campus, you can expect to be living with students from other courses.

You will also be able to join in a range of social activities – both online before and after you arrive and face-to-face on campus.

What support will be available to me if I get sick or have to self-isolate, for example, how will I get food?

For health and wellbeing support, our Student Advisory & Wellbeing team can be contacted and will be able to offer online 1-2-1 meetings and support online.  This includes specific support for overseas students from our international student support team

You will be able to order food from the Union shop, for delivery to your accommodation. Local delivery companies also deliver from local restaurants and supermarkets.

If you are well enough, you will also be able to continue your course online and take part in a range of online activities, re-joining other students face-to-face when you have recovered.

Accommodation

What is the timetable for applying for accommodation as a returning student?

Returning students can apply for accommodation in one of our Halls of Residences using our Online Accommodation System. The application window is currently open and applications are processed on a first come first served basis subject to availability for returners. Find out more

Will social distancing requirements result in any changes to life in university accommodation?

The pandemic means we are all having to do familiar things in different ways. We want you to have a great student experience and we are doing everything we can to help to ensure we keep you and the whole campus community safe. The adjustments we’re making will be compliant with government guidelines and some of the changes you might see are, for example, in catered accommodation, we are reviewing dining arrangements and this may result in longer opening hours; dedicated tables for students from the same flat and screens at tills. Your ability to get healthy, tasty and affordable meals will not change. You can also still expect to take part in a range of social activities.

How can I be sure that everyone I live with will follow the rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus?

Everyone has a part to play to in ensuring the safety of the whole community. We will provide guidelines to help everyone understand how to live together safely and our Hall Life team will work with all residents to ensure that they understand what is required.

I have applied to live in catered accommodation, how will social distancing work in the dining room?

We are reviewing dining arrangements to ensure that we comply with social distancing guidelines. This may, for example, result in longer opening hours; dedicated tables for students from the same flat and screens at tills. Your ability to get healthy, tasty and affordable meals will not change.

Will I be expected to live with the same group of students that I study with if I move into university accommodation?

We will keep plans under review in the light of government guidelines.  We currently expect to be able to offer you accommodation, sharing with students from other courses.

Commuting to campus

I am planning to live at home and travel to campus on a regular basis. I want to avoid travelling by public transport during busy times. Do you have any advice for me?

We provide bicycle racks and storage areas for people who would prefer to cycle to campus.

 If you plan on driving to campus, you will be able to park free of charge and we are also working to increase car parking capacity to make it easier to find a space.

If you need somewhere to go between classes, there are a variety of social and study spaces on campus. This year, we will also be providing an area where students who commute to campus will be able to sit and prepare meals, allowing you more flexibility in your day.

I am planning to live at home and travel to campus for face-to-face classes. If I have free time between classes, what options will I have?

If you need somewhere to go between classes, there are a variety of social and study spaces on campus. This year, we will also be providing an area where students who commute to campus will be able to sit and prepare meals, allowing you more flexibility in your day.

Campus safety

What precautions are you taking to make sure that the campus is coronavirus-secure?

At Royal Holloway, we are proud of providing a safe, friendly and inclusive community. The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives and we take our responsibility to keep you safe very seriously.

With this in mind, we are making a number of practical changes. These include reducing the capacity of teaching rooms and changing room layouts to facilitate social distancing; more pedestrian space and adding signage to help you to navigate the campus safely.  Additional cleaning has been introduced, hand sanitiser will be provided in key locations around campus and you will be encouraged to wash your hands regularly.

Face coverings are not currently compulsory in the UK. The UK government’s guidelines on face coverings is explained here and we advise you to read them before you travel to campus in case they change.  

Wearing a face covering does not offer protection to the user, however it does help to reduce the risk of the spread of infection. By wearing a face covering you help to protect others and play your part in helping to protect the whole campus community.  We will be encouraging everyone on campus to a wear face coverings when they feel it’s appropriate to do so.  You will be able to buy face coverings in our campus shop.

We know that this may be a worrying time for many students and our health, wellbeing and academic support teams will be available to speak to you in person and online. 

How will you manage social distancing in the classroom and around campus?

We have reduced the capacity of teaching and learning spaces to facilitate social distancing. Furniture and room layouts are being changed to support this. By combining these changes and the introduction of online learning activities our goal is to provide you with high quality teaching and learning support and a positive student experience, within the context of the pandemic, so that you can succeed in your goals.

Social spaces will have reduced capacity in response to the requirements of social distancing, but we are working hard to make more spaces available so that you can still meet up, face-to-face, with friends.

We may also limit the number of students entering particularly busy areas and manage movement around campus, with additional signage, to help you to navigate the campus safely.

Will staff and students be expected to wear masks or face coverings on campus?

Face coverings are not currently compulsory in the UK. The UK government’s guidelines on face coverings is explained here and we advise you to read them before you travel to campus in case they change. 

Wearing a face covering does not offer protection to the user however, it does help to reduce the risk of the spread of infection.  By wearing a face covering you help to protect others and play your part in helping to protect the whole campus community.  We will be encouraging everyone on campus to a wear face coverings when they feel it’s appropriate to do so.  You will be able to buy face coverings in our campus shop.

Will I be able to buy face coverings (‘face masks’) and hand sanitiser?

Yes, face covering and hand sanitiser will be available for sale in the Union shop. They are also likely to be available in other shops in the local area.

My parents are concerned about my safety? Is there anyone they can contact to talk through their concerns?

Parents and supporters are welcome to contact the Student Advisory & Wellbeing team to talk through general concerns. If they wish to talk more specifically about your personal circumstances, we will need your consent to talk to them.

I am an international student and will be travelling to campus from overseas. When I arrive, will I need to spend time in quarantine before I join my course?

The UK government currently requires that if you arrive in the UK from overseas you will not be allowed to leave the place you are staying for the first 14 days you are in the UK.  This is known as ‘self-isolating’ but has also been referred to as ‘quarantine’. You can read the UK government’s information here, which includes details of any exceptions.

You can travel to the place where you are staying and details of the travel arrangements Royal Holloway has in place to help all students arriving in the UK are available here

Where can I stay while I self-isolate or ‘quarantine’ during the first 14 days I am in the UK?

If you have an allocated place in one of our halls of residence on campus we will provide you with accommodation for your 14 days of self-isolation.

During your 14 days of self-isolation, we will ensure that you have access to food and support, and you will be able to start or continue with your studies online and join in activities online.

At the end of the 14 days, if you do not develop coronavirus, you will then be able to move into your allocated room in our Halls of Residence on campus.  When you move into your allocated room in our Halls of Residence, you will be able to join in the face-to-face classes for your course.

If you develop coronavirus symptoms during your period of self-isolation, you will be able to access support and advice from our Student Advisory & Wellbeing team.

If I have to do 14 days of self-isolation, or ‘quarantine’, will I be able to move into my allocated room in my hall of residence as soon as I arrive back on campus?

The health and safety of our whole campus community is our number one priority.  It can take up to 14 days for the symptoms of coronavirus to develop and during that time it is important that anyone at risk of developing coronavirus is isolated.  

We will provide you with accommodation for the full period of your self-isolation. We will ensure that you have access to food and support and you will be able to start or continue with your studies online while you are in self-isolation. You will also be able to join in activities online.

At the end of the 14 days, if you do not develop coronavirus, you will then be able to move into your allocated room in our Halls of Residence on campus. 

If you develop coronavirus symptoms during your period of self-isolation, you will be able to access support and advice from our Student Advisory & Wellbeing team.

Will I have to pay for accommodation while I am in 14 days of self-isolation?

During the period of self-isolation, we will provide you with accommodation. The charge for this will be around £150 for the 14 days. This will include some food basics for when you arrive, and we will support you so that you can buy your own food for the rest of the time you are in self-isolation. 

If you have an allocated place in one of our Halls of Residence on campus you will start to pay for your accommodation from the day you move into that room, so you won’t pay twice for accommodation.  

I will be living in private accommodation that is not on campus. What support is available to me so that I can complete my 14 days of self-isolation?

You will need to complete your 14 days of self-isolation at your accommodation. The Union Shop offers a delivery service to students living both on campus and in the local area within 2.5 mile radius. You could also set up an online delivery service from one of the UK’s supermarket chains.  The largest chains are: Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrisons, Aldi, Co-Op, Lidl and Waitrose.  Food delivery companies also work with local restaurants and can deliver prepared food to you.

You will be able to continue your course online and join in activities online during your period of self-isolation.

If you develop coronavirus symptoms during your period of self-isolation, you will be able to access support and advice from our Student Advisory & Wellbeing team.

What support will be available to me if I arrive on campus after the start of term and then have to do 14 days of self-isolation?

If you have an allocated place in one of our Halls of Residence on campus, we will send you arrival information nearer the time.

Once you arrive on campus, we will provide you with accommodation and support while you complete your 14 days of self-isolation.  There is a cost for this accommodation, around £150 for the 14 days, but you will only start to pay for your allocated place in your hall of residence when you move into your room, so you won’t pay twice. You will be able to start or continue your course online and join in activities online during your period of self-isolation.

At the end of the 14 days, if you do not develop coronavirus, you will then be able to move into your allocated room in our Halls of Residence on campus.  When you move into your allocated room in our Halls of Residence, you will be able to join in the face-to-face classes for your course.  Our Hall Life team will help you transition into your new accommodation and help you to meet other students in your accommodation.

Student experience

If social distancing is in place, what can I expect from the campus experience?

At Royal Holloway, we are proud of providing a safe, friendly and inclusive community.  The pandemic has impacted every aspect of our lives and we take very seriously our responsibility to keep you, and our whole campus community, safe. While we would expect there to be less opportunity for large gatherings on campus, we are developing a range of activities. These will take account of UK government guidance.

Activities will include opportunities to stay active as well as activities organised by our Students’ Union clubs and societies. Some groups will be able to offer a face-to-face experience, within social distancing guidelines, while others may offer a more virtual experience. More information on this will be available in the summer on the Students’ Union online coronavirus hub.  You will also be able to take part in activities like Hall Life Events; volunteering; faith and departmental groups. The pandemic means we are all having to do familiar things a bit differently, so there will be some changes to how clubs and societies operate, but our goal is to provide you with a positive and vibrant student experience, within the guidelines of what is safe for the whole campus community

Will I still be able to meet up with friends in cafes and other social spaces on campus?

You can be confident that you will be coming to a lively campus with lots for you to get involved in. We expect a range of cafes and social spaces to be open but with reduced capacity, in line with government guidelines on social distancing. We are also working hard to increase the number of social spaces on campus to provide more students with safe opportunities to meet face-to-face.

What facilities like cafes and bars will be open on campus?

We expect a range of cafes and social spaces to be open but with reduced capacity, in line with government guidelines on social distancing. We are also working hard increase the number of social spaces on campus to provide more students with safe opportunities to meet face-to-face.

If I am not able to come back to campus, what academic and welfare support will be available to me?

You will be able to access all of our student support services, whether you are on campus or not.  

If I am not able to come to campus, will I still be able to engage with the Students’ Union?

Yes. The Students’ Union will be offering many of their core services in a digital format. This means you can get advice on housing and academic issues through their Advice Centre, join groups online and take part in virtual activities or have your say on issues affecting you at university. The Students’ Union has created an online coronavirus hub which gives more detail about which services are available and how to access them. 

Will I be able to join the gym, play sport or join in exercise classes?

Yes, Royal Holloway Sport are planning a range of opportunities for students to stay active. All of our services, including the gym, will be operating in line with government guidelines on social distancing. This will impact capacity for some services but Royal Holloway Sport are also developing a virtual offering to make sure that you still have plenty of opportunities to stay physically active.  Follow @RHULSport on social media for the latest information.

If I am not able to come back to campus, will I be able to join any clubs and societies? And if so, how will I engage with them?

Yes, you will still be able to join clubs and societies but, because of the pandemic, the look and feel of the activity will differ from group to group.

Some groups will be able to offer a face-to-face experience within social distancing guidelines while others may offer a more virtual experience. More information on this will be available in the summer on the Students’ Union online coronavirus hub.  You will also be able to take part in activities like Hall Life Events; volunteering; faith and departmental groups. These will all be delivered slightly differently but in line with social distancing guidance.

I was hoping to be able to secure a part-time job on campus. Will these opportunities be available?

We expect to be able to continue to offer part-time jobs on campus. The exact number and nature of jobs will depend on UK government guidelines. Our Careers Service has very good connections with local employers and we continue to liaise with these employers to identify and promote opportunities in the local area. The Careers Service also provides a range of alternative volunteering roles, which will provide valuable experience and skills development

Who can I talk to if I am worried about my health and wellbeing?

All of our student support teams will continue to provide wellbeing support and advice, whether you are studying in person or online.  Our Student Wellbeing team act as a first line service and support all students with general wellbeing. The advisers will listen to your concerns and co-ordinate the right support for you. 

Most of our support services will be available both online and face-to-face. This includes our mental health service (although full counselling is only available face-to-face in person on campus). Our GP Surgery also offers appointments with doctors and nurses on campus and online.

We have a range of support videos and other resources for you to use when you need them.

We can help you to get in touch with other support services too. 

Study skills support

What support will be available to me if I start the next academic year studying online?

We will offer a support package which is tailored to the needs of students who are studying online.  Every student will be allocated and supported by a personal tutor  .

We will also provide additional support to help all students understand how you can get the best from the technology we will be using to support your studies.  Students who are not able to come to campus for the start of the academic year will receive extra support so that you are confident joining classes remotely. Throughout your course, our academic and wellbeing services will all be available online as well as on campus.

Our academic study skills programme supports students in developing study skills through a range of workshops, tutorials, drop-in sessions and peer-led activities. This programme is provided both online and face-to-face.

Our Student Support Centre and School Offices can also help with specific enquiries. They will be available online (as well as face-to-face when you arrive on campus).

Will I be able to access any additional learning support when I study online?

Much of the support which is available on campus will also available online. This will include our academic skills programme, which supports students in developing their study skills and extra support to help you understand how to get the best from the technology we will be using to support your studies. As well as face-to-face support, our library provides online Help with finding and using library resources, including through a virtual chat service, online workshops and bookable tutorial appointments.

For specific enquiries, you will also be able to contact our Student Support Centre and School Offices electronically (as well as face-to-face when you are on campus).

If you have been approved specialist one to one study skills support through Disabled Students Allowance (DSA), our Disability and Dyslexia Services team will be in contact with you at the start of term to arrange your support sessions with one of our Academic Advisers.  Alternatively, you can contact them directly to arrange this.  It is probably best to wait until you have your timetable, so that sessions can be planned to fit around your lectures and seminars.

If access to social and study space is limited, what opportunities will I have to access peer support to help me with any aspects of my studies I’m struggling with?

Some of your face-to-face classes will take place in small groups and will provide opportunities for peer to peer learning (e.g. through formalised group work). This will give you the chance to get to know and work with other students from your course.  You will also be able to access support through our peer guides, who will be contactable online as well as face-to-face.

I have dyslexia, how will I be able to use technology like MS Teams?

Microsoft Teams for Education is fully accessible to students. Our Disability & Dyslexia Team will be providing support and guidance on using the accessibility tools to meet your needs.

Careers

Will I still be able to get support to help me secure a job after graduation?

Yes.  You will be able to access all Careers resources, whether you are on or off campus.

Appointments with our Careers Consultants can take place via video/phone or MS Teams for Education and we can provide digital access to a full range of employer events. These events are also recorded so you will be able to refer to them whenever you want.

Our careers vacancies platform lists thousands of jobs – we actively source graduate and entry level roles. We manage vacancies received directly from employers and offer themed weeks for Careers during the year. The Careers Service also supports a range of placement opportunities during your studies and following graduation.

Will I be able to get help to secure a part-time job?

Yes, whilst the availability of part-time jobs is currently uncertain, we expect the situation to become clearer in the next few months.

Our Careers Service has very good connections with local employers and we continue to liaise with local employers to identify and promote opportunities.

The Careers Service also provides a range of alternative volunteering roles, which will provide valuable experience and skills development