Your learning and teaching
Page last updated: 18 November 2020
We've adopted a range of blended teaching and learning techniques, to make sure you meet your learning goals. We will support you with online and face-to-face teaching to ensure you receive the best interactive NTU experience.
Our teaching is gold standard, we know what works and we know some things need to stay the same. We have redesigned our learning, teaching and all our campus spaces. We have made our university facilities COVID secure and have put in place extra support for both you, our students, and our colleagues during these unusual times.
We want to provide you with an experience that is high quality, inclusive and supports your wellbeing. We are keen to hear how you are finding things once you have settled in and attended your first few blended learning sessions – we will be regularly seeking your feedback.
Helping you plan for the end of Term One
We've recently published details about how we’re planning for the end of term in order to support our students with any travel plans they may have ahead of the Winter Break. Our blended teaching for undergraduate and taught postgraduate students will move to entirely online delivery slightly ahead of the end of term.
The move to entirely online teaching will be on a phased basis between Friday 4 – Wednesday 9 December. Timetables are being re-planned and you will receive details for your course, and of any changes to assignments and assessments, from your School over the next few days. We are aiming to get this information to you by Monday 23 November.
Your learning and teaching in Term Two
As COVID-19 restrictions continue to impact, our plan is to continue to support you through blended learning in Term Two. We have regularly reviewed and adapted our online and campus-based teaching following student feedback gathered in Term One.
From Tuesday 15 December you will be able to access your timetable for Term Two via NOW, your online learning portal.
Our intent is for our campuses to remain open in Term Two on a similar basis to Term One, meaning you can come onto campus and use the facilities as frequently as you need.
Tighter national COVID-19 restrictions will come into effect from Thursday 5 November 2020 to help stop the spread of COVID-19.
This does not affect how you will learn, as all our campuses remain open and COVID-secure. We will still be providing a mix of on campus and online teaching and learning and you will still be able to access a range of other services on campus as well as online.
Our courses will still include active, collaborative and experiential learning. We know this helps our students to succeed and is why our on-campus sessions will focus on practical and small group work.
All NTU students who can be on campus should attend to ensure that they can meet the course learning outcomes.
We will continue to make the most of, and support you with, technology combined with face to face activities to ensure you receive the best interactive NTU experience.
Every course will still have work-like experience embedded within it to enhance your employment opportunities and our Employability team will support you in every aspect of how to boost your prospects.
Our blended approach for Term One 2020/21 is the product of our commitment to the safety of our students and staff and will mean there are some changes. The increase in online teaching is just that – lecturers will be doing as much teaching as usual, but now in online classrooms as well as physical ones.
Live webinars, demonstrations and individual / group study can now take place online. This allows us to minimise the number of people moving around our campuses at any one time to keep you, our colleagues and our community safe while still providing you with enriching learning opportunities.
Additional on-campus study spaces
As well as being able to book a study space via the Library, we've created a number of COVID-secure areas on the City and Clifton Campuses for students to use as a quiet place for independent study or to participate in online learning. You do not need to book, but you will need to wear a face covering, respect social distancing, adhere to the capacity limit and help us by keeping the space clean and tidy for others to use.
|City Campus||Clifton Campus|
|Chaucer building 1709||Teaching and Learning building P03|
|Chaucer building 1701||Teaching and Learning building P12|
|Newton building N24A||Mary Ann Evans building 007|
|Newton building N24B||Mary Ann Evans building 008|
|Newton building N25A||Mary Ann Evans building 009|
|Newton building N25B||Erasmus Darwin building 196|
|Newton building N28A||Erasmus Darwin building 198|
|Newton building N28B|
Sharon Huttly, Deputy Vice-Chancellor – Academic Development and Performance, said:
“Like every other aspect of our lives, teaching has had to adapt accordingly to COVID-19 restrictions. We have explored how best to offer you a high quality and enriching experience within the parameters we are allowed to work within.
“It may take time for us all to get accustomed to these different circumstances. You may feel that some things are missing, you may really enjoy the new elements we have introduced.
“Importantly, we will be seeking your feedback on your learning and wider experience on a regular basis to help us develop our new approach of blended learning.
“It’s a big challenge for all of us, and there will be ups and downs along the way, but we hope you will enjoy studying with us at NTU and recognise that we will do our best to support you through this important part of your educational journey.”
Guidance for learning online
Please visit our 2020 entry course pages for further details on how your course may have been adapted. If any significant changes were made to your course, you will have received an update by email. There will be a full explanation of how things are working at the start of term. If you still have a specific question about your course, please get in touch with your subject administration team.
If you have not had much experience learning online, then we recommend that you take the Online Learning at NTU tutorial. This will help you develop strategies for success, as well as showing you how to use the main online learning software.
Select your online induction tutorial:
Most of your online learning will be in NOW and Teams. NOW can be accessed via a browser – the best one to use is Chrome. The best way to use Teams is via the app on a laptop or PC. If you use a mobile device or the browser version some of the features of Teams may not work for you. The best way for you to access your live Teams classes is via the Teams calendar. Each session will go live in Teams the day before it takes place giving our academic colleagues time to ensure the session is timely and appropriate.
Staying safe online
Now that more teaching is taking place online, there are some precautionary measures you should take to keep yourself safe and protect yourself from online scammers. For more information, take a look at our Staying safe online page.
We have not adopted teaching ‘bubbles’ in the same way some schools have. At NTU we have too much variation across our courses, modules and your accommodation to make this work. Where we can, we have kept groups consistent but that isn’t possible in all cases. This helps us to reduce the amount of movement between classrooms to minimise contact wherever possible.
Please remember also that as we’re in an educational setting our groups can be larger than six people. Our teaching spaces are COVID-secure, provided social distancing is in place. However, your tutor may sometimes ask you to wear a face covering in a teaching environment. Please take time to look at our guidance on wearing face coverings on campus.
Term dates and timetables
We have published our term dates and all term one timetables. You will receive more information about your course via email over the coming weeks, so please keep checking your NTU email account.
Term Two timetables will be made available for all students on Tuesday 15 December 2020. You'll be able to log in to NOW to check the Learning Room for each of your current modules.
Advice and support for learning online is available on your MyNTU dashboard. Only scheduled activities at specific times are shown, there will more activities each week.
We have done our best to make sure the timetables are accurate but personalising these requires manual processes which mean there may be rare occasions where we have not got it right. If you find an inaccuracy in your timetable, such as a clash between sessions, please contact the Timetabling Team at email@example.com and we will help to resolve that for you.
Please read our Frequently Asked Questions if you have a query about your timetable.
Unfortunately, we can’t make changes to timetables for individual reasons, for example to try to keep students in classes with the same people they live with. That is because we have had to reduce the sizes of classes to remain COVID-secure, resulting in a larger number of classes and much more complex timetabling.
Our staff are here to support you on your learning journey. Our library services are working to make sure digital texts are available and that they can support your study virtually until it is possible to do otherwise. Our award-winning Student Support Services team has also increased its online offer to students, to support your health and wellbeing.
Your IT requirements
So that you can fully engage with teaching and other online opportunities with NTU, we recommend you have a personal laptop, or tablet, and internet access – you will be able to use the free access NTU WiFi while you are on campus, plus we have range of IT spaces available for you to use.
We do have a laptop loan scheme, designed specifically to support students who are unable to access a laptop, limiting them from fully engaging with their studies. If you are unable to access a laptop for your studies, please speak with your tutor who will be able to support you in the process of registering you onto the laptop loans scheme.
Unless it is necessary for students to be assessed on campus, our assessments will be conducted online.
How is NTU different?
You can still expect the same high-quality student experience and award-winning teaching. We have:
- Redesigned classrooms, laboratories and specialist facilities to support active collaborative learning in a safer environment.
- Timetabled courses in line with social distancing guidelines, so there will be fewer students in rooms than usual and, where possible, allowing students to remain in consistent groups.
- Installed additional signage to mark which direction people should walk in.
- Installed hand sanitiser stations in every building.
- Replaced standard taps with sensor control taps.
- Arranged enhanced regular cleaning of commonly used areas in buildings.
- Installed screens to facilitate face to face meetings where it is not possible to adhere to social distancing guidance but deemed necessary to reduce the risk of cross contamination.
- Made innovative use of the University’s campus to provide the most positive student experience.
What happens if I can’t be there at the start of Term One?
Whilst all courses will be taught through a mixture of face to face and online teaching, we recognise that due to restrictions on international travel, self-isolation and shielding issues due to COVID-19, there may be some students unable to attend campus.
Our course teams are building new module content and the learning rooms on NOW will be laid out as if you are attending an online only course. This means that any student who is unable to attend campus will have access to some teaching online and other study resources. You'll also be able to enrol online and join virtual induction and welcome events. We will support you if you are not able to attend campus sessions, although it will not be possible to provide you with the full teaching experience through study online only and we would encourage you to attend as soon as you are able to. If you think that you won’t be able to attend for more than the first few weeks you need to contact your School. Engagement with your course is essential if you are well enough to study. NTU has a student attendance policy so please ensure you have told us if you are unable to attend your teaching.
If you are a UK student living in a region with a local lockdown, then please follow Government guidelines about travelling from your area.
If you are an international students and are unable to be on campus for the start of term please visit our dedicated international students page, which provides details about travel, self-isolation, visas and who you should contact if you need to notify us of your delayed arrival.
If you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms then you can update us via the NTU Coronavirus tracker form. If you are self-isolating but well enough to study, complete the NTU Coronavirus tracker form so we know you will be attending your online sessions only. Please contact your course leader if you are absent for longer than two weeks so we can talk to you about any additional support you may need.
Can I complete this year entirely online?
Engagement with your course, both on-campus and online, is essential if you are well enough to study. If you think that you won’t be able to return to campus for more than the first few weeks of term please contact your school.
NTU has a student attendance policy so please ensure you have told us throughout the term if you are unable to attend your teaching. Our courses have been designed for blended learning and not for studying everything online. Our insight shows us that good attendance and engagement with studies help with your academic progression and attainment. We know these are unusual times and that means there are constraints on what we can provide on campus. At the same time, feedback from students and anxieties about studying online have meant universities, including NTU, are striving to provide a blended offer as far as possible rather than fully online. We have designed your courses to make the most out of both our on campus and online teaching and we hope you will be able to fully engage with all of it.
If you are unwell with COVID-19 symptoms then you can update us via the NTU Coronavirus tracker form. If you are self-isolating but well enough to study, complete the NTU Coronavirus tracker form so we know you will be attending your online sessions only.
Please contact your course leader if you are absent for longer than two weeks so we can talk to you about any additional support you may need.
If teaching and other activities are blended, not all on campus, why aren’t my tuition fees reduced?
The ‘tuition fee’ covers a wide range of activities and services which are designed to support your learning. It includes the teaching sessions and access to learning facilities, but also a range of other supporting services for students.
To understand how we spend your tuition fees please see an example breakdown. In 2020/21 we expect around 80% of the income we make from tuition fees to be spent on student facing services and activities.
Things will be different in 2020/21 due to Covid-19. We have invested to adapt our teaching spaces to ensure they are COVID-secure, to develop more online learning and to provide an extensive range of student activities and services. We have worked hard to ensure you will receive a rich student experience and meet the learning objectives set for your course. This is why tuition fees for 2020/21 are unchanged.
It will take time to adapt to blended learning and to life more generally in these very different times and we have developed plenty of support to assist you. We will be seeking your feedback along the way. We hope that you will enjoy our blended offer and discuss with your tutors or the relevant student services personnel if you encounter difficulties. However, if your experience is not satisfactory and you are unable to resolve this informally, then you may choose to submit a formal complaint through NTU’s student complaints procedure.
More information is provided via the link above, or you can speak to the Students' Union advice team who will be able to provide additional information as well as advise you on your case. A complaint will need to address specific areas that you feel are deficient.
The University’s complaints process is subject to external oversight by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) and, in the event you are not satisfied with the outcome of your complaint, you will have the opportunity to have this considered by the OIA.
If you have a specific question about your course, such as how the modules work together, the assessments or any changes to route then please contact your school administration team.
The best place for details about your course is the NOW learning room, where you can learn more about your course, its structure, assessment and learning opportunities.
The School of Art & Design have been the first ones back on campus with students accessing the workshop and studio facilities over the summer. We caught up with Wallace Murdoch, Head of Academic Projects in the School to find out how they've been adapting.
Supporting success for all
We've introduced an Equality Impact Panel to ensure that, now more than ever, we continue to find and deliver ways to reduce the attainment gap and support the success of all our students.
Hear from NTU representatives as they explain how NTU is tackling inequality across unrepresented groups, and what it means to them in areas such as inductions, online learning, teaching on campus, and extracurricular activities.
Term One assessments
Course teams are determining the best way to assess students and more detail will be published when available. The dates and calendars for assessments are expected to stay as published.
Students who took exams this summer and wish to recap on the assessment and reassessment process, which includes details on our no detriment policy and the safety-net score calculator please visit the following pages:
- NTU's approach to assignments and assessments
- Assessments at NTU this summer
- End of year exams and assessments frequently asked questions.
Study abroad and exchange arrangement information
NTU remains committed to enabling students to complete their planned overseas study or exchange programme while also making sure you are aware of the measures that need to be taken to ensure your safety while travelling outside the UK.
Students will not be authorised to travel until the relevant risk assessment forms are completed and signed.
The Foreign Commonwealth Office (FCO) published a list of countries that are exempt from self-isolation restrictions. This means that residents of the UK can travel to and from these countries without having to self-isolate in either country.
Our policy at NTU is to support you in whatever decision you take and is conditional with complying with the guidelines.
My host country is currently on the FCO list of exempt countries
NTU will continue to facilitate your study abroad and exchange arrangements where your host university is open, and you want to continue with this option. You must still complete the risk assessment forms sent to you by email from your School or you can email the NTU Global team to request a copy of the forms.
My host country has been removed from the FCO list of exempt countries shortly before my departure
If FCO advice should change prior to your departure and your host country is removed from the list of exempt countries then we will work with you to complete updated risk assessment forms for your trip that meet the conditions of the insurance provider.
My host country is not on the FCO list of exempt countries
If your host country is not currently on the FCO list of exempt countries, we will work with you on a case-by-case basis to risk assess your trip and determine whether or not we can authorise your travel.
My host country has been removed from the FCO list of exempt countries after my departure
If your host country is removed from the FCO list of exempt countries after your departure, we will contact you to ensure you are aware of the latest FCO advice and to discuss your options for continuing your programme or returning to the UK. While you are in your host country you should stay in regular contact with your host university and closely follow any local advice about safety measures and restrictions.
Travel restrictions for your host country
Prior to departure, we also urge you to regularly check the advice from the FCO for your host country to keep up to date with their travel restrictions for visitors entering the country. Please note that some countries may require you to quarantine upon arrival. You will need to contact your host university or accommodation provider prior to your departure to arrange this.
NTU travel insurance
NTU’s travel insurance provider is U. M. Association Ltd (UMAL). We urge you to review this information carefully and let us know if you have any questions. Please note a clause added by UMAL this year, under the section titled ‘Disruption’, stating there is no travel cover for any disruptions to your programme arising out of Covid-19 for journeys booked after 18 March 2020. Please check with the airline or other travel provider on their policy and fees for making changes to your return ticket in the event of a Covid-19 related disruption to your programme.
UMAL insurance provides emergency medical cover only. If standard health or medical insurance is required during your study abroad or exchange programme, as is often the case for any non-Erasmus exchanges (particularly in North America), then this will need to be purchased separately.
Risk assessment forms
The guidance we have received from UMAL says that ‘as long as you are travelling on a University approved activity that has been suitably risk assessed and authorised, taking into account the current government advice against all non-essential travel, then travel cover will apply in the normal way.’ As a result, we have updated our standard risk assessment form and created a supplementary form to highlight the risks around Covid-19. Given that sudden changes can be made to a country’s status on the FCO list, all students must complete both forms and submit them for authorisation to your School Exchange Coordinator as soon as possible. As noted above, we will not authorise your travel until we have received, reviewed and signed your completed risk assessment forms. These forms will be sent to you by email so please check your email regularly.
Your School Exchange Coordinator will continue to be your key contact at NTU, but NTU Global is here to support you through the risk assessment process so please do not hesitate to contact us if you have any questions.
If you are unsure as to whether you still want to proceed with your study abroad or exchange, please speak to your School Exchange Coordinator about your options as soon as possible and they will provide the deadline for withdrawing.
Your health and wellbeing is our priority so we will follow all UK government and travel insurer advice closely as we continue to monitor the ongoing coronavirus situation.
CERT Student Mentors
Each first year undergraduate student is assigned a Student Mentor, they play an important role in helping new students settle in to life at NTU. Known as CERT (Collaborative Engagement and Retention Team) Student Mentors, they are second year, final year, or postgraduate students who studied the same course as you. You'll find out more about meeting your CERT Student Mentor as part of your induction.
Interested in becoming a CERT Student Mentor?
If you’re interested in becoming a CERT Student Mentor, keep an eye on Futurehub, where vacancies will be listed as they become available. If you’d like to be notified when the positions are open, please email CERT@ntu.ac.uk.
To learn more about the support available to all NTU students please visit our StudentHub.
If you’ve got a question or concern about your first term on campus please email firstname.lastname@example.org. Alternatively, please call +44 (0)115 848 6060 and select option 1. This line is open Monday to Friday 8.30 am – 5 pm and 10 am – 4 pm at weekends.
Help keep yourself, your friends and your local community safe by following Government guidelines on self-isolating, social distancing, hand washing, wearing face coverings (in shops, public transport and on campus) and limiting the number of people you have contact with at any one time.