Frequently Asked Questions
Advice and support for current students
Students in University residences
- Scottish Government guidance on visits home [Sunday 27 September]
- Universities Scotland: Preventing spread of coronavirus in universities [Friday 25 September]
We know that the restrictions we have all been living under over the last six months are very difficult, and to add more, even temporarily, is not what anyone wants to do. We know how tough things are for everyone, but particularly our students, at the moment. But given the outbreaks we are seeing in student populations across the country, we consider that these temporary additional measures are essential for everyone’s safety.
Students are not to blame for the current situation – and these new measures are not an attempt to claim that they are. The measures simply recognise that, at the moment, student populations are more likely to have been exposed to the virus, and we all owe it to each other to take every step we can to ensure it does not spread further, either within our university community or into the wider community.
I am currently in a halls of residence, can I return home?
On 27 September the Scottish Government published new guidance on arrangements for students in residences wishing to return home [Scottish Government guidance on visits home]. We have summarised the key points.
Returning home or a visit or short stay
Once you move into halls, you have formed a new household. The current guidance allows no mixing between different households indoors, which prevents travel home for short visits.
However, exceptions to this rule apply where there is shown to be a reasonable excuse. A reasonable excuse may include a family emergency or for health and wellbeing reasons.
The Scottish Government have also said they want students to be able to safely return home at Christmas and will update the guidance in due course.
Returning home whilst self-isolating
As no mixing of households is permitted at the moment, this should only be done if you need the support and care of a friend or family member. If you do need to return home, you should follow the guidance on self-isolating to make sure it’s done as safely as possible. Public transport should not be used in these circumstances.
Reasons for returning home whilst self-isolating can include physical, financial or mental health support. The household that you are returning would have to self-isolate on your arrival.
If this situation applies to you, please contact the University’s Accommodation Services to let them know you are leaving and so necessary arrangements can be put in place. If you are returning to your student accommodation, please also let Accommodation Services know in advance.
Returning home on a permanent basis
You are allowed to permanently relocate your residence at any point. If you choose to do so, the guidance on self-isolation will apply.
If you plan to leave on a permanent basis, you will need to contact Accommodation Services in advance to let them know. Once you have left you will not be permitted to return to University accommodation in this academic year.
I am currently in halls of residence but in a household that does not require to self-isolate. What do these rules mean for me?
As is the case for everyone in Scotland, you should not visit any other household or have anyone visit your household. Over the coming weekend, we are asking that you go a step further and do not socialise outwith your immediate household, and do not attend hospitality venues like bars.
Why are students being held to a different standard than the rest of the population?
Whenever there have been outbreaks in a specific portion of the population, measures specific to that population have been introduced. This has happened geographically and, for example, where specific groups of people have suffered an outbreak. Targeting measures makes sense. In our case, unfortunately, we are dealing with large outbreaks of Covid-19 in student residences across Scotland, and it is considered that additional targeted measures have to be put in place to prevent the spread of the virus further amongst our students, and into the wider community. As a University, our primary responsibility is to keep our students safe, and we believe these additional measures will allow us to do so. These measures are planned to be temporary and should no longer need to be in place as soon as the ongoing outbreaks in residences are under control. This is not about blaming students for the situation, it is about ensuring that you are kept safe.
I live off-campus/in private accommodation. Do these measures apply to me?
The measures have been brought into place primarily in response to the large outbreaks in student residences, under the assumption that those living in student residences are more likely to have come into contact with the virus. If you do not live in university-run residences or privately provided student residences but have socialised in residences, with people who live in residences or come into close contact with them in some way, then this advice also extends to you. If you fall into these categories, we would urge that you follow these guidelines. However, given that we are employing a blended learning model and are at an early stage in the term, many of you who live in private accommodation or with family will have had no reason to come to campus in-person yet and may not have socialised with any of your peers who live in student residences. If this is the case, it is highly unlikely that you will be more at risk than the rest of the population.
What can I do if I've changed my mind about being resident in Glasgow?
If your plans have changed or on reflection you would now prefer to study from home rather than being in Glasgow because of the impact COVID has had on your timetable or residential arrangements, you can terminate your contract with 28 days notice in writing to the Accommodation team. If you live in a privately-rented property or in a residence run by a private accommodation provider, then talk to them about how your options for terminating your contract.
Could I face disciplinary action for breaching the rules within student residences?
The overwhelming majority of students in our residences are obeying the rules around socialising, but in order to ensure everyone’s safety, we need everyone to play their part. If anyone is found to be putting the safety of others at risk in our residences, then we will take a ‘Yellow Card/Red Card’ approach and will not hesitate to escalate this to serious disciplinary action. The safety of everyone in our residences is our highest priority.
General advice and guidance
What changes can I expect to my University experience?
The University has had to respond to the Covid 19 pandemic in a number of ways. This includes the way that we provide teaching and assessment, and the way we provide services and facilities to students on-campus. Our top priorities always have been and will remain the health and wellbeing of the University community and providing high-quality learning experiences and support to our students. The following section sets out the key changes you might expect, but in some cases (for example, for particular academic programmes) there may be other changes. You should look out for further communications from your School and/or Programme contacts for details.
We believe wholeheartedly that whilst the University experience in 2020/21 will be different, it will be full and engaging, as previous sessions have been. Of course, for those who live in Glasgow or are able to travel, the rest of the city of Glasgow and all it has to offer is still available to you. There is more information available on our webpages about safety measures introduced on our campus.
Learning and Teaching
The main change to learning and teaching is that the majority of learning experiences across the University will be provided online in Semester 1, rather than through face-to-face teaching. As long as the 2-metre physical distancing rules required by the Scottish Government are in place, we are required to deliver large group teaching remotely, because we cannot bring large groups of students together in a teaching space.
This means that we will provide pre-recorded or live lectures, tutorial and seminar sessions and other learning materials through our virtual learning environment (VLE). These teaching experiences will be enhanced by learning activities and guided reading, as would normally be the case. These may involve guest speaker input, simulation activities, peer support and other interactive experiences.
Where we can do so safely, we will facilitate small-group activities and events to support your learning. In addition, for programmes where practical and/or skills-based learning and teaching is a requirement, we will free up space on campus for access to laboratories and other practical sessions wherever possible.
Since the introduction of restrictions as a result of the pandemic the University has moved the vast majority of assessment to an online format – electronically submitted coursework, open book exams and timed exams. These have proved to be successful and we anticipate that for the foreseeable future (as a result of the pandemic) this is likely to remain the format for the vast majority of assessments. However, for certain programmes where skills or competence have to be assessed through practical assessments or projects, Schools and/or Programme leaders are working on plans for how these will be delivered with the relevant safeguards in place.
Campus facilities and services
Our campus is open and many services and facilities are operating, with appropriate safeguards in place -for example, through the use of physical distancing, face coverings, and enhanced cleaning regimes. Access to library and study space on campus will be provided throughout your period of study, subject to appropriate safeguards, so that our students and staff are always safe. Given that most learning and teaching will be delivered online in semester 1 we expect to provide a mixture of in-person access to services and support, and support delivered through online means. This will ensure that students based on campus, and those at a distance, are appropriately catered for.
Within campus buildings, face coverings should be worn by colleagues and students who are able to do so, except when they are sitting down and able to maintain a 2m distance from others. The requirements in research facilities will be determined by bespoke risk assessments which will be reviewed by the Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing. In teaching, study and meetings spaces there is no requirement to wear face coverings once seated. However, students and members of staff may choose to wear cloth or paper face coverings. We will also make visors available for those who wish to use them. We ask that everyone is respectful of those who, for whatever reason, are unable to wear face coverings and that everyone adheres to our dignity at work and study policies.
Wider learning experiences, social and cultural activities on campus
Because we are delivering the bulk of teaching online, we expect to free up some spaces on campus for alternative uses. We plan to offer a range of events and experiences using these spaces. For example, TED-style talks, events exploring some of the cutting-edge research taking place at the University and other opportunities for students to get to know staff members and fellow students. Our student organisations (Students' Representative Council (SRC), Glasgow University Union (GUU), Queen Margaret Union (GUU) and Glasgow University Sports Association (GUSA)) are also planning a range of events and activities to ensure you have a fulfilling and rewarding experience at the University.
If you have concerns about any aspect of your University experience you can use the UofG Helpdesk to find out more information or seek support. Your School will also have been in touch and, if your question relates to your particular programme of study, then contacts in your School will be best placed to advise you.
What should I do if I cannot get to the University for the start of my programme?
If you believe you will be unable to travel to your campus in Glasgow or Dumfries in time for the start of the academic year, as a result of visa/travel restrictions or medical concerns, you can register, enrol and commence study remotely, but you should transition to Glasgow or Dumfries as soon as you can.
Please refer to the Access to Registration information for when you will receive your 'Access Your Student Account' email.
Your Programme, School or College will be in touch directly with more detailed information about online access to your courses so you can begin your studies on time remotely.
What happens if I am shielding or have other health-related reasons that mean I cannot come on campus?
If you are shielding or have other health-related personal circumstances that mean that you cannot come to campus and study safely, even with all the health measures in place, then we will look at your case individually to see what is possible.
Depending on what you are studying, we may be able to support you studying fully at a distance, however, we will not be able to replicate every aspect of the on-campus learning experience.
For some programmes, it may not be possible to complete your studies without being on campus because there may be requirements to demonstrate particular skills (e.g. clinical or laboratory assessments).
Will graduations be going ahead?
It is with a very heavy heart that I have to announce that we will not be holding our winter graduation ceremonies which are due to begin on the 30th of November. This decision has been taken with a great deal of regret and after careful consideration of the Scottish Government Coronavirus restrictions. We felt it important to provide certainty at an early stage to ensure that our students and their friends and families didn’t make plans that would have to be cancelled later.
The degrees which students have worked so hard to earn will be sent out by post by the 18th of December. We are planning online celebrations during the week of graduations and we will invite you to attend a future ceremony on campus. These future ceremonies, which we hope to hold in 2021, will have the same form as our standard graduation ceremonies and will allow you to celebrate with your families and friends.
Students will be required to enrol to graduate as normal so that we can ensure that the University gathers all the relevant information to allow the parchment to be sent out. You will receive further information about enrolling for graduation in due course.
All of the staff who look forward to sharing the special time that is graduation are extremely sorry, but we realise that this is only a fraction of the disappointment that students will be feeling.
My sincere apologies at having to make, and communicate, this very difficult decision. My very best wishes to all students as they complete their studies and to the whole of our University of Glasgow community.
Students at our partner institutions in China and Singapore will be informed separately about arrangements for them, as soon as these are confirmed.
Is the Library open?
The Library is open, albeit with restrictions in place. Please see the Library webpages for more information.
Advice for PGRs
The document Approach to supporting PGR [PDF] describes the University's approach to mitigating the impact of COVID-19 on postgraduate research students.
The approach sets out to support students in their funded period, at any stage of their studies, regardless of funding source, as well as those who are self-funded and who are within the minimum period of their degree.
Students will be supported based on the impact that the pandemic has had on their project or on their ability to progress their project.
The document also describes the support made available by UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to UKRU-funded doctoral students in their final year who have been impacted by COVID-19.
Please note there is more information in the 'Advice for researchers' section.
I’m a PGR student, can I still meet my supervisor?
Current guidance suggests that you should arrange to meet virtually with your supervisor or other colleagues. Many staff are currently working remotely, and the University provides tools to support remote working and communications.
There may be reasons why you need to be on campus (e.g. lab work) but please consult your supervisor or PI for current guidance or rotas for attendance to ensure colleagues are working safely.
I am a PGR student with field work to do, can I still do this?
You should talk to your supervisor about this and decide what is appropriate for your project. There are so many different types of field work that an individual response is needed. You should follow the travel guidance within these FAQs below and consider the social aspects of any field work when you decide upon the best course of action. If there are funding conditions that are concerning you, then speak to your supervisor who in turn can seek advice from the University as it relates to any funding or degree requirements.
I am an International PGR student, can I do my research remotely?
You should speak to your supervisor about your particular circumstances. If you can do your project with remote supervision and are able to continue working, there is no reason why you should not. If you choose to leave the UK, the University will maintain sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa, providing you continue to engage in your studies whilst you are away. This means your visa will remain valid and you will be able to use it to return to Glasgow at a later date.
I am a PGR student and want to work from home, can I do this?
You should discuss the details with your supervisor but there are likely to be many aspects of your research that can be done remotely. The University provides tools like Office 365, which should allow you to connect to the University and other colleagues and collaborators: see, Glasgow Anywhere. It is, however, important for your work and for your personal wellbeing that you keep in touch with your supervisor and other colleagues.
My PG research is lab-based so if I cannot come into the University, my work will be delayed or otherwise negatively impacted. What should I do?
Please speak to your supervisor or PI about your specific circumstances; students’ circumstances will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis. This is an opportunity to focus on writing, reflection and other tasks that can be undertaken outside the lab as appropriate to your work.
You may feel that your work has been negatively impacted and this will be assessed, and any appropriate mitigation put in to place, once we have moved past this uncertain period.
The University and your College, School and/or Institute understand that aspects of your work will be delayed, or will perhaps need to be rethought or reorganised, but you will be supported to do so that you are able to satisfactorily complete your work.
I am a PGR student, what if I need to take time off for sickness?
Please follow the University policy for sickness absence you should record your absence on MyCampus and remain in contact with your supervisor as much as you can. The policy states that you can take up to 13 weeks absence in a 12-month period without suspending your studies for medical reasons. A suspension would be required for longer periods. Medical certification will be requested on a case-by-case basis. How this affects your existing funding will vary by funder and you should seek advice from your Graduate School if this is concerning you.
What if my PhD supervisor is off due to illness and is either out of contact or unable to support me for a period of time?
Your secondary supervisor should become your main point of contact if your primary supervisor is unavailable.
The Postgraduate Convenor(s) in your School or Institute are an additional point of contact if you are struggling because you are unable to communicate with your supervisor(s).
Your Graduate School also exists to support you so please do reach out.
What if I have already made travel arrangements for a trip that is now cancelled, is this covered by travel insurance?
Information about making a claim can be found at: How to Make a Travel Insurance Claim.
If you are a PGR student and not able to get a refund through travel insurance, please make expense claims as normal as we would not expect students to bear the burden of costs themselves where this would otherwise be paid for by a funder or other source of support.
Would it not be easier to just take a leave of absence from my PhD studies?
We would not encourage this unless circumstances warranted it. PGRs generally have several tasks, e.g. reading and writing, that can be completed off-campus where necessary. Unless you are affected by physical or mental ill-health, we would expect you to keep working. The University remains open even if many staff and students are working off-site.
We are due to have annual PhD progress review (APR) meetings shortly, will these be cancelled? What will happen instead?
Guidance will continue to be released by Graduate Schools about this as the situation is assessed and arrangements are agreed. You should expect that APRs will take place, and that the details of local arrangements will be confirmed with you in due course. You will be informed in plenty of time for you to prepare.
I am due to have my PhD Viva shortly, will this be cancelled? Can I participate remotely?
You should contact your Graduate School to confirm the arrangements. In some cases, it may be possible for an external examiner to participate remotely. In some cases, your Viva may be postponed. We appreciate that a postponement may cause issues with offers of employment, visas, or other arrangements or that you may have expected to travel back to Glasgow for your viva and are now not able to.
Please discuss any issues with your Graduate School as soon as possible to ensure that any changes to current arrangements can be agreed.
I’m a PGR student and have a Tier 4 visa, can I return home?
For international students who intend to go home, we would ask that you check the quarantining arrangements of your home country, to minimise the risk of transmission. You should also check your travel insurance.
If you do go home, the University will maintain sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa, providing you continue to engage in your studies whilst you are away. This means your visa will remain valid and you will be able to use it to return to Glasgow at a later date.
If you return home, unless your specific circumstances dictate otherwise, you should treat this as working remotely and discuss any issues or required support with your supervisor.
I’m a PGR student and have a Tier 4 visa, what if I need to take time off for illness?
You may take sick leave as any other student. If you require a leave of absence due to illness, you must adhere to the terms of your visa and may not suspend your studies for longer than 60 days while remaining in the UK. It is important that you remain in touch with your supervisor during this time.
If your circumstances require a longer suspension, please contact International Student Support for additional information.
What should I do if I need proof or documentation from the University related to my circumstances and/or ability to complete my PhD work in a timely fashion?
Any supporting letter or other documentation required to support you in requests to funders, government bodies, etc. will be provided to you in due course to sort out any issues related to research, travel, funding or other issues related to your study. Staff will deal with these requests as swiftly as possible, but please bear in mind that there may be many students making such requests.
I am already away from the University on PhD-related fieldwork or a research trip, should I return to the UK? What if I need support?
Foreign & Commonwealth Office has issued 2 exceptional global travel advisory notices for British people.
- Return to the UK now if you’re travelling abroad and
- Do not travel abroad unless it’s essential
Foreign & Commonwealth Office: Guidance for British people travelling overseas during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Traveline Scotland: Returning to Scotland from abroad +44(0)141 465 1878
Keeping in mind limitations on chartered flights available, and the fact that the advice relates to British nationals returning to the UK, you may or may not be able to return home whether that is to the UK or elsewhere.
If you booked travel through our travel provider, Selective, they will have been in touch to find out if you wish to return home and you must respond immediately if you do. Your travel insurance will support you in this, where possible, and ‘travel assistance’ may be available under the University’s insurance provision. If you made your own travel arrangements and/ or did not take the University’s travel insurance and are experiencing difficulties, please contact the Gatehouse on +44 141 330 4282.
You may be in an area in which there is little disruption or you may prefer not to travel at this time. If you are safe and well where you are, and you wish to remain, you may choose to do this. Your decision should be supported by an update of your risk assessment in discussion and agreement with your supervisor/ manager and this should be forwarded to Selina.Woolcott@glasgow.ac.uk (the Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing). Please keep an eye on relevant advice which continues to change and stay in touch with your supervisor/ line manager. Also, do make sure that you can extend your accommodation, visa and health insurance, should the need arise, and that you can afford to stay on!
If you are a student, you should also keep in touch with the Study Abroad & Exchanges team (email@example.com) and let them know your plans so that we can continue to support you appropriately
How do any delays to my PhD research affect my funding?
This will vary by funder and their particular terms and conditions. Funders are still working on additional guidance so please keep in mind that this is an evolving situation. Working within any guidelines provided, the University will take a similar pragmatic and sensitive approach to communicating with funders on behalf of students and working to ensure that any negative consequences are minimised.
What should I do if I’m signed up to do a training course for PGRs run by the University?
In most cases you should be contacted directly about what arrangements are in place. Where at all possible, courses are being converted to webinars or otherwise put online. This won’t be suitable for all kinds of training so please keep an eye on your emails for communications.
Training is organised by different entities within the University, so you are advised to contact your Graduate School or relevant Service (e.g. IT Services, Library, Research and Innovation, etc.) if in doubt.
I’m a PGR due to submit my softbound thesis, how can I do this if staff are working at home?
Submission of a softbound thesis is no longer required. All theses must be submitted online using the University’s file transfer system. The address for submission via this system should be your Graduate School’s main email address unless advised otherwise by your Graduate School.
I’m a PGR due to submit my final hardbound thesis, how can I do this if staff are working at home?
It is sufficient for the time being to provide your final thesis electronically to the Library, rather than providing a hard-bound copy.
Create your record on Enlighten: Theses and use the University’s file transfer system to provide files to firstname.lastname@example.org. Completed thesis access declaration forms can be sent by file transfer too. Electronic versions of theses under embargo/copyright restriction will not be uploaded to your record but will be securely archived in the usual way.
You may provide a hardbound copy of the thesis at a later date, but the award will no longer be contingent on provision of a physical copy - electronic receipt of the final version of the thesis will be considered sufficient for award of the degree. You will receive instructions regarding this when it has been confirmed by the examiners that any corrections have been addressed.
I’m a GTA and I depend on payment for this work, will I still be paid?
GTAs and demonstrators who would have expected to be delivering teaching but whose classes do not take place will still be paid for these sessions.
What if my progress and/or data collection is delayed by having to work at home?
You should continue to do what you can, discuss your challenges with your supervisor and document your challenges. We are working with funders and with other institutions to identify the best way to support researchers whose work has been adversely affected by the disruption; any request for support will be made easier by good record keeping and your ability to be specific in that request. We will continue to review our policies and ensure that in the aftermath of this crisis students are able to complete in as timely a fashion as possible.
I am a parent or have caring responsibilities. What if I am unable to do sufficient work to continue to make progress on my research?
The short answer is that this is individual to your circumstances and there is no guidance or support that would suit everyone. Fundamentally, if you can keep working, you should - even at a reduced rate. Please discuss any issues with your supervisor; they should be able to help you work out a plan or assess the feasibility of your approach.
We are working with funders and with other institutions to identify the best way to support researchers whose work has been adversely affected by the disruption; any request for support will be made easier by good record keeping and your ability to be specific in that request. We will continue to review our policies and ensure that in the aftermath of this crisis students are able to complete in as timely a fashion as possible.
What if I am unable to undertake required training courses in time for my Annual Progress Review?
You will not be prevented from progressing if current circumstances prevent you completing a required training course. This applies to courses such as ‘research integrity’ which are required but not required before specific activity is undertaken.
What is the University doing with its catering outlets?
Catering outlets having been impacted by Covid related restrictions, please refer to our Catering & Events pages for further information.
What is the University doing to minimise the risk of infection?
We are taking steps to ensure that we reduce the risk of infection for both students and staff. As we have explained, we will be conducting the majority of learning, teaching and assessment online initially. In accordance with current public health advice, bringing large numbers of students together in teaching spaces is not possible to do safely at this time. However, many areas of the campus are open, and services are available to students. Where this is the case, we will be taking the following steps:
- All members of the University community will need to observe guidance around hygiene and in relation to interactions with others
- An enhanced cleaning regime will apply in all spaces used by students and staff
- We will operate one-way systems in corridors of buildings, where these can be safely implemented
- There will be specific guidance for those living in student residences regarding access to kitchens and any shared household facilities
- The numbers allowed in any building or room will be limited to avoid congestion
- We will issue all staff and students with face coverings and encourage their use in certain environments
- Anyone who is showing symptoms will be asked to undertake a test and may have to self-isolate; we will aim to identify those who have been in contact with them and ask them to take a test
- Some facilities (for example the night clubs in the student unions and some sports facilities) will remain closed for the time being
- Again, to reduce congestion on campus, many staff will work mostly from home
- Special rules will apply in confined spaces such as cafes and toilets, again to make physical distance as easy as possible and to ensure the highest standards of hygiene.
Dignity and Respect
There is the unfortunate possibility that current events may cause an increase in incidents of racial harassment, aggression or abuse which some students and staff might face either on or off campus. This is never acceptable. If you face any negative or abusive comments or behaviour from anyone, you should tell someone and seek support from the SRC Advice Centre, your personal tutor or supervisor, or from the Human Resources team. Any conversations will be handled with due care and confidentiality, and our staff will work with you to find the appropriate means of safety and redress.
Students who experience a crisis outside regular working hours can contact the University for support through the University Security 24/7 contact number 0141 330 4444, or report an incident online.
I have a field trip planned, what is the University’s position on field trips?
It is expected that some field trips may be able to take place as Covid restrictions are eased. If this is possible, Schools will arrange this in conjunction with any students involved. Schools are also being asked to consider alternative provision for assessed work related to field trips in case further travel restrictions are imposed.
Are the sport facilities open?
Some sport facilities may be affected by the ongoing restrictions, please refer to our Sport webpages for more information.
Can I stay in my University accommodation?
Please refer to our separate FAQs for student accommodation:
What financial support is available to students?
We have announced details of an emergency financial support package for students.
More details can be found here: University of Glasgow financial aid
What other student support is available?
Whilst face to face teaching and in person assessment will initially be restricted in the 2020/21 academic year, we are still committed to supporting you in your learning at the University:
If you need advice on academic writing and skills, or on preparing for assessments, you can access guidance and book 1 to 1 appointments with our team of learning ad visers. Our disability advisors are also on hand to provide guidance in relation to reasonable adjustments. You can contact the Disability Service at email@example.com or by calling 0141 330 5497
If you are feeling anxious or concerned about the current situation and, in particular, the impact on your learning and assessment, you can discuss this with others on Togetherall, or email firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0141 330 4528 to speak to a member of our team in confidence
We are not able to compensate you for loss of earnings as a result of the current situation, but we may be able to help if you are currently in financial hardship.
The University’s student enquiry team and all other services (including support for students in our residences and for international students) continue to operate during this period and so please do not hesitate to contact us.
There is an online UofG helpdesk where you can get the answer to any questions you may have. This also provides for IT support.
While studying off campus you can find useful Library and IT resources as well as online training and guides from Glasgow Anywhere
At times like these, we need to look out for one another. The Glasgow Mutual Aid Group is a group of volunteers, helping to support some of the most vulnerable people in the city at this time.
The SRC continues to provide independent, confidential advice on academic and non-academic issues.
These are extraordinary times and many of us are feeling unsettled and anxious. Please keep safe, look after yourself and look out for others. And if you need us, get in touch.
Advice and support for staff
For information relating to HR policy, please see the HR staff info webpages.
- Information about furlough
- Annual leave, childcare and other HR policies
- Information on isolation and how it will impact staff at work
- Guidance on training and development while in lockdown
Where can I get more information about symptoms and testing?
There is more information on self-diagnosing, accessing testing, reporting cases and advice on self-isolation on our website.
How do I report a positive test?
There is more information on self-diagnosing, accessing testing, reporting cases and advice on self-isolation on our website.
What preparations are we putting in place for staff returning to campus?
Our Guide for Staff outlines how we expect our campus to operate as we begin to see more activity taking place onsite, and the measures that we are introducing to support staff returning to work on our campuses.
There are details about the operations being supported in each phase of our recovery programme, available through our Recovery Route Map.
Within campus buildings, face coverings should be worn by colleagues and students who are able to do so, except when they are sitting down and able to maintain a 2m distance from others. There is more information available on our webpages about safety measures introduced on our campus.
The requirements in research facilities will be determined by bespoke risk assessments which will be reviewed by the Director of Health, Safety and Wellbeing.
In teaching, study and meetings spaces there is no requirement to wear face coverings once seated. However, students and members of staff may choose to wear cloth or paper face coverings. We will also make visors available for those who wish to use them.
We ask that everyone is respectful of those who, for whatever reason, are unable to wear face coverings and that everyone adheres to our dignity at work and study policies.
I need to access a building, how do I arrange this?
Generally, if you need to collect equipment from your office, please contact your line manager
If your office is in a Phase 4 non-essential office building, please submit a request via the UofG Helpdesk. These requests will initially be reviewed and assessed by a contact in your local area. Once approved, Estates aim to turn around access arrangements.
Phase 4 buildings are detailed in the Access Protocol
How do I carry out essential building and equipment checks in university buildings?
Please refer to the building inspection and access information for details on how to carry out essential building and equipment checks.
What should I do if I have symptoms that could be Covid-19?
If you are not already at work:
If you are not at work, DO NOT come to work. Contact your line manager and let them know you have symptoms. You must arrange to be tested as soon as possible.
If you are already at work:
If you start to feel unwell with symptoms whilst at work, keep 2m distance from anyone else, inform your line manager immediately and follow their instructions and arrangements to isolate you from others until arrangements can be made for you to go home or, if you are very unwell, to hospital. If you go home, you must arrange to be tested as soon as possible.
How do I arrange to be tested for Covid-19 if I am symptomatic?
If you have symptoms, this NHS website will help you access a test:
If I test positive for Covid-19, how long must I stay off work?
If you test positive, you must isolate for at least 10 days and cannot return to the workplace until you have been fever-free for at least 48 hours. If you are well enough, and able to work remotely, you may do so.
You must keep your line manager informed of any test results, isolation requirements and your health status (as normal for sickness absence).
If I test negative for Covid-19, when can I return to the workplace?
You should notify your line manager as soon as you get your test result and may return to the workplace as soon as you feel well enough.
If I have tested positive, do I need to nofity the University of any close contacts I have had recently at the University?
No, the Test and Protect team will contact you to establish this information and will then contact and advise your close contacts directly to advise them to self-isolate for 14 days.
What do I need to do if I am contacted by the Test & Protect Team and informed I am a close contact of a confirmed case?
You should notify your line manager that you are required to self-isolate. If you remain well enough, and are able to work remotely, you may do so for the duration of the isolation period. If you become unwell and are too unwell to continue to work, you should inform your manager that you are unwell and you will be placed on sickness absence in the normal way.
If you test positive for Covid-19 during this period you should notify your line manager. You, or your line manager if you are too unwell to do so, should register your illness on the UoG Helpdesk Covid-19 report tool. This can be found on the UoG Helpdesk front page in the tile entitled Covid-19 Support Articles.
If you remain well but are unable to work remotely because of the nature of your role, you will continue to receive full pay during the isolation period.
Where can staff access training and support for remote working?
Our Guide for remote working provides support and guidance for staff and students continuing to work remotely over the coming weeks and months.
Is there advice available for line managers planning a return to campus?
We have published information for line managers planning a return to campus for their staff, to allow local managers to undestand and put in place measures which enable a smooth transition.
How are we supporting specialist roles?
Our campuses in Glasgow and Dumfries are closed to all non-essential staff, however some specialist roles will still be required on-campus.
In these exceptional circumstances we are asking staff to discuss with line managers supervisors about supporting priority tasks and taking on new responsibilities outwith normal duties.
Will GTA staff and demonstrators be given guidance on online teaching?
Detailed guidance is available, and more is being prepared, to support all staff who are involved in teaching and assessment. You can find this at Glasgow Anywhere. We are planning to offer staff training during the next few days and weeks.
Additional FAQ for MVLS staff
The following FAQs have been developed specifically for MVLS staff:
Examinations and assessments
What is Good Cause?
In times of illness or other adverse circumstances, Good Cause is the University’s process for making appropriate allowance for assessments or exams, such as waiving a late penalty, granting extensions, or allowing a resit. Good Cause claims are submitted via MyCampus. Please view the Good Cause FAQs for more information.
What is the 'no detriment' approach?
The No Detriment Policy applies to assessments that were scheduled between 16 March and 11 September 2020. There is full information and guidance on our no detriment policy published on the Senate Office webpages.
Where can I find the no detriment policy and other assessment policy information?
Relevant assessment policy information is published on the Senate Office webpages.
How do course grades for 2019-20 work under the No Detriment policy?
We have modified the award of course grades in light of our No Detriment policy. Where possible we want your academic performance reflected in your course grade, but at the same time we need to be fair in recognising that not all assessment has been possible (especially for first and second years) and that your performance in assessments during the Covid period may have been impacted.
The following approach applies to course grades where any course assessment (including level 1 and 2 reassessment) was scheduled after 15 March 2020*.
Where enough assessment for the course has been completed to award a detailed grade (at least 65%):
- a letter grade (e.g. A4, B2, C1) will be awarded if it is above the threshold grade (normally D3 for undergraduate students and C3 for postgraduate students).
- however, if your course grade is below the threshold grade (normally D3 for undergraduate students and C3 for postgraduate students) a CA grade will be awarded in recognition that your performance may have been affected during the pandemic.
Where less than 65% of the course assessment is completed:
All students will receive the CA Grade. This is because we cannot make a fair judgement on a course performance where less than 65% of assessment has been completed. To protect the reputation of your degree, we do not award grades without clear evidence making up at least 65% of the assessment required.
In either situation, the award of CA for a course indicates that you have taken the course and been awarded credit for it, but also means that the assessment for that course was disrupted during the period of the Covid-19 pandemic. Your transcript will include a statement to that effect, so that it is clear to anyone reading that CA does not indicate a poor performance.
The grades of MV and CW will continue to be used in some cases, if some assessment scheduled prior to 15 March is incomplete.
The full No Detriment policy page has detailed information on course grades as well as all other No Detriment matters We appreciate that this is complex information and you may wish to seek further explanation of your course grade results from your School via gla.ac.uk/help or your Adviser of Study.
What if I am unhappy with any of my course grades from the COVID-19 period?
As explained in the Question: How do course grades work under the No Detriment policy? We have modified our approach to awarding course grades during the COVID-19 period.
Where any course assessment was scheduled for the period of the No Detriment policy, standard course grades will be awarded if the threshold grade has been reached (normally D3 for undergraduate students and C3 for postgraduate students). If not, the grade will be CA.
We realise that in some exceptional cases you may feel that your actual grade does not give an accurate reflection of your performance. This might be because a large element of your assessment took place at a point when there was significant disruption caused by the pandemic.
You may therefore request that a letter grade be changed to CA on your transcript. See the question on how course grades work under the No Detriment policy for more details on what CA means. Remember that this will not affect the calculation of your degree, only how individual course results appear on your transcript.
If so, please contact your School. But remember, we believe in most cases it will be better to have an academic grade and the following applies:
Your grade can only be changed to CA if some of your course assessment was scheduled between 15 March and 11 September 2020. If your course grade has been calculated from assessments taken before or after the period of the pandemic, then it cannot be changed to CA.
If you have a letter grade it will by definition be above the threshold grade for your degree, so it cannot be a failing or poor grade.
- Once a grade has been altered to CA it cannot be reversed after graduation. In some situations – such as entry to postgraduate degrees, especially outside of the United Kingdom – a non-letter grade may be less helpful for you than a letter grade. It is generally better for you to have as much evidence as possible on your transcript rather than remove any grades.
- Your overall degree result (eg a First, 2.1, Merit, Distinction, etc) will not be based on course grades but instead on your assessment components in line with the No Detriment policy (for more details, see here for Honours students and here for Masters students), so changing your course grade will have no effect whatsoever on your final degree outcome. Also, references from your lecturers will also be based on your GPA and your individual assessment results and so changing a course grade will not be of benefit to you for references.
- We therefore would advise you that you should only consider changing a course grade if you are certain it would give the wrong impression of your ability to a reader of your transcript and if you are also sure there are no circumstances where you would be better having a letter grade. In our experience, this will be advisable only in rare situations.
Advice for researchers
Funding, award, support and REF2021 information:
Returning to campus, including restarting some research activities whilst ensuring safety and wellbeing:
Travel advice: students and staff
I am arriving in Glasgow from elsewhere, do I need to quarantine?
If you are arriving in Glasgow from a country with which Scotland does not have a travel corridor arrangement or other exemptions in place, you will be asked to quarantine for 14 days after arrival. There are full details on which countries these restrictions apply to on the Scottish Government’s website.
This applies to people travelling from a country of permanent residence and those returning from holiday. It also applies to people who have transited via a non-exempt country.
An initial supply of food will be supplied to people undergoing self-isolation on their arrival in a University residence. If you have any further questions or concerns, please do refer to the 'UofGLiving' webpages or social channels on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter as answers to many queries can be found there. Over and above that if you can’t find an answer then please don’t hesitate to get in touch at email@example.com and we will respond to you as soon as possible.
Any student and staff member who is experiencing symptoms of COVID-19 should follow the guidance on the NHS Inform website.
If you are returning to Glasgow from a part of the UK which is currently under local lockdown restrictions, or where testing is being offered locally for people who do not have symptoms as part of the public health response arrangements, you will be required to quarantine for 14 days following your arrival in Glasgow.
What is the University's position on travel?
The University is working on the principle that any business travel from the University will only be able to proceed if all the factors below are addressed:
1. The UK Government still advises British nationals against all but essential travel (see UK Government's travel advice) except to certain exempted countries –travel to these countries can proceed at this time subject to the procedures below.
If there is UK Government advice against non-essential travel to a country, specific higher-level authorisation MUST be obtained for each individual trip in addition to the procedures below. This authorisation should normally be sought from Head of College/ Chief Operating Officer level and will only be granted if the trip is for essential business purposes. (Travel for Covid-related research may fall within this category.)
2. The Scottish and UK Government Public Health guidance must permit such travel to recommence
3. The fieldwork must be agreed with the research Supervisor and Head of School/ Director of Institute/ Service to be essential
4. An Oversea Travel Risk Assessment must be completed. See template and guidance on completing the risk assessment. The risk assessment must be agreed and signed off by both line manager/ supervisor and Head of School/ Director of Institute/ Service.
5. The Covid-19 Overseas Travel Risk Assessment supplement must also be completed. The risk assessment must be agreed and signed off by both line manager/ supervisor and Head of School/ Director of Institute/ Service.
6. In-country Government guidance around health and safety must be observed
7. An appropriate standard of health and safety must be ensured for accommodation and during group and private transportation. This will include any required physical distancing measures and hygiene and cleaning processes.
8. The borders/ government of host country(ies) (UK or International) must be open to/permit travel of this nature at the planned arrival date.
9. Any partner institute supporting or hosting activities must allow such visits by the proposed start date
10. Any host organisation must outline contingency plans in the event of a possible further outbreak
11. Consideration must be given to the impact on the host country and local area, particularly rural communities, of the activity and associated risk of virus transmission to the community; organisers must ensure that there is no adverse reputational risk associated with carrying out the work.
12. There is sufficient cover in place to manage financial and health risks effectively through insurance or other contingency funding. See the University's travel insurance policy in relation to coronavirus.
Authorisation for travel is via the local line-management process, not through Health, Safety and Wellbeing services, but guidance and advice around specific risk assessments is available on the SEPS website above or by contacting SEPS via firstname.lastname@example.org
Traveline Scotland has set up a new telephone hotline and webpage to provide information on available travel routes back to Scotland, should it be required:
- Hotline: +44(0)141 465 1878
- Traveline Scotland: Returning to Scotland from abroad
Criteria for UK Fieldwork and Related Activities
The University recognises the need to enable departments who must conduct fieldwork as part of their core activities to do so, and aims to allow some resumption of fieldwork, so far as it is safe to do so. This should be done by following a risk-based approach underpinned by any Government guidance or legal requirements that may be in force.
When considering whether fieldwork can safely be undertaken, the health, safety and wellbeing of those involved should always be the key priority. This includes the safety of those undertaking the work and those in the wider community who may be affected by it.
The nature of fieldwork varies massively between Colleges/Schools/Institutes and Services and each activity that is proposed MUST be risk assessed by the unit proposing the work to help decide whether it can safely be undertaken.
In general, authorisation for UK field activities can be granted at Head of School/Service or Director of Institute level. However, when considering whether to authorise proposals that may be identified as higher risk, those in such management roles should consider whether there is a need to discuss these further at higher level, or to consult with staff elsewhere in the University. (e.g. on ethics processes, safety advice, reputational risk, insurance risks etc.)
Some basic principles to be followed in making these judgements are provided below.
- There must be no Scottish or UK Government legal restriction that prevents the activities being planned.
- There must be no Scottish or UK Government guidance in force that would be contravened by the activities planned.
- There must be no University of Glasgow prohibition on the travel, or of the activities planned.
- The fieldwork must have been agreed with the research supervisor/project lead and Head of School/ Director of Institute to be an essential element of a research project, or of the core work of the department.
- The fieldwork must have been agreed as being unable to reasonably be delayed until later stages of the Covid recovery phases without significant adverse impact.
- The activities must not be likely to adversely impact the wellbeing of the community/area being visited nor result in a risk of reputational damage to the University.
- A fieldwork risk assessment must have been completed and signed off by the Supervisor and Head of School/ Director of Institute. (The SEPS fieldwork risk assessment template can be used for this although, in recognition of the diverse nature of fieldwork across the University, this does not preclude other assessment processes and documents being used where these are more appropriate.)
- Where the field activities involve practical work that cannot be fully assessed and recorded within the fieldwork risk assessment template, a separate general risk assessment(s) of the work must have been prepared.
- Any advisory and mandatory Scottish or UK Government guidance around health and safety, including physical distancing measures, must be able to be fully observed. Evidence of how this will be achieved should be provided within the risk assessment(s) or in other work plans referenced within the assessment.
- Where there is to be use of shared/group transport, or there is an overnight stay, the risk assessment must explain how any Government recommendations on distancing and hygiene will be achieved. (Use of shared accommodation may not be acceptable in the early recovery phases.)
- All partner organisations or other participants in the fieldwork must agree to comply with measure in place. It is recommended that risk assessments be shared and a simple written agreement (e.g. email) obtained regarding compliance.
- Contingency plans must be in place to deal with any Covid case that may occur during fieldwork group trips.
I’m worried my immigration status might be affected by travel restrictions
If you are a student or member of staff affected by coronavirus and you have concerns about your immigration status, please contact email@example.com
Is there any advice for Tier 4 Visa Students?
We have taken the decision to suspend face-to-face teaching and therefore, if you would like to return home, and there are no travel restrictions in place for your destination, you can do so. Please respect the quarantining arrangements of your home country, to minimise the risk of transmission
You will not be penalised academically and the University will maintain sponsorship of your Tier 4 visa, providing you continue to engage in your studies whilst you are away. This means your visa will remain valid and you will be able to use it to return to Glasgow at a later date.
I am a PGT student, if I go home now, should I return for my dissertation/project at a later date or can I submit it from my home country?
We hope you will be able to return to Glasgow later in the year to complete your dissertation/project if you wish. Alternatively, you may complete and submit your dissertation/project from your home country. In both cases, your visa will remain valid.
I am a PGT student, do I still need to attend the June 2020 Tier 4 Check-in in person?
No, this check-in will not take place. We will write to you with details of our alternative monitoring arrangements in due course.
I am a continuing undergraduate student and will need to return for further years’ study, can I still go home to take my exams remotely?
Yes, you can still go home and take any necessary assessments. Undergraduate students are not usually required to attend during summer. You will be able to return on your current visa to continue your studies next academic year.
I am an International PGR student, can I do my research remotely?
You should speak to your supervisor about your project. If you can do your project with remote supervision, then you can continue to engage with your supervisor while you are away. Your Graduate School can advise you on the procedures for Research Furth.
My visa will expire soon and I am concerned I may not be able to leave the UK due to travel restrictions.
Please contact the International Student Support Team for advice.
I am planning to go abroad for study/ work placement in 2020/21, what should I do?
After careful consideration, the University will allow study exchange and work placement in 2020/21 when it is safe and possible to do so. Our highest priority in determining whether your opportunity can go ahead is your health, safety and wellbeing.
Travel from the UK to international destinations will only be able to proceed if all 6 factors below are addressed:
- The Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) must lift the Exceptional Travel Advisory Notices. UofG exceptions apply to European destinations.**
- University of Glasgow must lift travel restrictions which apply to staff and students.
- The Scottish and/or UK Government must have authorised such travel to recommence.
- The borders of host countries must be open at the student’s planned arrival date.
- The partner institute or placement provider must allow physical placement by the semester or employment start date. Students will be expected to attend their placement in person from the start, and it is acknowledged that a proportion of the learning may take place virtually or in the case of work placement on a ‘work from home’ basis.
- There is sufficient cover in place to manage financial and health risk effectively through insurance or other contingency funding.
**travel to Europe for Go Abroad programmes is permitted as ‘essential travel’ and therefore students can travel to European destinations where FCO advises ‘against all but essential travel’. This is based on risk assessment. This is under review and is subject to change.
Semester 1 and full year abroad placements
If you are travelling for semester 1 or a full year, you will have been notified about the status of your placement by the Go Abroad Team firstname.lastname@example.org
Semester 2 placements
Review dates for semester 2 have been set and take into account in-country term start dates and factor in time to make travel and visa arrangements:
- Study Exchange non-European destinations – 21 October 2020
- Study Exchange European Destinations – 11 November 2020
- SMLC assistantships and work placement – 27 January 2021
You will be notified by the Go Abroad Team if travel is possible following these dates.
What happens if my study/ work placement is suspended?
Your study or work placement will be suspended if:
- Your partner university or placement provider were unable to offer opportunities in 2020/21.
- The criteria in the above section cannot be met by the review date for your placement which have been set to factor in in-country term start dates and time to make travel and visa arrangements.
We will be in touch with you if your opportunity is impacted.
Alternative options may be available to you. Please contact the Go Abroad Team email@example.com for advice.
I am a study abroad student currently on exchange in Glasgow, what should I do?
The University has taken the decision to suspend teaching and we are making arrangements for alternative assessments to replace the April/May examinations. In view of this, if you would like to return home, you should do so. Please respect the quarantining arrangements of your home country, to minimise the risk of transmission.
I was studying/working abroad and returned home. Is there help with the extra costs I incurred?
If you are an Erasmus student and are now studying or working online, you will continue to receive your Erasmus grant until the end of the semester as planned. If you have incurred exceptional costs as a result of the Coronavirus pandemic, you may be eligible for a grant from our hardship fund; please contact the GoAbroad team to submit a claim (firstname.lastname@example.org).
If you are not an Erasmus student, the GoAbroad team will contact you regarding any exceptional costs you may have incurred in returning home.
My visa will expire soon and I am concerned I may not be able to leave the UK due to travel restrictions.
If you have any questions or concerns, please check the NHS website or you can email us directly using the contacts provided in the FAQ.