Plans for the new academic year

Dear colleagues and students,

As you know, the University has been planning extensively on how we can emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic. With health, safety and wellbeing as our primary concerns, we have been looking at what we can do to re-open the campus and what sorts of arrangements will need to be put in place both in the short and medium terms.

Additional guidelines will be issued in the coming days on what this means specifically for staff, students, the research community, line managers and those colleagues who will continue to work from home.

I wanted to update you now on the decisions we have taken about the delivery of teaching in the 2020-21 academic year and to confirm that the vast majority of undergraduate programmes will begin – as planned – on 21 September. Some changes have been made to certain postgraduate programmes and details of what this means is contained in this note.

An important point to stress is that we are committed to ensuring that all of our students have the best possible experience at the University of Glasgow - and wherever possible this will include interactive, face-to-face engagement as well as classes delivered remotely (for example, via Zoom or Microsoft Teams).

Initially, the amount of face-to-face teaching we can offer will be restricted by physical distancing rules, but we anticipate that on-campus academic activity will increase as the rules are eased. Access to library and study spaces on campus will be provided from the very start of term, but in ways that observe physical distancing requirements.

Please be assured that enhanced safety measures including one-way systems, sanitiser stations and deep cleaning will be in operation as soon as we start our return to campus and will continue for as long as is needed. 



 The start of teaching for the majority of Undergraduate programmes will be, as planned, from 21 September 2020 with Freshers’ Week, including Welcome & Induction, from 14 September.

Some programmes in Education will have earlier start dates



September 2020

Around 200 PGT programmes will start teaching as planned on either the 14 or 21 September 2020.

Please see the list of programme start dates.

Students will be advised to start on time, but if due to exceptional circumstances they are unable to commence study by this date, the latest possible start is Monday 12 October 2020.

Please note, this year around 30 programmes are also offering a January 2021 start date, giving PGT offer holders’ the option of delaying the start of their studies to January if September 2020 is no longer a viable option.

November 2020

Over 40 PGT programmes will commence on 9 November 2020.

Please see the list of programme start dates

In all cases, students on these programmes should aim to start on time. If, due to exceptional circumstances, they are unable to commence study by this date,  a short extension will be offered wherever possible.

January 2021

Around 80 PGT programmes will commence on 11 January 2021.

Please see the list of programme start dates.

Again, students should aim to start on time. If, due to exceptional circumstances, individuals are unable to commence study by this date, a short extension will be offered wherever possible.

Please note, we will provide a range of Welcome & Induction activities for all PGT students, regardless of start date. Further information will be supplied as soon as available.



The main start date for PG Research students, 1 October 2020, remains unchanged, with the usual flexibility to start at other times during the academic year.

Programme alteration or discontinuation

The University will endeavour to run all programmes as indicated. In exceptional circumstances, however, we may withdraw or alter a programme.

I hope that this information is helpful. Colleagues have produced a set of FAQs that address in greater detail many of the questions that you might have.

The coming period as we move out of lockdown will be extremely challenging for all us. But we are doing all that we can to ensure that Glasgow continues to offer, and deliver, the very best student experience in the most safe and welcoming environment.

Professor Sir Anton Muscatelli

Principal and Vice Chancellor



First published: 4 June 2020

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