Your Postgraduate Learner Experience: FAQs

An aerial photograph of students creating a heart in the quad

We are planning to deliver Adam Smith Business School programmes on an active blended basis in 2021/22, subject to any ongoing Covid-related restrictions during the year. This means that we will retain and enhance those aspects of online learning experiences that students are currently enjoying alongside on-campus experiences that we hope to grow and develop as the session continues.

To help explain what this means in practice and what you can expect when studying with the Adam Smith Business School in September, we have compiled some of our most frequently asked questions. This document will be updated as required and as the situation relating to Covid-19 evolves, so we recommend that you review it regularly.

Delivery of learning, teaching and assessment

Important dates

You can find information about the session start date, latest enrolment date and latest arrival date on the University's Important Dates web page. 

Important dates 

What is active blended learning?

In our case, active blended learning combines learning activities which take place online, both synchronously and asynchronously (see below), and on campus.

What does online learning look like?

Online learning consists of a variety of learning activities which you will complete individually and collaboratively.

Online learning activities will be delivered both synchronously (real-time, live) and asynchronously (no fixed time though deadlines for completing activities may apply), combining the community-building benefits of whole class activities with the flexibility that comes with being able to work at your own pace.

We will use online learning activities to deliver the learning outcomes for your courses to ensure that you can complete your learning successfully, irrespective of your location at the start of your programme and when Covid-19 restrictions apply. This will minimise disruption arising from lockdowns, staff and student absence and requirements for self-isolation should any of these events occur. 

What does on-campus learning look like?

On-campus learning will happen in smaller groups, in semester 1 at least. It will normally be active learning-based with opportunities for you to apply your knowledge and develop skills acquired in learning activities, completed before the class. For example you might work in groups to discuss a case study that you have already prepared.

It provides a valuable opportunity to meet with your learning community; however, on-campus classes will not be compulsory while restrictions apply and you will not be disadvantaged if you are unable to take part. See below for information relating to students who cannot attend on-campus classes. 

On-campus learning doesn't happen only on your academic courses. Our Graduate Award and other extra-curricular activities are essential aspects of your student experience and we hope that they will also feature on-campus activity. 

Can I choose to study online instead of on-campus (blended)?

The University would like students to be in Glasgow for the beginning of the academic session. This will allow you to get to know each other in person and enjoy the campus experience. Moreover, our online learning activities have been designed to respond to disruption arising from Covid and for a blended approach as opposed to a fully-online programme. For more information, please see the University's information for offer holders.

For those students whose travel is delayed or who, for medical reasons, are unable to join us until later in semester 1, we will support you with online alternatives to on-campus classes where possible. We do not anticipate making this provision in semester 2 but it depends on the status of the pandemic at that time.

Please note that our online provision is not available on a flexible basis, i.e., where you might choose on-campus classes for some courses but not others or at different times. If you are in Glasgow and can attend classes on-campus, please choose this mode of study for all courses and for the relevant duration (see below on transitioning from online to on-campus).

There is an exception to this for students whose programmes are taught in short blocks instead of semester-long courses. These programmes are listed below. Students on these programmes should choose online classes for courses if they are not in Glasgow for some or all of the classes and on-campus classes when they are in Glasgow and able to attend these from the start of the course.

  • MBA
  • MSc in Financial Technology
  • MSc in Finance and Management
  • MSc in International Business
  • MSc in International Strategic Marketing
  • MSC in International Human Resource Management & Development
  • MSc in Management
  • MSc in Management with Entrepreneurship & Business Growth
  • MSc in Management with Human Resources
  • MSc in Management with International Finance

Last updated 02/09/2021

How do I choose my study mode (on-campus or online)?

Following academic registration, you will be able to begin enrolment. When you enrol on a course, you may be given the option to choose a tutorial, seminar or lab group (depending on the learning and teaching methods for the course).

• If you plan to attend classes on campus by Monday, 11 October (having completed quarantine if applicable), choose classes that show a room location.
• If you cannot be on campus by Monday, 11 October, choose classes that show “Online Live”.

Earlier enrolments means a better choice of classes because these will inevitably fill up. If you find that there is no availability for either on-campus or online, whichever you require, please submit a support request via MyGlasgow for enrolment assistance. You can access MyGlasgow only after you have completed academic registration.

Students arriving between 20 September and 11 October may miss some on-campus classes. Please ensure you complete other online learning activities during this period so that you do not fall behind in your studies.

Last updated 02/09/2021

Transferring from online to on-campus

Students who begin their studies online can transfer to on-campus classes following arrival (and completion of quarantine if applicable) in Glasgow during semester 1. Please refer to post-enrolment guidance on Moodle for information about how to change your mode of study.

Students are able to study online for their first semester and transfer to on-campus classes no later than the 15 January 2022. This should include completion of quarantine (if applicable) upon arrival in Glasgow.  

We would encourage students to aim to arrive by Monday 11 October where possible.

How are programmes and courses organised?

A programme is a collection of courses, compulsory and optional. Our PGT students normally study 120 credits of taught courses (10 or 20 credits each) and 60 credits as an independent project or dissertation (selected programmes offer other independent study options). 

Courses are divided into units, normally based on a topic or a set of topics. Courses will combine a range of learning activities which will vary across courses, shaped by the learning outcomes. 

Where it is appropriate to do so, on-campus learning may take place at programme rather than course level, creating opportunities to bring students together across their programme and creating the basis for building relationships that can be progressed online and in other on-campus settings.

What are learning outcomes?

Each course has a set of Intended Learning Outcomes - the knowledge and skills that students must acquire to complete a course. These can be found in course specifications and Moodle (course specifications are subject to change before the programme start date). Please note that learning, teaching and assessment methods are likely to be outdated on the course specifications only owing to changes arising from Covid-19. 

What are synchronous (online) learning activities?

These are live, timetabled, online sessions often delivered via Zoom or Teams -  for the full class or at group level. Your attendance and participation is expected. 

What are asynchronous learning activities?

These are activities that you can work through at your own pace and at times that are convenient for you and your group when your are working with other students (within reason - you are strongly encouraged to keep up with the class). Examples include:

  • Guided reading
  • Short videos
  • Quizzes
  • Forum-based discussions
  • Class polls

They are accessible to all students, regardless of location, time zone, or digital access. 

How will I be assessed?

Your courses will use a range of assessment methods, both coursework and exam-based to assess your attainment of the learning outcomes, details of which will be found on Moodle.

In semester 1, we expect that you will take exams online, submit your assessed work to Moodle and receive grades and feedback here too. A decision will be taken later for semester 2. 

Coursework will be both individual and group based.

Our Online Learning Platforms

What platforms and systems will I use?

Online learning is provided via the University of Glasgow’s virtual learning environment (VLE), Moodle, combined with other appropriate platforms, e.g., Zoom and Microsoft Teams.  A VLE is an online system that supports the sharing of learning materials and allows lecturers and students to communicate with each other.  

How and when can I access Moodle?

You can access Moodle from your MyGlasgow portal once you have completed academic registration. Registration will open in August on the dates notified by the University. There will be a Moodle site for each of your courses and one for your programme. The Postgraduate Student Information Point (PSIP) is another Moodle site which is used by all postgraduate students in the School. Moodle access is granted automatically when you enrol on courses on MyCampus, subject to a short time lag of no more than 24 hours. Our Moodle sites will open in September when you will be able to view:

  • The course introduction
  • Unit introductions
  • The first unit
  • Information about assessment
  • More general course information, including course contacts
  • You will also use Moodle for your online induction, giving you an opportunity to use it before you start your programme.



Preparing for and engaging with your learning

When will I get my readings lists?

Links to reading lists are available on Moodle but you can access your reading list at (these will be updated for the 2021/22 session no later than 4 weeks before the start of the course).

We recommend searching for a list using your course code because some courses have similar names. Course codes can be found on MyCampus plans when enrolling or in the course catalogue.

You will able to access library resources after you have registered. 

Students will be guided through the reading list for each course. Additional reading may be recommended at different stages of the course.

How do I engage with and participate in my studies?

Our students are expected to actively participate in their studies.  Whether asking a question in a synchronous online session, taking part in a group activity in the classroom or responding to a discussion forum post, you will be demonstrating engagement with your learning, contributing to the learning community and developing your communication skills.

What opportunities are there to interact with other students

Learning activities and assessment will involve working with other students on the programme online and offline, developing important skills that enable you to work effectively with others. Employers have always attached importance to collaboration skills, but these are now being increasingly applied in virtual environments as internationally focused organisations review business travel amid the pandemic, and for environmental and financial reasons. Our learning experience will provide excellent opportunities to resolve the challenges of effective collaboration when working online and apply your learning post-graduation. 

You are also encouraged to participate in the wide range of extra-curricular activities offered by the School to increase your interaction with your peers. 

Beyond the School, the University provides world-class library facilities and study space that you can use with other students, on your own programme and beyond. 


What opportunities exist to interact with lecturers and tutors?

Learning activities will provide opportunities to interact with academic staff in online and on-campus. One-to-one academic interaction, support and feedback is provided via weekly teaching team ‘office hours’, regular online sessions which you can use to ask questions or just talk about a course-related matter with members of staff. Days and times of office hours can be found on Moodle in due course. 

Managing your time

How will I organise myself and manage my time?

As a general guideline, 1 course credit = approximately 10 learning hours so a 20-credit course involves 200 learning hours, some of which will be structured and some of which will be determined by you, depending on your own needs and interests. It is likely that you will have to organise, and even negotiate, time for learning and assessment, in groups with other students. Preparation for and completion of assessment is included in these learning hours.

The flexible nature of asynchronous learning will allow you to develop and demonstrate key employability attributes including self-motivation, self-discipline and time management skills. We recommend that you use the University’s time management and project management resources and complete the training provided to prepare you for successful learning. These resources can be accessed on Moodle following registration.

When will I get my timetable and what will it look like?

You will create your timetable in MyGlasgow when you enrol in courses but remember that much of your online learning will take place asynchronously, i.e., it is not scheduled. Asynchronous activities can be completed at your own pace and you will see them referred to as Online ANYTIME on your timetable. You will find information about these activities on each Moodle site instead of your timetable. 

Synchronous sessions are timetabled. If they are online, you will see them referred to as Online LIVE on your timetable. Where possible recordings will be provided. 

On-campus sessions are timetabled. You will see them referred to as On Campus, with location details, on your timetable. If you subsequently swap to an online class, it will show as Online LIVE.


General guidance and advice

I have never studied online before. How will I adapt?

Learning online is quite different from the classroom-based experience that was the norm before Covid-19 but will no longer be an entirely new experience for many of our students. Regardless, you will require an open mind and a willingness to do things differently, recognising that this experience will be highly relevant for the future.

Recent research tells us that employers are confident in the capacity of Business Schools to produce successful graduates because they will be ‘able to navigate the challenges of technological disruption’ (GMAC, The Impact of COVID-19 on the Hiring of Business School Graduates, Corporate Recruiters Survey 2020, September 2020).

Be assured that this is a shared learning journey – we are adapting our teaching methods while our students are modifying how they learn, and we are all developing our knowledge and skills in the process.

The University’s Blended Learning & Assessment Moodle site is a valuable resource, highly recommended to our students before and during your studies.
Note: This resource can be accessed following registration.

Here's what our students say

Nothing is perfect during a global pandemic, but large numbers of students have made very positive comments about their studies this year. Here are a few examples taken from our course evaluations. 

"It is convenient for students to study at any time they want"

"The group project was a good opportunity to improve our ability to communicate and analyse real-world problems"

"The course content encouraged us to think independently and creatively"

"I really enjoyed the breakout rooms and I think the videos were very clear and easy to follow"

"The lecturers were very friendly and helpful throughout the course. The online live sessions were very interactive and engaging."

"The teacher gave us many opportunities to learn by ourselves and share with our classmates."

"Highly interactive and informative. Professors were engaging which made the online classes interesting."

"The professor invited external guests which enriched our insights and broadened horizons"

"The course material was incredibly stimulating, the teacher explains the subject very clearly and she made the course interactive."