Academic year 2020/21 start date

Published on 30 April 2020

Announcement for students about the 2020/21 academic year from Professor David Maguire, Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor

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Dear students,

The Covid-19 pandemic has already presented us with many challenges, for which we have had to find different ways of working. I know many of you will currently be preparing for your exams, and I wish you the very best for those.

Covid-19 is an event outside of the University’s control which continues to evolve. Staff have made a huge effort to continue providing learning and teaching online and prepare the exams in these unprecedented circumstances.

While we are coming to the end of this semester, in the light of the continuing impact of Covid-19 (such as continued social distancing, travel restrictions, working from home and so on) and as a responsible institution we have started planning for the next academic year 2020/21.

Academic year 2020/21

Due to the lockdown controls currently put in place by the UK and Scottish Governments, teaching is being provided online by the University and will continue to be so until there is a change.

However, on current information it appears reasonable to assume that there may be a softening or lifting of these lockdown controls ahead of the start of the next academic year.

Whilst we cannot say with certainty what restrictions we may still be working under by the autumn, there are reasonable steps we can take now to give us the best chance of continuing to deliver our unique Dundee experience to you.

Revised start date for semester 1 – Monday 5 October 2020

With this in mind we have consulted all Schools regarding the start date for teaching for academic year 2020/21.

We have decided that given the prevailing circumstances, teaching in semester 1 will now begin on Monday 5 October 2020. Some continuing students on courses where practice requirements are in place may resume before October 5, and Schools will be able to confirm details in due course.

Welcome Week will take place in the week beginning Monday 28 September 2020. 

The start date is later than originally scheduled but is required to lessen the continuing impact of Covid-19 and ensure the best possible learning experience. It will allow the University the time necessary to deliver our learning and teaching provision safely and sustainably at a time of global uncertainty and in a way which protects students and staff. We also recognise that many of our international applicants may need the benefit of a little extra time in order to join us here on campus.

Semester 1 – expected teaching delivery

We intend to re-start face-to-face delivery of programmes in Dundee for the new academic year and we are committed to doing everything we can to make that possible for you. 

However, it remains a very real possibility that some of you will not be able to come to Dundee in October if lockdown or global travel restrictions by a government are not lifted in sufficient time.

Therefore, we are also planning in case we need to continue to teach some elements of courses online from the start of the academic year. Depending on circumstances some teaching may have to be a blend of face-to-face and online.

Each of our Schools is working on planning and will keep you updated.

Semester 1 teaching will end on Friday 18 December 2020.

No other change is currently expected to the academic calendar. Teaching in Semester 2 will begin as already published on 18 January 2021, and the remainder of the academic session will similarly be as already published.

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic has had a deep effect on all of our activities. We can only hope the situation is better later in the year but in the meantime we will plan for all eventualities. If the situation changes and impacts this planning we will of course let you know.

We look forward to a time when we are able to welcome you and everyone safely back on to our campuses.

Please stay safe and if you have any questions please do contact us, either in reply to this email or directly to your School or Student Services. DUSA is also ready to assist with any student issues.

Warm regards,

Professor David Maguire
Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor


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