Coronavirus (COVID-19) update for staff – suspension of face-to-face teaching

Published on 15 March 2020

Latest information for staff relating to coronavirus (COVID-19)

On this page

Dear colleague,

On Friday evening, in close coordination with the Scottish Government, all Scottish universities agreed to make arrangements to transition to online learning and assessment wherever possible as part of their contingency arrangements to manage the likely impact of coronavirus.

The health and wellbeing of our students and staff is paramount.  We have therefore decided to suspend the face to face delivery of learning and teaching from Monday 16 March to help reduce the risk of spread of coronavirus within our community. 

This suspension will cover all undergraduate and taught postgraduate programmes. Students have been told they should therefore not attend any classes (lectures, tutorials, laboratory classes, seminars, etc.) until notified otherwise.

Next steps

Our planning is well advanced for this outcome and this week (commencing Monday 16 March) will be one of transition as we finalise, publish and implement our plans for online delivery and assessment to ensure we maintain the highest possible quality of education to our students at this unprecedented time. 

Each of our Schools will be in contact with their students over the early part of the week to provide subject-specific information about the new teaching and assessment arrangements being put in place. In addition, the Schools of Medicine, Dentistry and Nursing & Health Sciences will set out arrangements for clinical placements and clinical skills teaching.

Research students should contact their supervisors for guidance on how to continue their studies through this period.  We will also be offering guidance during the week for research and professional practice staff on how they should continue their work.

The University is not closing and our other activities, including the provision of student support, will continue across our three campuses. DUSA will also be putting in place contingency arrangements to maintain its ability to provide services to students.

Student travel and return home

All undergraduate and postgraduate taught students can travel home, if they wish to do so, but must ensure they continue to engage fully with their learning through the online delivery arrangements. 

We are aware that some students may remain in halls of residence and so these, along with our libraries, study spaces and computing facilities, will stay open and operate in line with evolving government advice on social distancing.

The mechanisms we are putting in place will mean that students do not have to be on campus to achieve learning outcomes, be assessed and graduate successfully. 

We know that a number of students will still be in the city, including international or European students who are unable to travel, are in self-isolation or wish to remain in the UK for the duration of their visas and period of study. We will do all we can to support them at this time, working closely with DUSA.

Keep updated

Clearly, this is a rapidly developing situation and so the University will continue to follow the Scottish Government and NHS guidance. As and when there are further changes to our operations and activities, we will update you as soon as possible.

Please keep checking  our coronavirus web pages and monitor your University email account. If you have a question that isn’t answered in the FAQs, please email

Staff should continue to come to work as normal, but the University will be issuing guidance in the coming days about arrangements for working from home as the coronavirus outbreak progresses. You should also familiarise yourself with the current advice on self-isolation provided in our FAQ pages.

It is really important that we stick together as a community and support each other during this challenging period.

Best wishes and thank you for your understanding,

Professor David Maguire
Interim Principal & Vice-Chancellor

Dr Jim McGeorge
University Secretary and Chief Operating Officer



Press Office, University of Dundee