Covid-19 and Semester 2 update (24 Feb 2021)

Published on 24 February 2021

Information and support for students relating to Semester 2

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This continues to be an incredibly challenging year for students and staff at the University with restricted face-to-face teaching in Semester 1 followed by the enforced move to wholly online teaching in Semester 2 for the vast majority of you.

We have followed Scottish Government guidance every step of the way. Yesterday the First Minister announced a renewed 'roadmap' towards lifting restrictions across society. There is much to be optimistic about but it does not significantly change what we are able to do within Semester 2, which runs until the week of April 2.

We are now halfway through Semester 2, and have to take decisions that offer clarity to students and staff for the rest of the semester, on the basis of the Government guidelines.

To that end, we can confirm that teaching will remain online for the whole of Semester 2 for the vast majority of students.

A minority of students with essential or time-critical learning, e.g. practical activities, needed to allow them to graduate can continue their learning on campus, as informed by their Schools. There is a possibility we may be able to bring back more students after March 15, a date identified by the First Minister, but numbers are being tightly controlled to try and mitigate the risk of transmission of Covid-19.

How will this affect you?

Most teaching will remain online for the whole of Semester 2

We will continue to deliver your programme online for the remainder of Semester 2 (for those programmes following the Standard Academic Calendar, teaching concludes in the week of 2 April). A minority of students will be asked to return to undertake essential or time-critical learning, e.g. practical activities, that are deemed essential for your progression, and your School will be in touch shortly to let you know if this includes you.

Student placements

Students who are due to attend placements should continue to do so as planned, unless instructed otherwise by your School or host institution.

Assessment and examinations

Assessments will either take the form of coursework and/or online examinations. School staff will inform you about any module assessments and exams that you are required to take and we will publish the examination timetable on 31 March so that you know when any timed exams that you have to take are scheduled. The exam diet starts on 26 April.  

Information on the format of any online examinations that you are required to sit will be provided by your School, but the majority will be long form, open book examinations. An example of this type of examination would be a 2-3 hour online paper where students have a 23 hour window to complete the task. This allows you to sit the examination at a time that best suits your personal preferences and home circumstances. A small number of programmes, particularly those with strict accreditation standards, require students to take timed examinations over a fixed period of time, and we must respect those standards.

A small number of programmes may have practical, face to face assessments/examinations and Schools will advise on arrangements in these cases.

Exam results will be released in eVision on or after 17 June 2021.

No Detriment Policy and Mitigating Circumstances

We always operate a 'no detriment' approach to any study disruption to ensure that students achieve the correct degree outcome and are in no way disadvantaged as a result of circumstances that impact the whole institution. This was the case when the Covid-19 pandemic affected the end of the last academic year, and we are adopting the same policy this year. All effects on learning and teaching are taken into account when we consider your results and award your degrees. You can find out more about this through our guide to no detriment.

Student support

If you have any queries related to your course, placements, or academic work you can get in touch with your Adviser of Studies or your School Office.  If you have wellbeing concerns you can contact  Student Services via the Enquiry Centre. You can also contact the DUSA Advice service at to speak to a member of the support team. 

Additional money has been made available to the University to give to students who are facing financial difficulties due to the pandemic. Learn how to make an application

View our full range of Student Services

DUSA have also created an FAQs page with housing advice for students

IT support

We can provide a limited amount of equipment to help with IT support. Laptops are available for temporary loan to students, and these can be requested via

Support also continues to be available for those facing financial difficulty to obtain suitable laptops, peripherals or a stable internet connection.  These items can be available to students, on loan for the duration of their course, by applying for financial support via Student Funding. The application form is also available from the Student Funding area of Organisations within MyDundee.

Library and Learning Centre

The Library and Learning Centre presently has all online services running and most of the physical study and resource services are accessible at present.  

All students should be familiar with the online resource guides for their subject. These are accessible on LibGuides

Each module on My Dundee is likely to include a Resource List where direct links are provided to licensed or digitised resources. The Module Resource Lists are directly accessible here. Be prepared to login to the publisher sites using your institutional login, as this ensures access is free and seamless.

Research students and senior students may need access to online journals, and this may utilise individual links, the Library search or the Title Search for licensed journals.

Many eTextbooks, learning packages and online video services are accessible online.

For students outside of Dundee requiring access to physical books or DVDs, we are providing a postal service

Study facilities are available at present at these sites and times: 

  • Main Library – 9 am to 5 pm (Mon to Fri), Midday to 5 pm (Sat & Sun)
  • Kirkcaldy Fife Library – 9 am to 2 pm (Mon to Fri only)
  • Ninewells Medical Library – 24/7/365 only for Medical and Health Sciences students with activated card access
  • DJCAD Library – Currently closed for student access 

As soon as the Scottish Government is able to reduce the restrictions for University Library access, we are likely to be able to increase the Library opening hours. This may begin to occur from the end of March 2021. At present we do require all students to follow the restrictions – wear face coverings at all times, maintain a 2 metre distance from all others, use the booking system, and follow the one-way systems.

Study desks are available only for essential study and PC access, and must be booked in the Main Library using the online system available here. Please only book for the time you are going to be present for, and this may be checked at the entrance. Numbers of study places are limited to ensure safe distancing of seats, and we may need to restrict bookings times to a maximum of 4 hours per day in the near future. All students and staff will need their matriculation card or phone University app to enter the Main Library electronic gates.

Student accommodation

University of Dundee accommodation

All residents have been sent our policy on rent rebates via email, this is also available as a guide. You also have statutory rights for termination for reasons of Covid. These remain in place.

If you are seeking to vacate and return home or have any other queries in relation to University of Dundee accommodation, please contact Residences at

Private accommodation

Advice is available via DUSA and Student Services.

Asymptomatic testing

We are continuing to offer Covid-19 tests, for those not showing any Covid-19 symptoms, at the Asymptomatic Test Centre in the Institute of Sport & Exercise. This service has been confirmed until 26 February 2021 and is likely to be extended further.

Lateral Flow tests are available and if you are returning to Dundee, studying on campus or moving back into accommodation we strongly encourage you to book a test. Tests are free of charge.

Book a Covid-19 test

You should bring a smartphone or similar device with you when you attend for testing, which will enable you to register. If you do not have a phone or similar device you will still be able to register via IT provided on site. Please also bring your student card. This helps to speed up the registration process.

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