Revised start date for 2020/21 academic year

Published on 30 April 2020

Announcement for applicants and enquirers about the 2020/21 academic year

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The University continues to play an important part in lessening the impact of Covid-19 and in looking for solutions that can end the crisis. We are involved in international research collaborations looking to find drugs that can treat the novel coronavirus, and have clinical trials under way that will tell us more about Covid-19. You can read more about how our academic and student community is contributing on our website.

Covid-19 is an event outside of the University’s control which continues to evolve. There has been a huge effort made by our staff to continue providing learning and teaching online and prepare exams for our current students 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 or studying 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 before the start of the next academic year.

Whilst we cannot say with certainty what restrictions we may still be working under by autumn (fall), there are reasonable steps we can take now to give us the best chance of delivering our unique Dundee experience to all our students.

Revised Start Date for Semester 1 – Monday 5 October 2020

With this in mind, we have decided that given the current circumstances, teaching in semester 1 of 2020/21 will now begin later than originally planned:

  • Semester 1 teaching will begin on Monday 5 October 2020 (Please note that students on courses where professional practice requirements are in place, for example Professional Graduate Diploma in Education (Primary and Secondary) courses, may start before 5 October. If this affects you, your academic School will confirm details in due course.)
  • Welcome (Freshers’) Week will take place in the week beginning Monday 28 September 2020
  • Semester 1 teaching will end on Friday 18 December 2020

The start date is later than originally scheduled but is desirable to lessen the continuing impact of Covid-19 and ensure the best possible learning experience. It allows 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 benefit from a little extra time in order to join us here on campus.

Semester 1 – Expected Teaching Delivery

It is our intention to re-start face-to-face teaching of programmes in Dundee for the new academic year and we are committed to doing everything we can to make that possible for our students.

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 governments 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.

We will give you further updates by email once our teaching plans are confirmed and as the situation around Covid-19 develops.

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

How does this affect me?

Undergraduate and postgraduate (taught) applicants

For applicants who have applied for courses scheduled to start in September 2020, our admissions team will update the start date on your application record for you. This will happen over the next few weeks. If you need us to re-issue any communications with the new start date, for example for a sponsor, please let us know by emailing with your Student ID and full name. If you have applied for one of our courses which starts in January 2021 or beyond, there is no change required.

Postgraduate (research) applicants

A number of you will have originally planned to join us sometime over the next few months. In March we contacted you to let you know that applicants due to join us between March and 31 August 2020 would start together as a cohort on 14 September 2020, which would coincide with our usual semester 1 start date. Now that we have confirmed a later start to the 2020/21 academic year, the start date for those applicants will now change to Monday 5 October 2020 and now also includes applicants who were planning to join us in September. If this affects you, our admissions team will update the start date on your application record for you over the next few weeks. If you need us to re-issue any communications with the new start date, for example for a sponsor or funding body, please let us know by emailing with your Student ID and full name. If you have applied to start a research programme from October 2020 onwards, there is no change required.

All applicants

We are planning to start sending emails with details of how to apply for University accommodation towards the end of May to applicants who have firmly accepted their offer.  More information will be given in that email.

Please continue to check our dedicated webpage which answers most of the commonly asked questions we are receiving from our applicants. We will continue to update this webpage as we are able to confirm our plans in more detail.

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 appreciate also that this has been a difficult year of preparation for study for many of you, and we are committed to doing all we can to ensure you have a fabulous experience if you choose to study at Dundee. We are very much looking forward to welcoming all our new students in the 2020/21 academic year.

With warm wishes from Dundee,

Dr Shane Collins, Director of Student Recruitment and Admissions


Press Office, University of Dundee

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