Semester 1 at Dundee - updated guidance

Published on 9 September 2020

Latest student announcement including guidance on travel, University accommodation, campus arrangements, face coverings, and student support

On this page

Dear students,

We have received updated guidance from the Scottish Government for universities in response to the Covid-19 pandemic. This is welcome and I am happy to let you know that our plans are already in line with the vast majority of that guidance, and where it has changed, we are updating our plans swiftly.

There has been a massive amount of planning within Schools to be ready for the start of a very different academic year.

The Scottish Government guidance confirms our blended approach to teaching. We will offer face-to-face on-campus activity with the option for a fully online experience, where the programme allows, if you cannot be on campus (this may not be possible for some courses with a stronger practical element). We told all students in May that this would be our aim for the start of Academic Year 20-21 and we are on track to deliver that for you when the majority of teaching begins from 5 October 2020.

You will be able to view your teaching timetable for Semester 1, in eVision, by mid-September. Your teaching timetable will outline details of face-to-face on-campus teaching and learning activities, as well as live and recorded online teaching events in Semester 1. The Semester 2 timetable will be available to you later in Semester 1.

Other online teaching and learning activities will need to be completed, but these will not be scheduled in the timetable - you will need to do this work at a time and place which best suits you. You will be given clear guidance from your academic School on what this is and the sequence for completion.

Confirm your attendance on campus – eVision Form

We still want students to come to Dundee for the new academic year and you should make every effort to get here, although we do recognise that for some of you the restrictions put in place on national and international travel, or health concerns, will make that very difficult. In those instances we will be flexible and ensure you can still take full part in your course.

We need you to complete a form in eVision to confirm your attendance on campus or otherwise, to help us and you with planning the semester ahead. If you have not already done so, please complete the form by Friday 18 September 2020. You can do this by logging into eVision - you'll find the link to the form (a purple tile) on the main page after you log in.

Please don’t worry if you are still not 100% sure of your plans - tell us what you plan to do as far as you know now and you can update your responses in eVision after this date if your circumstances change.

Travelling to Scotland

The Scottish Government requires students travelling to Scotland from certain countries to self-isolate for two weeks before commencing their studies. The list of countries or territories might change before you arrive. Please check the Scottish Government guidance to keep up to date.

University accommodation

If you have firmly accepted University-arranged accommodation for academic year 2020/21 starting 26 September and need to self-isolate for 14 days on arrival to the UK, we will provide safe University accommodation free of charge for the self-isolation period before semester starts, i.e. from 12 September. This must be booked and confirmed in advance via the online Residences Booking System.

If you have firmly accepted University-arranged accommodation and will arrive in the UK after 12 September, you will self-isolate for 14 days in your allocated accommodation. If you are required to self-isolate in University-arranged accommodation you will be supported by the Residences Support team and other Student Services teams who will communicate with you by email and Microsoft Teams (for video calls).

If you have booked private rented accommodation and are required to self-isolate you should liaise with your landlord about when you will arrive. You should also feel free to ask for information and advice about the local area.

There is more information about moving into student accommodation on the Welcome website.

Campus arrangements

A collective level of good behaviour and following of the University’s Covid-19 guidelines is expected of all staff and students. Only by working together can we hope to counter the threat of Covid-19 and prevent it from spreading.

Our campuses will be open including teaching spaces, libraries, IT suites, the Students’ Association, Institute of Sport & Exercise and more. School and Service receptions will be open as normal but this year it will be a little different. We have to operate under public health guidance and there will be reduced capacity in almost all areas due to the physical distancing requirements in place. We wrote to you last week with details of arrangements for our Library services on all three campuses, and will update information on other services soon.

A huge amount of care has gone into providing a safe environment for our staff and students to enable a return to campus. Further information regarding this can be found on the `Returning to campus’ pages and our Welcome page.

DUSA, your Students’ Association, is similarly planning how student activities can operate. For the moment all activity of DUSA Societies will take place online. For all updates from DUSA please visit their website at

Face coverings

When on campus you must follow the current requirements regarding physical distancing and wearing of face coverings. All staff and students will be provided with a pair of washable masks. Students will receive this in their Welcome Pack or from their School Office. These come with full instructions of how to use and care for them. In addition, we have located disposable masks at the entrances of key buildings around the campus. We would ask that you dispose of these responsibly in general waste bins.

The Scottish Government have mandated the use of face coverings in some specific areas that will affect some buildings and spaces on our campuses. You must wear a face covering:

  • in any shop
  • in any library
  • in any gallery space
  • in any NHS managed properties as directed by local signage (e.g. Ninewells Campus and Dental Hospital).
  • on any public transport.

Face coverings must also be worn in the following circumstances (except where someone is exempt from wearing a covering):

  • where people are moving about in corridors and indoor communal areas (including toilets)
  • in line with the current arrangements for public transport, where adults and young people aged 5 and over are travelling on public and dedicated college and University transport
  • wherever 2m distance cannot be guaranteed. This includes where people are interacting face-to-face at less than 2m for a sustained period (about 15 minutes or more) or for any amount of time where there is close contact within 1m.

Face coverings are not generally required in teaching settings when students are seated in a classroom or other learning and teaching environment unless this is stipulated in the Risk Assessment for the activity and/or 2m physical distancing cannot be maintained. In some circumstances the face covering required may be to a specific PPE standard. All of this will be detailed in the Risk Assessment which will be available to any staff or student from the person in charge of the activity.
Face coverings may be required in certain areas of dedicated student accommodation. You should follow the instructions from your Student accommodation provider.

There are some exemptions permissible. Our staff may ask you to use a face covering but will not know about your exemption. Whilst you are not required to prove your exemption we ask that you help us to understand any issues so that we can ensure that you are adequately supported.

Similar requirements are also in place off campus in facilities such as shops, cinemas and cafes and restaurants. For more information read the Scottish Government Guidance regarding requirements.

Student support

We are aware that current restrictions related to Covid-19 and the later start to the academic year have caused funding issues for some of you. There is support available, and please speak to Student Funding, who can provide details of available help including loans to meet some of your needs due to the delay in receiving your student funding, and support funding for IT.

The full range of Student Services are also available to talk to you about any other issues or concerns you may have.

Respect and empathy
We recognise that it will take people time to get used to the changes on campus and that for some staff, students and visitors, our rules will be different than they may have experienced elsewhere. We do expect that everyone will take responsibility for their own actions and help to ensure that our community remains vibrant and safe.

If you find that someone appears not to be complying with our rules, you should first remind them politely. As things are new and different, it is to be expected that it may take a little time for everyone to remember and adjust. In addition there may be a genuine reason for non-compliance including allowable exemptions under the Scottish Government Rules or other specific access needs.

If you believe that someone is persistently or deliberately flouting a rule that has been put in place to protect our community and you have been unable to resolve this yourself, you should report your concerns to your School Office who will help identify an appropriate person to investigate.

Remember the FACTS

F – Face coverings. These should be used in shops and on public transport (buses, trains and taxis)
A – Avoid crowded places.
C – Clean your hands frequently, using water & soap whenever possible.
T – Two metres – observe physical distancing.
S – Self-isolate and book a test if you are suffering from COVID-19 symptoms.

Check the latest Covid-19 guidance from NHS Scotland and the Scottish Government online

We look forward to welcoming you to Dundee.

Best wishes,

Professor Blair Grubb
Vice-Principal (Education)

Scott Quinn
DUSA President


Press Office, University of Dundee

Announcement Category

Student messages