Mathematics UG Returning Students
We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Imperial this Autumn.
As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, and in order to ensure that your degree programme can be safely delivered, we are writing to update you on how the College is planning to support a safe return to study and on how we intend to deliver your programme in 2021-22.
We will expect you to be in London from the start of the autumn term and for the whole of the 2021-22 academic year in order that you can attend on-campus activities. We plan to deliver your programme through a combination of on-campus and online teaching activities (multi-mode), with a strong emphasis on prioritising your time on our campuses.
We are planning for the most crucial and engaging learning opportunities to be delivered in-person and without social distancing in place. We anticipate UK government guidelines will support this decision by the time you arrive for the new academic year. Lectures may be hosted online when this method is considered to be educationally beneficial to students, and when it is clear that online mode will reduce the risk of sustained COVID-19 transmission as our community emerges from the pandemic. We will use our experience of our past academic year when deciding how best to timetable your teaching.
It is important to recognise that, depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the balance of on-campus and online teaching may be subject to change. However, we share students’ hopes that we will be able to offer on-campus learning activities consistently throughout the coming year.
Further details on the mix of on-campus and online activities and support available to you in your department are provided in the programme delivery section of this letter.
Our priority is for you to experience everything our campuses and London has to offer. However, you will be expected to adhere to the safety measures in place for the College. This may include requirements to undertake regular testing and to report the outcome of this testing to the College and strong expectations to have been vaccinated. The completion of the required safety measures will ensure that we can keep the College community safe and satisfy the UK government and UK Public Health Authorities that we can continue with in-person on-campus activities, wherever possible.
Details for your programme are set out in this communication.
Attendance and Delivery of Teaching
As you can appreciate, it is not entirely clear what circumstances we will be working with for the coming academic year, but we are planning the delivery of your programme on the assumption of a phased return to substantial amounts of on-campus teaching over the 2021-22 academic year. To accommodate this, we may plan to deliver your programme initially through a combination of on-campus and online activities (multi-mode), the balance of which will be reviewed and adjusted as circumstances change. This means you will be expected to attend the College in-person from the start of your programme, unless you can demonstrate that you have been impacted by exceptional COVID-19 related circumstances.
We understand there are some reasons you may be prevented from being able to travel to London for the start of the academic year. In these circumstances you will not be disadvantaged in your learning experience, and you will be temporarily provided with a remote alternative of any on-campus activities which you might miss. You should contact the Mathematics Undergraduate Teaching Office, email@example.com if you anticipate not being able to travel to London for the start of term and would like to discuss your options with us.
As a community, we have learnt a lot from this past year. Our combination of cutting-edge technology and academic excellence resulted in some new and creative ways of learning and engaging with each other on campus and remotely. Many of the changes made to the learning experience have worked well, and therefore your department may retain some of these approaches in the new academic year to enhance your overall experience on campus, and these are specified in this communication.
In the event of a suspension of on-campus activity due to an escalation of the pandemic, we will deliver some content online and, if necessary, reschedule activities which cannot be delivered online later in the 2021-22 academic year. Depending on the length and severity of any such scenario, if we are unable to deliver content remotely or re-schedule activities requiring in-person attendance [e.g. labs/practicals/etc] within the 2021-22 academic year to meet the learning outcomes of the programme, we may have to extend the length of your programme, with no extra fees being charged. You will also be given the option to exit the programme and provided with a transcript of the credits achieved together with an exit award, where appropriate.
For assessments that take place in the Autumn Term, or at the start of the Spring Term of the 2021/22 academic year, where there was to be an in-person on-campus written examination, these will be assessed by timed remote assessments, irrespective of whether there are restrictions in place or not. We may continue to deliver examinations by timed remote assessments where these are deemed the most appropriate method of assessment.
You will be required to follow the safety requirements put in place on campus and in all College buildings (including halls) to ensure we keep the campuses and the Imperial community safe and to mitigate the impact of the pandemic, particularly in our ability to deliver your degree programme and to offer you a full student experience.
There will be requirements and expectations placed on you and other members of the College community to follow the safety measures put in place by the UK government and national and local public health authorities. You can view our current guidance for our community on our website. This may vary once we begin the academic year, but is likely to include undertaking regular testing for COVID-19 and to report the results of this testing to the College. There is also the strong expectation that you will have been vaccinated against COVID-19 or that you will take up the opportunity once in the UK, if vaccination is not available in your home country. Failure to follow the safety measures and report them to College may result in restrictions being imposed on the delivery of your degree programme and on your access to the wider student experience.
Your experience at Imperial goes beyond just your academic studies. With the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19), Imperial has been working with your Students’ Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience in all eventualities. We identified key pillars of the wider student experience: academic experience; research culture and environment; amenities and accommodation; student community; wellbeing support; co-curricular activities and extra-curricular activities. Information on how we will deliver these, along with information on our Library Services and College-wide induction arrangements, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our COVID 19 pages.
In addition to your academic studies, the departmental student community will continue to be enlivened by the range of extra-curricular activities offered. These include, for example, student-led activities run by groups such as the UG Colloquium, Women in Maths and MathSoc, as well as careers and other supplementary events and talks from our own lecturers and external speakers. While the form of these events may be impacted by the availability of suitable space, much effort is going into finding innovative ways for students to engage that are safe and efficient in their use of space. We very much encourage you to take full part in the College community and make the most of all that your surroundings in London have to offer you.
Delivery of your Programme of Study
The core departmental induction for your programme will involve a mixture of on-campus and online activities. Further details will be provided nearer to the start of your programme.
Content of the programme
We have reviewed the learning outcomes for your programme to ensure these can be taught and assessed in a multi-mode format.
No changes to the programme or module learning outcomes have been made as a consequence of moving to a multi-mode format.
We are not anticipating changing the term of when modules will be taught or assessed.
Programme Delivery 2021-22
Here we describe our plans for the delivery of your programme in the Autumn term of 2021. Plans for the rest of the academic year are under development, but we expect a similar mix of on-campus and online teaching activities in the Spring term of 2022.
Building on our experiences from 2020-21, we are planning to deliver teaching through a mixture of online and in-person learning activities. Our plans prioritise opportunities for you to interact and work actively with other students in-person. They are also designed to allow flexibility and continuity if government and College guidance changes.
Lectures: Most lecture content will continue to be delivered online. This will include high-quality, pre-recorded lecture segments, accompanied by typed notes or a suitable text, mixed with short quizzes and other exercises. These activities may be ‘scheduled’ to provide structure to your learning.
(Year 2) Overview lectures: In order to provide you with an opportunity to come together with a large part of your cohort, we will schedule 'whole class' overview lectures for each module. In these, a (changing) part of your cohort can be on-campus together and the rest of the cohort can join in remotely. These sessions will be staff-led and can be used for review of lecture material, questions and answers, or additional problem sessions. We will schedule approximately 50 minutes of such sessions per week per module and you can expect to join about half of these session in-person.
(Year 2) Problems classes: These will be run in larger groups than for your 1st year problems classes. They will meet as 50-minute sessions with seven or eight weekly meetings per term for each module. Problem classes will typically consist of about half of your cohort, split across several rooms. If conditions allow, different activities may take place in each room and you may be able to choose which activity to follow. Otherwise, the rooms will have the same activities and you will be assigned to one. The precise format of the class will depend on the module. Modules which are heavily computer-based may run different-style sessions.
(Years 3 and 4) Overview lectures and problems classes: For most modules, we will timetable a weekly 100-minute overview lecture for all students taking the module. These classes will normally be led by the lecturer and can be used for a mixture of activities, such as review of lecture material, questions and answers and problem solving. Modules which are heavily computer-based may run different-style sessions.
Other support: Office hours will be online and all modules will be supported by a monitored discussion forum.
(Years 3 and 4) Meetings with your project supervisor: Subject to government advice, College health and safety guidance, and the availability of suitable space, these meetings will be conducted on-campus if this is convenient for you and your project supervisor, otherwise they will be conducted remotely.
Meetings with your personal tutor: Subject to government advice, College health and safety guidance, and the availability of suitable space, individual meetings will be conducted on-campus if this is convenient for you and your personal tutor, otherwise they will be conducted remotely. We expect that any group tutor meetings will typically be conducted remotely.
Study spaces in the Department will be open but may be subject to reduced occupancy limits. Configuration of rooms may also be adjusted. Access may be limited to the days you are expected on campus for problems classes/tutorials to allow all students to have fair access.
In case a lecturer is required to self-isolate or is otherwise unable to teach in person, we will try to arrange a substitite member of staff or to reschedule the teaching. In some cases, however, teaching activities may be moved online.
In the event of a partial lockdown:
Overview Lectures and Problems Classes: In the event of a partial lockdown, we expect occupancy limits on our teaching spaces will be reduced. This means that students will take turns joining teaching activities in-person, while others join online. For example, if occupancy for a particular activity were reduced by 50%, each student would be able to join every-other session. If occupancy were reduced further, each student would be able to join in-person less often. In the case of significant restrictions, overview lectures for large modules may be conducted entirely online
Computing-based modules: Modules which are heavily computer-based would run entirely online. This includes the optional Year 2 modules Network Science and Principles of Programming and several Year 3 and 4 modules.
Meetings with your personal tutor will take place online.
(Years 3 and 4) Meetings with your project supervisor will take place online.
If in-person participation is limited for a given module, it will be split as evenly as possible among students following the module.
Support for online learning
To access the content of the programme online you will be expected to have access to a computer (comparable to the laptop we offer for loan; HP EliteBook 840 G7, i5-10310U processor, 16Gb RAM, 256Gb solid state disk, 14” HD screen, Windows 10 Pro 64, webcam; see https://www8.hp.com/h20195/v2/GetDocument.aspx?docname=4AA7-6811ENUC), reliable internet connection with a minimum of sustained 10 MBps down/upload speed and be able to use Microsoft Teams. Your College IT account will provide you with free access to the Office365 suite of tools, and further information about how to use Microsoft Teams is available at https://www.imperial.ac.uk/admin-services/ict/self-service/connect-communicate/office-365/apps/microsoft-teams/ .
Training and support for how to use other systems and software will be provided during the programme induction and through specific modules.
Length of the programme
We anticipate you will be able to complete the programme within the timescale previously advertised.
You will be expected to have access to a computer, webcam, microphone and to a reliable internet connection, and you will need to cover any associated costs for these. There are no other expected additional costs (beyond those previously advertised) to participate in the programme if you choose to study remotely.
Year abroad programmes
Your year abroad (or partial year abroad) may be cancelled or rescheduled. The College will need to adhere to partner institutions requirements as well as to UK travel advice during the period of your year abroad. You will be entitled to transfer to the version of your programme without the year abroad option.
In-person activities will still be delivered at the South Kensington campus
Visas and Immigration
If you require a visa to study in the UK, it is important that you have read the guidance provided by the International Student Support Team at the College online.
Imperial has a team of specialist immigration advisers who can provide specific advice on your immigration situation and on the best options for you. They can be reached by email on firstname.lastname@example.org . It is your responsibility to ensure that you have the correct immigration permission for your studies in the UK.