We are looking forward to welcoming you back to Imperial this Autumn. We are writing to update you on arrangements which we will be making for your programme in order to ensure that it can be delivered safely, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. 

In 2020-21, we plan to deliver your programme in multi-mode format. Multi-mode in our case means that all teaching activities will be delivered and supported online, but the Department premises will be open, with access managed according to the public health guidelines of the time. On-campus activities will also be organised where possible.  

It is important to recognise that, depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of the next academic year, the balance in the multi-mode offering may be subject to change. Our hope is to be able to offer you increased on-campus learning activities throughout the year, as the situation evolves. 

If you are unable to travel to campus you will not be disadvantaged in your learning experience, because there will be a full remote offering. Further details on the teaching activities and support available to you are provided in the Programme Delivery section of this letter. 

Institutional guarantees 

All on campus provision will be subject to the requirements of the current Public Health advice from the UK Government, College guidelines on social distancing and any additional health and safety measures. In the event that there is an escalation of the current outbreak or a new outbreak of COVID-19 during your programme then, in line with Public Health Advice from the UK Government, we may be forced to suspend all on-campus activities. In the event of such a suspension, all teaching and learning will operate remotely, but in a manner that enables us to deliver the same learning outcomes. 

Departmental induction and enrolment 

The start-of-term activities will operate in a remote format at the start of the academic year and there will be no requirement to visit the campus in person to begin your studies. The induction activities include the following: 

  • Overview of degree programme structures and regulations  
  • Overview of the Departmental systems and remote teaching/support platforms we plan to use in the coming year 
  • Overview of support services 
  • Introduction to group and individual projects (3rd and 4th year) 
  • Introduction to laboratory programmes (2nd year) 

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. 

The learning outcomes of some modules have been amended for the multi-mode delivery. The link to the webpages with the updated module information will be sent to you prior to the start of the programme.

Scheduling  

Some modules’ teaching and assessment(s) will be rescheduled to be delivered in a different term than originally advertised. 

Programme Delivery  

All teaching activities throughout the year (Autumn, Spring and Summer terms) will be delivered in a format that supports remote learning.   

  • All the taught modules will include live online sessions allowing Q&A and interaction with the lecturers. 
  • All supervised lab sessions will be conducted online. Face-to-face supervision of lab sessions will be considered only when it is safe to do so. 
  • All pastoral care and personal tutor meetings will be provided online. In some cases, it may be possible for such meetings to be arranged on campus, in which case full details will be provided at the time. 
  • All departmental and relevant multi-disciplinary seminars, with expert internal and external speakers, as well as all presentations by guests from industry, will be delivered online.  

Where possible, and subject to Health and Safety guidelines on campus, the labs, student common room and lecture theatres will be open and available for you to use for socialising, self-study and to participate in the remote teaching activities listed above. 

If it is deemed safe to return to on-campus teaching from the Spring Term onwards then we may be able to offer some in-person teaching activities. However, all such activities will continue to be accessible remotely, so you will not be disadvantaged if you are unable to attend in person. 

Please also note the following: 

All our teaching materials, notes, exercises, recorded lecture videos, coursework specifications will be available on the Department’s long standing and tested bespoke systems, all of which are accessible remotely.   

All project specifications will be available on our project portal for viewing and shortlisting. All assessments will be submitted electronically through our Department’s systems that have been in continuous use for several years.  

All interactions with academic and teaching support staff will take place using well-established online Q&A forums such as Piazza, and ‘live’ meeting platforms such as Microsoft Teams. 

Equipment requirements 

As with the summer term 2019-20, to access the content of the programme remotely you will be expected to have access to a computer and a good internet connection. As with last year’s remote exams (timed assessments) you may also need to be able to generate pdf scans of hand-written work, so you should have access to a modern smartphone, or other scanning device capable of generating good-quality pdfs.  

Project work 

All projects that will be available during the year can be supervised, delivered and completed remotely.  

Suspension of on-campus activity 

In the event of a suspension of on-campus activity due to an escalation of the current outbreak or a new outbreak of COVID-19, then we will deliver some content remotely and seek to reschedule activities which cannot be delivered remotely later in the programme.  

Programme assessment 

The College has agreed that the default alternative arrangement for any on-campus formal written examinations will continue to be timed remote assessments. For other types of assessment, the method may be amended to accommodate the multi-mode arrangements. All students participating in a piece of assessment will do this in the same way, whether they choose to come to campus or study remotely.  

Location  

Any in-person activities will still be delivered at the South Kensington campus, or in exceptional circumstances within the South Kensington neighbourhood.  

Length of the programme 

We anticipate you will be able to complete the programme within the timescale previously advertised.  

Additional costs 

To study remotely you will need to cover any associated costs for your computer, internet connection and pdf generation device. There are no other expected additional costs beyond these, should you choose to study remotely.  

Professional accreditation  

Because the learning outcomes have not changed, professional accreditation for this programme remains in place even though it will be delivered in multi-mode format for next year. 

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 Union to ensure that we are able to provide, enhance and facilitate all areas of your student experience under 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, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, are set out on our COVID-19 pages

Further enquiries 

For any further information please post your questions on the Autumn 2020-21 Piazza forum