Given the extraordinary recent changes in the world, we understand that you will be keen to find out more about starting your degree in the Autumn (October to December) term. In this letter, we will set out our intended arrangements for delivery of  your  programme so that you can make an informed choice about joining us on campus for the Autumn term.   

You will have the following options:  

  • Join us in London, UK for the multi-mode teaching programme (a mix of on-campus and remote learning)  

  • Submit an exceptional circumstance deferral request  

Should you be unable to travel to London due to travel/government restrictions, you will be provided with an alternative remote offering of the programme. 

Please consider these carefully and use the information below to inform your decision.  

The Medical Bioscience Curriculum   

As a BSc Medical Biosciences (BMB) student in the School of Medicine, we will support you to develop critical thinking and problem-solving skills to tackle challenges facing human health today. This may include researching pandemics like the one we face now, but it could also include researching cancer, working in laboratories, or pursuing science in other areas. Our faculty members and supporting staff have measures in place to make sure you have all the tools you need to succeed.   

Medical bioscientists are leading the fight against COVID, and there has never been a better time to pursue an education in this field. Whether you’re interested in studying infectious diseases and immunology, cancer, neurobiology or other areas in this field, your studies will equip you with skills to change the world and to make a difference.   

Clarity for year 1   

As a new programme, our flagship Medical Biosciences course is digitally led, and we are ready to deliver our programme as a multi-mode experience for the Autumn term in 2020-1. This means that your learning will be a combination of on-campus (in-person) and remote learning (online). We will provide opportunities for an on-campus experience (subject to government and public health guidelines) but, should you not be able to attend, we will ensure that you can join remotely. Regardless of the mode of delivery, the teachers, materials, and the approach to teaching will be the same.   

We are planning for you to have a minimum of one morning or afternoon of teaching on campus per week.  However, we will adapt the amount of face-to-face (In person) teaching and online delivery in line with Government guidance and travel restrictions as well as taking into consideration the geographic location of the Year 1 intake. 

It is important to recognise that, depending on official government guidance throughout the next academic year, the balance in the ‘multi-mode’ offering may be subject to change. This might mean that in the event of subsequent campus closures due to a resurgence of COVID-19, all remaining teaching is moved online for the entire academic year.   

If the College is not able to deliver any modules in order to meet the programme learning outcomes due to public health guidance in place at the time, the length of the programme may be extended, with no additional fees being levied to students.  We will inform you with as much notice and clarity as possible of any proposed changes should it be necessary to adjust in order to adhere to national guidance.   

Your core modules for Year 1 of the BSc in Medical Biosciences stay the same: Chemistry of Biological Interactions, Integrative Body Systems, Lab Pod I, Molecular and Cellular Biology, and Statistics. That means the content and Learning Outcomes of Year 1 have not changed. The duration of your course has not changed: three years, or four with the added management year. The ultimate degree award will be the same.    

The ‘Lab Pod’ is now scheduled for delivery during the Spring and Summer terms to enable us to ensure that appropriate protective equipment is in place. This means that there will be a greater focus on theoretical teaching in the Autumn term.   

We will provide you with an iPad to support your academic studies. Please note that iPads will be handed out on campus, so students working remotely may need to source and pay for equipment and supplies themselves; this may include computer devices to access teaching material prior to arriving in London.  In particular, you will need a device capable of running the open-source software R Studio - (https://rstudio.com/products/rstudio/download/#download) 

We are planning for your induction, which will be announced in the coming weeks on our School of Medicine Induction Hub (a portal to support your transition from offer holder to enrolled student). You will be provided with opportunities to meet our academic and professional services teams in remote and face to face settings. We will explain your course structure and where applicable offer virtual campus tours. These arrangements will continue to be subject to government guidance and social distancing measures.    

We will also provide a range of social opportunities and our Student Union is also planning a series of events to welcome you to Imperial College London.  They will provide more information on this, but in the meantime please visit the College’s 2020 offer holder webpage.  

BMB is normally delivered primarily at the South Kensington and Hammersmith campuses and we plan for that to continue.  On-site teaching may be delivered from other campus sites if required, in the event that we must adjust to meet a change to government guidance. The Faculty of Medicine has several campuses across west London, which you can find more information on .  

You should apply for your accommodation in the usual way. Your accommodation selection will be considered according to your five-choice preference. Arrangements are being made to allow you to arrive in halls two weeks before the start of term, at no extra cost if you are self-isolating or need to quarantine.   

No changes to the module learning outcomes have been made as a consequence of moving to the multi-mode delivery format. If the College is not able to deliver any modules in order to meet the programme learning outcomes due to the impact of public health guidance in place at the time, the length of the programme may be extended.  If your registration with the College needs to be extended, the College will not charge any additional tuition fee in respect of completion at a later date, but you will be responsible for your own living costs, and the College is unable to guarantee providing you with accommodation beyond your original completion date (if you are living in College provided accommodation). 

The College does not intend to change the advertised tuition fees for 2020/2021.  

Your assessments 

The BMB programme is assessed through a mix of written and practical examinations and in-course assessments. We have successfully moved assessments online for the 2019-20 academic year, and the infrastructure is already in place in the event we need to migrate them online for the 2020-21 academic year.  This means that your exams may be delivered online as ‘open book’ exams in the event of more campus closures. 

We will not change how your degree is awarded.  

If Government guidance does not allow us to deliver a practical assessment, alternative arrangements will be made. We have well-established and robust processes for setting and marking all assessments. For more information about our academic integrity policies, please visit our website

Spring and summer terms 2020-21 

We plan to offer your programme in-person during the Spring and Summer Terms in 2021, and this means that your attendance will be required. We have contingency plans in place in case of further disruption as a result of COVID19 and associated restrictions. Some content will continue to be delivered remotely. 

Your academic support 

 In the School of Medicine, we support your wellbeing from the very beginning. We will provide you with resources to support your move from further education into university through an online transition module and preparatory academic materials, which will be made available to you closer to the beginning of term. Additionally, you will be allocated a personal tutor who will be your point of contact for academic and wellbeing support. Your personal tutor will equip you with lifelong learning skillsets to help you work efficiently and effectively to help drive your academic success. They will support you through the Medical Biosciences programme as you embark on developing your scientific, investigatory and practical skillsets.   

The School of Medicine’s team of Senior Tutors supports students going through more complex personal issues. Acting confidentially, the Senior Tutor and the School of Medicine Welfare team ensure that appropriate wellbeing/welfare support including mitigating circumstances are offered. 

We have updated the Student Support Zone specifically in response to the pandemic, and we hope it will be helpful for you as a resource for ensuring your success at university. You can find support for careers, mental health, and disability services, along with study and wellbeing support, and the College chaplaincy.   

We also have a dedicated Coronavirus (COVID-19) website where updates and guidance are regularly posted.   

Your health and safety 

All on-campus teaching will be subject to relevant public health guidance, College guidelines on social distancing and appropriate health and safety measures.  We are conducting a full risk assessment on our teaching areas and planned activities to ensure that any measures required to meet this guidance are in place ready for the start of teaching.    

On arrival at Imperial, you will receive a welcome pack that will include three washable cotton face coverings, hand sanitiser and anti-viral wipes.  The College is implementing enhanced infection control procedures, for example, by frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly including door handles, light switches, furniture, handrails, IT equipment, desks, phones, flush plates, taps and dispensers. Perspex screens will also be used across the College in reception and service areas. Around the College, in teaching spaces and in our halls of residence there will be hand sanitisers and multi-surface cleaning wipes for you to use, as well as plenty of hand-washing facilities. 

We encourage everyone to wear a face covering in multi-occupancy locations, such as laboratories, teaching and communal spaces.  Please note that in line with Government rules, face coverings must be worn for the full duration of journeys on the public transport network across London and the UK if you are required to come onto campus.  We expect our students to adhere to UK (national or local) travel advice.   

Your community  

You will be joining a community as members of the Medical Biosciences programme and Imperial College School of Medicine.  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.   Whilst the Student Union activities may not be quite the same as normal, the dedicated Imperial College School of Medicine Students’ Union (ICSMSU) will still be active and here for you for the years ahead.   

 We are working hard alongside the Imperial College Union (ICU) and ICSMSU to give you the best possible welcome to the College via a multi-mode approach. Whether you join us on campus or stay at home, we are making plans for an enjoyable Welcome Week to make sure you feel part of the community at Imperial.  ICSMSU is looking forward to your arrival at Imperial and is busy preparing for the Autumn term.  

The College has 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 website.

Your School of Medicine  

Our world-leading educators and researchers will be available to teach and support you both remotely and on-campus, where applicable and where guidelines and circumstances allow. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it is possible that some staff within the Faculty of Medicine may be temporarily unavailable due to their professional or clinical responsibilities. This will not directly affect your teaching.  

Exceptional deferment 

Imperial College has set out a series of exceptional circumstances in which a deferment could be granted. These have been set out on the COVID-19 website. The School of Medicine will consider deferments on a case by case basis, please contact Medical Biosciences Enquiries medicalbiosciences.enquiries@imperial.ac.uk  for guidance. 

Your next steps 

If you wish to join us in October on the Medical Biosciences course in-person, you do not need to do anything further. 

If you wish to join us in October on the Medical Biosciences course remotely, please contact feo.bmb@imperial.ac.uk by 27 August 2020. 

If, in light of these changes, you no longer wish to undertake this course of study at Imperial College London, please contact Medicine UG Admissions medicine.ug.admissions@imperial.ac.uk  for guidance.  

If you feel that you have an exceptional deferment circumstance, please do not hesitate to contact the School of Medicine Medical Biosciences Admissions Team medicalbiosciences.enquiries@imperial.ac.uk 

For more information on processes and other references made in this letter, please see: 

If you have any questions about any of these changes then please don’t hesitate to contact the School of Medicine’s BMB Admissions Team at medicalbiosciences.enquiries@imperial.ac.uk  

We wish you an enjoyable summer, and hope to see you later in the year. 

Signed off by Alison McGregor and Vanessa Powell