We are looking forward to welcoming you back to College, and understand that in these extraordinary times, you will be keen to know what to expect as you embark on your intercalated BSc. In this letter, we will set out our intended arrangements for the delivery of your programme for the academic year 2020-21. 

For external students 

In this letter, we will set out our intended arrangements for the delivery of your programme so you can make an informed choice about the Autumn (October to December) 2020-21 term.    

You will have the following options:   

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

  • Submit an exceptional circumstance request for an interruption of studies  

Please be reassured that if you are unable to come to London in the Autumn Term for any reason, we will ensure that any on-campus teaching is still accessible to you remotely.  

 
As a BSc student in the School of Medicine, we will support you to develop specialism-specific knowledge and broad training in research skills. This will enable you to interpret data to inform best practice, and to extend boundaries of current thinking and advance medicine.   

Your programme  

The duration of your BSc and the course dates have not changed. We also do not expect the teaching contact hours to change.  We remain dedicated to offering you a first-rate experience and we are looking forward to welcoming you to the course.  

Our BSc Programmes are digitally led and we are ready to deliver our teaching as a multi-mode experience for the Autumn term in 2020-21. This means that your learning will be a combination of on-campus (in-person) and remote learning (online).   

Subject to government and public health guidelines, each BSc Pathway will deliver one week of on-campus teaching during the Autumn Term. All other Autumn Term content will be delivered remotely, with all required teaching materials made available to students via our virtual learning environment.  

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).  

BSc <pathway> will deliver on-campus teaching from <date to date> on <campus>.  

Should you not be able to attend in person, we will ensure that you can join teaching sessions remotely. For practical components, such as lab experience, we will put in place bespoke solutions where possible.  

The BSc Induction for the whole cohort will be run remotely on the morning of Monday 28 September. This will include interactive elements and cohort building activities.  

BSc assessment  

The BSc programme is coursework-based and you will be assessed via a mix of written and oral assessments. Remote delivery should not affect the submission of written assessment. We have successfully moved oral assessments online for the 2019-20 academic year, and the infrastructure is already in place for them to take place online in the 2020-21 Autumn Term.  

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.  

Possible resurgence of COVID-19  

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.    

This could also mean that field trips and project placements may be cancelled, rescheduled or amended. The College will need to adhere to partner institutions’ requirements as well as to UK travel advice. Students will either be offered an online option or replacement provision by the College. Should the College be required to make adjustments in order to adhere to national guidance, the School of Medicine will communicate these to you directly.  

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, with no additional fees being levied to students. 

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

For continuing Medicine students, we will not change how your degree is awarded. Medicine will continue to be a pass/fail course.  These changes will not affect your ability to apply for registration with the General Medical Council (GMC) upon successful completion of the programme.  

ICT support and requirements  

Any additional study skills required by students to ensure digital literacy will be delivered and supported. Students will require a computer or laptop with internet to access remote teaching. A camera and microphone will also be essential for participation in interactive teaching activities.  

We are pleased to loan incoming students from other universities, an iPad device to support academic studies, which we will distribute to you during your week on campus. Continuing Imperial MBBS students will already have an iPad from the College.   

Students working remotely may need to source and pay for any required equipment and supplies themselves. Eligible students may receive financial support from the Student Support Fund.  

Student support  

We will continue to provide academic and wellbeing support for all students. Our incoming students will be allocated a personal tutor, who will be your point of contact for such support. Preparatory academic materials will be made available to all students closer to the beginning of term.   

Additionally, our BSc Senior Tutor will support students going through more complex personal issues. Acting confidentially, the Senior Tutor and School of Medicine Welfare Team will ensure that appropriate wellbeing/welfare support including mitigating circumstances are offered.   

The College’s Student Support Zone information has been updated specifically in response to the pandemic, and we hope it will be helpful resource for you to ensure your success this academic year. 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.    

The School of Medicine Hardship Fund is available to any students struggling with finances, and all students are welcome to apply multiple times as circumstances require. For continuing students, all the information on this is in the Your Finances section on MedLearn.  

Accommodation  

For any students who do not wish to be in London for the Autumn Term but wish to attend the face-to-face teaching week, we have suggestions for short stay accommodation that may be helpful – please see the information on our webpage here.  

Students planning to secure a place in Halls of Residence for the upcoming academic year may be interested in the changes being made for 2020-21, including the opportunity to choose an accommodation contract that begins in January 2021.  

Your health and safety  

Your safety is of the utmost importance to us. All on-campus teaching will be subject to relevant public health guidance, College guidelines on social distancing and appropriate health and safety measures.    

The College is implementing extra infection control procedures, for example, by frequently cleaning and disinfecting objects and surfaces that are touched regularly. 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.  

Whilst on campus, you should follow the UK Government’s official guidance and College policies. These currently do not mandate the wearing of face coverings, however, in multi-occupancy locations such as laboratories, teaching and communal spaces, wearing a face covering shows our consideration for the safety of those around us. Face coverings should cover both your mouth and nose. Please note that in line with current 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 and local) travel advice.   

Your student experience   

We are dedicated to ensuring that you still have an excellent student experience and feel part of the Imperial community, even if you are unable to attend on-campus teaching.   

Team working is a big part of the BSc, so building a sense of community is very important to us. Each of our BSc pathways are developing cohort building activities to help students get to know one another and support the mixed-mode teaching experience.  

The dedicated Imperial College School of Medicine Students’ Union (ICSMSU) will still be active and are busy preparing activities to welcome students for the Autumn term, and these will be communicated to you nearer the time.  

  
Your next steps 

If you are unable to travel to London due to travel restrictions or government guidance in October and need to access your teaching week remotely in the Autumn Term, you must fill out this Qualtrics form by [____]  

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 College COVID-19 website. The School of Medicine will consider deferments on a case-by-case basis, please contact the BSc Programmes Team (FEO.BSc@imperial.ac.uk) for guidance.  

If you have questions about the year ahead, please get in touch with the BSc Programmes Team (FEO.BSc@imperial.ac.uk).  

Stay safe and well.  

Dr Amir Sam, Head of Imperial College School of Medicine  

Professor Alison McGregor, Director of Undergraduate Science