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

Your programme would normally be delivered in-person on campus. In 2020-21, we plan to deliver it in multi-mode format. Multi-mode means that your experience will be a mix of in-person and remote activities. It is important to recognise that, depending on official government guidance throughout the entirety of next academic year, the balance in the multi-mode offering may be subject to change. We hope to be able to offer you increased on-campus learning activities throughout the year.

If you are unable to travel to campus you will not be disadvantaged in your learning experience, and you will be provided with a remote alternative of any in-person activities.

Further details on the mix of in-person and remote activities and support available to you in your department 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 on-campus activity. In the event of suspension of on-campus activity, in-person activities will be delivered to all students remotely/as a remote alternative that provides the same learning outcomes.

The College will deliver your programme to ensure the approved learning outcomes are met and will take steps to make alternative arrangements in any extreme circumstances where this is not possible. The College is also developing community building activities to support the multi-mode experience for students.

College-wide induction and enrolment 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.

Departmental induction

All departmental induction activities for your programme will take place remotely.

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 in a multi-mode format.

No changes to the programme learning outcomes have been made as a consequence of moving to a multi-mode format. The learning outcomes of some modules have been amended for the multi-mode delivery, and you can view the updated module descriptions online.

Scheduling

Some modules’ (or parts of modules’) teaching and/or assessment(s) may be rescheduled to be delivered in a different term than originally advertised.

Programme delivery

Autumn term

If you are able to come to campus, your programme will be delivered through a mixture of in-person and remote activities in the autumn term.

The following activities will be delivered in person:

  • Labs
  • Lectures

The following activities will be delivered remotely:

  • Tutorials
  • Problem Classes and Office Hours
  • Pastoral activities

If you are unable to come to campus in the Autumn term, all in-person activities outlined above will be delivered to you remotely/as a remote alternative that delivers the same learning outcomes.

In the event of suspension of on-campus activity, in-person activities outlined above will be delivered to all students remotely/as a remote alternative that delivers the same learning outcomes.

January 2021 onwards

From January 2021, dependent on current UK Government guidance and if you are able to come to campus, your programme will be delivered through a mixture of in-person and remote activities.

The following activities will be delivered in person:

  • Labs
  • Lectures

The following activities will be delivered remotely:

  • Tutorials
  • Problem Classes and Office Hours
  • Pastoral activities
  • MSc project supervision

In the summer term the following activities may also be available in person (subject to social distancing requirements on campus):

  • Group project work

If you are unable to come to campus from January 2021, all in-person activities outlined above will be delivered to you remotely/as a remote alternative that meets the same learning outcomes.

In the event of suspension of on-campus activity, in-person activities outlined above will be delivered to all students remotely/as a remote alternative that delivers the same learning outcomes.

Support for remote learning

To access the content of the programme remotely you will be expected to have access to a computer (see advice on which laptop to buy at the bottom of our new students page. The Department also has laptops for term-long loan but they need to be collected from College if it is safe to do so), reliable internet connection and be able to use Microsoft Teams. Your College IT account will provide you with free access to the Office365 suite of tools, and you can view further information about how to use Microsoft Teams online.

Training and support for how to use other systems and software will be provided during the programme induction and through specific modules.

MSc projects

Some projects can be delivered and completed remotely (e.g. modelling/theoretical based etc). Other projects will require in-person attendance (e.g. labs, etc). In the latter case, in order to mitigate against the impact of a restriction of activities during the period of project work, projects requiring in-person work will have a remote alternative which can be switched to if necessary.

You will be asked to provide a list of preferred projects and will be allocated a project from that list. You will not be mandated to come to the campus.

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 content to all remotely. This may require the re-scheduling of some of the activities.

Programme assessment

The College has agreed that the default alternative arrangement for any on-campus formal written examinations is to provide a timed remote assessment. 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.

Length of the programme

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

Additional costs

You will be expected to have access to a computer and to a reliable internet connection, and you will need to cover any associated costs for these. A limited number of laptops are available on-loan (free of charge) in the department and requests for these will be evaluated on needs base. These laptops can only be distributed to students who can pick them up from College. If you choose to come to campus, then there will be additional costs associated to the requirements for facemasks (a small number will be supplied in your welcome pack). You are also advised to buy a backpack to carry your lab-in-a-box (where relevant) and your laptop to and from College safely.

Field trips

Some planned field trips may be cancelled, postponed, rescheduled or amended, or replaced with a remotely alternative that delivers the same learning outcomes.

Professional accreditation

The College is working with the relevant professional accreditation organisation(s) to seek recognition for your programme under the newly introduced multi-mode approach.

Location

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

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. View how we will deliver these, considering current social distancing restrictions, as well as a full lockdown, on our website.