Last updated: 7 January 2022


College policy and guidance:

Latest College COVID-19 guidance for students

 

 


Department Guidance

 

As the last of the pandemic related restrictions have lifted, we’ll be making a number of changes to building operations in the Department which will come into effect from Monday 4th April.

Although we’re making these changes, it’s also important to remember that coronavirus hasn’t disappeared and there will be colleagues within our community for whom coronavirus is a health concern. Therefore, we’re asking everyone to continue to take the following actions to keep themselves and others safe:

  • Wear face coverings in crowded areas 
  • Staying at home if you feel unwell — If you are displaying symptoms of respiratory disease, don't come into the Department. Instead, work or study remotely if you are well enough and able to do so.
  • Get fully vaccinated 
  • Cover your coughs and sneezes 
  • Respect personal space. 

 

Summer term

Term starts on 3 May. Please note that this is a Tuesday, as there is a bank holiday on Monday 2 May.

The term will start with in-person exams for 1st, 2nd and 4th years, and MSc students.

 3rd year MEng start work on their projects on 3 May and continue throughout the term.

For 1st, 2nd and 3rd year when the exam period is over you will then move on to project work. You are expected to be on campus until your final assessment.

 

 

 

 

Student communications archive

6 January 2022

In the process of organising the teaching for Spring term, the Department considered the current position of the College regarding the organisation of the teaching with respect to COVID-19 around the staff and students and the specific aspects of the EEE building regarding COVID-19 transmission prevention.

Having considered the effectiveness of the measures that we have put in place to ensure the safety of our students and staff as well as the value of in-person teaching, we are moving to a more in-person teaching for the Spring term, within certain constraints. Please note that your scheduled days in College are different to last term, so please check your timetable.

Safety

College’s Guidance and Updates on safety around COVID-19 can be found here. In summary, the college has made mandatory mask wearing on campus for both students and staff (unless the person is exempt) and requires from students and staff to take weekly PCR tests or twice-weekly LFD tests. It is important for all of us to observe the new mandate on mask wearing in order to maintain our increased in-person teaching and to stay safe.

For safety reasons, the College has decided to operate its facilities at reduced capacity to prevent the spread of COVID.

Lectures

We have moved most of our lectures/classes/labs to in-person teaching. Due to room capacity restrictions, we will still need to teach in a mixed-mode, but all our modules will have an in-person activity. Please note that during lecturing, lecturers can remove their masks provided that they are not in close proximity (less than 2m) to the students.

Lectures will also be be streamed and recorded, as we cannot accommodate all our students in the Department due to reduced room capacity.

Personal Tutorials

The same arrangements as in the Autumn term are in place.

Teaching organisation by year

1st Year
Due to the reduced room capacity, your cohort has been split into two groups (group A and group B). At any given time, only one of the two groups has scheduled activities in College, and the other group will be explicitly asked not to come to College. They will have remotely streamed lectures to follow and classes to attend during some of the times they are not in College.

2nd Year
Similarly to the first year, the second year has been split to two similar sized groups (EEE and EIE stream). At any given time, only one of the two groups has scheduled activities in College, and the other group will be explicitly asked not to come to College. They will have remotely streamed lectures to follow and classes to attend during some of the times they are not in College.

3rd Year, 4th Year, MSc Programmes
As many of the modules in these years have fewer students, the lectures/classes have been timetabled in a manner to increase in-person teaching within our space constraints.

17 December - initial communication about Spring term

Following the College’s decision to reduce the proportion of on-campus teaching activities for the final week of this term, I am sure you are eager to hear more about our current plans for the spring term.

Our plan for your teaching

Our aim for the spring term, as it was throughout autumn term, is to maximise your on-campus experience. This means you should plan to be living in your term-time address and able to physically attend campus for the start of term.

Assessments scheduled for January will all be delivered as timed remote assessments. Timed remote assessment start times will conform to the UK’s time zone, meaning delayed starts will not be permitted. A decision on the delivery method for summer exams will be made soon.

Our exceptional circumstances policy will remain applicable on a case-by-case basis for those students who find it impossible to reach campus. In these circumstances you will be able to access learning material and support remotely. However, our programme cannot offer you a remote alternative that is equivalent to any on-campus activities which you might miss. Please be aware that depending on your circumstances, the department may not be able to accommodate delays in your return and may need to discuss other options with you.

We know that these plans will be welcomed by many students who enjoy on-campus activity. Some of you may also feel concerned, especially over the coming weeks as the Omicron variant spreads across the world.

Safety

College safety guidelines have been effective in preventing COVID-19 transmission in our teaching spaces over the past months, and we are aware of only very few possible cases connected to these settings. However, significant transmission in social settings is now considered an inevitability by experts at the College and elsewhere.

Please do take sensible precautions to limit the risk to yourself and others, while also remembering to enjoy your break and recharge. You can gain the best possible protection by getting vaccinated as soon as you are eligible, including a booster, if you have not done so already, alongside regularly testing as mandated by the College guidelines.

Testing kits will also continue to be provided by the College throughout the break, with lateral flow tests available in halls of residence that have a reception desk. Our PCR testing facilities will be available again from Tuesday 4 January 2022.

If you are in the UK and you have COVID-19 symptoms that are getting worse, the advice from the NHS is to read NHS 111 online and only call 111 if necessary. The NHS also offers a web page on symptom management at home.

What to expect in the coming weeks

The Government’s own safety guidelines will likely change at short notice several times over the Christmas and New Year period. Therefore, I ask you in advance to please remain patient with us as this fast-moving situation develops.

Unfortunately, the start of the spring term is when it is most likely that the current high rate of Omicron transmission will be evident in hospital admission rates. The College has always followed government guidance, and if we are mandated to increase our proportion of remote teaching, we will do so and we will communicate this to you as soon as possible.

Accommodation and support

If you live in a hall of residence, please be reassured that you will be able to apply for a credit for your accommodation fees should future Government restrictions prevent you from being able to return to your accommodation, in line with the College's Exceptional Circumstance Policy. Halls residents have recently received an email outlining the College’s recommendations for how they spend their winter break.

If you require additional support over the holiday period, please visit the Student Support Zone for access to a variety of resources and immediate help. As was the case last year, the College has created a package of support for those students seeking fun ideas for how to spend the Christmas period.

If you have any academic related queries, please contact the relevant staff or our Education Office, but please keep in mind that you may experience delays in our response due to the Christmas period.

These may be uncertain times, but as demonstrated throughout the autumn term, the College has a resilient and supportive community. Let’s all work together to return refreshed from our break and to protect and build upon all of the progress we have made.

We wish you a restful break.

Best wishes,

Christos Bouganis, Director of Undergraduate Studies

Pier Luigi Dragotti, Director of Postgraduate Studies

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9 December - arrangements for reminder of Autumn term

9 and 10 December 2021

Given the short notice and the time that we need to accommodate a shifting to remote learning, the expectation is from you to attend the activities as has been previously communicated. However, in case where a module leader moves an in-person activity (lecture/class/lab) to on-line, you will receive an email informing you about this with details on its arrangements.

13-17 December 2021

For the following week, all our teaching and assessment will be moved on-line. The module leaders will communicate to you further details.

Spring term

At this point we are still planning to return to in-person teaching at the start of next term on 10 January 2022.  More information will be provided nearer the time.

August 2020 - teaching modes

updated 19 August 2022

p>In 2020-21, all our teaching will be delivered in multi-mode format.

Multi-mode simply means a combination of on-campus (in-person)  teaching and remote (online) teaching. If you are not able to travel to campus you will be able to access a remote alternative for any in-person activities, and will not be disadvantaged in your learning experience.

Depending on official government guidance during the whole of this 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.

Teaching modes

There are three basic modes of teaching delivery:

  • Multi-mode: Timetabled, live classes. You can choose to attend in person or stream online.
  • Remote synchronous: Timetabled classes streamed live, online-only.
  • Remote asynchronous: Pre-recorded for watching online in your own time

You can find the latest information on individual subject modules and how we expect them to be delivered in the curriculum catalogue.  EIE3 and EIE4 students please note that the information for Computing modules is currently being checked and modules may not run in the term shown.

Read more about our teaching modes

Multi-mode / combination

For these live timetabled classes the module leader will be present, and the class will also be streamed live for those unable to attend in person.

In these classes there will be a maximum of 30 students in attendance in person, with social distancing of 2m, and face coverings to be worn.

Staff will wear face coverings and face shields according to guidance.

If you wish to attend in person you will need to book your place via the booking system app.

These classes will also be recorded on MS Teams.

Supporting problem-solving classes will be multi-mode or remote synchronous.

Remote synchronous - live online

These classes will be delivered remotely via streaming on MS Teams.

Classes will be timetabled, but with no teaching room assigned.

The module leader will teach the class from home or from a small room in the department.

These classes will be recorded on MS Teams.

Supporting problem classes will be multi-mode or remote synchronous.

Remote asynchronous - pre-recorded, watch any time

The module leader will pre-record the class for you to watch in your own time, by a pre-set deadline.

Supporting problem classes will be remote synchronous.

Arrangements for practical labs

We will make sure that students who cannot attend in person are not disadvantaged, by providing all students with a Lab-in-a-Box kit and the same software, so you can work on the same experiments together, wherever you are.

If you wish to attend in person you will need to book your place via the booking system app. 

Social distancing of 2m and face coverings to be worn.

Staff will wear face coverings, and face shields if in close contact during demonstrations.

Practical work (Years 3 and 4)

Laboratory work that is normally done in the department will run in a multi-mode setting. Where applicable all students will receive a lab-in-a-box that will contain all tools for the experiment. Where a lab-in-a-box is not feasible the alternatives implemented are one of the following: a remotely controlled lab, a fully virtual lab or simulations.

 

Timetabled classes

All classes will be timetabled between 09:00 and 15:00 UK time. (Currently UTC+1. After Sunday 25 October, UTC+0)

On campus provision

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.

EIE3 and EIE4

EIE Computing modules

The Department of Computing will be delivering all teaching activities throughout the year (Autumn, Spring and Summer terms)  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. 

EIE4

  • COMP97057 Quantum Computing will not run
  • COMP96019 Robotics has moved to the Spring term

 

Updates


27 August 2020 update: section for practical work for 3rd and 4th year added

19 August 2020 update: section for EIE students added

13 August 2020 page published

 

 

 

Multi-mode / combination

For these live timetabled classes the module leader will be present, and the class will also be streamed live for those unable to attend in person.

In these classes there will be a maximum of 30 students in attendance in person, with social distancing of 2m, and face coverings to be worn.

Staff will wear face coverings and face shields according to guidance.

If you wish to attend in person you will need to book your place via the booking system app.

These classes will also be recorded on MS Teams.

Supporting problem-solving classes will be multi-mode or remote synchronous.