Frequently asked questions

Academic year 2020/21 

Can I choose to follow my entire course online?

Our aim is to offer Aberystwyth University students an experience that is as similar as possible to the high-quality experience we always aim to deliver.  This means being with us on an adapted campus in Aberystwyth, and as much in-person teaching as is safely possible.

Our courses are not online degrees. However, we do recognise that some students may be affected by international travel restrictions or may have to shield for health reasons, which could prevent them from joining us for the start of the academic year. In such cases, our intention is to ensure that students can continue with their learning online, and we will ensure those students affected are not academically disadvantaged.

We recognise that this is a worrying and uncertain time for many. If you are facing any health or international travel barriers in returning in September, we will work with you to ensure that you can return to university life as soon as practically possible for you. We will provide students with more information on this in the near future.

What access will I have to computer facilities, libraries and laboratories?

We are currently preparing to adapt the campus in Aberystwyth so that facilities can reopen. In line with Government, Public Health Wales and Universities UK guidelines, we're putting social distancing measures in place and taking a range of other practical measures to manage the risks.

Please see our webpage Latest updates on IT and Library services for the latest information on our services.

What can I do if I don’t have my own laptop or desktop computer?

Laptops, PCs and other equipment are available on loan to students and further information is available here. 

Equipment has to be collected from Penglais Campus, and you will need to book a slot using our ‘Click & Collect’ system.  Further details about this available from here.

Your safety and wellbeing

How should I take care of my own health?

  • wash your hands with soap and water often – do this for at least 20 seconds
  • use hand sanitiser gel if soap and water are not available
  • cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when you cough or sneeze put used tissues in the bin immediately and wash your hands afterwards
  • avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth if your hands are not clean
  • wear a face-covering while indoors on all University sites
  • stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from other people, if you need to go outside

The NHS Coronavirus COVID-19 Symptom Checker is suitable for anyone living in Wales and can be used for people of all ages.

 

 

How do I register with a General Practitioner (GP) / family doctor?

To access healthcare while at University, all students are required to register with a local GP of their choice within the first week of arrival.  This is especially important at this time.

Information about GP practices in the local area can be found here and you can register with any one of the three Aberystwyth Practices (Padarn, Church and Ystwyth) using the online registration form on their practice website.

To complete your registration, you will need your:

  • NHS Number
  • town and country of birth
  • term time address
  • recent medical history relating to allergies, medication, vital statistics, lifestyle choices or any diagnosis or ongoing treatment.

What do you mean by a COVID-secure campus?

We’re implementing lots of new measures to make sure our campus is COVID-secure, including introducing one-way systems, installing Perspex screens in key areas including reception/information desks and till points to protect you and others. An additional important measure in protecting our University community is the wearing of face coverings indoors.

Teaching spaces
We will provide sanitising wipes so staff and students can clean their own work areas.

Laboratories
To comply with Government guidance on social distancing, we will operate laboratories on a significantly reduced capacity. Colleagues and students will also be required to wear PPE including face masks and eye protection. Colleagues based on the Gogerddan campus will shortly receive further guidance for resumption of research activity.

Toilets
We will be introducing measures to ensure that toilets are compliant with the necessary social distancing and hygiene requirements and queuing systems will apply where necessary.

 

We’re committed to delivering the very best student experience for you, and with these plans we can safely reopen the campus, give access to our great facilities and provide you with a great learning experience both in person and online.

How will you ensure the campus is clean?

Hand hygiene and avoiding close physical contact with others are the most important ways of preventing transmission of disease.

To support this, we are introducing hand sanitisers at entrances and exits of buildings. We are also introducing an enhanced cleaning regime including twice daily cleaning of toilets and high touch points such as door handles, light switches, railings, lift buttons, etc.

Our cleaning teams will be working across all our sites, but we need everyone’s help for it be most effective.

We will provide sanitising wipes so you can clean your own work area.

Face covering/ mask

What is a face covering?

A face covering principally acts to protect others by reducing airborne transmission of COVID-19. It does not protect the wearer from infection from others.

What is a face mask?

Face masks are personal protective equipment (PPE) which protect the user against health or safety risks at work. They include different types of respiratory protective equipment (RPE), such as fold-flat respirators (FFP2 or FFP3).   Risk assessments will identify the requirement for PPE, should FFP2 or FFP3 face masks be required, these will be fit-tested, instructions provided and replaced on a regular basis as a control measure.  The University will continue to provide PPE as identified for work activities. For most activities on campus a face covering will suffice unless you are informed otherwise

Personal protective equipment guidance.

Should I wear a facial covering?

All staff, students and visitors will be expected to wear a face covering while indoors on all Aberystwyth University sites.

To support this, we are providing two re-usable face coverings to all staff and students to coincide with the start of the new academic year and will write to you again with details on how you can obtain and maintain your face covering and replace them if necessary.

While we expect those able to wear face coverings to do so, we must also be aware that some people are unable to wear coverings for a variety of reasons.

For those in that position and to alert others to the fact that there is a reason a covering is not being worn we will provide a specific lanyard to help staff and students to show they are exempt.

Where do I get a face covering?

We are providing two re-usable face coverings to all staff and students to coincide with the start of the new academic year.  Staff and students can collect their two face coverings from the following collection points:

  • Sports Centre
  • Sgubor, Fferm Penglais
  • Campus reception
  • Students' Union
  • Gogerddan Stores

Please remember to wash or sanitise your hands before and after handling the face coverings.

Reception areas will hold a stock of single use coverings for occasional use by visitors to our buildings that have not been informed of the requirement beforehand.

Where and when does the requirement apply?

The requirement applies to all University enclosed buildings such as lecture and teaching rooms, social and study spaces, corridors, multi-use offices, and commercial venues such as Sports Centre, Arts Centre and Hospitality outlets.

Students moving into their term-time University-owned or private accommodation are strongly urged to wear a face covering when using areas outside their bedrooms- corridors, kitchens and shared bathroom facilities for the first two weeks after their arrival.

Face coverings should be worn from the building entry for the duration of an individual’s occupation of and until exiting the building (unless an exemption applies, see below).

Users of transport provided by the University such as the bus between Penglais and Llanbadarn campus or bus for fieldtrip activities will be required to wear face coverings.  Face coverings should be worn for the duration of the journey on transport.  This means they must be worn from when you get on the vehicle and they must stay in place until you get off.

There is no requirement to wear a face covering whilst waiting for transport to arrive.  At a bus stop, for example, normal practice of maintaining 2 metre social distancing should be observed.

The use of University vehicles will be assessed based on the hierarchy of risk controls for all journeys to eliminate, substitute, engineering, administrative and lastly personal protective equipment controls.

Who needs to wear a face covering?

The requirement applies to all staff, students, contractors and visitors over the age of 11 to all University Buildings.

All contractors, suppliers and third parties to the University will be informed of the University’s requirement to wear face coverings and should arrive prepared with face coverings.  Their employer may wish to provide a lanyard, badge or card demonstrating that they are exempt.

Do I need to wear a face covering whilst using transport provided by the University?

Users of transport provided by the University such as the bus between Penglais and Llanbadarn campus or bus for fieldtrip activities will be required to wear face coverings.  Face coverings should be worn for the duration of the journey on transport.  This means they must be worn from when you get on the vehicle and they must stay in place until you get off.

There is no requirement to wear a face covering whilst waiting for transport to arrive.  At a bus stop, for example, normal practice of maintaining 2 metre social distancing should be observed.

The use of University vehicles will be assessed based on the hierarchy of risk controls for all journeys to eliminate, substitute, engineering, administrative and lastly personal protective equipment controls.

Do I need to wear a face covering whilst exercising?

There is no expectation to wear your face covering whilst undertaking physical exercise in our Sports or Arts Centre.  There is an expectation to wear your face cover whilst travelling through our buildings to the location of the activity and on your exit route.

Do I need to wear a face covering in University accommodation?

Students moving into their term-time University-owned or private accommodation are strongly urged to wear a face covering when using areas outside their bedrooms- corridors, kitchens and shared bathroom facilities for the first two weeks after their arrival.

Why do I have to wear a face covering?

The benefit is greater when most people wear face coverings. By wearing a face covering, you are protecting other people who may be more vulnerable than you.  If the majority of our University community wear a face covering, we are making the best effort possible to protect our friends, family, colleagues and the wider community.  There may be specific reasons why an individual may be exempt from wearing a face covering but otherwise we are expecting that staff wear them as a health and safety issue.  

What if I can’t wear a face covering?

You may have an acceptable reason not to wear a face covering if (for example):

  • You are not able to put on or wear a face covering because of a physical or mental illness, or because of a disability or impairment;
  • You are accompanying somebody who relies on lip reading where they need to communicate; or
  • You are escaping from a threat or danger and don’t have a face covering;
  • You are undertaking exercise or an activity, and it would negatively impact your ability to do so;
  • You are in own bedroom within our residences;
  • You are undertaking agricultural activities within an agricultural building;
  • You are delivering a sermon or prayer in a place or worship;
  • You are in a single use office.

You may also have an acceptable reason to remove a face covering temporarily if (again, for example):

  • You need to take medicines;
  • You need to eat or drink, and this is permitted within the type of building you are in; or
  • Asked to do so by staff for identification, such as for age identification purposes including when buying age restricted products such as alcohol
  • You need to remove a face covering in order to avoid harm or injury, either to yourself or others – for example to get somebody’s attention about a danger.

How can I show that I am not required to wear a face covering?

Whether somebody has an acceptable reason not to wear a face covering, it will not always be obvious. Disabilities and impairments are not always visible to others and respect and understanding should be shown to those who have good reasons not to wear face coverings.

If you have an age, health or disability related reason for not wearing a face covering, you will be able to collect a white lanyard from the Hugh Owen Library.  We would strongly recommend you wear your white lanyard inside University buildings so that others can see that you are exempt from wearing a face covering.

How to put on your face covering?

Hand hygiene either by washing hands or using the sanitisation stations at the entry of each building, should be performed before wearing or taking off a face covering.  A face covering must only be handled by its straps. Inspect the face covering and do not use it if it is damaged or dirty.

  • Placing the straps behind your ears, adjust the covering to your face, leaving no gaps on the sides.
  • Avoid touching the covering while wearing it.
  • Change your mask once it gets dirty or wet.
  • To remove the covering, wash or sanitise your hands, remove using the strap behind your ears, without touching the front of the mask.
  • As you remove the mask pull it away from your face, place in a re-sealable bag for re-use or to be laundered. Clean your hands by washing or sanitising at the stations provided.

How to wear a fabric covering

How should I care for my reusable face covering?

If you are using a reusable face covering, store it in a clean re-sealable bag until you can wash it.  The face covering should be washed at least once a day.  Wash it in line with manufacturer’s instructions at the highest temperature appropriate for the fabric. You can use your normal detergent and you can wash and dry it with other laundry.

Do not share or give it to someone else to use; and you must dispose of your face covering if it is damaged.

Make sure you clean any surfaces the face covering has touched using normal household cleaning products.

How can I dispose of single use face covering responsibly?

Remove the face covering carefully – do not touch the front of the face covering or the part of which has been in contact with your mouth and nose.

If you aren’t at home, place your face covering in a litter bin or take it home in a re-sealable bag and put it in your bin. Do not litter as it can damage the environment.  If you are at home, put it in your household waste bin. Do not put single use face coverings in the recycling bin as they can’t be recycled.

You do not need to put them in an extra bag or store them for a time before throwing them away.

Please remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water for 20 seconds or use hand sanitiser immediately after removing your face covering and throwing it away.

Is there a way to prevent my glasses misting up when I wear a face covering?

The BBC have shared some tips and tricks for keeping your glasses fog-free. You can watch the video here.

How will the requirement be enforced?

The University hopes that our community will understand the reasons for wearing face coverings and will do so maintaining our Community Promise. It is vital however that the new rules are explained to staff, students, contractors and visitors so that they have an opportunity to comply.

Information will be provided through the University website, signage, infomons and regular communications.

All staff have a role in explaining the requirements and ensuring that colleagues, students, contractors and visitors are expected to wear face coverings.

When asked, individuals will be given an opportunity to wear a face covering or explain why they have an acceptable reason not to wear a face covering. If they are unwilling to comply with our requirements, this guidance should be referenced to explain the University’s position. We do expect staff to wear a face covering unless they are exempt.

Regular refusal to wear a face covering as detailed in this guidance, may result in further action being taken through staff or student disciplinary procedures; and/or refusal of entry to a University building or service provision for contractors, suppliers and visitors via the relevant procurement or service agreement.

Support and advice on these procedures is available from Academic Registry, Human Resources and Finance Department.

Test, Trace, Protect

Why are you doing Test, Trace, Protect (TTP)?

The safety and welfare of students, staff and the local community is a priority for the University and contact tracing forms an important part of our strategy to limit the spread of the virus in our community.


As a University we are facilitating Welsh Government’s Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) approach which is designed to help people in Wales to resume their normal lives gradually and safely. 

How does Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) work?

TTP works by:

  • testing those people who have coronavirus symptoms, asking them to isolate from wider family, friends, co-workers and their community whilst taking a test and waiting for a result
  • tracing those individuals who have been in close contact with the person who has tested positive for coronavirus, requiring them to take precautions and self-isolate (for 14 days)
  • providing advice and guidance, particularly where the person who has tested positive or their contacts are vulnerable or at greater risk
  • ensuring that if the individual tests negative and the symptoms are not due to coronavirus, individuals can get back to work and their normal routines as soon as possible.

How will Test, Trace, Protect (TTP) work at Aberystwyth University?

Here at the University we are working closely with Ceredigion County Council, the Hywel Dda University Health Board and Public Health Wales to support the TTP strategy.

Our aim is to ensure that any case of COVID-19 on campus is quickly identified and managed, and provide advice and support to anyone with Covid-19 related symptoms.

As part of this approach, contact details of staff, students and visitors may be shared to enable an efficient response to any reported case of Covid-19.

How will student data be collected for Track, Trace, Protect (TTP) and what will I have to do?

Student Data will be collected in a number of ways:

  • Through the University’s existing attendance monitoring system by using their Aber Card every time they enter a room or space which has a card reader.

  • At hospitality outlets on campus, customer contact details, including staff and students, will be collected using a third party QR code phone app, evePASS. The app is free and easy to set up, customers only need to register once, and it is accepted at numerous venues across Ceredigion

  • Note that evePASS will be available in Welsh. Information on setting your phone to Welsh can be found here:
  • Sports Centre access is restricted to members only, who are asked to swipe their membership card on entry, enabling us to collect data for contact tracing.

Which app will you be using to collect the data?

Data will be collected using the third party QR code phone app, evePASS.  The app is free and easy to set up, customers only need to register once.

Is there a Welsh version of the app?

Yes, there is a Welsh version of the evePASS app, information on setting your phone to Welsh can be found here:

Will the app work outside University sites?

Yes, the evePASS app is accepted at numerous venues across Ceredigion.

Marks and results

When will I be able to view my August resit results on my Student Record on-line?

The August resit results will be released as follows:

  • Part One and Part Two Non-Finalists - Wednesday 16th September
  • Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate Finalists - Monday 21st September

Can I appeal my module mark?

Yes, you can submit an appeal if you have grounds.  Before you decide to submit an appeal, please remember that you already have the opportunity to take further assessments to try to improve your marks.  And, if you have failed modules in semester two, you also already have the opportunity to take these assessments again for full marks.

If you are not sure whether submitting an appeal could lead to a different outcome, please contact either the Registry at caostaff@aber.ac.uk and/or the Students’ Union at union.advice@aber.ac.uk for advice.

Can I appeal my degree result?

Yes, you can submit an appeal if you have grounds, please see the appeals procedure at: https://www.aber.ac.uk/en/academic-registry/handbook/appeals/

Special circumstances

The current situation has affected my studies, can I submit a Special Circumstances form?

Students will not be asked to submit Special Circumstances forms and evidence for modules assessed during the August resit period; students unable to complete the August resit assessments, for whatever reason, will automatically be granted uncapped resit opportunities for non-submissions or in the case of failure; this suspension of our normal Special Circumstances procedure will be temporary to cover this assessment period.

Will special circumstances change a student’s marks?

No, we do not change marks on the basis of special circumstances. However, we will be reviewing all borderline cases this year as we recognise that all students will have been affected.  

Resits

Will there be a cap on the number of resits I can take in August?

No, for August 2020 only there will be no cap on the number of modules you can resit.

Will I be charged for resits in August 2020?

No, there will be no charge for resits in August 2020.

 

Will I be asked if I want to take my ‘Indicative’ degree class or not?

Final year students taking resits in August who have already declined their indicative class of degree in July will not be offered another opportunity to decline the award.  Only students who were Fail, Defer or NYQ (Not Yet Qualified) in July will be asked whether they wish to accept or decline the indicative class when results are released in September 2020.

How long will I have to decide if I want to take my ‘Indicative’ degree class or not?

If you are one of the students eligible to accept or decline your indicative degree then you must do so by 4pm Monday 28 September.

Can I change my mind later about accepting or declining my degree class?

We will be unable to allow students to change their minds after 4pm Monday 28 September 2020.


What if I don’t complete the ‘Indicative’ degree class task?

Students who do not complete the indicative degree class task by the deadline of 4pm Monday 28 September 2020 to let us know if they wish to accept or decline their degree class will be treated as having accepted the indicative degree class.

I don’t want to take my ‘Indicative’ degree class’ but I need a letter for my employer to confirm that I have qualified for my degree.

That’s ok.  We can provide you with a letter to confirm that you have already qualified for your degree even if you have decided to take resits.  

Can I resit a module I have passed?

Only students who were Fail, Defer or NYQ (Not Yet Qualified) in July 2020 will be eligible to resit a module they have passed in August 2020.

How many attempts do students have to improve on a module mark they have already passed?

Students will have one further opportunity to improve on a pass mark awarded in semester two of the 2019/20 academic year, either during the current August resit period or in the appropriate semester of the following session.

Can I resit a module from semester one that I have passed?

No, you may only resit a passed module from semester two 2020.

Can I resit all my modules for the full mark?

All modules with an R, M or H resit indicator can be resat for the full mark.  Resit indicators of P, S, F, or T will be resat for a capped mark.  If you decide to resit a pass mark or a Y resit indicator you will receive the full mark as well.  You can only resit pass marks and Y indicators for modules assessed during semester two 2020.

Will I be able to resit a failed module from semester one for the full mark?

No, if you failed a module in semester one with an F resit indicator and you are eligible to resit it in August it will be for the capped mark.

What if I want to resit all of my semester two modules even though I have passed them but I don’t want to sit them in August?

If you have passed enough credits to allow you to go in to the next year of your course but you want to resit your passed modules in the 2020-21 academic session you can do so.  However, you will be doing them in addition to the modules you will be taking next year.  Students considering this option should take advice from their department as this would be a significant burden.  Alternatively you can request to delay entry into the next year of your course and request that you repeat the credits in 2020-21 before continuing with your studies in the following academic year.

If I chose not to register to resit in August will I lose one of my resit opportunities?

No, if you decide not to register for a resit in August you will not lose one of your resit opportunities, it will be carried forward to next session for you.

What if I don’t want to take any resits in August, can I leave all my resits until next year?

Yes, however you should be aware that if you have more than 20 credits of fail it means that you will not be able to go in to the next year of your course.  Resits next year will therefore be a repeat year and if you choose to return to University and follow the modules you failed again, you will be required to pay tuition fees for the number of credits you are repeating.  You should note that by repeating a module you will be required to undertake the full module and all assessment components.

Other questions

Is the university following a ‘no detriment’ policy? How does the safety net approach apply to other universities and why can it not apply to ours?

We have based our approach on the ‘no detriment’ principle. That is why our policy includes, depending on individual circumstances, a number of options for students: such as offering uncapped resits along with the security of allowing you, after any resit, to accept original awards if you prefer. After receiving detailed information about your own individual circumstances from your department, we would encourage you to discuss your options with your friends and family.  

There is no single agreed definition of ‘no detriment’ or ‘safety net’ policies. Other universities use different systems to award and classify their degrees, which means there will be differences in how these principles will be applied in practice. The Quality Assurance Agency guidance states that “irrespective of the model providers' use for grading, they should focus on ensuring that the classifications students will ultimately be awarded are fair, valid and reliable”.

Our approach has been developed to ensure the robustness and value of your degree irrespective of the stage in which you find yourself.  We are trying to give you the best opportunity to succeed. We have applied the principle of ‘no detriment’ diligently and fairly in these extremely challenging times.

Will the Unacceptable Academic Practice still apply during the current situation?

Yes, the regulations associated with unacceptable academic practice (UAP) will still apply. If a UAP allegation is found to be substantiated, the penalty will be assigned according to the Points-based Penalty System, and the opportunity for an uncapped resit will not apply.

Will the cascade system change? Will this be reflected on the student record?

The cascade system will run as normal for final degree classification.

The cascade calculator is still available on the student record.  However, the calculator is unable to cope with missing marks.  Your department will be able to advise you if some of your modules are not going to be assessed.

What is the Window of Opportunity for an overall degree outcome to be reviewed at panel?

The Window of Opportunity should run as normal but preponderance would apply to those modules in which marks are available, discounting any modules where assessment is not complete.  The Special Circumstances panel will review all Window of Opportunity cases falling within 2% of any borderline, including looking at the impact of Coronavirus on semester two performance.

Will a safety net be provided for students required to sit alternative assessments for 100% of their module?

Students unhappy with their module mark would be offered the opportunity to take the assessment for full marks at a later date.

How does this policy apply to practical and creative subjects?

Our policy is based on the principle of no detriment to students. Where possible alternative assessments will be arranged or rescheduled. Your department will be in touch with you about these arrangements.  Where there is no available assessment in a module it will be deemed to have been passed for progression purposes. Where a pass is required for accreditation, and the required assessment has not run, students will be allowed to resit in August, or at a later date with no resit fee.

Postgraduates

What are the guidelines for DProf postgraduates in the current situation?

The following are the University’s recommended Guidelines for DProf students at this moment. They will be updated as events develop and are a supplement to the University’s general advice to staff and students. We recognise that many DProf projects are distinct and that where research is undertaken and the method used varies considerably. The University wants to work with you to ensure that you are able to continue in your research at these very challenging times.  These are therefore Guidelines which should be interpreted if necessary through consultation with supervisors.

  1. Only students working on essential activities and individually authorized to be on University property at this time should be so.
  2. Given the current restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on 23 March, all desk based research should be undertaken from home.
  3. Supervisory meetings should continue but by skype or other electronic means and/or phone.
  4. For as long as government restrictions on movement of individuals, travel, or non-essential activities are in place, work with human participants should not involve face-to-face meetings. When research has previously been approved for working with human participants and the researchers plan to continue with this (in most cases online), they should contact research ethics (ethics@aber.ac.uk).  For advice and information regarding online research see  BPS guidelines  https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/ethics-guidelines-internet-mediated-research-2017 . Even when the current stringent restrictions on face-to-face meetings are lightened, government and university advice must be followed closely and such meetings should not take place unless absolutely necessary and with the informed consent of all participants. A new risk assessment should also be carried out at that time relating to COVID19. A copy of the approved risk assessment should be sent to ethics@aber.ac.uk for information and to request confirmation of ethical approval prior to any face-to-face meetings taking place. If you are currently collecting data, please contact your supervisor to discuss appropriate alternative methods (e.g. skype instead of face to face) which might reduce any delays in collecting data.
  5. Students currently away from Aberystwyth should follow government advice (from the UK government and the country they are in) when travelling here. Tier 4 or other visa-holding students should ensure that they contact the Compliance Office.
  6. Students unable to make progress or wishing to take time out from their studies due to the current circumstances should discuss temporary withdrawal or an extension with their department. Where studies are disrupted by COVID19, the university will ensure that extra time, where evidence supports an extension, will be allowed.
  7. Students who have entered, or are about to enter the examination phase should keep in contact with their department regarding arrangements for thesis submission and vivas. In order to avoid delays in examination, the University will consider greater use of skype or other electronic means (for which permission should be sought from the Head of the Graduate School (rrz@aber.ac.uk)).
  8. The Graduate School will advise on Research Training modules but rules requiring completion of modules for progression purposes may be relaxed.

What are the guidelines for research postgraduates in the current situation?

The following are the University’s recommended Guidelines for research students at this moment. They will be updated as events develop and are a supplement to the University’s general advice to staff and students. We recognise that many research projects are distinct and that where research is undertaken and the method used varies considerably. The University wants to work with you to ensure that you are able to continue in your research at these very challenging times.  These are therefore Guidelines which should be interpreted if necessary through consultation with supervisors.

 

  1. Only students working on essential activities and individually authorized to be on University property at this time should be so.
  2. Supervisory meetings should continue but by skype or other electronic means and/or phone.
  3. For as long as government restrictions on movement of individuals, travel, or non-essential activities are in place, work with human participants should not involve face to face meetings. When research has previously been approved for working with human participants and the researchers plan to continue with this (in most cases online), they should contact research ethics (ethics@aber.ac.uk). For advice and information regarding online research see BPS guidelines  https://www.bps.org.uk/news-and-policy/ethics-guidelines-internet-mediated-research-2017 . Even when the current stringent restrictions on face-to-face meetings are lightened, government and university advice must be followed closely and such meetings should not take place unless absolutely necessary and with the informed consent of all participants. A new risk assessment should also be carried out at that time relating to COVID19. A copy of the approved risk assessment should be sent to ethics@aber.ac.uk for information and to request confirmation of ethical approval prior to any face-to-face meetings taking place.
  4. Similarly, given the restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on 23 March, fieldwork should not be undertaken. We are putting in place measures to ensure that those students responsible for animal welfare (eg at Trawscoed farm) have been identified and can still work on University property. Given the current restrictions announced by the Prime Minister on 23 March, all desk based research should be undertaken from home.
  5. Laboratory based research may no longer continue and labs have been made safe and secure. Exceptions are only possible when an overwhelming case is made to the Head of the Graduate School. This will normally only involve urgent research on COVID19.
  6. Students currently away from Aberystwyth should follow government advice when returning. Tier 4 students should ensure that they contact the Compliance Office.
  7. Students wishing to leave or stay away from Aberystwyth but continue to study should seek approval of the Head of the Graduate School on rrz@aber.ac.uk or via their departments to work remotely. Tier 4 students should ensure that they contact the Compliance Office.
  8. Students unable to make progress or wishing to take time out from their studies due to the current circumstances should discuss temporary withdrawal or an extension with their department and the Compliance Office if they hold a Tier 4 visa. Where studies are disrupted by COVID19, the university will ensure that extra time, where evidence supports an extension, will be allowed. However please note that extensions are unlikely at this moment in time to be funded, though practice may vary according to funder.
  9. Students who have entered, or are about to enter the examination phase should keep in contact with their department regarding arrangements for thesis submission and vivas. In order to avoid delays in examination, the University will consider greater use of skype or other electronic means (for which permission should be sought from the Head of the Graduate School (rrz@aber.ac.uk).
  10. The Graduate School will advise on Research Training modules but rules requiring completion of modules for progression purposes may be relaxed.

What are the guidelines for Taught Masters Students in the current situation?

These are the University’s current recommended guidelines for taught Master’s students. They will be updated as events develop and are a supplement to the University’s general advice to staff and students.  

We recognise that many taught Master’s projects are distinct and the methods used vary considerably. The University wants to work with you to ensure that you are able to complete your Master’s in these very challenging times.   

So, these guidelines should, if necessary, be interpreted in consultation with your  department and supervisor. 

  1. All Master’s students, in accordance with current government advice, are expected to work at home. This may necessitate changes to their planned timetable or even dissertation plan, which should be discussed with their supervisor in the first instance.
  2. Formal examinations on campus will not take place in May 2020 but other assessments will continue either as scheduled or as notified by departments if there are any changes. The University is considering what arrangements to put in place in the absence of the examinations.
  3. Face-to-face teaching will NOT take place for the rest of this semester. Departments will advise students of the arrangements being made for online delivery of the remainder of taught modules.
  4. Supervisory meetings should be held by Skype, Microsoft Teams, other electronic means or by phone until further notice.
  5. At present, work with human participants must not involve face-to-face meetings. Where this can be replaced by electronic meetings, AU ethics approval and informed consent of all participants is still required. A risk assessment must also be carried out relating to COVID19 to demonstrate that neither the student nor any participants are at any increased risk of contracting Coronavirus due to their research.
  6. Data collection is challenging in the present circumstances. Where students are currently at the data collection phase of projects, the University is considering how to support and assess dissertations for which full data collection might not be possible, or for which data collection might not be possible at all necessitating a change of project or use of existing data sets. For most students, this will not yet be an issue, but you should discuss contingency plans for your project with your supervisor.
  7. Fieldwork involving travel must not be undertaken at present, in line with government advice which restricts all non-essential travel. This applies to travel within and around Aberystwyth, elsewhere in the UK or from the UK to overseas. When these restrictions change, students should follow the University Travel Policy, including a risk assessment taking account of current guidance minimising the risk of the spread of COVID19.
  8. Laboratory based research cannot continue at present as University buildings are closed to all but essential workers. Heads of Departments have identified essential workers and Site Security will only permit access for these workers.  When the situation changes, laboratory research may continue if laboratory managers deem it safe to do so (e.g. if there is sufficient distancing), but general precautions regarding the spread of COVID19 should be followed as well as any specific to the laboratory concerned.  Please review your activity risk assessment to include both the hazard of COVID19 and of lone working due to the reduction of colleagues in the laboratory. If new laboratory-based research is being planned, consideration should be given regarding the potential vulnerability of the research to disruption if laboratory access cannot continue and where possible planning alternative, non-laboratory based projects may be a prudent precaution at the present time.
  9. Summer accommodation is currently expected to be available as normal. Students should contact the Accommodation Office with any enquiries.
  10. Students currently away from Aberystwyth must follow the government’s advice on non-essential travel. Tier 4 students should ensure that they contact the Compliance Office.
  11. Students wishing to leave or stay away from Aberystwyth must follow the government’s advice on non-essential travel. Students who are already working from home away from Aberystwyth must follow the government’s advice on non-essential travel and should discuss with their supervisor their plans for working remotely on their research. Tier 4 students should ensure that they contact the Compliance Office. 
  12. Students unable to make progress or wishing to take time out from their studies due to the current circumstances should discuss temporary withdrawal or an extension with their department, the Student Advisers in Student Support, the Graduate School and if they hold a Tier 4 visa they must contact the Compliance Office. It is very important to seek advice from the department, Graduate School and the Student Advisers in Student Support as there are likely to be implications with funding and the funding bodies which will need careful consideration and advice and which may influence your decision.  Where studies are disrupted by COVID19, the University will ensure that extra time, where evidence supports an extension, will be allowed. However please note that extensions are unlikely at this moment in time to be funded, though practice may vary according to funder.
  13. Currently, it is not expected that the final deadline for dissertations due at the end September will change.
  14. We will continue to keep the arrangements above under review in order to respond to any changes in government advice. If you have specific concerns about your studies contact your department in the first instance or raise this with the Graduate School (at graduate.school@aber.ac.uk).

Living in Residences

What are the guidelines for students living in shared accommodation?

Will I need to observe social distancing within accommodation?

For students moving into their term-time University-owned or private accommodation, we strongly urge you to take the following steps on arrival in order to reduce the risk of infection within households, and more widely within the community:

Please observe University and Welsh Government guidance on the wearing of face coverings. This means that those who are not exempt for medical reasons wearing face coverings at all times in indoor public 

For the first 2 weeks after arrival you must:

  • Wear a face covering when using areas outside your bedroom – corridor, kitchen and shared bathroom facilities.
  • Keep at least 2 metres away from others, whether inside or outside
  • Stay in bedroom location as much as possible when in your accommodation
  • Arrange rota for kitchen usage
  • Take meals to bedroom to eat
  • Clean surfaces and equipment before and after use
  • Keep kitchen windows open for ventilation
  • Do not share tea towels, dishes, glasses and cutlery
  • Clean the shared toilet and bathroom every time you use them, taking all personal effects back to your bedroom with you including toothbrushes, health products etc.
  • Please keep all personal possessions in your bedroom

More generally, please ensure that you strictly observe the Welsh Government guidance on social distancing in all setting – this is currently set at least 2m.

These measures are recommended for the first 2 weeks after moving in, in recognition of the risks involved with formulating new households which will include individuals from a variety of areas.  After this initial period, your established household, and individuals within it, should operate in line with Welsh Government regulations and guidance.

 

Can I have visitors and overnight guests to my flat/house?

No overnight guests or visitors will allowed in to your household (flat/house) at the moment. This policy will be reviewed on Monday 12 October 2020 to consider whether restrictions can be relaxed.

It is important that you observe this rule in the interest of your health and that of your fellow flatmates.

Note that you are still able to meet with others outside of your accommodation but please ensure you adhere to social distancing and Government guidance.

Will I have to wear a face covering within my accommodation?

Students moving into their term-time University-owned or private accommodation are strongly urged to wear a face covering when using areas outside their bedrooms- corridors, kitchens and shared bathroom facilities for the first two weeks after their arrival.

Further information on the use of face coverings is available here.

What should I do if I, or someone I live with, displays Coronavirus symptoms?

If you live in shared accommodation, you must tell those you live with if you:

  • Feel unwell and think you may have coronavirus
  • Have been advised to self-isolate

Stay at home if you or someone you live with is showing symptoms of coronavirus.    

If you are symptomatic or need to self-isolate, please notify the University by logging into your student record (studentrecord.aber.ac.uk) and complete the relevant online form.

If you are having difficulty completing the online form, please contact coronavirus@aber.ac.uk.

For the up to date list of symptoms and details of how to self-isolate, follow the Welsh Government guidance available at https://gov.wales/self-isolation-stay-home-guidance-households-possible-coronavirus.

I’m having difficulty getting online and connecting to the University network. What shall I do?

Visit the Information Services website or call the Information Services Helpline on 01970 62(2400).

Who can I contact for other support?

You can contact our student support services at any time through student-support@aber.ac.uk. Find out more at www.aber.ac.uk/student-support.

Campus life

How do I get to Llanbadarn Campus?

A map of Llanbadarn campus is available here.  It is around a twenty minute walk from Penglais campus. We are also providing regular transport back and forth from Penglais to Llanbadarn every day from Monday to Friday.

The service will start from Penglais (bus stop nearest to the exit of the Penglais Campus) at 08:45 with the last bus leaving from Llanbadarn (the stop is at the entrance/exit of the campus) at 18:15 each day, and will be running approximately every half an hour. The shuttle takes approximately between 5 to 10 minutes door to door. There will be no charge for the service.

There are cycle locking facilities at the entrance to the Rheidol and Elystan Morgan buildings on the Llanbadarn campus.

Where can I buy food and drink on Penglais Campus?

We have several high quality food and drink outlets on campus. TaMed Da, Tamed Bach,  IBERBach, Students’ Union, and the Siop Hwb/Starbucks at Fferm Penglais are all now fully open - please see the Hospitality webpages for further information and opening times -  www.aber.ac.uk/en/hospitality/

Our famous delivery service Nosh Da, is open 7 days 12.00 to 21.00 a week for a great range of hot & cold food delivered straight to your accommodation or anywhere on campus. Download the Nosh Da app from the App Store or Google Pay for Android devices. https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=3495119147207570&extid=kjerNNa6id1CYbZ1

Alternatively use the weblink https://noshda.app4food.co.uk/

A grocery shopping delivery service is also available via the Nosh Da app/web-link and is open 09.00 to 11.30 daily.

The Students’ Union building is home to the Student Shop with its in-store bakery, a large range of sandwich meal deals, drinks, confectionery and snacks, together with clothing and stationery. The Cwtch bar is next door with Starbucks Coffee and a full bar serving beers, wines and spirits in a relaxed environment.

Tamed Da is our main award winning refectory serving delicious carvery lunches and other hot meals and its baby brother Tamed Bach is our coffee shop at the entrance to Penglais campus.

Siop/Hwb is our convenience store located close to Fferm Penglais and PJM villages and stocks a range of essential groceries as well as boasting its very own Starbucks Coffee outlet, with comfortable lounge seating, pool tables, games area and gym.

Please note that due to Covid-19 restrictions, all of our outlets are currently cashless only – we accept Aber Card payments (www.aber.ac.uk/en/aber-card/) along with debit & credit cards and Apple Pay. It will no longer be possible to top up the Aber Card at till points, but this can be done online.

Where can I buy food and drink on Llanbadarn Campus?

From Monday 28th September, Llanbadarn Campus will have a new café located in Lolfa Thomas Parry, which will be open from 10am to 2pm Monday to Friday, serving a range of hot and cold snacks, drinks and confectionery.

We will have a brand-new Starbucks cashless vending machine for all your favourite hot drinks provision located in the Elystan Morgan building and the full Nosh Da menu will be available for deliveries as well. Download the Nosh Da app from the App Store or Google Pay for Android devices.  

 

Can I book onto a campus tour?

We are thrilled to announce our Campus Tours for 2020 Entry Students will recommence in August. This is the perfect opportunity for you to visit our beautiful campus and stunning seaside town. The campus tour will be a walking tour and will take approximately an hour. We will be able to show you the location of academic departments*, some on-campus facilities, a selection of accommodation options. This is a great opportunity to get a feel for the University location and surrounding area. More information about the tours and how to book here.

Can I still access Students’ Union Services?

Yes, albeit remotely. AberSU is ensuring its services continue to operate with contingencies in place where appropriate.

Please see the AberSU Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for full information on all services and activity.

When will the Old College reopen?

The decision regarding when to reopen will be kept under ongoing review.  The website and social media will be updated regularly, so please keep checking for the latest information.  If you have any venue specific questions, please email oldcollege@aber.ac.uk.

What is the latest on Libraries and Information Services?

Please see our webpage Latest updates on IT and Library services for the latest information on our services.

Where can I find library resources for my studies?

To access subject specific library resources, visit: https://libguides.aber.ac.uk/c.php?g=660416

How can I access Library resources?

The Library’s extensive collections of electronic journals, databases and e-books remain available to you 24/7 on and off campus. 

Click and Collect

If you wish to request library items, you can now do so by using Information Services’ new click and collect service.

Please note that you will need your Aber Card to enter the building and collect your items.

For more information on how to access Library resources remotely, visit: https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/2937

Post Services

Is the Post Room open?

Opening hours for the post room are currently Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 10am until 1pm until further notice.  Please contact the post room in advance for any in person visits.  Emails to the post room (postroom@aber.ac.uk) will be monitored regularly, with the Post Room phone (01970 62 2052) now being available on the above days. 

Are there any changes to arrangements for internal mail delivery?

Internal mail collection and delivery has ceased until further notice.  Should you have any queries please contact the Post Room team via postroom@aber.ac.uk or ring 01970 62 2052 between 10am and 1pm on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. 

Are there any changes to arrangements for Post Room assistance in sending post out?

Routine outgoing post services has ceased until further notice.  However, for urgent requests please contact the Post Room team via postroom@aber.ac.uk or ring 01970 62 2052 between 10am and 1pm on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. 

If my building is closed, what will happen to post delivered to the Post Room?

All incoming post via Royal Mail will be delivered directly to the Post Room.  Should you have items that require collection during this period of closure, and have line management permission to do so, please contact the Post Room team in advance of any in person visit via postroom@aber.ac.uk or ring 01970 62 2052 between 10am and 1pm on a Monday, Wednesday or Friday. The post room is situated in the Cwrt Mawr Communal Block on Penglais Campus – if you are unsure of the location, please ask for further details when you speak to a member of our team. 

If my building is closed, what will happen to parcels delivered by Couriers?

If you are ordering business critical items that would ordinarily be delivered by Couriers directly to your departments building, you will need to change the delivery address to: Campus Reception, Penglais Campus, Aberystwyth University, Aberystwyth, SY23 3FL. 

Campus Security will take receipt of parcels, and deliver to the Post Room, now based at Cwrt Mawr Communal Block, Penglais Campus. 

Opening hours for the post room are currently between 10am to 1pm on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday until further notice.  Please contact the post room in advance for collection of items.  Emails to the post room (postroom@aber.ac.uk) will be monitored regularly, with the Post Room phone (01970 62 2052) available between 10am and 1pm on the above days until further notice. 

What should I do if I have a question about the Postal Service?

Contact the Post Room team on postroom@aber.ac.uk or ring 01970 62 2052 between 10am and 1pm on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday. 

Supporting you

Can I still contact the Students' Union Advice Service while AberSU is closed?

The AberSU Advice Service continues to operate as usual via remote means; you can contact the service by calling 01970621712 or emailing union.advice@aber.ac.uk.

The service will operate video calling/skype drop-ins as required during the usual of 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm, Monday to Thursday.

SU COVID-19 webpage

Am I still able to contact the Student Support and Careers Service Team?

During the current Coronavirus outbreak the Student Support and Careers Service Team continues to provide support. If you have a question you would like answered or need support please send your request to one of the following:

student-support@aber.ac.uk  for general enquiries 01970 621761

studentwellbeing@aber.ac.uk for wellbeing issues

immigrationadvice@aber.ac.uk  01970 621548

accessibility@aber.ac.uk for exam or reasonable adjustments

student-adviser@aber.ac.uk  for hardship/funding queries

careers@aber.ac.uk for work placement/graduate queries

I have experienced unpleasant behaviour directed at me, relating to Coronavirus. Who can I speak to about this?

It is very important you tell someone from the University if you experience unpleasant behaviour or abuse.  

We have a zero tolerance to harassment and discrimination at Aberystwyth University. 

The University does not tolerate behaviour contrary to dignity and respect and expects everybody to treat each other in a way they would wish to be treated themselves

More information on reporting incidents of harassment.

 

Can I still access Students’ Union Services?

Yes, albeit remotely. AberSU is ensuring its services continue to operate with contingencies in place where appropriate.

Please see the AberSU Coronavirus (COVID-19) webpage for full information on all services and activity.

Can I still contact the Students' Union Advice Service while AberSU is closed?

The AberSU Advice Service continues to operate as usual via remote means; you can contact the service by calling 01970621712 or emailing union.advice@aber.ac.uk.

The service will operate video calling/skype drop-ins as required during the usual of 10am-12pm and 1pm-3pm, Monday to Thursday.

SU COVID-19 webpage

How can I protect myself from Covid-19 Scams?

Fears of Covid-19 are being used by criminals and hackers to prey on members of the public.

University staff and students are urged to:

  • Remain vigilant towards emails and telephone calls.
  • Be aware of email scams that may attempt to trick individuals into opening attachments or opening web sites that may risk personal or University information, passwords, contacts, and bank details. These may include fake online resources about the virus, refunds, counterfeit goods, donations, and loans.

For more Information, please refer to the FAQ on “How can I spot if an email I have received is genuine or not?” at https://faqs.aber.ac.uk/index.php?id=394.

Where can I get help if I have been bereaved?

If you have been bereaved by Covid-19, information about appropriate support and help can be found in this helpful guide developed by the Student Wellbeing Service:  www.aber.ac.uk/en/student-support/our-services/student-wellbeing/covid_19

Social and Sports Activities

Is Aberystwyth Arts Centre open?

Aberystwyth Arts Centre, which has been closed since March due to Covid-19 restrictions, has been forced to delay its re-opening following flood damage caused by flood damage caused by the unusually heavy rainfall on Monday 10 August.  Our original plans for a phased reopening from early September have been put on hold as we assess the damage. 

We are extremely proud at Aberystwyth Arts Centre to provide an important focus for the arts in mid Wales, and we very much look forward to welcoming everyone back as soon as we can. Please keep an eye on our social media pages and our website for future updates.

Is the University Sports Centre open?

Following a number of Covid adaptations, the Sports Centre began to gradually re-open from Monday 24th August. There will be a number of changes to your experience when visiting the Sports Centre due to COVID-19 restrictions. Please familiarise yourself with the new Sports Centre virtual induction before your visit.

To ensure everyone’s safety, access to the Centre is restricted to members only.  You must bring your membership cards, and you will be required to swipe your card at the reception prior to entering the facility.

You will need to book your activity before your arrival at the Sports Centre, you are not able to turn up without a booking, and casual access and walk-up's will not be possible.  

Members will be expected to wear a face covering inside the Sports Centre whenever they are not exercising, unless they have an exemption.

To find out about membership, or book an activity please e-mail sports@aber.ac.uk or phone 01970 622280.

Your ongoing feedback will be vital as we move forward. So, as we develop our plans we would like to hear from you as we develop our plans for the future. We would be grateful if you could complete the following survey:  https://aber.onlinesurveys.ac.uk/covid-19-canolfan-chwaraeon-sports-centre-2020-copy-2