How you'll be taught

During the Covid-19 pandemic, we have adjusted our approach to teaching to keep you safe. Subject to the coronavirus remaining under control, the expectation is that most COVID-19 restrictions will be lifted by this July in Scotland allowing life for all of us to open up once again. The Scottish Government has expressed its hope that, in turn, university and college students will be able to enjoy a much more normal learning and teaching experience from this autumn.

On this basis, we are planning to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can from September 2021. We will also deliver some blended teaching across the semester. This is to ensure that, as we emerge from the pandemic, we continue to keep you and our staff safe; and it’s also in direct response to your feedback. Many students and staff have told us that there are elements of online teaching and learning that are excellent, have worked better than face-to-face and should continue.

Teaching in autumn semester

On the assumption that coronavirus remains under control – enabling the Government’s route map out of the pandemic to remain on schedule — our intended approach to autumn teaching is to leverage the best elements of face-to-face and online teaching and combine these providing tailored in-person learning opportunities and community-building experiences. This approach will:

  • offer regular in-person learning opportunities for all students
  • offer in-person smaller group teaching sessions, in safe and appropriate spaces on campus
  • offer practical skills sessions or laboratory work in relevant subjects (as advised by your faculty)  
  • deliver large lectures (for 50 people or more) live online or pre-recorded – and available to watch again. Smaller lectures will be a mixture of online and in-person and also available to watch again.
  • deliver online assessments, including examinations, as the standard form of assessment—noting that there may have to be adjustments to this for professional subjects.
  • schedule all live teaching sessions, so that you are clear about your timetable
  • allow field work, where possible, subject to relevant risk assessments

Our autumn semester for undergraduates runs from Monday 13 September 2021 – Friday 17 December 2021 and for postgraduates from Monday 27 September to Friday 10 December. Key dates, including the examination period, are available here.

Learning and teaching for international and vulnerable students

Current students returning in 2021/22

At this point in time, the UK Government has indicated that international students who hold a student visa to study here will not be able to continue learning remotely either from their home country or elsewhere in the UK, beyond the 27 September 2021. Students will be required to attend their studies in person. If students do not attend in person, universities will be required to withdraw sponsorship of their visa. Therefore, to retain their student visa status, students will need to be present at their university, in person, from on or before the 27 September. International students must follow UK Home Office visa regulations and it is important that students plan their travel and accommodation arrangements – including whether quarantining is required once you arrive in Stirling.

New students starting in 2021/22

The UK Government has advised that international students who apply for a student visa to study at Stirling, will need to be present at university in person at the start of their degree and cannot join remotely either from their home country or elsewhere in the UK.
To gain student visa status, students must arrive at, and be present in person at the University before the date stated on their CAS. We understand that there may be delays with travel and visas, so if students cannot arrive and enrol by the dates given on their CAS, they should contact Admissions to discuss this.
See more information about visa requirements.

Vulnerable students

If you are in a vulnerable group and have concerns about coming to campus, or restrictions in your home country currently don’t allow you to travel, please let us know as soon as possible. Please contact your faculty so that we can understand your circumstances and discuss options. For any concerns or questions about your visa status please email: 

Supporting your learning

  • In addition to on campus teaching you will learn through our virtual learning environment, Canvas. This is a supportive, inclusive and active space for learning. You will be led through your module material and activities, to help keep you on track.
  • Free wi-fi is available on campus and laptops can be borrowed from the library.
  • Lectures to large groups on campus will be replaced with a variety of online webinars, short videos and other materials. There will also be activities that bring the material to life. Your lecturer will be on hand to guide you through and you’ll be encouraged to take part, ask questions, comment and give feedback.
  • There will be lots of interactive activities available to help you learn, be supported and meet your fellow students. These include on campus events and activities as well as online live chats, virtual coffee, group tasks, discussion boards, quizzes and more. You can work or catch up with your classmates on campus or online.
  • Reading lists for each module will be available through Canvas and most of our resources are available online.
  • The library is open. You can book a study space, and physical books are available, with some extra safety guidelines in place. A click and collect service is also available. We have around 500,000 e-books and e-journals if you want to work remotely.
  • Live teaching sessions (on line or on campus) can be recorded using ‘Listen Again’, so you can use these recordings to catch up and revise.
  • During induction and throughout semester, academic and digital skills workshops are available to help you develop the skills you need to be successful in your studies.
  • Co-curricular activities such as subject-based student societies, employability events and reading groups will all take place online or on campus.

Teaching arrangements and timetables

  • Module choices and enrolment will be available from 16 August (Undergraduate) and 30 August (Postgraduate) to help you plan your studies and the timetable will be available in August too, so you can plan your time.
  • Canvas, our virtual learning environment, which holds your learning materials and through which you will study, will also open before semester begins so you can familiarize yourself with materials and book tutorial and seminar slots that suit your needs.
  • To arrange a one-to-one meeting with a lecturer, contact your faculty administrator.

Welcome and welcome back

For new students we have an exciting programme of events and activities planned for your arrival and online workshops and events will kick off in late August to get you ready for your studies and help you find your place in our community. Our Stirling Essentials module and programme of workshops will help you understand what to expect, how to get support and what skills you need to develop for successful study. Keep an eye on our website for details in early August.

For returning students, we understand many of you have not experienced the Stirling campus and on campus teaching, so it feels like a new start. We have events and activities planned to help you settle into campus life, find your way around and meet up with old friends and find some new ones.   

One-to-one support

  • Your lecturers and tutors will be on hand to answer questions, lead activities and support you. Whether you are on campus or online, feedback and support will be available at every stage.
  • All teaching staff have regular weekly drop-in sessions to offer one-to-one feedback and any support required. These will continue to be available by phone, online or face-to-face, where possible. Where we can’t meet you face-to-face in person, we will aim to meet you face-to-face online.
  • You will be allocated a personal tutor who will support you and signpost any additional support required.
  • Support for academic skills offered by Student Learning Services will be available online and face-to-face, where possible.

Work placements  

  • Physical work placements will proceed where possible and we are working hard with employers to ensure you will be safe and have a good experience in their workplace.
  • As the working world has moved online, so have many virtual placements and internships, offering a realistic experience of the new work environment. Virtual placements offer endless possibilities of experiencing workplaces around the world and are an exciting addition to the opportunities available to you.

Free software

  • At Stirling we’ve introduced Microsoft Office 365 including Word, Excel, Powerpoint and apps such as Teams for videoconferencing, Planner to help plan your time, and OneNote to organise your research and notes. These are free for you to use as apps or on other devices and you will have guidance on how to get the most out them through our Stirling Essentials module, available on Canvas and through our digital study skills workshops

Academic skills support

  • We have a range of workshops and individual support available for all our students’ needs through our Student Learning Services. New students can access the workshop series as soon as they enrol at the University. They also have access to Stirling Essentials, a module to help you transition onto study at University of Stirling.

Support for international students 

If you are an international student, there are extra sessions during induction to help you adjust to life at the University of Stirling. These include:

  • Academic expectations at the University of Stirling: This session provides an introduction to academic work at Stirling. It teaches you what to expect and how this might be different from your previous international experience.
  • Living in Stirling: You will receive help and practical advice, including support with understanding English language documents (police registration/council tax/bank letters, etc).
  • Scottish culture: This section looks at Scottish culture and the wider community. This promotes extracurricular activities and will help you settle in and feel part of the University. There is also a session on Scottish vocabulary. 

Help with English language learning

After induction, there is ongoing English language support for you during your studies.

Faculty Office contact details

Use the details listed to contact your faculty administrator:

Faculty of Arts and Humanities

+44 (0) 1786 467561

Faculty of Natural Sciences

+44 (0) 1786 467840

The Faculty of Social Sciences

+44 (0) 1786 467740

Stirling Management School

+44 (0) 1786 467370

Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport

+44 (0) 1786 466340

To find out which faculty you belong to check out the list of courses here.