How you'll be taught

With COVID-19 restrictions now eased and Scotland moving to 'beyond Level Zero', this significant moment represents for all of us the welcome prospect of a much more normal way of living. This autumn student life on the University of Stirling campus will be much closer to normal— with the majority of undergraduate students beginning semester on Monday 13 September and postgraduate students on Monday 27 September.

Our general approach, is to carry out as much in-person teaching as we can safely deliver in small group settings – such as in tutorials, seminars and labs. We plan to add in more opportunities for in-person learning throughout the course of the semester, while retaining the very best elements of online teaching which have proved popular with students. This flexible and blended approach – informed by student feedback and best practice – ensures that our students’ learning experience will be positive, rewarding and safe, regardless of individual circumstances.

Our main autumn timetable provides details of arrangements for the main teaching delivery in each module. Details of small group teaching such as workshops, seminars and labs on each module will be available through Canvas modules which you can access, once enrolled, through the portal from 6 September for undergraduates and 20 September for postgraduate taught students.

Teaching in autumn semester

On the assumption that coronavirus remains under control, our approach is to: 

  • 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.

Health and safety

As we transition to enjoying a more normal way of life, prioritising your health, safety and wellbeing is at the centre of everything we do. A suite of base measures will be in place across campus including: promotion of hand hygiene and sanitisation; wearing of face coverings; ventilation of space and enhanced cleaning measures; and encouraging one-metre physical distancing in teaching rooms, laboratories and offices. Where physical distancing isn't possible in these settings, you should wear a face covering. Please note that the Scottish Government requires face coverings to be worn in communal, indoor public spaces, such as corridors and some specific settings – but there are fewer restrictions when using hospitality and sports facilities.

Welcome and welcome back

To celebrate the beginning of semester – and to welcome both new and returning students – the University and Students’ Union are working together to deliver an exciting programme of in-person and online events and activities as part of Freshers’ Week and Postgraduate Taught Welcome. New students can find information on the welcome pages of the website and specific information has been collated for returning students, particularly for those who have not been to campus before.

The calendar of events includes opportunities for students to join the Union’s clubs and societies and sports teams and to make new friends. Our hugely successful Be Connected programme with vibrant social and community building activities, and a strong focus on health and wellbeing, will be running all year. And, of course, we have plenty of green, outdoor spaces right here on our beautiful campus where you can meet up with friends or take some time out for yourself.

Learning and teaching for international and vulnerable students

Current international students returning in 2021/22

Students living outside the UK

The UK Government has indicated that international students who hold a student visa to study here and are unable to return to the UK because of travel restrictions can continue learning remotely from overseas until 6 April 2022.

Student visa holders will be required to attend their studies in person through face to face or blended learning once they can travel to, and arrive in, the UK. The concession permitting blended learning in the UK will remain in place until 6 April 2022.

Students already living in the UK

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 from elsewhere in the UK, beyond the 27 September 2021.

Students already in the UK will be required to attend their studies in person through face to face or blended learning. If students in the UK do not attend in person, universities will be required to withdraw sponsorship of their visa. Therefore, to retain their student visa status, students already in the UK will need to be present at their university, in person, from on or before the 27 September.

New students starting in 2021/22

The UK Government has advised that international students who apply for a student visa to study at Stirling, can join and study remotely by distance learning from their home country if travel restrictions prevent them from joining in person. This concession will remain in place until 6 April 2022. 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 our Student Immigration Team at internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk to discuss this.

Student visa holders will be required to attend their studies in person through face to face or blended learning once they can travel to, and arrive in, the UK. The concession permitting blended learning in the UK will remain in place until 6 April 2022.

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.

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: internationaladvisor@stir.ac.uk 

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.

Module choices

  • 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.

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 are 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

naturalsciences.enquiries@stir.ac.uk

The Faculty of Social Sciences

+44 (0) 1786 467740

FoSSFacultyOffice@stir.ac.uk

Stirling Management School

+44 (0) 1786 467370

management@stir.ac.uk

Faculty of Health Sciences and Sport

+44 (0) 1786 466340

health.sciences@stir.ac.uk

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