Bristol moves lectures online for 2020/21 with face-to-face seminars

No tuition fee discount as students will still get ‘quality teaching and support’


Bristol University announced today that lectures will be moving online for the 2020/21 academic year, combined with face-to-face seminars.

Social distancing measures will be in place, with students still being asked to live in student accommodation.

The start of the new term will be delayed until October 5th, with tuition fees remaining the same “as you will be accessing our quality teaching and support.”

How will teaching work?

Face-to-face teaching will be “complemented by our high-quality online activities”.

“Our approach will see on-campus teaching through small group  teaching –  supervisions,  seminar,  or individual tuition  tutorials  - coupled with online lectures to ensure all our students can continue to receive an  interactive  and engaging  education.”

The autumn term start date has been delayed until October 5th for undergraduates, and October 19th for postgraduate taught students.

Social distancing will be in place all throughout campus, “including teaching and study spaces, halls of residence, laboratories, cafes, meeting rooms, sports facilities, libraries, support services and outdoor spaces”.

The university says there will be “dedicated entrances, one-way systems and distance markers”.

Beacon House abandoned during lockdown

What if I can’t get back to the UK, or I would rather not be on campus?

Measures will be in place for those who are unable to come to Bristol or prefer to study remotely, including “an interactive, online experience of the same quality and richness as we provide in Bristol.”

What about Freshers’ Week?

The university say that they are still planning to have Welcome Week, and are working on it with the SU to “ensure new students will still get an exciting  introduction to live in Bristol”.

Will my study abroad program go ahead?

Study and work abroad are still going ahead, with the university saying that they will “aim to get them abroad when we can over the coming year”.

They also say that exchange students coming to Bristol will be welcomed if possible, and online teaching will be in place if not.

How have students reacted?

A student who wished to remain anonymous also told The Bristol Tab: “My online teaching so far has basically just been discussion boards with other students, which definitely isn’t identical.”

Nicola, second year History, said: “I have had ‘you will not get the same quality teaching listening on replay that you will do in person’ drilled in to me for the last two years by lecturers, yet they insist we will still receive the same quality teaching online. That is what is completely hypocritical about it.”

This news follows similar moves from other universities such as Cambridge and Manchester who have also moved all first term lectures online. The government has also said that it’s “too early” for any national university policy changes due to the pandemic.

Universities nationally are facing millions of pounds in losses due to the pandemic, with some VCs, including Hugh Brady at Bristol, taking pay cuts as a result.

If you are a current student, you can see the FAQ page here

If you are a prospective student, you can see the FAQ page here