UoN to cancel January 2021 exam period and are ‘exploring’ teaching on weekends

The university are trying to ‘create flexibility in the timetable’ for socially distanced teaching.


UoN has laid out several changes to the 2020/2021 academic year, which will see the January exam period cancelled (to be replaced by coursework and open book exams) and could lead to shorter holidays as well as longer days or weekend teaching for some students.

These measures are being taken by the university to “create flexibility in the timetable” for socially distanced teaching.

The January exam period will not go ahead and exams meant to be taken in this period will be replaced by coursework or open book exams. Meanwhile, the Christmas and Easter holidays have also been shortened to three weeks each.

During this reclaimed time, teaching will happen instead.

Some students may find themselves having classes over these “extended terms”, although others may not see a change to the number of their teaching weeks at all. Whether or not students will have their teaching spread out across a longer period than usual will vary by School as the impact of social distancing on the ability to teach varies by subject.

Schools will make their students aware if they plan to use these extra periods to provide teaching.

An extract of the announcement, taken from UoN’s website.

The university is also “exploring” the idea of being “more flexible in the length of the teaching day or week”. Presumably, this could mean weekend classes or longer days, which start earlier or end later, for some students.

If this measure is approved, Schools will inform their students whether they plan to use it.

UoN has reassured that students will get all the same contact hours, but that they may be more spread out than usual for some.

Moreover, they added that they will “ensure” this change to the teaching weeks will not affect “planned accommodation and meal arrangements”. It is presently unclear what this support will entail and to whom it applies.

For full details about the new measures and term dates of the 2020/2021 academic year, click here.

These new measures follow a previous announcement from UoN which said campuses would be open in September, with a mixture of online and in-person teaching. All the while, the Covid-19 pandemic has altered life for university students, who are unhappy about their online teaching experience, raising money via holding online concerts, and trying to get their money back for halls they aren’t living in.