FAQs

For students who joined Abertay in 2020

The FAQs below provide a range of information for students

Our Support Enquiry Zone team should be your first point of contact for any concerns or support needs. You can email them at sez@abertay.ac.uk or call on 01382 308833

Check NHS Inform for national advice.

Quick links:

Student Guide to Term 2

Testing, Self Isolation and National Guidance

Campus Safety and Check In

Student Support

Teaching

Accommodation

International and EU Students

Student Guide to Term 2

Scotland is in lockdown. How does this affect on-campus activity?

The majority of teaching and assessment will be online only while lockdown is in place.

There will be some limited on-campus activity allowed for students who need essential access to specialist equipment for assessments and these groups will receive separate guidance from their School. 

If you need support with studying from home contact the Support Enquiry Zone.

The lockdown is affecting my studies. Can I get an extension or deferral?

If you feel you are struggling please contact the Support Enquiry Zone for assistance. Students are able to apply for extensions or deferrals through the Mitigating Circumstances procedures. You can find out more about how to do this here:

https://intranet.abertay.ac.uk/students/programme/assessments-and-exams/mitigating-circumstances/

https://intranet.abertay.ac.uk/coronavirus/student-guidance/assessments/

 

Can I come back to Dundee even though on-campus teaching is not taking place?

The Scottish Government advice is to stay at home if you travelled home for Christmas. It is recognised that some students may need to travel back to their term-time accommodation for essential face-to-face teaching or other reasons such as mental health or parental estrangement. Please read the the Scottish Government's advice here: https://www.studentinformation.gov.scot/coronavirus

Can I come to the Library during lockdown?

You should study from home if you possibly can to help prevent the spread of the virus. If you can’t study effectively from home you are permitted to come to the Library, but must pre-book a study space before arrival and will not be permitted to browse books. Please note that this Scottish Government guidance could be subject to change.The Library will be open Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm for students who need access. 

Can I still travel to Abertay during lockdown?

The majority of teaching has moved online and you should not come to Abertay unless you have an essential and timetabled face-to-face teaching session, or need essential access to the Library because you can’t study effectively at home. If you do need to travel for the above reasons then you are permitted to do so, as education is still deemed an essential reason to travel during lockdown. Please note that Scottish Government guidance on this could be subject to change.

What should do I before I return to my term-time accommodation?

The current Scottish Government advice is that undergraduates should not travel back to term-time accommodation until on-campus teaching resumes.

If you do choose to return, the Scottish Government is asking you to voluntarily reduce your social mixing for 10 days before returning to university. This means going out only for essential reasons including learning, food shopping and exercise. When you arrive at university, you are also asked to minimise your social mixing for 10 days.

This is to help minimise the transmission of the virus. We know from the latest public health guidance that by limiting your social activity, you will be helping to prevent the spread of the virus to students, staff and the community you live in.

You should continue to follow the guidance and restrictions for the area where you live, and follow FACTS at all times.

What if I have a work placement that begins/continues in the New Year?

Some work placements can continue as planned, subject to the placement provider's approval. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Support Enquiry Zone who can liaise with your School.

What if I need access to specialist facilities/equipment on campus?

We know that a small number of students may need access to specialist facilities on campus in Term 2. Your School will be in touch to explain how this will work if it applies to you. If you have any questions, please get in touch with the Support Enquiry Zone who can liaise with your School.

I'm in student halls provided by Abertay. Will I get a rent rebate?

Due to the pandemic, the majority of teaching will be online only in Term 2 until 19 April. To reflect the reduced access to campus, the University is reducing rent for students in accommodation provided through Abertay. Rent for these students will be reduced by 50% across the duration of Term 2, from Monday 25 January until the end of the existing tenancy agreement. Please email residences@abertay.ac.uk if you have any questions related to your rental agreement. Students in private accommodation that was not booked through Abertay should speak to their own providers.

I am an international student, can I return as planned?

All students who went home for Christmas are advised to remain at home if they possibly can. International students should stay in touch with the Abertay Residences team (or your private accommodation provider) to advise the University on your travel plans.

You must also follow the guidance on international travel and quarantine as appropriate if arriving back in Scotland. 

Please be aware that you will need to book a Covid test in your home country before travelling to the UK. Please read the information on the UK Gov website.

I'm an international student coming to Dundee, what measures should I take?

You must self-isolate for 10 full days if you arrive in Scotland from a country outside the Common Travel Area (UK, Republic of Ireland, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man). This is to protect against the risk of imported cases of COVID-19. We will support you during this time.

Here is the list of exempt countries or territories. Travellers from these destinations are not required to self-isolate. This list is continuously reviewed and countries can be taken off or added at any time. You should allow for the possibility of such change at short notice in making your plans.

If your journey includes a transit stop through a non-exempt country, you will need to self-isolate if you interact with others in that country. For example, if your journey involves a transit through an airport or by exiting your vehicle on a ferry in a non-exempt country, you will need to self-isolate.

The Scottish Government has guidance on international travel and quarantine.

How can I get a Covid test when I return to my term-time accommodation?

Students who choose to return to their term-time addresses in Dundee should book in for testing at the University of Dundee’s Asymptomatic Covid Testing Centre at the Institute of Sport and Exercise. Tests should only be booked when you are certain that you will be travelling and as close to your return date as possible. You can find more information on testing on our intranet pages.

Do I have to take a test when I return to university?

The Scottish Government strongly encourages students to take two tests when you return to university to help mitigate the risk of asymptomatic transmission of COVID-19, but there is no legal requirement to do so.

Will my university household all have the same arrival date?

The Scottish Government advises that all students who went home for Christmas should remain at home if they possibly can. Any household arrivals will be staggered based on individual return dates. Remember that under current rules you are not permitted to meet with anyone other than your own household indoors and only one other household outdoors. Your household is your immediate flatmates.

What do I need to know about returning to my halls of residences?

You must get in touch with your accommodation provider in advance to advise when you are planning to return. The same safety and hygiene rules that were in place for Term 1 will apply. You will form a household with your immediate flatmates and must stick to national guidance on social mixing both indoors and outdoors. If you are being dropped off by car, your driver should not enter the accommodation with you unless essential. If you live in an Abertay-owned residences, email residences@abertay.ac.uk to stay in touch. You can find advice on Covid safety in student halls on the Scot Gov website.

Can a family member drive me to term-time accommodation if I choose to return?

Yes, this is encouraged where it is a practical option. You can travel in a private car to return to university. You should not share a car with anyone outside of your household, extended household or end of term household to minimise risks of transmission, unless there is no reasonable alternative.

Can I travel on public transport to go back to university?

Yes, as long as you don’t have any symptoms of COVID-19 or need to self-isolate because you have tested positive or are a contact. If you are using public transport you should follow our guidance on how to travel safely.

This includes wearing a face covering unless you are exempt, planning your journey in advance to avoid busy times and routes, washing/ sanitising your hands regularly, and keeping your distance while travelling where possible. 

Can I come back if the university is in a level three or four area?

Yes. The travel regulations contain an exemption for travel for education and training purposes.

My home is elsewhere in the UK, can I still return to Scotland?

Yes. If you are a student studying in Wales, England or Northern Ireland you will still be able to travel to Dundee.

Can I return before in-person teaching starts for health/wellbeing reasons?

Yes. If you need to return to university earlier than advised because of health and well-being reasons, you will be supported to do so. Please contact the Support Enquiry Zone to discuss your circumstances and the support available to you or, if during the Christmas break, call the 24-hour Student Support Helpline on 0800 028 3766.

Can I return to collect things if I’ve already left and gone home?

Wherever possible, students who changed household over the winter break should not go back to their term-time accommodation until in-person teaching for their course has re-started.

If you have left materials related to your studies, you should contact the Support Enquiry Zone for help.

When can post-graduate students return?

The 6 week staggered return does not apply to post-graduate students. You should continue to follow the guidance and restrictions for the area you live in and should follow FACTS at all times.  

Testing, self-isolation and national guidance

What are the main sources of national Covid guidance I need to be aware of?

For full Scottish Government Covid guidance: https://www.gov.scot/coronavirus-covid-19/

To book a Covid test and find out about Test & Protect: https://www.nhsinform.scot/illnesses-and-conditions/infections-and-poisoning/coronavirus-covid-19

Local Tayside Covid updates: https://www.taysidecares.co.uk/

I have possible Covid symptoms, where can I get a test?

A Covid walk through test centre is located at Park Place Car Park, Dundee (adjacent to Dundee University, a ten minute walk from Abertay University's Bell Street Campus) and is open 7 days a week from 8am to 8pm. Tests must be booked in advance at www.nhsinform.scot/test-and-protect.

You must not use taxis or public transport to travel to the test centre and should wear a face covering while walking to and from the test centre, and while in the test centre itself. The drive-through Coronavirus Tayside regional testing facility is at Dudhope Castle, Dundee. Access to the site at Dudhope Castle is via Barrack Road in the city centre and the testing site is in the staff car park within the grounds of the castle on the west side.

The facility is open from 8am to 8pm, 7 days a week.

What do I need to do while self-isolating?

If I've been in class with someone who tests positive must I self-isolate?

You do not need to self-isolate unless you have been contacted by Public health contact tracers, or via the test and protect app. Please continue to adhere to risk control measures – regular hand washing, 2m social distancing and wear a face covering in designated areas of the building – or where you cannot maintain 2m distancing. We would also encourage all students to download the Protect Scotland app and follow instructions if you are alerted as a close contact. 

Can I go home/elsewhere to self-isolate?

You may return home to self-isolate if you require the support and care of a friend, family member or other supportive person. Reasons for needing to return home in this context include, but are not limited to, physical, financial or mental health support.

If you are being collected from your accommodation by a parent, family member, friend or other supportive person, they should contact the University Residences team or your private accommodation provider for guidance on how to do so safely, before arriving to pick you up.

When you return home, the household you are returning to should also self-isolate. You should also not use public transport to travel home and should follow travel guidance.

When returning to your student accommodation after some time at home, consider how best to travel to Dundee and whether any precautions may be needed when you arrive back. You must also contact the University in advance to let us know you are returning.

Can I get the bus/train home to self-isolate?

No. You must not use any form of public transport. Please follow the relevant travel guidance if you are leaving your accommodation to complete your period of self-isolation elsewhere.

How fast will I be alerted by tracers if I've been near a student with Covid?

We are unable to give an exact frame regarding speed of contact tracing, this is a public health function. Downloading the test and protect app will give the speediest notification as the process is automatically activated when a person inputs the test code for a positive test

What if I get contact from tracers or the app while I'm in class?

You should go home and self-isolate, book a test if you develop symptoms and tell the University.

Campus safety and check-in

How do I register my attendance at classes?

You must register your attendance every time you come to campus for class. The easiest way to do this is to download the MyAbertay app then select “Student Attendance”. You can also do this via the desktop version of MyAbertay.

How do I register my attendance at the library?

You must register your attendance every time you come to campus to visit the library. The easiest way to do this is to download the MyAbertay app then select “Campus Check-in”. You can also do this via the desktop version of MyAbertay.

Where do I report Covid-related behaviour that worries me?

Anyone can report Covid-related behaviour that breaches guidelines, or that they don’t feel is right, via the online Tell Us reporting tool.

I have health issues and am worried the safety of campus. Should I attend?

You should contact SEZ to discuss any concerns you may have.

The University has worked hard to ensure that the main Campus is a clean and safe environment for all to be in and have followed specific guidance for higher and further education institutions.  You will see evidence of risk control measures around the campus –  reduced room occupancy, enhanced cleaning, use of face covering in identified areas, opportunities for hand hygiene to name a few. Please take time to familiarise yourself with and adhere to these risk control measures and challenge or report any breach of these controls (as for the Respect and Responsibility pledge).

What safety measures are in place on campus?

Comprehensive safety measures are in place on campus to keep students and staff safe, including:

  • Hand-sanitising systems
  • A ‘green tick’ system to ensure social distancing in classroom settings, lecture theatres and the library
  • Protective screens in high traffic, face-to-face contact areas
  • Two-way and one-way systems
  • Staggered class start/finish times

Do I have to wear a face covering on campus at all times?

From Monday 7th December 2020, staff and students should wear face coverings at all times when on campus for teaching or library study, unless exempt.

This includes:

  • In class during face-to-face teaching
  • All areas of the library at all times, including when seated (unless eating or drinking)
  • When moving around corridors on campus
  • In confined communal areas of campus such as kitchens and toilets
  • On any public transport to and from campus

How does access to the library work?

The library is open Monday to Friday from 9pm to 6pm and is closed on weekends. Opening hours are currently being extended to 10pm on Tuesday and Thursdays.

Face coverings are mandatory at all times, including when you are seated. Social distancing rules means the number of study spaces and PCs have been reduced. Some spaces with PCs, including those with specialised software, are available to pre-book, although most spaces are available on a first come, first served basis. If you are attending the library to study you must register your attendance. The easiest way to do this is through the MyAbertay app. 

How will access to the gym work?

The Abertay gym will remain closed until Covid restrictions are significantly eased. The Abertay Sport team runs live exercise sessions every Wednesday at midday on Facebook live.

These are available on demand. 

Student Support

This situation is affecting my mental health. Who can I speak to?

The Counselling and Mental Health Service is part of Student Services and is free and confidential for all Abertay students.

At the moment counselling and mental health, appointments are taking place via telephone and video link. This is to comply with Covid 19 regulations and allows support to be offered without the need to travel to campus.

Counselling is an opportunity to explore issues that concern you without judgement. Sometimes life at university can be full of challenges, particular in light of the uncertainties of the ‘new normal’.

If you are feeling overwhelmed in any way please come and talk to the team.  Here are just some of the issues students have brought to us:-

  • Homesickness
  • Feeling low
  • Anxiety
  • Stress
  • Relationship difficulties
  • Loneliness
  • Self esteem
  • Panic attacks
  • Mental health issues

It is good to talk – and sometimes you need to talk to an experienced counsellor or Mental Health Advisor.

Contact: counselling@abertay.ac.uk

Alternatively, speak to staff at the Support Enquiry Zone (SEZ) on level 1 of the Library.

The service also includes a Mental Health Advisor (RNHM) who can work with you if you are experiencing or are concerned about any mental health issues.

I'm in isolation and have financial worries. Can I get help?

If you are struggling financially please contact SEZ for support. You can also apply to the Student Welfare Fund here.

I have an underlying health condition, who should I tell about this?

If you have underlying medical conditions or health issues, please let us know as soon as possible. You should contact the Support Enquiry Zone team by email sez@abertay.ac.uk. We will work with you to make sure you are supported.

How do I register with a GP if I am in quarantine?

Students are able to register with a doctor by completing this online form. From there, contact a GP practise and ask for their e-mail address to send in your electronically completed form. ID is not a requirement but helps in the registration process and can also be e-mailed.

This website provides details of local GPs; if you have problems finding a GP please call the NHS Tayside Primary Care Services Department 01382 425664 and they will provide advice about the practices you can register with.

Teaching

What is blended learning?

Blended learning is a mix of face-to-face teaching which will take place on campus, live online teaching sessions and access to materials prepared in advance.  In Term 1, most students will have one three-hour face-to-face teaching session on campus every week. There may be some exceptions depending on your course and year of study. The University intends to take the same approach to blended learning in Term 2.

What about students who have health issues or are vulnerable to Covid-19?

For advice on how your concerns/issues may affect your studies please contact the Support Enquiry Zone in the first instance sez@abertay.ac.uk

Can I use public transport to get to Abertay?

The Scottish Government deems education an essential reason to travel and you are permitted to use it to come to Abertay at all levels of the Covid Protection Levels Framework.

You should follow all rules for using public transport, including the use of a face covering. We understand that some students may have concerns about using public transport and, if you feel unable to attend the campus due to this, please raise the matter with the Support Enquiry Zone.

What is the Covid-19 Fair Assessment Policy and will it apply in 2020/21?

The Covid-19 Fair Assessment Policy was put in place in the academic year 2019/20 in recognition of the various challenges faced by students as a result of the pandemic. For the academic year 2020/21, the majority of the measures within the policy have been retained to ensure we can continue to assess the attainment of students in a way that is both fair and academically sound. You can find out more about the policy here: https://intranet.abertay.ac.uk/coronavirus/student-guidance/assessments/

What size will face-to-face classes be?

? A face-to-face class could typically contain between 6-15 students but will depend on the social distancing guidance in place at the time, the room capacity, and the nature of the activity being delivered.

Will students be kept within the same ‘bubble’ and what does this mean?

A ‘bubble’ is a means of limiting the number of contacts individuals have and is used as mechanism to control the transmission of infection. In the university context, we are endeavouring to create groups (bubbles) of students for on-campus delivery. This means that when receiving on-campus tuition you will be with the same/fixed group of students.

Is international student exchange permitted?

We are not currently organising or approving any outgoing international student exchange. This will be kept under review in the context of the Scottish Government’s Covid Protection Levels Framework. When outgoing exchange restarts, requests will be considered on a case-by-case and risk-assessed basis.

Incoming student exchange is currently only being accepted from a small number of approved Abertay partner institutions. We are not accepting any other international exchange requests at the current time.

To discuss anything related to student exchange please email international@abertay.ac.uk.

Accommodation

How can I apply for University accommodation and what if I need to cancel?

For information on accommodation applications visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/accommodation/. If you have specific questions please contact residences@abertay.ac.uk.

A significant amount of teaching is online. Should I apply for accommodation?

This is a choice for you to make and will depend on your personal and financial circumstances. We are delivering a blended mix of online and face-to-face teaching in the academic year 2020/21.

In Term 1 students will have one 3-hour block of face-to-face learning on campus per week and we intend to continue this in Term 2. There may be exceptions on the amount of face-to-face teaching on campus, depending on degree programme and year of study. If you would like to discuss this contact SEZ - sez@abertay.ac.uk.

What happens if I have student accommodation but can’t come?

If you cannot attend University due to Coronavirus restrictions in your home country, or the UK, you will get a refund of your accommodation prepayment. If you have already signed your lease but can’t attend Abertay, you will be able to cancel your accommodation with 28 days’ notice. The rent prepayment you made when you accepted your room offer will be refunded.

What happens if I develop COVID-19 symptoms when living in my accommodation?

If you develop symptoms you must self-isolate immediately and arrange a test via the NHS Inform website. The symptoms of COVID-19 are: 

  • New, continuous cough
  • fever/high temperature (37.8C or greater)
  • loss of, or change in, sense of smell or taste (anosmia)

If you test positive, please let the Support Enquiry Zone team know by emailing sez@abertay.ac.uk or phone them as quickly as possible.

We will support you through any isolation period and stay in regular contact.

What happens if a student living in my flat has COVID-19 symptoms?

The person displaying symptoms should self-isolate immediately and arrange a test via the NHS Inform website. In the event of a positive test, you and any others within the student household will then be contacted through the Scottish Government’s Test and Protect system and/or by the University, to be informed you must also self-isolate for 14 days. We will support you through any isolation period and stay in regular contact.

I live in a shared flat and have tested positive. Which areas can I use?

People who have tested positive can continue to use shared facilities in flats such as kitchens but should keep away from others as much as possible. 

Separate yourself from other people in your home and keep the door closed. If you can’t stay in a separate room, try to stay 2 metres (3 steps) away from the other people.

Stay in a well-ventilated room with a window that can be opened. Try to keep the window open as much as possible to help with ventilation and air flow. This will help to keep clean air moving through your room.

Use your own toothbrushes, towels, linen, cups, plates, bowls and cutlery
take meals to your own room to eat

Spend as little time as possible in your kitchen, bathrooms and sitting areas and keep these areas well ventilated. 

If you share a kitchen, avoid using it while others are present.

If you share a toilet and bathroom, wipe any surfaces you come in contact and clean it after every use with a household detergent that’s active against viruses and bacteria.

Wash your plates and cutlery using washing up liquid and warm water, and dry them thoroughly with a separate tea towel.

Can I self-isolate/quarantine in my student accommodation?

Yes, you can self-isolate in your accommodation. This also applies if you are travelling from a country where quarantine is required once you get here.

We will support you through any isolation period and stay in regular contact.

Am I allowed guests/visitors in my accommodation?

At the moment, Scottish Government rules mean you are not allowed to meet with anyone indoors socially outside of your household group. 

Can I return to my family home for a visit or short stay?

The limits on social gatherings for households still apply. This means you should not visit or stay overnight inside your parents’ home if returning for a short visit, but can meet your parents outside or in a hospitality venue. These restrictions apply because you formed a new ‘household’ separate to your parents when you came to University.

However, the new guidance also advises that, while it is an offence not to comply with the restrictions on gatherings, it would be a defence to show that there was a ‘reasonable excuse’ for a visit home for wellbeing reasons or a family emergency, such as a bereavement.

I wish to move to my family home on a permanent basis, can I do this?

Yes. If you choose to return home on a permanent basis you would form a new ‘household’ with your family, and as a unit you must self-isolate for 14-days.

Before making this move you should carefully consider how the loss of face-to-face teaching and access to the Library may affect you. You should consider particularly whether there are modules that require practical work on campus which you will not be able to complete if you return home.  Please get in touch with the Support Enquiry Zone if you wish to discuss this.

Under new laws passed by the Scottish Government due to the pandemic, any student in student accommodation can give 28 days’ notice on terminating their lease agreement without penalty.

I am collecting someone from student accommodation, what should I do?

Contact the University Residences team before arriving to collect someone at student accommodation for guidance on how to do this safely.

When you return home, the entire household should self-isolate for the required 14-days.

Students returning to Halls of Residence after some time at home must contact the University in advance to let us know they are coming back.

International and EU Students

What if I'm travelling from overseas and have to quarantine?

If you are arriving from a country on the quarantine list you will have to quarantine. If you are staying in university-owned accommodation (Meadowside and Lyon Street) there will be no charge for your quarantine period. We will support students through this period with advice and practical guidance. There are a number of private travel providers who will be able to transport you safely to Dundee from a local airport. Please contact our Residences team for more details: residences@abertay.ac.uk

Where can I find UK and Scottish Government advice for international students?

Can I take my course online only?

Abertay is a campus-based institution and we believe in the value of face-to-face teaching, so you should come to Dundee and attend classes if it is possible to do so and national restrictions allow it. We know that some students may have difficulty in attending in person dependent on your individual circumstances (travel issues/health) and we would try to adapt to meet any special circumstances wherever possible to personalise your learning in order to support you. Contact advisory@abertay.ac.uk if you would like to discuss your individual circumstances.

Can I start my degree late? What provisions are in place to support me?

We can accept students up to two weeks later than the start date for any course. We are also considering whether we can provide online resources where appropriate to ensure you will not miss any of the early work and are able to begin your programme.

I’m an EU student starting university in 2021, will Brexit affect me?

EU, EEA and Swiss nationals arriving into the UK from 1 January 2021 onwards will need to apply for a visa to study in the UK if they plan to study for longer than 6 months (if not already registered under the EU settlement scheme). For more information about Visa requirements visit: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/study-apply/how-to-apply/international-students/visa-information/

Who are the University’s international recruitment contacts?