Student Guide:
Term 1 at Abertay

We are looking forward to welcoming all new and returning students to Abertay for the 2020/21 academic year. Term 1 teaching has now begun and this guide outlines what to expect from student life, including coming to campus for face-to-face teaching.

Things will look and feel very different at first, but we are committed to maintaining the same personal and friendly Abertay ethos, supporting you every step of the way and keeping our community safe. As we progress through the first term, we will be monitoring our arrangements, making changes if necessary and responding to updates in national guidance if required.

The University is currently working with the Scottish Government and local health partners on specific testing facilities that students can access in Dundee and we will be sending out details on how this will work soon. Please continue to follow the national guidance. 

Please be aware that a failure to follow quarantine arrangements may be treated as a serious breach of the University’s disciplinary procedures.

Remember, you need to check in every time you come to campus and should use Attendance Check-in in teaching sessions or Campus Check-in for all other access, including the Library.

Covid-19 rules for community safety

Your engagement with the Scottish Government’s Test & Protect programme is vital to combating the spread of the virus.

The University must keep an accurate record of every person who has been on campus each day, and we will do this through a combination of timetable data, attendance monitoring, staff rotas and other forms of registration.

You must use the Campus Check-in tool to log your attendance in the Library and the Attendance Check-in tool via MyAbertay to log your attendance when in class.

It is very important that you take the time to familiarise yourself with these rules on self-isolation from the Scottish Government.

If you develop any symptoms of coronavirus (high temperature, new continuous cough, loss or change to your sense of taste/smell) you must self-isolate immediately at home and arrange to be tested via the NHS Inform website or by calling 0300 303 2713.

If you are identified as a close contact of someone who has tested positive you must also self-isolate at home, or in your residence, for 14 days. Remember to keep in touch with us via the Advisory Service and ask for support should you need it.

Always remember the Scottish Government’s FACTS:

F - Face coverings

A - Avoid crowded places

C - Clean your hands regularly

T - Two metre distance

S - Self-isolate and book a test if you have symptoms

You can view the FACTS in another language here.

Coming to Campus

One of the main differences for students across all UK universities this year will be the reduced amount of time that can be spent on campus. Here are some important points to be aware of:

  • The majority of students will have one timetabled three-hour block of face-to-face teaching per week and you should come to campus for this.
  • Face-to-face class sizes will be significantly reduced to allow for social distancing.
    The Library will be open but operating a reduced capacity.
  • You should only come to the Library for study that can’t be done at home.
  • You will be asked to pre-book some Library study spaces before attending.
  • The Library Café will operate a takeaway service, however we recommend you bring your own food and drink if possible.

Reach out to the Support Enquiry Zone at any time if you need help with accessing any resources or equipment

Travelling to/from campus

The Scottish Government advises everyone to walk or cycle to campus if it is possible to do so. If you need to use public transport, remember that face coverings are mandatory and be aware that some routes may be operating a reduced service. There is no car parking available for students. The University is not booking any local, UK or international travel on behalf of staff or students at this time.

Entrances, exits and getting around

Campus buildings will be open from the start of Term 1 teaching on 21 September, and it is crucial that you maintain 2m social distancing at all times.

To help with this, there will be instructional signage and directional floor markings in place and you will be asked to 'keep left' in corridors and on staircases. Some buildings will have separate doors for entry and exit at their main entrances and some staircases will be one way only.

Points to remember:

  • You should sanitise your hands on entering and exiting buildings.
  • When on campus, you should only go to areas that you are timetabled to attend. You should always try to take the most direct route using our regular or interactive maps to help you navigate our buildings.
  • If you need to contact your lecturer, University services, or classmates, please arrange to do this by email or Microsoft Teams, rather than a face-to-face meeting.
  • Use of all lifts is strictly prohibited, other than for those with mobility issues and other approved users. Only one approved user is permitted on any one journey.
  • You must practice social distancing at all times, particularly in high traffic areas such as toilets and corridors.

How to use the Library

The Library will be open from the start of Freshers’ Week on 14 September, with some important new arrangements in place. To minimise risk to yourself and others, you must study from home as much as possible. An expanded range of digital books and other resources will be available online 24/7.

  • In the first few weeks of term, the Library will open Monday to Friday from 9.00am to 6.00pm and be closed at weekends. This will be kept under review.
  • SEZ will be open during the week and available via email at the weekend.
  • Only Abertay students and staff will be allowed access to the Library throughout Term 1.
  • You will need your student card to gain entry to levels 2-4, but not to the foyer, café or SEZ.
  • Please do not move any furniture or equipment.
  • Social distancing rules mean the number of study spaces and PCs has been reduced.
  • Study spaces will be primarily available on a first come, first served basis.
  • Some spaces with PCs, including those with specialist software, will be available to pre-book (we will be back in touch when the booking system opens).
  • Laptop lockers will be available for short-term laptop loans.
  • Photocopying and printing facilities will only be available on levels 1 and 
  • There will be no group study facilities available due to social distancing rules. Please use collaboration tools such as Microsoft Teams for group work.
  • Library books will be placed in quarantine for 72 hours after use meaning circulation times may be slower than usual.

Cleaning regimes and hygiene

Enhanced cleaning will take place across the campus during each day and you will also have access to disinfectant wipes which you should use on any shared equipment and desks.

Electro-static machines will be used by cleaning staff to disinfect classrooms between each use and classroom and lab ventilation has been adapted to meet national guidance. There will be clear signage in all areas explaining what you need to know. Please wash your hands regularly with soap and water, in addition to using the sanitiser stations which will be located around campus.

It is recommended that you wash your hands:

  • Regularly throughout the day
  • For at least 20 seconds each time
  • Before eating
  • After using a toilet
  • Before touching any part of your face

As usual, you should report any areas that may require additional cleaning to Estates.

Face coverings

Everyone coming to campus should bring a face covering with them as they will be required in many areas. Please remember and respect that some people will be exempt from wearing them. Face coverings should be worn in:

  • All areas of the Library.
  • When moving around any corridors on campus.
  • In confined communal areas of campus such as kitchens and toilets.
  • On any public transport to or from campus.
  • In confined communal areas of student accommodation (toilets, common rooms, laundry rooms).

Face coverings will not be required in classrooms or other learning environments where strict 2m distancing can be guaranteed. If the activity in the class means strict 2m distancing is not guaranteed, then face coverings should be worn.

Your lecturer will advise on what is appropriate for each session, however it is down to you to take responsibility for bringing and wearing a face covering. Remember, you can wear a face covering at any time should you wish to do so and it is safe to do so.

Find more guidance on how and when to use face coverings on the Scottish Government website. Abertay is following all Scottish Government guidance on face coverings and it is possible that this may change. We will be in touch with any new information.

Cafes, shop and gym

The Library Café will be operating a takeaway service from the start of Term 1. There will be new queuing arrangements in place, with customers asked to come in through the front door of the café from the plaza area and leave via the Library exit.

The gym will remain closed at the start of term as, due to the layout of the space, we are still assessing how it might be opened safely.

The campus shop and café in the Student Centre will also remain closed at the start of term.

The Support Enquiry Zone (SEZ)

The Support Enquiry Zone (SEZ) provides a comprehensive 'one stop shop' service for current Abertay students who need information or help on any aspect of student life, both academic and non-academic.

Where necessary, SEZ can refer you to a range of specialist support services including:

  • Advisory Service (funding, disability/international support, peer mentoring)
  • Counselling
  • Mental Health Support

Other services such as Careers and Learner Development are also available. You can book appointments through the online platform Abertay Connect.

Rules for social groups

The Scottish Government has set the guidelines for social and recreational gatherings both on and off campus. These include:

  • Outdoor gatherings of no more than 6 people, from a maximum of 2 households.
  • You cannot meet another household indoors

Students living in accommodation must not have parties or visit any other flats outside of their own.

Please be aware that hosting or attending a party that breaches guidelines may be deemed a University disciplinary matter, and possibly a criminal offence.

Stay in touch through Microsoft Teams

Keeping in touch with your classmates is going to be even more important this year, with access to campus not being so frequent and a lot of your learning taking place online.

To help with this, we have put most undergraduate and postgraduate students into Microsoft Teams groups where you can chat online, video call one another and generally keep in touch. There will be a single top-level Team for each programme (e.g. Computer Arts) which all students studying that subject across the University can access. Within each of these Teams, you have been grouped into smaller chat streams based on your year group, to help you keep in touch with what’s most relevant to you.

You will receive an email when your Team goes live and if you need any support contact the IT Service Desk. We hope you enjoy chatting in these informal groups, but please remember they are governed by the same misconduct rules as any other University platform.

Abertay Student's Association

Abertay Students’ Association will be open every day, offering assistance and support to all students.

Their office can be found near the top of the main staircase in the Kydd Building, opposite the entrance to the main lecture theatre.

The SA will have a small supply of face coverings for students who may have forgotten or lost their own, as well as supplies of small hand sanitiser bottles to take away for personal use. As usual, the SA will be supporting society activity throughout the year.

Online Fresher's Week

There will be online welcome talks and activities for Freshers’ Week running from 14-18 September.

Kicking off with a welcome from the Principal on the Monday morning, you can tap into a programme packed with information, support and advice across the week from academic and support staff, as well as social sessions from the Students’ Association.

See the Freshers' Week interactive guide for the programme and to access all sessions. Keep an eye on the Abertay Instagram, Twitter and Facebook for regular updates. 

Abertay Halls - part 1

If you are staying in Abertay Halls of Residence, our residences team will be in touch directly with details on your moving in date and times, and information on where and how you will collect your keys. If you are staying in private accommodation you should contact your provider, making sure they outline their entry arrangements and Covid-19 safety procedures to you. 

A series of enhanced safety measures will be in place across all Abertay residences, including social distancing rules, additional cleaning in communal areas and protocols for shared spaces like kitchens and bathrooms. You will be advised of these in full when you arrive.

On arrival, you will meet your flatmates who will become members of your 'household' for the purposes of Covid-19 guidance. You don’t need to socially distance from people in your household or wear face coverings around them, unless you want to. Remember that regular hand washing and good cough and sneeze etiquette are crucial in reducing the risk of transmission and infection.

Face coverings should be worn in some parts of student accommodation where 2m distancing from people from other 'households' cannot be guaranteed. This includes corridors and some shared facilities such as laundries and common rooms. It does not include kitchens and bathrooms shared by multiple households, where 2m distancing and enhanced cleaning and personal hygiene measures should be in place.


Abertay Halls - part 2

If you develop symptoms of Covid-19 at any stage you must self-isolate immediately in your room and arrange a test, following the Test & Protect procedures. Other members of your household group must also self-isolate, even if they don’t have any symptoms, until the test result comes back. If you are contacted as a close contact of someone who has tested positive, you must also self-isolate for 14 days.

If you have underlying medical conditions or health issues, please let us know via the Advisory Service. Our team will work with you to make sure you are supported. 

All students should register with a local GP (doctor) as soon as possible. There is no charge to register, or for GP consultations or prescriptions in Scotland. You can find a list of Local GPs on the NHS Scotland website.

Advice for International Students

A range of measures will be in place for your safety when you arrive in Dundee.

Please remember that guidelines in Scotland will be different from other countries, so check the Covid-19 pages on the Scottish Government website for the most up-to-date information.

It is important to be aware that you may have to quarantine for 14 days on arriving in Scotland, depending on which country you are coming from. You can check on the Scottish Government website.

Quarantine means you must travel straight to your student accommodation following your arrival at the airport and stay there for two weeks. You will be able to use shared kitchen and shared toilet/ shower facilities and we will provide a food parcel, cleaning materials and make sure you know how to organise deliveries to your flat.

Please be aware that a failure to follow quarantine arrangements may be treated as a serious breach of the University’s disciplinary procedures.

The City of Dundee

As with the rest of Scotland, Dundee is opening back up and restrictions on daily life are easing. Whether you know the city, or are just experiencing it for the first time as a student, there will plenty to see and experience during your time here at Abertay.

Find out more about life in Dundee or check out the website for some inspiration.

We will provide regular updates

We will be in touch with regular updates right up to the start of term and beyond.

Please keep an eye on your University email account, as well as the University website, intranet and social media channels. If you have any questions get in touch with the Support Enquiry Zone.

We look forward to welcoming you to Abertay in Term 1.