FAQs

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:

Coronavirus Advice and Support

Safety Hygiene and Health

Teaching

Life on Campus

Research

International and EU Students

Accommodation

IT Equipment and Support

Coronavirus Advice and Support

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.

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).

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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

If you are struggling financially please contact SEZ immediately for support. 

You can also apply to the Student Welfare Fund here.

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.

Where can I find guidance on how to self-isolate?

The Scottish Government's guidance on how to self-isolate can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-test-and-protect/pages/how-to-self-isolate-effectively/

Life on Campus

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

Face coverings should be worn in:

  • 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

You do not need to wear a mask in class once seated.

Where can I get advice, counselling and/or mental health support?

For all student support enquiries contact the Support Enquiry Zone at sez@abertay.ac.uk or 01382 308833

How does access to the Library work?

The library is open Monday to Friday from 9pm to 6pm and is closed on weekends.

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?

We are currently working on how the Gym might be operated safely and within national guidelines. We will be back in touch with more detail as soon as we can.

The Abertay Sport team runs live exercise sessions every Wednesday at midday on Facebook live. These are available on demand. 

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 “Attendance Check-in”.

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.

Is Winter Graduation 2020 cancelled?

Due to the national restrictions on large events during the pandemic, the decision has been taken to postpone the Winter Graduation ceremonies, which were scheduled to take place on 27 November. 

The University is in close contact with venue organisers at the Caird Hall in Dundee and have arranged to provisionally reschedule both of the 2020 postponed ceremonies (Summer and Winter) for next year, to run the day after the planned ceremonies for the 2021 cohort.

These dates will be:

  • Thursday 15 July 2021 – Morning and afternoon ceremonies for students graduating in July 2021
  • Friday 16 July 2021 – Full day of ceremonies for all students who graduated in 2020

We will, of course, continue to monitor developments in relation to the pandemic and how these might affect our planning for next year. Our Graduation team are on hand to help with any queries you may have in relation to these arrangements and can be reached via graduationevents@abertay.ac.uk. We will be in touch with details about graduating in absentia in due course.

 

Safety Hygiene and Health

Will protective screens be in place and where will these be?

Yes. Protective screens are being installed in high traffic face-to-face contact areas across the University for the safety of staff and students.

How will social distancing work on campus?

We will be following national guidance on social distancing on campus. New signage across campus will advise on how to keep safe and there will be systems for getting around campus, accessing buildings and in classroom and study settings. Keep an eye on this page as we are updating it as new guidance becomes available.

There will be two-way systems in place. How will this work?

Signage with instructions on moving around campus will be installed in key locations and you will be asked to adhere to the rules. We will release more detail on this closer to the start of term.

Which entry and exit points can I use in each campus building?

We will be making a number of changes to entry and exit points to keep staff and students safe. We will update you closer to the start of term.

Do I need to wear face covering on campus?

You need to wear a face covering in some parts of campus and we ask that you please bring one to campus with you every day.

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).

Abertay are following all Scottish Government guidance on face coverings and it is possible that this may change, so please check back here often.

What are the arrangements for the toilets?

There will be signage indicating arrangements for the toilets. Some may operate a one in, one out system. Please follow the guidance in each location.

Where will the hand sanitising stations be and how do I use these?

Hand sanitising/washing stations will be spread around campus to help reduce the spread of infection. Please use these regularly as you make your way around the university buildings.

Which entry and exit points can I use in each campus building?

The majority of entry/exit points will be in operation. You may be instructed to use specific ‘in’ or ‘out’ doors in some instances. Please pay attention to the signage.

Will I need to wear face masks or PPE for on-campus teaching?

We are working on arrangements for this and will update this page soon.

Will tutors be wearing face masks or PPE for face-to-face classes?

We are working on arrangements for this and will update this page soon.

What should I do if I develop symptoms of Covid-19?

Test and Protect, Scotland’s approach to implementing the 'test, trace, isolate, support strategy', is a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

As part of this you will be asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you have tested positive for it. If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

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 develop any of these symptoms, contact the NHS to arrange to be tested. Do this online at NHS Inform, or call 0800 028 2816.  You should self-isolate at home straight away along with other members of your household.

Teaching

What is blended learning?

All students will be taught via blended learning from the start of academic year. Blended learning is a mix of online instruction and face-to-face teaching which will take place on campus. 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. In addition there will be live online tutorials and materials prepared in advance to be accessed at your ease.

What changes are being planned to improve online teaching?

Our Technology-Enhanced Learning team are working with academic staff to develop a programme of training, as well as guidance documents and resources, to support staff and students to engage with a more immersive online learning experience next academic year. We will update this page with more detail soon.

How much of my teaching will be on campus and how much will be online?

Students will have a minimum of  one three-hour face-to-face teaching session on campus each week from the start of Term 1. This will be delivered in a single teaching period with students coming to campus once per week for learning activity in classrooms, labs or other specialist facilities.

The remainder will conducted online and will include both synchronous sessions and the delivery of material prepared in advance; academic staff have already been issued with guidance on teaching online and training sessions are underway. 

Will online lectures and tutorials be pre-recorded or interactive?

It is our intention to deliver a mixture of both interactive and recorded activities which will be accessed from our virtual learning platform, My Learning Space. We will be in touch with more detail about how this will work soon.

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

These students should contact the Support Enquiry Zone in the first instance at sez@abertay.ac.uk

What about students who are concerned about returning?

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. 

What if I'm nervous about using public transport?

We are advising students to follow Scottish Government guidance on travelling on 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 your programme leader.

How will exams and assessments be affected in 2020/21?

Academic staff are reviewing assessments to consider their applicability for a blended learning delivery model. We will be back in touch with more detail on this.

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

The Covid-19 Fair Assessment Policy was introduced to act as a safety net for students affected by the pandemic. It included the ability for students to have extensions on coursework and to defer exams with no questions asked, in addition to other measures. For more information on this visit https://intranet.abertay.ac.uk/documents/forms/travel/coronaviruscovid-19/covid-19studentguidance/fairassessmentduringcovid-19/.  We are currently considering how this policy may be implemented or adapted going forward.

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. We are modelling campus capacity on the current 2m social distancing guidance.

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 would be with the same/fixed group of students.

Will my fees be refunded due to less face-to-face teaching?

In line with national guidance, as teaching is still ongoing online, we will not be refunding any tuition fees. If you would like to discuss this please contact SEZ.

Will I still be allowed to complete my placement this year?

We hope to be able to support placement activity this academic year and have made some adjustments in programme structures to facilitate this. We remain in dialogue with our placement providers but attendance at placement will depend on government guidance, as well as associated risk assessment protocols.

What if I need to defer to a later start date?

Should you need to defer because of COVID-19, you can defer to the next available start date.

All of our undergraduate degrees start in September, but some of our postgraduate degrees have both September and January start dates. We appreciate that many students have already made firm plans to come to Abertay this September and we are working on the basis that this is still be the case.

If you have already deferred once, we will allow you to defer again. If you have been awarded a scholarship for your studies, this can also be deferred. 

If you are an EU student, you may need to consider the decision to defer carefully as the current fee guarantee by the Scottish Government is applicable to those EU students entering in September 2020.

Research

Will Research Labs/Facilities be open?

Many Scottish universities have continued some essential lab activity throughout the pandemic to date. Some Abertay labs will reopen from mid-July in line with national guidance. Students eligible to access labs will be contacted directly.

International and EU Students

What if I'm travelling from overseas and have to quarantine for 14 days?

Should UK quarantine restrictions remain in place during September (and this may change), we will provide students who have been allocated university-owned accommodation (Meadowside and Lyon Street) and who are travelling from overseas, the flexibility to arrive early to allow you to undertake the quarantine period in advance of the start of Term. There will be no charge for this quarantine period. Private accommodation providers such as Keillor Court and Parker House have also agreed to waive fees for any quarantine period. We will support students through this period with advice and practical guidance. This would mean that you would arrive around the last weekend in August. There are a number of private travel providers who will be able to transport you safely to Dundee from a local airport and we will provide you with full details.

Will I be able to study abroad this academic year?

This will be subject to government guidance but currently no overseas exchange activities are planned for Term 1.

Where can I access Scottish Government advice for international students?

The latest Scottish Government advice for international students can be found here: https://www.gov.scot/publications/coronavirus-covid-19-advice-for-international-students-april-2020/pages/overview/

Where can I find guidance on immigration?

The latest UK Government immigration guidance is available here: https://www.gov.uk/government/collections/coronavirus-covid-19-immigration-and-borders

Can I take my course online only due to overseas travel issues?

All students will have one three-hour block of face-to-face learning on campus per week from the start of Term 1 and you should attend campus for this. However 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. It will not be possible for some courses to be undertaken wholly online due to their teaching requirements, so we ask you to make contact with our advisory service by email - advisory@abertay.ac.uk. Advisory will liaise with academic staff on your behalf regarding arrangements that could be made for your particular course.

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.

Accommodation: What happens if I need to quarantine when I arrive?

All International and EU students taking up a place in Abertay-provided student accommodation will be offered two weeks' free accommodation at all our halls of residence prior to the start of Freshers’ Week (31 August - 13 September).

There more information on arrangements for quarantine on our accommodation guidance pages. 

Please keep up to date with the possibility of quarantine on the Scottish Government website. 

Find out more in the Accommodation FAQs below.

I have more questions, who should I contact?

 

Accommodation

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

Our accommodation applications will be open to those applicants who have firmly accepted our offer of a place from w/c June 15 2020. Don't worry- we have not made any accommodation offers before this date and your application will be processed in order when we are able to do so. We will be putting in place social distancing where this is required. Where your arrival is prevented and you have already signed your lease, you are able to cancel your lease with 28 days notice.

Residences contract dates will align with the revised start date for the 2020/21 academic year, with Orientation Week now due to begin on September 14. We do not take a deposit, but you will be asked to make a prepayment of rent when you accept your room offer. If you cannot attend due to Coronavirus restrictions in your home country, or the UK, the prepayment will be refunded. More details can be found on our Accommodation web pages here: https://www.abertay.ac.uk/accommodation/

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 will be delivering a blended mix of online and face-to-face teaching for the academic year 2020/21.

Students will have one 3-hour block of face-to-face learning on campus per week. There may be exceptions 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 a student living in my halls 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.

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

Test and Protect, Scotland’s approach to implementing the 'test, trace, isolate, support strategy', is a public health measure designed to break chains of transmission of COVID-19 in the community.

As part of this you will be asked to self-isolate at home for 10 days if you have symptoms of COVID-19 or you have tested positive for it. If you live with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive, or if you have been in close contact with someone who has tested positive, you will be asked to self-isolate at home for 14 days.

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 develop any of these symptoms, contact the NHS to arrange to be tested. Do this online at NHS Inform, or call 0800 028 2816.  You should self-isolate at home straight away along with other members of your household.

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.

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. 

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.

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 a loved one from student accommodation, what should I do?

Contact the University Residences team before arriving to collect a loved one 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.

IT Equipment and Support

Who do I speak to about IT issues?

Your first port of call for all IT issues should be the IT Service Desk. You can log a call here: https://intranet.abertay.ac.uk/support/ict-service-desk/service-desk/

Will I be able to access specialist IT equipment?

Students will be able to access specialist equipment on site, however this may depend on your programme of study and the type of activity that the equipment supports. We are also looking into what additional provision can be given to students working from home. Speak to your Programme Leader for further information.

I don’t have good broadband or IT equipment. Where can I get help?

If you have concerns over access to broadband or equipment please contact the Support Enquiry Zone sez@abertay.ac.uk