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2020/21 Autumn Trimester Guidance for Students

(September 11th 2020)


The School of Physics has considered the details of how teaching, learning and assessment will be conducted for the coming Autumn Trimester, in line with public health guidance.

We aim to give you the best possible campus and blended learning experience. The School considers face-to-face interaction between students, and between students and faculty, as integral elements of your learning journey. While the national response to COVID-19 presents challenges in maintaining this experience, we seek to ensure that our students access and use our campus to the greatest extent possible. Therefore we encourage you to bear this in mind when considering your accommodation options for September.  The present public health guidelines indicate that many lecturers/tutorials, particularly larger classes, will be remote/on-line at least at the start of the term. Please check back to this website for updates as the situation is continuing to evolve. Once classlists become available later in September module co-ordinators will be in touch to clarify the precise arrangements; please register for modules as early as possible. If you are a physics student who is in a very high-risk for covid-19 group concerned about returning to campus, please get in touch with

A guide to first year physics modules for DN200 can be found here


Despite some offerings appearing as either online or on campus, please rest assured that all students on physics modules will be given equal opportunities to attend on campus. The offerings were created solely for operational reasons to try and retain as much flexibility as possible when planning the online timetable much earlier in the summer.


We know that you are anxious to sort out registration queries but please avoid sending the same email to different staff in parallel. It will be more efficient for everyone if you limit your queries to one email per query.



     The School of Physics has adopted the following general teaching and assessment principles for the Autumn Trimester:

  • Essential laboratory/practical teaching sessions will go ahead for all students on campus, we are planning to facilitate students to do as much of the usual lab/practical work as possible, but individually rather than in groups. This work is integral to the vast majority of our degree programmes and cannot in the main be done remotely.

  • Tutorials will go ahead, on campus if possible and remotely where this is not possible.

  • Where it is not possible to deliver lecture classes in person, lectures will be delivered remotely; synchronously using scheduled timeslots (and material made available through Brightspace) or asynchronously, through pre-recordings, in some cases.

  • Module assessment will, as much as possible, incorporate an in-trimester or continuous assessment approach. However, there will be a need to maintain some timed and invigilated examinations, primarily for students in stages 3 and 4 of their undergraduate studies and for taught MSc students, for modules for which this kind of assessment is appropriate.
  • For the full-year modules Space Mission Design and Astronomy Field Trip which normally involve foreign travel the situation is unclear at the moment but the modules will commence in the autumn, in line with the principles outlined here.