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Updated FAQs: New academic year, furlough leave

07 May 2020

Frequently asked questions are updated regularly

This advice is correct at the time of publication of this news article.

If you have health concerns then you should refer to the NHS website as recommended by Public Health England. For other queries regarding the current situation, email

The following new questions have been added to the staff FAQs:

When will the new academic year begin?

The confirmed start of year schedule for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students in 2020/21 is outlined below:

New Undergraduate and Foundation Year students:

  • Week commencing 21 September: University Welcome and induction programme
  • Week commencing 28 September: School and programme induction activities
  • Week commencing 5 October: Teaching starts

Returning Undergraduate students:

  • Week commencing 28 September: Welcome back week, with School and programme level introductions plus an opportunity to cover any essential material from the last session.
  • Week commencing 5 October: Teaching starts

Postgraduate Taught students:

  • Weeks commencing 5 and 12 October: University Welcome and induction programme
  • Week commencing 19 October: School and programme induction activities
  • Week commencing 26 October: Teaching starts including an online option, with an aim to begin on campus teaching activities from November (subject to UK Government advice)

Will face-to-face teaching resume at this point and non-essential facilities on campus re-open?

We look forward to welcoming staff and students on to campus as soon as it is safe to do so, however we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.  When we do return to campus this will be in a phased manner. We are currently planning for every eventuality so that we are in a position to follow Government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online.  As we are planning for the possibility of social distancing measures to still be in place for some time, we have taken the decision to conduct all lectures for Semester 1 online.

What measures will be in place to keep our staff and students safe at the start of the academic year?

When we do return to campus this will be in a phased manner and led by Government advice. We will communicate to staff about arrangements for returning to campus, once more detail is known.

Questions about furlough leave have been moved to the Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme site. The following new question has been added:

When will staff on furlough leave return to their roles?

The Government’s Coronavirus Job Retention Scheme currently runs until 30 June 2020. Any extension of the scheme is down to the Government’s review of the position and we don’t yet know when such a review and decision will take place. We will communicate with staff on furlough leave and their managers to keep them updated about the situation.

More information