Plans for session 2020/21 - Student FAQs

plans for students

Will I be expected to come into campuses in September for the start of my course? 

We are currently working across the College to plan for the start of courses in September. Our Curriculum, Health and Safety and Student Experience teams are working together to ensure we can implement the safest and most effective method for delivering courses and student support services at the beginning of session 2020/21.

For the start of term, the majority of our courses will be delivered solely online. There will be a limited number of courses which will adopt a blended approach to teaching and learning, with some online delivery, and some on campus face-to-face teaching. Students on those courses will be contacted by their lecturer with more information soon. Students should not come on to campus unless they are told to do so by their lecturer.

Health and Safety procedures are being put in place across all campuses to enable safe social distancing at all times. Guidance is also being developed to promote safe behaviours when on campus. This is being developed in line with public health guidance and will include information on hand sanitising on entrance and exit; regular hand washing whilst on campus; sneezing and coughing into disposable tissues; and procedures for dealing with suspected cases on campus. This guidance will be sent to you prior to the start of your course.

All students and staff are also encouraged to remember the Scottish Government's FACTS campaign, which you can read about here.  

We are limiting the number of people on campus at any one time and so are looking at the possibility of delivering more learning off campus and teaching practical classes in smaller groups and for the beginning of the semester.  

Please be reassured we are following government guidance and we will not welcome any students to our campuses until it is safe to do so. It is important that only students who are instructed to do so come into campuses. 

How will my course be delivered if we're unable to come into campuses full-time by the start of term?

For the beginning of session 2020/21, we will be adopting a blended approach to teaching and learning, with the majority of courses delivered online only. There will be limited on-campus face-to-face teaching where required and safe to do so. Your lecturer will contact you if your course require face-to-face teaching. 

Students will begin their courses on week beginning 7 September, and we will provide further information on the specifics of how your course will be delivered soon. We understand that you will be eager to know this information and we'll communicate this with you as soon as we can.

Prior to starting your course, you will be given a Welcome to the College Induction, the dates of which are detailed below. We will contact you with details on how to join the induction events.

  • Schools College Partnership Induction (SCP) – week beginning 24 August
  • Full-time and part-time students Induction – week beginning 31 August


My course requires practical classes, how will they be delivered?

Classes which require students to be on campus will be prioritised to take place as soon as it is safe to do so. We are putting health and safety precautions in place across our salons, labs, kitchens etc. to prepare for safely welcoming students in the new term. Some practical classes may need to be scheduled for later in the course to allow safe delivery. You will be contacted by your course team and lecturers about when you will be able to undertake practical classes on campuses. 

I have to do a work placement as part of my course, will that go ahead as planned?

We are working to ensure that any courses which include valuable work experience placements can still enable students to complete their placements. This may mean revising the course structure to look at scheduling placements for later in the course. You will be given information on rearranged placements as soon as we have it.  

What about Schools College Partnership (SCP) courses?

Our Schools College Partnership online induction and transition sessions are scheduled to take place the week beginning 24 August. Courses will be delivered online from 7 September in semester one. 

When it is safe to do so, you will be invited into College to participate in face-to-face learning – this is expected to be in semester 2. More information will be communicated to all schools and applicants over the summer. For more information please email


I don't have access to a computer/wifi and I'm worried I won't be able to study at home if it's required. What should I do?

The College is committed to supporting you with studying from home and will make every effort to arrange help in accessing the equipment you need to study from home. You will be asked to complete a survey before your course starts to establish your needs. 

As part of your College Induction, which will take place before you start your course, you will be given information on how to use Moodle which our Virtual Learning Environment and Microsoft Office 365 (including Teams) so you are well prepared for starting your course.

Will there be any changes to the College Calendar for 2020/21?

The 2020/21 session will run in line with the published College Calendar. The only change is that courses will begin from the week commencing 7 September, following your College Welcome induction.  

What about funding support?

If you have applied for funding for your course, this will start from 31 August 2020 and continue as normal as you progress through the course.

Our support staff are working over the summer to help you with preparing for your studies. You can call our Student Services Enquiry Line Monday to Friday between 10am -1pm and 2pm – 4pm to speak to our Student Services team. Contact the team on 0131 297 8650.

If you require help with funding you can also email  

I have an additional support need and/or a disability. How can I find out about support available?

If you indicated an additional support need and/or a disability on your application form, a member of our Learning Support Team will contact you soon. We will ask you complete a pre-needs assessment questionnaire to provide a little more information on what your additional support need and/or disability means for you and how this may impact your learning.  

We will support you in collecting evidence of need, if you don't have this already, before arranging an appointment to chat it through with you. We'll then draw up a personal learner support plan to include recommendations of reasonable adjustments for teaching, learning and assessment.

If you don't think you indicated an additional support need and/or a disability on your application form, are unsure or would just like a chat, Please email us on or call our Learning Support helpline on 0131 297 8123. The helpline is open on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday from 11am – 1pm.


If I have classes on campus, I will need to use public transport to get there – will this be safe?

We are currently developing travel plans and guidance for students and are in regular contact with public transport providers. The guidance will cover how to travel safely to and from campuses and will include information on sustainable travel options. You should follow government guidance at all times when using public transport. We will share any additional information on travel arrangements and campus opening hours as soon as we are able to.


I have childcare responsibilities, what happens if schools do not return to full-time classroom delivery from 11 August as currently planned and instead implement a system of part-time teaching. What will happen if the part-time timetable doesn't fit with my College timetable?

As it stands, The Scottish Government intends for schools to return on a full-time basis, however we will continue to monitor this as it develops.

We understand that any potential changes to the plan for the return of schools might mean some students are unable to attend campuses on certain days or may struggle to study at home at times. The College will aim to be as flexible as possible to help students study when they can. Your lecturers will work to try and suit your needs in this instance. 


I am currently shielding and I'm not sure when it will be safe for me to come into campuses, what should I do?

The Scottish Government has announced that it has paused shielding from 1 August. We will continue to monitor government advice on shielding and communicate with you when changes to the current advice come into place.

Your health and safety is our main priority. If you are required to shield when your course is due to start, the College will work with you to look at alternative arrangements where possible. 


I'm anxious about the thought of starting my course in September if the virus is still prominent, what should I do?

Please be reassured that the College's main priority is the health and wellbeing of all of our students. We will be working over the summer to ensure we are able to safely deliver courses to all of our students. We understand that it is an anxious time for everybody but we're here to support you. If you would like to speak to someone about how you're feeling please email  


I am an international student and have questions about how the current situation may impact my travel/visa/living arrangements/studies, what should I do?

The College is still actively encouraging applications from International students. If you'd like more information on arrangements starting a course with us as an International student, please contact our International team on


How long will these arrangements be in place?

To keep our students and staff as safe as possible we will continue to follow the guidance set out in the Scottish Government's Route Map when making decisions on college operations. This means, arrangements will be adapted as we progress through the four phases. Please be assured that all decisions will be made with the health and safety of everybody as our main priority and arrangements will remain in place for as long as is necessary.  


What do I need to do before I start my course?

Keep an eye out for emails from the College, and your course team, over the summer which will provide more information on details specific to your course. This will also include information on how to enrol for your course online, how to apply for funding and how to let us know if you require any learning support. Please also continue to check the College's social media channels to find out more about how we're preparing to welcome our new and returning students to College. 


Can I connect with Edinburgh College Students' Association (ECSA) and my classmates before my induction?

Yes. You can find out more about our College and get to know your fellow students by joining the Edinburgh College Virtual Campus, run by our Students' Association, ECSA. Here you can link up with other people on your course and stay updated on activities and news. Visit the Virtual Campus on Facebook. 


If you have any questions please email

Please note: The information in these FAQs is subject to change and will be updated regularly in line with Scottish Government Guidance.

Updated 6 August 

For further information please contact the College t: 0131 669 4400 | Terms of use and disclaimer
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