Our priority is to keep our students and staff safe and support their wellbeing, while protecting our community from the risks of Covid-19 on our site, based inside a hospital. We have listened to feedback and preferences from our student community about St George’s as a place to study.
We won’t be making any significant changes to the content of our programmes, but there will be some changes to the way they are delivered. Please see below for further details of how this may affect this course.
If government advice changes, we may need to update our plans, but our approach is designed to make it possible to continue with much of the on-campus teaching planned. If we do need to make changes, we will update this information, and will keep current students and offer holders informed by email.
Location of study
All face-to-face teaching will take place at St George’s, University of London on the campus that we share with St George’s Hospital in Tooting with appropriate social distancing measures in place.
We have not explored alternative locations for teaching and have no immediate plans to do so.
If government advice on social distancing changes, we will consider ways in which we can deliver more teaching onsite in a manner that is safe for students and staff.
Starting in September 2021 we hope to have a minimum of two days onsite for workshops and some tutorials and practical sessions. Lectures will continue online for the autumn term.
For clinical programmes, placement providers will continue to offer placements as they have in previous years. We will use our existing procedures for allocating students to placements.
We also use placements outside of the NHS and social care, and these will be subject to the same quality and safety arrangements for students.
Prior to each placement, students undertake a week of preparation, which will include any necessary Covid-19, PPE and risk assessment arrangements.
We are not making any significant changes to the content of the Occupational Therapy BSc programme.
However, we have remodelled placement activity for Years 2 and 3 to accommodate the original schedule for practice placements due to the interruptions caused by the pandemic.
This has been necessary as all students on this programme must complete 1,000 hours of practice placement as part of the degree award and professional body requirements.
All the programme modules are compulsory and must be passed for successful completion for the degree award, and for you to be eligible for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council (HCPC) under the protected title of Occupational Therapist.
There is a possibility that government advice on social distancing may change in the future and this may alter access to the campus. We expect to be able to continue to deliver all modules of the programme in a blended format (a combination of online learning and on site sessions, per the guidance given for autumn term 2021) . We will continue to adapt practice placement activities, in line with the guidance of the relevant professional bodies (Health Education England, Health and Care Professions Council and the Royal College of Occupational Therapists).
Incoming Year 2 students will complete their second and third placements in 2021/22.
Incoming Year 3 year students will complete placements 3 and 4 in 2021/22.
How the course is being delivered
The Occupational Therapy BSc programme intends to ensure a minimum of 2 days per week spent on site at the university, where possible.
The existing learning outcomes for our modules and courses will remain in place.
From September to December 2021 all students will primarily access their learning, including learning materials, via the Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Canvas.
Hands-on practical teaching and learning activities will be delivered on campus with appropriate social distancing and personal protective equipment (PPE) measures put in place, and with controls on the number of people in each location, as per current government guidance.
The online components of the course will be designed to balance interactive real-time sessions with lecturers and other students, with self-paced independent study. Students will have clear learning pathways through the activities they are expected to engage with, and there will be opportunities to check learning and progress.
Personal tutor support and all other student support, such as the Academic Success Centre, will also be online for this period, using a range of methods for staying in touch, such as telephone, email and the University’s web conferencing systems and Microsoft Teams.
All students on placement will be expected to undertake a risk assessment and adhere to local Trust working patterns and guidance.
To get the most from online study, hardware requirements have been established and communicated to all existing students and offer holders. Students will need their own personal computer or laptop and an internet connection in their place of accommodation. This needs to be in place at the start of the course. Once enrolled, students will have the ability to use Office 365 as part of our institutional licence, and access software required for their modules/courses via AppsAnywhere. In addition, we offer Office for Mac via Office 365, but only the following applications are available for Mac: Teams, Word, Excel, Powerpoint, Outlook, OneNote. Web-based Office applications are available on Mac. Full details are available here.
There is a provision for students who may struggle to meet the hardware requirements to contact our IT Hardship team.
At this stage, we expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through the programme, and to graduate without delay, providing they meet the requirements of the programme.
Some assessments are designed to be taken on-site or in small groups. Where necessary we have developed alternative assessment strategies to enable students to complete assessments remotely and without coming to campus. Students will be coached on how to use the relevant online platforms to enable them to do this.
The programme does include practical, clinical and skill-based elements that are delivered in specialist teaching rooms and with specialist equipment. Practical classes in our specialist teaching rooms will be arranged to minimise travel to and from the site (approximately twice a week during September–December 2021) with appropriate social distancing measures and PPE if required by government guidelines. Anatomy sessions normally delivered in our Dissection Room will be delivered online with video recordings in the first term (September–December 2021). Practical, clinical and skills-based teaching will run as planned for the remainder of the 2021/22 academic year.
We have currently planned for placement activity for Years 1, 2 and 3 of the programme and will use our normal systems and processes to allocate students to placements. We will consider any necessary risk assessments for individual students and plan their placements accordingly.
There is a possibility that government advice on social distancing may change. If that is the case, we will endeavour to adjust practical components of the programme in order to maximise a positive student experience.
We will continue to offer final-year research projects in small groups which enable students to work with staff on topics related to occupational science or occupational therapy. Depending on government advice and guidance, we may be able to offer face-to-face data collection. However, projects will be designed to be flexible, in case this is not possible.
For clinical programmes, placement providers will continue to offer placements as they have in previous years. Their capacity to offer placements may change if there is a further outbreak of Covid-19 and delivering care and treatment to affected patients becomes the overriding priority. If this happens, we will limit the impact on students where possible. We will place students in those placement sites that do continue to accept students, and if necessary, we will use our simulation facilities or remote placements to offer a comparable clinical experience.
For continuing students, it may be possible to delay placements to the following academic year to protect student interests. However, there is a possibility that graduation for some final year students may be delayed until they are able to complete all placements.
Incoming students (starting September 2021)
We assess the knowledge, skills and attributes of our students in a variety of ways. The methods that we use include formal written examinations, practical examinations and in-course assessments. These might include essays, practical write-ups and special study reports, oral presentations and poster presentations.
All formal written examinations take place in December 2021. At this stage, we expect to deliver these assessments as planned. Although some assessments are designed to be taken on-site, we successfully developed an alternative assessment strategy in 2019/20 and in 2020/21 in order to enable students to complete assessments remotely without coming to campus. For example, formal examinations and some presentations were taken remotely by students within a window stipulated by us. If the government advice on social distancing does not change by December 2021, we will take this approach again.
The university-based assessments will continue, and students will submit online as usual. Some assessments have been adapted slightly (e.g. the small group presentation assessments) to ensure each student can achieve the learning outcomes. You will be informed of these changes at the start of each module.
Assessments, where students are directly observed performing a practical or clinical skill by an examiner, can only be delivered on campus or on practice placement. For assessments within which a student’s ability to communicate appropriately with a patient or simulated patient can also only be delivered onsite, we expect at this stage to be able to deliver assessments of this kind onsite or during practice placement.
However, if government advice changes and the campus is closed, we would not be able to deliver these assessments as planned. In that case, it might be possible to delay these assessments to the following academic year to protect student safety. If that happens, graduation for some final-year students may be delayed until you are able to complete all assessments, because we have an obligation to our regulators to confirm that our students have met the clinical and practical outcomes for the programme before they graduate.
We do not expect students to incur any extra costs over and above those that we have advertised on the course page.
As a result of our courses beginning with the majority of teaching online in autumn term 2021, you will need a personal laptop or computer and access to the internet to participate in online lectures. Information is available on recommended device specification here.
If you are worried you might struggle to meet these requirements, you should email IThardship@sgul.ac.uk so we can look at support options for you.
Personal protective equipment (PPE) will be provided for you if needed.
If government guidance changes and we need to postpone or alter placements, then you may need to cover living expenses might be beyond the standard term dates of the programme.
A typical timetable will vary each year of the course.
Students will complete anywhere from 1 to 2 placements per year depending on the year of the course they are currently completing.
Depending on the government guidance surrounding Covid-19, the hope is that most teaching will return to site in January 2022 following the end of social distance guidelines.
Students will typically have sessions (both remote and onsite) Monday to Friday from 9:00-17:00 with breaks interspersed throughout the day.
Students will typically be on site most Thursdays and Fridays, and possibly some Mondays in the first term.
Students will complete a four-week placement after Easter.
Students will typically have sessions (online and onsite) Monday to Friday from 9:00-17:00 with breaks interspersed throughout the day.
Students will typically be on site on Mondays and Tuesdays in the first term.
Students will complete an eight-week placement in the autumn term and another eight-week placement after Easter.
Students will typically have sessions (online and onsite) Monday to Friday from 9:00-17:00 with breaks interspersed throughout the day.
The days students are on site will vary in the first term.
Students will complete two eight-week placements in January 2022 and in April 2022 in order to be able to graduate by July 2022.
Consenting to these changes
At enrolment or re-enrolment you consented to the changes we anticipated as a result of the pandemic, which were outlined on the ‘Covid-19 updates’ tab of your course page at: www.sgul.ac.uk/study/courses.
The changes that we are making are the consequence of current public health advice and our need to anticipate changes to that advice. Our capacity to offer alternatives is therefore limited. We do not feel that the changes will adversely affect students.
If you wish to avoid these changes (e.g. by taking a year out from your studies) please discuss this directly with your course team in the first instance.
We remain, as always, focused on the best experience and outcomes for our students.
Making a complaint
If you have concerns about the quality of course delivery, please raise these with your course team in the first instance.
If you wish to take a more formal route, guidance is available to you in our student concerns and complaints procedure.