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.
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 and PPE 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 teaching on site in a manner that is safe for students and staff.
For clinical programmes, placement providers will continue to offer placements as they have in the previous years.
We will use our existing procedures for allocating students to placements, unless government advice changes.
We are not making any significant changes to the content of the Physiotherapy BSc programme.
However, placement activity for Year 2 has been remodelled for 2021-22, as there is currently reduced placement provision from practice because of the effect of the Covid-19 pandemic on placement provision.
It is anticipated that Year 2 placements will proceed as scheduled, but it may be that there are some adjustments as has been the case in previous years due to the effect of the pandemic on placement providers.
All the programme modules are compulsory and must be passed for successful completion for the degree award, and to make students eligible to apply for registration with the Health and Care Professions Council(HCPC) under the protected title of Physiotherapist.
There is a possibility that government advice on social distancing may change in the future and this may restrict access to the campus.
Even if this were to be the case, we expect to be able to continue to deliver the core modules of the programme and the final year specialisms and pathways as planned.
At the moment we are delivering clinical skills and practical exams onsite following the government advice of social distancing and appropriate PPE.
How the course is being delivered
The existing learning outcomes for our modules and courses will remain in place.
At present from September to December 2021 all lectures and tutorials will be delivered online and students will primarily access their learning, including learning materials, via the University’s Virtual Learning Environment (VLE), Canvas. This may change if government guidance changes.
Anatomy sessions normally delivered in our DissectionRoom will also be delivered online with video recordings. 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, if required to meet social distancing requirements. Some tutorials and lectures that do not require physical contact will also be delivered on campus.
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 BigBlueButton and Microsoft Teams.
All students on placement will be expected to adhere to the hosting practice organisations’ working patterns and guidance.
At this stage, for students starting in 2021 we expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful students to progress through the programme and to graduate without delay.
Some assessments are designed to be taken onsite or in small groups, wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Where necessary we have developed alternative assessment strategies to enable students to complete their assessments remotely.
Training in the use of the relevant online platforms will be provided. 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 meet appropriate social distancing and with PPE if required.
We have currently planned for placement activity in Years 1 and 2 of the programme and will use our normal systems and processes to allocate students to placement.
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. In that case, we will may have to delay practical components of the program to a subsequent semester (or year) in line with their guidance.
At this stage, we expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales to enable successful current students to progress through the programme and to graduate without delay if successful.
We have currently planned for placement activity for Years 2 and 3 of the programme and will use our normal systems and processes to allocate students to placement. We will consider any necessary risk assessments for individual students and plan their placements accordingly. We will continue to offer final-year research projects that enable students to work with staff on topics related to physiotherapy science, education and therapy.
Depending on government advice and guidance, we may be able to offer face-to-face data collection. However, projects will be flexible if this is not possible.
For clinical programmes, placement providers will continue to offer placements as they have in previous years. The capacity to offer placements may change if, in the event of a further outbreak of Covid-19, delivering care to affected patients becomes the overriding priority. If that happens, we will limit the impact on students where possible.
We will rotate students through the sites that are continuing to accept students and, where possible, will use physiotherapy placements that engage in remote consultations to offer a comparable clinical experience and will manage each student profile so you continue to have a variety of experience at the end of your programme.
For continuing students, it may be possible to delay placements to the next academic year to protect student safety. However, there is a possibility that graduation for some final year students may be delayed until they are able to complete all placements.
For students starting in 2021, we assess the knowledge, skills and attributes of our students in a variety of ways. These include formal written examinations, practical examinations (formative and summative) and in-course assessments which might include essays, practical write-ups and special study reports, oral presentations and poster presentations.
We expect to deliver most of these assessments as planned. Assessments where students are directly observed performing communication skills by an examiner will be arranged on the university campus. Exams have also been designed to be taken onsite. However, we successfully developed an alternative assessment strategy in 2020/21 to enable students to complete some of these assessments remotely and without coming on to campus. For example, formal examinations were taken remotely by students at a time of their choosing within a window stipulated by us, and communication skills were conducted over MSTeams which reflects telehealth consultations which have become much more standard practice since the pandemic.
If the government advice on social distancing changes, we will take this approach again.
For current students, the university-based assessments will continue and you will complete them as usual. Some assessments have been adapted slightly – 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 will be arranged on the university campus wearing appropriate personal protective equipment (PPE).
Other assessments of practice performance will be on practice placements, either face-to-face or via online methods. At this stage, we expect to be able to deliver assessments of this kind during practice placements. However, if government advice changes and our campus is closed, we will not be able to deliver these assessments as planned. If that is the case, it might be possible to delay these assessments from one year of the course to the next in order to protect student safety.
However, there is a possibility that graduation for some final-year students may be delayed until they are able to complete all assessments and practice placements 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.
All assessment modifications we have implemented and will implement were discussed with students and approved by the assessment modification committee at the University.
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, 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, please 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 are required to postpone or alter placements, then students may need to cover living expenses beyond the standard term dates of the programme.
Classes onsite in Term 1 (likely to change for Term 2 onwards):
- Tuesday, 9am to 12:30pm
- Wednesday, 9am to 1pm
- Thursday, 9am to 5pm
- Friday, 9am to 5pm (teaching rooms available for self directed practicals)
Online delivery (but not necessarily the whole period):
- Monday 9am to 5pm
- Tuesday 2pm to 5pm.
Practice placements x 2 for Term 1, with some preparatory online tutorials/lectures.
Week 1: 31st August 2021
Classes onsite (but not necessarily the whole period):
- Tuesday, 10am to 4pm
- Thursday, 9am to 4pm.
Online delivery (but not necessarily the whole period):
3 weeks between placement (academic weeks 8 to 10)
- Monday, 9am to 5pm
- Wednesday, 9am to 1pm
- Thursday, 9am to 5pm
- Friday, 9am to 5pm.
Online Delivery (but not necessarily the whole period):
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.