We have been working hard to find ways to teach our courses without disruption, while keeping our staff and students safe and making sure we follow government guidance on Covid-19. 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. If we do so, we will update this information, and will keep current students and offer holders informed by email.
We will also continue to update our frequently asked questions page for applicants and offer holders as more information becomes available.
We are not making significant changes to the content of the Translational Medicine courses.
The programme includes laboratory-based research projects. These will be offered as planned in 2020/21 with appropriate social distancing measures in place. There is a possibility that government advice on social distancing may change in the future, and this may restrict access to the campus. If that were to be the case in the spring of 2021, this would interfere with the ability of students to complete laboratory-based research projects; they would have to pursue exclusively data analysis projects instead.
Supporting vulnerable students
Students considered to be most at risk from Covid-19 should work at home wherever possible in line with government advice. Students who are going on placement will be required to complete an individual risk assessment and others may choose to do so. In addition, students from vulnerable groups, including care leavers, students estranged from their families and students with disabilities, are prioritised for help from the University’s Hardship Funds and for accommodation in Horton Halls. Priority for loans of laptops from the University will be given to those eligible to receive a hardship grant; those registered as disabled, care leavers or with caring responsibilities; and international students who may have difficulty sourcing an appropriate device on arrival in the UK.
We recognise the impact that the current circumstances may have on mental health and have expanded our counselling provision, offering remote appointments to any student. In addition, every student will be allocated a personal tutor to offer individual pastoral and academic support from the start of their studies. (Further information about health and wellbeing advice during Covid-19 is available here.)
Priority consideration has been given to support for students with disabilities when accessing teaching and learning online, through the provision of automatic live captioning and British Sign Language within our primary technologies of Panopto, MS Teams and Big Blue Button. These can benefit a range of students, especially those who are deaf or hard of hearing, as well as students with an Autistic Spectrum Condition (ASC), memory processing issues, and for whom English is an additional language.
Human-level captioning is also available where a need has been established through the Disability Advisory team. Human-level captioning requests are processed by the Learning Technology Services (LTS) section and can be requested by email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
How the course will be delivered
The existing learning outcomes for our modules and courses will remain in place. From September to December 2020 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.
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 MSTeams.
Pending Health Education England (HEE) approval, placements are currently expected to resume from September 2020 with minimum changes to planned delivery or timings. 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 Ofice365, 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.
Incoming students (starting September 2020)
Students with pre-existing illnesses or disabilities, or who are shielding
If you suffer, or have suffered, from a serious illness (physical or psychological) or have a disability, or have been required to shield due to Covid-19, please let us know. St George’s is committed to supporting our students and will explore all reasonable adjustments to support you to thrive on your course.
Please contact our Disability Advisor as soon as possible with details to help us establish whether your health history or disability is likely to affect your ability to study or practise. This will also give us sufficient time to carry out a detailed assessment, obtain reports and organise additional expert assessments if required.
Attendance at site
Most of our courses include elements of teaching for which you will be required to attend the University site. Attendance at these sessions will be essential to enable you to engage with the course and undertake assessments.
You will be required to undertake a personal risk assessment before you can attend any placement that is part of your course (or undertake certain other activities, such as those which include the practice of clinical skills or require the use of PPE). Where a health concern arises, every effort will be made to identify alternative placement arrangements, but your health and safety will be the first priority, and alternative arrangements may not be possible. This may have implications for the continuation of your study. If you are clinically vulnerable or have been shielding, we strongly encourage you to contact the Disability Advisor now to undertake an assessment.
At this stage, we expect to deliver the course within the planned timescales and for successful students to graduate without delay. Although some assessments are designed to be taken on-site, we have developed an alternative strategy to enable students to complete assessments remotely without coming on to campus.
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. 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.
We have applied for approval to make a change to an assessment in the Clinical Trials module.
Previously, the final mark for this module was calculated from the marks for a mini-trials protocol (80%) and a practical booklet (20%). The practical booklet would have been composed of notes taken while attending practical sessions during the module. Due to Covid-19, however, students will no longer be attending practical sessions in the physical presence of tutors in the way that the organisers had originally envisaged.
We have proposed replacing the assessment of the practical booklet with the assessment of material delivered during a Good Clinical Practice short course.
The MSc and MRes Translational Medicine programmes are not accredited, and so any changes will have no bearing on the qualification.
Location of study
Once face-to-face teaching resumes, this 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. The delivery of face-to-face teaching will be based on government and institutional guidelines.
Consenting to these changes
The changes that we are making are the consequence of current public health advice, and our capacity to offer alternatives is limited by that advice. If you wish to avoid these changes by deferring your offer please contact email@example.com.