Studying and research – your academic experience

Term will start for many of our students on 21 September, and you'll benefit from our high-quality learning and research experience, both online and on-campus. Weekly tutorial groups will help support your transition to university life, and you'll be able to access online resources as well as find quiet spaces to study across campus.

What will it be like in September?

Our academics joined us from their homes to answer our students' questions on what learning will be like for them in September. Find out more on our plans for teaching, our resources and how we'll conduct your lectures, seminars and  tutorials. If you're a student in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, you can view our other interviews discussing labs and practical work, specifically for these programmes.

How will you be studying?
What will be the main differences?


What resources will be available?
What activities will be on offer?
What if you struggle with online learning?
What contact will you have with academics?
How is teaching being adapted for online?
What about work experience on programmes?
How can you meet other students?
Advice for our students starting in September


Your learning experience

Your course will begin in September (unless notified otherwise), and will be delivered in a number of different ways

If you're pursuing a taught programme or have a taught element in your programme, lectures will be delivered online to ensure that you can access them whatever the circumstances. This means that we have extra space on campus for the work and research conducted in labs and workshops. Seminars in small groups will be delivered in person and on campus where possible, and online where required. This means that you get time on campus whilst still getting access to all the course materials you need.

There are a number of programmes starting in January and  you will have been informed directly via email if this is the case for your programme.

We are adept at delivering online learning and our academics and other staff are working to ensure that you get the best possible start: understanding your subject and how it will be taught; meeting your tutors and fellow students and understanding how to access all the support that is available to you.

All of the core content will also be delivered online so you won’t miss anything if you can’t make it to campus for the start of term or need to self-isolate for any period of time. Flexibility is key, and when and where it is safe to do so, we will offer in-person teaching and learning activities on campus.

Delayed starts for some programmes

We are considering a number of options to ensure that you have every opportunity to study with us, whether that means a delayed start or a combination of campus and online teaching. We have informed our existing applicants about our plans for September, and have informed of any potential delayed start dates for specific programmes. We intend to confirm our final decision by 31 July.

Lab work

Where your course includes compulsory lab work, and practical sessions and workshops, these will be scheduled as late as possible in the first semester and in groups of an appropriate size.

Our research labs are currently going through a phased reopening. If social distancing measures are still in place you may need to work within a particular schedule to reduce the number of researchers within lab spaces. Your supervisor will be able to help you organise your work and your time to allow you to undertake your research, so we encourage you to discuss your access with your supervisor prior to programme beginning.

During term time, tutor groups will meet online so wherever you are, every week, you will be able to join up with your tutorial group

Your tutor group will be an opportunity to develop a small learning community within your subject area, with your tutor, and a great way to learn from each other and access any support you might need.

Our study spaces, including the main Library, will be open from the start of term with access to computer clusters

Our Library will be open to provide you with space to study in an airy, safe environment, while observing social distancing. As well as bookable computers across campus, we have plenty of outdoor spaces with Wi-Fi. Our high-speed Wi-Fi is available in all study spaces and University and partner accommodation.

We have enhanced our extensive online collection of resources, books and journals that you can access through the Library from anywhere in the world, and we have increased the range of software that is available online, including free access to Office365.

Our high quality student support services are available for all students

Our Wellbeing Officers are equipped to work remotely and continue to offer excellent support to students. We continue to adapt and innovate our services including the introduction of further online counselling provision from September 2020, and we will support students online and on campus in every way that we can.

The University Graduate School provides dedicated support and opportunities for all postgraduates. The University Graduate School website is a gateway to information, support, and community for postgraduate students. Once you begin your studies at the university, you will receive a monthly newsletter from the University Graduate School to help keep you informed about opportunities available to you during your time here.

Aerial campus tour of the University of Birmingham