Our plans for September 2020
Our next academic year will begin on schedule in September. We can’t wait to see our current and new students back on campus and we’re working with Bucks Students’ Union to do everything possible to make the Bucks experience as close to normal as it can be, in a COVID-safe environment.
In everything we do, our aim is to interact with our students face to face as much as we can, while keeping everyone in our University community safe. And we’re poised to react quickly as and when the UK Government’s restrictions are lifted.
University life will probably feel a little different. That’s why we’re working harder than ever to make sure our new and returning students receive the warmest Bucks Welcome, from the very first day of term!
It’s really important to us that our students feel settled, confident and ready to succeed in their studies as soon as the new academic year starts. That’s why our students will be able to meet their lecturers and fellow students in person, in a safe and friendly environment.
Face to face groups, along with engaging and innovative online activities, will bring together the special University community of which we’re so proud. Everyone will be made to feel welcome as a member of the Bucks family.
We’ll provide information and training so that you can study flexibly, in a way that suits you best. And when you do need to contact us, we’ll be there for you, in person.
Following UK Government advice, we’ll open as many COVID-safe facilities as we can by September including the library, gym and catering outlets. We’re doing all we can to provide our students with an experience that’s safe and as close to normal as possible.
We’re excited to share our plans from September for our new and returning students.
In the meantime, keep safe and stay well.
A warm Bucks Welcome
Each of our academic Schools will hold a welcoming conference for all students (new and returning) so that you can meet your course friends and all of your lecturers in person. You’ll be introduced to your course, find out what’s expected of you, and what you can expect from the University throughout your Bucks journey.
Every student at Bucks has a personal tutor who you’ll meet in person when the new term begins, and they’ll be there to provide you with personal support throughout your studies at Bucks. The Students’ Union runs a Bucks Buddy scheme to match you with a current student who’s studying a similar course so they can also help to answer your queries.
The University and Students’ Union have developed a full Bucks Welcome package to help new students prepare for, and settle into, University life. Our Preparing for Success sessions will help you get ready for a new way of studying. And once you arrive at Bucks, Thrive & Strive workshops will give you the techniques to help you succeed and reach your full potential.
We also can’t wait to see our returning students who we’ve missed so much during lockdown. The Bucks Welcome Back programme – brought to you by the University and Students’ Union - is packed full of initiatives to get you back into the full swing of campus life!
Our Teaching and learning: it's for real
From September, we’ll follow a ‘hybrid’ approach to teaching across every course and module. Our students will receive face to face teaching and space to study - strictly observing social distancing guidelines - supported by online material and content. You’ll receive a real – not virtual - learning experience.
This means that you’ll have face to face on-campus teaching wherever it’s possible to do so, whilst staying COVID-safe. Nearer to your start or return date, we’ll provide you with all the detail about where and when your teaching will take place. And we’ll make sure you’re familiar with the measures we’re putting in place to keep you safe in all our buildings and study spaces.
We’ve reviewed every course and module to ensure our students will continue to receive the best possible learning experience. All modules will include on-campus teaching in person, and we’ll also provide flexibility, enabling you to keep up with your studies whenever and wherever suits you. Through our virtual learning environment, you’ll be able to access all of your module materials, the library’s full catalogue, free software and academic support.
For the time being, we’ve suspended field trips and visits in line with UK Government advice. Rest assured, we have plans in place to resume these opportunities as soon as it’s safe to do so. In the meantime, it’s important to us that we continue to provide opportunities for students to meet with, and learn from, industry professionals and our graduates. For the time being, these will take place online to ensure our students still receive those all-important industry insights.
Our labs, studios, skills and simulation spaces will all be open from September. We’ll make sure they’re COVID-safe and ready for our students to apply the theory they learn in practice. We will adjust course programmes to ensure students have access to the equipment they need to be successful.
Assessments will also be adapted to ensure that students can demonstrate they’ve met the learning outcomes for their course. Tutors will be readily available to support students throughout their studies.
Everyone at Bucks is focused on doing everything we can to help our students do their very best.
Boosting your employability after your studies
We appreciate the challenges all graduates face as they enter the highly competitive employment market, and we’re delighted to announce an exciting new initiative designed to aid your employability. We’re offering you the opportunity to pursue a Postgraduate Certificate in Business Leadership after you complete your degree, at no cost to you. Open to applicants and returning students of all disciplines, this offer is specially designed to boost your career prospects . It’s a distance-learning programme with an emphasis on developing your skills in problem solving, creative thinking, leadership and management. Applying knowledge in practice is a hallmark of this programme, as is true for all courses at Bucks.
Bucks Students' Union: it's a Big Deal!
From Freshers’ Week onwards, Bucks Students’ Union will offer a broad and diverse range of events and activities through The Big Deal, all completely free of charge. And all within the recommended COVID-safe guidelines. There’s also the chance to develop new skills and take part in volunteering opportunities.
You’ll have plenty of chances to make new friends and get involved within Bucks’ friendly student community. Find out more about this year’s programme from entertainment to societies and internships, finding jobs and boosting your employability here.
Student Support, every step of the way
We’ll make sure our students have access to face to face and online advice, guidance and support for all aspects of university life through our friendly and approachable University and Students’ Union teams. And our face to face support will be supplemented by 24/7 wellbeing support online through the Big White Wall, if and when you need it.
New students will receive plenty of information in advance to tell them more about our wellbeing, disability and counselling support services. It’s all part of our commitment to make everyone at Bucks feel at home and supported, during the good and tough times.
We understand that some of you may be anxious about starting, or returning to, University because of the COVID-19 outbreak. Please be assured that we’ll provide you with a COVID-safeenvironment. We’ll also ensure that we offer help, advice and any necessary adjustments for those who may be shielding or have other concerns. Our priority is to keep everyone safe and healthy.
Accommodation: we've got you covered
Our Halls of Residence will be open and ready for your arrival in September. At Bucks we do right by our students. We won’t charge you a deposit, and your contract won’t start until you take up residence. If there’s another public health crisis which prevents you from accessing our campuses, you’ll be released from your contract at no additional cost.
We know there are fewer opportunities for our students to earn money whilst studying, so, for 2020/21, we’ve reduced all of our accommodation charges from 10 to 30%. Rooms in our COVID-safe student accommodation will start at £80 per week and include:
- No deposit, flexible contract period and a public health crisis guarantee
- All utilities, free Wi-Fi and contents insurance
- 24 hr security and on-site pastoral and welfare provision
- 1/3 off University gym membership once lockdown restrictions are lifted
- Free membership of ‘The Bucks Café Club’ giving you discounts at all campus cafes which we expect to be open for at least takeaways from September
- Bedding, cleaning and welcome packs available on request
New and returning students can apply for accommodation from 6 July here, where you can also find more information about our halls and rent charges.
Start your successful career at Bucks
Bucks is a Placements Plus university. So, whatever degree you study, you can be sure there’ll be plenty of industry-relevant opportunities on offer to help you get into your chosen field. We’re focused on preparing our students for their future careers from their very first day at Bucks. And that’s why employability and career success are embedded into all our courses.
COVID-19 has brought career planning challenges to all sectors but don’t worry, you won’t miss out on opportunities to get valuable experience under your belt while you’re a student. We’ll keep you safe and continue to offer panels and meetings with successful industry specialists; work-related learning; and engagement with employers to make sure that you’re on the right track to achieve in your chosen career.
Preparing for your career will be a core part of your time at Bucks, both in your studies and through a wide range of free opportunities to boost your employability prospects that are on offer from Bucks Students’ Union.
As part of the Bucks Welcome, you’ll beintroduced to Career Sprint. This 12-week activity programme, delivered through the MyBucksCareer platform, provides you with targeted activities to kick start your successful career journey. Career Sprint focuses on real-world activities that are designed to prepare you for the evolving world of work.
If you’d rather talk to us in real time, please visit our 'Chat to Students and Staff'' page and use the drop-down filters to select who you'd like to talk to.