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If you're applying to Solent or already know you'll be joining us in September for the first time we can't wait to welcome you!

We know that, due to the Covid-19 pandemic, the start of your University journey will look different to everything you've imagined, but please know that everyone here is working hard to make sure that life as a Solent student will be the amazing experience you deserve.

Hopefully you've already taken a look at our 'Solent in September' page where we've shared a first-look at what campus and your studies will look like in the new academic year.

Below, you can also find some frequently asked questions that provide more details specifically for our new students.We'll be updating them regularly, so keep checking back - and we look forward to seeing you soon!

Course delivery

In collaboration with our Students’ Union, we have worked hard to ensure we provide you with a learning journey that supports both wholly online and hybrid delivery.

Using a combination of videos, discussion forums, hyperlinks and text your course pages will:

  • introduce you to your course team
  • show your learning outcomes
  • show what you will study and how you will be assessed
  • show the activities you can engage in, both at a course level and across the University
  • show how your voice feeds into improvements through course representation and the student union and more

Your module pages will:

  • introduce you to your module team
  • show you what you will be studying and how you will interact with the lecturers and the students, how and when you will be assessed
  • give you access to the topics you will be studying
  • provide resources, activities and the support you can access to achieve your potential.

Your course and module pages within our online learning environment are safe spaces only accessible to students enrolled on the course or module. This gives you a private space for class discussion and sharing of ideas.

Online delivery

What does online delivery mean exactly? How will I be taught?

You will be taught exclusively on a digital basis, but rest assured this is not a self-taught course - you are simply being taught in a different way.

You will be provided with a lecture which will be shorter in length and interspersed with engaging activities.

The lecture and activities will be flexible, so it is easier for you to access at a time that suits you and you can stop and start these to maximise your understanding of the topic.

However, you will need to complete watching the lecture and the activities before the next learning session.

Throughout the week there will be timetabled opportunities to meet your lecturers and other students on your course. You will work in groups on real world industry relevant problems which will help you to apply your learning and get feedback from your lecturers and other students. All of this will help you to engage with large and small groups, so you can strengthen your ‘voice’ and your confidence.

Timetabled activities will be supplemented by guided learning opportunities to prepare for assessments and to ensure you gain the confidence and employability skills for your future career.

We use a virtual learning environment which will host your accessible course and module information.

How many hours of teaching will there be?

You will receive the same hours of guided learning and teaching as if you were on campus but this will be shaped differently to reflect the way people learn online.

You can also use our online learning platforms to arrange conversations and meetings with your classmates and smaller working groups outside of the formal timetabled sessions.

What sort of support will be available?

You will be supported to achieve your goals for assessment and learning through one-to-one contact with your lecturers, as well as access to fantastic set of tools and resources.

You will only be one click away from a member of Solent’s supportive and incredibly helpful staff. You can access support from the Student Hub, the Library and the Learning Technologies help desk. You can contact the teams via videoconferencing, telephone or email.

We also have comprehensive online support resources including our Learning Technologies Induction and a Succeed@Solent study skills package to help you study and learn online.

How will I be interacting with other students?

We know that students come to Solent to study, to enjoy university life and make friends. Knowing this, we have worked hard to provide you with the opportunities to interact with other students throughout your digital experience.

At the start of your course you can meet other students through the induction (also known as orientation) activities provided by the Students’ Union and your course. These will help you to make friends from your own course and across the university.

You will interact with other students through the learning and teaching sessions through group work and any group assignments you are set.

You will have fun with access to social events whether you are physically or virtually on campus. You will be provided with a calendar of activities created in collaboration with the Students’ Union ensuring you have opportunities throughout the year to make friends easily.

How practical will my course be if my course is to be delivered online?

Wherever possible we will provide online and self-directed activities to support the practical elements of your course. This may be through simulation, demonstration or group work tasks, depending on the nature of the course.

Will my course require specialist software?

No. If you are being taught wholly online it is because you do not require specialist software. You will be provided with access to video conferencing and free technologies that may be used on your course.

Is my course to be delivered online only until January? Will I be able to study on campus in January?

We are unable to predict what the status of Covid-19 or any vaccines will be in the future. or what Government guidelines and travel restrictions will be. However, we are really looking forward to welcoming our students physically and safely onto campus at the earliest possible opportunity.

Will my attendance be monitored?

We monitor the attendance/engagement of all students and will continue to do so where study is online. If you are granted a Tier 4 visa and do not engage with your online studies the University will withdraw sponsorship and your visa will be cancelled.  

If I resume my course on campus in January, will the University help me find accommodation?

We have developed several additional, flexible accommodation options, designed to complement the different modes of study. These options allow students to apply for accommodation that best suits their needs, on a short-let basis (1 week to 1 month), for a semester, as well as the more traditional full academic year.

If we were unable to provide you with university accommodation, we have excellent relationships with accredited private accommodation providers within the city and can help you with advice and support.

Hybrid delivery

What does hybrid delivery mean exactly? How will I be taught? How much of my time will be physical and how much remote?

This means that your learning and teaching activities are designed to use both digital and onsite delivery, allowing a seamless transition between the two.

You are most likely studying on a hybrid course because your on-site access to specialist facilities is important for your learning outcomes in terms of knowledge and skills acquisition or for assessment.

The nature of your course will determine the balance of online and onsite delivery. But broadly speaking you will most likely be provided with an online lecture which will be shorter in length and interspersed with engaging activities.

The lecture and activities will be flexible, so it is easier for you to access these at a time that suits you and you can stop and start these to maximise your understanding of the topic.

However, you will need to complete watching the lecture and the activities before the next learning session.

Throughout the week there will be timetabled opportunities to meet your lecturers and other students on your course.

You will work in groups on real world industry relevant problems which will help you to apply your learning and get feedback from your lecturers and other students. All of this will help you to engage with large and small groups so you can strengthen your voice and your confidence.

We use a virtual learning environment which will host your accessible course and module information.

How much time am I allowed to spend on campus outside of lessons?

The library will be open for pre-booked resources and computers for study use.

There will be specialist facilities (eg, labs) made available on a pre-booked basis as appropriate to your course of study.

Pre-booking is required to manage numbers and ensure social distancing.

There will also be events held by the Students' Union and the student societies and these may take place on campus or in the local Southampton area.

General FAQs

What additional safety and wellbeing arrangements will there be if I stay in the University's accommodation?

The University is fully committed to following and adhering to UK Government guidance to ensure the safety and well-being of its students, including the residential experience.

The University is introducing a series of additional health, safety and well-being measures and initiatives at the residences. These include:

  • Installation of hand sanitiser stations at all residence entrances/exits.
  • Enhanced cleaning schedules for touchpoints and communal areas.
  • Hygiene keys will be issued to all residents for safer door opening.
  • Regular online - email and Facebook - safety messages and updates to all residents.
  • 24/7 qualified first aiders across the residences.
  • Options for online, telephone, or video meetings with staff at the Residences Hub.
  • Introduction of protective equipment for staff and perspex screens at the Residence Hub and reception areas.
  • Installation of directional and social distancing signage across the residences.
  • Installation of one way and ‘keep left’ routes across the residences.
  • Pre-booked timeslots available for moving in on the date you choose.
  • Procedures in place for overseas residents to self-isolate if required on arrival.
  • Programme of physically-distanced welcome activities to help you get to know your flatmates.
  • A programme of ‘residence life’ socially.distanced interest groups, online quizzes and activities.
  • Fast, reliable and secure wired and wireless internet in every room and all communal spaces.
  • Socially distanced group working areas at residences.
  • Individual post and parcel collection lockers.

What happens if I miss some lectures due to WiFi or laptop problems?

You can contact your lecturer who will work out with you a plan of action to cover the missed session(s).

Wherever possible lectures will be recorded and made available on the online learning systems in the appropriate ‘module’ page so you will be able to review and catch-up with sessions. These pages will contain a rich set of resources and activities to support your learning.

Will lectures be recorded?

Yes. They will be recorded so that you can access them flexibly. Recordings will be automatically uploaded and made available in your module page within 30 minutes of the end of the lecture.

What platforms will the University use to deliver courses online?

We will use a virtual learning environment which will host your course and module information. You will have access to this when you enrol on your course. This can be accessed via the internet on laptops or mobile devices and does not require you to have any specialist software on your part.

We will be primarily use Microsoft Teams as the videoconferencing platform and the university will make that available to you automatically.

At a course level you may be asked to download free technologies designed to allow collaboration with other students. You will be made aware of these by your course leader and if you are having difficulties you will be supported to access these by our Learning Technology team.

If I have a disability, how will I be supported through online or on a hybrid delivery?

Access Solent is the disability and neurodiversity service for students. Please refer to the Access Solent Solent Online Learning page for lots of helpful information about support at university. If you have diagnostic evidence, Access Solent can use this to set up support, including sharing information with your course and exam teams about support needs, advising on assistive technology to support with independent study and any specialist support available. We encourage students to have contact with their course team about any queries or concerns relating to remote learning.

If you have concerns about being able to access your course/learning or the campus due to your disability or health condition, it is important to contact Access Solent and your course team in advance so we can provide advice and guidance.

Access Solent are available for contact with students via email: access@solent.ac.uk, phone and Zoom/Skype if you have any queries and want to discuss and set up support. We look forward to hearing from you.

Can I apply to Solent for 2020/21

We are still open and accepting applications for all levels of courses. Please explore our courses for more information. You can also contact admissions@solent.ac.uk with more specific questions you may have around entry.

Can I attend an open day?

Due to Covid-19, our open days are postponed until the autumn. Until then, you can still experience life at Solent. Explore our online resources to take a tour of our campus and residences, find more information about our courses, and find out how we can support you during your time at Solent. If you have any questions about open day events, please get in touch: opendays@solent.ac.uk.

I have a conditional offer - what will happen?

In light of the unprecendented challenges learners are facing, Solent will be as flexible as we can in relation to applicants fulfilling the terms of their conditional offer. The University recognises potential - in terms of the qualifications you have already achieved and additional selection criteria, such as portfolio, audition or interviews, predicted grades, personal statements, and your tutor's reference - and will take these factors into account where learning has been disrupted.

The University is awaiting further updates from the Government and OfQual on how qualifications may be awarded this summer. Depending on the outcome of these discussions, the University may choose to amend, or even waive, the academic conditions of your offer. We will let you know as soon as we are in a position to do so.

The University reserves the right to make independent academic decisions on each individual application. Please be assured, the University is actively considering how to minimise the disruption to you. We know you must be anxious, and we will be in touch again as soon as we can.

What is happening with my exams?

The UK Government has cancelled exams and assessments, including A-levels, in May and June 2020. Instead of using exam results to determine your grades, the exam regulator and exam boards are working with teachers to give you your grades that reflect the work you've already done. Exam boards aim to confirm results by the end of July.

You can also check the UCAS website for up-to-date information. You can read more about the assessment methods replacing exams on the Government website.

I am an independent student - what does this mean for me?

Awarding bodies and qualification regulators are working to provide further guidance for independent applicants, and further information will be given as it becomes available. OfQual is urgently exploring whether there are alternative options for those students who do not have an existing relationship with a centre and who need results this summer for progression purposes. OfQual has said, "Unfortunately, this is unlikely to be possible for all external candidates, some of whom may instead need to take exams in the autumn to get their grades". OfQual have said they will provide an update "as soon as possible".

Solent will be as flexible as we can when making admissions decisions this summer for any private candidates who do not receive a grade.

I'm due to start my course in September 2020, can I defer/delay my place?

You can defer your offer as long as you are holding an unconditional firm offer and meet the standard tariff (ie, have not been accepted on any clearing drops).

However, if your reason for deferring is because of the current Covid-19 situation, we would encourage you to hold your offer for now. If closer to the start of term you are not able to attend and would like to defer, you will need to send an email to admissions@solent.ac.uk with your full name and student ID or UCAS number, the course you have applied for, and your request to defer. The team will then look to see if you are able to do this and will communicate with you accordingly.

I have submitted an application, but haven't received a response

Thank you for your application.

The admissions team are working from home and are processing applications every day to ensure you all receive a decision as soon as possible. The team will contact you if any further information is required.

Should I wear a face covering on campus?

In line with Government guidance, and as an additional measure to protect other people, we strongly encourage staff and students to wear face coverings when on campus, particularly when moving around campus, meeting people you do not normally meet, and where social distancing may be difficult. These can be purchased in many shops and online. There is Government guidance on what constitutes a face covering, when to wear them, and how to make your own face coverings.

Face masks (rather than 'coverings') will be allocated by the University according to need, depending on activity-specific risk assessments.

Please also remember UK Government guidance states that wearing face coverings is mandatory on public transport to and from campus.

We recognise that for some people, wearing a face covering may present difficulties. For example, people who are asthmatic, or who have hearing difficulties and may need to see others' faces to understand what is being communicated. Please be mindful that people may choose not to wear a face covering for good reason.

It is really important to remember that face coverings are not a replacement for other ways of managing your safety - such as increased hand-washing or maintaining two-metre social distancing.

Where will drinking water be available on campus?

You can:

  • Fill personal water bottles at the water dispenser on floor 1 of The Spark, or
  • Collect bottled water from the reception desk in the Andrews building.

No other water outlets on campus are available at this time. They will be reintroduced as soon as possible and colleagues and students will be updated via the Portal and on these FAQ pages.

What should I do about accommodation?

We know students are keen to know more about what our campus changes will mean for you, your course and your plans for September. 

We are continuing work on our plans as we monitor changing circumstances and respond to the latest Government guidance, and will be in touch with students again by 1 July in order to provide more specific information on how individual courses will be taught and what flexible accommodation options we are able to offer. 

If you have already applied for accommodation, we will hold this for you for the time being, and will be in touch with you directly once we’re able to share the details of your course and time on campus so you can make your final decisions.
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