For LLB and LLM students starting at or returning to UCL Laws in the academic year 2021/22: we are really looking forward to welcoming you to the Faculty of Laws and to Bentham House this autumn. The past year has been a challenging one for our students and staff but we are all looking forward to the start of the new academic year with enthusiasm and optimism.
Though there is still some uncertainty about how the coronavirus pandemic will continue to affect us all, we are planning an exciting academic year for you and I wanted to share some of the details of our current plans. The plans set out below are what we are currently working towards and expect to be able to offer in the autumn, but are of course subject to change depending on the course of the pandemic, government guidance to universities, new or adjusted social distancing requirements and health and availability of staff during the autumn term.
Our plans for teaching and learning
Our UCL education in 2021-22 will be campus based, as we strongly believe in the huge benefits of attending university in person. The last year has taught us a lot about how to support our students’ academic progress with digital technology and many students have also told us that they have enjoyed the flexibility of online lectures and having access to content and activities that they can work through at their own pace. Learning in this way also prepares our students for the increasingly digital-first environment you’ll encounter after graduation. However, students and staff alike agree that meaningful face-to-face education remains very important, so that they can interact more easily with fellow students and teachers and be part of a community that is alive with research and academic scholarship.
As previously announced, in line with most UK universities, most programmes at UCL will be a blend of in person and online teaching and learning, designed to support students to progress and succeed academically. Our 'blended by design' approach responds to the feedback of our students – and builds on the continuous refinement of UCL education over the last year.
Across UCL, most small group teaching - including seminars, workshops, tutorials - will be in person and most of the large group teaching, such as lectures, will be online. Online, students will learn through a mix of interactive live sessions led by the lecturers and other engaging digital learning activities that you can work through at your own pace.
Our students and staff place huge value on in-person interaction with fellow students in and outside their academic programme, and you will have many opportunities for informal learning, networking and connecting with your fellow students, on campus and online. In Laws there will be many co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to enhance your learning and overall student experience through additional programmes, workshops and student-led Societies which arrange a substantial programme of events, careers talks and competitions. The Students’ Union is arranging a comprehensive programme of in-person events for the new term, including all of our club and society activity. In addition, we have been working closely with UCL Libraries to make sure you have good study facilities on campus and the physical and digital materials you need for independent study and analysis, developing your skills as an active researcher
Term One begins on 27 September 2021 and induction activities in the Faculty of Laws will begin on that date. Teaching on our programmes begins on the same date. We are planning for our campus to be open to all students for the start of the new academic year. We expect you to come to campus for face-to-face teaching and it will not be possible to study entirely online.
Please ensure that you plan your arrival in the UK so that you can attend your on-campus activities.
Currently, everyone planning to travel to the UK, whether vaccinated or not, must still follow the traffic light system of rules. We are currently developing our package of support for new or returning international students who must self-isolate on arrival in the UK. We will publish the details as soon as possible. UCL’s International Student Support webpages have more information on the advice and support available as you prepare to arrive to London, as well as orientation activities available to you as a new or returning international student. The traffic light system is likely to change before September and we will update you as soon as possible.
International students at UCL on all visas and of all nationalities will be eligible for the COVID-19 vaccine. Students who have received one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine overseas that is also available in the UK should receive the same vaccine for their second dose here. Students who have received the first dose of a vaccine not available in the UK should contact a GP (doctor) surgery when they arrive and inform them which vaccination they received as early as possible. If the vaccine they received for their first dose is not available in the UK, the most similar alternative should be offered. Students who have not received any COVID-19 vaccine dose before arriving in the UK are eligible to be vaccinated here and must register with a GP as soon as possible. This guidance is likely to be updated nearer to the start of term and updates will be provided in future communications. Find out more about student vaccinations.
We recognise that some international students may not be able to join us in London at the very start of the year, because of continuing coronavirus travel restrictions. We will do our best to support such students, who cannot travel to London for the start of term because of coronavirus restrictions, in engaging with their studies remotely for the first 2 weeks of term. We will aim to record large group sessions and make the recordings available online, but small group interactive face-to-face module sessions will not be recorded.
Joining UCL for the first time or joining us in person for the first time
We will write to you in the coming weeks and months with further details about your programme and the UCL Welcome team will be sending regular emails to guide you through the process of becoming a UCL student, including enrolment, visas, fees and funding, accommodation, getting to know UCL and our great city, making the most of all the opportunities there are to develop your networks, skills and interests.
Our blended model of education will help us adapt through the coronavirus pandemic. By conducting most large group teaching online, we are confident we can continue some interactive face to face learning, even if social distancing is required at some point in the year.
A resurgence of coronavirus is always a possibility at some point in the next academic year. However, we have robust contingency plans, based on our experience and the resources we developed this year, and we are confident that you will be able to engage with your education with us whatever the circumstances.
Find out more about the safety measures we’re putting in place on campus and what you can do to help keep our community safe.
Laws research students (those studying toward the PhD) are normally resident in London (or with reasonable travel access to London) during their studies, but we understand that this might be difficult at the moment for some students. If this presents any concerns they should speak with their supervisor and with the Director of Research Studies, Professor Alex Mills.