COVID-19 updates from University Centre South Essex

Latest updates

12 Mar 2021

Home testing programme

We have updated the COVID19 testing page with information about the home testing programme. This will commence for HE students from 15 March and testing kits can be collected from 12 March. For more information visit

Information for current students

Our Commitment to Education

We are committed to maintaining the highest possible standards of teaching, learning and assessment during these challenging times.

Teaching and Learning Activities

For the majority of students, the core content of your programme will not change, although the mode of delivery may be different according to the latest Government guidelines.

We are making many improvements to our online teaching:

  • All appropriate training and resources are being made available to teaching and support staff to help them provide digitally enhanced learning.
  • The Faculty of HE is working to ensure online teaching is accessible to all students by improving equipment’s, captioning and sound.
  • We are looking at the possibility for students to book virtual drop-in sessions with their respective teaching staff.
  • All teaching materials are made available on Canvas.

We are focused on delivering the same outcomes and are maintaining standards, regardless of teaching mode as set by the College and the Office for Students (OfS). As far as possible, we will endeavour to provide comparable replacements for teaching and assessment where changes have had to be made due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Any adjustments to mode of delivery or assessments have been peer reviewed and approved by our validating partners.

Exams & Assessments

Exams and Assessment will be adapted where necessary and have been validated by the relevant Awarding Body.

Arts & Media

Guest speaker events, industry mentors and live projects/competitions will continue as advised by programme leaders (remotely).

The New technical support Q & A page called ‘Creative Hands’ is now up and running via the Student Services page on Canvas.

Social Science

Practice Learning is continuing for each programme in accordance with the contingency plans published in all Practice Learning Handbooks.

Initial Teacher Education

In order to support students whilst teaching is online and the impact on observations due to the pandemic we have agreed with the Open University some flexibility in when observations can take place and the programme leader will adjust deadlines accordingly. We are supporting students who may have been impacted by not being able to complete observations due to the pandemic on a case by case basis through extenuating circumstances.

HNC Engineering

Teaching and learning has seamlessly moved online at present, technical units and assessment requirements have been supported by industry recognised software and simulation packages. Practical units are continually being monitored due to the current situation and we are awaiting guidance from Pearson regarding possible adaptations.

Learning Resources

The Learning Resources team provide academic support, study spaces and both physical and online resources. We also work closely with The Forum library to ensure you have a variety of both resources and space to use whilst studying with us. Academic support includes essay writing, research and referencing. The Learning Technology team champion development of digital capability among learners and the use of technology throughout your studies. We also support your implementation of relevant technology to aid your studies. Both academic and digital support is available in person and via Teams video/audio call in either a 1:1 capacity or a workshop.

Student Support

We are committed to supporting all students during the pandemic.

The HE Student Support team is on hand to support you with your studies. We deal with a range of issues including disability support, careers advice and guidance, study skills, learning resources and technology, extenuating circumstances, mentoring, funding issues and any other general concerns that may be impeding on your studies. We arrange a wide range of events and activities during the year to ensure that your voice is heard and that you have opportunities to feel part of the community

Information to prospective students

Admissions & Recruitment

We are closely monitoring the evolving COVID-19 (coronavirus) situation and following the latest Government guidance . In response to this guidance, the College has taken the decision to suspend all in-person activities and interviews. These events are currently being held online.

Although there is change to the HE Admissions and Recruitment policy and process, please continue to check your UCAS applicant portal regularly for any updates on your application, but if you have an immediate concern or need some help please contact the HE Admissions Team

Teaching & Learning

Following guidance provided by the Government and the Office for Students (OfS), the College will aim to offer as much of our learning as possible face-to-face and physically on site. Where face to face delivery is not possible, we have adapted our delivery methods, utilising Microsoft Teams to facilitate teaching and learning.

Social distancing restrictions mean that some of the learning and assessment activities that would normally take place in large groups such as lectures and exams, may not be possible in the usual way, however, we would follow our partners and Office for Students (OfS) guidelines when amending these activities.

The curriculum has been rigorously risk assessed to ensure the integrity of our degree programmes is maintained.

During these unprecedented times, we will do our best to support our students to achieve their qualifications.

Faculty of HE – Covid response

Mar 01 2021

Dear student,

As I am sure you are aware, on Monday 22 February the government announced its roadmap out of the current Covid-19 pandemic lockdown. Having examined the government guidelines closely for schools, colleges and HEI institutions, I am pleased to announce that from the week commencing 8 March, the Faculty of HE will be returning to its 50% face-to-face and 50% virtual delivery model, following existing timetabling arrangements.

If you are currently shielding, please contact your programme leader to discuss your circumstances.

Upon returning, students will remain in their class bubble, PPE face masks will need to be worn in all college buildings, including the classrooms, unless for medical reasons where one cannot be worn. Social distancing must be observed at all times while on college premises. The faculty is currently updating the programme risk assessments to ensure they comply with the new government guidelines.

Government guidelines are that all students will need to undertake Covid-19 tests on a regular basis following their return to college. For more information about this, please visit

Please keep safe and well, we will ensure that you are informed of all future developments as we move forwards.

Kind regards,
Colin Bladen-Kopacz
Dean of Higher Education

Jan 04 2021

Dear student,

Following the Government’s announcement of a full national lockdown commencing 5 January 2021, all HE courses in the Faculty of HE will remain 100% virtual delivery until such restrictions are lifted by the Government, thereby allowing us to resume teaching on a blended basis. At this point, we will revert to the 50% face-to-face and 50% virtual delivery model. Please note your timetable will remain the same, only the mode of delivery will change.

Please remember, if you are facing difficulties student support is there to help you. Please contact them on the following email:

If you are having difficulties with an assignment, please use the extenuating circumstances procedure where appropriate.

Once again, I realise that this is a very stressful situation for all concerned and we are responding accordingly. Please be patient; our primary concern is to ensure your safety and to provide you with ongoing online support and effective teaching in these challenging times. Please also note that all of my staff are working very hard to support you in similarly challenging circumstances. Please keep safe and well.

Kind regards,
Colin Bladen-Kopacz
Dean of Higher Education