What will teaching and assessment look like in the new academic year (2021/22)?

Your timetable will be available in your Google Calendar from Friday 27 August.

All in-person teaching sessions will be held in suitable, risk-assessed spaces. Some large group teaching sessions will be held online and other sessions will be held in-person. This will be clearly marked in the Google Calendar timetable entry - please check your timetable carefully.

On most courses, teaching starts on Monday 20 September. If you are a new full-time student, you will need to arrive on campus by the end of Week 2 (Friday 1 October) at the latest, or you will need to defer your place. Please contact your Faculty as soon as possible if you think you may miss this deadline.

Both in-person and online lectures will be recorded (please see the updated Recording Academic Contact and Teaching Sessions Policy for more details on this). Recordings of lectures are designed to support students with their learning within an inclusive and accessible environment - they are not designed to replace attending lectures.

In-person teaching - please see information below about what to expect with in-person teaching.

Online teaching - these will be held in Zoom. Please ensure you have a valid, free Brookes Zoom Pro licence linked to your Brookes email address. For information on how to check if you are ready for online lectures, see this Student News article.

Laboratory-based/practical classes: your Faculty will provide you with specific instructions regarding any laboratory-based or practical classes.

Tutorials and 1:-2-1 teaching with staff: individual meetings and other non-timetabled teaching events with staff will either be held online or in a member of staff’s office.

Field classes: field classes are bespoke to each Faculty. They will inform you of the arrangements.

Assessments: event assessments (exams) are likely to be a combination of in-person and online assessments. 

Exceptional circumstances

The University has a procedure in place for students who are experiencing exceptional circumstances that are affecting their ability to study or undertake assessment.

Since the end of the last academic year, there have been some minor changes to the Exceptional circumstances policy.

The categories of exceptional circumstances for non-examination assessments are now known as:

  • Type A (previously known as the 24-hour Grace Period) 
  • Type B (self-certification for a maximum of 7 days)
  • Type C (longer extensions for which applications must be supported by evidence).

In addition, a minimum mark is no longer required in order for a student to qualify for a resit. This means you do not have to submit an attempt at an assessment in order to qualify for a resit. 


From Week 0 (Monday 13 September), Headington, Harcourt Hill and Wheatley libraries will be open 24/7. Swindon Library will be open during opening hours for Swindon Campus. Please check the Library Opening Hours webpage for further details.

As well as Live Chat and the Virtual Help Room, face-to-face help will also be available. Scan and Send will also remain available.

The libraries will reopen to visitors and NHS Test and Trace will be in place.

Study spaces will be reinstated and group study rooms/Platform pods will be reinstated for student bookings. 

What we’re asking you to do when you attend in-person teaching sessions

The University has Covid-secure measures for in-person teaching. 

Quick reference

  • Wear face coverings indoors on campus, including teaching rooms.
  • Check your timetable regularly.
  • Follow directional signage and instructional stickers to make space for each other.
  • Arrive on time for your teaching sessions and fill the room starting furthest from the door.
  • Clean your desk with the wipes provided before you leave.
  • Check in using the Brookes QR code in teaching rooms.
  • Campus monitors will be on site to help you.

Oxford Brookes Test and Trace

All students and staff 'check-in' each time they sit at a desk on campus to help our internal Covid tracing services. Details of this service and how it works can be found on the Test and trace, reporting and self-isolation webpage. 

NHS Covid-19 app and NHS QR codes

Certain locations across campus have NHS QR codes, including cafes and social spaces. More details on the Test and trace, reporting and self-isolation webpage.

Online teaching

Some or all of your lectures will be held on Zoom. This is to keep numbers in teaching rooms to the appropriate level for their risk assessment. Please make sure that you have a Brookes Zoom Pro licence as you will need this to access all online lectures. Find out how to check if you have the right licence and more about using Zoom at Brookes in this Student News article.

When attending lectures on Zoom, we would really like you to have your camera switched on if possible. Having your camera on helps you, the lecturer and other students to have the kind of interactions you would normally have in an in-person lecture. We understand that some students do not feel able to have their camera on during online lectures for various reasons, and that is OK. We will respect students to choose whatever mode suits them best.

If you would prefer to use a background screen in your Zoom class, which will only allow your image to be shown and not your surroundings, please follow the instructions on this IT Service Desk article about using Zoom backgrounds. Please note that only standard backgrounds from the existing library can be used.

What happens if the Covid-19 situation changes locally/nationally

If it becomes necessary to move your programme to online learning only your timetable will be updated to show online alternatives to in-person teaching, or it will show that the teaching is postponed until it can be delivered in-person.

It may become necessary to move your programme online if staff members are self-isolating or if there are a large number of Covid-19 cases in the student body. We may also need to move programmes online on the advice of the Government or Public Health England.

If the move to online-only teaching affects a limited number of programmes, your Faculty will let you know if your programme is affected, but please also continue to check your timetable carefully. If the move to online-only teaching is for all programmes, the University will send an email to your Oxford Brookes email account to inform you of the date the change will take place.

If you’re on a placement and things change locally or nationally, then contact your Faculty Programme Administration team for advice.