School of GeoSciences

Teaching and learning in 2021-22

If you're a new or continuing student, find out more about how we are delivering teaching and learning in the School for the academic year 2021-22.

Support for managed hotel quarantine costs

We are delighted to announce that the University will provide support for quarantine costs of up to £1,750 for students resident in countries on the UKVI red list. This package of financial support is available for both new and continuing students joining us for the 2021-22 academic year. 

Visit: Hardship funding


students in Geomaterials lab
Second-year geology, environmental geoscience and geology and physical geography students in a socially distanced lab for a Geomaterials lab.

Here in the School of GeoSciences, we plan to deliver a mix of in-person and digital teaching for the academic year 2021-22, with the expectation that all students will be in Edinburgh. 

It is very likely that physical distancing measures will still apply when the academic year starts in September 2021. We are planning on this basis. 

Work is underway to fully understand the rooms available and their capacities for teaching and learning activity. However, we know that Covid restrictions will limit our on-campus teaching to small groups and mean that larger classes (many lectures, for example) will be online.  

Dependent on your programme of study (including whether it is lab-based or not), the amount of on-campus teaching you will receive next academic year will vary. 

We appreciate that this information is not very detailed. Still, we hope it provides an insight into what you can expect next academic year. We will share more details with you as soon as we can. 

Please be assured that your safety and that of our staff remain paramount and is central to our planning. We continue to monitor government guidance on Covid-19 prevention measures, and we’ll adjust our 2021-22 plans in response to any relevant changes. 

Teaching and Learning 2021-22

students on field excursion at arthurs seat
Second-year BSc Geography students on a local field excursion to Arthurs Seat.

Field excursions 

We hope to run field excursions for our taught students in the academic year 2021-22.

Work is underway to plan for different scenarios, depending on what Covid restrictions permit. This may mean that a planned overseas field course will have to be replaced by a trip to a Scottish or UK destination instead.  Or that residential excursions may have to be replaced by local day trips.

Our priority is the health and safety of our students and staff. This may require us to be flexible in altering our plans for a field course, depending on what we are permitted to offer under the Scottish Government guidance at the appropriate time. 

Academic support  

Academic support will be provided by your Personal Tutor.  Specific arrangements for start-of-year meetings will be communicated by email nearer the time.

If you are a returning student requiring support before teaching begins, please contact your current Personal Tutor. 

students in ecological and environmental sciences lab
First-year BSc Ecological and Environmental Sciences students in a socially distanced lab working on microscopy skills.

Access to lab facilities and study spaces 

You will receive communications about arrangements for access at the beginning of Semester 1. Ongoing safety measures include:

  •  wearing of face coverings
  • observing physical distancing at all times
  • adhering to the building access arrangements and one-way system. 

You can also find more information through the links below:


Exams at the end of Semester 1 will be online.

Arrangements for the Spring 2022 diet are yet to be finalised. 


Arrangements for enrolment on 2021-22 elective courses will be communicated by email in August 2021. 

If you are a new student, this will be completed during Welcome Week 2021 after discussion with your Personal Tutor.