School of History, Classics & Archaeology

Support and advice during the academic year 2020/21

Information for current students of the School of History, Classics and Archaeology

Coronavirus (COVID-19) 

The University of Edinburgh continues to closely monitor the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and liaise with government and NHS agencies to get their latest advice on public health guidance. Further information about the current situation is available on the University webpages. 

Latest Coronavirus (Covid-19) updates for staff and students

Support for Mental Health

The places to start are:

  • The Health and wellbeing website. Twitter: @UoEdWellbeing 
  • For undergraduates, there are also suggestions on the UG Students in HCA site, accessible through Learn: go to ‘Student Support and Wellbeing’.

University Support Services

  • The Advice Place  Professional advice service, run by the Students’ Association, on accommodation, finances, the University, personal health, wellbeing and anything else.  Email: advice@eusa.ed.ac.uk
  • Chaplaincy  The Chaplaincy provides pastoral and spiritual support for students and staff of all faiths and none. Email: chaplaincy@ed.ac.uk There is a ‘Listening Service’ for students wanting something less formal than counselling. Email: Listening.Service@ed.ac.uk
  • Residence Life For those of you in university accommodation. Facebook: @UoEResidenceLife Twitter: @uoeliving Instagram: @UoEResLife Especially have a look at their ‘Covid-19 Resources’ section.
  • Student Counselling For all students at the University, using short-term counselling and referral to other services.  Including: Togetherall - is an online support network, available 24/7, guided by trained professionals.  It is free to students of the University. Feeling Good App - The Foundation for Positive Mental Health is working with the University of Edinburgh to provide free access to the Feeling Good App Email: Student.Counselling@ed.ac.uk
  • SilverCloud A package of online mental health treatment programmes, mostly based on CBT, which help people overcome common mental health problems.
  • EdHelp Find answers to common questions and support topics.

Frequently asked questions

All HCA students

  • What do I need to do if I am self-isolating? 

You need to inform the University if you are self-isolating.

Read further information and access the self-isolating reporting form

If you have any questions regarding the Covid-19 guidance, please direct them to the mailbox covid19@ed.ac.uk

  • Can I return home? 

If you are considering returning home, please consult with your personal tutor in the first instance. Please do be aware that if you ultimately choose to travel home, you should do this in reference to latest Government advice on travel to your local area. 

  • How do I change the location and address I provided at annual registration? 

You must let us know if you change the location or address you provided at annual registration so that we can ensure your location and mode of study is up to date. You can do this from MyEd>Accounts>(Progression section)>My Student Record>Personal Details (scroll down to find it), or through the EdHelp self-service portal.

  • What are the requirements for studying off-campus?

If you are studying off campus you must engage with your studies digitally and keep in regular contact with your Personal Tutor.  

  • What will happen if I cannot access the necessary books and study resources? 

If you are unable to access the books and study resources you would normally have available to you, please contact your Course Organiser for advice in the first instance.

  • What should I do if I do not have access to WiFi or a laptop​​​​​​? 

Please let the University know if you do not have access to Wi-Fi or a laptop so that we can prioritise assistance for you.

IT Requirements, Guidance and Support 

To improve remote access to learning resources for students located in China, the University is trialling a dedicated VPN connection.

Setup and connect to the University VPN Service from China

  • What are the plans for semester 2?

Above all, your safety and the safety of our staff remains paramount. Therefore, in response to ongoing Scottish Government restrictions, and drawing on the best available teaching and learning evidence and practice, we will continue with the 'hybrid' approach for all learning, teaching and student support activities for Semester 2. This will mean different things depending on your course, programme and level of study, but in general for those students who can be in Edinburgh, as with this semester the School will ensure that some campus contact is delivered at programme level for all of our programmes. This may vary depending on staff and student circumstances. Ongoing physical distancing measures mean the occupant capacity of our teaching rooms is still greatly reduced and priority for on-campus teaching will be given to core courses, lab teaching, language teaching and teaching requiring specialist software only accessible on University PCs. Your course organisers will be in touch with further details. 

  • Can I still undertake fieldwork and University travel? 

In line with University guidance, essential travel can proceed at this time, subject to a risk assessment and formal approval process.

Read the full guidelines

Undergraduate students

  • Why have I been assigned to a digital study group when I’m based on campus? 

Whilst our courses have a lot of campus groups, there are also some happening digitally to accommodate students who are studying away from Edinburgh and tutors who aren’t able to come onto campus. In some courses there are also some digital groups in addition to the campus groups because of the volume of students on the course and physical distancing rules having had a significant impact on our room availability.  We will however endeavour to move you to an on campus group if space permits. Please fill in the Group Change Request Form which will be submitted to the central timetabling unit (TTU), to request a change to a campus group. If TTU are able to allocate you to a campus group, your timetable will be updated to reflect this change.  Please be aware that this may take longer than normal as the University is dealing with unprecedented volumes of requests.  

  • What is the process for switching to digital teaching? (Pre-honours students)

Students who need to temporarily change to digital tutorials because they are self-isolating should contact their course administrator for each. Details of the course administrator are available on the course Learn site. You will be moved back to campus groups following your isolation period unless you inform us otherwise. Please note that we are not able to accommodate temporary course swaps for any other reasons (e.g. general illness, family emergency), in these cases you are advised to contact your tutor for the best way to catch up on any missed work. 

Students who need to permanently change to digital (e.g. because they have returned home) or campus tutorials, should fill out a Group Change Request Form which will be submitted to the central timetabling unit (TTU). Please note that the TTU are currently handling a lot of change requests and it is taking time for them to process this backlog.  

  • Coursework deadlines

All coursework should be submitted by the stated deadline on your course Learn site.  Many coursework deadlines will fall around the same time, and some may even be on the same day.  Coursework deadlines are published at the start of each semester to ensure that students have sufficient time to plan their work accordingly.  Students should therefore be aware that clashing or multiple deadlines close together are not in themselves a valid reason for an extension. It is of course possible to apply for an extension (where the coursework allows) if, for other reasons, you are struggling to meet your deadlines. Details of what circumstances qualify for an extension can be found on the Extensions Explained website.

  • What should I do if I have technical issues when submitting coursework?

You must contact the Course Administrator (details can be found on learn) before the deadline with the name of the course affected, your matriculation number and a clear description of the problem, including any screenshots or error messages where possible.  If it is close to the deadline, please also include a copy of the coursework you are trying to submit. If you are unable to access Learn please email this information to hca-sso@ed.ac.uk who can arrange to pass this information on to the appropriate Course Administrator.

  • Will exams take place in semester 2?

Exams will take place online for any courses that have an end of year exam as part of their assessment requirement.  These will be timetabled as normal but will allow for completion within a 24 hour timeframe. The extended time period is intended to capture all students in different time zones, and all students who would normally have additional time granted through their Schedule of Adjustments.  It also allows for external disruptions or other issues such as slower internet connections. Further information regarding exams will be provided during Semester 2. 

  • Will assessment for 2020-21 be covered by 'help not hinder'?

The University expects that it will not be necessary to implement non-detrimental (i.e., 'help not hinder') assessment of coursework and exams in the 2020-21 session. The 'hybrid' delivery of your courses means that they are adaptable to all eventualities, including a full lockdown.  Assessment in 2020-21 will therefore proceed as planned.

  • I am a final year student in 2020-21. Some of my courses in 2019-20 fell under 'help not hinder'. How will my final degree result be calculated?

When it comes to classification at the end of fourth year (2020-21), any marks for third year (2019-20) courses impacted by Covid-19 or industrial action in Semester 2 will not be included in your degree average if those marks are detrimental to (i.e., lower than) your average mark across Honours courses not so impacted. This calculation cannot be made until the end of your final year, when all marks are in.

  • I was supposed to be studying abroad in 2020-21, is that going to be possible in semester 2?

For those students who are due to study abroad in Semester 2, the University Executive will be making a decision in due course. You will be contacted by the Study and Work Away Service (SWAY) as soon as a decision has been taken on your exchange. You can also keep an eye on the Go Abroad website for updates.

Postgraduate taught students 

  • What is the process for switching to digital teaching? 

PG students who need to change to digital teaching temporarily because they are self-isolating, or permanently because they have left campus, will be able to continue to engage with their studies using the digital materials that are being uploaded for each of their courses on Learn. There will be a digital equivalent for those pathway/core seminars that were due to take place on campus. 

  • Will assessment for 2020-21 be covered by 'help not hinder'?

The University expects that it will not be necessary to implement non-detrimental (i.e., 'help not hinder') assessment of coursework and exams in the 2020-21 session. The 'hybrid' delivery of your courses means that they are adaptable to all eventualities, including a full lockdown.  Assessment in 2020-21 will therefore proceed as planned.

  • Coursework deadlines

All coursework should be submitted by the stated deadline on your course Learn site.  Many coursework deadlines will fall around the same time, and some may even be on the same day.  Coursework deadlines are published at the start of each semester to ensure that students have sufficient time to plan their work accordingly.  Students should therefore be aware that clashing or multiple deadlines close together are not in themselves a valid reason for an extension. It is of course possible to apply for an extension (where the coursework allows) if, for other reasons, you are struggling to meet your deadlines. Details of what circumstances qualify for an extension can be found on the Extensions Explained website.

  • What should I do if I have technical issues when submitting coursework?

You must contact the Course Administrator (details can be found on learn) before the deadline with the name of the course affected, your matriculation number and a clear description of the problem, including any screenshots or error messages where possible.  If it is close to the deadline, please also include a copy of the coursework you are trying to submit. If you are unable to access Learn please email this information to GradSchool.HCA@ed.ac.uk

Postgraduate research students 

  • What will happen to my supervision? 

Supervision is currently being delivered digitally and will continue to be digital in this period of tighter restrictions. Students wishing to return home should discuss this with the Graduate School Office in the first instance. Students will be expected to continue to engage with their studies and must maintain regular digital contact with their supervisors. 

  • What will happen to annual reviews? 

Annual reviews should continue to be held in a timely manner (this is particularly important at this time, when difficulties may need to be acknowledged and recorded).  Meetings should be held remotely; supervisors and students may decide on the preferred method. 

  • What will happen with my viva? 

Students who have vivas scheduled or are due to submit soon, can contact the Graduate School Office for guidance on remote vivas. The current University policy allows for oral examinations by video link, if all parties are in agreement. If there is any concern in about conducting a viva in this way then there may be no alternative but to postpone the examination. Guidance for conducting oral examinations by video link is available here. 

Who to contact? 

If you have further queries please do not hesitate to contact: 

Please note that staff are contactable during working hours Mon-Fri.  If you need to arrange an ‘in person’ appointment, please email the appropriate team in the first instance.