Update: Safety Net Q&A Session


Last week we asked you to tell us what questions you wanted answered around the Safety Net and measures that had been put in place to support your academic studies and qualifications through the COVID-19 pandemic.

We were overwhelmed by the response and want to thank you again for sharing your questions and views to make your voice heard.

Your VP Education, Emi Dowse, hosted a Q&A session with two key members of University staff to pose your questions and get you answers. Attending the session were:

  • Professor Julian Chaudhuri - Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Education and Student Experience)
  • Dr Adele Hill - Associate Dean - Teaching and Learning, currently leading the University group looking at supporting teaching, learning and studying during the Covid pandemic. 


Watch the full recording here


“I am thankful to Julian and Adele for taking the time to come and talk to me about the issues you are facing. I feel that the Q&A was very successful in allowing you to hear your questions answered first hand by those who are making the decisions. I would like to remind students that this is solely an information piece and that I continue to lobby the University about putting something in place to protect your grades from dropping.


The new measures voted in at UTLQC are great to protect those students who are facing difficult times and are failing as a result of the pandemic, but the University still needs to put something in place for those of you who are trying your best and noticing your grades are still dropping. Students are still being negatively impacted through no fault of your own and it is UPSU's stance that something needs to be done to protect you. I will continue to update on any progress made via the UPSU website and social media."


- Emi Dowse, VP Education



In just 24 hours we received 385 questions and, while we’ve done our best to compile these questions to cover as many issues that we know are so important to you, we know there will be some that have been missed. 

We’ve identified the questions in this document that at the time of publishing still need clearer answers:

While we’re working with the University to provide more clarity on the support available and measures in place to address the issues above, please keep telling us what you need us to work on – this isn’t the end of the conversation.

You can tell us what you need and share your feedback by contacting Emi Dowse directly (emilia.dowse@su.plymouth.ac.uk) or submitting your feedback via our Feedback Form here. 

Once you submit the Feedback Form above, this information is sent to our Student Voice team who will share the information with the most appropriate Student Representatives to raise on your behalf to shape future discussions with key figures in the University.



The University have compiled a range of resources and information with regards to the current academic support measures in place which you can access via the Student Portal. 

As so many of you have contacted us with questions around what is currently being done to support you, you can find a summary below of the measures in place at the time of publishing this update (27.01.2021):

  • Extenuating circumstances – automatic validation and no evidence needed
    Any extenuating circumstances will be automatically validated. This means you don’t need to wait to hear back for approval or submit any evidence. You must still complete EC forms so that the University can support you where circumstances are challenging.
  • Same attempt re-assessments
    If you submit or attend an assessment and fail, you may have a referral or repeat at the same attempt, without being penalised.
  • Referral
    You can now refer in up to 80 credits instead of 60. This means if you have failed or not submitted in up to 80 credits you will normally complete these assessments in your Programme’s referral period, usually during the Summer.
  • Extended referrals
    You may have extended referrals in up to 40 credits instead of 20 meaning that you can carry forward some assessments into the next academic year - and that may ease the pressure on you now.
  • Extensions – extra time
    The extension of 5 working days has been increased to 10 working days for all extenuating circumstances for coursework.
  • Sandwich placements
    The number of weeks you need to complete on placement has been reduced from 26 down to a minimum of 12 weeks.


For more information about each of these points and for the most up to date information on all issues relating to the University’s position on the Safety Net, please click here.



More information: Watch the Q&A Session COVID-19 Student FAQs Share your feedback