Changes to courses
The information below is for students starting an undergraduate course in 2022-2023.
The University will seek to deliver each course in accordance with the description set out in the Course Information Sheet that forms part of the University student contract.
However, there may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after enrolment. There are two main scenarios in which such changes might happen:
1. Normal circumstances (where there is no pandemic, epidemic or local health emergency) (see paragraph 1 to 5 below); and
2. Circumstances where a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency arises, or has arisen (see paragraphs 6 to 8 below).
The provision of course options which depend on the availability of specialist teaching, or on placement at another institution, cannot be guaranteed in advance.
Changes to courses in normal circumstances
1. There may be situations in which it is desirable or necessary for the University to make changes in course provision, either before or after enrolment. Where desirable or necessary changes are to be made, the University will offer, where possible, appropriate and alternative arrangements for affected students. If you do not wish to accept any alternative arrangements then you will have the opportunity to withdraw from your course.
2. The University will not make very substantial changes to courses (for example, a change to the course title, significant restructuring, substantial change in course content, or the introduction of a progression hurdle) which would impact on you once you have started your course. In exceptional circumstances it may be necessary for the University to make such a change after you have accepted your Offer. This will not normally happen less than 3 months before you start your course. You will be notified of any such change (as compared to the description in your Course Information Sheet) and offered the opportunity to withdraw from the course. In exceptional circumstances we may need to suspend, discontinue or combine courses. This may be because of academic changes within subject areas, or as a result of low student numbers on a course.
3. Other changes could be made to course content, delivery and teaching provision because of developments in the relevant subject, enhancements in teaching or assessment practice, requirements of external accreditation processes, changes in staffing, resource constraints or changes in the availability of facilities. Such changes will take account of the reasonable expectations of prospective and current students.
4. Once you have accepted your Offer, you will be notified of any material change made before you start your course (as compared to the description in your Course Information Sheet) and you will be offered the opportunity to withdraw from the course.
5. Once you have started your course, you will be consulted about any proposed material course change (except changes which are solely for students’ benefit) which would affect the part of the course which you have already started studying.
Changes as a result of a pandemic, epidemic, or local health emergency
6. Where a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency necessitating measures to reduce risk of infection or illness arises or has already arisen the University may make reasonable changes to comply with government or local authority regulations or guidance, and/or its own health and safety advice and/or to ensure the health and safety of staff, students and third parties and/or to respond to consequential staffing or resource constraints. The University will inform you if it makes any such changes.
7. The University will ensure that when making changes as a result of a pandemic etc the core competencies and learning outcomes of the course will still be provided. The University will also provide broadly equivalent teaching and assessment services, and key University services by alternative means if reasonably possible, although the manner of delivery may need to change.
8. Examples of possible changes as a result of a pandemic etc include:
a. Providing teaching, assessment or other services wholly or partly online or via other remote means;
b. Moving the location of teaching and/or restricting student numbers permitted to attend any location at one time (including restricting numbers at libraries, lectures, seminars or laboratories);
c. Teaching at evenings, weekends or outside Full Term;
d. Requiring students to comply with health and safety measures the University deems necessary which are specific to particular sites or activities, which may be in addition to any HSI, such as additional social distancing measures, or wearing of face masks or personal protective equipment.
e. Staggering attendance by students at University so that for part of a term you are not allowed to attend University premises in person;
f. Varying, limiting or cancelling elements of course content, including reducing the number of optional modules available;
g. Varying, limiting or cancelling access to any University services or facilities;
h. Varying, limiting or cancelling any learning experiences that would normally happen face-to-face or in-person (eg work in laboratories, museums, studios, music facilities or via fieldwork or work-placement).
i. Varying, limiting, cancelling or putting in place measures to reduce the risk of any time due to be spent in education or work abroad or on a placement (including varying destinations) as a mandatory or optional component of courses. If a period of study or work abroad, or other placement, has to be cancelled entirely then this includes moving a student to an appropriate degree course that does not include the time abroad or on placement.
8. Subject to the provisions explained above, no refunds, discounts, damages, waivers of course fees or other charges will be payable to you where changes or delays have resulted from, been caused by, or are in relation to a pandemic (including Covid-19), epidemic or local health emergency necessitating measures to reduce risk of infection or illness. The University will also not be liable for any consequential losses or expenses you may incur (eg travel or accommodation costs) as a result of any such pandemic, epidemic or health emergency measures.
 Full Term means the University’s dates for Michaelmas (Autumn), Hilary (Spring) and Trinity (Summer) terms which are advertised in the Oxford Gazette