Student FAQs

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 Information for all students

 Your studies

What are this year's term dates?

Here are all term dates for the 2020/21 academic year

What is my timetable?

By now you will have received your work schedule - which will include both face-to-face and online study sessions.

Your schedule may change, and we will give you as much notice as possible to minimise any inconvenience.

Thank you in advance for helping us deliver the best possible student experience.

What happens at my induction?

In the first few weeks you will have had inductions on college life and online learning.

Induction is critical in giving you the information you need for a successful start.

Your induction will reference your study programme, behaviour on campus, progress tutorials, and how to get the best out of your B&FC experience.

Don’t worry if you can’t remember all of the information because referenced resources are all available on Canvas for you to access whenever you want.

How can I access my learning remotely?

The most commonly used applications for online learning are:

  • Canvas - a virtual learning environment
  • Microsoft Teams - a place to meet with fellow students and your tutors
  • Microsoft Office 365 - which you'll use to access your College email, as well as the full suite of productivity applications including Word, Excel, PowerPoint and many more.

Depending on what you're studying, other applications may also be used.

You will be introduced to all applications during your induction.

Will food and drink be available?

You can now order food and drink online.

It is easier and quicker if you pay for your food and drink online.

Your order will be available at your designated refectory and lunchtime.

Will things be different from January?

We will keep up to date with government advice and share guidance as it becomes available.

Please visit GOV.UK for the latest updates.

Who should I contact of I’m worried about my studies and support I need?

Our Heads of Curriculum can help. Here are their subject areas and contact information:

 Safeguarding

We support students in 'Being Safe and Feeling Safe'.

If you feel unsafe or are at risk of being unsafe - speak directly to your tutor or another member of College staff.

If you cannot contact anyone at College and feel you are at immediate risk of harm to yourself or others, or feel you are at risk of danger from others, call:

  • 101 for situations that do not require an immediate police response.
  • 999 if you are in an emergency situation

For non-urgent medical help contact the National Health Services (NHS) - either by phone or online:

  • Your GP – your GP contact details will be available on-line.
  • Blackpool Urgent Treatment Centre (Walk-in Centre): 01253 953953. Get contact details and opening times.
  • NHS helpline on 111 (the 111 service is extremely busy -expect a wait), or NHS online via 111.nhs.uk.

Other useful support networks are:

  • Mental Health Helpline: 0800 616171
  • Samaritans: Freephone 116123 (available 24 hours a day)
  • Childline (for under-19s): 0800 1111

Staying safe online

'Being Safe and Feeling Safe' includes staying safe online.

Here are some useful resources to help you stay safe online: 

  • Cyberaware is the UK government's guidance on how to follow their six top tips for staying safe online. 
  • thinkuknow.co.uk is from National Crime Agency - CEOP, which has advice about staying safe when on a phone, tablet or computer. 
  • saferinternet.org.uk includes tips, advice, guides and resources for non-experts to help keep safe online. 
  • childline.org.uk is a great resource to help you keep safe, and what to do when things go wrong. Some of the topics covered are tips to staying safe online, keeping your information secure, and how to spot fake news.  
  • ceop.police.uk is for safely and securely reporting online sexual abuse, whether you have been the victim of online sexual abuse or you’re worried this is happening to someone that you know.  
  • reportharmfulcontent.com guides you through reporting and removing harmful material from social media. 

B&FC Prevent Strategy

Here is the Blackpool and The Fylde College Prevent Strategy (you must be a member of the B&FC community to view this resource).

Safety on campus

We will adhere to all UK government guidelines as a minimum. On campus, this means:

  • All buildings have been comprehensively surveyed to ensure we maintain social distancing requirements. New COVID-19 signage, including one-way systems with dedicated entrances and exits, will help students safely navigate our campus buildings.
  • We will clean and disinfect to UK government-advised standards and provide additional hand sanitising stations and cleaning materials throughout campuses.
  • We have increased cleaning throughout our buildings to ensure all study, teaching and social spaces are as safe as possible.
  • We have increased building ventilation systems in compliance with Health and Safety Executive COVID-19 guidelines.
  • We will undertake random temperature checks across all of our campuses
  • We recommend everyone who is able to wear a face covering to do so in communal areas (such as corridors and crowded areas).
  • We all have a role to play in making sure that the College is as safe as possible. We all need to work to support each other, to behave respectfully and consider how our actions may affect others.
  • Follow the latest government and College guidance related to reducing the spread of COVID-19. This may change with short notice so take personal responsibility for keeping up to date with the latest information:
    • Stay two metres apart where possible, observing signage around campus.
    • We recommend you wear a face covering in corridors and areas where social distancing is not possible.
    • Don’t remain in communal areas on campus for longer than necessary.
    • Practice good hygiene, washing your hands frequently and using hand sanitiser.
    • Take responsibility for cleaning your own work station 
    • Follow the NHS Test and Trace guidance below if you have any symptoms or are contacted.

 Health

Stay warm

To safeguard us all against COVID-19 it is essential we maintain good levels of ventilation circulating fresh air through all our campuses.

This is in line with government guidance. It means in many areas and where practical and safe we need to keep doors (not internal fire doors) and windows ajar for natural ventilation. This will also help to reduce contact with door handles, which though they are regularly cleaned are a known harbour for germs.

As we enter autumn and with the colder months ahead, it's important that everyone dresses warmly. Please make sure that you wear layers and, if available, thermal clothing.

Handling face coverings

  • Safe wearing of face coverings requires washing hands before and after use - including putting them on and removal - and their safe storage in individual, sealable plastic bags when not in use.
  • Where a face covering becomes damp, it should not be worn and should be replaced carefully.

Test and Trace

B&FC assists the NHS and Public Health England in their Test and Trace scheme to help contain the spread of COVID-19.

The scheme is a key part of the country’s ongoing COVID-19 response and is designed to ensure the safety of students and staff during the pandemic. 

How will information be collected?

We will maintain a record of who you have been in contact with as part of an onsite class or bubble based on information in our timetabling systems.

This will include recording the specific desk you will use whenever you attend College. 

We will also monitor attendance at certain areas of the College such as the Learning Resource Centres where you will be asked to book in.

There will be posters and other notifications displayed in each venue to inform you that Test and Trace is in place.

How will we contact you?

We will record your contact phone number and email address in our College system and will use both of these to contact you should we need to as part of Test and Trace.

Please let us know if any of these change.

Emails from B&FC will be from healthinfo@blackpool.ac.uk. Please look out for them.

What will happen if I have been in contact with someone who has been confirmed as positive?

If you have been in ‘close contact’ on campus with someone who has tested positive for COVID-19 we will advise you by phone and email advising you to self-isolate for 14 days after last contact.

‘Close contact’ includes face to face contact with a confirmed case for any length of time, within a metre, including:

  • being coughed on
  • a face to face conversation
  • unprotected physical contact (skin to skin)
  • travel in a small vehicle with a confirmed case. This includes exposure within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer.

We will also advise you by email if someone who is not a close contact has tested positive but this will be for information only and there is no need to take any action. 

What should I do if I have symptoms?

If you have symptoms, which government guidance says include:

  • a new continuous cough
  • a high temperature
  • a loss of, or change in, your normal sense of taste or smell (anosmia)
  1. If you are at home when you experience symptoms, stay there and do not come onto campus. If you are on campus, make sure you maintain two metre social distancing, wear your face covering, apply hand sanitiser and immediately go home
  2. Tell your course leader – let them know you are experiencing symptoms by phone or email
  3. Request a test – don’t delay, as soon as you have symptoms request a free test from the NHS here: https://www.gov.uk/get-coronavirus-test
  4. You must report any symptoms immediately to your course leader 
  5. You must self-isolate for 10 days from when you first experience COVID-19 symptoms
  6. Getting your test result – you’ll receive this from the NHS and must let your course leader know the result immediately

What should I do once I’ve received my test results?

If your test results are negative, as long as you feel well and have not been told to self-isolate by NHS test and trace, you no longer have to isolate.

If your test results are positive:

  1. NHS Test and Trace will contact you by email, text or phone and ask you about where you’ve been recently and who you’ve been in close contact with
  2. Tell your course leader immediately who will ensure you have all the support you need and to make sure we are able to contact those you have been in close contact with. This may include fellow students in your teaching bubble, especially those you have been in close contact with on campus from 48 hours before symptoms began or if no symptoms were present the 48 hours prior to the test date. ‘Close contact’ includes face to face contact with a confirmed case for any length of time, within 1m, including: being coughed on, a face to face conversation, unprotected physical contact (skin to skin) or travel in a small vehicle with a confirmed case. This includes exposure within 1 metre for 1 minute or longer
  3. To ensure the safety of others, you need to immediately self-isolate. If your test result is positive you’ll need to remain in isolation for 10 days, and members of your household (this includes flatmates if you are living away from your family home) will need to isolate for 14 days. More information on how to self-isolate from the NHS can be found here - https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/coronavirus-covid-19/self-isolation-and-treatment/when-to-self-isolate-and-what-to-do/

Support is available through the NHS

A person I came into contact with has tested positive for COVID-19, what should I do? 

Do not attend College and report your absence to your programme team.

If you are living with someone who has symptoms or has tested positive for COVID-19 you need to follow NHS guidance on self-isolation.

If you have been contacted by the NHS Test and Trace team please follow their advice. 

Supporting you through COVID-19

If you have any other queries, don't hesitate to email us at coronaqueries@blackpool.ac.uk.

This mailbox is regularly monitored, so please use it to contact the College if you have a specific query.

 Wellbeing on campus

What is a muster point?

The dedicated meeting point where you will meet with a tutor before you enter your College workspace

When do I need to arrive at the muster point?

Your programme team will advise which muster point is relevant for you but aim to arrive at least 10 minutes before your class starts

Do I need to meet at the muster point every time I attend campus?

Yes, to ensure ongoing safety for all

How will we maintain social distance from each other?

We've put in place a wide range of measures and improvements to keep you safe while you're on campus.

It's crucial you observe social distancing guidelines as you would wherever and whenever you are outside the home.

Each classroom, lecture hall and lab has been marked with available/unavailable seating or rearranged to ensure appropriate distancing and overall room capacity.

One-way systems will be implemented in actively used high density corridor areas and the number of occupants in certain areas such as toilets will be limited.  

In order to reduce the risks of transmission you may be assigned to small groups or bubbles as part of your study sessions.

Are face coverings required on campus?  

There is no mandatory requirement to wear a face covering while on campus - but in order to protect our College community we strongly encourage students to wear face coverings in communal areas (corridors and meeting points for example).

B&FC face masks are available if you require one.

Will temperature checks be undertaken?

Yes, random temperature checks will take place across all campuses.

Is B&FC a smokefree college?

Yes.

As part of our commitment to providing every member of the B&FC community with a healthy and safe environment, we have made all our campuses no smoking.

This means smoking of all kinds - including vapourisers and electronic cigarettes - is strictly forbidden.

If you need support in quitting smoking, there are many support services available:

How will I be updated on changes to my programme or the actions I need to take under Covid 19 restrictions? 

Your programme team will keep you informed of any changes to guidance and this page will be regularly updated.

 Study support

Which services will be available?

Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)

Currently we need to limit the number of people at any one time using LRCs - including the library, and computers.

Therefore you will need to use the links below to book sessions in advance.

To book an appointment follow the links below:

Additional digital access points have been established at all campuses so if you require web or wifi access this will be available for you via the appointment system.

If you wish to return books, there is a drop-off box at reception.

We have been working hard over the past few months to acquire many eBook versions of texts and links can be found on your Canvas virtual learning environment.

Need more information? Email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk.

Careers Team

Providing online careers advice including interview support and CV writing.

For more information, and to enquire about face-to-face sessions, email careers@blackpool.ac.uk.

Student Administration Team

Available to help with all aspects of financial support including bus passes, meals and bursaries.

Need more information? Email SSFunds@blackpool.ac.uk

Placements

We are currently working with employers to secure placements which will, in the main, commence either from January 2021 or within semester two of your higher education programme 

Need more information? Email placements@blackpool.ac.uk .

Higher Education Learning Mentors (HELMs)

Supporting HE students to develop their academic skills.

This service will operate remotely.

Book a HELM session.

Progress coaches

The team work with students, and apprentices to support successful progression through further and onto higher education or employment.

The team provide a range of events, workshops and activities to enable our students to be the best they can possibly be.

Need more information? Email progresscoach@blackpool.ac.uk.

Student Union

The SU coordinate extra-curricular activities and a range of engagement options including programme representation.

 Campus information

Will there still be buses available to and from campus?

Yes. Bus routes are available at blackpooltransport.com and all passengers must strictly follow health and safety and social distancing guidance.

If I have questions about financial support who can I contact?

First visit our financial support page.

If you have any more questions about financial support - such as information about bursary payments - please email ssf@blackpool.ac.uk.

I normally get a free meal at College. What happens if I am studying at home?

There will be a voucher sent weekly to your College email address.

This voucher can be used in Tesco stores and can be used to buy £15 of food. This is to cover one week of meals you would normally access at college.

For more information, email ssfunds@blackpool.ac.uk.

nbsp:Degree-level students

We are living through challenging times. Here at B&FC we're doing everything we can to provide you with all the support you need to succeed in your studies - and stay safe.

We've listed below some of the services offering you support - from study advice to help with financial matters.

You'll find much more information on the Student Life SharePoint site.

If you have any other questions, please speak to your study programme team or Progress Tutor. 

HE Learning Mentors (HELMs)

Our HELMs are here to help.

Here are some ways your HELMs can help:

  • Help you plan your time and keep motivated
  • Improve academic writing skills 
  • Gain tips on proof reading and referencing strategies
  • Make the most of assignment feedback
  • Get ahead for next year

HE Learning Mentors (HELMs) are available on Microsoft Teams, and by email and phone. To set up a HELMs session between 8.30am and 4.30pm, email HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk.

 Financial support

Tuition fees and maintenance loan

Details of all our fees for 2020-21 are available on our website. 

We are absolutely committed to offering a high quality experience that students should expect from us and there will be no change to the fees for 2020.

You should by now have applied for your Student Finance for your tuition fees and maintenance loan by applying online at gov.uk/student-finance.

If you haven’t, don’t panic - but please do apply as soon as possible to get everything ready for September.

If you need any help with this, please contact the Careers Team:

Below are details of our range of scholarships and bursaries.

B&FC bursaries for students new to higher education

You may be eligible for a B&FC bursary.

On this page you will find details of bursaries available, eligibility criteria, an application form and terms and conditions for the:

  • £500 Advantage Bursary.
  • £1,000 a year Access Scholarship - a bursary for care leavers, estranged students or young carers.
  • Opportunity Scholarship - new for this academic year, which will fund tuition fees for up to five new undergraduate students from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds to access higher education at B&FC.

Hardship funding

We understand that things might not always go to plan and you may find yourself in financial hardship.

Please contact the Careers Team:

We may be able to help you with an HE Emergency Loan - or access to the HE Hardship Fund. 

Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)

We encourage all students with a disability to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) as soon as possible.

DSAs help to cover some of the extra costs you may face in studying as a result of your condition/s.

All technology, equipment, software and support is paid for directly by Student Finance England and is dependent on your individual needs (not your household income). 

Apply if you are new to B&FC or if you are an existing student who was previously in receipt of DSAs and are now progressing to a study programme such as a BA Hons or BSc Top Up course.

If you are returning to a new year of the same course, you do not need to re-apply. 

Support for the application process and all other enquiries can be sent directly to The College’s Disability Team where your dedicated Disability Officer will respond to you directly.

How does the current situation affect me moving to Blackpool for my studies?

There are no restrictions on forming new households or moving into shared student accommodation or houses in multiple occupancy (HMOs).

Read guidance for landlords and tenants on renting during the COVID-19 pandemic.

     Careers

    Can I get help with careers guidance and employability skills?

    The Careers Team is still operating and is available to support you during this time. The team can help you with online support for mock interviews, CVs, application forms and applying for student finance.

    If you would like a personal careers guidance interview to discuss your goals, aspirations, progression options and more we can help you to formulate your ideas into a plan. 

    In addition, there are lots of opportunities to learn new skills and develop your employability - including:

    Short video courses in creative, software and business skills with your complimentary membership of LinkedIn Learning.

    Your Gradintelligence account where in addition to reviewing your electronic transcript (HE-AR) you can create or update your CV and complete psychometric tests to find careers matching your skills and needs.

    To contact your B&FC Careers Team:

    Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)

    LRCs provide access to a large range of full text e-books and e-journals available 24/7 from within college or from home.

    Easily searchable, they are a great way to expand your research without needing to use Google or Wikipedia. Electronic resources are particularly useful for remote learners who can still access a wide range of resources off campus.

    The majority of our collections are searchable through a simple one stop search engine, Discovery

    Need more information? Email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk.

    International students

    • All international students will be required to complete a passenger locator form on arrival to the UK
    • Students travelling from countries NOT on the exemption list will need to self-isolate for 14 days. During this time you will need to make arrangements for the provision of food and drink as you will not be allowed to leave your accommodation
    • Please have regard to transport guidance transport guidance when travelling to B&FC from your point of entry
    • Students will need to have regard to guidance on travelling to the UK. To keep the rate of transmission in the UK as low as possible, all international arrivals (both international as well as domestic students) will be required to complete a passenger locator form on arrival in the UK.
    • Students travelling from countries not on our exemption list will need to self-isolate in their accommodation for 14 days. During this time there will need to be systematic arrangements for the provision of food and drink to avoid the necessity of them leaving their room or accommodation.
    • If you have any questions about your visa requirements during the pandemic please contact the Immigration Help Centre at CIH@homeoffice.gov.uk

    How will teaching and learning change if the number of cases of COVID-19 increases?

    With social distancing measures in place to ensure the safety of our campus community, we will deliver teaching and learning via a a blend of online tuition and small group/lab/studio teaching on campus.

    Our aim is to be as flexible as possible to accommodate your needs. Our objective is to ensure that you receive a high-quality experience, including pastoral and academic support, whatever the restrictions resulting from the pandemic may be.

    If the number of COVID-19 cases spike in the UK then we will, if necessary, offer additional online teaching sessions 

    Our three-stage alert system for the 20/21 academic year

    The world is changing constantly – but we want to give you as much support and reassurance as to how we’re adapting to this new norm.

    That’s why we’re implementing a three-stage alert system for the 2020/21 academic year.

    Keeping you updated

    We send out emails to higher education students with updates on teaching and learning in the current climate. Here's the latest:

    • 22 July 2020: learning and teaching arrangements from September 2020

    Health and wellbeing support for higher education students

    To access a variety of mental health and wellbeing support please visit Student Space.

     Parents and guardians

    B&FC’s priority has always been to help students achieve their aspirations and enjoy a high-quality learning experience in a safe and supportive environments. B&FC is a COVID-19 secure environment.

    Please find below some of the features we have introduced to enhance our vibrant learning community:

    • Temperature checks on entry to keep the College community safe
    • Test and trace facility to help support the NHS in containing the spread of COVID-19.
    • B&FC reviews daily, all official guidance from the UK government, public health England and other relevant bodies and uses it to inform our support for students.
    • Learning and teaching is delivered via a blended model of on campus activity and remote learning through our VLE (Canvas and Onefile)
    • Progress Tutors, Programme Leaders and lecturers will keep in contact with their students through phone calls, e-mails and on-line conversations. This will support engagement and progress
    • Curriculum areas will use B&FC’s social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter to share video updates, messages, useful tips, links and competitions
    • B&FC’s Employability Coaches will contact students to check that everything is going well and students have everything they need to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding
    • Our Students’ Union have produced an on-line enrichment programme. Here, students can engage in competitions, communicate with their friends and showcase any volunteering activities they have undertaken in the community.
    • B&FC’s Student Support team will continue to provide a high level of study support for students
    • Where possible, B&FC will support eligible students who are unable to access a device or IT to enable them to complete online tasks by loaning out a laptop and or arranging access to WIFI
    • B&FC has ensured that all vulnerable students have been identified and are working with a named point of contact at B&FC on a regular basis, in addition to their progress tutors
    • B&FC colleagues will continue to develop, a comprehensive range of resources for students, to support with any wellbeing or health challenges through various online platforms and useful links to websites.

    Student safety

    We support students in 'Being Safe and Feeling Safe', and this includes staying safe online. With the increased use of the internet here are some links to additional resources:

    • Cyberaware is the UK government's advice on how to stay secure online during coronavirus. This site gives you guidance on how to follow their six top tips for staying safe online. 
    • Lancashire Safeguarding features essential advice for parents, carers and guardians.
    • thinkuknow.co.uk features advice about staying safe when on a phone, tablet or computer. 
    • saferinternet.org.uk includes tips, advice, guides and resources for non-experts to help keep safe online. Advice and resources are here to support you as you support your child to use the internet safely, responsibility and positively.
    • childline.org.uk is a great resource to help you keep safe, and what to do when things go wrong. Some of the topics covered are tips to staying safe online, keeping your information secure, and how to spot fake news. 
    • ceop.police.uk is for safely and securely reporting online sexual abuse, whether you have been the victim of online sexual abuse or you’re worried this is happening to someone that you know. 
    • reportharmfulcontent.com guides you through reporting and removing harmful material from social media.

     Risk assessment: our operational principles

    Find out how B&FC is putting first the health and wellbeing of its community.