We understand that our prospective students and offer holders may have concerns about the ongoing coronavirus outbreak and its impact on plans to study with us. We are working hard to ensure we can continue to deliver the high-quality learning experience our applicants and students expect of us, while continuing to follow the latest guidance to protect the health and safety of our students, staff and patients. This page provides latest information and frequently asked questions so please check regularly for updates.
Updated 30 June 2020
Thank you for your continued interest in studying at the UCO. The way the world will look in the coming months is still not certain to any of us, but recognising this uncertainty, we are working hard to offer you as much clarity and stability as we possibly can.
Firstly we would like to reassure all applicants that we intend to begin our new academic year as planned on 14 September and look forward to welcoming you all on the published start date of your course.
As the COVID-19 pandemic and surrounding guidance continues to evolve, we have been working to adapt the delivery of our learning and to achieve a new balance between face-to-face and online education for our students. We have been delivering online learning to our existing students for a number of months now to great success. This time has allowed us to trial a number of new teaching methods many of which we think will be of long-term benefit to our students beyond the current circumstances. We are also reopening our clinic and reintroducing clinic hours for many of our existing students over the summer months, and our clinic team have been working incredibly hard to ensure we do so in a way which adheres to current guidance and helps to protect the health of our staff, students and patients.
As we embark on the new academic year we will be implementing a blended learning approach for all students, combining active independent and group online learning with face-to-face tutorials and practical classes as much as the prevailing conditions at the time allow.
This will of course continue to change as the wider situation dictates, but our commitment to you is that whatever the balance, we will be supporting you as you learn and giving you the best possible opportunities to enjoy and benefit from your experience at the UCO. The safety and wellbeing of our students, patients and staff will always be our top priority. We will at all times be guided by the prevailing government and medical advice and we will inform you of any changes and support you as best we can whatever your circumstances might be.
We have attempted to answer some frequently asked questions below, but if you have any additional questions please do get in touch with us and we will endeavour to answer them.
What will online learning be like?
We recognise that this may be a new way of learning for you and will be putting additional support in place to ensure you can access these resources and that the quality of your learning experience isn’t compromised. Our IT team are producing a number of guides to get you up and running and we will planning in some related support sessions as part of the induction for all new students.
How will tutorials and practical classes work?
To protect the safety of all our staff and students in line with current guidance we are planning to deliver face-to-face classes in small groups where possible. Groups will be allocated a particular room for all classes to limit the movement of people around the building, and practical classes will be delivered with the appropriate hygiene and PPE measures in place as suggested by guidance at the time. We will also ensure that no techniques involving treatments above the shoulders will be taught at this time.
Will I be expected to attend the UCO in person?
We will be encouraging our learners to come to the UCO premises but all classes will also be captured for online delivery so you are free to complete these in person or from home as you feel comfortable. All face-to-face classes will be timetabled to ensure that you are not required to travel at peak times. Electronic classes and learning materials will compliment the adjusted timetable put in place.
We realise that not all students will be in a position or want to attend the UCO premises in September, and we will work with students to manage these circumstances where possible so that you can take your place with us as planned.
Will I need to wear PPE?
We will be following government guidelines and Institute of Osteopathy recommendations for all sessions involving treatment or practicing of techniques. This will involve some levels of PPE as appropriate.
What about attending clinic?
Our clinic has reopened for patients and senior students and we are looking to invite junior students to observe treatment sessions again as soon as it becomes safe to do so.
When will I know what my timetable will look like?
We are hoping to be able to provide all applicants and offer holders with an indication of which days of the week they will be timetabled to attend and the proportion of home to face-to-face study by the start of August.
Update: 7 May 2020
The UCO continues to observe the social distancing measures put in place by the UK Government in order to stop the spread of this virus and currently all of our premises are closed until further notice with our teaching and assessments now successfully moved to online delivery. Our patients continue to be supported by our students and staff through the UCO Virtual Clinic.
All our teaching and professional services staff are working hard to ensure our students complete the current year and are continuing to plan for the start of the next academic year, with our teaching delivery reflective of any government guidelines in place at that time. When we are permitted to reopen, the UCO will continue to closely follow the guidelines to support students, patients, staff and prospective students while minimising any risk of increasing spread of the virus. You can read more about steps we are taking here.
The UCO is continuing to accept applications for our courses starting in 2020 and can conduct interviews with applicants via Skype or telephone. We are also still available via email or phone to answer any questions you many have about the application process, our courses, or studying with us in general.
Our open days are continuing to run virtually until further notice so please do continue to book up to participate through our website. As an alternative if you would like to request an electronic open day pack please contact admissions, or you can find lots of other information and videos about life at the UCO on our website and social media channels.
We have taken the decision to cancel the first phase of the Introduction to Osteopathic Science (IOS) course but do intend to offer the second and third phases of this course online if the ongoing restrictions mean we are unable to deliver these on a face to face basis. We have very successfully moved to deliver teaching to our current students online so that they are supported in the run up to their end of year examinations and, if social distancing rules preclude face to face teaching, we have developed an excellent online course that will provide applicants with the necessary support to enable them meet the terms of their offer
We do appreciate that you may be uncertain or anxious about the impact of Coronavirus disruption on your exams and overall grades, and how this may affect your plans to study with us. We would also like to offer assurance that as a professional qualification we assess all applicants on an individual basis and our decision to accept students is not solely based on academic qualifications With the Government and UCAS putting in places measures to ensure that A-levels and other qualifications will be published on time, we also hope that this provides you with the reassurance that you will be able to join us in September. We are also able to offer additional support to help our offer holders with the transition to higher education, through access to preparatory learning resources and some of our facilities. Even if you are confident you will meet the terms of your offer, please do not hesitate to contact us if you feel that you would benefit from this support.
If you are feeling anxious about Coronavirus and the current situation the Student Minds website has some useful information and links to sources of advice and support.