University of Bristol moves teaching online
Image: Simon Cobb /

University of Bristol announces plans to move all lectures online

The University of Bristol has announced its plans to move all lectures to online platforms for the 2020/2021 academic year.

Seminars and tutorials will remain taught on campus grounds but will only be allowed in smaller groups. It is the second UK university to announce the plan after the University of Cambridge announced its plan for online teaching in May.

This measure is being put in place alongside other social distancing practices, including one-way entrance and exit systems, two-metre markers, and hand sanitising stations in frequent locations in campus buildings.

The statement has received a mixed reaction from Bristol students, who approve the action as a way of maintaining health and social distancing measures. However, some are concerned about how this may affect their academic experience, such as being able to have face-to-face time with lecturers as well as communicating with other students.

A statement put out by the university’s vice-chancellor, Hugh Brandy, said: “We are developing a strong, research-rich blended learning curriculum that will combine face-to-face small group teaching and mentoring, for which we are so well known, with new innovative and engaging online teaching and learning.”

We want you to be confident that you are still getting value for money from your university degree

– Bristol Student Union

The start of the university term has also been changed, with commencement delayed until 5 October for undergraduates and 11 October for postgraduates. The university has announced that increased face-to-face teaching may only resume in February 2021.

Though there have been dramatic changes to the curriculum, the university has announced that there will not be a reduction in fees.

The Bristol Student Union said: “We want you to be confident that you are still getting value for money from your university degree and have asked the university for greater transparency on how your fees are being spent.”

This comes at a time where Bristol students have also organised a rent strike against independent landlords.


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