Teaching 2021/22

This page is intended to provide key information to new and continuing undergraduate and postgraduate taught students at the School of Engineering in academic year 2021/22. 

Additional information is being provided by the School to all new and continuing students via email.  You can find copies of these emails on the ETO Hub (EASE login required).

This information is intended to comply with the Scottish Government restrictions we expect to be in place from September 2021 onwards, and will be updated in line with any changes, as required (with update dates provided at the top of each section, as required)

Further information on University provision for 2021/22 can be found on the University's Welcome to the 2021/22 Academic Year webpage.

All of our students are expected to be back in Edinburgh so that they can participate in classes and other on-campus activities, unless travel restrictions or Covid-19 regulations prevent that.

The School of Engineering is delivering a mix of in-person and digital teaching from the start of the next academic year in September. Your experience will depend on your programme of study and year, and the courses you are enrolled on.

Course delivery has been designed to suit each course’s content, with as much in-person teaching as possible, whilst also complying with Scottish Government restrictions. Digital delivery will be used where physical distancing is still required, for example where we are unable to teach in large lecture theatres.

Please find below a more detailed explanation of what you can expect your teaching experience in the School of Engineering to look like. For details of non-teaching related activities, information will be made available through Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA) and Edinburgh University Sports Union (EUSU), and individual club and society pages.


Due to physical distancing, the course content that would usually have been delivered through an in-person lecture will be taught through other formats.  Depending on the course, these formats may include a mixture of:

  • specially created video content;
  • written materials;
  • additional content to support self-study; and
  • live-streamed lectures.

Recordings and course materials will be made available to you through the University’s virtual learning environment, Learn, throughout the period of your studies, so that you can access and refer to them whenever you need to.

Small group teaching

Courses will include regular live classes, delivered in-person or digitally, depending on what is most appropriate for each course. These classes will give you an opportunity to interact with your peers and staff, and participate fully in discussion and problem-solving activities. Depending on the needs of your courses, small group teaching may be delivered as:

  • A Seminar: a “worked examples” class where specific problems are introduced by the lecturer, worked on by the class and then discussed.
  • A Practical Class: a laboratory class, workshop or fieldtrip, where you will carry out experiments or demonstrate the practical skills needed to fulfil the requirements of your professional accredited degree.
  • Group Work: an opportunity to work together as part of a small group of students completing a piece of design or project work.
  • A Computer Laboratory Class: a practical class where you will need access to specific software packages to complete the work. These classes will be tailored to meet each course’s needs, and may involve working in an on-campus computer lab or using your own device to access software remotely.

Where you need to use equipment provided by the School to take part in small group teaching, we are working hard to ensure that all the appropriate arrangements are in place to keep you safe, including appropriate cleaning regimes.

Academic support (updated 15 September 2021)

You can access the following one-to-one support in the School of Engineering:

  • Your Personal Tutor (PT): a member of academic staff who will meet with you to help you review your learning, academic progress and performance and become a confident, active learner; discuss your future development and career preparation; and deal with any concerns or problems that may affect your studies, or refer you to other sources of support as appropriate.
  • Student Support Team: staff members who are there to help you with general student support enquiries, including routine advice and guidance on the School’s policies and procedures which govern your progression through your degree programme. You can find out how to contact the Student Support Team on the ETO Hub.
  • Academic staff: academic staff, tutors and demonstrators who provide regular feedback throughout your degree programme. Support is provided in class and through your course surgery hours. Contact details for each of your courses can be found on the course’s Learn page.
  • Office hours: provide an opportunity to ask any questions you may have about your course - including course content, assessment, or how to take your learning to the next level. They are a chance to meet with teaching staff for each course, and attendance is entirely optional. Office hours are also an opportunity to ask teaching staff questions in a more private environment than, for example, in a class.  You will be able to find the times of your course office hour on the course's Learn page.  If you are unable to make an office hour, for example, because it clashes with a timetabled class, you can arrange an alternative time to speak with teaching staff by email.  Please remember, office hours should not be used as a substitute for regular class attendance.
  • Teaching Support Staff: staff members who are there to help you with general teaching enquiries, including routine advice and guidance on your timetable, course support materials, tutorial and lab group allocations, coursework and examinations. You can find out how to contact the Teaching Support Team on the ETO Hub.
  • EngPALS: a student-to-student support scheme which helps first year engineering students to make the transition to University-level learning through regular sessions run by more senior engineering students, known as Student Leaders.  Session details will be shared with first year students at the start of the academic year.

Will support be provided digitally or in-person?

Most of the sources of support outlined above will be offered digitally in the first instance. On-campus meetings can be made available on request where an appropriate space can be provided which ensures the safety of all attendees. You will be expected to wear a face covering if this is required under Scottish Government restrictions when your meeting takes place.

We aim to increase the availability of on-campus in-person support as soon as Scottish Government restrictions makes it possible to do so.

Is one-to-one support available outside the School?

  • The University offers a range of services to support your health and wellbeing. These specialist services can help you to cope with a variety of concerns, including the impacts of Covid-19.
  • The Institute for Academic Development offers study skills and learning support for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students.

Access to labs and study spaces

  • Labs: final year project students will be able to make use of lab facilities where this is needed in order to complete their work, once permission has been granted by the appropriate Lab Manager.
  • Study spaces: the School has set aside space for Engineering students to study together in small groups and individually, in addition to the study spaces already provided by the University. Health and safety arrangements will be in place to ensure a safe working environment, in line with Scottish Government restrictions. Details of how these spaces can be booked will be shared with students at the start of the academic year.


You can find out how each of your courses will be assessed on the course Learn page. Where your course includes an examination, this will be conducted online. You will be given a set period of time in which to complete your exam e.g. two hours, plus an additional hour to upload your exam script.


Where courses on your degree are compulsory, you are automatically enrolled on them over the summer vacation period.

If you are a continuing student with course options, you have been sent an email explaining how you can make provisional course choices using the programme builder in PATH by Wednesday 1 September. If you took up this opportunity, you should be enrolled on the courses you selected before the start of the new academic year. If you were on a year abroad in 2020/21, or are planning to change your BEng / MEng registration, and were unable to submit your course choices in PATH, you can contact the ETO to submit your course choices.  

If you are a new student, or would like to make arrangements to register for your course choices in September, you will be able to meet with your Personal Tutor to discuss your options and register for your remaining courses.

Contact us

If you have a question about undergraduate or postgraduate taught study in the School of Engineering, which is not answered on this webpage or on the University's 2021/22 website, please contact: