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The past twelve months have been something none of us could have predicted and it resulted in a very different first year for many of our students. Despite the pandemic, we’ve committed to providing our students with the best university experience possible while keeping them safe. With the first term of university behind them, we’ve been talking to our current first years about how they’ve been getting on since September.

Polly – Health and Exercise Science

“The first term has been wonderful. It’s a strange time we’re in, but it was so easy to get accustomed to any changes like the one-way system throughout the university buildings. I was very nervous, but with the classes such a small size it was easy to integrate myself, and the teaching is almost one-to-one, meaning anytime I struggled to keep up it could be explained to me again, either through a tutorial or during the lecture itself.

I really can’t speak enough praise on the tutors, they’ve worked so hard to make sure everyone is happy and knows what they’re supposed to be doing. Having the option to message them with any worries was so helpful, especially at the start of the term. I was even offered help multiple times in being shown where the lectures were while I was still getting accustomed to the layout. I feel like the support is available to me regardless of what the problem would be, and I’d have no trouble turning to either my tutor or the student support.

Apart from the current situation, online learning has actually suited me really well. Another added perk is cuddles with the dog while listening, which is quite grounding on stressful days, but blended learning has worked so well that I wouldn’t complain at all if it remained that way for the next two years.”

Liam – Genetics and Evolution

“With the whole COVID-19 situation going on, learning has certainly taken a different approach, to say it mildly - in the fact that I see my teachers through a camera instead of in person, which was a hard thing to adjust to at first.

Despite the current problems we’re facing due to the pandemic I have to give massive credit to my lecturers, because not only do they come to the online lecture with brand new, fascinating subjects, but they also teach us these subjects in a caring manner that isn’t any different to if they were in person. I cannot describe how much these lecturers care about our success and want us to do good things, even when their personal lives are probably being halted by COVID and they have their own issues, they never seem to falter from their job, which I commend them for greatly.

My classmates have also made this transition in education very entertaining. I know that when I am studying here for the remainder of my degree I will have people who will be there to support me and friends who I can have a laugh with.”

Nikita – Working with Children, Young People and Families

“Like most students throughout the UK, we have mainly experienced online learning for the most part. However, the lectures are always informative and engaging. The course lecturers are very approachable and are always willing to adapt lectures to better our online learning. On the occasion that a student or lecturer has been unwell and unable to attend lectures, provisions have been made, such as recording the lecture itself for viewing at a later date.

There are always plenty of gentle reminders about support offered via the university, lots of self-help information. From experience, I can confidently say that the services offered are better than expected and are easily accessible. The support staff are engaging, accommodating and proactive.

My overall university experience has been inspiring so far. The delivery of online lectures by tutors has been impressive. When I started this course, I held myself in quite a low regard. I had little faith in my educational abilities, especially as a mature student. However, thanks to the lecturers, I now feel very motivated and optimistic about my future goals. I would highly recommend UCS to any and all prospective students. It is a brilliant place to study.”

If you would like to know more about how we’re delivering the ‘Chester Blend’ a blended approach of virtual and face-to-face teaching you can find out more about it from our current Students’ Union President, El Lewis in her video here.

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