Fieldwork, placements and apprenticeships

Our latest guidance for students following the impact of coronavirus (COVID-19) on teaching, learning and assessment


Are planned field trips still going ahead?

In accordance with ceasing face-to-face teaching, we have taken the decision to cancel field trips. At this stage, this applies to all field trips up to Sunday 31 May 2020.

This is in the interest of safety for staff and students alike. There are particular risks to supervision of fieldwork groups should someone be affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) and concerns about quarantine overseas.

Your school will be in touch with all students with details of how we will manage this change.

Please contact your personal tutor or programme manager if you have any questions.


Updated: 27 April 2020


How is my sandwich year work placement affected?

Please note that this relates only to sandwich year work placements and not placements related to specific modules (work-based learning) or professional practice subjects such as medicine, dentistry, health, and education or those enabling professional registration.

Regarding the duration of your placement for students on overseas and UK-based placements (that are also affected), emergency measures have been put in place. We have revised the academic regulations in relation to the award of:

  • Certificate of Professional Experience
  • Certificate of International Professional Experience
  • Certificate of Work Experience

For the 2019/20 and 2020/21 academic years, we recognise that students on 26-, 36- or 48-week long sandwich year placements may not be able to complete the normal minimum placement duration as specified in the programme documentation, due to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. We have therefore agreed that exceptionally the following will apply:

26 weeks or more successfully completed in uninterrupted blocks of at least 12 full-time weeks – no additional action required. The certificate is awarded, provided the relevant placement assessment requirements are met.

12–25 weeks successfully completed in uninterrupted blocks of at least 12 full-time weeks – student confirms details of work placement completed with the Placements Team. The Placement Tutor confirms this meets the course requirements. The certificate is awarded, provided relevant placement assessment requirements are met.

Students will not be required to submit an Extenuating Circumstances claim for being unable to complete the normal placement duration for the relevant programme of study.

Students will be asked to provide additional information where between 12 and 25 weeks have been completed to ensure the minimum 12 uninterrupted weeks of work placement activity meets the course requirements.

For further information email the central placements team on placements@plymouth.ac.uk or telephone +44(0)1752 586007.


Updated: 27 April 2020


How is my work-based apprenticeship affected?

Please contact your employer about changes or disruptions to your workplace activities. They will be able to advise you on any special instructions or issues regarding where, when and how you understand your job, in line with the government guidance for employees, employers and businesses.

If you aren’t feeling well, please follow your employer’s sickness absence reporting guidelines. Please keep a record of your sickness days and contact your apprenticeship reviewer or programme lead by email or telephone. If you are unable to speak to the programme team please contact the apprenticeship team who will support you with your enquiry: email apprenticeships@plymouth.ac.uk 

If you experience gaps in your learning or training for longer than four weeks due to coronavirus (COVID-19) related illness in the workplace or off the job learning is to be suspended for more than four weeks, this can be recorded as a break in learning. In this situation we will need to be notified by your employer sending a communication to the following inbox: apprenticeships@plymouth.ac.uk informing us of your status.

Your programme managers will have been in contact with you to confirm the arrangements specific to your course.

If you are a healthcare or essential services related apprentice we understand that you might be required to support your employers to deliver essential services during this period. In line with government policy, the University is committed to supporting affected apprentices involved in essential services while minimising any negative impact on their apprenticeship courses in the longer term. If you are one of these apprentices, please advise your apprenticeship training coordinator or programme lead by email or telephone as soon as possible.


Updated: 27 April 2020