Current student FAQs

On this page

Your health and safety is our first priority. We've created a page dedicated to your wellbeing.

Still looking for answers?

  • Email us at info@blackpool.ac.uk.
  • Call us on 01253 352352
  • Or use our live chat feature on this website (we're available Monday to Friday, 9am to 4pm).

 All students

Academic and study support

How can I access my learning?

B&FC is committed to ensuring all students progress to their next year and can complete their chosen programme of study.

Online and distance learning will be provided to support students with their learning, using the College’s Moodle and Canvas virtual learning environments, and B&FC email and/or Microsoft Teams.

Depending on your course, tutors will upload learning resources, assessments and activities with a set deadline.

There will be opportunities to discuss these assignments, for example using Microsoft Teams.

What you'll need:

  • A computer or other device capable of connecting to the internet.
  • A Wi-Fi or broadband connection.
  • Webcam and microphone (can be integrated).

To get started:

  1. Activate your college Office365 email address
  2. Download Office365 applications
  3. Log on to your virtual learning environment:
  4. If you have any problems, please contact IT Services,

How can I get help with Canvas or Moodle?

Please always include your student ID.

How do I access Office 365?

Office 365 applications include Outlook (for email) and Teams (for working with your tutor and fellow students).

To log in to Office 365, go to https://www.office.com/ and use your college username and password.

If you are confident the username and password are correct:

  • Go to the Microsoft 365 Service health status page at https://status.office365.com/.
  • If you see a message starting 'There are currently no known issues', then contact the IT Service Desk.

If you need help resetting your password, contact the IT Service Desk.

How do I contact IT Services?

Unless your query is in relation to gaining access to your account/resetting your password, please raise a request on the IT Service Desk Portal.

If you are unable to access your account, please call IT Services on 01253 504222. This line can be busy at times, and you may be asked to leave a voicemail.

If this occurs please ensure you leave a name, student number (if applicable), and contact number so that a member of the team can get back to you. Please be prepared to verify your identity for security purposes.

How can I contact my tutor?

You can get in touch with your tutor via your virtual learning environment – Moodle or Canvas – or through Microsoft Teams or email.

Do I need to keep studying?

Whilst this current situation lasts, students need to continue to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding to help prepare themselves for their next level of further or higher education.

To do so, students are required to continue to work towards the completion of their assignments, supported by their lecturers.

    How do I complete scheduled coursework and assignments?

    We have adapted the way we teach and assess students’ remaining modules or units.

    This will not affect your ability to achieve or progress. We are committed to upholding our academic standards and ensuring that students are not disadvantaged.

    Teaching is being delivered online or at a distance. This excludes the exempted students defined by the government as sons and daughters of key workers and students with an EHC plan and vulnerable individuals.

    What about placements?

    All further education placements have been postponed at this time. If you have any queries please contact placements@blackpool.ac.uk or contact your tutor directly.

    Questions regarding industry placements for Higher Education should be directed towards your curriculum area through Microsoft Teams, email or telephone.

    When will I get my course results (further education)?

    We have created a page dedicated to your course results.

    What is happening with textbook loans from Learning Resource Centres (LRCs)?

    The LRC has activated auto-renewals on all textbooks.

    If you are in your final year, and will not be returning to college, you can return your books to the book return bin at the entrance to the Bispham Campus.

    This applies to books borrowed from Bispham, University Centre and Fleetwood LRCs.

    All other books will not incur any charges and can be returned to college at a date to be confirmed.

    Can I get eBooks instead of print books whilst the LRC is closed?

    Supporting your learning needs remains our primary focus, and we are actively enhancing the ways in which the LRCs can continue to do this online.

    For assistance with finding online eBooks and journals for your studies please email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk and include your student ID number.

    What happens to my library loans?

    If you have books on loan from LRC, they will be auto-renewed - unless you have been notified they are required by another student.

    No library fines will be incurred while college is closed.

    College contacts

    HE Learning Mentor (HELM) team

    Email HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk

    FE Think Ahead team

    Email learningsupport@blackpool.ac.uk

    Apprentice support team

    Email ApprenticeSupport@blackpool.ac.uk

    HE Disability Support (including Disabled Students’ Allowances)

    Email DSAinfo@blackpool.ac.uk

    Wellbeing team

    Complete this online referral form.

    Careers advice

    1:1 advice is available through Microsoft Teams - or email careers@blackpool.ac.uk.

    Employability coaches

    Email ECteam@blackpool.ac.uk.

    Course support

    If you're unable to get answers to your questions via your virtual learning environment (either Moodle or Canvas), contact:

    Financial support

    Visit our financial support for students page for a reminder of what's available.

    If you have any more questions about financial support - such as information about bursary payments - please email: ssf@blackpool.ac.uk.

    Will I still receive my bursary?

    Yes we can confirm that bursary payments will continue as planned.

    I normally get a free meal at College, how do I access this if I am not attending College?

    If you would normally receive a free meal whilst at College there will be an e-voucher sent to your college email address. This voucher is for Tesco stores and will be a weekly payment of £15. This is to cover one week of meals which you would normally access at college.

    For more information, email ssfunds@blackpool.ac.uk.

     Higher education (degree-level) student support

     Supporting you over the summer

    Flying Start: helping you prepare for the new academic year

    Between Monday 10 and Friday 21 August, B&FC's HELM team is hosting Flying Start, a series of free sessions helping you prepare for September.

    Whether you're new or returning to higher education at B&FC, there's something to help you make the best start to the new academic year.

    Find out more about Flying Start and book your sessions.

    Support your Students’ Union this summer

    B&FC Students’ Union is seeking student summer rep volunteers. The voice of students is crucial in helping the College get ready for the upcoming academic year. 

    Apply to be a student summer rep.

    HELMs: here to help

    Whatever you’re doing this summer, we’re here all day on Fridays throughout July and August to help you succeed in your current studies and get ready for September.

    Your HE Learning Mentors (HELMs) are available on Teams, email and by phone. Whether you’re completing PMC or resit work or simply want to develop your skills before the new academic year – this is your time to get the support you need.

    Here are some ways your HELMs can help:

    • Help you plan your time and keep motivated
    • Improve academic writing skills 
    • Gain tips on proof reading and referencing strategies
    • Make the most of assignment feedback
    • Get ahead for next year

    Email HELMinfo@blackpool.ac.uk to set up a session between 8.30am and 4.30pm. 

    These sessions are offered as part of our Flying Start programme – workshops and support services getting you set for September.

    Find out more about Flying Start.   

    Learning Resource Centres (LRCs) 

    We have been working hard over the past few months to acquire as many eBook versions of texts as we can and these can be found on our library catalogue or via the Ebsco discovery search in Moodle or Canvas.

    The LRCs are currently closed to students but if you require assistance finding online eBooks and journals for your studies don't hesitate to email LRCs@blackpool.ac.uk.

    Sign up for wellbeing sessions

    • July: Wednesdays
    • August: Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays
    • Sessions take place between 9am and 5pm.

    Student Counselling and Wellbeing Support continues to be provided as remote support throughout the summer.

    You’ll receive tailored support - from single meetings to identify appropriate local and online services, to multiple counselling sessions.

    To book an appointment, complete the Wellbeing online referral form

    Placements

    If you are studying a foundation degree accredited by either Lancaster University or B&FC, in the second year (level 5) of your course you will undertake a work-based and placement learning module.

    This module will either require you to undertake an industry placement with an employer or complete a research-based report. It would be beneficial if you started to research relevant employers who could potentially offer you an industry placement. 

    To make this the best placement experience for you it would help if the employer were someone you would like to work with in the future, or somewhere that undertakes the work you are interested in. Things to think about when you are researching employers are:

    • The distance to and from the placement,
    • How you will get to the placement on time,
    • What tasks you could do whilst on placement,
    • What you want to get out of the placement and
    • What you can offer the employer. 

    If you require any further help, contact your tutor for further guidance.

     Money matters

    Financial Support / Bursaries

    You should by now have applied for your Student Finance for your tuition fees and maintenance loan by applying online at https://www.gov.uk/student-finance.

    If you haven’t, don’t panic - but please do apply as soon as possible to get everything ready for September.

    If you need any help with this, please contact the Careers Team on 01253 504 474 or via email careers@blackpool.ac.uk.

    B&FC bursaries for students new to higher education

    Did you know, in addition to funding from Student Finance England, you may be eligible for a B&FC bursary?

    You can find out more by going to https://www.blackpool.ac.uk/support/funding/degrees where you will find the application form and terms and conditions for the £500 Advantage Bursary.

    There’s also a £1,000 a year Access Scholarship, which is a bursary for care leavers, estranged students or young carers.

    And new for 2020/21, there is the Opportunity Scholarship which will fund tuition fees for up to five new undergraduate students from Black, Asian or Minority Ethnic backgrounds to access higher education at B&FC.

    Scholarships for current students

    Don’t forget, if you are a care leaver, an estranged student or a young carer, B&FC have the Opportunity Scholarship which is £1,000 a year.

    Check out the application form and terms and conditions.

    Hardship funding

    We understand that things might not always go to plan and you may find yourself in financial hardship.

    Please contact the Careers Team on 01253 504 474 or by email at careers@blackpool.ac.uk.

    We may be able to help you with an HE Emergency Loan or access to the HE Hardship Fund. 

     Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs)

    We encourage all prospective students with a disability to apply for the Disabled Students’ Allowances (DSAs) as soon as possible This includes current students who have been in receipt of DSAs previously and are returning to a new course, for example a ‘Top Up’ to BA Hons/BSc year of study.

    If you are returning to the same course you do not need to re-apply. 
     
    DSAs help to cover some of the extra costs you may face in studying as a result of your condition/s.

    All technology, equipment, software and support is paid for directly by Student Finance England and is dependent on your individual needs (not your household income). 

    Support for the application process and all other enquiries can be sent directly to The College’s Disability Team where your dedicated Disability Officer will respond to you directly. Please email dsainfo@blackpool.ac.uk

     Careers and employability

    The Careers Team is still operating and is available to support you during this time. The team can help you with online support for mock interviews, CVs, application forms and applying for student finance.

    If you would like a personal careers guidance interview to discuss your goals, aspirations, progression options and more we can help you to formulate your ideas into a plan.  

    In addition, there are lots of opportunities to learn new skills and develop your employability.

    All B&FC students have free access to LinkedIn Learning offering short video courses in creative, software and business skills.

    You can also access your Gradintelligence account to create or update your e-CV or do some psychometric tests, in addition to reviewing your electronic transcript (HE-AR).

     Personal Mitigating Circumstances

    What if I have mitigating circumstances?

    Any student can continue to claim mitigating circumstances in the usual way if their situation presents particular difficulties.

    These are unusual and challenging times and we understand that very many students have been affected by the current situation.

    For a period of 11 weeks from 23 March 2020, applications for Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMCs) have had relaxed requirements for supporting evidence.

    However, from 8 June 2020 we will require specific evidence/verification to support student PMC applications. Lecturers, personal tutors and/or programme leaders can provide further information, guidance and support.

    The B&FC Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMC) process will continue to enable us to consider each student’s unique context to ensure that no one is disadvantaged.

    For general guidance concerned with PMC applications please refer to: HE Taught Award Regulations: Part B Section: 1: Personal Mitigating Circumstances and Interruption of Study Procedure.

    What should I do if I have been severely affected by the COVID-19 pandemic over a prolonged period of time?

    Students who have been severely impacted for a prolonged period of time as a result of Covid-19, have an opportunity to apply for PMCs: Exceptional Arrangements, if appropriate independent documentary evidence is available that demonstrates good cause as to why a student’s performance and achievements have been adversely affected by means which have not been fully addressed through extension and other available assessment procedures.

    If approved, the Reassessment Board of Examiners may exclude the assessment(s) in question (without penalty) from the calculation of the overall module score(s) in accordance with the guidance detailed on this website.

    The PMCs – Exceptional Circumstances application form is available here.

    What does ‘good cause’ mean?

     ‘Good cause’ will mean illness or other relevant prolonged and severe adverse personal circumstances affecting a student and resulting in either the student’s failure to undertake or submit an assessment at or by the due time, or otherwise satisfy the requirements of the scheme of assessment for their programme.  For general guidance concerned with PMC applications please refer to: HE Taught Award Regulations: Part B Section: 1: Personal Mitigating Circumstances and Interruption of Study Procedure.

    What type of documentary evidence will be considered in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic?

    We will give reasonable consideration to the form of documentary evidence that can be provided in the context of the COVID-19 pandemic, and understand that some usual sources of independent evidence in the UK may still not be available, e.g. a letter from a General Practitioner (GP).

    Medical records should however be available from hospitals and General Practitioners on request. Third party evidence from someone in a professional capacity, who can verify the circumstances and who is in a position to provide objective and impartial evidence will also be considered. Electronic evidence will be accepted from verifiable addresses.

    All evidence must be provided in English. 

    The following list details examples of the types of evidence that would normally be accepted to support an application for PMCs specific to the COVID-19 pandemic. This list should not be considered definitive, and we will always give reasonable consideration to other forms of documentary evidence provided. We may also request additional evidence to help to clarify a set of circumstances. This is in line with Lancaster University regulations.

    If I am affected by COVID-19. Will I need medical or other evidence for PMCs?

    In all instances the student will be required to explain how individual circumstances have affected their ability to complete/submit specific assessments or, how the student’s performance in these specific assessments was manifestly prejudiced or significantly impacted. 

    Illness of student 

    Where students have contracted coronavirus and have been admitted to hospital for treatment, evidence can include medical notes which demonstrate that hospital medical treatment was received including length of time spent in hospital.

    Illness of ‘someone close’, usually a close family, who has contracted coronavirus  

    Medical evidence relating to the illness (clearly indicating dates of illness) plus evidence of the students connection to the person who is ill, or has been ill  AND corroborating evidence to demonstrate the impact on the student (e.g. a member of College staff/other relevant third party, which can include family members). “Someone close” can mean parents or guardians, children, siblings, a spouse or partner.

    Bereavement of ‘someone close’

    “Someone close” can mean parents or guardians, children, siblings, a spouse or partner. Evidence of bereavement can take several forms, for example: 

    • A letter from funeral director or minister conducting the service. 
    • An Order of Service showing date, or other relevant documentation. 
    • A statement from a doctor or other qualified professional, or member of College staff (e.g. personal tutor) confirming you had disclosed a bereavement. 
    • A corroborating statement from a family member. A death certificate is also an acceptable form of evidence but is not a requirement. 
    Other acute/severe circumstances (including prolonged financial or accommodation difficulties associated with Covid-19)

    Statement must provide clear details, including dates which link to the assessment(s) affected.

    Students must provide evidence of how they were affected and why this prevented them from completing/submitting specific assessment(s) within the agreed timescales or, how their performance in these specific assessments was manifestly prejudiced. This should include supporting Independent evidence from a relevant professional person, i.e. landlord/agent or associated agency. 

    What happens if my PMCs – Exceptional Arrangements are approved?

    Where PMCS – Exceptional Arrangements are approved, the Reassessment Boards of Examiners will:

    • Consider the extent to which the student’s total assessment, at that level, has been completed as a percentage, taking into account the relative weights attributed to those assessments as published in the relevant approved assessment scheme.
    • Make an overall judgement of the student’s work submitted for assessment, using as far as possible the standards and criteria applied in respect of the work of other students.   
    • At module level where the student has: 
      • completed 33% or more of the total summative assessment required, the Boards of Examiners can recommend an overall module result on the basis of work completed so long as that work is deemed to demonstrate attainment against substantial elements of the module’s learning outcomes; 
      • completed less than 33% of the work required for assessment, the student will be regarded as not having completed sufficient assessment to be awarded a grade in the module. In such cases students should be given an opportunity to complete the missing work as a first attempt. 
    • At programme level where the student has: 
      • completed 75% or more of the total work required for programme assessment, the Boards of Examiners will recommend an award or other outcome, including progression on the basis of the work completed; 
      • If a student has completed less than 75% of programme assessment, within a programme of study or completed less than 30% of programme assessment for an honours degree, the student will be regarded as not having completed sufficient assessment to progress or be awarded a degree. 

    Will I be able to progress/graduate this year?

    To ensure that our students are not disadvantaged as a result of the current unprecedented circumstances we have made a number of adjustments to our assessment processes and regulations for this academic year. 

    What kind of adjustments have been made to ensure that I am supported with progression or graduation this year?

    1. Personal Mitigating Circumstances (PMCs). Any student can apply for PMCs in the usual way. However, in these unprecedented circumstances requirements for supporting evidence were relaxed in respect of Covid-19 related claims or for any other illness. This applied from Monday 23 March 2020, when lockdown began. However, from Monday 8 June 2020 all subsequent/new PMC applications will require independent evidence. Further detail required to support Covid-19 related applications is provided below.
    2. Formal exams converted to time based assessments. The adjustments that we put in place to formal examinations included changes to the format and a 15 hour window.
    3. Amendment to a limited number of assessments. Following review of all modules to ensure that students were still provided with the opportunity to achieve all module learning outcomes, a limited number of specific assessment amendments were made.
    4. Scaling: Module grades for a cohort will be reviewed and adjusted if necessary, through this process    Scaling is the systematic adjustment of marks at a module level across students on a programme in order to ensure they appropriately reflect the achievements of the students. Boards of Examiners will consider scaling for assessments for cohorts of students using a revised formula to ensure there has been no disadvantage or advantage due to Covid-19. Where possible, previous years’ data will be reviewed to provide reassurance that students are not being disadvantaged nor given unfair advantage over previous cohorts
    5. Condonation: where the Board of Examiners can decide to award credit, in accordance with regulations, where a student has marginally failed a module    Condonation will normally only be considered where a student has exhausted all reassessment opportunities. However, for this academic year, condonation will, normally, immediately be applied without the need for reassessment, at all levels. Where a student wishes to undertake reassessment in one or more failed modules, they may do so provided they apply within five working days of results being made available
    6. PMCs: Exceptional Arrangements: For students who have been severely impacted for a prolonged period of time as a result of Covid-19    Students who have been severely impacted for a prolonged period of time as a result of Covid-19, have an opportunity to apply for PMCs: Exceptional Arrangements, if all the previous Covid-19 assessment adjustments (1 -5) have been exhausted and that appropriate independent evidence is available. If approved, the Reassessment Board of Examiners may exclude the assessment(s) in question (without penalty) from the calculation of the overall module score(s) in accordance with the guidance detailed below and outlined in relevant temporary adjustments to academic regulations.

    Where can I find more information about temporary adjustments to academic regulations? 

    The temporary adjustments to B&FC and Lancaster University academic regulations are detailed here.

    Lecturers, personal tutors and/or programme leaders can provide further information, guidance and support.

     Communicating with students

    Student success and wellbeing is our number one priority.

    Communication is crucial in supporting our students and we have been producing regular newsletters to keep everyone updated with what's happening at B&FC and the help available during these challenging times.

    We've put our higher education newsletters online so you can always access additional resources and advice:

    Graduation

    To safeguard the health and wellbeing of students and their families and uphold the government's social distancing guidance we have postponed this year's graduation ceremony.

    Celebrating 2020 graduates.

    Student transfer plan

    If you wish to transfer into B&FC, to a different course while studying here, or to another college or university, please read our student transfer plan.

    Compliments, complaints and feedback

    As part of our commitment to improving service quality we provide well publicised and accessible information on how to give feedback or make a complaint.

    If you wish to raise a complaint - or compliment or feed back on anything about the college, please visit this page.

     Parents and guardians

    B&FC’s priority has always been to help students achieve their aspirations and enjoy a high-quality learning experience in safe and supportive environments.  

    We are incredibly proud of the hard work and dedication of our students and colleagues in this difficult situation and we are committed to doing everything in our power to help students achieve their goals and ambitions. Thank you for being patient and understanding during this time.  

    If your child is ill or unable to attend sessions, they must contact us to let us know by calling 01253 504343.

    Please find below the many things we are doing here at B&FC to support students with online and remote working arrangements during the COVID-19 lockdown. 

    • B&FC reviews daily, all official guidance from the UK government, public health England and other relevant bodies and uses it to inform our support for students. We have set out below the measures that we have taken to continue to support students and deliver learning and teaching: 
    • Since Monday 23 March learning and teaching is delivered via our virtual learning environments, such as Moodle, Canvas, Onefile and Microsoft Teams. Paper based activities and resources have also been posted out to students 
    • Progress Tutors, Programme Leaders and lecturers have kept in contact with their students through phone calls, e-mails and on-line conversations. This is to check on their engagement and progress 
    • Curriculum Areas have posted onto B&FC’s social media platforms, such as Facebook and Twitter video updates, messages, useful tips, links and competitions 
    • B&FC’s Employability Coaches have continued to contact students to check that everything is going well and they have everything they need to develop their skills, knowledge and understanding 
    • Our Students’ Union have produced an on-line enrichment programme. Here, students can engage in competitions, communicate with their friends and show case any volunteering activities they have undertaken in the community. 
    • B&FC’s Student Support team has continued to provide a high level of study support for students 
    • The Careers Team continue to provide a full service of online careers advice, interview support, CV writing and assistance with financial matters such as bursaries, free school meals and bus passes 
    • Where possible, B&FC has supported eligible students who were unable to access a device or IT to enable them to complete online tasks by loaning out a laptop and or arranging access to WIFI 
    • B&FC has ensured that all vulnerable students have been identified and are working with a named point of contact at B&FC on a regular basis, in addition to their subject tutor 
    • B&FC has ensured that students identified as vulnerable and those who have parents/ guardians who are keyworkers have the opportunity to attend onsite support sessions on Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday at the Bispham Campus. (Prior registration and authorisation is needed) 
    • B&FC colleagues have provided, and continue to develop, a comprehensive range of resources for students, to support with any wellbeing or health challenges through various online platforms and useful links to websites. We have put together a handy guide to many of the wellbeing resources

    Helping students stay safe online 

    • The National Crime Agency has developed some useful resources helping parents, carers and guardians support their students safely and securely get the most from the web. The Thinkuknow website provides you with tools and tips to keep young people safe online. You’ll also find advice handling situations where you think students might be in difficult situations
    • Phishing coronavirus scams are on the rise due to hackers taking advantage of the fear and anxiety caused by the global pandemic. Phishing is the process of tricking someone into providing their personal information such as credit card numbers, social security/national ID numbers or other financial data. Usually, once the victim has provided the information, it is used to steal their money, property or identity
    • Lancashire Safeguarding features essential advice for parents, carers and guardians. 

    Staying in touch

    We'll be keeping you updated on developments at B&FC. Below find links to newsletters for parents, carers and guardians:

    Risk assessment: our 11 operational principles

    Find out how B&FC is putting first the health and wellbeing of its community.