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COVID-19: Updates for students

Support for students during COVID-19

As always, the safety of our community is our priority, and we are committed to supporting our students through this difficult time.

University updates for students

We recognise the challenges of studying in this environment and as we head into the second half of 2020, we are extending some of the assessment flexibility options, so students can concentrate on their intended study path and focus on learning.

These options apply to all study periods.

No fail arrangement

No fail grades will be recorded for all remaining 2020 study periods. This means there will be no impact to your overall grade average (Grade Point Average GPA) and you will not have a fail recorded on your transcript. Any fail grade received in 2020 as a result of academic misconduct is excluded from this arrangement.

You have two options:

  1. Finish your unit, and if you receive a fail grade it will automatically be removed from your record and converted to withdrawn without academic penalty - the unit will appear on your academic transcript as ‘WW’.
  2. Withdraw from your units before the Last withdrawal without fail date – which has been extended to the end of the study periods to allow you to focus on the final assessments for any remaining units. Last withdrawal without dates can be found on the Key Dates webpage in the ‘All Study Period Dates 2020’ tab.

In both cases, fees for the unit remain for any units you we're enrolled in beyond census date.

Arrangements for the first half of 2020

If you received a fail grade in the first half of 2020, it will also not be recorded and you have the option to repeat the unit once more at no extra cost up until the end of 2021. This option excludes fail grades received due to academic misconduct and only applies to the units you failed or withdrew from in the first part of 2020. The fee waiver is automatically applied to your record.

Opt to Ungraded Pass (UP)

Opting to convert to an Ungraded Pass benefits students who have consistently high results that have been affected because of COVID-19. A student can opt to convert a unit grade (i.e. pass, credit) to an Ungraded Pass.

What this means is that the unit will count toward their degree as usual, but the grade results won't impact their overall Grade Point Average (GPA). You can apply for this within 10 days of when results are released on the results page in the Student Portal.

Assignment submission

Assignments for the remainder of 2020 will be due according to the due dates in your unit outline. If you have any questions or need to discuss anything impacting upon your ability to hand your assignments in on time, please talk directly to you unit coordinator.

If you need to discuss any of these options, we are here to assist you. Please contact UConnect.

In Tasmania we have been lucky to have minimal cases of COVID-19 for some time, however there are growing numbers of cases in NSW potentially affecting campuses there.

Our thoughts are with other Australian states and countries, now trying to deal with its re-emergence.

The challenges faced by Victoria and NSW are a sobering reminder that we need to remain vigilant and be prepared for future outbreaks on our campuses.

Critical to keeping people safe and stopping the spread of COVID-19 is ensuring people don’t come on campus if they’re unwell and being able to trace who has been in contact with whom. To manage this effectively, we are asking our students to get the latest ID card.

The ID cards were introduced in February 2019 and have extra features including swipe functions for building access, printing and exams. If your card was issued before February 2019, and you haven’t yet updated it, please click on the red button below to order a new one.

We are encouraging you to do this by Friday, 21st August 2020. Your new card will be posted out to you.

Order your Student ID card

4-29 June

Morris Miller, Launceston and Clinical Libraries open for a restricted capacity.

To adhere to health guidelines, everyone will be required to visit a health screening point and have their temperature checked before entering the library. Physically distancing measures of 1.5 meters apart will continue and if you are feeling unwell please stay at home.

The Library is providing hand sanitiser, and carrying out additional cleaning. Find out more on the library website.

24 June

Some good news as restrictions ease across Tasmania. We have revisited the return to campus plan and moved forward Phase 3 to Friday, June 26.

While, we will predominately continue in ‘online mode’ for the second half of 2020, this phase includes the slow reintroduction of some group learning and teaching activities. This phase also includes an increased capacity for our libraries and Unigyms – in line with public health advice.

We know how important it is for students to be able to go on campus and return to face-to face classes. So we can continue on this  trajectory, strict campus health measures remain in place.

These are the things you will need to do before going on campus:

When on campus we’re maintaining the 1.5m physical distancing measures and you will need to have your student ID to enter a building.

29 June

Hobart and Launceston Uniygm centres have reopened with a new class timetable.

To adhere to spcial distancing and hygiene and health guidelines, Unigym have implemented a range of health measures including, reduced class sizes, class bookings, enhanced hygiene practises for gym equipment, marked areas and an attendance register.

Find the new timetable on the Unigym website.

1 May: UTAS begin trialling a COVID-19 health screening process at the Administration building in Sandy Bay.

6 May: The Cradle Coast campus Mooreville Road site partially reopens following an easing of restrictions imposed by the State Government for North-West Tasmania.

11 – 18 May

The University has released a three-step guide for our return to some on-campus activities.  For semester 2 2020, learning, research and teaching will continue online but from Monday, 18 May, we will introduce a small number of face-to-face activities.

All students and candidates returning to campus will be required to complete a re-induction module available in MyLO addressing social distancing and hygiene requirements and visit a health screening point, which are being set up at campus entry points.

You can view more detail around these timelines in the UTAS staged return to campus booklet.

From Monday, 18 May, Morris Miller Library at Sandy Bay campus will have restricted access of 10 people at a time. To ensure equitable access we have implemented a booking system and allocated each student and candidate 1-4 hrs a week to collect library resources, use a computer or brief study time. Updates for other University libraries will be coming soon.

For those who need to come on campus to study, a list of open computer labs can be found in this Building Closures booklet.

21 May: As a result of the ongoing outbreak of COVID-19 and with the restrictions on large public gatherings, unfortunately the University is unable to hold our Winter Round of graduation ceremonies scheduled for August in both Hobart and Launceston.

At this stage it is too early to say whether our Summer Round of ceremonies in December will go ahead. We hope this is the case of course and are monitoring both the Australian and Tasmanian Governments’ advice to inform our decision making. All graduates will have the option of doing a walk-through at a future ceremony. For more information about walking-through at a ceremony, please see our Key Information page.

Students identified as potential graduands for the Winter Round will be contacted in late June, as originally scheduled, with potential eligibility information. This will be sent to your UTAS email address. For more information about eligibility to graduate, please see our Eligibility page on the Graduation website

April 1/21: Announcement of flexible assessments measures for the first half of 2020:

  • No Fail Grades recorded on transcripts, with the option to the take unit once more until the end of 2021 - only applies to the first half of 2020.
  • Automatic five-day extensions for assessments (only applies to the first half of 2020)
  • Extend Last Withdrawal without Fail date for Semester 1, 2020 to May 31
  • Online exams and replacement assessments (for the first half of 2020)

April 1/10: Further building closures (PDF 6.3 MB) announced with the opening on select computer labs and remote access.

April 12: Cradle Coast campus closes

April 24: Further financial support announced for temporary visa holders and continued UTAS financial support packages.

March 12/13: First confirmed case of COVID-19 on our Sandy Bay and Newnham campus. UTAS response (PDF 217.4 KB)

March 15/20: Temporary closures (PDF 6.3 MB) university buildings including libraries, Unigyms, multi faith centres, galleries and cafes.

March 15/30: Financial and online learning support packages announced

More resources

Symptoms of COVID-19

  • Symptoms of COVID-19 may include fever, cough, sore throat, nausea/vomiting and shortness of breath. Difficulty breathing is a sign of possible pneumonia and requires immediate medical attention. It can take up to 14 days for symptoms to show after a person has been infected.
  • If you develop these symptoms, you must call a doctor, health clinic or Public Health Hotline (Tas: 1800 671 738; NSW: 1800 022 222), advise them of your situation and arrange an urgent assessment.
  • If you are having trouble accessing medical attention, please contact us on +61 3 6226 2600 or email UConnect.
  • Out-of-hours care should be accessed at the Emergency Department of your local hospital.

Mental health

We are offering online course delivery to the greatest possible extent during this period and we thank students for their patience.

For any activities where online delivery is not possible (such as Practicals), alternative approaches will be communicated to individual students.

A new 24/7 learning support service has been made available to students and you can connect with this through each of their MyLO subject units. If anything is unclear, please email

The COVID-19: Support for students web page provides support options on study, IT, accommodation and keeping healthy.

As a University community, we recognise the impact COVID-19 has had on our students and we are particularly mindful of the financial impacts.

To support students through this difficult time, we have streamlined and fast tracked our student financial assistance in collaboration with the Tasmania University Union (TUU), to ensure we can be as responsive as possible to student needs.

The application process enables enrolled students who are experiencing financial hardship to apply for vouchers to support the expense of essential items such as food and groceries.

Both, international and domestic students can apply. This assistance is only available once and does not need to be repaid.

If you would like to discuss your financial position you can always reach out to a TUU Student Advocate or speak with the TUU financial counselling services.

To apply for financial assistance you must meet the following criteria:

  • A University of Tasmania student who is currently enrolled in a minimum of 25% study load;
  • A continuing student, who has completed their first semester;
  • A University of Tasmania student whose capacity for continued study may be compromised if their financial situation is not resolved;
  • Able to demonstrate unexpected and /or exceptional financial hardship due to the COVID-19 response; and
  • Able to demonstrate that you have attempted to access any other financial support options.
***Please note; you can only apply once for financial assistance.

This was established to provide critical support to students who are experiencing financial hardships due to COVID-19, which are impacting their ability to complete their studies.

The scheme can assist with:

  • Vouchers to assist with food and essential items
  • Support to access learning resources or equipment that are specific to the accessibility needs of the student.

This assistance does not fund the following expenditures:

  • General fines including Library and parking fines
  • Student Services and Amenities Fees (SSAF)
  • HECS or course fees
  • University accommodation rental fees
  • Payments to credit card accounts
  • Loan payments

Grants will not be made as cash payments, but will utilise vouchers to contribute to or offset unexpected financial costs.

Please reach out to the TUU financial counselling services if you would like to discuss your options and managing finances.

You can complete your application in the online form on this page. Application takes about 15 minutes and please have any supporting documentation ready to upload.

Once your application is submitted, it will be reviewed.

Applications are considered within 2 working days and you will be contacted via your UTAS email about the outcome.

During peak times, there may be some delays in the assessment of applications. However, rest assured your application will be assessed at the earliest possible time.

Apply for financial assistance

If you are in need of more immediate help and advice due to financial crisis, please make an appointment:

Contact a UTAS Student Adviser


Contact a Tasmania University Union Advocate