College update: Revised start date set as planning for 2020/21 progresses


Full-time courses at North East Scotland College will begin on 7 September 2020 as part of a phased start to the 2020/21 academic year.

College update – 3 June 2020


Revised start date set as planning for 2020/21 progresses


Full-time courses at North East Scotland College will begin on 7 September 2020 as part of a phased start to the 2020/21 academic year.

The revised date, two weeks later than originally scheduled, is part of a number of measures being introduced in response to the Scottish Government route map for moving out of lockdown.

The health, safety and wellbeing of students, staff and visitors remains the main priority and plans are based on evolving national guidance.

The College is committed to providing the highest quality experience for students and to ensuring an engaging, nurturing environment. The energy of the NESCol community has come to the fore in the challenging circumstances of recent months and building on that will be a focus in the new session.

Measures for the first term include:

  • A phased start to the new session with the first full-time courses beginning on 7 September. College induction activities will begin online in August and each student will be contacted with details of their own course arrangements.
  • A blended approach to learning and teaching, with courses delivered online for the majority of students. Digital learning will be supported through the distribution of devices and 4G internet provision where required.
  • Access to College campuses will be restricted to students in priority groups, including those in practical subject areas, on a limited basis.
  • Where access to buildings is permitted, social distancing guidance will be followed. This will reduce capacity in all areas and require the introduction of one-way routes. Guidance on Personal Protective Equipment, including facemasks, will also be adhered to.

These measures, which will not affect student funding, will be reviewed in line with national guidance and may be extended beyond the first term.

A number of other considerations are being taken into account as part of comprehensive plans being developed for the new academic year. These range from transport provision and facilities management to liaison with awarding bodies and the development of additional online learning resources.

Further details will be shared with students, staff and stakeholders as they are finalised. Frequently Asked Questions in relation to the new academic year are available here.

The college has been delivering courses online since March, when campuses closed as part of the regional response to the Coronavirus outbreak.

Student support services, including live chat, have been maintained through the College’s specialist teams and online provision has been expanded with the introduction of free access to

Applications for the 2020/21 academic year remain open across NESCol’s full course offering. Further information on course options and online applications can be found at

Guidance for students and applicants is available by email at



College update – March 2020


All College staff are also now working off-site.

Neil Cowie, NESCol Principal and Chief Executive, said: “The health and wellbeing of all students, staff, stakeholders and visitors is the clear priorityI must thank all of those groups for their support in a fast-moving situation asNESCol takes positive action in line with evolving national guidance. 

Teaching and support staff are working together to minimise the disruption caused by the closure of our buildings – we aim to continue learning where possible, using online tools, and ensure support for students is maintained.  Whilst our buildings will close, the College’s work must continue and we are committed to delivering on behalf of our students in very challenging circumstances. 

We appreciate the uncertainty students are faced with in relation to progression with their studies at this time. We are liaising closely with the Scottish Government, awarding bodies and the wider College sector to ensure we have a joined-up approach. Detail will follow on the next steps but I can provide reassurance that NESCol is determined to ensurstudies are completed and that the potential impact on exams, graded units and assessments is addressed as a matter of urgency.  

Guidance has been provided to students in key areas:   

  • Support: The Student Advice Centre will operate an online service. The team can be contacted at Online support resources, particularly in relation to mental health and wellbeing, can continue to be accessed through MyNescol.
  • Safeguarding: Responsibilities in relation to safeguarding are not affected. Contact in relation to a safeguarding issues can be made through Academic Tutors.
  • Student Support Funds: No individual should be disadvantaged or suffer financial stress due to the Coronavirus outbreak and fundswith the exception of travel expenses, will continue to be paid. If individual circumstances change, for example existing employment ceases, students should notify the team at at the earliest opportunity to explore options for financial assistance.
  • Placements: As part of the College’s role in mitigating against the further spread of Coronavirus, any work placements related to NESCol studies have been suspended.
  • Access to digital learning: A limited number of devices will be made available on a loan basis to those who are not enrolled on a Bring Your Own Device (BYOD) course. Students who do not have internet access are advised to contact their Academic Tutor to allow individual circumstances to be considered. 

Additional guidance includes: 

  • Applications continue to be accepted for 2020/21 enrolment. Applicants awaiting interview or notification in relation to their application will receive direct correspondence at the earliest opportunity.
  • College events, including the open evening scheduled for Fraserburgh on Thursday (19 March), have been cancelled. The College will not be taking part in external public events.
  • Part-time courses have been suspended until further notice. Students will be notified directly of arrangements for their course.  

Updates will continue to be provided as further information and advice becomes available. Communication will be by 
student and staff email, through the external website at, College social media accounts and via MyNescol.