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Information about strike action

What to expect from the UCU strike action

The University and College Union (UCU) who represent academic and some academic-related staff have recently announced their plan to undertake 18 days of strike action throughout February and March. These are the confirmed dates from UCU:

  • Wednesday 1 February
  • Thursday 9 - Friday 10 February
  • Tuesday 14 – Thursday 16 February
  • Tuesday 21 - Thursday 23 February (paused)
  • Monday 27 February – Thursday 2 March (paused)
  • Wednesday 15 March (new UCU date)
  • Thursday 16 - Friday 17 March
  • Monday 20 – Wednesday 22 March

What should I expect?

Strike action means that some staff taking part will not work on the days above.  This could result in some cancelled classes or academic staff being unavailable.

UCU also continues to have a mandate for continuous action short of strike from 23 November. ‘Continuous action short of strike’ is a term that could mean our staff limit the work that they undertake on other days covered by strike action.

However, the University will remain open throughout the strike action and most teaching will proceed as usual. Spaces and services including Learning Resources Centres (LRCs), cafes, and student wellbeing will continue to be open during this time.

While we know there will be students who are sympathetic to the issues raised by UCU, we expect all students to continue to attend classes and complete assignments unless you are advised by your lecturers or programme leaders. Make sure you continue to swipe your student ID card on card readers on campus when you attend classes.

Click on a link below to find frequently asked questions. 

Learning and Teaching

How can I find out if my classes or lectures have been cancelled?

Academic staff do not need to give the University advance notice if they plan to participate in the strike action.

You should still attend your scheduled classes as normal unless you have already been advised otherwise by your School. Where Schools are aware of possible impact on your class ahead of time, they will do their best to get in touch with you. This may not always be possible if it is short notice.

We’d ask you to be understanding with lecturers who step in to cover classes or continue to teach during the strike action. Please note, in rooms where automatic recording is enabled, taught classes will continue to be automatically recorded even when the class does not take place. This may mean any conversations taking place in the room is captured. You will be able to tell if the class is being recorded by checking if the red light is on.

What should I do if my lecturer does not show up?

If you attend a class and your lecturer does not show up – please contact your School office immediately with details. This will help us identify where we need to put in measures for any impact where academic staff have not given us advance warning.

What will happen to classes that are cancelled?

Schools will put in measures to manage any cancelled classes. Your programme or Canvas module site will provide information about this. You may see cancelled classes on your timetable. 

If your class is cancelled as a result of the industrial action, you will not be penalised in terms of attendance. You should continue to swipe your card while you’re on campus, attend all other classes that continue as scheduled, and log into Canvas, as normal.

Can I contact my lecturer or personal tutor on strike days?

Yes, you can continue to contact staff but please note there may be a delay in receiving a response. If your query is urgent, we would advise you to speak to your School office.

Will I be able to watch lectures online? 

Automatic recording will be temporarily paused on strike days and academic staff will be asked to manually record classes that go ahead. These recordings will be available on your programme site. 

How can I complain about strike action? 

The University will remain open throughout the strike action, and is working to minimise potential disruption to the student experience. For students who are concerned that they have been disadvantaged by industrial action, the University has a complaints process in place.

We would always hope to resolve a concern raised informally, and it is therefore incredibly important that full details of the issues are reported  as quickly as possible. If a concern relates to academic studies, the student should liaise with their Personal Tutor or Programme Leader in the first instance. For further guidance relating to the University’s complaint process, please visit online, and for impartial advice and support, please visit the Students’ Union Advice & Support Centre.

For additional guidance from the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) relating to industrial action, and how this may potentially impact students, please visit the OIA website.

I’m a postgraduate research student, who should I contact?

We advise you to speak to your School’s Associate Dean (Research) if you have any questions or concerns.

What about other strike action?

There are train and teacher strikes taking place on Wednesday 1 February, and an additional train strike on Friday 3 February. This may affect your travel and if you have any childcare responsibilities.

If you are concerned, please contact your module or programme leader who will advise you. If your lecturer has been affected, they will be in touch to let you know of any issues.


Assignments and assessments

Will the industrial action affect assessments or assignments?

We expect that all assessments and assignments will continue as planned unless you are advised otherwise by your School.

Where there are assessments that are affected by strike action, the School will aim to organise staff that can mark the work as planned.

Will there be any delays to assignment feedback?

There may be some delays to feedback however we will work hard to minimise this. Your School will put in place alternative markers where possible. If your lecturers are unable to achieve the four-week deadline for return of marked coursework, they will let you know.

Can I submit an extension for my assignment because of the strike?

We would encourage you to continue to work to complete any assignments and assessments on time. The impact of the strike action will be recorded by your School as part of assessments.


Campus facilities

Will the strike action affect facilities?

No, our facilities including our Learning Resources Centres (LRCs), cafes and study spaces will remain open as usual.



I’m worried about the strike action impact on my studies. Who can I contact?

If you are worried about the impact on your course, please contact your programme leader or Dean with details on your concern so that they can identify how to support you.

Our student wellbeing team will be open throughout the strike days should you wish to speak to them. We also have our free and confidential 24/7 wellbeing helpline too.


International students

 How will I log my attendance if my classes are cancelled?

If your class is cancelled as a result of the industrial action, you will not be penalised in terms of attendance. However, you are expected to  continue to swipe your card while you’re on campus, attend all other classes that continue as scheduled, and log into Canvas, as normal.