Industry led Higher Education in a COVID-Secure Environment

Backstage Academy will be open and ready to teach at the start of the 2020/21 academic year. We are committed to delivering a high quality and full university experience by providing you with a fully operational campus environment supported with virtual and online learning tools. You will have opportunities to study and engage in person with our staff and other students in a COVID-secure environment. 

This information confirms how you will learn and be taught when you start the new academic year with Backstage Academy. 

Please Note: Backstage Academy is working to ensure that the current regulations that are in force are adhered to at all times, and that health and safety standards for dealing with the ongoing pandemic and Government advice are followed. Should this change as per Government, PHE and other regulatory guidelines, we will advise applicants and students as soon as possible. Backstage Academy remains committed to providing accessible learning and teaching for all our students and for those unable to attend on campus for reasons relating to COVID-19, alternative arrangements will be made.

2020/21 Academic Year

  • New Semester Dates

    Backstage Academy has been closely monitoring the Coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak and reviewing the current advice from the Government, the Office for Students and Public Health England. We have decided that it is in the best interests of staff and students to delay the start of teaching for the new academic year to Monday 5th October in order to allow time to introduce the measures required to create a COVID-secure environment and new high quality delivery materials.

    Therefore, teaching for the 2020/21 academic year will start for all students on Monday 5th October 2020 and conclude on Friday 18th June 2021. 

    Semester Dates:

    • Enrolment Day for new students: Monday 28th September 2020
    • Freshers Week: Monday 28th September – Friday 2nd October 2020
    • Semester 1: Monday 5th October 2020 – Friday 19th February 2021 (Including Christmas Break: 14/12/2020 - 08/01/2021)
    • Semester 2: Monday 22nd February – Friday 18th June 2021 (including Easter Break: 29/03/2021 – 09/04/2021)

    We have worked with The University of Bolton to ensure that Student Finance England have been informed of the planned change to the semester dates and they will be able to update this on any student finance applications already in the system. If you have any questions or concerns relating to this please contact us through

    We are also working with Linley & Simpson to ensure that local landlords are aware of this change. 

  • Backstage Academy Facilities

    Social distancing measures will be in place to enable you to utilise our creative campus on Production Park. We will be providing appropriate personal protective materials and equipment (PPE) in accordance with the prevalent guidelines to ensure that you feel safe at Backstage Academy.  

  • Practical Teaching and Learning

    We understand how important on-campus practical activities are for our students’ learning. Therefore, the COVID-secure measures we have taken have been with an absolute focus on protecting and enhancing the practical experience of our students. 

    Practical work, within the necessary social distancing parameters, will continue to take place on-campus in our studios, computer suite and other specialist facilities. These spaces are being redesigned to provide a safe environment for you to carry out this important part of your learning. 

  • Lectures, Masterclasses & Tutorials

    Where suitable, lectures will be professionally filmed, edited and delivered in a virtual learning environment. These will be supported by live tutorials and seminars via video conferencing and, where possible, face-to-face (with appropriate social distancing measures).

  • Online Learning Resources

    Online teaching resources will be available through platforms such as Moodle, Shibboleth, Discover@Bolton (online library services), LEAP Online (Academic & Personal development support) and the Backstage Academy App. This will allow you to revisit recorded lectures and re-engage with learning materials on your own schedule, to drive your own learning. 

  • Personal Tutoring

    Personal tutoring sessions will initially take place online, but we will review this regularly and relax measures as Government guidance allows. 

  • Student Support

    Our student services team will continue to deliver tailored academic and pastoral support to all students next year. We are putting in place measures to enable this to happen both in person and via online platforms, to allow students the greatest flexibility in accessing support. If you have declared a learning difficulty or disability on your UCAS form, the team will shortly be in touch to discuss any additional support that may assist you. If you have not stated this on your form but would like to have a chat about disability support, please contact

  • Social and Peer Learning Environments

    We are redeveloping our Learning Resources Centre (LRC) to allow more flexibility with COVID-19 social distancing in mind. Additional spaces for learning will be available for booking for projects and other group activities. 

    We know that learning also takes place beyond the classrooms or studios and we are also creating COVID-secure social learning zones across campus on Production Park for you to carry out group work, meet with other students, and make the most of university life.

  • Required Equipment for New Applicants

    In my previous update, I described our intended blend of learning next year. As a proportion of this will be online, we encourage all students to have a working laptop that can run Zoom video calls, download video content and run Microsoft Office programmes (which can be downloaded for free through the University of Bolton once you are enrolled: click here to download) for the start of the next academic year. 

    Some of our students find it useful to have a more powerful laptop, capable of running visualisation or design software. We will be sending out some further helpful information on this in the next few weeks. 

    In addition, all students will need to possess the following Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) for the start of the new academic year: 

    • Steel Toe Cap Boots/Trainers
    • Hi-Vis Jacket
    • Safety Gloves (for working with rigging and staging) 

    We currently have a stock of hard hats in the studio, but you may wish to purchase your own. If covid-19 precautions change and you are then required to have your own hard hat, we will let you know in good time ahead of the start of the course. 

    Here is a list of some retailers that supply these items: 

    If you have any questions about the kit requirements, please let us know via the email address below.


If you have any questions about the measures we have taken in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, please get in touch via email at

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