Message to our students regarding coronavirus from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning and Melbourne School of Design

We would like to acknowledge the impact the coronavirus, and associated uncertainty, is having on all of our students. Our first priority is your comfort, health and wellbeing. You are at the heart of everything we do.

25 March 2020

As you all appreciate, we are in a very difficult and dynamic situation and requirements have changed daily, particularly as we have had to respond to changes in government advice. I thank you again for all your patience managing, as best you can, the changing circumstances and ways of doing things. Some updates and clarification I can share with you today:


There has been some confusion about assignments this week as we pause teaching. To confirm, any assignments you have due this week must still be submitted.

Study help from the Library

If you haven’t already, please familiarise yourself with adjustments to Library services.

A fabulous resource specific to our study areas is the ABP Study and Research guide.

Maker Spaces and Workshop update

I know many of you have been asking about the Maker Spaces and the Workshop. As the campus is closed to students and staff so are the Maker Spaces. The team is working remotely and is in the process of preparing resources and support to help you with any model making you may need to do from home.

This also means that laser cutting, 3D printing and CNC jobs are not possible at this time.

The Maker Spaces teams are now conducting consultations via Zoom. Please book through the usual methods and a Zoom meeting will be set up for you. The teams are also working on call diversion so that you can still obtain assistance over the phone.

Extension of Semester One and revised University calendar

The University will extend Semester One by one week, to finish on 7 June, to provide for five extra days of teaching.  The dates for all other teaching periods (Winter and Semester 2) and associated activities (examinations, results, and so on) will be pushed back by one week. A detailed revised calendar will be prepared and published as soon as possible.

Correction to previous advice: To confirm, next week (beginning Monday 30 March) is Week 5. You can download an updated academic calendar or view the updated Key Dates website.

Can I study remotely?

You can remain enrolled and take subjects in a remote delivery format for Semester 1 without the need to be on campus. This includes those of you who are currently overseas.

You should check the LMS and ensure all subjects you are currently enrolled in, including associated assessment, will be delivered entirely remotely before making any decisions to study away from campus. You also need to be aware of any specific participation requirements and act accordingly.


The University has reached an agreement with Adobe, permitting all students and staff a full license to their software suite. More information to come very soon.

We are also working with many other software providers to form similar temporary agreements.

Finally, if you are feeling socially isolated, know that there are people who care very much about you – I strongly encourage you to reach out to friends and family as often as you can.

Stay safe,

Professor Julie Willis

23 March 2020

Every day I am impressed by the community of staff and students that makes ABP-MSD, no more so at this very difficult time. I want to recognise the caring, thoughtful support you are giving to each other. We have been contacted by many of you asking how you can support your fellow students and I am deeply appreciative of the selflessness many of you are showing.

You might have seen the communication from our Vice-Chancellor this afternoon which announced that from midnight tomorrow, we ask you not to come onto campus while we pause our teaching to prepare for a ‘virtual campus’, which will open Monday 30 March. Your subject coordinators will be communicating with you about what this means for your subject in the coming days as we work together to adjust to these uncertain times, and ultimately take the necessary actions to protect our community.

Government announcements
Any decisions about how the University operates following on from yesterday’s announcements from the State and Federal Governments will be posted to the University’s COVID-19 website.

Can I study remotely?
You can remain enrolled and take subjects in a remote delivery format for Semester 1 without the need to be on campus. This includes students who are currently overseas.

You should check the LMS and ensure all subjects you are currently enrolled in, including associated assessment, will be delivered entirely remotely before making any decisions to study away from campus. You also need to be aware of any specific participation requirements and act accordingly.

International students deciding to return to their home country and study remotely, should also be aware of the Australian Government’s travel advice and restrictions, which may, prevent you from returning to campus depending on how the COVID-19 situation develops. For any visa enquiries, you should contact the Department of Home Affairs.

Dates for standard Semester 1 subjects
Census dates for standard semester 1 subjects have changed. Please refer to the University’s Information for all students website for more information.

Staying in touch
All updates to students are first published here on this webpage, shared on our @msdsocial Facebook and Instagram and sent to you by email. We will be sending out our student newsletters on a weekly basis and will send urgent updates to you via email where needed.

Subject-specific questions

Please get in touch with your teachers via the LMS if you have any specific question at this time, but please be aware that all information will be available to you on the LMS as soon as we can manage in this constantly-changing situation.

MSD Discussion Board

The Faculty would like to support you while we are transitioning into an online learning environment and invites to you join the MSD Discussion Board on Facebook.

The MSD Discussion Board is a student-run Facebook group – please join and connect with your fellow students and Faculty members.

On the MSD Discussion Board, many students have been sharing resources for keeping up with online studios, how to get through the time of COVID-19 as design students, counselling services - it is a great place to share information. Faculty staff will be in the background on hand to help with any questions.

You are foremost in our thoughts and we want to support you in any way we can.

Stay strong, stay safe.

Professor Julie Willis

19 March 2020

I am writing to provide you with an update on how the University will continue to support your studies through this challenging time. I want to thank you all for your forbearance – we do not take it for granted.

You will have received an email from our Vice Chancellor, Professor Duncan Maskell, earlier this week stating that all lectures with more than 25 students would be delivered online by Monday 23 March.

I am pleased to confirm that all teaching from the Faculty of Architecture, Building and Planning – studios, seminars, tutorials, lectures – will be delivered online from Monday 23 March. This means that we do not expect you to attend the University in person from Monday 23 March. With two remaining days of classes this week, these will proceed as normal unless otherwise notified.

How your newly online subject is delivered and how you will be asked to engage with the content will vary from subject to subject. Please check to your LMS pages frequently to see how your subjects are transitioning to online teaching.

There may be some elective subjects that you are currently enrolled in which cannot be taught online, and these subjects may need to be cancelled. Students enrolled in subjects which must be cancelled will be contacted directly.

This is a challenging time for your academics as well, and I ask for your patience while we work through the challenges of delivering online teaching in such a short period of time. Please continue to look after yourself, and each other, and to utilise the University’s student advice and support webpage.

I will continue to keep you up to date as more information becomes available.

Stay strong, stay safe.

Professor Julie Willis

17 March 2020

I want to thank all of you who have been in touch with questions and concerns - its enormously helpful to staff to understand how you are feeling and the specific issues you are grappling with.

I want to reiterate that the University is providing a detailed student resource covering many common questions and we encourage you to read though the different sections. This resource is your one-stop shop for updates and advice during the pandemic; information for students affected by travel restrictions; and information about student support grants. If you need help, please don't hesitate to contact us via phone, chat or email.

We are following advice from the Australian Government and as the University adjusts our approach following these announcements, please visit the COVID-19 student support site. We recommend that you check this website on a twice-daily basis: each morning and evening.

Warmest regards, Professor Julie Willis

6 February 2020

Every effort is being made to make sure your studies will not be unnecessarily disrupted. For those of you who are facing a delayed start to semester, your subject coordinators and teachers are working together to design different levels and types of support that are tailored to your own individual circumstances. Your academic success is important to us, as ever, and we are looking forward to welcoming our current students back to Melbourne, and our commencing students to their new academic home as soon as possible.

The University is providing a detailed student resource covering many common questions and we encourage you to read though the different sections. If you need help, please don't hesitate to contact us via phone, chat or email.

Our best wishes to our affected students and their families. You are in our thoughts and we stand with you in this uncertain time.

Warmest regards, Professor Julie Willis