University maintenance cycle

We typically schedule two Blackboard upgrades per year: one during the Christmas break, and one in the Summer. Each of these will require some system downtime.

In addition, some downtime is required in the Summer to complete the annual Course Rollover process.

This page lists proposed maintenance times, when Blackboard is likely to be unavailable or at risk.

The dates and times listed below are provisional and subject to alteration.

Precise details are confirmed nearer to the date and advertised on the Blackboard login page, and the IT Status page.


Upgrading Blackboard – migration to SaaS

Friday 31 July – Monday 3 August 2020

The migration to SaaS will take place over the first weekend of August.
Blackboard and Turnitin will be unavailable while this takes place.

The system will be unavailable

  • from 20:00 BST on Friday 31 July
  • for the whole of Saturday 1 and 2 August
  • for most of Monday 3 August.

This is a major system upgrade, and it is impossible to predict accurately the total time required. Therefore the system should be considered as “at risk” for the whole of Monday.

Updates will be posted on the IT Status page.

You can read more about the benefits of our move to SaaS on the TEL blog: Moving to Blackboard SaaS

Purging old Blackboard courses

In preparation for the move to SaaS DTS will be starting to implement our VLE Content Management, Retention and Disposal schedule.

In the initial phase of this work DTS will be deleting Blackboard courses which ran in the 2011/12 academic year and earlier. Most of these courses have been unavailable to users for several years. If you still have access to any of these really old courses, and you need to retain any of the course materials, please download this content before 1st July 2020.


Blackboard and Turnitin also carry out routine maintenance which can be system-impacting.

Such work is normally

  • carried out outside of peak UK usage hours
  • advertised well in advance.

Turnitin maintenance periods are usually advertised within Turnitin itself, and via @TurnitinStatus on Twitter.