With the advent of COVID-19, universities around the world have been forced to move to a fully online mode of delivery because of lockdown policies. This led to a flurry of studies into issues such as internet access, student attitudes to online learning and mental health during lockdown. However, researchers need a validated survey for assessing the classroom emotional climate and student attitudes towards learning in universities that can be used for online, face-to-face or blended delivery. Such a survey could be used to illuminate students’ perceptions of the experiences that make up learning at university level, in terms of such factors as care from teachers, collaboration and motivation. In this article, we report the validation of a University Classroom Emotional Climate (UCEC) questionnaire and an Attitudes to Learning scale, as well as their use in comparing the classroom emotional climate and attitudes during COVID-19 lockdown (fully online delivery) with post-lockdown (mixed-mode delivery). Female students experienced the post-lockdown condition significantly more positively than during lockdown for all scales except Care, while the only significant difference for males between the during and post-lockdown was their choice to engage with learning (Control) and the degree of Challenge that they found with the learning materials.