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Welcome to the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

We welcome you to the start of your Postgraduate Taught Programme in the School of Biological Sciences, Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester. The University has a worldwide reputation based on high quality teaching and research, and I am sure that your taught programme will provide an inspirational platform for your future career success.

Within the Faculty, our goal is to create an environment that allows you to excel and reach your full potential. Offering access to first-class facilities and strong links with eminent researchers, commercial partners and regional health-service providers, our postgraduate taught programmes are designed to meet the diverse needs of all our students. The curriculum of our taught programmes provides the knowledge and skills you will need in your subject area and all our Masters programmes include an opportunity to carry out an independent research project on subjects spanning areas of life sciences and biomedical research from molecular to experimental biology and clinical medicine. While subject areas cover a broad range of disciplines, all our taught programmes have a number of common aims:

  • To enhance your knowledge, and a critical awareness of your chosen subject. Whether you are a graduate, professional or have a clinical background, the programmes have been tailored based on previous student feedback.
  • To obtain a comprehensive understanding of techniques applicable to your area of research and to develop new skills to a high level.
  • To address complex issues with originality and insight.
  • To demonstrate self-direction and an independent learning ability required for future career progression.

As a student of the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, you will be expected to take responsibility for your learning, within a supportive environment that fosters your development and helps prepare you for your future career. This handbook will be a useful resource as you progress through your taught programme. It provides programme specific information that I am sure that you will find helpful throughout your study. If however, you have questions or would like some further advice, please do not hesitate to contact the people listed in this handbook for further information and assistance.

I wish you every success as you embark upon your taught programme, and in your future career.

Professor Sarah Herrick
Director for Postgraduate Taught Education for the School of Biological Sciences; Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health


Compulsory Introductory Course

All students are automatically enrolled onto an introductory unit (BIOL62000) that provides information on health and safety, academic malpractice and academic literacy. Completion instructions for each of these sections are clearly defined within the course.

Completion of the academic malpractice and health and safety sections is mandatory for all students. All assessments must be completed as soon as possible after the programme begins, with the academic malpractice assessment completed before the first piece of coursework is submitted and no later than 31 October 2021. Completion of these assessments is monitored by the School.

All students are also strongly advised to complete the academic literacy section.

Key Contact Details

If you have any queries or concerns at any time during your period of study at The University of Manchester, there is a range of people you can approach. Your Programme Administration team will be your first point of call for general issues. Alternatively, you may wish to contact the Programme Director for specific aspects to do with the course or your Academic Advisor for career development issues. If you wish to raise a confidential matter at School level, you should approach the Postgraduate Deputy Head of Teaching and Learning – contact details below.

Responsibility for overall management of the Programme lies with the Programme Director who has assembled a Programme Committee, which meets regularly, to advise on content, structure, management, student supervision, and regulatory matters such as Programme improvement and refinement. The Committee also includes the student representative who is democratically elected by you to attend these meetings.

School PGT Director
• Professor Sarah Herrick

Deputy Head of Teaching, Learning and Student Experience
• Mrs Kelly Salimian

Programme Director
• Andrew Devereau

Deputy Programme Director
• Dr Michael Cornell

Health Informatics Pathway Lead
• Prof Evangelos Kontopantelis

Physical Science Pathway Lead
• Dr Anthony Fisher

Programme Administration Team

Your first point of call should be directed as follows:

• Student Support

• Assessments

• Curriculum

Student Representative
• To be appointed democratically

Your contact details

You will be supplied with a student e-mail address. The University will direct communications to you by using your student e-mail address and it is your responsibility to ensure that you can access and read mail from this source.  You should check your university email regularly and in turn should send all emails to the University using your student email address.



Blackboard is a web-based system that complements and builds upon traditional learning methods used at The University of Manchester. All course-related materials will be placed on Blackboard so it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the system as soon as possible. Blackboard also offers Discussion forums which you may find a useful resource to share information about assignments and other course-related queries.

Blackboard is available to students.

  • Students should access Blackboard via My Manchester
  • Queries (technical related) should be directed to the eLearning team
  • Queries (course content related) should be directed to: the Programme Administration Team


School/University Facilities

Computers and printers:

On campus, access to computers, printers, email and the internet is available at several computer clusters within the School including the Multiuser laboratories on the ground floor of the Stopford Building. Additionally, there is a Postgraduate Hub on the 3rd Floor of the Stopford Building.

Food/Drink on Campus

There is a café bar and students’ common room on the 1st floor of the Stopford Building.  Also, Innovation Cafe and Starbucks are on the Ground Floor of the Manchester Biotech Incubator Building (which is attached to the Stopford Building and can be accessed using your student card on the ground floor).

International students

The International Society is a busy centre for international students based in the Greater Manchester area. It is located on Oxford Road (see campus map).

The society offers students the opportunity to engage with social events, visit places of interest as well as language support and cultural events.

Sharing Information

The University may share appropriate information relating to your health and/or conduct with external organisations such as your professional employer(s) (for example, relevant NHS Trust, Professional and Statutory Regulatory Bodies (PSRB)), placement and training providers and/or regulator. This may occur where concerns in relation to your health and/or conduct arise and the University considers it necessary for them to be disclosed to one or more of the above organisations. The University’s Privacy Notice for Registered Students (which is accessible via this link) includes further information about how the University may use and process your personal data, including the legal basis and conditions which may be relevant to such processing (see section 6 of the Privacy Notice). The University will only disclose special category data (such as data relating to your health) to a third party organisation where one of the additional conditions are satisfied (see section 9 of the Privacy Notice), including where processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.

Staying Safe – Covid-19

Feeling prepared and equipped at the present time inevitably brings thoughts of health and safety. We have followed the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to make sure our campus is a safe and happy environment for you to start your studies.

When arriving on campus, you’ll notice the changes we’ve made to keep everyone safe. For example, our buildings will have clearly marked entry and exit points; we’ll be asking everyone to sanitise or clean their hands immediately on entry; and markings on floors, stairwells and doors will help maintain social distancing.

It’s important for everyone to follow the guidelines on campus to keep themselves and others safe. We have faith that all members of our University community will do the right thing.

Our ‘Staying Safe’ microsite outlines the safety measures that are in place as well as useful information regarding:-

 Student Frequently Asked Questions is regularly updated online but if you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact your school as soon as possible.

Programme Information

Programme Overview

The MSc Clinical Sciences (Clinical Bioinformatics) is designed to provide students with knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of clinical bioinformatics. It will equip students with the transferable, intellectual and professional skills to permit them to develop their academic and professional potential throughout their career by fostering lifelong learning in the pursuit of excellence in scholarship and professional practice.

The MSc Clinical Science (Clinical Bioinformatics) programme is delivered by the University of Manchester (UoM) in collaboration with the University of Liverpool (UoL). The teaching in year one is shared between UoM and UoL. All of years 2 and 3 of the clinical bioinformatics genomic pathway are taught by UoM, some content of year 2 and 3 of the health informatics pathway is taught by UCL. All teaching for years 2 and 3 of the physical sciences pathway is taught at Liverpool. All teaching will be delivered on the main campuses of UoM, UoL and UCL.


  • Equip students with knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of clinical bioinformatics.
  • Produce graduates with a critical understanding of how data generated by genomic service laboratories is employed to develop a clinical diagnosis, and how this information can be logically and systematically employed to deliver effective day to day management of genetic disorders and rare genetic conditions.
  • Contribute to innovation, change and service developments in clinical science at both the laboratory and institutional levels by equipping students with a systematic and critical understanding of relevant knowledge, theoretical frameworks and advanced skills.
  • Enhance career-long development and promote lifelong learning in students in order to support and enhance best practice in clinical bioinformatics.
  • Develop leadership and communication skills to advance the development and delivery of genomic clinical services.

Learning Outcomes

Knowledge & Understanding

On completion of the programme students should be able to:

  • Display a critical understanding of the regulatory processes and practices involved in conducting research in a health service or academic setting.
  • Demonstrate knowledge and a critical understanding of the use of internal and external quality assurance systems in health service laboratories.
  • Display knowledge of the theory and critical understanding of the use of the major analytical techniques employed within the clinical bioinformatics disciplines.
  • Exhibit knowledge of the scientific basis and practice of clinical bioinformatics, and a critical understanding the role the discipline plays in the investigation, diagnosis and management of disease.
  • To systematically and critically employ the knowledge and understanding obtained during the taught component of the programme to address an original research question through the design and undertaking of a comprehensive research project and production of a dissertation.

Intellectual Skills

At the end of the programme students should be able to:

  • Critically reflect on and challenge their own practice, the practice of others and the organisation and delivery of clinical bioinformatics services in order to ensure use of appropriate values and best evidence in delivering patient care and management.
  • Appraise and interpret information from different sources in order to develop a coherent critical analysis of issues relating to the practice and delivery of clinical bioinformatics services.
  • Systematically and objectively evaluate what bioinformatics data need to be established to develop a valid diagnosis of a patient displaying specific clinical symptoms.
  • Critically evaluate the performance of new informatics technologies in the context of the specific requirements of the health service.
  • Critically analyse and objectively evaluate data from different analytical and diagnostic platforms.
  • Interpret biomedical data and then systematically develop a clinical diagnosis and clear therapeutic strategy.
  • To synthesis, analyse and systematically combine information obtained from different sources to develop a defined original research question and then to address it through the development of a coherent research project.
  • Interpretation and statistical interrogation of scientific data leading to the generation of valid and defensible scientific conclusions.

Practical Skills

Students should be able to:

  • Communicate effectively with colleagues within the genetics laboratories and other clinicians in other departments through the presentation of oral and written reports
  • Collect, collate and record scientific data according to established health service practices
  • formulate appropriate analytical strategies to integrate clinical genetics.
  • Contribute to the advancement of effective and timely patient diagnosis through a knowledge and understanding of the multidisciplinary environment of the genetics service within the modern health service.
  • Utilise appropriate theoretical frameworks and evidence-based constructs to formulate proposals to advance clinical science practice that are responsive to the diverse needs of service users and carers.
  • Contribute to the strategies for practice development and change at both a team and organisational level to enhance access to and effectiveness of clinical science services. Design a scientifically valid experimental strategy to address a specific research question relevant to modern clinical science practice.
  • Produce a cogent dissertation that contains a critical analysis and evaluation of data generated during research project, and a concise and scientifically valid interpretation of the experimental findings.

Transferable Skills and Personal Qualities

On completion of the programme students should be able to:

  • Communicate effectively in a variety of settings with a range of individuals.
  • Effectively utilise information technology/health informatics.
  • Demonstrate research and enquiry skills by accessing and analysing literature in order to inform and develop practice.
  • Work co-operatively and effectively with others as a member of a team.
  • Reflect on their own academic and clinical performance and employ strategies to improve these.
  • Use logical and systematic approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.

Programme Specific Induction

The Programme Specific Induction will be held online. You will receive details of how to access a short online introduction to the course which you should complete before a live induction session which will take place from 09:00-11:00 on 4th October 2021.

MAHSE induction

A recorded introduction to MAHSE  will be made available online prior to 4th October 2021: this should be undertaken before the live Programme Specific Induction session. The first  session of the Professional Practice module, ‘Introduction to Professional Practice module’, will be held online starting at 11:30 on 4th October.

Programme Structure and Credit Requirements

The MSc Clinical Sciences (Clinical Bioinformatics) programme consists of 120 credit taught component and a 60 credit research project. The structure of the programme is illustrated in Table 1.

Year 1 Year 2 Year 3
Professional Practice (15)* Research Methods ( ALL)
Clinical Bioinformatics (15)* Genomics Pathway Genomics Pathway
Health Informatics (10)* IT for Advanced Bioinformatic Applications(10)
Applying ICT (10)* Advanced Clinical Bioinformatics (15) Whole Systems Molecular Medicine (10)
Computing for Bio and Physical Science (10)* Research Project (30) Research Project (30)
Programming (15)
Next Generation Sequencing (10) Health Informatics Pathway Health Informatics Pathway
Personal Health Informatics (15) (delivered at UCL) Health Information Systems & Technologies (15)
Essentials of Informatics for Healthcare Systems (15) (delivered at UCL) Standards and Interoperability (15)
Research Project (30) Research Project (30)
Physical Sciences Pathway Physical Sciences Pathway
Clinical and Scientific Computing (30) Clinical and Scientific Computing (30)
Research Project (30) Research Project (30)
Year 2 and 3 delivered at the University of Liverpool


*The starred units within year 1 of the programme are compulsory and will be taken by all students registered on the MSc Clinical Sciences (Bioinformatics).

Course Units

Professional Practice and Introduction to Healthcare Sciences (15 credits)

This five day unit will provide students with an introduction to professional practice within a health service setting. The unit will introduce and critically review the frameworks and academic literature underpinning professional practice and enable trainees to gain the knowledge, skills, experience and tools to develop, improve and maintain high standards of professional practice at all times. It will also provide an overview of key areas such as public health, the psychosocial aspects of health and disease, clinical pharmacology and therapeutics and bioinformatics.

Clinical Bioinformatics 1 (15 credits)

This introductory module will provide trainees with a basic knowledge and understanding of the organization, structure and function of the human body, and the biochemical and

physiological basis of common disease processes. It will also provide trainees with background knowledge of genetics and a knowledge and understanding of bioinformatics tools and infrastructure. In particular it will show how bioinformatics strategies can be used and applied to genomic and genetic data to generate information and knowledge that contributes to patient care and care pathways within a clinical setting. It will also introduce the ethical and governance framework appropriate for working with patient data in an NHS setting.

Clinical Bioinformatics 2 (30 credits)

The unit is divided into three modules, each of 10 credits, to match the requirements of the STP curriculum. Each module covers a distinct element of Clinical Bioinformatics: 1) Introduction to Health Informatics; 2) Fundamentals of Computing for Bioinformatics and Physical Sciences; 3) Applying ICT in the Clinical Environment.

Introduction to Health Informatics (10 credits)

This module will provide trainees with the basic informatics knowledge and an understanding of the skills and tools needed by all professionals in modern healthcare systems to provide safe, secure, high quality, effective patient-centred services. Learning will be developed and applied in the work based training, and contextualised to patient care and patient safety.

Computing for Clinical Scientists (10 credits)

Modern healthcare generates large amounts of data – data which must be managed and shared effectively. In many cases this will involve staff working with database systems, and interacting with internal or external computer scientists/software engineers to commission appropriate data management tools. In this module, trainees will be introduced to the fundamental aspects of computer science needed to support data management. They will also be introduced to the principles of modern software engineering processes such that they can better engage with and support software development within the NHS.

Applying ICT in the Clinical Environment (10 credits)

This module introduces the trainee to the application of ICT in the Clinical Environment. . This may include the interconnection of critical patient safety computer systems, networks planning, imaging, controlling and verifying radiotherapy treatments, and the development of novel image and signal processing applications.

Discipline Specific Taught Units (60 credits)

This section of the programme permits a student to specialise in the Genomics, Health Informatics or Medical Physics pathways of the Clinical Bioinformatics STP.

Specialism: Genomics: Year 1

Programming (15 credits)

Bioinformatics and physical science in medicine are fast moving areas. It is often the case that specific tools and resources that would be useful in a clinical setting are not available commercially. Therefore the ability to be able to develop safe and effective code for he use within the trainee’s organisation is an important part of the skill set of an effective information scientist. This module will provide trainees with a sound introduction to programming and safe and effective software development practice.

Applied Clinical Bioinformatics (30 credits – 10 credits Applied Next Generation Sequencing taken in year 1 and 20 credits taken in year 3) 

The unit is divided into three modules, each of 1- credits to match the requirements of the STP curriculum. Each module covers a distinct element of Clinical Bioinformatics: 1) Applied Next Generation Sequencing; 2) IT for Advanced Bioinformatics Applications; 3) Whole Systems Molecular Medicine. The latter two modules are undertake in year 3.

Applied Next Generation Sequencing (10 credits) 

This module will develop the trainees’ understanding of genome technology. It will also give them an understanding of the techniques required in order to follow best practice in assembling genomic data from the current version of these technologies, and will provide trainees with tools and strategies for converting these data into clinically useful information. A strong emphasis will be placed on understanding the ethical and data governance challenges faced by  this new – and very personal – data.

Specialism: Genomics: Year 2

Advanced Clinical Bioinformatics (15 credits)

Advances in genomics are leading to a better understanding of genetic variation and the role that such variation plays in human health and disease. Such insights are important in predicting inherited disease risks, understanding and classifying cancer, predicting individuals’ responses to drug treatment, and in better understanding the spread of drug resistant pathogens. This module will develop the trainee’s fundamental understanding of knowledge of the wide range of tools and resources that are used in bioinformatics to capture this knowledge, and how such tools are used by clinical scientists to support patient centred care, diagnosis and treatment. A strong emphasis will be placed on ethical and confidentiality issues with such sensitive data.


Specialism: Genomics Year 3

Applied Clinical Bioinformatics (30 credits)

The unit is divided into three modules, each of 10 credits, to match the requirements of the STP curriculum. Each module covers a distinct element of Clinical Bioinformatics: 1) Applied Next Generation Sequencing, taken in year 1 and described above; 2) IT for Advanced Bioinformatics Applications; 3) Whole Systems Molecular Medicine.

IT for Advanced Bioinformatics Applications (10 credits)

The volume of data being generated by new functional genomics and next generation sequencing methodologies is unprecedented in medicine. The challenges of being able to capture and integrate this data effectively such that it can be used effectively require solutions beyond those that have typically been used in clinical medicine. In this module the trainees will be introduced to modern computational methodologies for handling and integrating large data. They will develop a good understanding of data description standards (through ontologies) and data federation methodologies. Workflow systems will be introduced as tools for industrial scale bioinformatics analyses – as well as a discussion of cloud based computer solutions for extending the compute resource available within the NHS. A strong focus will be placed on the ethical and governance issues raised by using such technologies within an NHS setting.

Whole Systems Molecular Medicine (10 credits)

It is becoming increasingly clear that diseases and disease processes are complex, involving many interactions within the genome, across metabolic pathways and between the individual and the environment. Such considerations are important if the consequences of variations observed within an individual’s genome are to be assessed effectively. Rapid advancements in areas such as functional genomics and systems biology are now providing new insights into such processes. However accessing these methodologies requires the use mathematical techniques that have not been traditionally used within genetic medicine. This module will develop and strengthen the trainee’s mathematical and modelling skills and introduce them to functional genomics and systems biology strategies and the ways in which they can be applied in medicine for improved patient care.

Research Project and Dissertation (60 credits)

The research project permits students to develop and refine core research and transferable skills in addition to expanding their knowledge and understanding of Clinical Bioinformatics.

The research project will be started during the summer of year 2 (i.e. after completion of the year 2 subject specific units). It will run through the summer and be completed in semester

1 of year 3. The project can be undertaken full-time over 8-10 weeks or a part-time over an extended period. The programme expects employers to allow students sufficient “protected” time to complete their projects within the time frame outlined above. If a student is having difficulties they should immediately contact their Academic Project Advisor or the Programme Director. For further information, please see the Programme Dissertation Handbook.

At the end of the research project the trainees will have to produce a dissertation. An online notice of submission form should be completed 6 weeks prior to the date of submission. One copy of the dissertation should be submitted through Turnitin. Guidance for presentation of Taught Masters Dissertations is provided below.

You should expect some help from your project supervisor in writing the report and from your academic project advisor. Obviously, the extent of this help may be reflected in the final mark, but as a rule your project supervisor will be expected to read and comment on an outline and final draft of the report. Trainees should however provide supervisors with adequate notice when submitting their draft report since they have many calls on their time. Trainees will find that it helps to prepare figures and to work on aspects of their reports throughout the research project, rather than leaving it until the end.

It is important to remember that one of the dissertation markers will not be familiar with the project. It is therefore important to provide a clear and concise dissertation. Given that projects will vary in the number and size of figures/images, the fairest and most consistent method to standardise the length is to impose a word limit.

Specialism: Health Informatics Science

In years 2 and 3 of the Health Informatics Specialism students will undertake modules within the MSc in Health Informatics (jointly awarded by UCL and The University of Manchester). Details of the course can be found here.

Year 2: Students will undertake two units at UCL. Follow these links for more details:

Year 3: Students will undertake two units at UoM. Follow these links for more details:

Year 2 and 3: Research Project (Health Informatics Science)

The overall aim of this module, building on the Research Methods module, is for the trainee to undertake a research project that shows originality in the application of knowledge, together with a practical understanding of how established techniques of research and enquiry are used to create and interpret knowledge in a specialism of healthcare science.

The research project may span scientific or clinical research, translational research, operational and policy research, clinical education research, innovation, service development, service improvement, or supporting professional service users to meet the expected learning outcomes. Research projects should be designed to take into account the research training required by individual trainees and the needs of the department in which the research is to be conducted.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of this module the trainee will be able to:

  • Discuss the stages of the research and innovation process from conceptualisation to dissemination and, if appropriate, translation into practice.
  • Describe the purpose and importance of different kinds of research, including scientific or clinical research, translational research, operational and policy research, clinical education research, innovation, service development, service improvement and supporting professional service users, and relate these to the roles undertaken by Clinical Scientists in the trainee’s specialism.
  • Discuss and evaluate the use of reference manager systems.
  • Justify the rationale for research governance and ethical frameworks when undertaking research or innovation in the NHS.
  • Describe the process and requirements for publication in a peer-reviewed journal and the current system of grading research publications.

Learning Outcomes: Practical Skills

On successful completion of this module the trainee will:

  • Design, plan and undertake a research project to test a hypothesis from conception to completion/archiving in accordance with ethical and research governance regulations, drawing on expert advice where necessary and involving patients and service users.
  • Analyse the data using appropriate methods and statistical techniques, and interpret, critically discuss and draw conclusions from the data.
  • Prepare a written project that describes and critically evaluates the research project, clearly identifying the strengths and weaknesses.
  • Present a summary of the research project and outcome that conforms to the format of a typical scientific presentation at a national or international scientific meeting, responding to questions appropriately.
  • Prepare a summary of the research project suitable for non-specialist and lay audiences.

Indicative Content:

  • Critical evaluation of the literature/evidence base Reference management
  • Identification of a research question
  • Research ethics and regulatory requirements, including issues related to access and use of information
  • Data protection and confidentiality guidelines
  • Patient safety
  • Patient consent
  • Sources of funding/grants Peer review/expert advice
  • Possible risks and balancing risk versus benefit
  • Project management techniques and tools
  • Roles and responsibilities of those involved in the research
  • Monitoring and reporting
  • Data analysis
  • Data interpretation
  • Criteria/metric for assessing and grading research data and publications in the scientific, NHS and HE sectors
  • Range of formats and modes of presentation of data
  • Requirements for publications submitted to scientific, education and similar journals
  • Current conventions with respect to bibliography and referencing of information

Specialism: Physical Sciences

Year 2: Clinical and Scientific Computing for the Physical Sciences 1

This module provides the trainee with the knowledge that underpins the specialist modules for the Physical Sciences and gives the trainee the tools to undertake work based learning.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of this module the trainee will be able to:

  • Describe the use of software engineering techniques on projects in the workplace.
  • Explain and critically justify the need to apply engineering design principles to novel clinical measurement and software design solutions.
  • Explain the use of project management methodologies in developing novel clinical measurement and software design projects.
  • Discuss and evaluate the project life cycle, including specification, design, implementation, validation and verification in the context of a novel software design solution.

Indicative Content:

  • Software engineering
  • The importance of engineering discipline in developing software
  • Operating systems
  • Overview of process models and their importance
  • Comparison of process models
  • System design methods
  • Structured development methods (e.g. Waterfall, Agile)

The software development cycle, including:

  • Requirements
  • Specification
  • Design
  • Implementation
  • Language selection
  • Software coding and coding management
  • Procedural, object-oriented and functional programming
  • Real-time system programming
  • Embedded system programming
  • Validation and verification

Software development

Strategies for web development, including:

  • Hosting
  • Programming for the web with reference to current standards and programming tools, including:
  • Web programming
  • Forms and data
  • Limiting access
  • Developing dynamic content
  • Interfacing with a database
  • Security and privacy
  • Public and private key encryption

Software quality assurance

  • Configuration management and change control
  • Software tools
  • Standards
  • Documentation

Safety cases

  • The purpose of a safety case
  • The structure of a safety case, to include:
    1. claims
    2. reliability and availability
    3. security
    4. functional correctness
    5. time response
    6. maintainability and modifiability
    7. usability
    8. fail-safety
    9. accuracy
    10. evidence
    11. design
    12. development documentation
    13. simulation experience
    14. previous field experience
    15. argument
    16. deterministic
    17. probabilistic
    18. qualitative
    19. inference
  • Implementation of a safety case Design for assessment
  • The safety case life cycle
  • The contents of a safety case

Specialism: Physical Sciences

Year 3: Clinical and Scientific Computing for Physical Sciences 2

This module provides the trainee with the knowledge that underpins the specialist rotations in the work based learning programme.

Learning Outcomes: Knowledge and Understanding

On successful completion of this module the trainee will be able to:

  • Develop web-based solutions in a complex networking environment. Use a range of complex software techniques to solve clinical problems.
  • Discuss and evaluate the range of issues encountered in the development of novel software engineering solutions in medicine.
  • Critically evaluate computer models for biological systems.

Work Based Learning Outcomes

Work based learning outcomes for this Scientist Training Programme include the following. Further details can be found in the accompanying Work Based Learning Guides:

  • Module 1 (DD-1) The Project Life Cycle
  • Module 2 (DD-2) Advanced Information and communications Technology
  • Skills Module 3 (DD-3) Database Management, Data Mining and Modelling

The Project Life Cycle (DD-1)

Learning Outcomes: Associated Work Based Learning

This is a high-level description of the work based learning that accompanies this academic module. Further details of the work based programme can be found in the Work Based Learning Guide, including the Clinical Experiential Learning, Competences, and Applied Knowledge and Understanding.

On successful completion of this module the trainee will be able to:

  • Manage an innovation and development project within the context of a formal project management methodology.
  • Agree the clinical need with other scientists, clinicians, patients and/or service users. Evaluate the current state of the art and limitations of existing solutions.
  • Develop a specification of requirements.
  • Develop, critically evaluate and deliver novel solutions for clinical measurement and information and communications technology (ICT) through the full project life cycle.

Advanced Information and Communications Technology Skills (DD-2)

Learning Outcomes: Associated Work Based Learning

This is a high-level description of the work based learning that accompanies this academic module. Further details of the work based programme can be found in the Work Based Learning Guide, including the Clinical Experiential Learning, Competences, and Applied Knowledge and Understanding.

On successful completion of this module the trainee will be able to:

  • Configure ICT hardware, software and network components, applying relevant safety standards and configuration control.
  • Implement server-based applications, ensuring appropriate security, protective measures and routine housekeeping tasks.
  • Implement a novel application in the clinical environment in a controlled fashion.
  • Develop a software solution to a described problem using an appropriate high-level language.
  • Understand ICT standards applied to healthcare.

Database management, data mining and modelling (DD-3)

Learning Outcomes: Associated Work Based Learning

This is a high-level description of the work based learning that accompanies this academic module. Further details of the work based programme can be found in the Work Based Learning Guide, including the Clinical Experiential Learning, Competences, and Applied Knowledge and Understanding.

On successful completion of this module the trainee will be able to:

  • Develop a database structure to meet a clinical need.
  • Implement SQL and data mining strategies on large data set.
  • Summarise and present data from large data sets.
  • Develop models for biological systems, e.g. compartmental modelling in nuclear medicine.

Indicative Content:

  • Project management
  • Risk management
  • Team management (personnel and technical)
  • Project planning (resource and technical)
  • Education and training
  • Cost estimation
  • Project scheduling
  • Hosting environments
  • Storage services
  • Backup, Archiving, Business Continuity & Disaster Recovery
  • Server virtualisation
  • Cloud computing
  • Web services (SOAP & REST)
  • Security and governance for cloud services


Local and wide area networking, including:

  • Available architectures
  • Performance issues
  • Scalability
  • Bridging versus routing
  • Cabling infrastructure
  • Hubs
  • Traffic management
  • Data Exchange Protocols
  • Data exchange standards – Digital Imaging and Communications in Medicine (DICOM) and Healthcare Level 7 (HL7)
  • Links to hospital administration systems

Software techniques

  • Neural networks and their applications
  • Artificial intelligence and expert systems
  • Image processing software, including image reconstruction and registration
  • Finite element analysis
  • Genetic algorithms

Database management and data mining

  • The relational model of data
  • Implementation of relational databases
  • Advanced SQL programming
  • Query optimisation
  • Concurrency control and transaction management
  • Database performance tuning
  • Distributed relational systems and data replication
  • Columnstore/data warehousing database engines
  • Document-oriented databases (e.g. Lucene)
  • Security considerations
  • Data mining
  • Large data set methodologies
  • Database standards and standards for interoperability and integration
  • Data analysis and presentation

Modelling biological systems

  • Analysis of DNA, protein, biological diversity and molecular interaction data
  • Use of bioinformatics and systems biology databases
  • Data sources and data synthesis
  • Detailed knowledge and understanding of algorithms in bioinformatics and theoretical systems biology
  • Monte-Carlo modelling
  • Compartmental modelling

Student Progression

For operational and administrative purposes the MSc is divided into three parts.

  • Part 1: Year 1 Core taught units + first examiners meeting
  • Part 2: Year 2 Taught units + interim examiners meeting
  • Part 3: Year 3 Taught units and Research Project + final examiners meeting

Students who wish to leave the Programme may do so at the end of year 1 (i.e. after core taught units) with a Postgraduate Certificate in Clinical Science, or after completion of year 2 with a Postgraduate Diploma in Clinical Science. The award of a Certificate or Diploma is dependent on the student obtaining an average of at least 50% for the units taken (see below).

The First Examiners’ Meeting (Year 1)

The MSc Programme has External Examiners appointed, who advises the Faculty regarding the quality of the MSc Programme and its management, as well as providing advice on the quality of the assessment procedures and fairness of the decisions made about individual students. The External Examiners will be sent the assessments from the taught units and the research project dissertations. The major purpose of the First Examiners’ Meeting (held in June/July) is to ratify the provisional marks from the core taught modules and to decide which students should be allowed to progress to Part 2 of the MSc Programme (see below for details) and to determine which students should progress onto the research project. Students must have passed all taught units at Masters level i.e. achieved a mark of at least 50% (including any units passed by referral, within the referral allowance defined by the Postgraduate taught degree regulations) to be able to progress to the research project. Students who do not meet the criteria to remain on the Masters pathway will be considered for any applicable alternative award (e.g. PG Certificate). This meeting also provides the examiners with an opportunity to review students’ feedback on the course.

Interim Examiners Meeting (Year 2)

A second examiners meeting is held to ratify the provisional marks from the Year 2 taught units and to determine which students should progress onto the research project. The Health Informatics pathway also is covered by a Subject Specific Examiner.

Final Examiners Meeting (Year 3)

A final examiners meeting is held in year 3 to review the progress of each student. The marks from the research project dissertation will be combined with the taught unit marks to provide a final weighted average percentage score. The panel will then recommend the classification to be awarded to each student.

Deadlines for Assessed Work

The deadline for any piece of assessed work is usually 16:00 on the due date. Please refer to course timetables for any due dates you may have.



All students at dissertation level are allocated a Supervisor. Briefly, the responsibilities of the Supervisor include: giving guidance about the nature of research and the standard expected; the planning of the research programme; and pointing the Student towards relevant literature and other sources of information.

The relationship between the Student and their Supervisor is of central importance. Both the Student and the Supervisor have a responsibility to ensure that the dissertation is completed within the prescribed period of the programme. Supervisors and students should establish at their initial meeting clear and explicit expectations of each other in order to minimise the risks and problems of misunderstanding, inadequate supervision and unsatisfactory work.

Progress monitoring meetings must be closely documented. It should be noted that in some instances students may be jointly supervised by staff, and be assigned a principal and second supervisor.

If you have any queries or concerns at any time during your period of study, there is a range of people you can approach:

  • The Programme Administration Team
  • Postgraduate Taught Education Support Manager
  • Your Supervisor
  • Programme Directors
  • Postgraduate Taught Director

Recording Lectures

Please do not assume you can record lectures with a voice recorder or similar device. If you wish to record a lecture or other teaching session, ensure you obtain the prior permission of the lecturer. You may not share any recordings with any other person (including by electronic media) without first being given specific permission by the lecturer.


Programme Management

The programme is managed and operated in accordance with the policies, principles, regulations and procedures of The University of Manchester.

The Programme Directors, have day-to-day responsibility for the management of the programmes and are assisted by the Programme Administration Team.

Programme Committee

The Programme Committee meet 3 times a year. The committee’s functions and responsibilities are to maintain the standards of teaching, to evaluate and revise the programme in the light of feedback, to monitor student progression and to provide a forum for discussion between the University and the students.

The Programme Committee reviews the annual monitoring report and acts on recommendations arising from the annual monitoring process.

The membership of the Programme Committee includes: the Programme Directors; the Programme Administration Team; Teaching Staff and Student Representatives.

The Programme Committee report to the Consortium and School PGT Committee.

External Examiner

The External Examiners for this programme are Dr Damian Smedley, Senior Lecturer at Queen Mary University of London and Professor Sinead Brophy at Swansea University.

Please note that it is for information only and it is inappropriate for students to make direct contact with External Examiners under any circumstances, in particular with regards to a student’s individual performance in assessments. Other appropriate mechanisms are available for students, including the University’s appeals or complaints procedures and the UMSU Advice Centre. In cases where a student does contact an External Examiner directly, External Examiners have been requested not to respond to direct queries. Instead, External Examiners should report the matter to their School contact who will then contact the student to remind them of the other methods available for students. If students have any queries concerning this, they should contact their Programme Administrator in the first instance.

The role of the External Examiner

External Examiners are individuals from another institution or organisation who monitor the assessment processes of the University to ensure fairness and academic standards. They ensure that assessment and examination procedures have been fairly and properly implemented and that decisions have been made after appropriate deliberation. They also ensure that standards of awards and levels of student performance are at least comparable with those in equivalent higher education institutions.

External Examiners’ reports

External Examiners’ reports relating to this programme will be shared with student representatives and details of any actions carried out by the programme team/School in response to the External Examiners’ comments will be discussed. Students should contact their student representatives if they require any further information about External Examiners’ reports or the process for considering them.


Confidentiality, Professionalism and Information Sharing Agreement

Information in relation to a student’s academic progression will be shared amongst relevant parties in compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation and Data Protection Act 2018 and in conjunction with contractual obligations between the parties. Relevant parties could include but not limited to education providers as part of the programme, funding bodies and accreditation bodies.


Progress and Assessment


Deadlines for Assessed Work

All assessed work must be handed in at the prescribed time. Dates will be published in advance of the deadline. We recommend that you transfer these dates to your diaries as soon as they are published.

Assignment Word Count (Including Dissertation)

In accordance with the University Policy on Marking:

Each written assignment has a word limit which you must state at the top of your first page. It is acceptable, without penalty, for you to submit an assignment within a range that is plus 10% of this limit. If you present an assignment with a word count exceeding the specified limit+10%, the assignment will be marked but 1% will be deducted from this mark for every 100 words over the limit given.

For an original word limit that is 1000 words and an assignment that is marked out of 100.  If a submission is made that is 1101 words then it exceeded the 10% leeway, and is more than 100 words over the original limit and should receive a 1 mark deduction.

In accordance with accepted academic practice, when submitting any written assignment for summative assessment, the notion of a word count includes the following without exception:

  • All titles or headings that form part of the actual text. This does not include the fly page or reference list
  • All words that form the actual essay
  • All words forming the titles for figures, tables and boxes, are included but this does not include boxes or tables or figures themselves
  • All in-text (that is bracketed) references
  • All directly quoted material

Certain assessments may require different penalties for word limits to be applied. For example, if part of the requirement for the assessment is conciseness of presentation of facts and arguments. In such cases it may be that no 10% leeway is allowed and penalties applied may be stricter than described above. In such cases the rules for word count limits and the penalties to be applied will be clearly stated in the assessment brief and in the submission details for that assessment.

Submitting your work

All assignments must be submitted electronically. The published deadlines for assessments all relate to the electronic submission which is completed via Blackboard, using the Turnitin system in the majority of cases. You must submit by the deadline advertised in your timetable/assessment handbook.

  • Submitting an electronic copy of the work
  • Log onto Blackboard via My Manchester
  • Click on the relevant course unit
  • Go to assessment folder
  • Upload your assignment via the Turnitin process


The University uses electronic systems for the purposes of detecting plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice and for marking. Such systems include Turnitin, the plagiarism detection service used by the University.

The School also reserves the right to submit work handed in by you for formative or summative assessment to Turnitin and/or other electronic systems used by the University.

Please note that when work is submitted to the relevant electronic systems, it may be copied and then stored in a database to allow appropriate checks to be made.

Please note that you can only upload one document so you cannot save your references/appendices as a separate document.


Guidance for Presentation of Taught Masters Dissertations

The University of Manchester guidance on presentation of taught Masters Dissertations is available at:
Guidance for the presentation of Taught Masters dissertations

The guidance explains the required presentation of the dissertation, and failure to follow the instructions in the guidance may result in the dissertation being rejected by the examiners.

There is more information on taught masters dissertation requirements on Blackboard: 


Extensions to Assignment Deadlines

On rare occasions students may need to request an extension to a coursework deadline due to circumstances beyond their control. If you need to request an extension to your assignment submission deadline then you must submit an extension request form which must be accompanied by supporting evidence (medical letters, certificates or other appropriate evidence). The supporting evidence must justify the length of the requested extension.

The extension request form is available via the Student Support Team (

The form should be submitted as soon as possible before the coursework deadline and should be submitted to the Student Support Team.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your request has been received.

You will be notified of the outcome of your request via email as soon as possible. Please note that an extension to a deadline is classed as mitigation. Mitigation can only be applied once to a piece of work. i.e. you cannot have an deadline extension and also apply for mitigation for poor performance due to the same circumstances.


Late Submission Penalty (Including Dissertation)

Work submitted after the deadline without prior approval will be subject to a late penalty in accordance with the University Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes.  The penalty applied is 10% of available marks deducted per day/24 hours (from the time of the original or extended deadline), until the assignment is submitted or no marks remain.

Penalties for late submission relate to 24 hours/calendar days, so include weekends and weekdays, as well as bank holidays and University closure days.

The mark awarded for the piece of work will be reduced by:
10% of the available marks deducted if up to 24 hours (1 day) late
20% of the available marks deducted if up to 48 hours (2 days) late
30% of the available marks deducted if up to 72 hours (3 days) late
40% of the available marks deducted if up to 96 hours (4 days) late
50% of the available marks deducted if up to 120 hours (5 days) late
60% of the available marks deducted if up to 144 hours (6 days) late
70% of the available marks deducted if up to 168 hours (7 days) late
80% of the available marks deducted if up to 192 hours (8 days) late
90% of the available marks deducted if up to 216 hours (9 days) late
100% of the available marks deducted if up to 240 hours (10 days) late

If the assessment is submitted within 10 days of the deadline the assessment should be marked and feedback to the student provided. If this mark before the penalty is applied reaches the appropriate pass mark but the applied penalty results in a fail of the assessment, the student should not be required to resit the assessment as the original mark can be taken as the resit mark. Further information and examples can be found in the Policy and associated Guidance documents.

For work submitted more than 10 days late, it is regarded as a non-submission and need not be marked. In this case a mark of zero will be awarded and normal resit regulations will apply.

The sliding scale should only be applied to first-sit submissions. For all referred (resit) assessment, any late submission will automatically receive a mark of zero.

For further information:

Guidance on Late Submission

Policy on the Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes


Academic Malpractice

Academic malpractice is any activity – intentional or otherwise – that is likely to undermine the integrity essential to scholarship and research. It includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results, and anything else that could result in unearned or undeserved credit for those committing it. Academic malpractice can result from a deliberate act of cheating or may be committed unintentionally. Whether intended or not, all incidents of academic malpractice will be treated seriously by the University.

The procedures and penalties for dealing with academic malpractice are covered by the same regulation as apply to Conduct and Disciple of Students (Regulation XVII).

You are responsible for ensuring that you understand what academic malpractice is, and how to avoid committing it. If you are unsure, ask your lecturer or academic advisor.

As further support for students, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has developed an Introductory Course. This unit must be completed by all postgraduate taught students and will allow you to test your understanding of what constitutes plagiarism and academic malpractice. You can access the resource via Blackboard. Log in to My Manchester and click on the Blackboard tab. The online resource will be listed under the My Communities heading. The module should be completed as soon as possible after you begin your programmes, but must be completed before you submit your first piece of academic work for assessment.


Feedback for Assessments

The purpose of feedback is to provide constructive comments so that you can improve the standard of your work. Thus, in addition to marks you will receive written feedback on most of your assessed coursework.

Marks awarded for your assessments (i.e. everything which contributes to your final degree classification) are subject to ratification by the examination board and the external examiner at the awarding examination meeting. Consequently all marks given before the final examiners’ meeting has taken place must be regarded as provisional. Shortly after the examinations meetings we will publish results and a breakdown of your marks. These will remain provisional until after the final examination board has met.

The marking process involves several steps to ensure appropriate academic consideration and quality assurance processes have been adhered to. Students will be notified by email once the work has been marked and grades are available. We will endeavour to mark work and give feedback to students 15 working days after the hand-in date. However, occasionally there may be delays as a result of staff illness or other unforeseeable factors. In these circumstances, you will be kept informed of this.

Following graduation you may obtain a detailed official written account of all your examination results (called a transcript) from the Student Services Centre on payment of a small fee. This carries the University stamp and is recognised for such purposes as admission to a further course of study at another institution, membership of professional bodies, exemption from sections of professional examinations etc. If you need an official transcript, contact the SSC on 0161 275 5000.

Unofficial transcripts can be provided by the PGT Assessments Team.


How To Find Your Marks

Once work has been marked and moderated you will receive an email from the Assessment Team to tell you that the marks have been released. Work submitted via Blackboard will usually show a mark along with feedback on the Blackboard system.

You can also access marks by logging into your My Manchester account and going to My Services/Self Service and Student Centre. You can choose ‘Assignments’ from the drop down box and choose the relevant unit. Your Final mark for the unit does not appear until the unit is fully completed and marks have been through an exam board.



Examinations may be scheduled at any point during the academic year. The Assessments Team will provide you with details on when examinations will be scheduled. Please be aware that you may be tested on any topic from within a unit. Do not presume that because a piece of coursework has covered one area of a unit that it will not also appear in the exam. More details will be provided by the individual unit leads. Past papers for some units (where appropriate) are available online:

Do not assume that exams will take the same format as previous years. Academic staff should not indicate what will/ will not feature in an exam as this may not be accurate. Staff may have submitted questions that may not, necessarily, appear on the final exam paper. You should presume that anything can appear on the exam paper unless informed officially by the Assessments Team or Programme Directors.

Students are expected to attend all scheduled examinations. If for any unforeseen circumstances you experience any issues in attending, you must report this to the Programme Administration Team/Programme Director who may recommend that you submit a Mitigating Circumstances application.

Student Representation and Feedback


Election of Student Representative

At the beginning of the year you will be asked to elect a student representative. The student representative will be invited to attend the Programme Committees for parts of the meeting that do not involve discussion of individual students and the assessments. The student representative should make students’ views known to the programme management. In addition, they should report any relevant information back to the students.


Feedback from/to students

The University has a Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students in relation to the timely provision of feedback for academic progression.

Students will also have the opportunity to feedback their thoughts on the programme via a series of anonymous evaluation forms. Student feedback questionnaires will be made available via the Module Leads at the end of each module. The information will then be collated to assess the performance level of the programme. It is expected that every student will complete these forms. These feedback questionnaires are produced by the programme and allow students to comment on specific aspects of the organisation and delivery of the taught modules. The information obtained is collated and discussed during the next Programme Committee meeting. The quality of teaching on the programme is monitored in part by student feedback. Thus it is very important that you make your views, good and bad, known.

At the end of each semester, you will be asked to complete an anonymous University generated online evaluation form. This is known as a Unit Survey and will address more general issues with the information obtained being used to inform the teaching strategy of the Faculty/University. You will also receive a Postgraduate Taught Unit Survey form at the end of the semester. Again all students are expected to complete these surveys.

University Regulations

Postgraduate Degree Regulations and exemptions

Please be aware this programme has some higher requirements to the University degree regulations and details of these are outlined below:

  • The programme employs a 50% pass rate across all pathways
  • This programme will not apply compensation rules to any course unit
  • As per professional body requirements resit pass marks will be recorded on the transcripts as 50R. However the actual awarded mark as described in the ‘Reassessment’ section above (i.e. 40-49R) will be used to calculate the overall weighted average and degree classification

The University Postgraduate degree regulations can be found online:

In order to progress to the dissertation/research project you must have satisfactorily achieved the relevant pass mark in taught course units, including by use of resit and/or compensation as outlined in the degree regulations, in order to continue to this element of the programme.

Ethics Procedures

The nature of your programme and/or project work may require ethical approval.

It is your responsibility to ensure that you have followed the correct ethical procedures, and that you have done this in good time.

Speak to your Supervisor or Programme Director at the earliest opportunity to ascertain whether ethical approval is required.


Student Support and Guidance

Academic Appeals, Complaints, Conduct and Discipline

Academic Appeals

Student Complaints

  • The University’s Student Complaints Procedure (Regulation XVIII) and associated documents, including a complaints form, can be found at
  • The University has separate procedures to address complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination and/or victimisation - see
  • Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first (see the procedure). Formal complaints should be submitted on the relevant form to Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail:

Conduct and Discipline of Students

The University Library has produced online resources to help students in avoiding plagiarism and academic malpractice at:

Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first. Students can submit complaints to the Head of Teaching, Learning & Student Experience, Kerry Mycock (, for the School to respond to.


Mitigating Circumstances

Grounds for mitigation are unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances that could have, or did have, a significant adverse effect on the academic performance of a student. Possible mitigating circumstances include:

  • significant illness or injury;
  • the death or critical/significant illness of a close family member/dependant;
  • significant family crises or major financial problems leading to acute stress; and
  • absence for public service e.g., jury service.

Circumstances that will not normally be regarded as grounds for mitigation include:

  • holidays, moving house and events that were planned or could reasonably have been expected;
  • assessments that are scheduled close together;
  • misreading the timetable or misunderstanding the requirements for assessments;
  • inadequate planning and time management;
  • failure, loss or theft of a computer or printer that prevents submission of work on time; students should back up work regularly and not leave completion so late that they cannot find another computer or printer;
  • consequences of paid employment (except in some special cases for part-time students);
  • exam stress or panic attacks not diagnosed as illness or supported by medical evidence; and
  • disruption in an examination room during the course of an assessment which has not been recorded by the invigilators.

If you feel there are circumstances in which you may be adversely affecting your performance on the course or in examinations, you should inform your Programme Director and/or Academic Advisor as soon as possible.

You can then complete a Mitigating circumstances form which can be sent to you by the Programme Administration Team. Requests must be accompanied by appropriate, independent, third-party supporting or collaborative documentation, which will be subject to verification.

If the information, and details of the mitigating circumstances, are considered to be highly confidential, you should submit these in a sealed envelope attached to the Notification of Mitigating Circumstances Form, together with the supporting documentary evidence. Mitigating Circumstances Panels have full regard for the confidentiality of any application they receive.

Mitigating Circumstances forms and evidence must be submitted before the release of any results deemed affected i.e. cannot be submitted once the mark and feedback for the piece of work deemed affected have been released to students. Retrospective mitigation cannot be considered without a credible and compelling reason for not being submitted earlier.

A mitigating circumstances panel will meet to discuss any requests for mitigation. The Panel will determine whether there is substantiated evidence of circumstances eligible for mitigation. It will then decide whether the circumstances will have had or could have had an adverse effect on the student's performance, and, if so, it will judge how significant the effect was likely to have been. If the Mitigating Circumstances Panel judges that the effect was or would have been significant, the mitigation request will be approved. Mitigation requests may be approved for a specific assessment or more general impairment over a number of assessments, or for both. If a mitigation request is approved, this will be noted at the Examination Board who will determine how to apply it, given the student's assessment results.

Following the Examination Board students will receive confirmation of the outcome of their mitigation request.




It is the expectation of the University that postgraduate taught students pursue their studies on a continuous basis for the stipulated duration of their programme. However, it is recognised that students may encounter personal difficulties or situations which may seriously disrupt or delay their studies. In some cases, an interruption or extension to your programme of study may be the most sensible option.

Students who wish to interrupt the programme or extend to write up the dissertation should initially discuss their plans and reasons with the Programme Director.

Students should also provide documentary evidence when appropriate, for example, doctor’s letter, sick note etc.

An application must be submitted to the Programme Director who will either support or reject the request. The form will then be submitted for consideration to the School Interruptions Panel who will make the final decision.

The forms required for formal application are available from the Student Support Team.


Students who are considering withdrawing from the programme should discuss this either with the Programme Director and, if in their dissertation year, with their research supervisor, and make the application by formal letter.

Students may liaise directly with the Programme Administration Team who will communicate this information directly to the Fees and Records Departments of the University.


Occupational Health

Occupational Health is a specialised area of medicine concerned with the way in which an individual’s health can affect his or her ability to do a job and to study and conversely how the work environment can affect an individual’s health. Their aim is to promote the physical, mental and social well-being of students and to reduce the incidence of ill-health arising from exposure to work place hazards.

The service provides confidential services to protect the health of staff and students at The University of Manchester.


Counselling Service

The counselling service is available for all students. It is free and consists of a team of professional counsellors. The service provides confidential counselling for anyone who wants help with personal problems affecting their work or well-being.

The service is open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday all year round except public holidays.


Fitness to Practise

Postgraduate students at The University of Manchester who are qualified health or social care professionals (e.g. doctor, dentist, nurse, social worker) registered by a healthcare or social care regulatory body (e.g. General Medical Council, General Dental Council, Nursing & Midwifery Council, Social Care Council) are expected to behave at all times in a way that is consistent with the recommendations or code of practice of the relevant professional regulatory body.

Postgraduate students need to be aware that in the event of misconduct, dishonesty, unprofessional behaviour, or other behaviour or illness (e.g. mental health illness) that raises the possibility that the student’s fitness to practise may be impaired; the University has a duty to protect the public and to inform the relevant professional regulatory body. This means, for example, that where a student has been found to be dishonest (e.g. plagiarism, collusion, falsification of research data or other forms of cheating) the matter may be reported by the University to the relevant professional regulatory body.

Students who are dishonest not only risk failing to be awarded the intended degree, but also place at risk their whole professional career.

Further information on Fitness to Practise related matters can be found online:

Disability Advisory and Support Service

The University of Manchester welcomes students with a disability or specific learning difficulties. The University has a Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS), who can supply further information, and staff will be pleased to meet you, by prior arrangement, to discuss your needs. Staff will liaise with your School to make the necessary arrangements for your support during your time in Manchester. The office can also provide a copy of the University's Disability Statement, 'Opportunities for Students with Additional Support Needs at the University of Manchester' which sets out the policy and provision for students with a disability.

DASS is located on the 2nd Floor of University Place (see Campus Map)

  • Email:
  • Phone 0161 275 7512; Text 07899 658 790 (only for d/Deaf students);
  • Website:
  • DASS are open from 10am to 4pm Monday to Friday


Students Union Advice Centre

The Students Union has advisors who can help with any matter ranging from finances to housing and beyond.


University Careers Service

As a postgraduate the demands on your time can seem overwhelming. The University careers service can make your life easier by offering a range of services designed to help you. Advice and support for Postgraduates include:

    • Help with CVs and applications, practice interviews and psychometric tests
    • Drop in quick query advice service
    • Personal Career consultations targeted to your needs
    • A range of postgraduate employability training opportunities
    • 24-hour access to up to date information, advice, vacancies and details of forthcoming events, including a specifically designed section for postgraduates available through our website:
    • Information on Job opportunities and vacancies through our fortnightly vacancy paper bulletins


Monitoring attendance and wellbeing of students

In order to monitor their progress, students will have regular, scheduled meetings with their academic advisor. Progress forms should be completed at these meetings. These meetings are in addition to the research project supervisory meetings between the student and supervisor, of which there should be a minimum of 10 per academic year.

Students are required to attend ALL lectures.

Attendance monitoring will take place during ALL sessions. It is your responsibility to make sure you have signed the register. Postgraduates are also expected to sit ALL examinations and coursework tests for their degree programme and to submit ALL coursework assignments by the deadline specified.

Attendance is monitored in conjunction with Regulation XX – Work and Attendance of Students.

Absences supported by medical or other appropriate information will not normally be counted towards the assessment of unsatisfactory attendance. Any absences must be supported by a Mitigating Circumstances Form and supporting evidence.


A-Z of Student Services

The A-Z of Services can be found on the My Manchester website or here.

Here you can find more information on a wide range of topics such as library services, disability support and careers advice.


IT Services and eLearning

IT Services Support Centre online

Details of what IT support is available and how to access it can be found on the FBMH eLearning Support page.
Login to the Support Centre online to log a request, book an appointment for an IT visit, or search the Knowledge Base.
Telephone: +44 (0)161 306 5544 (or extension 65544).  Telephone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In person:  Walk-up help and support is available at the Joule Library, Main Library or Alan Gilbert Learning Commons:
Use Support Centre online for support with eLearning, from where you may make a request, or search the Knowledge Base.

For IT and eLearning support visit:

Blackboard, the University's 'virtual learning environment', will be used for online teaching.

What is Blackboard?
Blackboard is a web-based system that complements and builds upon traditional learning methods used at The University of Manchester. By using Blackboard you can

  • view course materials and learning resources,
  • communicate with lectures and other students,
  • collaborate in groups,
  • get feedback
  • submit assignments
  • monitoring your own progress at a time and place of your own convenience.

Training in the use of software
The Faculty eLearning team have produced a short introduction to Blackboard for new students.  The recording is hosted in two places: the Video Portal and on YouTube:

The recording is just over seven minutes long and covers most of the commonly used tools in Blackboard.


Religious Observance

The University supports a wide range of religions and will make every effort to support students in observing their religious beliefs.

For centrally timetabled examinations, key dates are to be noted in terms of formally notifying the University on dates in which undertaking assessment will be affected by religious observance. Please contact the Student Support Team with details of any assessments and teaching that may be affected.


Religious Observance and Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan 

Policy on Religious Observance:


Library Facilities

Library facilities are available across campus including the Stopford Building.

Photocopying is available in The University of Manchester Library. It is important that you abide by the regulations concerning the copying of copyright material.

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state of the art study and learning centre in the heart of the Oxford Road campus boasting an onsite café, an impressive atrium providing a social meeting space with wifi access and flexible study spaces and environments throughout the building. The Learning Commons is open to students and staff of the University and is open 24/7 during term time.

Additional support for your studies is available through My Learning Essentials.


Online Skills Training Resource

The Faculty has developed a skills training resource to support you through your postgraduate taught programme. This online material should supplement the assessed learning material and activities undertaken in your taught programme.

Accessing the online skills resource
You can access Blackboard through the My Manchester portal ( The skills training resource is available in an academic community space available to all registered PGT students in the Faculty through Blackboard.

If you cannot see these units in your Blackboard please contact your Programme Administrator.

Full details of all these resources can be found in the introduction to each unit. These resources have been designed to give you formative feedback on your progress through them. If you experience any problems and would like to talk to someone please contact your Programme Director. If you have questions about referencing and how it applies to your own work, please contact your Programme Director or dissertation supervisor/module lead.

Research Methods* This course is spilt into 2 units that cover introductions to study design, statistics and dissertation skills. It has a number of online quizzes where you can test your knowledge.
Introduction to Statistics* The course provides a valuable foundation for understanding and interpreting biostatistics. It aims to provide you with the fundamentals of quantitative analysis.
Presentation Skills This short interactive unit is designed to help you to enhance your presentation skills. Regardless of whether you are presenting in public, preparing for conferences, an oral examination or more informal settings this unit will give you the tops tips to improve your delivery. The course also includes a unit on influencing effectively, alongside the presentation and poster information.
Qualitative Research Methods* This unit has been designed to give you an introduction to Qualitative Research.
Intellectual Property Awareness Resource This Intellectual Property (IP) awareness resource has been created in order to improve your understanding of IP. Topics include: Types of intellectual property • Copyright and IP clearance • University policy on IP • IP commercialisation • IP in research or consultancy • IP issues to be aware when dealing with academic materials

 * NOTE: the material in this online resource is for reference and formative learning purposes only. In some of your taught programme you may be required to undertake assessed course units for Research Methods, Qualitative Research or Statistics. If your programme involves taught units then you should refer to the Blackboard material relating to that course unit. Please contact your Programme Administrator if you are unsure which material relates to your assessed work. You will still be able to refer to the online skills resource in later years.


University Proofreading Statement

If a student chooses to approach another person to proofread their written work or seeks to use the services of a proofreading service or agency, they must take account of the following principles:

  • it is the responsibility of students to ensure that all work submitted is their own, and that it represents their own abilities and understanding. Any proofreading of work that is undertaken by a third party must not compromise the student’s own authorship of the work;
  • proofreading undertaken by a third party must not take the form of editing of text, such as the adding or rewriting of phrases or passages within a piece of student’s work;
  • proofreading undertaken by a third party must not change the content or meaning of the work in any way