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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 Administrator 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 Education Support Manager – 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
• Dr Sarah Herrick

PGT Education Support Manager
• Mrs Kelly Salimian

Programme Director
• Professor Tao Wang

Clinical Lead
• Georgina Hall

Programme Administrator
• Natalia Rossi

Student Representative
• To be appointed democratically


Points of contact: Peking University Health Science Center, Beijing

Academic Leads

• Professor Jingmin WANG

• Professor Yuwu JIANG

• Professor Jie DING

Programme Administrator

eLearning Expert
• Dr Guopend ZHOU

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.


Moodle 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 Moodle so it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the system as soon as possible.

    • Queries (technical related) should be directed to:
    • Queries (course content related) should be directed to: your Programme Administrator

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

Route through the programme

In order to obtain the PG certificate students must undertake the following:

  • Module 1: Introduction to Human Genetics and Genomics (15 credits)
  • Module 2: Principles and Practice of Genetic Counselling (15 credits)
  • Module 3: Genomics of Common and Rare Disease (15 credits)
  • Module 4: Workplace-based Genomic Medicine Practice (15 credits)


Course Units

BIOL69981: Fundamentals of Human Genetics

Credit rating 15
Contact hours Lectures: 7 hoursTutorials/Workshops: 54 hours
Other Scheduled teaching and learning activities* E-lectures: 9 hours
Pre-requisite units None
Co-requisite units None
School responsible School of Biological Sciences
Member of staff responsible Prof Tao Wang


This compulsory module introduces students to the molecular basis of human genetic diseases, major advances in the management and diagnosis of genetic conditions, the potential for gene and stem cell therapy, and the contemporary technologies used in modern genetic medicine.

Students will be equipped with advanced knowledge in genomic medicine, understand the application of new technologies in the diagnosis and management of genetic diseases, gain knowledge of the genetic components of cancers and common diseases, and appreciate the importance of animal models and stem cells used in the research and treatment of genetic diseases

Unit overview

Fundamentals of Human Genetics unit is a subject-specific lecture-based module in the PGCert Clinical Genetics and Genetic Counselling (International) programme. This unit will provide essential and contemporary knowledge relating to genetic science and genetic disease. The unit consists of a mixture of eLearning modules, taught lectures and tutorials. The lectures will be delivered by a range of clinical and non-clinical academic staff, many of whom are internationally recognised experts in their field.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Discuss the human genome structure and the properties of DNA
  • Evaluate genome architecture and its variation across human populations
  • Evaluate the regulation of gene expression, transcription and translation
  • Appraise and interpret variation in genome structure and sequence in the context of physiological function and disease
  • Assess epigenetic modifications and imprinting and its role in disease
  • Explain the molecular mechanisms of Mendelian disorders
  • Interpret genotype-phenotype correlations
  • Appraise the current strategies for molecular diagnosis of genetic diseases using cutting edge technologies
  • Understand the molecular mechanisms involved in the development of cancer
  • Have an overview of the current and future potential therapeutic interventions for rare disorders (for example, enzyme replacement therapy, gene therapy) and recent clinical trials for RNAi therapies such previously undruggable oncogenes
  • Understand the possible uses and limitations of new genome editing technologies
  • Be able to interpret clinical reports from molecular genetic diagnostic laboratories.

Intellectual skills

  • Apply genomic medicine to routine clinical practice, and investigate genetic conditions.Assess the appropriateness of applying new technologies to modern genomic medicine research.Critically evaluate relevant scientific literature relating to new technologies and assess their application to modern genomic medicine.Evaluate methods of investigating genetic conditions to select appropriate tests for individual patients and families.

Practical skills

  •  Calculate genetic risks for Mendelian conditions using pedigree data, including basic applications of Bayesian methods.Interpret clinical report from molecular genetic diagnostic laboratories.Correlate genetic markers to phenotype and interpret association study data for dichotomous and quantitative traits.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Evaluate the benefits and limitation of contemporary knowledge of human genetics in clinical practice.Review scientific literature.


Assessment task Length Weighting

Unseen written examination


2 hours 30 minutes


70 %

30 %

Reading list

Includes but is not limited to

  • Read, A and Donnai, D. New Clinical Genetics (3rd edition). Scion Publishing Ltd.
  • Strachan, T and Read, A. Human Molecular Genetics (4th edition). Garland Science.

BIOL69992: Principles and Practice of Genetic Counselling

Credit rating 15
Contact hours 30
Other Scheduled teaching and learning activities* Online self-assessment: 10
Pre-requisite units None
Co-requisite units None
School responsible School of Biological Sciences
Member of staff responsible Ms Georgina Hall


The aim of this module is to provide students with the knowledge and skills to communicate with patients and their families around genetic and genomic testing.

Unit overview

This is an introductory module which aims to provide participants with the knowledge and skills to communicate genomic information to patients and their families. The module will help participants develop practical skills including a genomic approach to family history taking, communicating complex genomic information, supporting decision-making around test choices, facilitating communication within families and accessing sources of support for patients. Content will be guided by a family systems approach to practice which takes account of the ethical and psychosocial impacts of genomic information.

The module will comprise three subunits,.

1. Offering a genomic test and taking consent

2. Communicating genetic risk and genomic information

3. Supporting patients and families around genomic results

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Evaluate the principles and benefits of informed consent in the field of genomic medicine.
  • Access existing practice guidelines around genetic testing and use them to interpret case studies
  • Analyse the potential psychosocial impact of genomic test results drawing on the published evidence base of patient and family experiences, and evaluate the strategies professionals can use to provide support
  • Describe the theoretical framework of family systems theory and evaluate its relevance to practice in supporting families undergoing genomic testing

Intellectual skills

  • Examine the different purposes of genomic testing in child and adult patients, pregnancies, and healthy individuals.
  • Demonstrate the usefulness of family history information in assessing genetic risk, genomic results, and family burden

Practical skills

  • Take a family history relevant to genomic testing.
  • Facilitate shared decision-making around whether to undergo genetic testing.
  • Be able to take meaningful consent for genomic testing in the clinical setting, including for the 100,000 Genomes Project
  • Communicate genomic results in an empathic manner, and explain their predictive value and parameters of uncertainty taking into account the patient’s current concerns, educational background, and learning ability.
  • Employ strategies to support families to communicate around genomic test results including disseminating information to other relatives at risk.
  • Identify sources of support for patients including patient support groups and on-line resources.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Apply acquired skills to area of own healthcare practice to deliver effectively and support patient choices in relation to genomic information


Assessment task Length Weighting within unit (if relevant)


Reflective assignment using case template

Role play participation (formative)

Pedigree drawing exercise and online quizzes

1 hour 15 minutes








Reading list

Includes but is not limited to:

  • Ormond K. E. ‘From genetic counselling to “genomic counselling”. Mol Genet Genomic Med. 2013; 1(4):189-193
  • Wiggins J., Middleton A. (eds): Getting the Message Across: Communication with Diverse Populations in Clinical Genetics , Oxford University Press, New York, 2013
  • Evans C. Genetic Counseling- A Psychological Approach, Cambridge University Press, 2006


BIOL69991: Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases

Credit rating 15
Contact hours Approximately 35 hours of Lectures, Tutorials, Seminars to include 25 face to face in 3 day block including group work and 10 hours online teaching and exercises.
Other Scheduled teaching and learning activities* Revision workshops/surgeries; Online discussions/tutorials;Meetings with Academic Advisers;
Pre-requisite units Module 1: Introduction to Human Genetics and GenomicsModule 2: Principles and Practice of genetic counselling
Co-requisite units Module 4: Workplace-based Genomic Medicine Practice
School responsible School of Biological Sciences
Member of staff responsible Ms Georgina Hall, Professor Jill Clayton-Smith


The number of rare monogenic disorders is estimated to be greater than 7,000, but only in approximately half of these are the underlying genes known. Common diseases such as intellectual disability, diabetes, schizophrenia and autism are thought to arise from a complex interplay of genetic and environmental factors but deeper understanding of the genetic and mechanistic basis of these diseases is necessary for clinical translation.

The aim of this module is to provide a brief introduction to the clinical presentation and manifestations of rare inherited and common diseases and consider the patient and family perspective with respect to the role and impact of genomics. The module will also focus on the genetic contribution to the aetiology of these conditions and strategies currently used to identify gene alterations in the clinical situation. Students will learn how to identify the most frequently encountered common and rare genetic disease phenotypes and how to select cases with unmet diagnostic need that will benefit from genomic testing

Unit Overview

This unit aims to develop students’ knowledge of common and rare genetic disease. A comprehensive approach is taken to diagnosis, genomic testing, prognosis, management, inheritance and impact across a range of genetic conditions from common conditions, chromosome, single and heterogeneous conditions, inherited cancer, paediatric and adult onset conditions.

Limitations of practice, appropriate referral, psychosocial impact and family decision-making will equip students to work in multidisciplinary settings in the care for individuals and families with heritable conditions.

Learning will focus on a case-based approach to ensure relevance to clinical practice. Examples of paediatric and adult conditions will be used to illustrate the principles of genomic diagnosis, testing and counselling. Lectures will be delivered via e-learning. Face to face sessions will be taught in one block over 3 days, to include, problem based learning, and interactive workshops with role plays. This will be augmented by online group work, exercises, and self-assessment.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Examine the landscape of common and rare inherited diseases. Demonstrate knowledge of common and rare inherited diseases, including multi-factorial disorders, paediatric genetics, cancer genetics and adult-onset conditions.
  • Explain the genetic architecture of common and rare inherited diseases
  • Understand the way genomic testing and other investigations are used in diagnosis and the important of phenotyping (e.g. dysmorphic diagnosis, clinical biochemistry, imaging techniques), in the investigation of candidate pathogenic variants.
  • Discuss and evaluate the Genomics England Programme and the Data Infrastructure
  • Understand the use and application of genomic testing and the impact of genetic diagnosis on the patient and family.
  • Identify phenotype, select cases and relevant family information for genomic testing including whole exome/whole genome sequencing.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of the psycho-social responses to diagnosis and family impact and cultural issues.
  • Appreciate the important of genetic diagnosis in the management and family impact of genetic disease.

Intellectual skills

  • Interpret clinical, family history and genomic test results to make appropriate diagnosis and accurate genetic risk assessments, in the context of individual clinical situations.
  • Critically analyse and evaluate the relevant scientific literature and apply to clinical situations.
  • Interpret information gained from exome / whole genome analysis with patient information / medical records to determine diagnosis, penetrance or prognosis for a number of examplesof common and rare inherited conditions

Practical skills

  • Use databases and other resources to research up-to-date genetic and clinical information across a range of common and rare genetic diseases.
  • Convey clinical and genetic information appropriate to individual clinical needs and level of understanding.
  • Facilitate clients’ decision-making and adjustment.

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  • Appreciate the ethical and psychosocial issues to be considered during the process of genetic diagnosis.
  • Recognise professional boundaries including when to refer on in most complex situations.
  • Discuss and critically evaluate the implications of patient access to their medical records and clinical information for medical genomics, inter-professional practice and multidisciplinary care


Assessment task Length Weighting

Multiple Choice Exam ( 30 Questions)

Summary letter

1 hours 15 minutes

Maximum 2 sides of A4



Reading list

Includes but is not limited to:

  • Cassidy, S.B. and Allanson, J.E. Management of Genetic Syndromes. (3rd Edition, Wiley-Blackwell, 2010)
  • Firth, J. A. and Hurst, J.G. (eds) Oxford Desk Reference: Clinical Genetics. (Oxford, 2005)
  • Harper P Practical Genetic Counselling, 7th edition (Edward Arnold Publishers, 2010)
  • 4Read, A. and Donnai, D. The New Clinical Genetics (2nd Edition, Scion Publishers Ltd, 2010.)
  • Internet addresses for key reference sources: 1OMIM (online version of McKusick’s Mendelian Inheritance in Man):
  • Medline:
  • Gene reviews
  • Orphanet (rare genetic diseases)

BIOL69882: Workplace-based Genomic Medicine Practice

Credit rating 15
Contact hours Workshops: 6 hours
Other Scheduled teaching and learning activities* -Introductory e-session on portfolio guidance1 hour-E-session on preparation of case presentation 1 hour-Completion of detailed portfolio based on clinical cases seen in workplace
Pre-requisite units Module 1 Human Genetics and Genomics;Module 2 Principles and Practice of Genetic Counselling
Co-requisite units Module 3: Genomics of Common and Rare Inherited Diseases
School responsible School of Biological Sciences
Member of staff responsible Prof Jill Clayton-Smith


This unit will allow students to build on their own workplace experience to explore the genetic contribution to aetiology of conditions seen in every day clinical practice.

By the end of this module the student will be able to:

• Understand the relevance of genetics and genomics to their current practice.

• Recognise cases where genetic assessment and genomic testing are appropriate.

• Apply clinical expertise to a range of cases and reflect on the utility of genomic testing

• Use a structured approach to describe clinical cases with an inherited component

• Reflect on the psychosocial and ethical implications of a genomic diagnosis

• Enhance their knowledge of specific inherited disorders within their area of clinical practice

Unit Overview

Students will build a portfolio of 10 clinical cases with a genetic or genomic component, encountered within their workplace setting. They will complete an e-portfolio using a structured approach to case documentation. This will comprise short case reports with reference to specific learning aims including diagnosis, clinical management, genetic assessment, genomic testing, and psychosocial and ethical dimensions. Students will also be required to choose one of the 15 cases for an oral case presentation in the face-to-face teaching workshops.

Intended learning outcomes

Knowledge and understanding

  • Build on their knowledge of genetics and genomics in relation to clinical practice.
  • Enhance their knowledge of specific inherited disorders within their area of clinical practice.

Intellectual skills

  • Recognise cases where genetic assessment and genomic testing are appropriate.
  • Apply clinical expertise to a range of cases and reflect on the utility of genomic testing.
  • Reflect on the psychosocial and ethical implications of a genomic diagnosis.

Practical skills

  •  Use a structured approach to describe clinical cases with an inherited component

Transferable skills and personal qualities

  •  Utilise their advanced knowledge of genetics and genomics in their current clinical practice, and to support further sub-specialisation in clinical genetics.


Assessment task Weighting
Clinical case portfolio submission

10 cases using standard template

Students will submit 5/10 cases 14 days prior to the Semester 2 face to face teaching sessions.

Feedback will be given during a 30 minute one on one review session with a faculty member.

The final 10 cases (to include revised versions of the first  5 cases) will be submitted in July and the final mark will be provided by the beginning of September.

Oral case presentation

Ten minute oral presentation during Semester 2 face to face teaching

Feedback will be provided during the workshop, and the final mark within 15 working days via Moodle.


Reading list

Includes but is not limited to:


University Key Dates

Semester Date Start End
Semester 1 16 September 26 January
Face to face teaching October October
Christmas Break 13 December 13 January
Exam Period 13 January 24 January
Semester 2 27 January 5 June
Easter Period 27 March 20 April
Face to face teaching May 2020 May 2020
Exam Period 13 May 3 June
Re-sit Exam Period August August

External Examiner

The External Examiner for this programme is Professor Mary Porteous.

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.



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.

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 Moodle. You must submit by the deadline advertised on the module page on Moodle. Please ensure you include your student ID number.

  • Click onto the appropriate Module
  • Click on the assignment folder
  • Submit your assignment in the submission area


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.

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 your Programme Administrator.

The form should be submitted as soon as possible before the coursework deadline and should be submitted to your Programme Administrator.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your request has been received. In the event that your Programme Administrator is not available, please contact the PGT Education Support Manager to deal with your request.

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 Moodle (you will find this inside the Introduction module). The module should be completed as soon as possible after you begin your programme, 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 your Programme Administrator.


How To Find Your Marks

Once work has been marked and moderated you will receive an email from the programme administrator to tell you that the marks have been released.

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. Your Programme Administrator 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 Programme Administrator 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 your Programme Administrator/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

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