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Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

School of Health Sciences
Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work

Master of Clinical Research

Master of Research Health & Social Care


The contents of this handbook may be subject to change throughout the academic year. Please check Blackboard for any updates.

The University’s Vision for the Future:

Our vision at The University of Manchester is to make our institution one of the top 25 research universities in the world by 2020.

Our aim is to become the preferred destination for the best students, tutors, researchers and scholars in the world. The new, merged University was established with an unprecedented £300 million investment programme to enhance our already excellent teaching and research facilities and to further improve the services that will support you during your time as a student here.

The Division’s mission is:

  • To aim for excellence and international renown in both research and teaching.
  • To encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning.
  • To foster good relations with others.
  • To contribute actively to the life of the city and region.
  • To secure, and wisely manage the resources necessary for these purposes by promoting individual and collective responsibilities and accountabilities.

The Division aims to:

  • Prepare students to become registered as nurses, midwives and social workers; enabling them to fulfil a wide range of roles within health care settings.
  • Actively contribute to the advancement of knowledge and scholarship.
  • Meet student and employer requirements for diversity of provision and career enhancement by providing a structure of flexibility and choice within continuing education provision.
  • Provide higher education programmes that meet the changing demands of the NHS and fulfil requirements for professional registration and practice where appropriate.
  • Enhance the learning of students with a wide range of ability and previous experience and recognise prior learning where relevant to the programme of study.
  • Encourage students to take responsibility for their own learning and foster the use of problem solving approaches.
  • Provide students with appropriate information, advice and ongoing academic and pastoral support to enhance their progression and development in both clinical practice and academic study.
  • Provide students with opportunities to progress through programmes and acquire knowledge, skill and qualifications appropriate to their ability and future role.
  • Develop effective use of evidence in practice.
  • Provide a well-resourced teaching, learning and research environment for staff and students.
  • Operate an effective system of programme management that assures quality.
  • Generate innovative education programmes from investigative research.

School Introduction

Welcome from the Director of Postgraduate Taught Education

I am delighted to welcome you to the School of Health Sciences and the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health. We are extremely pleased you have chosen the University of Manchester to commence or continue your postgraduate study journey; whether you are progressing straight from your undergraduate studies, seeking to develop your knowledge/skills in your chosen career or, are bravely, taking a completely different direction in life.

In the pursuit of knowledge, wisdom and humanity, we will place you at the centre of a transformational learning process to support you to achieve your individual goals and aspirations. Our challenge to you is to embrace all of the opportunities available to you; be bold, think differently and realise your potential. We want your postgraduate journey with us to be intellectually stretching, rewarding and fun.

We are aware that most of you will need to juggle a number of competing priorities during your postgraduate taught studies. Some of you will already be in full time employment, while others will need to secure part time employment to fund your studies. We know that many of you will have family and caring responsibilities that will have to be prioritised before your own learning. We hope the information detailed in this programme handbook will help you in managing these competing commitments. Whether you are joining us on campus, or studying at a distance, you are an integral part of our School and University, and we are here to support you.

We are extremely proud of our postgraduate student community and alumni who are making a difference, both locally and globally. We look forward to working with you, confident that you too will play a role in transforming the lives of people who use health and social care services, whether during your studies or upon graduation.

I wish you every success in your postgraduate studies here at the University of Manchester.

Mr Andrew Mawdsley
Director of Post Graduate Taught Education
School of Health Sciences


Click Here  for further details on Programme aims

Where To Find Further Information

In addition to this handbook you are required to familiarise yourself with the information contained within the University Crucial Guide and IT Services Handbook.  New students are given a copy of the appropriate handbooks at the beginning of their programme of study; alternatively the information is available on our website.

We will be happy to provide this handbook in large print if required.

Student Services Centre, Burlington Street or Sackville Street

Tel: +44(0)161 275 5000

A-Z of Student Services

The Student Services Centre can offer all sorts of help and advice about tuition fee assessments or payments, Council Tax, examinations, graduation ceremonies and all sorts of documents.

The Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations that are applicable to all students across the University are referred to in the University A-Z of Services and detailed in full within the University Calendar.

Essential advice, information and guidance for students at The University of Manchester, packed with up-to-the-minute information.

The University website contains a comprehensive and definitive listing of University policies and procedures relevant to both students and members of staff. It covers the full range of our activities and is continually updated to ensure that you have immediate access to the latest versions of documents as soon as they are approved. It is also equipped with a search engine that enables you to find relevant documents using key words or phrases.

Visit the website:

Student Charter

One of the University’s three core goals is “To provide a superb higher education and learning experience to outstanding students, irrespective of their backgrounds, and to produce graduates distinguished by their intellectual capabilities, employability, leadership qualities, and their ability and ambition to contribute to society” (from the University of Manchester Strategic Vision 2020).



The Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work

The University of Manchester

Jean McFarlane Building

Oxford Road


M13 9PL

Tel 0161 306 0260


Head of Division

Professor Hilary Mairs


Head of Teaching Learning and the Student Experience

Gabrielle Brennan


Administration Managers

Suzanne Eden – Admissions Manager


Janet Ellis – Student Support Officer


Chris Bamford – Deputy Head of Student Operations (School of Health Sciences)


Sally Hickson – Deputy Head of Student Operations (School of Health Sciences)


Division Website:



All staff are located in the Jean McFarlane Building, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9PL.

Director of Postgraduate Taught Education

Dr. Samantha Freeman                                                                                                                  0161 306 7607

Room 5.341, Jean McFarlane Building                           


Programme Director

Professor Sue Kirk                                                                                                                                  0161 306 7872

Room 6.328                                                                               


Examinations Officer                                                          


Admissions Support

Cheryl Johnson                                                                                                                           0161-30-60270

Room G.314                                                                              


Programme Support                                                                                                       0161 306 7814

Room G.319                                                                                               


Exams & Assessments Support                                                                                      0161 306 7730

Room G.313                                                                              



Dr. Dharman Jeyasingham                                                                                                            0161 306 7765

Room 5.335                                                                               

NURS60018                        Research Design


Dr. Sorrel Burden                                                                                                                        0161 306 7856

Room 5.324                                                                               

NURS60015                        Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis


Dr. Janice Christie                                                                                                                                   0161 306 7656

Room 5.325                                                                               

NURS60020                       Managing Health and Social Care Research


Dr. Antonia Marsden                                                                                                                             0161 275 5054

Room 1.306                                                                              

NURS60019                         Statistics


Professor Sue Kirk                                                                                                                                          0161 306 7872

Room 6.328                                                                               

NURS60017                         Qualitative Design and Analysis


Professor Jo Dumville                                                                                                                                         0161 306 7830

Room 5.318                                                                               

NURS60017                         Quantitative Design and Analysis


Dr. Helen Hawley-Hague                                                                                                                         0161 306 7890

Room 6.332                                                                            

NURS60013                         Dissertation & Extended Project



This postgraduate programme is full time over one year or part time over two years and consists of a minimum of 180 credits at academic level 7. Course units are delivered via the e-learning, on-line format.

  • The full-time Master of Research (MRes) degree will normally extend over a period of twelve months. The date for the end of the programme and submission of the dissertation will be published online in the unit area.
  • A part-time Master of Research (MRes) student will complete the programme over a more extended period of time – normally 24 months, but not normally exceeding five academic years from the point of initial registration.

The MRes/MClinRes team are delighted to welcome you to the postgraduate programme at the University of Manchester. Please remember that we are here to support you throughout the programme.

Unit Exchange

This Programme offers students the opportunity to exchange up to 2 non-core units for those outside the standard NMSW MRes offering. It is the responsibility of the student to organise this.

Core Units: Research Design AND Managing Health and Social Care Research

Non-Core Units: Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis | Qualitative Design and Analysis | Quantitative Design and Analysis | Statistics


The Master of Research (MRes) degree will consist of 180 graduate credits in total, comprising a combination of advanced course units approved by the University and a programme of research.

Where there is more than one element to the assessment for any course unit, students must pass each element to pass the course unit.

Any further re-submissions are at the discretion of the examination board.

Postgraduate Taught degrees at the University of Manchester are based on the National Framework for Higher Education Qualifications (FHEQ). This framework requires students to achieve credit at master’s level in order to get an award. For a standard postgraduate taught Masters programme this will normally mean passing 180 credits. A standard postgraduate diploma will normally have 120 credits and a postgraduate certificate 60 credits. The way in which you study these credits will be defined later in the programme handbook and the programme specification.

The University sets standards relating to your performance on every unit but also on your progression through the programme. Your programme and course unit specifications will set out the requirements for passing the credit on individual units.

What happens if I fail some units?

First of all don’t panic, but the first thing to do is sit down with your Academic Advisor or Programme Director who will take you through your options. The regulations allow you further attempts of up to half the taught credits, for a standard master’s programme as defined by your programme specification, so you can still get back on track.


This is known as ‘referred assessment’ and these reassessments will normally take place in the same academic year as the original assessment. The Examination Board will then make decisions on your progress and advise you accordingly of the decisions and next steps.


If you pass most of your units and only ‘just’ fail some of them, there may be a possibility of the Examination Board compensating this failed credit. This means if your mark was between 40-49% at Masters Level the Examination Board is able to compensate up to a maximum of 30 credits. Your transcript of results will show the actual mark achieved (e.g. 47C).


If you are on a postgraduate diploma or certificate programme then the overall pass mark will normally be 40%. The same logic for managing reassessment will be applied on these programmes but the mark will be capped at 30R and compensation can be applied for marks between 30-39%. You can be referred in up to half the taught credits on a postgraduate diploma or certificate programme and compensated in up to 30 credits on a postgraduate diploma programme and 15 credits on a postgraduate certificate programme.


Some programmes, particularly those which are externally accredited or linked to professional practice, may set a higher pass rate than stated in the regulations. These programme exemptions will be clearly detailed in your handbook.


What happens if I fail my resits?

Upon taking the referred assessment, if you fail again the Examination Board will make a decision with regards to your progress. The possible options available may, in exceptional circumstances, include repeating the unit or being awarded an exit award once you’ve exhausted all the opportunities to retrieve failed assessment.


Referrals may also be compensated; so if you manage to achieve a mark at referral of between 40-49% at Masters Level, this may be compensated providing you haven’t already used your quota compensatable credit. Compensated referrals will be capped at 40 and this is the mark (40R) that will show on your transcript of results and be used to calculate your final degree classification.

Again, if you are on a postgraduate diploma or certificate programme then the pass mark and compensation mark range will be adjusted according to the lower pass rate.


What happens is I fail my dissertation?

If you fail your dissertations at the first attempt you will be given the opportunity to resubmit a revised version of the dissertation if you obtain a mark of at least 30% at 1st attempt. You will normally be given up to six months in which to make the requested revisions or undertake additional work. You will be provided with feedback from your examiners and guidance on the revisions required to bring the work to the appropriate standard for the Masters award.


How is my degree calculated?

To be considered for a Master’s Degree you must have achieved 180 credits at the appropriate level. Don’t worry if you have had a referral or compensation as these still count towards your credit total for a Pass or Merit. If, however, you have undertaken any referred assessment or been compensated you will not be eligible for a Distinction.


The award of masters is based upon gaining the required number of credits, normally 180. Classifications for merit or distinctions will be calculated on the basis of an average mark, based on the weighted programme as a whole.


If you are completing a postgraduate diploma or certificate programme then these degrees are only awarded as a pass.


When and how are decisions made about my results and my progress?

There are normally three available assessment opportunities: January, May/June and August/September within each academic year. It is expected that all your attempts at referral assessment will take place in the same academic year in which the assessment was first taken. After each assessment period there is an ‘Examination Board’.


Members of the Examination Board normally include your unit tutors, programme directors and overseen by an external examiner from another university. It is the job of the Examination Board to review all the results anonymously and make decisions on the award of credit and who can resit exams / assessment or gain compensation. It is also the role of the Examination Board to decide who cannot continue and will leave the University with an exit award. Some students will narrowly miss the threshold for a degree classification and so we look at their pattern of marks (Mark Distribution) and may look at their examined work (Mark Review).


What do I do if I disagree with the Examination Board’s decision?

The University has clear and fair procedures which set out the course of action should you wish to appeal against an Examination Board decision or make a complaint.   There are a number of grounds on which an appeal may be made, however an appeal which questions the academic or professional judgement of those charged with assessing your academic performance or professional competence will not be permitted.  The relevant regulations and forms can be found at:

In the first instance, we would urge you to contact your (Divisions to insert appropriate role/individual) who will be able to talk you through the decision-making process.


MClin Res/PgDClin Res:  Full-time
Year Units of Learning Credit Exit Award

§ Managing Health and Social Care Research

§  Research Design

§  Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis

§  Qualitative Design and Analysis

§  Quantitative Design and Analysis

§  Statistics


§  Project (for PgD only)


§  Dissertation (MRes)


















 PgD Clin Res (120 credits)


 MClin Res (180 credits)


MClin Res/PgDClin Res/PgC Clin Res:  Part-time
Year Units of Learning Credit Exit Award

§ Managing Health and Social Care Research

§  Research Design

§  Qualitative Design and Analysis

§  Quantitative Design and Analysis





 PgC Clin Res (60 credits)

§  Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis

§  Statistics


§  Project (for PgD only)


§  Dissertation (MRes only)










PgD Clin Res (120 credits)


MClin Res (180 credits)


MRes/PgDRes Health & Social Care (Full-time only)
Year Units of Learning Credit Exit Award

§  Managing Health and Social Care Research

§  Research Design

§  Critical Appraisal and Evidence Synthesis

§  Qualitative Design and Analysis

§  Quantitative Design and Analysis

§  Statistics


§  Project (for PgD only)


§  Dissertation (MRes)


















PgD Res HSC (120 credits)


MRes HSC (180 credits)


The programme aims to:
01.        Enable students to further develop systematic, in-depth knowledge and critical understanding of the nature, purposes, methods and application of research relevant to clinical/health and social care practice at an individual and/or organisational level.
02.        Contribute to building capacity and capability for research and evidencebased practice by equipping students with in-depth knowledge and essential skills to critically appraise, apply, design and undertake high quality research in a range of clinical/ health (MClin Res) and health and social care (MRes HSC) settings.
03.        Enhance the quality and evidence base for clinical/health and social care research, practice and service development through the provision of robust research training in a stimulating, challenging and supportive learning environment that draws on outstanding resources and research and practice expertise.
04.        Promote lifelong learning in students and enhance their opportunities to pursue a variety of research careers and/or further research training which support and advance clinical / health and social care knowledge, research and practice.
05.        Equip students with key transferable skills in critical reasoning and reflection; effective communication; team and multi-disciplinary working; use of IT/ health informatics; logical and systematic approaches to problem-solving; and decision-making.



A. Knowledge & Understanding

Students should be able to:

A1 Critically evaluate a range of theoretical and philosophical perspectives underpinning differing research approaches as they pertain to clinical/health and social care research methodologies and designs.
A2 Demonstrate an in-depth and critical understanding of the nature, purposes and value of different research approaches, designs and methods and their application to clinical/health and social care research and practice.
A3 Systematically and critically analyse hierarchies of research evidence that inform and underpin clinical/health and social care policy and practice.
A4 Critically evaluate a range of methods for searching, appraising, interpreting and synthesising qualitative and quantitative evidence used in clinical/health and social care research.
A5 Critically articulate the principles and processes of ethics, governance and other legal and policy frameworks relevant to undertaking research in clinical/health and social care settings.
A6 Critically evaluate the importance, methods and practicalities of engaging key stakeholders (including users and carers) in the development, design and execution of clinical/health and social care research.
A7 Critically evaluate the nature, strengths and weaknesses of a range of qualitative, quantitative and mixed research designs including key concepts and strategies used to assess and enhance the rigour of research.
A8 Demonstrate an in-depth, critical knowledge and understanding of effective research project management including quality assurance of policies and procedures.
A9 Demonstrate a critical understanding of a range of statistical and qualitative approaches to research data analysis and presentation.
A10 Critically evaluate individual and organisational facilitators and barriers to research utilisation and implementation and strategies to promote and implement research in clinical, health and social care settings.
A11 Consolidate, synthesise and critically apply the in-depth knowledge and understanding of research methods, design and analysis acquired through the taught components of the programme to the formulation, design and implementation of an extended clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) research project.



B. Intellectual SkillsStudents should be able to:
B1 Identify, critically appraise and synthesise information from a variety of sources in order to develop a coherent critical analysis of issues relating to clinical/health and social care research.
B2 Critically examine the relationship between differing philosophical and theoretical research frameworks and debates and the range of research approaches and methods reflecting on their own professional and personal philosophies for research.
B3 Critically evaluate strategies to identify, retrieve, appraise and synthesise a range of published research studies utilising established frameworks to assess the rigour of design, methods and outcomes, identifying implications for practice and further research.
B4 Critically appraise current Research and Development policies and guidance, including ethical and governance requirements for conducting research in a range of clinical/health and social care settings and how these may affect research design, funding and management.
B5 Critically appraise, select, and justify appropriate research designs, data collection, analysis and presentation methods relevant to research questions/issues arising from literature, practice and policy.
B6 Critically evaluate a range of factors to be considered when gaining permission to access research settings, select and recruit samples and promote good relations and effective communication with research participants and other key stakeholders.
B7 Within the context of current clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) and other related policies, critically appraise strategies to enhance service user/carer involvement in research.
B8 Critically reflect on the undertaking of a clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) research study in order to present a coherent, analytic and defensible written account of the aims, process, methods and findings including strengths, weaknesses and implications for practice and further research.

C. Practical Skills

Students should  be able to:

C1           Utilise a range of strategies to systematically search, locate, retrieve and critically appraise literature, research and policy from a variety of sources.
C2           Formulate research questions, objectives and hypotheses appropriate and relevant to clinical/health and social care practice, policy and service development.
C3           In line with relevant ethical and governance frameworks and processes, construct coherent and sound research proposals and protocols to a standard required for ethical approval, funding and other organisations to investigate a range of issues relevant to clinical/health (MClin Res) or health and social care (MRes HSC) practice.

C4           Demonstrate a range of skills in:

·  Sample selection and recruitment.

·  Negotiating access and involving relevant stakeholders including service users/carers.

·  Data collection, analysis (using appropriate software tools) and interpretation.

·  Research dissemination.

(In the taught component of the course these are developed and demonstrated through undertaking exercises and activities within the core learning materials for units.  These are consolidated, applied and demonstrated in a ‘real life’ research setting during the research study undertaken for the dissertation.)

C5            Under supervision, undertake and manage a research study using a designs and methods appropriate to the purpose of the study, in line with good practice principles and guidance for research, data management and quality control.
C6            Demonstrate skills in research project planning and management, adjusting plans as required to ensure successful delivery of the project within agreed timescales.
C7            Construct and communicate coherent, critically analytic summaries of research findings utilising a range of strategies to disseminate and present findings to a variety of audiences (verbal presentations, papers prepared to a standard for submission to journals, reports for different audiences, dissertation, etc).


D. Transferable Skills and Personal Qualities

Students should be able to:

D1           Critically reflect on their own academic performance and utilise a range of strategies to improve these and overcome any particular challenges.
D2           Further develop and enhance skills in effective communication to a range of audiences in a variety of settings.
D3           Demonstrate skills in working collegiately and effectively with others as a member of a team.
D4           Effectively utilise information technology / health informatics.
D5           Utilise skills in systematic and creative approaches, to problem-solving and decision-making in relation to complex issues.


The following table summarises the programme structure:

Course Unit Assessment type, length and weighting within course unit


PGT (FHEQ Level 7)

Year 1 – Semester 1


Critical Appraisal And Evidence Synthesis

Equivalent To 3,500 Word Essay (100%) 15 Credits


Research Design

Equivalent To 3,500 Word Essay (100%) 15 Credits


Managing Health and Social Care Research

Equivalent To 3,500 Word Essay (100%) 15 Credits
Year 1 – Semester 2


Qualitative Design And Analysis

Equivalent To 3,500 Word Essay (100%) 15 Credits



Equivalent To 3,500 Word Essay (100%) 15 Credits


Quantitative Design And Analysis

Equivalent To 3,500 Word Essay (100%) 15 Credits
Year 1 – Semesters 1 & 2



15,000 Words (100%) 90 Credits


Project (For PGDip Only Instead Of Dissertation)

5,000 Words (100%) 30 Credits

Detailed unit information can be found via CUIP (Course Unit Information Publishing)

My Manchester


Welcome Week / Induction / Registration

During the first week of the programme students are required to take part in an Induction or Welcome Week programme whereby they are orientated to the University; the Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health; the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work; the programme; and the academic and administrative staff via a series of activities workshops and social events.

Semester Dates


Annual registration process

Student registration is valid for a year from the point of registration, e.g. if you register for a Stand Alone unit in September 2016, your registration will expire in August 2017. It is a requirement by the University of Manchester and the student’s responsibility to complete on-line registration each year via the Student Portal. You will be sent guidance notes prior to each registration period and you must register within four weeks of receiving the notification.

Changes in personal and/or contact details

During the on-line registration process students need to confirm/update their personal and/or contact details. If these details change at any time following registration, it is the student’s responsibility to update their details via the Student Portal. Please note that the Division will only use the information on the Student Portal, no other source.

Checking Student e-mails

When you complete IT registration you will receive a student e-mail account, from the point of registration onwards, all departments within the Division will use the student e-mail address exclusively, not personal or work e-mail addresses.

As a student you are required to check your student e-mails, via the Student Portal, at least weekly whilst you are active on the programme, as this is where the Division would contact you.

Checking Blackboard

The Division uses Blackboard as the central location for information about all student resources. You will be given training on how to access Blackboard in your induction.

As a student you are required to check Blackboard at least weekly, as this is where the Division would post both generic and specific information relating to course units and programmes, e.g. Room changes or Assessment results.


Blackboard Student Community Area (Gateway)

The Blackboard student community area has been devised to provide information that is generic to all course units within the programme. Each section has been structured to reflect the student’s journey through the unit/programme;

  • Getting Started – includes the guide to using Blackboard, programme handbook and course unit leaflets.
  • On Your Course – includes Study Skills information, Authorised Absence form, Missed Session form, Health & Safety information, etc.
  • Assessments & Examinations – includes Extension form, Special Circumstances form, Academic Appeals form and information about Plagiarism and Academic Malpractice.
  • On-line End of Programme Evaluation – is where you give your feedback at the end of the course unit.


The HCPC Guidance on Conduct and Ethics

All students should conduct themselves in accordance with this guidance throughout the master’s programme. This is as relevant within the university setting as it in during the practice placement. An electronic copy of the guidance will be available on Blackboard for reference. The guidance will be fully discussed using structured exercises in the preparatory practice learning sessions which take place in semester 1. Students will have the opportunity to revisit the guidance during recall days to promote, monitor and provide space to reflect upon professional development.

Introductory Courses

All students are automatically enrolled onto an introductory unit 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. Completion of these assessments is monitored by the School. All students are also strongly advised to complete the academic literacy section.

Online skills training

FBMH online skills training resource



The role of the Programme Director is to ensure the smooth running of the programme. This includes chairing the Programme Committee, overseeing the student evaluation process, considering changes to the programme and ensuring adherence to the university’s guidelines for academic practice.

Your Programme Director will be pleased to meet with you at any time during your period of study, or to take suggestions or comments on any aspect of the programme through the contact details below:

Professor Sue Kirk, Programme Director               Direct dial 0161 306 7872

Room 6.328, Jean McFarlane Building –



Each unit has a designated leader who is responsible for the management of the teaching and assessment process. This individual is also a guide for the students.


You will be allocated a Dissertation Supervisor who will support you with designing, carrying out and writing up of your Dissertation project.


Students have access to an academic advisor who is available for general guidance on non-academic problems or issues, and who can refer them to other sources of assistance or support.

Students are able to access any member of staff for advice in an emergency, and may discuss non-urgent issues with a member of staff of their own choosing.

At the beginning of the course students are allocated an academic advisor who will normally be responsible for pastoral guidance during the course, although this person may change at any time by negotiation if students feel there is a need to change academic advisor.  If this is the case, students need to discuss the difficulties/problems with their academic advisor and then approach the Programme Director.  You can also seek advice from other quarters, for example, the Student Union Welfare Section, or the Student Health Care and Counselling Service.



During the first week of the programme students are required to take part in an Induction or Welcome Week programme whereby they are orientated to the University; the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences; the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work; the programme; and the academic and administrative staff via a series of activities workshops and social events.


Student Representation on Committees

 Role of a Student Representative

Essentially, the role of a student representative is to represent the views of students on a particular course to the academic staff at various meetings of the Division. This ensures that students can exert a measure of control over their own learning experience.

Responsibilities include:

  • Identifying student issues and needs. When necessary referring them on to the relevant people who can assist them.
  • Providing another layer of support for new and existing students.
  • Attending and participating in various meetings held at the University.
  • Consulting, involving and reporting to students.
  • When arranged, attending Student Representative training sessions.
  • Providing a link between the staff and students at the Division.
  • Keeping yourself informed of developments within your programme of study.
  • Promoting equal opportunities.


Benefits of Being a Student Representative

For your commitment, time and effort you will reap many benefits and develop transferable skills. These include:

  • Increased involvement in your educational experience at the Division. It gives other students a feeling of ownership over their education and the reassurance that their views and concerns are being heard within the Division.
  • Knowing that you are making a positive impact on the lives of present and future students.
  • The opportunity to meet other students across the Division.
  • Representation and advocacy skills.
  • Listening and communication skills.
  • Meeting skills.
  • Organisation and time management skills.
  • Negotiation skills.
  • A certificate that can go into your Portfolio, from the Division. This would recognise your commitment to the Council after six months of being a student representative; attending no less than three Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work Staff/Student Liaison Committee meetings.

The Division also benefits, as it is seen to:

  • Consult with students.
  • Have the opportunity to improve the quality of its courses and student satisfaction.
  • Enable students to understand the system and educate others.
  • Promote an increased sense of belonging to the Division amongst students.
  • Have an active staff-student dialogue outside of the realms of teaching.

Meetings to Attend

All representatives will be required to regularly attend the previously mentioned Staff Student Liaison Committee which discusses cross-programme issues and is held five times per academic year.

Provision has also been made for students to be represented at Programme Committee, a forum to meet with University staff and Programme Directors to discuss programme specific academic issues.

Although you will receive an authorised letter of exemption (from lectures and clinical areas) to attend them, it is understood that as students you cannot attend all meetings. Therefore, your apologies can be emailed in advance of the meeting, including any issues, ideas/suggestions that can be read to the meeting on your behalf.


You may have already gathered that due to our varying locations, timetables and sessions spent at the University, email is the main mode of communication between students and University staff. As a student representative it is important that you check your University email account regularly in order to be kept in the loop and keep the Chair informed of any contact detail changes.

Committee Involvement / Commitment

Student representation and feedback is vital to the continued development of the Division.

It can be difficult for students to find the time to contribute to all of the committees and working parties. For this reason, the Head of the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work is willing to write letters of support for students to facilitate attendance.

How to become a Student Representative

Student representatives are elected at the beginning of the academic year for each programme and each year, and where possible, Field, within a programme. Their role is to represent the views of students on a particular course to the academic staff at various meetings of the Division. This ensures that students have a voice and are participating in developing learning and teaching within the Division.

In addition representatives attend their own Programme Committee. Programme Committees are responsible for the review procedures of their respective programmes. The Programme Committee manages programme development, assessment of individual units, student related matters and any other matter relating to the Programme. Each Programme Committee has student representatives from each year group.

Provision has also been made for students to be represented at two other main meetings at the Division these are Pan-Manchester Placement Group (a forum to meet with Trust wide Clinical Facilitators and University staff to discuss placement issues) and Division Board  (a meeting all academic and administrative staff across the Division to discuss academic issues).

Representatives may also be invited to participate in other committees, working groups, workshops and reviews related to academic programmes.

Although you will receive an authorised letter of exemption (from lectures and clinical areas) to attend meetings, it is understood that as students you cannot attend them all. Therefore, your apologies can be emailed a week in advance of the meeting, including any issues, ideas/suggestions that can be read to the meeting on your behalf.

More information can be found on student representation in the student support pages on Blackboard or by contacting



Every course unit is evaluated via a questionnaire and the gathering of qualitative comments. At the end of each year post-course evaluations are undertaken via questionnaires and group interviews. Where appropriate these comments are fed back to students once evaluation comments have been collated and any necessary actions taken.  This latter process will normally occur in the semester following the evaluation process.


As part of its commitment to ensuring the standard and quality of its programmes of study, services, and facilities, the University has established a procedure to deal with complaints from students. Complaints provide useful feedback information from students and, where appropriate, will be used to improve services and facilities.

The procedure comprises a number of stages, both informal and formal. Students who have a complaint to make should raise it directly with the staff concerned at the earliest opportunity, as matters that are dealt with informally at an early stage have the best chance of being resolved effectively. Only where the informal procedures have been completed and the complainant remains dissatisfied should the formal stage be instituted.


  • 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:



The A-Z of Services provides information and advice on a range of topics including finance, examinations, accommodation and health; it also contains details about the University’s policy for students with additional support needs and its equal opportunity and race equality policy see the university student handbook for further details.  Copies of the Crucial Postgraduate Handbook are available from the Student Services Centre.


The Personal Development Plan (PDP) is a tool to help you reflect developmentally upon your study performance, skills, goals and career aspirations.  There are two components to the PDP. The first component sets an agenda for meetings with your tutor at key stages in your programme of your choosing.

–      Stage 1 (the beginning – during the first few weeks of your programme)

–      Stage 2 At the end of year one

–      Stage 3 At the half way point in year two

At each of these three stages you can link to tips which have been provided by the Careers Service as well as information on a research career.

The second component is a personal record of what you’ve achieved on the programme (attended, written, or what has interested you).  As well as the record, there are tips on time management and action planning which you may find useful:

For example diary

–      Enter units attended.

–      Enter short courses attended.

–      Enter seminars attended.

–      Enter conferences attended.

–      Enter publications.

–      Enter projects.

–      Enter group work.

–      Enter dissertation details.

–      Record of topics that interested you.


Full details of what is involved in maintaining a PDP are located in the Student community area on Blackboard.


All students must familiarise themselves with the procedures for dealing with an emergency, including discovery of a fire and fire exit points.  Similarly, all students are required to familiarise themselves with the Health and Safety at Work regulations, extracts of which are posted outside Room G.319 Jean McFarlane Building.   Anyone requiring first aid for themselves or for others should contact one of the first aiders situated in the building. Their names and telephone numbers are posted in common user areas. There are two Health and Safety advisers for the Division.

A full copy of the University of Manchester Health and Safety Policy can be found at:

The Division and its associated trusts all have NO SMOKING policies which students must strictly adhere to. The University has implemented a total no smoking policy throughout the University.

A Health and Safety unit is also available on your Student Gateway area (SHSS60001)

Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has produced guidance for healthcare students on fasting and caring:


If you have specific needs relating to a disability, specific learning difficulty or long-term health condition, you could discuss these needs with the following:

Your Academic Advisor

Division Student Support Officer – Tel: 0161- 306 7717

University Disability Support Office – Tel: 0161 – 275 7512


A copy of the University’s Disability Statement, which sets out the policy and provision for students with a disability, is available on request or available from



The University seeks to create a study environment which is free of harassment and which protects the dignity of all students irrespective of sexual orientation, racial or ethnic background, religion or disabled status. It regards sexual, racial or personal harassment as most serious and requires all students to observe its policy in this area.  Personal harassment takes many forms. It is uninvited and unwanted actions which cause offence and/or embarrassment, fear, stress or tension. It can be an isolated act such as a comment or wilful gesture, or it can take the form of repeated behaviour against a person.

In cases where a complaint of harassment is substantiated, the individual responsible may be subject to disciplinary action under General Regulation XVII (Conduct & Discipline of Students), in APPENDIX 1.

The University Policy Statement on Dignity and Work and Study for Students is available in The Crucial Guide.  This document contains details of the University Resources, policies and procedures and will be given to all students at registration.  If you prefer to access the full university policy on-line it is located at the following web address:


Jackson’s Mill, Sackville St – Tel: 0161 306 5806

Monday – Friday between 9am – 1pm & 2pm – 5pm.

On-going support to all students is provided by the Occupational Health Department. The aim of our Service is to promote the health and wellbeing of all students and the prevention of illness and injuries at work.  This is achieved by ensuring all immunisations are kept up to date; managing mild illnesses at work; giving advice and assistance on all health matters arising from work and providing crisis Counselling where required.

In making decisions with regards to medical fitness for the programme, we will ensure that we comply with relevant legislation, e.g. The Disability Discrimination Act 1998.  The Occupational Health Physician and Occupational Health Nurses are all bound by the Code of Professional Conduct as set out by the BMA and NMC and complete confidentiality is maintained at all times.

Further information on the services provided by the Occupational Health Service can be found at their website:


5th Floor Crawford House, Precinct Centre, Booth Street East – Tel 275 2864

The Counselling Service offers confidential help with any personal issues affecting work, self-esteem, relationships, mental health or general well-being available to all University of Manchester students. The team have qualifications in counselling and psychotherapy and provide a range of therapeutic responses to all kinds of personal problems.

Further information on the services provided by the Counselling Service can be found at their website:



In addition to the support services provided through the Division, the University offers a wide range of services to Students. Most of these are based on the main campus on Oxford Road.  For full details, please refer to A-Z of Student Services

Staff Student Liaison Committee

Student representatives are required to regularly attend the Staff Student Liaison Committee, held five times per academic year. The Staff Student Liaison Committee addresses issues of common concern across programmes.

To become involved in the Staff Student Liaison committee please contact



The Programme Committee is responsible for the review procedures of their respective programmes. Reports are reviewed by the Graduate Education Management Committee and include programme development, variety of programme options, assessment of individual units and any other matter relating to the Programme. Each programme committee invites student representatives from each year group. Student participation is very much welcomed.



The University Of Manchester Library

The University of Manchester Library provides you with the resources and support you need throughout your programme. The Main Library houses all of the essential text books whilst the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons provides a 24/7 learning environment in addition to study skills workshops. The Library also has an extensive collection of eBooks, databases and journals available online.

The My Library tab in My Manchester has quick links to all of the Library’s resources and services available to students.

Getting Started

You will need your student card to access all library sites around campus. Many of our services and resources also require you to confirm that you are a registered student. This authentication can be your student card, the ID number on the card, your Library PIN, the central username and password you use to log on, or a combination of these.

There is a library guide for Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work students giving all of the latest information on resources and learning and research services available. This is a good starting point if you are looking for any library resources or information related to your course.

Each course unit in Blackboard includes an online reading list, so you can quickly check availability and directly access e-books, digitised chapters and e-journals or articles.

The Main Library

The Main Library holds the principal collection of Midwifery books and journals. Midwifery textbooks are located on Floor 2 of the Blue Area, together with books in other related subjects. Midwifery journals held in print are on Floor 1 of the Green Area in the Clinical Sciences sequence; further relevant periodicals are shelved in other areas of the Main Library.  The library search facility will let you know what items are available and where to find them, including eBooks and online journals.

The Main Library offers group study rooms, individual study space options and computer clusters. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building and a cafe lounge can be found on the ground floor. The Library has long opening hours and extends these during exam periods. Please check Locations and Opening Hours for full details on opening hours and facilities.


The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state-of-the-art learning environment with 24/7 opening hours throughout term-time. The Learning Commons has flexible open learning spaces with multimedia facilities, computer clusters and 30 bookable group study rooms with whiteboards and media screens.

There is a series of training workshops covering a variety of academic and transferable skills hosted in the training room at the Learning Commons.  These workshops include training on revision/study skills, note-taking and other topics and have been developed by Learning Commons staff in partnership with other teams across the University.  Full details of training sessions are available in the My Learning Essentials Calendar.




The University has one of the largest academic computing facilities in Europe, with a wide range of IT Services for students.

Students at the University have access to a wealth of resources including research support services, PC clusters, email and Internet access, wireless access, Microsoft applications, printing facilities, network document storage, student portal, eLearning environment and the extensive electronic resources managed by John Rylands University Library.

As a new student you will be introduced to the University’s IT facilities at your induction. In addition to your Faculty and Division IT provision, you will find IT facilities in areas of high student use, such as University Place (George Kenyon cluster), John Rylands Library and the Joule Library. The two libraries also house the IT Service Desks where you can get help and information.

You will find the most up-to-date information about our services on the IT Services website, so throughout this guide you will find web addresses which direct you to more detailed information on the web site:

Packed full of information, the website provides details of the services available to users including useful information about day-to-day help and support and information about protection from the latest viruses etc. We recommend you visit the ‘Getting Started’ section of the site first.



The University’s Public PC Clusters are available for any staff or student to use. Operated on behalf of the University by the IT Services division, they are present at various locations on campus and also in some Halls of Residence. Opening times for each cluster will vary but at least one cluster operates 24/7 and two clusters operate 23/5 plus extended opening times at weekends.

Some clusters will be booked for teaching and learning purposes at various times, therefore you are advised to visit the website: or the Central IT Service Desk for the latest opening times and PC Cluster information.



Computing facilities for the Division are available on the 2nd floor of the Jean McFarlane Building.

The facilities provided have nursing specific applications and there are 40 computers. Access to the Internet is provided by Microsoft Internet Explorer only.  Students can access the full range of Clinical Multimedia resources available, such as those within the National Library of Medicine and on-line conferences and lectures, as well as access to the RYBASE and Library.

Printing has to be paid for, via print credits purchased from the Manchester Computing Shop or print robots situated around the University’s campus.

Access to the computers is via a standard University username which is obtained from any of the main campus computers displaying the standard blue logon screen or from the registration computers at University Place, by answering the questions when prompted students can gain access to and receive their username and password. This will enable them to use any of the computers to which any student has access.



Each of you will start the programme with a mix of different skills.  We have identified a number of Study Skills that are vital for you to master early in your study, in order to achieve your full potential on the programme.  These include academic writing, Harvard Referencing, Using IT software, Numeric and Literature skills.

The Study Skills Unit is available in your programme Gateway on Blackboard – select ‘On Your Programme’ section and the link to ‘Study Skills Support’  In addition you can visit the Palgrave publishers website as this also contains information regarding study skills and is freely available to all students. There is a specific section on plagiarism referencing and critical thinking skills, which can be accessed as an audio presentation by clicking onto the MP3’s icon button.

Each programme of study provides an introduction to relevant study skills during enrolment.  If you feel that you may have a learning disability further assistance may be available, please see your Academic Advisor or the Disability Support Officer at the Jean McFarlane Building.


Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health 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 Programme Support.


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 / Unit Lead.


Academic Writing This is an excellent resource that supports you to write your assignments and dissertation. It is split into units that focus on key areas that previous students have found difficult and aims to enhance your academic writing style.
Research Methods* This course is spilt into 3 units that cover introductions to study design, statistics and dissertation skills. It has a number of online quizzes where you can test your knowledge.
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.
Qualitative Research Methods* This unit has been designed to give you an introduction to Qualitative Research.
SPSS* This is an introduction to statistics, using SPSS, a popular and comprehensive data analysis software package containing a multitude of features designed to facilitate the execution of a wide range of statistical analyses.
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 Programme Support 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



 The University of Manchester Regulations for Taught Masters Programme

The full University of Manchester Policy regarding the Regulations for Taught Masters Programme are located in the Student Community area of Blackboard and the University of Manchester intranet


Admissions and Registration Requirements

Admission to the University and registration on a programme takes place at the start of each academic year of a programme of study.  Admission and registration to the programme is subject to each student’s agreement to comply with the University Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations and the payment of any required fees.

The University has a facility to allow you to carry out your academic and financial registration, including the payment of your tuition fees, via the web before you leave home.  This is a simple, straightforward process that will only take a few minutes.  You will have to complete I.T. registration and academic registration before you will be allowed to proceed to financial registration.    Ideally you should complete all parts of the registration process before you arrive at the University.  There may, however, be reasons why you are unable to complete financial registration online or you may prefer to use an alternative method for the payment of your tuition fees, e.g. via the University’s telephone hotline (+44 (0)161 272 2350) or in person when you arrive.  In either case, you are strongly advised to complete your academic registration as soon as possible.

At the end of the registration process, students receive a University membership card (also known as a library card or swipe card) which lasts for the duration of the programme of study, subject to annual validation and payment of tuition fees.

Central registration is an essential process since it confirms a person’s status as a student of the University of Manchester and ensures that personal and programme details are correctly recorded for University purposes and for statutory returns to the Higher Education Funding Council and other bodies.  Central registration takes place on campus, at the start of the first semester of the academic year (September) and in the Student Services Centre on Burlington Street at other times of the year. Central registration is also available in some Halls of Residence around the campus.



Monitoring Attendance/Engagement and Wellbeing of Students

 The programme director and teaching staff will monitor the work and attendance of students on the programme. This is for your benefit and helps to ensure you are coping with the work. Regular or a pattern of non-attendance and/or engagement will result in you being contacted by the School to meet with your programme director.

 Examination Boards can refuse assessment, as well as referred assessment, on the grounds of poor academic performance and/or lack of attendance/engagement. A series of warnings (informal and formal) would be issues to any students failing to meet the engagement requirements of their programme.  If there is no significant improvement, or the criteria set out in the formal warning is not met, then further action will be taken and may result in withdrawal from the programme.

 For further information see:

Regulation XX Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students

The University offers a range of advice and support to students experiencing problems with attendance. Further information can be found via Student Support – You can also speak to your Programme Director and/or Personal Advisor.

Students who have been refused permission to take examinations for reasons of unsatisfactory work or attendance, or who have been excluded from the University for failure to meet the academic or professional requirements of the programme, may appeal against such decisions (see General Regulation XIX Academic Appeals Procedure in the Exams & Assessments section of the Student Gateway area on Blackboard This information is also updated and located at:,19770,en.pdf

It is expected that all students will attend all taught sessions; however, you are required to attend at least 80% of taught sessions for each programme unit. This regulation applies equally to course units that are delivered on-line.  For e-learning/on-line course units the measure will be whether or not you accessed and participated in the course unit within the period it was delivered. If, due to illness or other circumstances, you are unable to attend or engage with on-line materials you need to inform the programme secretary by telephoning 0161 306 7814 or by e-mail.  If at any time your work or attendance is unsatisfactory, you will be sent notice in writing that, unless there is an improvement, you will not be permitted to take the examination or present coursework for the programme unit(s) concerned.

Please note that you must submit a medical certificate if you are absent through illness during examinations or for more than one week of the Programme.  Instances of illness or other extenuating circumstances affecting a student’s performance may be considered at examination board meetings (please note that details are not normally disclosed).  Students should convey, in writing, their circumstances to the Programme Director, as soon as possible via the programme secretary.  If you have been absent due to illness for a period of one week you need to complete a self-certification form, which is available from the Graduate office.

 It is the duty of the Division and each Pro6gramme Examinations Board to keep under continuous review the work and attendance of all students within the Division.  Student progress is monitored by the Programme Director in consultation with the Graduate Education Management Committee (Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work.)

Student Engagement

It is the responsibility of individual students to maintain engagement with their programme of study whilst actively registered. Failure to do this may result in the Division asking for clarification of their status. If no response is forthcoming within a 2 week timeframe the Division will consider the student to have withdrawn themselves and will update their records to reflect this.

Regulation XX – Work and Attendance of Students

[Note: the set of units, practical work and projects required for a degree or other award of the University is referred to as a programme of study (the ‘Programme’). Each such Programme is normally the responsibility of a Division (which may also be acting on behalf of a group of Divisions), which appoints a body to organise the syllabus, and the teaching and assessment of students.  In this Regulation, this body is designated by the term ‘Programme Committee’, recognising that the exact form and title will vary across the University.

Academic appeals

  • Students have a right of appeal against a final decision of an Examination Board, or a progress committee, or a graduate committee or equivalent body which affects their academic status or progress in the University.
  • Students thinking of appealing should first discuss the matter informally with an appropriate member of staff, in order to better understand the reason for the result or decision.
  • Should you wish to proceed to a formal appeal, this must be submitted within the timeframe outlined in the Academic Appeals Procedure to the Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail:
  • The Academic Appeals Procedure (Regulation XIX) and associated documents, including the form on which formal appeals should be submitted, can be found at

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:


You should always consult your GP (or for emergencies the Accident and Emergency Department of a hospital) if your illness is severe, if it persists or if you are in any doubt about your health. You should also consult your GP if illness keeps you absent from the University for more than 7 days including week-ends.

If you do consult a GP and they consider that you are not fit for attendance at the University, then you should obtain a note from the doctor to that effect or ask them to complete Part III of the University form ‘Certification of Student Ill Health’ copies of which are available at local GP surgeries.

You should hand this certificate to your programme secretary at the earliest opportunity but within seven days of your return to work/university.

If your condition is not sufficiently serious to cause you to seek medical help, then the University will not require you to supply a doctor’s medical certificate unless you are absent from the University due to illness for more than 7 days (in which case see b. above). You must however contact your department as soon as possible and self-certify your illness (that is complete and sign the “Certification of Student Ill Health” form to state that you have been ill) as soon as you are able to attend your department. You should do this if your illness means you are absent from the University for any period up to 7 days (see d. i) or if you are able to attend the University but your illness is affecting your studies (see d. ii and iii).

The following sub-paragraphs explain what you should do if your illness affects your attendance at compulsory classes or if you consider that your performance in your studies/examinations has been impaired.

  1. i) If you are unwell and feel unable to attend the University to take a compulsory class, assessment or examination then you must seek advice by contacting your department immediately, in person, through a friend or family member, by telephone or by email. This is to ensure that you understand the implications of being absent and the consequences for your academic progress, which might be quite serious. You must do this as soon as possible so that all options can be considered and certainly no later than the day of your compulsory class, assessment or examination.  If you do not do this then you will normally be considered have been absent from the class without good reason, or to have taken the assessment or examination in which case you will be given a mark of zero. You must also complete and hand in a “Certification of Student Ill Health” form on your return.
  2. ii) You may be unwell but are able to proceed with an assessment or examination and yet you feel that your performance will have been impaired. If you wish this to be taken into account as an extenuating circumstance, you must inform your department about this on the day of the assessment or examination and hand in to your department a completed “Certification of Student Ill Health” form. If you leave this until later it will not normally be possible to take your illness into account when assessing your performance.

iii)     If, as a consequence of your illness, you wish to seek an extension to a deadline for submitting assessed coursework, you must complete a “Certification of Student Ill Health” form and discuss it with the appropriate person in your department. The application for extension must be made BEFORE the deadline and not retrospectively.

  1. iv) You may be under occasional and ongoing medical attention which affects your studies. If so, you should obtain a letter from your physician which should be given to your department before the end of the January, May/June or August/September examination period, as appropriate, if you wish your condition to be taken into account as an extenuating circumstance.

Further guidance on the effects of absence or under-performance can be found under the section titled: Progress Committee.


  1. Certification of Student Ill Health forms are available in all departments and halls of residence, and a copy of this form can be found in the Student Gateway area on Blackboard.
  2. Your department will give you guidance on the effect of any absence from your studies or if you consider your illness has affected your studies. If you have repeated episodes of ill health which is affecting your studies, your department may refer you to the Student Health Centre.

iii.        If you are found to have been deceitful or dishonest in completing the ‘Certification of Student Ill Health’ form you could be liable to disciplinary action under the University’s General Regulation XX: Conduct and Discipline of Students.

  1. The use of the ‘Certification of Student Ill Health’ forms by GPs as described above has been agreed by the Manchester Local Medical Committee. A GP may make a charge for completing the form.



FREQUENTLY asked Questions

 What to do if you are sick for more than seven consecutive days?

University self-certification forms only cover up to seven days of continuous illness. If you are ill for longer, you should consult with your GP or other appropriate health professional. In any case, you should consult your GP if your illness is severe, if it persists or if you are in any doubt about your health.

Repeated bouts of self-certificated short-term illness

The Division and the University has the right to investigate repeated bouts of self-certificated short-term illness. The outcome of such an investigation might include, for example, referral to Occupational Health or to a Progress Committee.

 What to do if you are absent through illness?

If you are ill/absent during theory (Division) weeks, on the first day of absence you should inform the programme/cohort secretary of the reason.  You can telephone or e-mail to report this illness or you can ask someone else to report it on your behalf.

What to do if you are ill when an examination or assessment is due?

See the examination guidelines covered in this handbook

 What to do after a period of absence through illness?

Within seven days following the end of a period of absence through illness, you must submit to your programme/cohort secretary a yellow University self-certification form (Certification of Student Ill Health) explaining your absence through illness. Part 1 of this form needs to be completed and signed.

If returning from being absent for other reasons you must complete the absence form and hand this in to the programme/cohort secretary. This will ensure that students are recorded as having returned from sickness/absence.


For all forms and the flowchart relating to this policy, please see the Student Gateway area on Blackboard.

Principles for Granting Interruptions to an Undergraduate or Postgraduate Taught Programme of Study


It is the expectation of the University that as postgraduate taught students you will pursue your studies on a continuous basis for the stipulated duration of your programme. It is understood, however, that you may encounter personal difficulties or situations, which may seriously disrupt you studies.

If you encounter such difficulties, which may result in the prolonged interruption of normal activity and where it becomes clear that continuation of your studies is not possible, you may be granted a temporary interruption to you studies at the discretion of the Division.

The decision to approve, either in full or in part, or to reject an application for a leave of absence would normally be taken by people who are remote from the process of giving advice to you and counselling you on any alternatives.


All applications for interruptions should be made in writing on the Division or Faculty pro forma with attachments as relevant.  The outcome of the application will be relayed to you in writing.

Divisions will report quarterly to the Faculty the outcomes of all applications received.

 Criteria to be applied

Any application to interrupt a programme must be made before the beginning of the proposed leave of absence with the support of your Programme Director. The Programme Director (or equivalent) will be responsible for discussing with you any circumstances that may result in you requesting an interruption to your studies. The application for interruption should be made on the relevant Division or Faculty pro forma with the Programme Director responsible for submitting the request to these designated by the Division for considering such requests.

The Division Administrator has overall responsibility for handling the administrative arrangements resulting from any interruption that is approved.

The administrator will notify any relevant parties of your interruption and update any systems as required, following the current procedures at that time.

Both you and your Programme Director should note that retrospective applications for a leave of absence will only be considered in the most exceptional circumstances.

Each request for a leave of absence will be considered on an individual, case-by-case basis and any decision made will be at the discretion of the University.

The duration of your period of absence may have to be determined by your status in the course. For example, if you interrupt during the taught element of the course, your return may be dictated by the availability of the course units that you have missed. A period of interruption would not normally be for more than a complete year.

Where you are granted an interruption to your programme of study for medical reasons, the administrator will ensure, prior to your re-registration, that you provides the Division with a note from your healthcare professional, which states you are fit to resume your studies.

NB In the case of non-EU students in the UK on a student visa or residence permit, the University is legally required to report to the government (check embassy/sponsor) any interruption of studies. International students should be referred to the International Advice Team in the Student Services Centre to discuss the consequences of taking an interruption. International students in the UK on a student visa are not normally permitted to study part-time and it is essential that they seek impartial immigration advice from the International Advice Team in the Student Services Centre before considering this option.

During the interruption

During the period of interruption, your registration status will be classified as ‘leave of absence’ (LOA) and no tuition fees are payable. Where tuition fees have already been paid, they will be refunded or held over by the University. However if you are refunded in one year and you return in another year, you will have to pay the higher rate of fee. If the University holds the money for you, you will not have to pay the higher fee.

Note: In Campus Solutions, an interruption is recorded as a ‘leave of absence’ (LOA). The program action reason for the LOA will be defined as ‘interruption’ or ‘maternity leave’ as appropriate.

During the leave of absence period, you will not be entitled to supervision and will have limited access to University facilities: you will not be able to use swipe cards or the library but will have access to you student IT account, the student portal, email and Campus Solutions.

Return from interruption

Upon return from a period of interruption, you must inform your Programme Director (or equivalent) and the appropriate Programme Support / Division Administrator. You may be required to register on your return from a leave of absence; this is dependent on your registration cycle and the date of your return to studies.

The Division administrator will notifying your funding organisation (if applicable, in cases of PGT students) once you have returned from interruption and re-registered for your programme of study.

Where the leave of absence was permitted for serious medical problems, you must provide a note from your healthcare professional that states you are fit to return to studies.

You can be withdrawn from the programme if you do not return to your studies at the appointed time or if you do not notify the appropriate administrative contact on their return as specified in the interruption letter.

Failure to return from a period of interruption if you fail to return and re-register after 30 days of your expected date of return following an interruption, and there has been no response to the Division’s efforts to contact you, then you can be deregistered from the student system.

 Students’ right to appeal

If the Division declines your application for interruption, you have the right to appeal against this decision. In this instance, you are advised to refer to the University’s Academic Appeals regulation (General Regulation XIX)

Maternity leave – you may interrupt your studies for the purpose of maternity leave at any time from 28 weeks of the pregnancy for a maximum period of 12 months during your degree. The period of leave must be taken in one consecutive block.[1]

Adoption leave – if you are adopting a child may interrupt you studies for a maximum 12 month period during your degree. The period of leave must be taken in one consecutive block.

Supporting documentation

Medical evidence – a doctor’s note or note from another medical professional should be submitted in support of an interruption based on a prolonged or acute medical condition

Other documentary evidence – appropriate third party independent supporting or collaborative documentation is required. Where there is considerable personal or family difficulties that have led you seek leave of absence, these circumstances should be fully explained. The Division will determine, on an individual case-by-case basis, if the documentary evidence supplied is satisfactory.

The Division reserves the right to contact any person named in a submission to seek further clarification or further information. Please note: this will not be done to remedy omissions in the completion of the documentation by you the student/Programme Director, or to seek supporting evidence when not supplied

In the case of PGT students, where requests for an interruption after the taught component of your programme has been completed, you must produce a document detailing where you are up to in your dissertation and how you will complete your project within the time frame on return from your leave of absence. This time plan must be approved by the Programme Director or your dissertation supervisor.

A supporting letter from your sponsor/funding body may be also required.

All information on the form is treated as STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

Before requesting an interruption to your programme of study, it is important that you consider the implications of interrupting. Help and advice can be obtained from your Division or from the Academic Advisory Service, the University Counselling Service or the Students’ Union Advice Centre.

More guidance can be found here


If pregnant, at pre registration medical, the Fitness Form should specify that time off and restricted duties may be necessary.  A certificate from your GP or Midwife certifying that you are pregnant will need to be given to your programme director.

Current students ideally you should see your Programme Director early in your pregnancy so that you can be referred to Occupational Health. You will need to access the general advice leaflet from the HSE, ‘A guide to new and expectant Mothers who work’

If on placement as well as being in the university, you will need to inform the placement manager and practice education manager that you are pregnant so that the manager can undertake a risk assessment using the HSE leaflet as a guide (see page 3 of the HSE Leaflet for more information see link above or below).

If you wish to preserve your bursary payments, you should not interrupt before you have submitted your MATB1 form.

Two weeks leave following birth is compulsory by HSE law.

On return the Programme Director should discuss the following areas with you

  • Shifts
  • Infectious diseases; blood-born viruses
  • Rest area
  • If you are a non-responder to Hepatitis B are unlikely to be fit to practice.

You will also be asked to self-refer to the Occupational Health Department if you have any problem with either your pregnancy or your placement.

Review prior to return, taking into account mode of delivery and pre/post partum medical/mental health problems. 6-week postnatal check with GP is generally no longer performed.

NB: You are entitled to maternity pay for 45 weeks commencing from 11th week prior to confinement.


A candidate who fails to satisfy the Examiners in any assessment of taught units may be permitted a reassessment on one further occasion (As permitted in accordance with the regulations). The candidate must take the opportunity for reassessment in the next available University examination period.

Candidates for the degree of Masters will not be permitted to present a dissertation until they have satisfied the examiners in the assessment of the taught part of the programme.

Candidates who do not achieve the required pass mark in the taught element for a Masters award, but who do achieve the required pass mark for a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate, may be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate, as appropriate, provided they have completed the requisite number of credits.


Should you decide to withdraw from the programme at any time you will need to inform the both the Programme Director and the Programme Secretary of this fact in writing at the earliest opportunity.  You will need to state the date from which you withdrew from the programme and your reasons for leaving.  Ideally we would like you to arrange to meet with your Programme Director so that you can be given careers advice and so that appropriate closure can be obtained for both you the student and the University.  However, if you withdraw from the programme without informing the Programme Director or Programme Secretary, your case will be presented at the next available progress committee meeting.  At this meeting a decision regarding your status on the programme will be discussed and the outcome conveyed to you in writing within seven days of the meeting being held.


By the nature of practice, students will be exposed to confidential information about patients/clients and others.  Breaching confidentiality may only be appropriate in exceptional circumstances.  Inappropriate breaching of confidentiality is a betrayal of trust, a serious matter and as such may lead to disciplinary action by the employer or university.

You are reminded that information you are exposed to, may fall into two categories: i) that for use within the Public Domain which is open and accessible, and ii) that which falls within the Private Domain and is confidential.  There is also information that is deemed to be in the public’s interest but not necessarily readily available.  Care should be taken to ensure that these aspects of information/confidentiality are properly addressed within student work.  If you are unclear on this subject, you should seek clarification from your Course Unit Leader.

 You must not give information to the Press regarding events which take place in the Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work or any of the placement areas.  Any enquiries from the Press must be directed to the Head of Division or the Senior Officer (if in a clinical placement). If you are requested to make a statement, help and advice should be sought from your academic advisor.

Although you are free to publish your own work, you are strongly advised to seek tutorial guidance first, since any work submitted for examination/assessment purposes remains the copyright of the Division.

The Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work operates within codes of conduct regulated by Professional, Regulatory and Statutory Bodies (PSRB). These  include the Nursing Midwifery Council (NMC) and the Health Care Professions Council (HCPC). Students studying within the Division are required to adhere to their respective  PSRB code. All codes require students to maintain confidentiality, this includes within academic  assessment.  When undertaking any formative or summative assessment protection of confidentially in relation to the patient, care environment, staff or organisation is to be maintained at all times. If you are unsure whether your work may contravene your PSRB code you should discuss this with your course unit lead at the earliest opportunity. Serious breaches of confidentiality may result in referral to the Schools Health and Conduct Committee.


Students who are seconded to the University from their employer for a Programme of study should note the following:

  • The university will not routinely share information about student progress and attendance with seconding employers or professional bodies.
  • However, circumstances may arise where it is appropriate for information held by the University or the employer, which may affect student progression and continuation on programmes of study or employer support, to be shared between these parties.
  • The University will respond to reasonable requests by employers or professional bodies for such information and may on occasion seek information from employers or professional bodies.
  • Agreement to the sharing of such information for seconded students is a pre-requisite for entry and continuation on programmes of study.
  • Students who wish to be excluded from this agreement should formally notify the Programme Director in writing, who will relay this information to the seconding employer.



If you go beyond the standard programme length and we stop getting funding for your study, you may be charged extension tuition fees.

Additional fees will be charged based on the proportion of the Bench Mark Price, effective at the date when the extension is required. The full policy and details of fees will be posted on the Student Community Area on Blackboard during Semester one.




This section reflects the assessment regulations of the University of Manchester.  The standard of the University’s awards and the students’ confidence in the equity and parity of the assessment of their work depends crucially on the scrupulous conduct of all matters relating to the assessment process.

All programmes of study need to be assessed and in this programme you may be assessed in both theory and practice elements.

The purpose of assessment is to form a judgement on the quality of students’ work, to ascertain and certify levels of achievement, and to enable examiners’ to report on the standard of performance reached by students.

Assessments are either formative or summative.  Formative work is designed to help you meet the requirements of summative assessments.  Summative assessments must be passed in order for an award to be conferred.  Failure to pass all summative assessments will affect your progression through the course and may result in discontinuation of your studies.



A guide to referencing is located in the Exams & Assessments section of the Student Gateway area on Blackboard. Please note that failure to include a reference list in all summatively assessed coursework will incur an automatic fail and the mark of 0% being awarded.


Accurate referencing of all written work is essential as it enables readers to (i) assess the accuracy of the writer’s interpretation of source material; (ii) check the writer’s integrity; and (iii) easily seek out material that may be of interest to their own studies.  All assignments completed for this programme of study are required to have a reference list.

Though there are many referencing/bibliographical systems around, the Harvard system is the system adopted by many of the prestigious nursing journals.  More importantly, it is the system, which the Division of Nursing, Midwifery & Social Work has adopted.  This means that it is the only system, which is acceptable for any work submitted by students within the Division.

The Harvard system is a standardised system.  This means that certain conventions must be adhered to (though there is some room for flexibility).  The Harvard system works on the principle that every text/article/book mentioned (“cited”) in an assignment must have a matching full reference in the final reference list.  Likewise, every full reference in the reference list must have been mentioned in the main body of the assignment.  An additional “bibliography” (which in this context means a list of texts/articles/books used, but not mentioned in the main body of an assignment) is not required.


Guidance on Plagiarism and Other Forms of Academic Malpractice

As a student, you are expected to co-operate in the learning process throughout your programme of study by completing assignments of various kinds that are the product of your own study or research. For most students this does not present a problem, but occasionally, whether unwittingly or otherwise, a student may commit what is known as plagiarism or some other form of academic malpractice when carrying out an assignment. This may come about because you may have been used to different conventions in your prior educational experience or through general ignorance of what is expected.

The Division makes use of an on-line plagiarism detection service and will routinely scan samples of assessed work for possible plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice.  Such systems include TurnitinUK, the plagiarism detection service used by the University.

As part of the formative and/or summative assessment process, you may be asked to submit electronic versions of your work to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University (this requirement may be in addition to a requirement to submit a paper copy of your work).  If you are asked to do this, you must do so within the required timescales.

The Division also reserves the right to submit work handed in by you for formative or summative assessment to TurnitinUK 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.

For more information see the Divisions policy on Plagiarism and Academic malpractice including the potential Fitness to Practice implications student who hold a registration with a professional body.

Understanding Academic Malpractice

As further support for students, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has developed a unit entitled “Understanding Academic Malpractice”. This unit should 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 skills training resource will be listed under the My Communities heading (below your course units). The unit should be completed as soon as possible after you begin your programme, but must be completed before you submit your first piece of academic writing for assessment.


When submitting work for summative (formal) assessment students need to ensure they meet the following requirements:

  • Submit work before the submission deadline date/time has elapsed as failure to do so can result in imposition of severe penalties.
  • Submit each course unit assignment via online submission through Blackboard. Where online submission is not available an alternative method of submission will be provided.
  • Students submitting assignments electronically must complete the submission page and when asked to enter the submission title, must enter their 7 digit university id number (to be found on the student I.D./library/photo card). Failure to follow this explicit instruction will result in a ‘Failed to submit’.
  • When submitting your assignment online, this must include your reference list as part of the same document.
  • Write the title of the course unit, the course unit number, the name of the course unit leader, the title of the assignment, the submission date and the number of words on the front sheet of the assignment document. See example below:

Sample Summative Assignment Front Sheet

Candidate Number here    →      1234567

(this is your 7 digit University ID Number in other words the number on your library card or photo card)

 This candidate number should also appear in this position at the top of every subsequent page of the essay you submit

Course Unit Number                              NU60010

Course Unit Title                                       Core Research Methods

Course Unit Leader                                 Dr Peter Callery

Essay Title                                                   An Investigation to Examine the Processes Involved in Trying to Engage Service Users in Managing their Own Care

Number of words                                   3550

Submission Date                                       25.03.2016

Write their candidate number (this is the number on the library card) in the top right hand corner of the front sheet of the assignment and on the top right hand corner of all pages of the assignment. See the sample summative assignment front sheet example


Do not write any candidate name on any part of the assignment as the assessment process is supposed to be anonymous

 Submit all assignment work to the Division (Online unless stated) by 12 noon GMT on the submission date stated. This programme is bound by the Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes.

Each course unit assessment submitted via hardcopy should be accompanied by an ‘Assessed Coursework Cover Sheet’ ensuring that Parts A, B and C are completed. Only one cover sheet needs to be completed for each assessment.  However Part B the ‘Plagiarism statement’ needs to be read understood and signed.

Gain a receipt for the work to prove that they actually submitted the work on time. For work submitted online print out and keep the e-receipt for your records.

If posting work into the department, make sure it reaches the department by the submission date so make sure sufficient time is allowed for any work to reach the department.

Confirm in writing that the work being submitted is the students own work, that it has not plagiarised and has not been submitted for any other form of assessment anywhere else.

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

Assignment Word Count (including the 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.



A mark of 0% will be given to a piece of work submitted without a reference list.


The University has a generic policy regarding mitigating circumstances with can be found at the following

Mitigating Circumstances Procedures to be followed in the Division of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work

Sometimes circumstances or events beyond a student’s control may adversely affect their ability to perform in an assessment to their full potential or to complete an assignment by the set deadline. In such cases mitigation may be applied, i.e. treating marks or results in a way that recognizes the adverse impact that may have resulted from those circumstances or events, or waiving penalties that would arise from late submission.

Mitigation will not result in the changing of any marks, unless penalties for late submission are waived after an assignment has already been marked. Instead, mitigation may result in some marks being disregarded and the assessment being excused because it was adversely affected.

The student should first seek advice from their academic advisor as to whether the adverse circumstances are sufficient to warrant consideration by the Division’s Special Circumstances Panel. Advice should also be sought as to whether it is in the interest of the student to consider alternative remedies such as a deadline extension, re-scheduling of an assessment within a current assessment period (if possible), or sitting an examination at the next available opportunity. In very serious cases, the student might even be best advised to interrupt their studies for a period of time.

It is important to remember that, in order to qualify for consideration, the adverse circumstances or events must be unforeseeable or unpreventable, and sufficiently disruptive to have a significant adverse effect on the academic performance of the student or their ability to complete assignments by the due date.

Circumstances or events that merit consideration may include: suffering a serious illness or injury; the death or critical/significant illness of a close family member/dependant; a significant family crisis leading to acute stress; unplanned absence arising from such things as jury service or maternity, paternity or adoption leave.

Circumstances that will NOT normally be regarded as grounds for mitigation include

  • holidays 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;
  • exam stress or panic attacks not diagnosed as illness.

Requesting an Extension

Extensions to agreed assessment dates are not granted as a right; but where exceptional circumstances exist students should normally request an extension in the following way:

Applications for extensions should be submitted to the Examinations & Assessments Office as soon as it is realised that an extension may be required.  Unless the circumstances are exceptional this should normally take place not less than two weeks before the submission date of the assignment.  

It is expected that there would normally be two types of request for late submission; the first of these will be based on short term needs. In other words, the extension required will be for no longer than two weeks. In this instance, students will need to contact the Examinations and Assessments Office, Room G.313 Jean McFarlane Building, who will liaise with the Unit Leader to renegotiate, agree and arrange a new deadline for the submission of the assignment.

The following process must be followed:

  1. Normally not later than 5 working days before the assignment submission date. Submission of an extension form and supporting documentary evidence to the Examinations & Assessments Office, Room G.313 Jean McFarlane building, using the standard paperwork to be found on the student community area of Blackboard or in the receptacles outside the Examinations & Assessments Office. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this form is completed accurately and is legible.
  1. The relevant checks are made by the exams and assessments administrators to ensure that:
    • The submission is made in a timely manner.
    • Supporting documentary evidence from an independent third party is provided.
  1. If these criteria are passed, then the documents would be forwarded to the unit lead, who will assess the documentary evidence and its worthiness to support an extension request.
  1. If passed, the unit lead would then sign the document and return it to the Examinations & Assessments Office who then enter a new date for submission into the examinations grid (normally 2 weeks from the original submission deadline) and create a new submission area on Blackboard. The most that can be sanctioned by the unit lead is two weeks.

The second form of request will require an extension of more than two weeks as the underlying reasons for this form of request will be more complex or will take longer to resolve. The following process must be followed:

  1. Normally not later than two weeks before the assignment submission date. Submission of an extension form and supporting documentary evidence to the Examinations & Assessments Office, Room G.313 Jean McFarlane building, using the standard paperwork to be found on the NURS60663 student gateway area of Blackboard or in the receptacles outside the Examinations & Assessments Office. It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this form is completed accurately and is legible.
  1. The relevant checks are made by the exams and assessments administrators to ensure that:
    • The submission is made in a timely manner.
    • Supporting documentary evidence from an independent third party is provided.
  2. If these criteria are passed, then the documents would be forwarded to the Examinations Officer in the first instance or the Programme Director as an alternate, who will assess the documentary evidence and its worthiness to support an extension request.
  3. If passed, the Examinations Officer or Programme Director would then sign the document and return it to the Examinations & Assessments Office who then enter a new date for submission into the examinations grid and create a new submission area on Blackboard. In this case, the Unit Leader and the Programme Director will need to be notified of the situation by the Examinations Officer (or vice versa if the Programme Director approved the request.)

Please Note: If the form is not received by the Examinations & Assessments Office it will be assumed that no extension has been granted.

Whatever the reason for requesting an extension and whatever its duration, this needs to be supported by appropriate documentation. This documentation may take the form of a medical certificate or a letter written by a professional person. Letters from family members will not count as evidence. This documentation will then be available where appropriate at the Examination, Progress or Mitigating Circumstances Committee for discussion should this become necessary. The maximum extension that can be granted by an Examinations Officer or Programme Director one month; longer extensions will need to be sanctioned at a Mitigating Circumstances or Progress Committee.

Decisions regarding Extension requests will be confirmed via email to the Student’s University email account.

Automatic extensions are normally given where a student is ill in the two weeks prior to the submission date where the illness is certified by a doctor. Students with DSO requirements must still submit an extension request form in the usual way.

If the mitigating circumstances are extremely complex or severe then a mitigating circumstances committee may need to be convened in order to manage the situation in the best interest of the student.  The mitigating circumstances committee would comprise the Director of Postgraduate Studies, Quality Assurance and Enhancement Officer for Postgraduate Studies, Programme Director, Unit Leader, Academic advisor and Programme Examinations Secretary.  It is expected that this committee would only need to be convened in extreme circumstances.


  • All summative assessed course units must be reviewed by at least one internal examiner
  • A selection of work is scrutinised by the external examiner (Please Note: all work can be made available for the external examiner if required)
  • All examiners receive a copy of the assessment schedule, for the programme in September of each academic year. The schedule provides information on:
  • The name of the person allocated as the first and second internal examiners for each of the course units.
  • Submission dates – this is the date when first markers will be sent the work for scrutiny
  • Second Marker Date – this is the date when the second marker should be sent the scripts for second marking
  • The date when the work will be sent to the external examiner
  • Dates of the examinations boards


Please note that the assessment schedule, containing dates and deadlines, are provided on the Exams & Assessments area of the student gateway on Blackboard, so that the assessed work can be presented at the examinations boards identified on the schedule. Assessment dates are subject to change, it is therefore important to check the schedule for updates on a regular basis.

All examiners receive a copy of the marking criteria: 20-21 NMSW Marking Criteria This provides a guide as to how work should be graded; please see the Exams & Assessments section of the Student Gateway area on Blackboard for more information..

  • Marking Units: All marks for credit-bearing assessment must be given as percentages. 
  • Double Marking: The University has a policy for marking details of which are found in the Manual of Academic Procedures

In the Division of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work we operate a system of double marking for most units of study.  This is where every text is marked independently by two markers.  However, in units of study where there are large groups we operate a system of moderation this where all scripts are marked by one person and a sample of the scripts are marked by a second person.

  • Resolution of Marks: Programme Committees have procedures whereby differences in marks can be resolved internally by the two markers or by the use of a third marker. In exceptional cases, the External Examiner may be asked to adjudicate and award an agreed mark.
  • Anonymous Marking: The University has a policy of anonymous marking and anonymity of students at examination boards. It is appreciated that some types of assessment employed on taught masters programmes cannot be undertaken anonymously but programme management teams and examination boards follow this policy wherever possible. The board of examiners, in consultation with the external examiner will examine the assessment methods for a programme and where they are unable to comply with the policy, an application must be made to the Graduate Division to ratify any deviation. 


You will be provided with dates for submission of your assignments, practice documents and examinations, by the unit leader on commencing the unit.

You will normally receive provisional feedback, based on the internal markers comments, four to six weeks after submission.  This feedback is provisional and subject to confirmation of/by the External Examiner and ratification by the Examination Board.  This information will either be posted or emailed to you at your University student account, or uploaded to the Divisions online results system for you to access through Blackboard.

  • Following external examiners approval and ratification you will receive the final feedback by post or e-mail to your University student account.
  • Any student who has failed will be notified in writing of the resubmission date following the ratification of results by the Examiners Board.
  • Any student, having failed a part or all of the assessment process for the second time, will automatically be referred to the Progress Committee.
  • Results cannot be given over the telephone and no tutor / lecturer is permitted to divulge results to you or others.
  • Teachers/lecturers are the only people who are entitled on request to remove examination scripts from relevant Examination Office. The scripts need to be signed in and signed out by a tutor / lecturer.


  1. Working days are Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays excluding Bank Holidays.


Feedback Policy:


A student who fails to satisfy the Examiners in any assessment of taught units may be permitted to resubmit the assessment or retake the examination on one further occasion if within the University regulations during the next available University examination period or within a period as published following the respective examination board.


As of September 2011 all students needing to undertake a resit Assessment at second attempt may be charged a fee. The full policy and details of fees will be posted on Blackboard prior to the first submission period.


Students may be awarded a compensated pass for a Master’s degree if within the specified university regulations.


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 institution

External Examiners Reports

External Examiners’ reports relating to this programme will be shared with student representatives at the Staff Student Liaison Committee (SSLC)/programme committee/other appropriate forum (specify), where details of any actions carried out by the programme team/Division 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.

The External Examiners for this programme are:

Name: Dr Josh Cameron
Name of Institution: University of Brighton
Position at current Institution:  Principal Lecturer 

Name: Dr Eddie Chaplin
Name of Institution: London South Bank University
Position at current Institution:

Please note that 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 Division 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 Office (or equivalent). 

Ratification of Results at an Examination Board

At designated points in the academic year, each assessment including practice is considered by the Board of Examiners, which consists of lecturers, including markers and moderators, External Examiners and representatives from the clinical practice areas. The meetings are chaired by the Dean (or nominee). No mark or grade is finalised until it has been considered by this committee. Students normally receive marks and grades before they have been returned from the External Examiner and before a meeting of the Board of Examiners; therefore students should be aware that marks could change after consideration by the Board of Examiners. Any change of marks is exceedingly rare and if it does occur, all the students involved will be informed immediately. If the mark has been changed from a pass grade to a fail grade, and if the student is eligible for a further attempt, an appropriate date for resubmission of the assessment will be given.


  • Students have a right of appeal against a final decision of an Examination Board or equivalent body which affects their academic status or progress in the University.
  • Students thinking of appealing should first discuss the matter informally with an appropriate member of staff, in order to better understand the reason for the result or decision.
  • Should you wish to proceed to a formal appeal, this must be submitted within the timeframe outlined in the Academic Appeals Procedure to the Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL(e-mail:
  • The Academic Appeals Procedure (Regulation XIX) and associated documents, including the form on which formal appeals should be submitted, can be found at


As part of its commitment to ensuring the standard and quality of its programmes of study, services, and facilities, the University has established a procedure to deal with complaints from students. Complaints provide useful feedback information from students and, where appropriate, will be used to improve services and facilities.

The procedure comprises a number of stages, both informal and formal. Students who have a complaint to make should raise it directly with the staff concerned at the earliest opportunity, as matters that are dealt with informally at an early stage have the best chance of being resolved effectively. Only where the informal procedures have been completed and the complainant remains dissatisfied should the formal stage be instituted.

  • The University’s Student Complaints Procedure (Regulation XVIII) and associated documents, including a complaints form, can be found at
  • 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



Students may, in exceptional circumstances, and with prior permission of the Faculty, be allowed to re-take the entire programme. In such circumstances, students may re-register only if all outstanding fees have been paid. Fees are payable for the new period of registration.


Postgraduate degree classification for the award of merit and distinction are based on the weighted average mark across the programme calculated to one decimal place, where marks for individual course units are recorded as whole numbers.


A person who has passed the degree examination shall be deemed to be a graduate of the University from the date of the meeting of Senate at which the relevant examination result was confirmed. As a successful cCandidate, you may be presented for conferment of the degree at the appropriate ceremony following confirmation of the result.

Your student registration will extend to graduation in December, so that students will be able to access student e-mail addresses and the Student Gateway area of Blackboard. Details of the graduation ceremonies will be communicated via student e-mail addresses and the Student Gateway area on Blackboard.

Please Note: The names that are printed on the degree certificate will be the student’s name as recorded in the University student record system and which is printed each year on the registration form. It is important therefore for students to check the registration form to ensure that their names are correctly recorded. The name printed on the degree certificate cannot subsequently be amended without valid proof of the correct name (i.e. birth certificate, passport, etc.) and this service may incur a charge.

Students eligible for graduation are encouraged to check the online student system normally 6-8 weeks prior to their ceremony taking place to register their attendance at the ceremony and to request tickets for family/friends.


MRes students complete a 90-credit dissertation the guidelines for which are outlined below. The dissertation will be assessed according to University requirements by two internal examiners and by the external examiner to the programme.


The Dissertation is an extended piece of written work carried out by individual students following successful completion of required course work.  Its purpose is to:

  • Allow students to pursue theoretical aspects of a topic of personal and professional interest.
  • Provide students with an opportunity to consolidate and demonstrate research skills and knowledge developed in both course work and the research project.


The aims of the dissertation are to:

  • Encourage systematic exploration of an area of practice.
  • Develop students’ understandings of the relationship between theory and practice.
  • Consolidate students’ ability to critically analyse literature.
  • Consolidate an understanding of research processes

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the dissertation period of study students will be able to:

  • Demonstrate at a sophisticated level a research-based understanding of an area of study relevant to their interests and practice.
  • Have the option to undertake a small research project and present it for examination in Dissertation form.
  • Engage in a systematic exploration of the literature related to a specific area of clinical practice so as to demonstrate an in-depth understanding of the relationship between theory and practice.
  • Formulate a dissertation that is either based on empirical research, an Organisational Change/Practice Development, secondary data analysis, or a Substantive Investigation and Analysis of a Topic in order to analyse, synthesis and evaluate the available evidence and reconstruct current theory and practice so as to become innovative original thinkers and research active clinical specialists/advanced practitioners/educationalists.


Please read the Regulations for the Presentation of Theses and Dissertations.  You will need to submit your dissertation to the Exams and Assessments Office, Jean McFarlane Building and online via Blackboard – Guidance for the presentation of Taught Masters dissertations

Dissertation Marking

Candidates for the degree of Masters must present a dissertation. The form and/or length of the dissertations are outlined below. A copy of the full examiners report form is located in the Exams & Assessments section of the Student Gateway area on Blackboard.  Full guidance regarding the regulation and submission of the dissertation is located in the Exams & Assessments section of the Student Community area on Blackboard.

The dissertation must be submitted in September at the end of one full calendar year for full time students and for part time students at the end of the second calendar year plus up to a further three months if needed.  No writing up period will be permitted for full time students excluding exceptional circumstances

Candidates for Postgraduate Certificates will not be required to present a project report.

Material which has already been included in a dissertation or report submitted in support of an application for a degree or qualification of any University or professional or learned body may only be embodied in the dissertation submitted for the degree of Masters on the condition that the fact of the previous submission of such material is made clear at all relevant points in the dissertation.

A candidate who fails to satisfy the Examiners by reason of inadequacy of the dissertation or project report or of the work therein reported may, at the discretion of the examiners, be permitted to present a revised dissertation or project report on one further occasion or, at the discretion of the examiners, be awarded a Postgraduate Diploma provided 120 credits have already been achieved.


Below are the steps that students need to follow related to research governance when undertaking empirical research, submission, graduation.

Further guidance can be found on the University’s Central Research Office website:


The term sponsor is used to describe the organisation taking formal responsibility for the conduct of your research.  If you are a registered student of this University and your proposed research forms part of the programme of study then please list the University of Manchester as your sponsor.


If your research involves the use of patients, facilities or resources of an NHS Trust then you will need to have an employment contract with that NHS Trust.  If you are not already employed by the NHS then you will need to obtain an honorary research contract via the NHS Trust’s R&D Office.  NHS Trusts in Greater Manchester have now adopted a common approach towards issuing honorary research contracts. The new system came into force in May 2005 and is the result of widespread consultation with Greater Manchester NHS Research and Development Managers, Greater Manchester Human Resources Directors, The University of Manchester, the NHS R&D Forum and the UK Clinical Research Collaboration. The new passport system is intended to reduce the bureaucracy of the current process of obtaining honorary contracts and avoid duplication between The University of Manchester and NHS Trusts, thus speeding up the process.

The Research Passport is issued to researchers to complete, prior to applying for an honorary research contract. The Principal Investigator should ensure that his/her research team has the necessary checks carried out (e.g. employment, Criminal Records Bureau, occupational health etc.) to underpin the issue of the honorary contract. The Research Passport aims to provide assurances from the substantive employer (usually The University of Manchester) to the potential honorary employer (the NHS organisation) about the applicant (The University of Manchester academic).

The Research Passport system places the onus on the researcher to go to his/her employing organisation to obtain the necessary signatures and checks prior to applying for an honorary research contract.  The researcher can apply for a 5 year contract or a project-limited contract and needs to present his/her research passport to the R&D or HR departments. Issuing the honorary research contract should then be swift when all the correct information is present and auditable. The passport should then be valid for all NHS Trusts in the Greater Manchester area and beyond, although specific Trust requirements should be clarified.

Students in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences who would like to apply for a Research Passport are required to have section 5 of the passport signed by the FMHS Graduate Office before taking the form to the relevant NHS Trust with whom s/he wishes to take out the honorary contract. The honorary contract will be issued by the Trust R&D Office or Trust HR Department, depending on how the particular Trust has decided to issue honorary contracts. If the researcher needs to obtain an additional honorary research contract from another Trust, s/he need only produce the passport. If the Trust then approves the research project, the letter that the Trust sends to the researcher approving the project will act as the honorary research contract. Any queries you may have on how to apply for a Research Passport should be directed to your Programme Director, Research Supervisor or the Division’s Research Business Manager in the first instance.  More details can be found at the following urls:


This process offers assurances about the quality of the science in the proposed research project.  Your project is reviewed by experts who are able to comment on how you have designed your research activity.  As a student scientific review is likely to be carried out by your supervisor or another academic within your Division or division.

 On occasions the host NHS Trust may deem it necessary to ask for additional assurances about the scientific quality of your proposed research.  If your research involves a NHS Trust anywhere in the North West of England then you can submit to the North West Peer Review system.


Where the research project involves the NHS in any way then you will need to obtain a favourable opinion from a NHS research ethics committee (REC) before you start your research.  More details are available from  Application is via an online form

The application has to be approved and authorised by the University as sponsor therefore requires Faculty review.  Please see the following link for further information on this process:

You should also be aware that all favourable NHS Ethical opinions must be registered with the University Ethics Committee.  Please refer to your Research Supervisor for further details.


Where your research raises ethical issues but does not involve the NHS in any way, you must apply for a favourable opinion from the University of Manchester Research Ethics Committees (UREC).  Examples of research reviewed by this committee: research using human participants who are volunteers (not recruited via a NHS Trust), research using human participants outside the UK.

 Conditions associated with a favourable opinion from any ethics committee include requirement for notification of significant amendments to the agreed protocol, including reporting of project related adverse events and a final report to the ethics committee upon completion of the research

Further information can be found at:


Where you are involving the NHS in research then provided you have obtained all necessary approvals (research management, research governance, ethical and where appropriate regulatory approval), your project may be covered by NHS Indemnity for clinical negligence.  Access to this cover is via NHS R&D Office approval.  However, if this is a clinical trial and investigation of a medicinal product (CTIMP), part of this indemnity may need to come from the company funding the research.  IF you are undertaking this form of study you will need to check first with Dr Tim Stibbs (contact details below) what part of the indemnity cover needs to be provided by the University of Manchester and that which needs to come via the funding agent in this case normally a pharmaceutical company.

The University of Manchester has an insurance policy to cover the actions of its staff and students whilst they are engaged in activities such as research that is sanctioned by the University.  It is a no fault (non-negligent harm) policy however you must ensure that you follow agreed and approved procedure at all time.

Access to this University policy is via the University of Manchester Research Ethics Committee:  Dr Timothy Stibbs is secretary to the committee –   0161 275 2046

Further details can be found by accessing the following link:

and also reviewing the University’s standard answers relating to indemnity and insurance:



It is essential that all adverse events (including reactions to substances administered) are reported to the stakeholders in the research:  Host NHS Trust, University of Manchester and the Research Ethics Committee that gave you the favourable opinion.  There are very clear guidelines in the EU clinical Trials Directive about the reporting of: adverse events, serious adverse events; unexpected adverse and serious unexpected adverse events that can be found at the following NRES web address under safety reporting.

Permission (from the stakeholders) may be required before amendments are made to an approved protocol.


Students will be given permission to submit a dissertation (to achieve an MRes) by the examination board when they have accumulated 90 credits for course work.


Please refer to the presentation guidelines for Master’s Dissertations in preparing your document. Here are some general guidelines:

  • As well as chapters, have you given lists of tables and list of figures in your contents page?
  • Are the chapters all numbered consecutively? Numberings from earlier versions may persist and you may have two Chapter 4s, or no Chapter 6, for example.
  • Are all the cross-references to other sections of your dissertation correct?
  • Do all the references in the text have a corresponding entry in the reference list?

Please note that you will be submitting your dissertation online, via Blackboard.


You need to check your draft for continuity errors. Roughly speaking, this means checking that the whole text is consistent with itself from beginning to end. If you have changed some sections, there might be section headings to re-number, for example. To help you eliminate such errors, here is a checklist:

  • are the headings and sub-headings in the contents list the same as those in the text?
  • the same date as the reference in the text?
  • where you refer to an article within an edited collection, have you included the full book reference, with editors, as well as the chapter reference?
  • are all the references complete, in other words have you included the publication date and place, as well as the publisher’s name?
  • tables: check that their numbers and titles are correct, and that references to them in the text are correct;
  • figures: as for tables
  • have you checked all the calculations in your tables where they are relevant?
  • have you got the correct totals in the tables?
  • is there enough labelling information in your tables and graphs? (For example if you refer to percentages, is it clear exactly what they are percentages of? Do you make it clear whether raw scores or percentages are being referred to?)
  • have you calculated all the figures to the same number of decimal places?
  • are you consistent about abbreviations?

None of these proof-checking tasks are the responsibility of your academic supervisor.


Please see following page.


Exceptional (allows award of distinction):

Exceptional work, nearly or wholly faultless for that expected at Masters level. Perfect presentation.

80-89% Outstanding (allows award of distinction): Work of outstanding quality throughout. Excellent presentation.
70-79% Excellent (allows award of distinction): Work of very high to excellent quality showing originality, high accuracy, thorough understanding, critical appraisal.  Shows a wide and thorough understanding of the material studied and the relevant literature and the ability to apply the theory and methods learned to solve unfamiliar problems. Very good presentation.
60-69% Good Pass (allows award of merit): Work of good to high quality showing evidence of understanding of the research topic, good accuracy, good structure and relevant conclusions.  Shows a good knowledge of the material studied and the relevant literature and some ability to tackle unfamiliar problems. Good presentation.
50-59% Pass: Work shows a clear grasp of relevant facts and issues and reveals an attempt to create a coherent whole. It comprises reasonably clear and attainable objectives, adequate literature review and some originality. Presentation is acceptable, minor errors allowed.
40-49% Referral for Masters or allow Diploma Pass for 90 credit dissertations:  Work shows a satisfactory understanding of the research topic and basic knowledge of the relevant literature but with little or no originality and limited accuracy.  Shows clear but limited objectives, and does not always reach a conclusion. Presentation adequate but could be improved.
30-39% Masters fail or allow Referral for Diploma pass for 90 credit dissertations: Work shows some understanding of the main elements of the research topic and some knowledge of the relevant literature. Shows a limited level of accuracy with little analysis of data or attempt to discuss its significance. Presentation poor.
20-29% Fail: Limited relevant material presented.  Little understanding of research topic. Unclear or unsubstantiated arguments with very poor accuracy and understanding. Presentation unacceptable.
10-19% Fail: Limited understanding of the research process.  The topic is largely without evidence to support its exploration for research and the arguments are supported by poor sources of evidence.  The thesis is disjointed and does not demonstrate logical coherent thinking with unacceptable presentation.
0-9% Fail: The text demonstrates no understanding of the research process. The topic is totally inappropriate and there is no evidence to support its exploration as an area of interest for research.  Presentation is extremely poor and is not in an appropriate format for submission as a Masters thesis.  The topic would need to be reconstructed and totally rewritten if it were to be presented for resubmission.



At the recommendation of the Board of Examiners, students will normally be allowed one resubmission of a failed dissertation/project if a mark of at least 30% was obtained at 1st attempt and this will normally be within three months of ratification. The programme examination board must ensure that suitable advice and supervision is available during the resubmission period. The board of examiners, in agreement with the external examiner may decide not to allow resubmission of a dissertation/project. The Examination Board must agree that the grounds are justified. In cases of resubmission, students will be advised of the required resubmission fee.


A candidate may exceptionally be required, at the discretion of the Examiners, to present him/herself for a viva voce (oral examination), in the subject of his/her dissertation or project report or on any matter immediately connected therewith.



The Programme Committee is responsible for the review procedures of their respective programmes. Reports are reviewed by the Graduate Education Management Committee and include programme development, variety of programme options, assessment of individual units and any other matter relating to the Programme. Each programme committee invites student representatives from each year group. Student participation is welcomed.


As a registered student of The University of Manchester, you agree to comply with the rules and regulations under which the University and its students must operate. The principles underpinning these are set out in the University’s Statutes, Ordinances and Regulations, which are listed in the Founding Documents available at

Specific regulations regarding your programme of study are set down in the programme information section of this handbook.  The main elements of the rules and regulations of which you should be aware are summarised in the A-Z of Services.

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 (such as [Note – ideally this should be tailored for each programme handbook, with the name of the relevant regulator included]).

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.


Students are expected to behave in a professional manner when within the University premises.  Any student demonstrating inappropriate behaviour may be asked to leave the premises. The student may be referred to the Occupational Health Department or to the Progress Committee.

Inappropriate behaviours include being under the influence of alcohol or illegal drugs, being rude or aggressive to fellow students or staff, smoking in restricted areas or  putting students’ or staff member’s health and safety at risk.




The Faculty of Medical & Human Sciences have produced a document that provides advice and guidance for healthcare students about the benefits and potential dangers of social networking and suggests ways in which their personal and professional interests, and those of others, can be protected while in the online environment.



Guidance on Social Networking for Healthcare Students


What is the purpose of this document?


This document provides advice and guidance for healthcare students about the benefits and potential dangers of social networking and suggests ways in which their personal and professional interests, and those of others, can be protected while in the online environment.


What are social networking sites used for?


Social networking is a popular online activity: millions of people of all ages and backgrounds use social networking sites every day, Online social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter, MySpace and Bebo, are used:

  • To keep in touch with friends, both in words and through sharing music, video and other types of files (YouTube is also used for sharing videos, and Flickr for sharing images, online).
  • For educational and professional benefit, through sharing information about the latest developments in treatments and practice, problem-solving, encouraging participation, and community building.
  • To forge new relationships based on common interests.
  • To make their views and opinions known.
  • To take part in discussions on virtually any subject.

People often interact with social networking sites over long periods of time and, occasionally, excessive activity of this nature may have detrimental effects on their work or study.


What is the social networking environment?


It is important to remember that social networking sites are public and therefore, in theory, accessible to anybody.  In many cases, ownership of the material posted on them belongs to the site, not the person who posted it, and so sites such as Facebook are free to use it in any way they see fit.  Material posted online remains there permanently, if not as part of an active page then as part of easily-accessible ‘cached’, i.e. historical, versions of it.


Who visits social networking sites, and why?


Anybody can visit social networking sites and gain access to the information that is uploaded to them.  These people include:

  • Your intended audience, i.e. your friends, colleagues and others, to share information and to keep in touch.
  • Potential employers, who are, increasingly, using social networking sites to gather information about people who have applied for positions within their organisations.
  • Criminals, including sexual predators who could use information about you to compromise your safety or wellbeing, and fraudsters, who could steal information about you and impersonate you online, to your potential cost.
  • The police, as part of investigations into illegal activities.
  • Professional healthcare bodies such as the General Dental Council, General Medical Council, General Pharmaceutical Council, General Social Care Council, Health Professions Council, and Nursing & Midwifery Council, who may access information directly or be asked to investigate material referred on to them by other people.
  • Patients, clients and other service users, who may be looking for healthcare information in general, or for your views and comments in particular. Your professional relationship with your patients, and your career, could be compromised at any time by indiscriminate posting of details about patients or inappropriate information about yourself.


What precautions should be taken when social networking?


The same ethics, morals and penalties apply to online social networking as to any other activity.  This is particularly true for heaIthcare students and professionals, who are expected by the University of Manchester, their professional bodies, and by the public generally, to meet the same standards of behaviour both in and out of their professional settings.  Healthcare students from Divisions in the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences should therefore conduct themselves appropriately online, and take reasonable precautions to ensure that the information they upload cannot be used in a way that could place them, or others, at a disadvantage, either personally or professionally, now or at any time in the future.


The following pointers may be helpful:

  • Do everything that you can to limit access to your posts to those for whom they are intended. Change security settings if possible to restrict unwanted access.
  • Consider the language and terminology that you use when you are online and make sure that it is appropriate.
  • Avoid posting personal information such as phone numbers or personal addresses, of you or anybody else, since these may fall into the hands of criminals.
  • Use your common sense. If you feel that a post, a picture, or a video that you are about to upload might have repercussions for you later, or might not be in good taste (e.g. it relates to sexual activity or inappropriate behaviour, or it expresses inappropriate views), then simply do not post it.  Once it is online it is there for good.
  • Make sure you are thinking clearly before you go online. If, for any reason such as the effects of medication, stress or inebriation, your judgement might temporarily be impaired, you may be tempted to post something that you otherwise would not.
  • Do not post material that might be considered offensive and/or derogatory, that could cause somebody else to feel bullied, harassed, or that could harm somebody’s reputation. If you have a grievance about an individual related to your programme, follow it up through the recognised channels in the Division, Faculty and/or the wider University.
  • Avoid posting confidential information about patients, clients and service users that could violate professional codes of conduct.
  • It is imperative that if you post anything about somebody else, including any images of them, it is done with their knowledge and consent. It might seem inoffensive to post images of friends, relatives, staff or other colleagues, but it might easily cause offence that you had not intended or could not have foreseen.
  • Try to make sure that the people to whom you give access to your information use it sensibly, and also that they themselves do not upload potentially incriminating material about you, which can be just as damaging.
  • Avoid joining any groups that could be seen as discriminatory or judgemental in nature.


Are there any related policies and guidance in the University?


The Regulation XVII Conduct and Discipline of Students ( document states that a student may be liable to disciplinary action in respect of conduct which, amongst others:


“involves violent, indecent, disorderly, threatening or offensive behaviour or language (whether expressed orally or in writing, including electronically) whilst on University premises or engaged in any University activity” and “involves distributing or publishing a poster, notice, sign or any publication which is offensive, intimidating, threatening, indecent or illegal, including the broadcasting and electronic distribution of such material”.


Regulation XVII also states that:


“the conduct covered (above) shall constitute misconduct if it took place on University property or premises, or elsewhere if the student was involved in a University activity, was representing the University, was present at that place by virtue of his or her status as a student of the University or if the conduct raises questions about the fitness of the student on a programme leading directly to a professional qualification or calling to be admitted to and practise that profession or calling.”


The Dignity at Work and Study – Procedures for Students document ( gives information about the nature and consequences of acts of misconduct while social networking, such as discrimination, bullying and harassment[3], and the penalties that they may incur.  These policies should be read in conjunction with this guidance.  The University’s Dignity at Work Procedure for Students states:


“Any cases of harassment, discrimination and bullying will be taken very seriously by the University and, where necessary the appropriate procedure will be used to investigate complaints. Similar arrangements will be used in dealing with complaints made by members of staff or by visitors to the University.”


“Cases of proven harassment, discrimination or bullying may be treated as a disciplinary offence where it is not possible to reach a compromise or resolution. Some cases of harassment, discrimination or bullying if proven could result in dismissal for staff members or expulsion for students.”


In addition, the University’s A-Z of Student Services states that:

 “The University expects its members to treat one another with respect.  There are established procedures to use if you are dissatisfied with any aspect of the University’s facilities and services, and you are encouraged to use these procedures to bring such matters to the University’s attention.  Inappropriate or defamatory comments about either the University or its members in any media (print, broadcast, electronic) contravene the University’s regulations and offenders may be liable to disciplinary action.”

What do the Professional Bodies say?

Professional body codes and guidance also explore the potential consequences of social networking activity:

General Dental Council: ‘Standards for Dental Professionals

Paragraph 3.2, ‘Protect the confidentiality of patients’ information’:

“(You must) prevent information from being accidentally revealed and prevent unauthorised access by keeping information secure at all times”.

Paragraph 6.3, ‘Be trustworthy’:

“(You must) maintain appropriate standards of personal behaviour in all walks of life so that patients have confidence in you and the public have confidence in the dental profession”.


General Medical Council: Good Medical Practice’


Paragraphs 56 to 58, ‘Being honest and trustworthy’


“Probity means being honest and trustworthy, and acting with integrity: this is at the heart of medical professionalism”.


“You must make sure that your conduct at all times justifies your patients’ trust in you and the public’s trust in the profession”.


“You must inform the GMC without delay if, anywhere in the world, you have accepted a caution, been charged with or found guilty of a criminal offence, or if another professional body has made a finding against your registration as a result of fitness to practise procedures”.


Nursing and Midwifery Council: ‘Your Code of Conduct applies to your Personal Life’


“Nurses and midwives could be putting their registration at risk if posting inappropriate comments about colleagues or patients or posting any material that could be considered explicit”.


What conclusions can be drawn from all of this?


If the way you conduct yourself online breaks laws, or goes against the codes of practice set down by your professional healthcare body, then you risk the same penalties as you would in any other setting.  These include referral to the Faculty Fitness to Practise Committee and potential damage to your career, fines, and even imprisonment.





The Faculty wishes to acknowledge the work of Mrs Dianne Burns, Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, whose document “Social Networking Sites and Student Issues” informed the content of this guidance.

[1] Paternity leave – A total of two weeks paternity leave may be taken at any time during a partner’s pregnancy or within three months following birth. The student must inform the Programme Director of this absence

[3] Harassment is unwanted conduct that may create the effect (intentionally or unintentionally) of violating a person’s dignity or creating an intimidating, hostile, degrading, humiliating or offensive environment which interferes with an individual’s learning, working or social environment or induces stress, anxiety or sickness on the part of the harassed person.

Discrimination takes place when an individual or a group of people is treated less favourably than others because of their race, gender, gender reassignment, marital status, status as a civil partner, disability, age, religion or belief, sexual orientation or other factors unrelated to their ability or potential.

Bullying can be defined as repeated or persistent actions, criticism or personal abuse, either in public or private, which (intentionally or unintentionally) humiliates, denigrates, undermines, intimidates or injures the recipient. It should, in particular, be borne in mind that much bullying occurs in the context of a power imbalance between victims and alleged perpetrators.