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Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

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

MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice (Paediatrics)

Student Handbook 2021-2022

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


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


The University’s Vision for the Future

Our mission is to make the University of Manchester, already an internationally distinguished centre of research, innovation, learning and scholarly enquiry, one of the leading universities in the world by 2020.

Our aim is to become the preferred destination for the best students, teachers, 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.

WHERE TO FIND Further Information

In addition to this handbook you are required to familiarise yourself with the information contained within the A-Z of Student Services and IT Services handbook.  New students are given access to 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

Tel: +44(0)161 275 5000

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 A-Z of Student Services

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.

A-Z of Student Services

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:


The Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work
The University of Manchester
Jean McFarlane Building
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

Tel 0161 306 0260
Fax 0161 306 7707

Head of Division
Professor Hilary Mairs
Tel 0161 306 7842

Head of Teaching Learning Student Experience
Gabrielle Brennan
Tel 0161 306

Administration Managers

Suzanne Eden - Admissions Manager
Tel 0161 275 2334

Janet Ellis – Student Support Officer
Tel 0161 306 7717

Chris Bamford – Deputy Head of Student Operations (School of Health Sciences)
Tel 0161 306 7622

Sally Hickson – Deputy Head of Student Operations Teaching and Learning (School of Health Sciences)
Tel 0161 306 7727

David Parry – Postgraduate Programme Support Manager
Tel 0161 275 2583

Division Website - Click Here 

Programme Staff

Programme Director | Jane Hughes | 0161-306-7735 | Room 5.323a, Jean McFarlane Building |

Director of Post Graduate Taught Education | Samantha Freeman |0161-306-7607 | Jean McFarlane Building |

Academic Lead Quality Assurance and Enhancement | Dr Penelope Stanford | 0161 30-67676 | Room 5.311 Jean McFarlane Building |

Admissions Administrator | Crystal Butler | 0161-306-7605 | Room G.314, Jean McFarlane Building |

Programme Support Administrator | Amanda Beck | 0161-306-7802 | Room G.319, Jean McFarlane Building |

Examinations & Assessments Administrator | Richard Boyd | 0161-306-7710 | Room G.313, Jean McFarlane Building |

Introduction to the Programme

 Programme Director’s welcome

The Advanced Clinical Practice paediatrics Programme is aimed at those working in advanced clinical practice roles. It offers healthcare practitioners, from a range of backgrounds working with children and young people, an advanced level of integrated clinical knowledge and cutting edge skill development to help you excel as an advanced practitioner and clinical leader in your field .

The highly structured academic programme runs in parallel with a work-based programme of learning hence employer support is essential, as you develop advanced clinical skills to apply to your specific area of practice. The aim is to promoting safe, effective, accessible and high quality patient care

You will develop knowledge and skills required to autonomously manage complexities in individual patient care as well as lead and support the transformation of healthcare services through research informed practice and leadership.

  • Provide a multi-professional programme of clinically relevant postgraduate study to promote the development of practitioners recognized as expert, advanced Clinical Practitioners in Paediatric settings
  • Advance Clinical practice and service delivery through enhancement of critical thinking and synthesis of a range of sources of evidence relevant to clinical practice to inform decision making at an individual, team and/or organizational level
  • Further develop skills to work individually and collaboratively to meet the learning and development needs of practitioners across a range of professions
  • Meet the changing needs of children and young peoples and the people who care for them by critically evaluating current practice
  • Facilitate the development of an in-depth, critical understanding of relevant research and strategies to promote the uptake of research findings into routine healthcare in clinical contexts
  • Further develop advanced clinical and leadership skills to lead the implementation of new accessible approaches to direct clinical care and models of service design
  • Facilitate practitioners to share ideas, experiences and strategies for innovation in advanced clinical practice with key stakeholders including other health care professionals and those who use the services they provide

Equip students with a range of transferable skills in critical reasoning and reflection, collaborative team working, communication, use of IT/health informatics, innovation in the application of knowledge to practice and logical/systematic approaches to solving problems and making decisions..

Continually develop practice in response to changing population health need, engaging in horizon scanning for future developments (eg; impacts of genomics, new treatments and changing social challenges).

An Introduction to PGT Degree Regulations for Students is available at:


Funding for the MSc for home students may be available through the S.L.A. Agreement with Health Education North West contract and you may apply for support through your NHS Trust representative.

Programme Office location & postal address

The Programme Office is located in Room G.319 on the ground floor of the Jean McFarlane Building, The University of Manchester, Oxford Road, M13 9PL.

Social & Working Spaces for Students

The Jean McFarlane Building has a central atrium which provides comfortable and flexible spaces for students to meet or work and is serviced by the Atrium Snack Bar. Wi-Fi is available in the atrium. Additional flexible working spaces are available on the 2nd floor where PCs are provided for individual / group work. Emails cannot be checked from the atrium PCs, 2nd floor clusters have the required level of access to do so.

Student’s responsibilities

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 2017, your registration will expire in August 2018. 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 and/or two weeks of starting the course, failure to complete this may result in your access to University services being temporarily withdrawn.

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

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, MITIGATING 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.

Withdrawal Procedures

If you are considering withdrawing from the programme, you are strongly advised to speak to the pathway leader immediately as they may be able to present an alternative perspective on your situation and will certainly be able to offer advice on how to proceed.  It may be the case that you chose to interrupt your studies rather than fully withdraw.

If, for whatever reason, you have firmly decided to withdraw from the programme, inform your Programme Director/Unit Leader/Pathway Leader as soon as possible verbally and in writing (e-mail is sufficient). It is obviously important that you keep the Division fully informed of your intentions or actions and the University is obliged to inform the appropriate Trusts of your decision depending on your funding stream. You will be requested to return library books and your student ID badge.

Charges for extensions to length of programme

Students who go beyond the standard programme length and for whom we stop getting funding will be charged extension tuition fees. Additional fees will be charged based on the proportion of the Bench Mark Price (as set by SHA) 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.

Programme Schedule: Key dates

The majority of course units are delivered within the two semesters of September to December and January/February to May. The exceptions are course units such as ‘Multi-Professional Support for Learning and Assessment in Practice’ where more regular provision is required. For information on start dates for specific course units please contact The Continuing Professional Development Admissions Office, Room G.314, Jean McFarlane Building (formerly Block 3, University Place). Telephone numbers 0161 306 7746/7604/7605 or email

The majority of course units are delivered one day per week with six hours contact per day. For 15 credit course units this represents 7 days contact time, and this is doubled for a 30 credit course unit.

Programme Director

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:

Jane Hughes, Programme Director 

Unit Leaders

As students undertaking the MSc will undertake a variety of course units, individual course unit leaders will provide academic and personal support for whichever course units are undertaken. Either group or individual meetings will be arranged and/or timetabled for each course unit. The purpose of these meetings is:

  • To enable students to access support in relation to academic, clinical and personal difficulties. Many mature students experience some difficulties at some point during their programme. These may be in relation to learning opportunities or unexpected difficult personal circumstances. The unit leader should be able to help students plan a way of dealing with these problems or help to minimise the effects they have on learning.
  • To enable the personal teacher to monitor progress, give constructive feedback and identify if further help or support is needed.
  • To enable students to demonstrate ongoing progress, so that if at some point students are not meeting the programme requirements, the unit leader is able to supply evidence of the motivation and effort they have applied to individual course units.

Personal and Academic Development Plans (PADPs)

All students will be supported by the respective Unit Lead and the Programme Director for the duration of their programme of study. The Recruitment and Progression Tutor role incudes the development and review of Personal and Academic Development Plans and providing pastoral care and support where required. With the Programme Director, the Recruitment and Progression Tutor can also guide students to a wide range of other sources of assistance or support. The role of the academic advisor is undertaken by the unit lead. The academic advisor role is to assist students in enhancing their academic and learning skills. Contact with the unit lead is weekly during the study day sessions and post study days, the unit lead remains the point of contact for academic support for the duration of the unit. Academic tutorials may be conducted in small groups in order to enable students to benefit from shared reflection and learning. Academic support may also be offered on an individual basis and tailored to the student’s individual learning needs. Additional individual personal tutorials can be arranged at the request of students with unit leads, Programme Director and/or Recruitment and Progression Tutor to deal with pastoral and progress issues. A record of all such meetings are made, and a copy lodged in the student’s electronic personal file.

Practice Learning Mentor

Some specialist units require students to identify a mentor in the clinical area. The mentor is a clinical member of staff who has undertaken an identified mentor preparation programme and is normally experienced within the clinical specialty. A mentor should be identified at the beginning of each course unit where assessment of clinical practice is a component.

In the MSc, the mentor’s role is:

  • To help identify student’s needs in the initial interview
  • To discuss and advise about available learning opportunities to meet the learning outcomes for the course unit
  • To be a source of support during completion of the course unit
  • To give formal feedback about progress in meeting the learning outcomes via the intermediate and final placement interviews.

Details of the Programme

Overall Programme Aims and Intended Learning Outcomes

The programme aims to instill an advanced level of integrated clinical knowledge and cutting edge skill development to help you excel as an advanced practitioner and clinical leader in your field. To this end, the highly structured academic programme will run in parallel with a work-based programme of learning. The programme is embedded / applied to practice through partnership between you, the student, and we the educators.  The aims also provide for the specific characteristics of adult students who are also employees, through a part time flexible arrangement of study.


The programme aims to:


A. Knowledge and understanding

Having successfully completed the programme students should be able to:

A1  Engage in critical debate on the concept of advanced clinical practice, its scope and boundaries within contemporary healthcare settings as well as the national policies/ local procedures which frame the role.
A2  Systematically and critically examine the evidence base relating to the area of clinical practice
A3  Demonstrate a thorough and critical understanding of the different approaches to leadership, management and change management and their application to their own advanced practice setting
A4  Develop an in-depth and critical understanding of a number of research methods and the optimal strategies to promote the uptake of research findings into routine practice settings
A5 demonstrate an in-depth knowledge of pathophysiology, the causes, signs, symptoms and impact of physical and mental health conditions within the sphere of practice
A6  Demonstrate a comprehensive knowledge of pharmacotherapeutics relevant to your sphere of practice and the local/national policies, regulatory framework and guidelines that inform their use in practice
A7  Critically evaluate the rationale and optimal methods of engaging Children and Young people and their families in the co-production of healthcare services
A8  Formulate the contemporary issues and challenges inherent in the management of clinical practice including strategies to ensure equitable access to healthcare services for Children and Young People

B. Intellectual skills

Having successfully completed the programme students should be able to:

B1 Critically evaluate the limitations of extant knowledge, evidence, policy and practice within the relevant practice setting reflecting the diverse / changing needs of children and young people and the people who care for them
B2  Formulate and resolve complex clinical problems through critical reasoning and synthesis of information from a range of sources
B3  Engage critically with the theoretical frameworks/models underpinning advanced clinical practice
B4  Critically appraise contemporary approaches to Children and Young people and their families involvement in service design, delivery and audit and patient and public engagement in the dissemination of research findings
B5  Synthesise information from a range of sources to inform decisions at patient, team and service level

C. Practical skills

Having successfully completed the programme students should be able to:

C1  Practice competently extant and newly developed advanced clinical skills in the relevant practice setting, informed by a critical understanding of recognized theory and contemporary evidence
C2  Act in a leadership capacity within an advanced practice setting
C3  Assess and manage risk in relation to an individual’s holistic health and well-being
C4  Disseminate findings of relevant research to colleagues, patients and their families
C5  Work with Children and Young people and their families in the co- production of healthcare services

D. Transferable skills & personal qualities

Having successfully completed the programme students should be able to:

D1  Use skills in systematic and creative approaches to solving problems and making decisions in relation to complex issues in advanced clinical practice and service delivery
D2  Demonstrate leadership and communication skills which enable them to work across professional, organisational and system boundaries.
D3  Use information technology/health informatics proficiently

Programme Structure

 This is a Faculty-wide academic structure for continuing professional development (workforce  transformation) which:

  • Offers flexibility, choice and high quality postgraduate education in advanced specialist practice that will reflect the apprenticeship standard for Advanced Clinical Practice, and is able to respond to individual and employer need locally, nationally and internationally
  • Shares teaching and research expertise across the Faculty through inter-disciplinary provision and promotes a range of opportunities for inter-professional learning and
  • Going forward will expand to offer pathways in a range of healthcare specialties

The programme offers aspiring healthcare professionals from a range of settings an opportunity to  engage in postgraduate education in order to enhance their practice through the development of advanced practice skills and the acquisition and critical appraisal of their knowledge and clinical/leadership skills. The programme  reflects professional, UK-wide government and international benchmarks for advanced clinical practice  for the health care work-force to equip students with the knowledge and clinical/leadership skills required for advanced clinical practice.

Students can elect to study course units as stand-alone or build up units of study towards the awards  of PgCert, PgDip or MSc. Both full time and part time study options are available and face-to-face,  online and blended models of teaching and learning are included within the programme.

Completed unit specifications for all course units are  included (appendix 4). The programme comprises is made up of compulsory units which draw on some existing communication, management/leadership and online  research units and other existing PGT CPD units in  relevant specialties.

This will contribute to  the viability of the Advanced Clinical Practice MSc, the effective use of resources and enhance the  opportunities for inter- disciplinary learning.

The Programme exit awards do not imply eligibility for recognition where fulfilment of the advancing practice capabilities have not been demonstrated. 

Programme Examples – please note these are examples and, as noted above below, students will meet with the Programme Director to plan out an individual pathway through the programme.

Programme: PG Certificate in Advanced Clinical Practice (Paediatrics) – Year 1
Number of credits required: 15 +30 + 15 = 60 credits
Leadership in Professional Practice 15 credits
Advanced Paediatric Diagnostic Skills A – theory based 30 credits
Advanced Paediatric Diagnostic Skills B – work based learning 15 Credit
Programme: PG Diploma in Advanced Clinical Practice (Paediatrics) – Year 2
Year 1 Credits as above 60 (PG Cert ACP) + 4x 15 = 120 Credits
Effective Strategies for Advanced Communication                                                          15 credits
Clinical assessment, diagnosis and prescribing practice 15 credits
Professional, ethical and legal prescribing 15 credits
Research Design                                                                                                                           15 credits
Programme: MSc in Advanced Clinical Practice (Paediatrics) – Year 3
Year 1 and Year 2 Credits as above 120 (PG Dip ACP)+ 60 Credits = 180 Credits
Dissertation 60 credits

Complete details of each course unit can be obtained as Course Unit Guides from the Continuing Professional Developments Admissions Office, Room G.314, Jean McFarlane Building. Telephone numbers 0161 306 7746/7604; or email or via the website

The programme is delivered within the university two semesters of September and Jan/February start dates. Preparation for Mentorship and Independent Study course units start at more frequent intervals throughout the academic year.  The majority of individual course units are offered once per year.

The strategy for learning and teaching is to utilise a variety of methods suited to adult learners.  Flexibility ensures that methods match the group profile.  The experience which you, the student, bring to the course unit and shares, is recognised as an excellent resource, and highly valued in student evaluations.  Teaching methods also seek to give mature students transferable skills, which you are very likely to use outside the programme, and to develop the independent learning which is essential to lifelong learning. The learning and teaching strategy utilised within the programme have been chosen to be reflect the learning and teaching strategy of the Faculty and Division.

Programme and Course Unit Evaluation

Programmes are continually developed to meet the needs of Students, Public Services and government.  All programmes undergo an annual review where information from a range of sources are reflected upon to enhance the quality of the programme.  All staff develop the programme through their specialisms and research undertaken.  In addition to this, External Examiners are appointed to the programme, who are colleagues delivering similar programmes in other institutions throughout the UK.  They not only make recommendations but assist in ensuring that the programme is delivered to a similar standard as programmes in other Universities.

Students contribute to this process through completing programme related questionnaires, discussing matters with the External Examiner and through passing comments to your student representative which are then discussed at the Programme Committee Meeting, Quality Enhancement Days and the Teaching and Learning Committee (TLC).

Other sources outside the University that influence the development of programmes are practitioners within NHS Trusts, government departments, the private health sector and external agencies such as the Quality Assurance Agency, Nursing Midwifery Council and General Social Care Council.

The Division operates a system of student evaluation of units, placements and programmes.  You will be asked to complete questionnaires and will be invited to participate in other evaluation exercises, such as group discussions. The results of evaluations are reviewed by the Unit Leaders, the Programme Director, the Programme Committee and the Head of Division.  All evaluations are reviewed together at the Quality Assurance Day. Any proposals for changes to the programme arising from the evaluations are considered by the Programme Committee.

Student evaluations are an important part of the Division’s quality assurance and enhancement processes. Please complete and return questionnaires.  Unit Leaders will always welcome any additional comments that you may wish to make informally.


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.

Specific Programme Regulations

Entry Requirements

A health/social care professional qualification relevant to the programme or current registration with relevant professional statutory or equivalent regulatory body

  • AND A relevant honours first degree (2.2 or above or equivalent) from an approved higher education institution
  • OR Evidence of previous study, research or professional experience which the University accepts as qualifying the applicant for entry*
  • AND Home/UK applicants must be employed in current clinical practice experience at the point of application and should continue to practice throughout the duration of their studies.
  • AND the written support from their employer to attend and complete any practice based components
  • AND for applicants whose first language is not English, an IELTS score of 5 with no less than 6.0 on any one component or equivalent**

These requirements are in line with University regulations and are comparable with others set out for similar programmes within the Faculty where the target audience is from nursing and allied health backgrounds.

*UK applicants who do not hold a first degree (or equivalent qualification) may be admitted on the basis of a health/social work   professional qualification. They must demonstrate the ability to study at postgraduate level. A standardised procedure for assessing   this ability via the submission of a portfolio will be implemented where students are required to submit a portfolio of evidence of   equivalence to the achievement of QAA FHEQ level 6 outcomes. This portfolio route is already successfully used in other PGT   programmes in the Faculty. The portfolio will be reviewed by staff from the programme team. Such evidence may include a  documented track record of innovative practice, leadership, service development, research projects and publications which are clearly   underpinned by the academic skills required at level 6.

 ** TOEFL 600 paper based – 600 with a minimum score on Test of Written English of 6.0  TOEFL 250 computer based – 250 and Test of Written English 6.0 GCSE English Grade C

The Use of Accreditation of Prior Learning (APEL)

The University regulations allow students to receive an award of credits towards a programme on the basis of demonstrated learning that has occurred at some point in the past and is appropriate to the programme both in content and currency. The award of credits can be based on learning for which certification has been awarded by an educational institution or another education/training provider e.g. a relevant credit rated unit completed elsewhere or uncertificated learning gained from experience (APEL).

All APL applications must be approved in line with the University’s overall policy on the award of APL. The maximum number of credits allowable for APL (subject to any programme requirements) is:

MSc                       60 credits (APL credits will not count towards the dissertation.)

PgDip           30 credits

PgCert                  15 credits

Students wishing to be considered for APL should contact the programme director.

Interruptions from the Programme

It is the expectation of the University that postgraduate taught students pursue their studies on a continuous basis for the stipulated duration of their programme. However, it is recognised that students may encounter personal difficulties or situations which may seriously disrupt or delay their studies. In some cases, an interruption or extension to your programme of study may be the most sensible option.
Students who wish to interrupt the programme or extend to write up the dissertation should initially discuss their plans and reasons with the Programme Director and/or their Academic Advisor.
Students should also provide documentary evidence when appropriate, for example, doctor’s letter, sick note etc.
The forms required for formal application are available from your Programme Administrator.

** For SLA funded students all Interruptions will be authorized by the Trust Signatory**

Maternity Leave

Provided that their employer is informed and has given signed consent, students on Maternity Leave are able to commence or continue to study on theory-only courses.  For SLA funded students authorisation should be sought from the Trust Signatory.

Maternity Leave

Provided that their employer is informed and has given signed consent, students on Maternity Leave are able to commence or continue to study on theory-only courses.  For SLA funded students authorisation should be sought from the Trust Signatory.

Sharing of information between the University and Employers

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

The University reserves the right to share information about student progress and attendance with seconding employers.

  • The University will respond to reasonable requests by employers for such information and may on occasion seek information from employers.
  • 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.

Clinical Skills Laboratory Student Conduct

The following regulations must be followed by students when using the Clinical Skills laboratories:

  • Shoulder length hair must be neatly tied back and preferably off the collar.
  • No rings with stones, bracelets or wrists watches to be worn.
  • Wear suitable non-restrictive clothing (sleeves above the elbow; no coats or scarves).
  • Wear appropriate footwear (closed toes and heels, secure on foot, flat or broad low heel).
  • Students who turn up late to a skills session may be refused entry at the discretion of the facilitator / lecturer (the student may have missed important health and safety instructions at the start of the session).
  • On entering the laboratory bags, coats scarves and hats are to be placed in the area designated by the facilitator / lecturer.
  • Mobile telephones must be switched off.
  • No food or beverages to be consumed in the laboratory, including chewing gum.
  • Immediately report breakages or faulty equipment to the facilitator / lecturer.
  • Immediately report accidents or other adverse incidents to the facilitator / lecturer and complete the appropriate incident reporting form.


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 personal tutor.

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.

Behaviour and Professional Conduct

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.


[Notes: (i) any reference in this Regulation to named officers should be read also as a reference in each case to a delegated nominee; (ii) use of the term Board without further qualification means the Board of Governors.]

Social networking websites

The Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health 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 Biology, Medicine and Health 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 – Procedure for Students document gives information about the nature and consequences of acts of misconduct while social networking, such as discrimination, bullying and harassment[1], 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.

Acknowledgement: 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.

 Fitness to Practice Committee

Students registered on a programme of study leading to a professional qualification may be referred to the Faculty’s Fitness to Practice Committee on either of the following grounds. Students registered on a programme of study, who already hold a professional body registration, may be referred to their own professional body Fitness to Practice Committee also on the following grounds.

  • any conduct which may render that student a person not fit to be admitted to and practise that profession or calling; or
  • any health problem which may render that student a person not fit to be admitted to and practise that profession or calling.

Appeals procedure

The purpose of the Appeals Procedure is to safeguard the interests of all students. It may be used only when there are adequate grounds for doing so and may not be used simply because you may be dissatisfied with the outcome of your assessment or other decision concerning your academic position or progress.

The appeals process may be used by students who wish to appeal against a decision of a board of examiners, or a progress committee, or a graduate committee or equivalent body which affects a students’ academic status or progress in the University.

The full procedures can be found at:

Academic Appeals (Regulation XIX)

Basic Guide to Academic Appeals

Student Complaints (Regulation XVIII)

Basic Guide to Student Complaints

The Faculty contact for Academic Appeals and Student Complaints is Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail:

Complaints procedure

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.

Behaviour and Professional Conduct/Patient Safety

  • When this is relevant to their care, patients are informed of the status of registered practitioners as learners on the programme.
  • Patients are enabled to give their informed consent for their engagement with practitioners as learners.

Appeals procedure

The purpose of the Appeals Procedure is to safeguard the interests of all students. It may be used only when there are adequate grounds for doing so and may not be used simply because you may be dissatisfied with the outcome of your assessment or other decision concerning your academic position or progress.

The appeals process may be used by students who wish to appeal against a decision of a board of examiners, or a progress committee, or a graduate committee or equivalent body which affects a students’ academic status or progress in the University.

The full procedures can be found at:

Academic Appeals (Regulation XIX)

Basic Guide to Academic Appeals

Student Complaints (Regulation XVIII)

Basic Guide to Student Complaints

The Faculty contact for Academic Appeals and Student Complaints is

Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail:

Complaints procedure

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 of Manchester Regulations for Post Graduate Awards

Except where specified, these regulations apply only to full-time programmes.

Programme Attendance Requirement

Attendance guidelines

We are very aware of and experienced in delivering a part time programme of education to adult students who are also engaged in clinical practice. Course units are therefore arranged to take this into consideration, so far as is possible. Course units are not usually delivered over the main holiday periods at Christmas, Easter and the main summer holiday period, and many course units will make an effort to accommodate Division half terms (this is slightly more problematic as different Local Education Authorities have different half term dates).

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 seven days it was delivered. If, due to illness or other circumstances, you are unable to attend you need to inform the programme secretary. Registers will be taken in order to monitor attendance.

Procedure for reporting sickness and absence

Regulation XX – Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students

Division of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work

The University monitors the attendance of all students:

  1. a) To support academic attainment and progression.
  2. b) To ensure student wellbeing.
  3. c) To satisfy external body reporting/accreditation requirements.

Registration should be completed prior to the commencement of the course unit. Failure to complete registration within 2 weeks of the unit commencing will result in temporary withdrawal of all student services (Blackboard access, Library access, Lecture admittance).

The University expects that all students will attend every timetabled teaching or learning session or required supervisory session, unless absence has been authorised. Students who fail to meet the attendance requirements for their respective course unit will be issued with a formal warning. The formal warning will contain steps to be undertaken by the student to affect the necessary improvement including consequences of further poor attendance. If subsequent attendance fails to improve the Programme Examination Board may refuse the student the opportunity to undertake the final assessment which will subsequently mean withdrawal from the course unit.

Definitions of Sickness, Absence and Unauthorised Absence

Sickness: Absence from the programme due to personal ill-health or whilst attending for healthcare treatment. Even if you are sick for only one day, a self-certification form needs to be returned to the Division within seven days.

Authorised Absence – It is your responsibility to discuss these requirements and seek authorisation from your Academic Advisor. Authorised absence will be documented and includes Compassionate Leave, Carer’s Leave or leave for personal reasons – to be determined by your Academic Advisor. Authorised absence forms should be returned within seven days of the absence.

Unauthorised Absence – Absence from the clinical placement area or University without permission or explanation. Holidays in term-time will be recorded as unauthorised absence.

Credits and Student Effort

In order to ensure parity and equity throughout the programme, course unit specifications are standardised for the MSc degree.   From the first day of attendance to the handing in of course work, the length of time is normally 15 weeks for a 15-credit unit and 20 weeks for 30 credits (with the exception of the dissertation unit). For each 15 credit unit there is a standard 200 hours of student effort and this is 400 hours for 30 credits. Student effort consists of contact time, which is normally 42 hours for a 15 credit unit and 84 hours for a 30 credit unit, directed, and self-directed study.

 An example of student effort for a 15 credit unit:

Contact time Lectures, tutorials, seminars, group discussion, PBLPersonal tutorial time 40 hours
2 hours
Directed study Completion of practical and/or theoretical assessment 79 hours
Self-directed study Reading and other scholarly activity chosen to achieve the learning outcomes. 79 hours

Currency of Credits

There is no limit to the number of stand-alone units a student can do before registering for the MSc programme.

Stand-alone units undertaken in the CPD portfolio will be counted towards the MSc programme, provided they were commenced within three years from the date of registration with the degree programme and provided a mark of 50% or above was awarded. Units commenced outside the three year time frame will not be counted towards the MSc.

A student who fails a stand-alone unit below the compensatable mark (i.e. 39%) would have to wait until three years had elapsed from the date of commencing that unit before they could register for the MSc programme. They would be entitled to continue with other stand-alone units during that period.

Students on the programme can achieve a compensatable mark (i.e. 40-49%) for up to 30 credits and continue towards the MSc. This could comprise two 15 credit units or one 30 credit unit. Students can fail and re-sit up to 60 credits (this includes compensated credit) and still progress towards the MSc.

Completion of Course Units

Normally each unit must be completed and ratified as passed within two years of the commencement of the course unit.


Programme Director and Unit Leads

The Programme Director is accountable and responsible for overseeing the ongoing development, planning, resourcing and delivery of all aspects of the programme and is available for support for students in relation to overarching programme issues. The Programme Director is available for appointments with students and has regular drop-in sessions to offer support with immediate academic or personal issues which may affect student progress. Each course unit has at minimum one designated lead, who is responsible for overseeing the management and delivery of all aspects of the teaching, learning and assessment process within that unit. They are also a guide for students in relation to the acquisition and development of the knowledge and skills within the unit and offer specific support for the development of work for formative and summative assessments. Specific time is set aside in each unit for unit specific tutorial support (individually or in small groups) and students are offered the opportunity to submit and receive feedback on draft plans of work prior to submission of summative assessments.

As well as specified tutorial time students will constantly receive advice and support as a group or individually from the unit leader/team through participating in seminar discussions and/or on line discussion boards and postings and receiving feedback. Written feedback on summative assessments is provided and additional feedback may be obtained by booking an email/telephone or face to face appointment with the course unit leader/marker. The programme director and unit leaders are supported by administrative and secretarial staff, who also act as key contacts for students in relation to any administrative issues related to the programme.

Health & Safety

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.

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:

Disability Awareness & Resources

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 Advisory Support Service- 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

Dignity at Work and Study for Students 

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 3.

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:

Occupational Health Service

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 well-being 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:

Where a recommendation has been received following Occupation Health review that a student is not fit to attend either practice and/or theory, then the SNMSW will (i) normally OR (ii) initiate a period of interruption on the grounds that the programme is predicated on an integrated model of learning combining both theory and practice and non-attendance in one domain will compromise progress in the other.

Counselling Service

5th Floor Crawford House, Precinct Centre, Booth Street East – Tel 0161 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 of the following services please refer to the A-Z of Student Services

and the Guide to IT Services is located at:

Division Student Support Office

The Student Support Office has a full time Student Support Officer, and an intern who has recently graduated from the University.

Support is offered for academic or personal issues; preparation for Progress Committees, disciplinary hearings and appeals; and information on and referrals to specialised support within the Division, the University or outside agencies.

  • The Student Support Office also facilitates student representation and the peer mentor schemes. If you are interested in getting involved email for further information.

To arrange a meeting please contact

Telephone:  0161 306 7717 / 7725 Room 3.338 Jean McFarlane Building 

Division Student Council

The Student Council was established in February 2005 to support student nurses, midwives and social workers. The council aims to promote the enrichment of the student experience in clinical, academic, social and personal domains and promote advocacy of student issues through effective communication between students, staff, Hospital trusts and other related organisations.

To get involved in the Student Council please contact



Library Facilities

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 module 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 Nursing and Midwifery books and journals. Textbooks are located on Floor 2 of the Blue Area, together with books in other related subjects. 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 the Learning Commons staff in partnership with other teams across the University.  Full details of training sessions are available in the My Learning Essentials Calendar.

IT Facilities

University Computer Facilities

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.

University PC Clusters

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.

Student IT Support Helpdesk

Division Computer Facilities

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.  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.


All students are automatically enrolled onto a number of introductory course units that provide information on health and safety, academic malpractice and academic literacy.  Completion instructions for each of these units are clearly defined within the course.  Completion of these units 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 the units is monitored by the School.

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 your Programme Administrator.


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

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 your Programme Administrator if you are unsure which material relates to your assessed work. You will still be able to refer to the online skills resource in later years.

Past Examination Papers

Examination papers for the preceding academic year may be available on line from October. These can be accessed from:

Multiple-choice question papers and papers for practical examinations are not made available.


Introduction to Assessments

The Programme has been designed to evidence development through the use of a range of assessment strategies. A range of assessments, formative and summative, is used to test achievement of unit and programme outcomes. Assessment methods specifically focus on enabling students to consolidate and apply their developing knowledge, understanding and intellectual skills (3 A,B,C above) to the integration of theory and practice related to clinical/health and social care practice. Summative assessments are complemented by continuous formative assessments which are part of each course unit materials.

Summative assessments include traditional approaches of essay writing which will develop abilities associated with complex problem solving, critical thinking and construction of sound arguments presented in written formats. In seminars, through poster construction and in debates students will be expected to articulate these skills as well as develop their presentational and discursive style. Depending on units selected, other forms of assessment methods include completing reports, case studies, presentations, a research/practice development proposal and practice competency documents. Practice based learning experiences will include opportunities to develop and be assessed in advanced clinical skill with a mentor/assessor. Lastly, MSc students will complete a Dissertation. The dissertation unit enables students to consolidate their learning and demonstrate achievement of overall outcomes through undertaking a project focused on a specific aspect of practice. This is assessed by means of a 15,000 word dissertation in which students outline and critically reflect on the project undertaken in terms of its focus, methods, execution, findings and implications for advancing roles, practice and service delivery.

All students admitted to the Programme will negotiate a development/study plan with the Recruitment and Progression Tutor. This will be reviewed on an annual basis (or more frequently if required) for the duration of the award. The Unit Lead, Recruitment and Progression Tutor and Programme Director will also be available for academic and pastoral support, encouraging and reviewing student progression and engaging students collaboratively in the learning and decision-making processes.

The University degree regulations are available at:

 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.

The dynamic nature of nurse education, the variety of assessment strategies, and the changes in University regulations will lead to periodic review of the assessment information within this handbook.

Students will be notified of updates through the student Community area in Blackboard.

It is essential that you familiarise yourself with these regulations so that you are aware of the correct procedures to follow for all assessment matters.

Systems are in place to support your progression throughout the programme.  Please take time to read the rest of this section as it will guide you through relevant processes.  If you have a problem or concern at any stage of the assessment process it is beneficial to the student to deal with issues as they arise.

Range of Assessments

A range of assessments are utilised within the programme in order to assess students’ knowledge, understanding, and developing intellectual, practical and key transferable skills. This includes examinations, both seen and unseen that require the student to demonstrate their knowledge of underpinning subjects and apply this knowledge under controlled conditions. Individual and group seminars utilised enable students’ knowledge and skills to be assessed through verbal presentations to academic and clinical staff and fellow students.  The ability to communicate information and understanding using this format is an essential skill that will be required throughout students’ nursing careers.   Group work also allow for assessment of students’ abilities to work together as a team.

Programmes use a variety of assessment methods. In this programme some examples of the methods used include:

  • Written Assignments
  • Seminar Presentations
  • Written Examinations
  • Poster Presentations
  • Audio/Visual Recorded assessment
  • Assessment in Practice through Practice Assessment Documents (PAD’s)

An example of standardised assessment

Theoretical assessment                                                               

Unit creditRating Notional Assignment Length/Student Effort
15 150 hours of student effort3,500 words +/- 10%Hand in date week 15
30 credits 300 hours of student effort7,000 +/- 10%Hand in date week 20
Equivalent assessment
One hour examination 1,750 + 10% words
Two hour examination 3,500 + 10% words

Management of the Assessment Process

University and Professional Requirements for Progression

In order to Progress to the dissertation course unit of your MSc programme you must have completed and passed 120 Credits at Level 7 (FHEQ 7).

Criteria for Success

See Course Unit Guide.

 Failure to Achieve in Clinical Practice

You are expected to achieve all the standards or competencies and practice skills specified for each unit. Failure to achieve one of the outcomes specified will constitute a fail grade being awarded.

If you are not making satisfactory progress at any time you should be informed. These events must be documented within an intermediate report and your personal teacher contacted.

Practice Assessment

Like academic assessments, all practice assessments need to be passed in order for an award to be conferred.
  • Assessment documentation is your personal and professional responsibility and should not be given to clinical staff for safe keeping or to take away and complete. You will be fully responsible for document loss.
  • You will need to secure a mentor prior to commencing the unit. A mentor will have responsibility to assess you in practice making both verbal and written comment.  Each mentor should have a copy of the Programme Specific guidelines/mentors handbook.  This can be obtained from your Course Unit Leader if required.
  • Another appropriately qualified member of staff, working in that clinical placement, may carry out the function of the associate mentor for individual aspects of practice but the mentor will have overall responsibility for assessment. Placement Mentor Alone Determines a Pass / Fail.
  • The mentor will give verbal and written comments on your progress in achieving the desired outcomes and practice skills. This will be assessed continuously as you move through the units and specifically both midway and at the end of the unit. The mentor signs the standards document to verify success in the practical aspects of the unit.
  • The Course Unit Leader should be contacted if you encounter difficulty in being able to organise these meetings.
  • Both mentor and student need to be familiar with the documentation before any entries are made. Should there be any problems associated with the understanding of this documentation the Course Unit Leader should be contacted.
  • Completed practice assessment documents should be returned by the specified date to the receiving office.
  • There is a word limit set for the evidence and reflection recorded within the Practice Assessment Document. The required word limit will be indicated on the document guidelines.

(xii)     It is important to ensure that the practical assessment document is adequately completed.  The Verification Sheet must be signed and dated by your mentor and by you. Only original signatures (no photocopies) will be accepted.  If you are experiencing any difficulty in completing the practice assessment document you are strongly advised to talk to your Course Unit Leader or to contact the Examinations Office rather than submit the document incomplete or incorrectly recorded. 

Guidelines of Assessment

 Course Work Requirements


It is strongly recommended that if you do not understand any aspect of an assignment or are otherwise experiencing some related difficulty, to contact your Course Unit Leader as soon as possible to discuss the situation.  The Course Unit Leader will offer you appropriate academic support, or referral to other support mechanisms within the Division or university.


Please note that in the interests of parity and equity amongst students, and in the interests of promoting independent self-directed learning, only one draft piece of work (500 words) can be reviewed, and normally this should not be within 2 weeks of the submission date. Students will be given a cut-off date for the submission of formative work which will be identified within the course unit guide. All formative work submission should be via TURNITIN. Feedback on this draft is formative (feedback on how the work is progressing and identifying areas for development).

Written Assignments and Seminars

Each seminar is divided into a delivery section and a text (or written) section, both of these will be assessed.  The regulations regarding word limits which apply to written assignments apply equally to seminar texts.  For seminar delivery, you are strongly advised to read and adhere to the guidelines which will be provided by your Course Unit Leader and will include details of time, venue, and presentation methods.

(i)        The delivery of the seminar will be presented in the designated classroom at the designated time.

(ii)       If you are absent for seminar delivery, and this is unauthorised, the seminar will be classified as a fail.

(iii)      You are advised to arrive well in advance of your seminar delivery time.

(iv)      If you do arrive late for seminar delivery, you should report as soon as you can, to your Course Unit Leader.

(v)       Lateness will constitute ‘an attempt’ unless the programme Examination Office receives official documentary evidence, within 5 working days of the Seminar delivery.

(vi)      Once a seminar text has been submitted it will not be returned. You are therefore strongly advised to make two copies of each seminar text.  The second non-submitted copy is for your own reference.

(vii)     All seminar texts must be submitted to the programme receiving Office by 12:00pm hours on the date specified unless stated otherwise. A receipt as proof of submission will be provided.

(viii)    If you do not submit a seminar text on time, the whole assignment will be classified as a fail.

(ix)      If you are sick on the day of seminar delivery and / or the last day of seminar text submission and thereby fail to meet the submission deadline, the programme Examination Office must (within 5 working days of the date) receive a certificate of sickness signed by a doctor or doctor’s letter or self cert form. If this is not forthcoming, a fail grade will be awarded.

(x)       If you have your absence certified, another delivery and /or submission date will be provided. The amount of time normally allowed is equivalent to the amount of continuous sickness from the original submission date until return to work.

(xi)      If the period of sickness is short and it is a first attempt, the work will generally be marked with the resubmitted seminar texts and deliveries.   If the period of sickness is long and / or it is not a first attempt another date for results will be provided. This is normally four to six weeks after submission.

(xii)     Absence from assessed Seminars/presentations as a result of a planned holiday or appointment will constitute ‘an attempt’, as a result the student will be referred for that assessment.

Word Limits

(NB: This section also and equally applies to seminar texts)

 The Division’s policy on what is included in the word count for academic (that is) theoretical assessments namely any one of the following

  • Posters
  • Essays
  • Reports
  • Dissertations
  • Business Cases
  • Reflections
  • Portfolio Documents and any other form of essay type summative assessment submission except unseen examination papers

In accordance with accepted academic practice when student are submitting any written assignment for summative assessment in the format outlined above 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
  • Each written assignment has a word limit. It is acceptable, without penalty, for you to submit an assignment within a range that is plus 10% of this limit. The rationale for imposing a word limit is that it provides a degree of parity for marking and moderating purposes and it allows you to demonstrate a degree of academic discipline. You are required to record the word count on your written work.
  • If you present an assignment with a word limit substantially below the minimum banding, depending on the amount short, it may well contribute to or determine the award of a fail grade.
  • If you present an assignment with a word limit substantially exceeding the upper banding, a penalty of 1% of the marks will be deducted for every 100 words over the limit.

Presentation of Assignments

(NB: This section also and equally applies to seminar texts)

  • Presentation is an important aspect of assignment writing. Poor presentation of assignments can result in poor marks. You are strongly advised to consider the following guidelines. Further aspects of assignment presentation can be obtained from your Course Unit Leader.
  • 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 may result in a ‘Failed to submit’.
  • All assignments submitted online should have the appropriate information situated in the header/footer of the document. This should include your student ID (7 digit number on your I.D./library/photo card) and the Course unit Code. A submission guide can be found in the online submission area in Blackboard.

For any hard copy assessments submitted to the examinations office, you must complete a coversheet/Pro-forma prior to submission. These can be obtained from the Examinations & Assessments Office, room G.313 Jean McFarlane Building University Place.

All work must be submitted in typescript. If you do not possess a word processor, you have access to IT facilities and support within the university and Division. Your Course Unit Leader will be able to provide you with information on how to access these facilities.

  • For typescript the font size of the main body of text should be a minimum of 10 and a maximum of 14.
  • You will not be penalised for handwritten assessments, however hand written work must be legible; that which is not may receive lower marks or a fail grade.
  • The presentation should be consistent. Marks will be deducted if some of the assessment is hand written and some of it is in typescript.
  • Lines of script must be 1.5 to double spaced. An extra line should be present between paragraphs.
  • Pages should possess adequate side margins of approximately 2.5
  • Each page must be numbered, preferably at the bottom centre position. Only one side of each sheet of paper should contain handwriting or typescript.
  • Each assignment must possess a reference list using a Harvard style (see appendix 1). You will incur a penalty for any assignment submitted without a reference list meaning a mark of 0% will be awarded.
  • When submitting your assignment online, this must include your reference list as part of the same document.
  • All assignments submitted online will need to follow the appropriate instructions on the appropriate submission area in Blackboard.
  • You are strongly advised to retain a personal copy, as assignments cannot be returned.

Seminar Presentations

  • Each seminar is divided into a delivery section and a text (or written) section, both of these will be assessed.
  • For seminar delivery, students are strongly advised to read and adhere to the respective guidelines.
  • The time limits for each seminar delivery will be strictly adhered to. Students are strongly advised to utilise allocated time to the full.

Written and Practical Formal Examinations

  • If you do not present yourself at an examination for reasons other than illness or other officially verifiable cause, you will be deemed to have failed that examination and awarded a fail grade. Misreading of the timetable or communication will not be accepted as a satisfactory explanation of absence.
  • If you do not sit an examination, satisfactory official documentation (detailing the cause) such as a certificate of sickness, signed by a doctor or doctor’s letter or self-certification form, should be received by the Examination & Assessments Office within 5 working days1 of the examination. This will enable the attempt to be declared null and void. Another date/time will be arranged.
  • In the event of late arrival, In the case of any written examination, you are only permitted to enter the examination room within the first 30 minutes. In the case of practical examinations no student is permitted to enter the examination room if his / her ‘time slot’ has been missed. You are strongly advised therefore to arrive at examination sites well in advance of the commencement of examinations.
  • A student, who arrives late to an examination, should, at a mutually convenient time, report to his / her personal tutor/unit leader.
  • Lateness at any examination (written or practical) will constitute ‘an attempt’ unless official documentary evidence such as that from the police (in the case of an accident) is received by the Examination Office within 5 working days of the examination.
  • You are required to bring to each examination your current university registration card (swipe card). In the case of written examinations this card will normally be placed on the top right hand corner of the desk and is to remain there throughout the examination. In the case of practical examinations an examiner will inspect the card at the beginning of each student’s examination.
  • If you are not in possession of a ‘swipe card’ another form of acceptable identity will be one that contains a recent photograph and your name such as a current passport or staff ID card.
  • A form of identity not containing a photograph will be unacceptable, as will a form of identity not containing, but presented with, a separate photograph.
  • Should you present at an examination with any form of identity, other than those referred to above, or no photographic proof of identity at all you will be refused entry and / or asked to leave. This will be registered as ‘an attempt’ and a fail grade will be awarded.
  • Written examinations must be completed in ink. Work in pencil is only allowed, for the drawing of graphs, diagrams or illustrations.
  • Pencil cases, tins or other containers are not allowed in any examination rooms. Candidates who need to keep pens, pencils etc. together must use either a rubber band or small transparent plastic bag.
  • You must write your examination answers legibly. If scripts are deemed illegible by the examiners, they will receive a fail grade.
  • Talking to, or any other form of communication with, other candidates during an examination is strictly forbidden. Smoking, eating and drinking in examination rooms is forbidden. If a student is found to be indulging in any of these activities he/ she will be asked by an invigilator to desist. If you do not comply with this request or if it is repeated in the same examination, you will be asked to leave and as a minimum penalty will be awarded a fail grade.
  • It is a serious offence for you to take to your desk (or station in the event of a practical examination) any books, notes, or other materials or aides which are not specifically authorised for use in that examination. If you are found in possession of unauthorised material, whether deliberately intending to use it or not, you will be brought before the University’s Discipline Committee and will find that, as a minimum penalty, your examination paper will receive a fail grade. A number of more severe penalties (including expulsion from the programme) are available according to the circumstances of individual cases.

At the end of written examinations you must not leave your seat until all of the answer books have been collected. Silence must be observed, throughout, until all candidates have left the examination room. If you wish to leave an examination room before the allotted finishing time, you must remain seated and raise a hand: invigilators will come to collect your answer book after which you are free to leave (silently). Except for sickness you are not permitted to leave a written examination during the last 15 minutes.

  • In the case of practical examinations silence from the candidates is also normally demanded unless specified by the nature of the examined task.
  • If you are taken ill during an examination and do not complete it, providing that a certificate of sickness signed by a doctor or a doctor’s letter is presented to the Continuing Examination Office within 5 working days of the examination, the attempt will be declared invalid. Another date will then be arranged for the examination to be undertaken.
  • Mobile phones/pagers should not be taken into the examination.

Project/Dissertation Arrangements

Students progressing to the dissertation will, under the supervision of a nominated academic (and where appropriate – practice) supervisor, complete a 12,000 – 15,000 word, dissertation related to a specific aspect of nursing practice, policy, research or education. Detailed dissertation guidelines are provided in the programme handbook. Each student will be allocated an individual dissertation supervisor who is an academic member of staff with relevant expertise, knowledge and experience in graduate supervision. Key milestones for achievement will be negotiated and set out very clearly and students will be required to submit formatively assessed components of their developing project/dissertation. All dissertation students are entitled to the equivalent of 20 hours individual supervision which includes time spent by the supervisor reading drafts. It is the student’s responsibility to initiate and maintain contact with their supervisor. The dissertation will be assessed independently by two internal examiners and a sample is sent to the external examiner for the programme.

Students are required to follow the University guidance for Taught Masters Dissertation – Guidance for the presentation of Taught Masters dissertations

Referencing – The Harvard System

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.

A guide to the Referencing System will be available in the Community Area on Blackboard

Failure to include a reference list with any summatively assessed piece of coursework will result in an automatic fail and a mark of 0% being awarded.


As a student, you are expected to cooperate 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 students have been used to different conventions in their prior educational experience or through general ignorance of what is expected of them.

The University uses electronic systems for the purposes of detecting plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice and for marking.  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.

Assessment Process

How to submit Assessed Work

(NB: This section also and equally applies to seminar texts)

  • If not submitting online you are strongly advised to make two copies of each assignment. The second (non-submitted) copy is for your own reference.
  • All written assignments must be submitted by 12:00 noon on the date specified. A receipt will be provided as proof of submission. Online submission will take place through the relevant unit area of Blackboard.
  • If you are sick on the day of submission and therefore fail to submit an assignment, the Examination & Assessments Office must, within 5 working days of the submission date, receive a certificate of sickness, or self-certification of sickness form. Forms can be obtained from the Examinations Office. If either of these is not forthcoming, a fail grade will be awarded.
  • Once this evidence is obtained, another submission date will be provided. The amount of time normally allowed is equivalent to the amount of continuous sickness from the original submission date until return to the programme.
  • If the period of sickness is short and you are presenting as a first attempt, the work will generally be marked with the resubmitted scripts. If the period of sickness is long and / or it is not a first attempt another date for results will be provided.

Location of the Assessments Office for Submission of Work

In exceptional circumstances, eg for Practice Placement documents, work may be submitted to the Continuing Professional Development Examinations office located in:

Room G.313, Jean McFarlane Building,

Oxford Road,

University of Manchester

M13 9PL

The Examinations Administrator is Richard Boyd:

Telephone number:  0161-306-7710

Email address:

The office is open during office hours of 9.00am to 4.00 pm Monday to Friday.

The Programme Examinations Officer is Janice Christie:

Telephone number: 0161-306-7656. Email address:

Submission Dates

Submission dates for each course unit are to be found on Blackboard in the relevant Course Unit Guide in the Course Documents folder.

In exceptional circumstances submission dates may be subject to change, you are strongly advised to check Blackboard on a regular basis, as any changes would be posted there.

Online Submission

Submission of assignments electronically takes place on the relevant unit area of Blackboard. Please follow the guidelines located on the Exams & Assessments section of the Student Community area on Blackboard. If you have any further queries then please contact the examinations and assessments office in the first instance.

Please note that unless otherwise stated the submission deadline for all assignments will be 12.00noon on the submission date as outlined in your submission timetable on the Exams & Assessments section of the Student Community area on Blackboard.


(NB This section also and equally applies to seminar presentations and texts)

You must submit assignments by the dates specified. Course Unit Leaders can grant up to four weeks extension in the first instance however this must be directed through the exams office.

Applications for extensions must normally be made in writing using the appropriate proforma.  It is the student’s responsibility to ensure that this form is completed accurately and is legible. All extension requests must normally be accompanied by documentary evidence from an independent third party. All requests for an extension must be processed through the assessments office.

The form can be found outside the Assessments Office as well as in the Examinations section of the Student Gateway on Blackboard.

Applications for extensions should be submitted to the Assessments Office as soon as it is realised that an extension may be required.  This should not normally be within 5 working days of submission.  If an extension is requested within the 5 working days of submission please refer to the MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES section in this document.

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

The Examinations Officer (or nominee) will consider each application in consultation with your Course Unit Leader.

Extensions will not normally be granted for any computer or computer disk problem, printer malfunction or computer disk loss. You are therefore strongly advised to complete any assignment well before the final submission date to avoid last minute problems.

If a student has a number of assignments and/or examinations in a short period of time, this will not constitute sufficient reason for the granting of an extension.

Assignment Word Count (Including Dissertation)

In accordance with the University Policy on Marking:

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

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

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

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

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

Where Assessment is via Pre-recorded Presentation

It is acceptable, without penalty, for you to submit an assignment via pre-recorded presentation within a range that is plus 10% of the set time limit.

If you present an assignment via pre-recorded presentation with a time exceeding the specified time limit (+/- 10%), the assignment will be marked but 1% will be deducted from this mark for every minute over the limit.


A special meeting of a panel drawn from the programme examination board will discuss personal and medical circumstances that affect a student’s assessment performance. Written information and evidence must be submitted to the appropriate Programme Director at the earliest opportunity and always before the examiners meeting.

All deliberations of examinations boards on MITIGATING CIRCUMSTANCES must be recorded in the Minutes of the meeting. See the university web site regarding mitigating circumstances and the following hyperlinks for more details.

Sometimes circumstances or events beyond a students’ 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 MITIGATING 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.

 Policy on Mitigating Circumstances

A Basic Guide to Mitigating Circumstances

Marking Criteria 

90-100% Exceptional Pass Exceptional work, nearly or wholly faultless for that expected at Masters Level.
80-89% Outstanding PassWork which is outstanding throughout, sensitive, original and innovative thinking evident in the text.
70-79% Excellent PassExcellent work throughout, clear attainable goals, methods used formulating text entirely appropriate.
60-69% Good PassWork of good to high quality showing evidence of understanding a broad range of topics, good accuracy, good structure and presentation and relevant conclusions. Shows a good knowledge of the material studied and the relevant literature and some ability to tackle unfamiliar problem.
50-59% Clear Masters PassWork 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 reading and some originality.
40-49% Diploma Pass Work shows satisfactory understanding of the important programme material and a basic knowledge of the relevant literature with little or no originality and limited accuracy of information Shows adequate presentation skills with clear but limited objectives and does not always reach a conclusion.
30-39% Compensatable Fail (potentially compensatable mark for the award of a Postgraduate Diploma or Certificate) Work shows some understanding of the main elements of the programme material and some knowledge of the relevant literature Shows some limited level of accuracy with little analysis of data or attempt to discuss its significance.
20-29% FailLittle relevant material presented Unclear or unsubstantiated arguments with very poor accuracy and understanding.
0-19% Clear failWork of a very poor quality containing little or no relevant literature.


  • All summatively assessed course work (the completed work which will be marked and awarded a grade or pass/fail) will be marked by a lecturer/teacher within the programme.
  • All seminars, written examinations and assignments, having been marked are then moderated. This means that another team of tutors / lecturers, who were not involved in the initial marking, review the comments and marks that have been awarded. The moderators will review fail, borderline fail and borderline pass grades.
  • If you fail any assessment for the first time you will normally be allowed one opportunity to be reassessed unless you have left the course.
  • The pass mark for each written assignment, seminar presentation and examination is normally 40%
  • The determination of competency based practice awarded at the end of a practice placement is the responsibility of the placement mentor who will sign to verify successful completion of the requirements of practice assessment. It is very important that you do not hand in your PAD without having the verification signed by your mentor. Failure to do so will result in a fail grade. If you are experiencing difficulties getting that signature for the hand in date, you are advised to contact the examinations office for advice.

Practice assessment awards a numerical grade.

  • A selection of scripts from each assessment is then sent to an external examiner from another university. This person considers fail, borderline fail and borderline pass grades, as well as a selection of other grades, and will make comments on issues of parity and equity. This is an important quality assurance role and the external examiner will have been invited to, and may visit you and fellow students, to seek your anonymous comments on your student experience.
  • Each assessment including practice is considered by the Board of Examiners which consists of tutors/lecturers, including markers and moderators, and external examiners. The meetings are chaired by the Head of Division (or nominee). No mark or grade is finalised until it has been considered by this committee.

Please note that in the interests of parity and equity amongst students, and in the interests of promoting independent self-directed learning only one substantial draft of work can be reviewed, and normally this should not be within 2 weeks of the submission date. Feedback on this draft is formative (feedback on how the work is progressing and areas for development).

Publication of Results & feedback

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.
  2. Any written communication by external post will be sent to the address last supplied to the Division by you. It is your responsibility to ensure that your current address is on record. It will not be acceptable for a student to claim that you were not informed of events if the Division has not received details of a change of address either by email or in writing.

 Opportunities for Re-assessment

If you fail to satisfy the examiners in a unit of study at level 7 you may, subject to the permission of the Examinations Board, and by establishing that the 1st attempt was bonafide, present yourself for re-examination and/or reassessment on a subsequent occasion, the specific date of which will be set by the Examination and Assessment Board.  For units with more than one piece of assessment and where aggregation exists for this assessment the original marks for the work which has been passed at 1st attempt will be calculated towards the aggregated overall mark.

Resit fee charges

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.

Exam Scheduling

During the January examination period this year, taking place between 16th-27th January, the University will be administering a total of 29,460 individual student examinations across all Divisions and Faculties. A total of 1,727 separate examination papers will be invigilated during this time, and these will take place over 1,157 separate examinations sessions. The University uses a total of 69 different venues and 12 PC clusters for these activities to occur.

The examination schedule has been produced using dedicated software for which the overarching factor is the production of a timetable with none, or as few as possible, student clashes. While attempts are made to ensure that students have a spread of examination dates throughout the examination period, in many cases this is not possible given the institutional constraints on the numbers of examination venues that are available, the number of examinations that are scheduled to take place and the options available to students on any particular programme of study.
Health & Conduct Committee

Health & Conduct Committee




It is requirement of both the NMC and GSCC that when a University places the names of students on a pass list to graduate for the pre-registration diplomas/degrees, the University is confirming that these students are of good health, good character and fit to practice. The relevant advice is contained for nursing/midwifery students at:

and for social work students at:

Functions of the NMSW Health and Conduct Committee

The overall function of the NMSW Health and Conduct Committee (NMSW H&C) is to consider matters concerning a student’s conduct and health as directed by both the University of Manchester regulations and policies, (for example, attendance, academic malpractice, plagiarism, conduct and discipline -both inside and outside the campus of the University of Manchester) and the guidance from the NMC and GSCC and regulatory framework relating to pre-registration students.

The Committee does this by monitoring the student’s health, conduct and discipline issues (including attendance) and determines the consequences and course of action, for students in the following scenarios:

  • Where a report of unprofessional behaviour or unsatisfactory conduct has been received;
  • Where reports of unsatisfactory attendance have been received;
  • Students whose general health is of concern.

Terms of Reference for the Division of Nursing Midwifery and Social Work Health and Conduct Committee can be found on the Student Gateway (Blackboard).

Procedure for the Committee on Fitness to Practice

The Faculty procedure for the committee on Fitness to Practice guidance can be found via the following link:

Publishing Final (Ratified) Results

At various points in the academic year, each assessment is considered by the Board of Examiners, which consists of lecturers, including markers and moderators, and external examiners. The meetings are chaired by The Head of Division (or nominee). No mark or grade is finalised / ratified until it has been considered by this committee. In order to facilitate early feedback, students normally receive marks before confirmation by the Board of Examiners, but should be aware that marks could change after consideration by the Board. Because this programme offers course units as ‘stand-alone’ options, this board also serves the function of a Progression Board which reviews the completion of work on a regular basis.

External Examiners

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 of Institution:
Position at current Institution:

Course Units:

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).


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. Candidates who so wish, may be presented for conferment of the degree, diploma or certificate at the appropriate ceremony following confirmation of the result.

The names that are printed on the degree certificate will be the student’s name as recorded in the University student record system, which you update each year when you re-register online. It is important, therefore, that you check your record thoroughly to ensure that your name is correctly recorded. The name printed on the degree or diploma 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.

Academic Award / Classification

All results are subject to agreement by the Faculty Board and ratification by the Senate of Manchester University.

PG Certificate/PG Diploma/MSc

 Advanced Professional Practice and Leadership

Advanced Nursing Practice and Leadership

Advanced Midwifery Practice and Leadership

Advanced Social Work Practice and Leadership

all awards are dertemined under the regulations of the univeRsity of manchester

Student Representation on Committees

Role of a Student Representative

Student representation and feedback is vital to the continued development of the Division.  Because Continuing Professional Development students are practitioners often in full or part time employment, and attend university on a part time basis, we are very aware of the demands on your time. For this reason, you are invited to submit in writing or by email to the Programme Director at any time, your views or opinions on any aspect of the programme, and this will be presented at the appropriate committee.

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.
  • Contributing to the growth and development of the Student Council by providing ideas and suggestions.
  • Helping to organise and run the ‘Freshers’ Fair’ for new students at the main May and September intakes.
  • Helping to organise, run and promote social events such as ‘Freshers Welcome’ parties and ‘End of Unit’ parties.

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.
  • Extra-curricular activity.
  • 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 and letter of commendation 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 combined ‘Division of Nursing, Midwifery and Social Work, Student/Staff Liaison and Student Council Meetings’.
  • Active involvement in the council’s various activities.

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 a week 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, 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.

 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.

[1] 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.