1. General Information
Welcome to the School of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Welcome to your Postgraduate Taught Programme in the School of Medical Sciences within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester. The University has a worldwide reputation based on high quality teaching and research, and I am sure that your programme will provide a solid foundation for your future career success.
Within the School and the wider Faculty, our goal is to create an environment that allows you to excel and reach your full potential. Offering access to first-class facilities and strong links with regional health-service providers, our postgraduate programmes are designed to meet the diverse needs of all our students. The curriculum of our taught programmes provides the knowledge and skills you will need in your subject area and all our Masters programmes include an opportunity to carry out an independent research project on topics spanning all areas of biomedical research from molecular to experimental biology and clinical medicine. While subject areas cover a broad range, all our taught programmes have two common aims:
- To develop your skills in your chosen field of study
- To enhance your knowledge within the field you have chosen. Whether you are a graduate, professional or have a clinical background, the programmes have been tailored to meet your specific needs.
As a student of the School of Medical Sciences, you will be expected to take responsibility for your degree, within a supportive environment that fosters your development and helps prepare you for your future career. This handbook will be a useful resource as you progress through your programme. It provides programme-specific information that I am sure that you will find helpful throughout your study. If however, you have questions or would like some further advice, please do not hesitate to contact the people listed in this handbook for further information and assistance.
I wish you every success as you embark upon your programme, and in your future career.
Dr Carol Yates
Director of Postgraduate Taught Education
School of Medical Sciences
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
Points of Contact
Co Programme Director
Dr Helen Jopling
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry
Division of Medical Education
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
University of Manchester
Co Programme Director
Dr Phil MacDonald
Senior Lecturer in Clinical Biochemistry
School of Medical Sciences
Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health
University of Manchester
Mrs Katharine Hayden FRCPath
Consultant Clinical Biochemist, Clinical Biochemistry
CMFT, Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9WL
Tel: 0161 276 4834
Dr Chris Chaloner FRCPath
Consultant Clinical Scientist (Paediatric Biochemistry)
Dept. Paediatric Pathology
4th Floor, Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital,
Oxford Road, Manchester M13 9WL
Tel: Office 0161-701-2752 or Laboratory 0161-901-2250
Mrs Lesley Tetlow
Consultant Clinical Scientist, Head of Paediatric Biochemistry / Director of Newborn Screening
Paediatric Pathology, 4th Floor
Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital
Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9WL
Tel: 0161-701 5167
Dr Lisa Bailey FRCPath
Consultant Clinical Scientist
Department of Clinical Biochemistry & Metabolic Medicine
Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University
Hospital NHS Trust
Tel: 0151 706 4153
Programme Committee Members
Dr Andrew Davison FRCPath
Consultant Clinical Scientist
Department of Clinical Biochemistry & Metabolic Medicine
Royal Liverpool & Broadgreen University
Hospital NHS Trust
Tel: 0151 706 4011
Dr Mick Henderson
Personal Tutor To be allocated.
MSc student representative To be appointed democratically.
Staying Safe – Covid-19
Feeling prepared and equipped at the present time inevitably brings thoughts of health and safety. We have followed the advice from Universities UK, Public Health England and the Foreign and Commonwealth Office to make sure our campus is a safe and happy environment for you to start your studies.
When arriving on campus, you’ll notice the changes we’ve made to keep everyone safe. For example, our buildings will have clearly marked entry and exit points; we’ll be asking everyone to sanitise or clean their hands immediately on entry; and markings on floors, stairwells and doors will help maintain social distancing.
It’s important for everyone to follow the guidelines on campus to keep themselves and others safe. We have faith that all members of our University community will do the right thing.
Our ‘Staying Safe’ microsite outlines the safety measures that are in place as well as useful information regarding:-
- Face Coverings
- What to do if you, or someone you live with, has COVID-19 symptoms
- How to register with a GP (doctor)
- Keeping yourself and your neighbours safe off campus
- Health and wellbeing support
- Financial Support
Student Frequently Asked Questions is regularly updated online but if you can’t find what you are looking for, please contact your school as soon as possible.
The Student Charter
Our Student Charter, developed jointly by the University and the Student's Union, is an important part of how we establish and maintain clear mutual expectations for the experience of all undergraduate and taught postgraduates. It sets out what we can expect from each other as partners in a learning community.
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 (http://my.manchester.ac.uk). The skills training resource is available in an academic community space available to all registered PGT students in the Faculty through Blackboard.
If you cannot see these units in your Blackboard please contact your Programme Administrator.
Full details of all these resources can be found in the introduction to each unit. These resources have been designed to give you formative feedback on your progress through them. If you experience any problems and would like to talk to someone please contact your Programme Director. If you have questions about referencing and how it applies to your own work, please contact your Programme Director or dissertation supervisor/module lead.
|Research Methods*||This course is spilt into 2 units that cover introductions to study design, statistics and dissertation skills. It has a number of online quizzes where you can test your knowledge.|
|Introduction to Statistics*||The course provides a valuable foundation for understanding and interpreting biostatistics. It aims to provide you with the fundamentals of quantitative analysis.|
|Presentation Skills||This short interactive unit is designed to help you to enhance your presentation skills. Regardless of whether you are presenting in public, preparing for conferences, an oral examination or more informal settings this unit will give you the tops tips to improve your delivery. The course also includes a unit on influencing effectively, alongside the presentation and poster information.|
|Qualitative Research Methods*||This unit has been designed to give you an introduction to Qualitative Research.|
|Intellectual Property Awareness Resource||This Intellectual Property (IP) awareness resource has been created in order to improve your understanding of IP. Topics include: Types of intellectual property • Copyright and IP clearance • University policy on IP • IP commercialisation • IP in research or consultancy • IP issues to be aware when dealing with academic materials|
* NOTE: the material in this online resource is for reference and formative learning purposes only. In some of your taught programme you may be required to undertake assessed course units for Research Methods, Qualitative Research or Statistics. If your programme involves taught units then you should refer to the Blackboard material relating to that course unit. Please contact your Programme Administrator if you are unsure which material relates to your assessed work. You will still be able to refer to the online skills resource in later years.
Mandatory Introductory Courses
All students are automatically enrolled onto an introductory unit that provides information on Health and Safety and Academic Malpractice. You will find them on Blackboard.
Completion instructions for each of these sections are clearly defined within the course. Completion of the academic malpractice and health and safety sections is mandatory for all students. All assessments must be completed as soon as possible after the programme begins, with the academic malpractice assessment completed before the first piece of coursework is submitted. Completion of these assessments is monitored by the School.
You must achieve 70% in each of the Health and Safety modules and 100% in the Academic Malpractice module in order to pass.
Health and Safety
Before you visit the University campus, please take time to read the University’s Health and Safety Policy.
Communication with Students
Please note that only Blackboard, the University e-learning platform and your allocated student university email address will be used as official communication by University staff. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can access and read email from this source.
Students are required to keep the University informed of any change to their personal circumstances such as change of name or address. Changes can be recorded by the student via their own personal online record. It is also essential to inform the Programme Administrator if you do not intend to return to the next session of the course, if, for example, you are moving away.
All students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Certificate, Diploma and MSc programme are invited, along with their guests, to attend a graduation ceremony. Further details can be accessed via the Graduation page on the University's website.
The University of Manchester degree ceremonies are broadcast live online, and are also stored on the University website.
2. Overview of the Programme
Course Unit Specifications and Programme Specification
Full course unit outlines and programme specification for this programme are available via the Blackboard programme space available via - https://my.manchester.ac.uk/
The MSc/PGDip programme in Clinical Biochemistry is designed to provide students with a knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of Clinical Biochemistry. To equip students with the transferable, intellectual and professional skills to permit them to develop their academic and professional potential throughout their career by fostering lifelong learning in the pursuit of excellence in scholarship and professional practice.
The programme provides unique opportunity for clinical biochemistry students to undertake core professional and research skills education and training with students from the other health science disciplines. Through shared taught units students will benefit from inter-professional multidisciplinary learning whilst at the same time gaining the ability to apply core knowledge and understanding specific to Clinical Biochemistry.
- Equip students with knowledge and understanding of the theory and practice of clinical biochemistry.
- Produce graduates with a critical understanding of how data generated by biochemistry service laboratories is employed to develop a clinical diagnosis, and how this information can be logically and systematically employed to deliver effective day to day management of common medical conditions.
- Enhance career-long development and promote lifelong learning in students in order to support and enhance best practice in clinical biochemistry.
Knowledge & Understanding
On completion of the programme students should be able to:
For Postgraduate Diploma
- Demonstrate knowledge of the normal physiology and biochemistry of the major organ systems of the body.
- Display a critical understanding of the regulatory processes and practices involved in conducting research in a health service or academic setting.
- Demonstrate knowledge and critical understanding of the use of internal and external quality assurance systems in health service laboratories.
- Display knowledge of the theory and critical understanding of the use of the major analytical techniques employed within the blood science disciplines.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the general principles of hormone regulation and an understanding of the biochemical consequences of diseases of the main endocrine glands.
- Show an in depth knowledge and understanding of the use of biochemical screening to detect and diagnose common inborn errors of metabolism.
- Demonstrate knowledge of the biochemical biomarkers for common major organ pathologies and cancer, and an understanding of the clinical significance of these parameters.
- Display knowledge and understanding of normal nutrition and clinical disorders associated with malnutrition, malabsorption and obesity.
- Demonstrate knowledge and understanding of the principles and practice of toxicology and drug screening.
Additionally for Masters
- To systematically and critically employ the knowledge and understanding obtained during the taught component of the programme to address an original research question through the design and undertaking of a comprehensive research project and production of a dissertation.
At the end of the programme students should be able to:
For Postgraduate Diploma
- Appraise and interpret information from different sources in order to develop a coherent critical analysis of issues relating to the practice and delivery of blood science services.
- Systematically and objectively evaluate which biomedical parameters need to be established to develop a valid diagnosis of a patient displaying specific clinical symptoms.
- Critically evaluate the performance of new analytical technologies in the context of the specific requirements of the health service.
Additionally for Masters
- To synthesise, analyse and systematically combine information obtained from different sources to develop a defined original research question and then to address it through the development of a coherent research project.
Students should be able to:
For Postgraduate Diploma
- To effectively communicate with colleagues within the pathology service and ward staff through the presentation of verbal and written reports
- To collect, collate and record scientific data according to established health service practices
- Contribute to the advancement of effective and timely patient diagnosis through a knowledge and understanding of the multidisciplinary environment of the pathology service within the modern health service.
- Contribute to the strategies for practice development and change at both team and organisational level to enhance access to, and effectiveness of, clinical science services.
Additionally for Masters
- Design a scientifically valid experimental strategy to address a specific research question relevant to modern clinical science practice.
- Produce a cogent dissertation that contains a critical analysis and evaluation of data generated during research project, and a concise and scientifically valid interpretation of the experimental findings.
Transferable Skills and Personal Qualities
On completion of the programme students should be able to:
For Postgraduate Diploma and Masters
- Communicate effectively in a variety of settings with a range of individuals.
- Effectively utilise information technology/health informatics.
- Demonstrate research and enquiry skills by accessing and analysing literature in order to inform and develop practice.
- Work co-operatively and effectively with others as a member of a team.
- Reflect on their own academic and clinical performance and utilise strategies to improve these.
- Use logical and systematic approaches to problem-solving and decision-making.
The MSc/PGDip programme in Clinical Biochemistry is a full-time programme delivered over 9 months or one year respectively. The MSc programme is composed of a 120 credit taught component, which consists of six 15 credit taught units delivered in semesters 1 and 2, a 30 credit practical class component and a 60 credit research project undertaken during the summer. The PGDip programme solely consists of the 120 credit taught component of the MSc. PGDip students do not undertake a research project.
SMS Introductory Course – Lab-based (MEDN67810)
All students are automatically enrolled onto an introductory course unit that provides 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 these units is monitored by the School.
Research Methods (0 credits)
This unit is a 0-credit, interactive blended learning unit which will give you a comprehensive introduction to key information and skills required for the design, execution, interpretation and dissemination of medical, scientific and clinically-related research. The full course unit outline is detailed on page 28.
Analytical Methods (15 credits)
The unit will equip students with a knowledge and understanding of the theory and use of the main analytical technologies and diagnostic platforms employed in the Clinical Biochemistry Laboratory
Introduction to Clinical Biochemistry (15 credits)
This unit provides students with an introduction to the theory and practice of Clinical Biochemistry and the role the Clinical Biochemistry laboratory plays in the investigation, diagnosis and management of disease.
Diseases of Major Organs (15 credits)
This unit will provide students with an in depth understanding of how disorders of the major organs (lungs, kidneys, liver, brain and muscle) impact biochemical parameters such as acid base balance, blood gasses, blood and urine proteins, water and electrolyte balance. In addition, students will gain an in depth insight into the role biochemical investigations play in the diagnosis and management of common cancers. This unit will also equip students with a critical appreciation and understanding of how information obtained through the biochemical investigation of major organ function can be applied to diagnose disease. In addition, this unit will provide students with an appreciation of study design, an introduction to the basic principles of epidemiology and evidence based practice.
Endocrinology (15 credits):
This clinical unit has been designed to provide you with the knowledge and understanding of the physiology of endocrine glands and the biochemistry tests used to investigate endocrine disorders. The clinical and laboratory investigations used for the diagnosis and management of diabetes will be covered, in addition to endocrine disorders affecting the pituitary, thyroid and adrenal glands and the GI tract. In addition the unit covers the investigation of infertility and endocrine conditions affecting gonadal function.
The unit uses a blended learning approach combining direct teaching with problem-based learning, literature review and clinical case material including interpretation of dynamic function tests to investigate endocrine conditions. The goal of this approach is to enable you to combine the theoretical knowledge with the skills required to provide advice and interpretation of endocrine tests in clinical scenarios
Research Skills Masterclass (RSM) (30 credits):
This unit is designed to provide students with hands-on experience of techniques used in the research laboratory. This unit spans both semester 1 and semester 2
Nutrition and Drug monitoring (15 credits):
Nutrition: Adequate nutrition is fundamental to human health and development. When it goes wrong, major health problems can follow such as diabetes type 2 in obesity, and life-threatening cardio-respiratory problems accompanying severe chronic malnutrition. Clinical Biochemists and other laboratory professionals have a major role to play in evaluating nutritional status, monitoring patients with altered nutritional needs and advising on changes to diets to ensure optimal growth, development and wellbeing.
The Nutrition element of this module aims to give students a basic understanding of the fundamentals of human nutrition, the consequences of over- and under-nutrition and the role of the laboratory in determining the dietary needs of patients with underlying chronic illnesses affecting absorption, distribution or excretion of macro- and micro-nutrients Students will obtain an understanding of the role trace elements and vitamins in maintaining an individual’s health and well-being. They will also gain an appreciation of the importance of clinical and biochemical parameters in diagnosing and managing nutritional disorders. The students will also learn about the biochemistry of haem synthesis and clinical disorders related to defects in the haem synthetic pathway.
Drug monitoring: The use of drugs in the treatment of disease is at the foundation of modern medicine. This part of the unit is designed to give you an overview of the absorption, distribution, metabolism and excretion of drugs. Using these principles the unit then progresses into other areas for you to develop an understanding of therapeutic drug monitoring, overdose, abuse, pharmacogenetics and forensic toxicology. Clinical Scientists have a central role to play in the interpretation of drug assays, the advice given to clinical teams and the actions taken on the basis of these results.
The course material is a mixture of formal lectures and presentations of clinical cases. The unit will equip students with a knowledge and understanding of basic pharmacokinetics and pharmacogenetics, and acquire an understanding of the principles and toxicology and drug monitoring.
Paediatric Biochemistry (15 credits): The unit provides grounding in clinical biochemistry specifically relevant to paediatric populations from birth through the neonatal period, infancy, childhood and adolescence. It covers areas of clinical biochemistry of particular relevance to paediatrics and students will learn that whilst some biochemical tests may be clinically relevant in patients of all ages their interpretation or likely diagnoses are different in paediatric and adult populations.
The module includes an overview of the physiological changes to mother and fetus during pregnancy and complications which can occur and a session on electrolyte and acid-base problems in the neonate. Other specific areas covered include hypoglycaemia, hyperammonaemia and neonatal hyperbilirubinaemia. There is also a strong focus on paediatric endocrine disorders taught predominantly via case based sessions. The students are also introduced to the principles and practice of newborn screening and the major categories of inherited metabolic disorders, such as organic acidurias, amino acid disorders, peroxisomal, lysosomal and mitochondrial disorders.
The unit aims to provide the student with an understanding of the key issues of interpretation in paediatric biochemistry, particularly the concept that children and babies are not merely small adults. It also aims to give the student an overview of the nature, modes of presentation and methods of diagnosis for the key inherited metabolic disorders.
This permits students to develop and refine core research and transferable skills in addition to expanding their knowledge and understanding of clinical biochemistry. The research project will be started after completion of the taught component of the programme. It will run through the summer and be completed in August. If a student is having difficulties he/she should immediately contact their Personal Advisor or the Programme Director.
An online notice of submission form should be completed 6 weeks prior to the date of submission. The School Graduate Office will ensure you are given access to the online submission form. If you have any queries about the online submission form you should contact your Programme Administrator.
An electronic copy of your dissertation will need to be submitted via the Dissertation course unit space on Blackboard.
A copy of the presentation of dissertations policy is available online:
You should expect some help from your project supervisor in writing the report. Obviously, the extent of this help may be reflected in the final mark, but as a rule your project supervisor will be expected to read and comment on a first draft of the report. You should however provide your supervisor with adequate notice when submitting your draft report since they have many calls on their time. You will find it helps to prepare figures and to work on aspects of your report throughout your research project, rather than leaving it until the end before you start writing.
It is important to remember that one of your markers will not be closely aware of your projects. It is therefore important to provide clear and concise write-ups. Given that projects will vary in the number and size of figures/images, the fairest and most consistent method to standardise the length is to impose a word limit.
Each student will be allocated a Research Project Supervisor. Supervision is governed by the University Manual of Academic Procedures, which outlines in more detail the responsibilities of the Supervisor and the Student. Briefly, the responsibilities of the Supervisor include: giving guidance about the nature of research and the standard expected; the planning of the research programme; and pointing the Student towards relevant literature and other sources of information.
The relationship between the Student and his/her Supervisor is of central importance. Both the Student and the Supervisor have a responsibility to ensure that the dissertation is completed within the prescribed period of the programme. Supervisors and students should establish at their initial meeting clear and explicit expectations of each other in order to minimise the risks and problems of misunderstanding, personality clashes, inadequate supervision and unsatisfactory work. Timetables for Progress Monitoring meetings must be closely observed. It should be noted that in some instances students may be jointly supervised by staff, and be assigned a principal and second supervisor.
3. Teaching, Learning and Assessment
Coursework and assignments
We normally require you to submit written coursework and assignments via the Blackboard e-learning environment.
You should be given an assignment brief by either the academic leading the course unit or your programme administrator. Your assignment brief should contain the following information:
- Methods for submission (e.g. via Blackboard, email etc.)
- Word count (excluding bibliography/reference list, figure legends, tables and appendices).
- Details of any penalties which would be incurred for exceeding the word count.
- Referencing style to be used (e.g. Harvard, Numeric). (All written work must contain referencing.)
- The weighting the assessment contributes towards the course unit
- Ensure that your student ID number is contained in the filename for your submission.
- Ensure that your student ID number is contained within the body of your assignment (e.g. in the header or footer).
- Leave adequate time to upload your assignment via Blackboard. The portal for submission will be closed after the deadline.
- State the word count of the assignment (word counts exclude bibliography/reference list, figure legends and tables and appendices). NB Legends and tables must be of appropriate length and students cannot use figure legends or text within tables to try and side step the word limit.
- Include your name in the file name.
- Include your name in the body of the assignment (except for the final dissertation).
If you have technical difficulties on the day of the deadline and cannot submit via Blackboard, then as a last resort you should email your work to firstname.lastname@example.org
Practice exam questions will be made available to you within the appropriate course unit space on Blackboard.
All aspects of the course unit are eligible for assessment/examination unless stated otherwise by the programme director. On some occasions speakers/lecturers may advise you that particular elements are not examinable – PLEASE IGNORE THIS! However, please note it is not appropriate for us to offer specific guidance on what will and will not be examined.
Examinations will be carried out remotely to the university for semester 1 and we will update you on arrangements for semester 2. All examinations will be carried out through Blackboard with a time window for you to access the exam paper. Once an exam commences you will be time limited, so please ensure that you have a stable internet connection prior to starting the assessment. More details of examinations will be provided throughout the course
We aim to make grades available within 15 working days of the assignment submission or exam date. We aim to give feedback on written assignments (feedback may be sent by either academic or administrative staff). Feedback comments for examinations are available on request.
Grades for all assessed work are released via the Campus Solutions Student System which can be accessed via the My Manchester area https://my.manchester.ac.uk .
Within the Student System navigate via Self Service>Student Center>Academics>Assignments
All grades are subject to final ratification at Examination Board.
Assessment information for your programme
Please refer to your Blackboard unit spaces for more information regarding coursework and assessment, including submission deadlines: https://my.manchester.ac.uk/
You may have to undertake a placement as part of your programme of study. These often take place off-campus. If your programme involves placement learning, please refer to the Policy for Placement Learning.
The University's Health and Safety Services have produced Health and Safety Arrangements: Chapter 24 - Health and Safety in Off Campus Work including field work, field trips and business travel, which contains guidance on health and safety issues for off campus work.
Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations for Students
Students should familiarise themselves with the degree regulations for Postgraduate Taught Degrees by clicking on this link http://www.regulations.manchester.ac.uk/postgraduate-degree-regulations/ or reading the University document here: Introduction to the Postgraduate Degree Regulations for Students
Guidance for Presentation of Taught Masters Dissertations
The University of Manchester guidance on presentation of taught Masters Dissertations is available at:
Guidance for the presentation of Taught Masters dissertations
The guidance explains the required presentation of the dissertation, and failure to follow the instructions in the guidance may result in the dissertation being rejected by the examiners.
There is more information on taught masters dissertation requirements on Blackboard: https://my.manchester.ac.uk
As a guide, excluding bibliography, glossaries and appendices, the length of the report should be 50 – 60 pages.
Additional information that needs to be provided with the Dissertation includes:
Introduction and aims: This section should provide information about the background to the project. The main aim of the Introduction is to inform the reader why the area of research is important, and how the project contributes to the research field. This section should end with one or two paragraphs that clearly state the overall aims (e.g. what hypothesis will be tested?) and the key objectives (e.g. what experiments will be performed?) of the project. The Introduction should be self-contained and should not require the reader to access additional material in order to understand it. Neither should it be a leisurely review of the field. It should be limited to around 6-10 pages of typescript. The referencing of reviews to cover large areas of literature is appropriate. However, research that is directly relevant to the project should be referenced in full as primary research papers. The use of figures to illustrate concepts or previous work is encouraged. It is best that figures are originals. Where unavoidable, figures may be copied or adapted from journals, in which case they must be cited in full within the legend.
In summary, it is important to identify in the Introduction:
- The research topic or area;
- The question or questions being addressed, and why they are important;
- The purpose of the project. In most cases, the project should seek to test a hypothesis. Some projects may be more observational, in which case it is important to identify how these observations will be utilised to advance the field.
Materials and Methods: This should provide a description of the experimental systems and designs employed to obtain data, the materials used (including suppliers), and the methods of data and statistical analysis. Detail should be sufficient for others to repeat the work and to demonstrate that the student has understood the methods used. The key here is to appreciate which methodologies require detailed descriptions and which standard procedures can be dealt with quickly by referencing previous publications or manufacturers’ instructions:
- There is no need to describe at length many standard laboratory procedures. For example, cell culture could be described by: “HeLa cells were grown in a 5% CO2 environment, in DMEM supplemented with 10% FBS and containing penicillin (x U/ml) and streptomycin (x U/ml).” Methods of cell splitting etc. need not be referred to unless they are intrinsic to the design of experiments.
- Many standard protocols use kits. These can be described by identifying the kit and stating that methods were followed according to the manufacturer’s instructions (with details of any modifications).
Results: A detailed description of the results and findings. These should not endlessly re-state the aims of the project but should provide sufficient information to allow the reader to ascertain the aim of each experiment/method development and what the result was. The results are often best divided into sections, each with a theme.
The text should be supported with figures and tables. These should be placed in the appropriate position within the main body of the report, i.e. immediately following the first reference to each table or figure, and not all put at the end of the report. Tables and Figures should be self-contained with appropriately detailed legends and it should normally not be necessary to describe every aspect of the table/figure in the text. There may however be occasions when you want to draw the reader to specific components of the Table/Figure (for example, “note differences between columns X and Y in Table II”, or “note the asterisked bands in lane 6 of Figure 4” etc).
Tables should be numbered consecutively. They must have an informative heading and an explanatory legend. These should make the general meaning comprehensible without reference to the text. Consider the layout carefully so the significance of the data can be grasped readily. Statistics should be quoted where appropriate. Units in which the results are expressed should be given at the top of each column.
Figures should also be numbered consecutively and should contain appropriate headings, annotations and legends. Do not make the figures over complicated by presenting too many sets of data. On graphs, each line should have a separate symbol and error bars should be shown where appropriate. Unless there are special reasons, do not present the same data in more than one form.
Discussion: The Discussion should not be a paraphrasing of the results and is normally headed only by a brief summary of your findings. The Discussion should consist of a logical flow of arguments and reasoning that explains and expands upon the results in simple English, and identifies their relevance to published findings. You will be expected here to refer mainly to primary papers in the literature. The Discussion also provides an opportunity for you to defend your conclusions, identify how experiments could have been improved upon, and to discuss how the project might develop given more time.
Conclusions: A short summary will identify whether the approaches used have been successful and whether the aims that the student set originally have been achieved.
References: There should be a single reference section at the end of the document. References must be cited in full (all author names and initials, date, title, journal, volume, pages). References can be cited in the text either by author and date (e.g. Smith, 1996 or Smith and Brown, 1980 or Smith et al., 1990) or by numbering e.g. (34). You are encouraged to use a referencing software package such as Endnote or Reference Manager.
Acknowledgements: You may wish to acknowledge the people who have helped you in your project.
Appendices etc: Appendices are useful ways to include supplementary data (e.g. DNA sequences) without breaking the flow of the dissertation. Buffer compositions are best described in parentheses within the Methods section, but their inclusion in an appendix is acceptable. Abbreviations should be listed on a separate page, preferably after the Table of Contents. Terms that are abbreviated should be used 3 or more times in the text. They should be written in full the first time they are used, followed by the abbreviation in parenthesis.
Turnitin and Plagiarism
Plagiarism and Other Forms of Academic Malpractice
Academic malpractice is any activity - intentional or otherwise - that is likely to undermine the integrity essential to scholarship and research. It includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results, and anything else that could result in unearned or undeserved credit for those committing it. Academic malpractice can result from a deliberate act of cheating or may be committed unintentionally. Whether intended or not, all incidents of academic malpractice will be treated seriously by the University.
The Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health have designed a learning module to raise your awareness of academic malpractice and how it can occur in general writing during your studies. This resource can be accessed via Blackboard - SMS Introductory Course and must be completed before you submit your first piece of academic writing for assessment.
The University provides workshops and online training via My Learning Essentials
Please refer to the University of Manchester guidance to students on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice
The full guidance document can be viewed here: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=2870
Academic Malpractice: Procedure for the Handling of Cases can be found at: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=639
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 School 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.
Mitigating circumstances are personal or medical circumstances which are unforeseeable and unpreventable that could have a significant adverse effect on your academic performance. You should only submit a mitigating circumstances application if you consider it serious enough, and the timing critical, to have affected your performance in your assessed work and examinations.
Request for mitigation must be submitted via the online form, in advance of your assessment submission deadline or exam. Requests for mitigation submitted after the assessment or exam (except those requests made as a result of circumstances that have arisen during the course of that assessment period) will not be considered without a credible and compelling explanation as to why the circumstances were not known before the beginning of the assessment period or why you were unable to complete or submit an application prior to the assessment or exam. Please note that not informing the University of circumstances due to personal feelings of embarrassment and pride, or having concerns over the confidential treatment of requests for mitigation, are not considered to be credible and compelling explanations
All mitigating circumstances applications must be supported by independent third party evidence. The type of evidence required will vary according to the nature of the circumstances. Examples of evidence include a doctor or other health professional’s letter, counsellor’s letter, self-certification form signed by your GP or GP’s Medical Practice (for illnesses of 7 days and under only). Please note that it is a University policy that the self-certification form must be signed by a GP; we cannot accept forms which have not been signed by a GP. Please note that if evidence has not been received within 2 weeks of the submission of your form, and you have not contacted them to inform them of any delay, your application will be refused and no further action will be taken.
Any requests for mitigation will be considered confidentially by a mitigating circumstances panel or sub-panel. Where a request for mitigation is supported, a recommendation will be made to the exam board for them to decide on the best course of action for the student.
You are advised to consult the following guidance, which directs you to seek advice and support before and whilst submitting a request for mitigation.
Guidance for students is available on the web: A Basic Guide to Mitigating Circumstances
For further information about the process and acceptable grounds for mitigation see: Mitigating Circumstances Policy & Procedures: http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/DocuInfo.aspx?DocID=4271
Mitigating Circumstances Meeting Dates
Please be advised that any requests need to be submitted by midday 7 days before the pre-arranged Mitigating Circumstances meeting to email@example.com . The dates of Mitigating Circumstances meetings for the 2021/22 academic year are as follows:
- Wednesday 15th September 2021
- Wednesday 13th October 2021
- Wednesday 17th November 2021
- Wednesday 15th December 2021
- Wednesday 19th January 2022
- Wednesday 19th February 2022
- Wednesday 16th March 2022
- Wednesday 13th April 2022
- Wednesday 18th May 2022
- Wednesday 15th June 2022
- Wednesday 20th July 2022
- Wednesday 17th August 2022
Late Submission Penalty (Including Dissertation)
Work submitted after the deadline without prior approval will be subject to a late penalty in accordance with the University Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes. The penalty applied is 10% of available marks deducted per day/24 hours (from the time of the original or extended deadline), until the assignment is submitted or no marks remain.
Penalties for late submission relate to 24 hours/calendar days, so include weekends and weekdays, as well as bank holidays and University closure days.
The mark awarded for the piece of work will be reduced by:
10% of the available marks deducted if up to 24 hours (1 day) late
20% of the available marks deducted if up to 48 hours (2 days) late
30% of the available marks deducted if up to 72 hours (3 days) late
40% of the available marks deducted if up to 96 hours (4 days) late
50% of the available marks deducted if up to 120 hours (5 days) late
60% of the available marks deducted if up to 144 hours (6 days) late
70% of the available marks deducted if up to 168 hours (7 days) late
80% of the available marks deducted if up to 192 hours (8 days) late
90% of the available marks deducted if up to 216 hours (9 days) late
100% of the available marks deducted if up to 240 hours (10 days) late
If the assessment is submitted within 10 days of the deadline the assessment should be marked and feedback to the student provided. If this mark before the penalty is applied reaches the appropriate pass mark but the applied penalty results in a fail of the assessment, the student should not be required to resit the assessment as the original mark can be taken as the resit mark. Further information and examples can be found in the Policy and associated Guidance documents.
For work submitted more than 10 days late, it is regarded as a non-submission and need not be marked. In this case a mark of zero will be awarded and normal resit regulations will apply.
The sliding scale should only be applied to first-sit submissions. For all referred (resit) assessment, any late submission will automatically receive a mark of zero.
For further information:
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.
Word Count Guide
What is and what is not included in the word count. Please note: Depending on the type of assessment, not all sections will be applicable.
|List of tables, figures||No|
|Glossary of Terms||No|
|Background, Critical Review of Existing Literature||Yes|
|Citations in the main text||Yes|
|Directly quoted material in the main text||Yes|
|List of references||No|
|Tables and Figures||The titles, footnotes and citations for Tables and Figures are included but the actual text within them is not.|
Fitness to Practise
Where a programme of study requires the student to undertake practical training in a quasi-professional role in relation to patients, clients or service-users or where the qualification provides a direct license to practise, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has a duty to ensure that the student is fit to practise. In order to protect present or future patients, clients or service users and to comply with the requirements of professional/regulatory bodies, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has established a procedure for dealing with student-related fitness to practise issues.
Fitness to Practise issues are initially investigated and considered locally within the School (e.g. by a Health and Conduct Committee) and if necessary referred to the Faculty Fitness to Practise Committee.
A student may appeal against the decision of a Fitness to Practise Committee within twenty days of the decision but only on one or more of the following grounds:
a) procedural irregularity;
b) availability of new evidence which could not reasonably have been expected to be presented to the original hearing;
c) the disproportionate nature of the penalty.
The TLSO facilitates the arrangements for Fitness to Practise Appeals Committees. An Appeals Committee has the power to confirm or alter the original decision, and the outcome is confirmed to students in a Completion of Procedures letter. A student may then decide to pursue a complaint with the OIA.
Information on Fitness to Practise related matters can be found at: www.tlso.manchester.ac.uk/appeals-complaints/fitnesstopractise
Academic Appeals, Complaints, Conduct and Discipline
- The University’s Student Complaints Procedure (Regulation XVIII) and associated documents, including a complaints form, can be found at www.regulations.manchester.ac.uk/academic
- The University has separate procedures to address complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination and/or victimisation - see https://www.reportandsupport.manchester.ac.uk/
- Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first (see the procedure). Formal complaints should be submitted on the relevant form to Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail: FBMHappealsandcomplaints@manchester.ac.uk).
Conduct and Discipline of Students
- General University information on the conduct and discipline of students can be found at https://www.staffnet.manchester.ac.uk/tlso/academic-appeals-complaints-and-misconduct/
- Faculty policies for students on communication and dress code, social networking. and drugs and alcohol can be found at:
- http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=29038 (Communication and Dress Code)
- http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=29039 (Drugs and Alcohol)
- http://documents.manchester.ac.uk/display.aspx?DocID=29040 (Social Networking)
- Information on Academic Malpractice and how to avoid it can be found at http://www.regulations.manchester.ac.uk/guidance-to-students-on-plagiarism-and-other-forms-of-academic-malpractice/
- In accordance with the Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes, ‘All typed summative assessment, including dissertations, should be submitted online and subjected to plagiarism detection software, where appropriate’.
The University Library has produced online resources to help students in avoiding plagiarism and academic malpractice at:
The University may share appropriate information relating to your health and/or conduct with external organisations such as your professional employer(s) (for example, relevant NHS Trust, Professional and Statutory Regulatory Bodies (PSRB)), placement and training providers and/or regulator. This may occur where concerns in relation to your health and/or conduct arise and the University considers it necessary for them to be disclosed to one or more of the above organisations. The University’s Privacy Notice for Registered Students (which is accessible via this link) includes further information about how the University may use and process your personal data, including the legal basis and conditions which may be relevant to such processing (see section 6 of the Privacy Notice). The University will only disclose special category data (such as data relating to your health) to a third party organisation where one of the additional conditions are satisfied (see section 9 of the Privacy Notice), including where processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.
4. Student Progression
Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students
The programme director and teaching staff will monitor the work and attendance of students on the programme. This is for your benefit and helps to ensure you are coping with the work. Regular or a pattern of non-attendance and/or engagement will result in you being contacted by the School to meet with your programme director. Following this, further action will be taken if there isn’t a significant improvement in attendance.
For further information see:
Regulation XX Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students
The University offers a range of advice and support to students experiencing problems with attendance. The A-Z of Services can be found on the MyManchester website. Here you can find a information on a wide range of topics such as library services, disability support and careers advice.
You can also speak to your Programme Director and/or Academic Advisor.
What to do if you are absent
In case of illness you should supply a doctor’s certificate or, if the illness is brief, a self-certification. If you are absent for other reasons then you should write a letter to the Programme Director explaining the circumstances. Medical certificates or letters should be given in person or sent to the Programme Administrator. Whatever your reason for being away, tell your supervisor about it and make any necessary arrangements to catch up with work you have missed.
Requests to Take Leave
Because of the structure of the MSc we are not always able to follow standard Semester dates and University holiday periods. You are expected to attend for all taught lectures, tutorials and exams. We also expect that following completion of your taught assessments that you are actively engaging with your studies for your research project. If you wish to take leave, please submit a request with dates to your programme administrator, who will seek approval from the programme director.
Interruptions to programme and extensions to writing up
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.
Tier 4 Visa Attendance Monitoring Census
The University operates attendance monitoring census points within the academic year in order to confirm the attendance of students holding a Tier 4 Student Visa. This is to ensure the University meets the UKVI statutory requirements as a sponsor of Tier 4 students and its responsibilities in accordance with its Highly Trusted Sponsor status.
If you are a Tier 4 visa holder, you must attend these attendance monitoring census points, in addition to complying with your programme’s attendance requirements.
When are the census points?
There are usually 4 census points each academic year:
- September/October (to coincide with Registration)
- If you are a new student, registration is your first point to confirm your attendance at the University and you will not be required to attend a separate census point in the Autumn.
- You will receive an e-mail from your Programme Administrator to confirm when and where you should go to have your attendance confirmed. You must check your University e-mail account regularly. Failure to check your e-mail account is not a valid reason to be absent from a census point.
What if a Tier 4 student cannot attend a census point?
If you cannot attend in person due to a valid reason which includes: illness; placement; field studies; on year abroad; research work; or any other reason connected to your programme of study, you must email your programme administrator to inform us of your absence and your inability to attend in person. In the case of illness, you must provide a copy of a medical certificate. If you are in this position you should report in person to the School as soon as possible after you return to campus.
Students who are recorded as interrupting their studies are not expected to attend during their period of interruption.
What happens if a student does not attend a census point?
The School must be able to confirm your presence to the UKVI by the end of each census point in the academic year. If you do not attend a census point when required by your School and you do not provide a valid explanation for your absence you will be deemed to be “not in attendance”.
Those students identified as “not in attendance” will be reported to the UKVI and the University will cease to sponsor the student’s Tier 4 visa. The Tier 4 visa will then be curtailed and the student must leave the UK within 60 days.
For more information on Tier 4 visas: https://www.gov.uk/tier-4-general-visa
If you have any concerns about the attendance monitoring census points, or your Tier 4 visa status, please contact or visit https://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/immigration-and-visas/ or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Withdrawal from the Programme
Students who are considering withdrawing from the programme should discuss this in the first instance with the Programme Director.
If arrangements for withdrawal need to be made, this will be handled by the Programme Administrator, who will manage communication with the Fees and Records Departments and other University bodies as appropriate OR Students may liaise directly with the Programme Administrator who will communicate this information directly to the University Student Services Centre.
5. Student Support and Guidance
Student Support and Guidance
Student support and guidance within the programme
Support and advice is available to all students both formally and informally from the Programme Directors, the Programme Administrator and research project supervisors.
If you have any queries or would like to discuss any issues at all – academic, administrative, technical or personal – please do not hesitate to get in touch. All personal issues will be dealt with confidentially.
If we are unable to help you directly, we can put you in touch with many of the support services that are available to students of the University through our Student Services Centre.
You can approach these services independently, without the involvement of programme staff. Please refer to the Blackboard Space on Student Support and Guidance which is available via https://my.manchester.ac.uk
Academic Success Programme
You’re studying at the University of Manchester – congratulations! Writing and speaking Academic English can be challenging, even for native speakers. Our team of experienced tutors are here to support you, and will help boost your confidence to work independently in English through a series of interactive workshops - freely available to all University of Manchester students.
To find out more, and to register, please go to www.manchester.ac.uk/academicsuccessprogramme
The Academic Writing workshops are delivered via live synchronous video sessions, and offer faculty-specific support covering both the basics and the finer points of good academic writing. The sessions are interactive and encourage small group work to solve problems and edit texts. Our Academic Grammar workshops are also online and open to students from all faculties. They include the fundamentals of good sentence structure as well as more subtle ways of showing nuance and emphasis.
There are also self-study resources available via our Blackboard community – details, and registration, is via the “Online Resources” link.
Should you have further queries, please email email@example.com
Each student will be allocated a personal advisor whose responsibility will include pastoral care in addition to mentoring and monitoring the student’s academic and personal development progress during the programme. Students should meet/contact their advisors at regular intervals (2 months) to discuss any problems. The progress of the project will also be discussed at these meetings (as well as progress on the programme more generally) but the supervision of the project is the responsibility of the project supervisor.
Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS)
The University of Manchester welcomes students with a disability or specific learning difficulties. The University has a Disability Advisory and Support Service, who can supply further information and DASS advisors will be pleased to meet you to discuss you needs. DASS will liaise with your School through the Disability Coordinator to make the necessary arrangements for your support during your time in Manchester.
The DASS office can also provide a copy of the University’s Disability Statement, ‘Opportunities for Students with Additional Support Needs at the University of Manchester’ which sets out the policy and provision for students with a disability.
DASS Contact Details:-
Location: 2nd Floor, University Place
Tel (Disability Service) +44 (0)161 275 7512
Tel (Assessment Centre) +44 (0)161 275 0990
Mobile Number (Text only for d/Deaf students) 07899 658 790
Email (Disability Service) firstname.lastname@example.org
Email (Assessment Centre) email@example.com
School Disability Coordinator Contact Details:-
Religious Observance and Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan
Policy on Religious Observance:
- University Policy
- The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has produced guidance for healthcare students on fasting and caring: Fasting and Caring - Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan: guidance for health care students.
6. Student Representation and Feedback
Student Representation and Feedback
A Student Representative is a student leader and works in partnership with the University staff and Students’ Union to represent the views and experiences of student peers.
The programme’s Student Rep is expected to:
- Complete general SU training & specific school or programme training
- Contact your cohort (other students on your course) to introduce yourself & gather feedback
- Work with staff, the SU and other reps to act on feedback and enact change
- Use existing data to suggest improvements to student experience
- Attend regular staff-student meetings to deliver feedback & propose change
- Attend Faculty level feedback meetings (i.e. Faculty Forum)
There is a dedicated team in the Students’ Union available to support reps with each aspect of the role, along with staff contacts in each programme who help to facilitate the staff-student meetings.
If you are interested in becoming a voluntary Student Rep, you need to complete a sign-up form, which is available on the Students’ Union website. Do note if more than one person is interested in the role, then each candidate will be asked to write a short proposal, which is circulated to other students on your programme and an election will be held.
You can find more information by visiting the SMS PGT Student Support Hub.
7. Programme Management
Programme Management and Committee Structure
The programme is managed and operated in accordance with the policies, principles, regulations and procedures of the University of Manchester.
Programme Directors relate to the School and Faculty Postgraduate Teaching Committees on matters relating to admissions, exams, reviews and approval of new programmes and units, quality assurance etc. and policy issues of broad relevance to the Graduate School.
The Programme Committee will meet each semester and consist of the Programme Director, Programme Administrator, Programme Committee members and the unit co-ordinators.
The remit of the committee will be to:
- Oversee the teaching, assessment and examining arrangements;
- Monitor cohort progression including failure rate, withdrawal rate;
- Evaluate the extent to which the learning outcomes are achieved by students;
- Monitor, maintain and enhance standards of all aspects of the programme;
- Evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and of assessment in relation to programme learning outcomes;
- Evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of the teaching and learning methods employed;
- Review and revise the programme in the light of any relevant Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) benchmarks, any other relevant external and/or professional requirements and developing knowledge in the subject area;
- Receive, consider and respond to feedback from students, employers and external examiners;
- Where the need for change is identified, effect the changes quickly and efficiently;
- Produce an annual action plan via annual monitoring;
- Produce reports for periodic review
- Produce relevant information for an Institutional Audit;
- Review programme documentation, e.g., programme handbooks, programme specifications, promotional literature and programme website;
- Ensure suitable and efficient arrangements are in place for recruitment, admission and induction.
The Programme Committee acts as a curriculum development team for the Programme. The Programme Committee will report to a School, or Department, or Faculty level committee. The Programme Director is responsible for the management of the programme, and the Programme Committee is established to support the Programme Director in the carrying out of their responsibilities.
The role of the External Examiner
External Examiners are individuals from another institution or organisation who monitor the assessment processes of the University to ensure fairness and academic standards. They ensure that assessment and examination procedures have been fairly and properly implemented and that decisions have been made after appropriate deliberation. They also ensure that standards of awards and levels of student performance are at least comparable with those in equivalent higher education institutions.
External Examiners’ reports
External Examiners’ reports relating to this programme will be shared with student representatives and details of any actions carried out by the programme team/School in response to the External Examiners’ comments will be discussed. Students should contact their student representatives if they require any further information about External Examiners’ reports or the process for considering them.
External Examiner Details
The External Examiner for this programme is Professor Sudarshan Ramachandran, Professor of Metabolic Medicine, who is based at University Hospitals Birmingham NHS Foundation Trust.
Please note that this is for information only and it is inappropriate for students to make direct contact with External Examiners under any circumstances, in particular with regards to a student’s individual performance in assessments.
Other appropriate mechanisms are available for students, including the University’s appeals or complaints procedures and the UMSU Advice Centre. In cases where a student does contact an External Examiner directly, External Examiners have been requested not to respond to direct queries. Instead, External Examiners should report the matter to their School contact who will then contact the student to remind them of the other methods available for students. If students have any queries concerning this, they should contact their Programme Administrator in the first instance.
External Examiner Meetings
For operational and administrative purposes the MSc is divided into three parts.
Initial consideration of marks – April / May
Examiners Meeting – June
Final Examination Board – November
The MSc Programme has one External Examiner, who advises the Faculty on the quality of the MSc Programme and its management, as well as providing advice on the quality of the assessment procedures and fairness of the decisions made about individual students. He/she will be sent the assessments from the taught units and the research project dissertations.
Initial consideration of marks (April/May)
The programme team will monitor your results throughout the academic year. We would normally expect to have complete course unit results for half of your taught units by April/May. Students who have scored below 50 in any course units may be contacted by the programme team to discuss their marks.
Examiners Meeting (June)
An Examiners Meeting is held to ratify the provisional marks for all completed taught units and to determine which students should progress through to research project. Students must have passed all taught units at Masters level (including any units passed by compensation or referral, within the referral / compensation allowance defined in the Postgraduate taught degree regulations) and the Research Project 1 unit to be able to progress to the Research Project 2 unit. Students who do not meet the criteria to remain on the Masters pathway will be considered for an alternative exit award (PG Diploma or PG Certificate).
Final Examiners’ Meeting (November)
During this meeting the progress of each student will be discussed. The marks from the research project dissertation will be combined with the taught unit marks to provide a final weighted average percentage score. The panel will then recommend the student be awarded.
Please note the MSc Programme Director, MSc Programme Committee or the Graduate Office are not permitted to disclose the recommendations made at the Final Examiners’ meetings.
8. Student Privacy Notice
Student Privacy Notice
The University of Manchester needs to collect, maintain and use personal data relating to you to allow us to process your application for study, register you as a student, to administer your course and to provide facilities during your time as a student. We will also use your data to keep in touch with you after you have graduated, and contact you to complete a graduate outcomes survey.
We share this data within the University in order to deliver a high standard of service to you, so it is important that you regularly check to see that we have up to date information about you in the Student System. We are occasionally required to share your information with external agencies who have need for it, such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency, or Student Loans Company. We may also ask other agencies for the information they have about you, in order to verify the personal details you provide.
Please read the full Privacy Notice - Registered Students here.
9. Learning Resources
All registered students may become members of the University of Manchester Library on the main campus.
Up-to-date news about the library is available here.
IT Services and eLearning
IT Services Support Centre online
Details of what IT support is available and how to access it can be found on the FBMH eLearning Support page.
Login to the Support Centre online to log a request, book an appointment for an IT visit, or search the Knowledge Base.
Telephone: +44 (0)161 306 5544 (or extension 65544). Telephone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In person: Walk-up help and support is available at the Joule Library, Main Library or Alan Gilbert Learning Commons:
Use Support Centre online for support with eLearning, from where you may make a request, or search the Knowledge Base.
For IT and eLearning support visit:
Blackboard, the University's 'virtual learning environment', will be used for online teaching.
What is Blackboard?
Blackboard is a web-based system that complements and builds upon traditional learning methods used at The University of Manchester. By using Blackboard you can
- view course materials and learning resources,
- communicate with lectures and other students,
- collaborate in groups,
- get feedback
- submit assignments
- monitoring your own progress at a time and place of your own convenience.
Training in the use of software
The Faculty eLearning team have produced a short introduction to Blackboard for new students. The recording is hosted in two places: the Video Portal and on YouTube:
The recording is just over seven minutes long and covers most of the commonly used tools in Blackboard.
9. Useful Links
Academic and Student Support Policies
Academic Support Policies
A full list of University Policies and documents
General University information on the Conduct and Discipline of Students
Information on Academic Malpractice and how to avoid it
Work and Attendance of Students (Regulation XX)
Students should access Blackboard via My Manchester
University Language Centre – Study English - Tel: 0161 306 3397