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1. General Information


1.1 Welcome to the School of Medical Sciences

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

Staying Safe – Covid-19

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

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

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

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

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

1.2 Welcome to the MSc in Science and Health Communication

Welcome to the University of Manchester, and to our MSc programme in Science and Health Communication. The MSc is one of the degrees hosted by CHSTM (pronounced ‘chis-tem’), the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine, which is a world-leading centre for research and teaching in the history and social dimensions of science-based knowledges and practices. For this MSc programme, we benefit from our collaboration with the Innovation and Policy team in the University’s Business School. CHSTM is a centre within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health, from which it draws its formal procedures and regulations. This online Handbook is the primary authoritative resource on the matters it contains.

CHSTM staff have been key members of the academic community that has emerged around science communication, and most are engaged in science communication practice, either as policy advisors, journalists, authors, curators or lecturers.

Science communication is evolving as a professional practice. Science communicators are now part of a wide range of workplaces, and their roles are many. The technologies and skills of science communication are also developing. This dynamic environment presents a challenge for teaching and learning science communication at university: how do we keep up, and stay connected to the real world? We believe that to be ‘educated’ in contemporary society requires not the absorption of a detailed and fixed curriculum, but broad understandings and the creativity and skills to apply them in a shifting world. An overview of academic resources, analytical and critical skills, some basic professional competencies, and personal and intellectual adaptability can provide you with a solid platform on which to build or develop your career.

There are many ways in which our society values science communication. It can be fun and entertaining, and it is also important in many spheres. Science communication is now established as an essential dimension of good scientific research and development. As well as contributing to the cultural capital of the communities it serves, science communication also furthers the recruitment and training of entrants to science-based professions, as well as linking researchers in to new multidisciplinary collaborations, locally and globally. It contributes to establishing a social mandate for responsible scientific research and development, and provides a means for engagement between the scientific community and civil society more broadly.

Science communication informs and challenges policy-making, both about science and in areas where science can make a difference, such as in health, energy and the environment. It facilitates interaction with individuals and institutions in the financial sector, particularly in attracting venture capital to innovative technologies. It also supports the work of scientists who contribute as experts and as citizens in other domains such as the law, human rights, and environmental and health activism.

As a graduate of the programme, you will have a unique combination of practical insight into the challenges of communicating science and a grounding in key scholarly perspectives on science, science communication, and the place of science in the wider society. You will be better equipped to work not only in old and new media but also in science organisations, healthcare settings, health promotion organisations, government/policy and civil society/NGO roles where you will help build understandings among between scientists, decision makers and other citizens. As societies seek to tackle grand environmental, societal and economic challenges, you can apply your knowledge and skills to the promotion of mutual understanding between scientists, policy makers, civil society actors and citizens, and to create innovative new spaces where citizens and scientists can work together to tackle important questions.

The course should challenge you. It will make you think in new ways about science communication, and should make you confront strongly held views. It will give you new intellectual tools for thinking about important contemporary issues in an atmosphere of open and critical debate. It will improve and add to your practical skills, enabling you effectively to deploy your learning in ways that make a difference. It will demand considerable self-motivation and energy as you engage with other students and your teachers. We hope you will also find it a richly rewarding and enjoyable experience.

You will find CHSTM a friendly and supportive environment, and we encourage you to take a full part in the intellectual and social life of the department. More details of CHSTM will be provided once you start your course.

With our best wishes for a challenging and exciting year ahead


Dr Elizabeth Toon, Programme Director

Lecturer in HSTM and Science and Health Communication 

1.3 Points of Contact

Programme Director Dr Elizabeth Toon
2.30 Simon Building
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PL
Tel. 0161 275 5861
Programme Administrator Programme Support Contact Details
MSc Science and Health Communication Student Representative To be appointed by students after registration. The student rep will be nominated from the selection of the students who would like to volunteer for the position. The student rep is required to feedback to the programme directors and administrator on any issues or queries that the students have. They will be required to attend 2-3 official programme committees throughout the year.
eLearning support eLearning support deals with queries relating to Blackboard and online submissions. The easiest way to make contact is by e-mail to the central address, Always enter “FBMH eLearning: MSc HSTM” in the email subject header to make sure the request reaches the right team quickly. Further information on FBMH eLearning can be found here.
General IT support

Contact IT Services via the Support Centre, or call the Service Desk on 0161 306 5544 (or internal extension 65544).

Further information on IT help and support


Online Skills Training Resource

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

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

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

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

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

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


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.

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

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


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.

1.8 Security

Note that the University of Manchester cannot be held responsible for your personal property, even when you are on campus. Please keep your belongings with you at all times. Items left unattended may be removed and destroyed, or damaged without warning, by University Security Services.

2. Overview of the Programme


2.1 Introduction to CHSTM

Your programme is developed and largely run by members of the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine (CHSTM). CHSTM was founded in 1986, and is the largest research and teaching group of its kind in the UK. Based in the Simon Building on Brunswick Street, CHSTM is home to around 15 lecturers and research associates, a PhD student research community, the MSc programmes in HSTM, Science Communication and Medical Humanities, an undergraduate programme in Biology with Science and Society, and option teaching across the University.

CHSTM’s research and teaching ranges broadly across the sciences, technology, engineering, medicine and healthcare, with a focus on the nineteenth and twentieth centuries and on the relevance of recent history to present-day policy and understanding. This approach is integrated with our work in science communication studies, looking at how science is described and understood by, and for, non-expert audiences.

All CHSTM staff and students are members of the School of Medical Sciences (SMS), one of three Schools within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health (FBMH). Our subject coverage ranges significantly beyond these fields, but we benefit from connections with medical colleagues through projects such as the University’s Museum of Medicine and Health.

2.2 Who’s who at CHSTM

The Director of CHSTM is Professor Pratik Chakrabarti.

The composition of the staff and student body changes frequently. An up-to-date staff list is available on our website, showing contact details and research profiles for all the teaching staff, and for several researchers who do not teach (but may be available to advise on dissertations and other projects). You’re welcome to contact any member of staff whose research area you’re interested in.

The list of research students is also on our website. As an MSc student, you’ll be assigned a PhD student mentor on arrival. It’s worth getting to know the other PhD students and finding out more about their work, particularly if you think you might be interested in going on to PhD study yourself.

2.3 Programme Aims

The aims of the MSc (taught Master’s), Postgraduate Diploma, and Postgraduate Certificate in Science and Health Communication are to:

  • Provide an introduction to the main issues, theories, skills and practices of science and health communication.
  • Provide an opportunity and open access to study particular topics and practices in science and health communication in depth.
  • Encourage and support the development of analytical skills in understanding the ideas and practices of science and health communication, and its influences in society.
  • Encourage and support the development of transferable and job-specific communication skills, and thereby prepare students for further academic study or employment.
  • Provide a comprehensive introduction to research methods in science and health communication, including libraries, archives, databases, text/image analysis (qualitative and quantitative), and interviewing.
  • Enable students to seek out, participate in, and host science and health communication as a community activity.

In addition, the full MSc (taught Master’s) programme aims

  • to produce students capable of completing a major science communication research project.

2.4 Overview of programme structure

The MSc programme runs for 12 months full-time, or 24 months part-time, from September to September and normally includes 45 weeks of full-time tuition. For the academic year 2020-2021, we are following an altered teaching schedule, with postgraduate teaching in Semester 1 beginning at the end of October and running through mid-December, then resuming immediately after New Year’s for three weeks. Semester 2 will start in early/mid-February and run through mid-May. Please note that some optional course units may occasionally be scheduled outside of normal semester time. Tuition is not normally given over the Christmas, New Year or Easter holiday periods.

Teaching on the standard programme pathway consists entirely of courses delivered by the Centre for the History of Science, Technology and Medicine.

Contact teaching will consist of lectures, seminars (group discussions usually based on pre-circulated readings or other activities) and other activities including site visits. Each course unit will provide access to readings and other relevant materials through the Blackboard learning management system, which is also used for essay and dissertation submission.

The full Master’s programme consists of 180 taught credits, with 120 credits of taught content, usually divided into 15- or 30-credit course units, and the research project counting for 60 credits. 1 credit notionally corresponds to 10 hours’ work (including classroom contact time, reading, writing, etc), so the programme overall should account for 1800 hours’ work over 12 months.

2.5 Programme pathways

MSc Science and Health Communication, full-time

Semester 1

REQUIRED COURSE UNITS: all of the following

HSTM60561: Introduction to Science Communication

HSTM60571: Communicating Ideas in Science, Technology and Medicine

HSTM60011: Introduction to Contemporary Science and Medicine





Semester 2


HSTM60622: Science Communication Mentored Project

OPTIONAL COURSE UNITS: two of the following

HSTM60582: Museums, Science Centres and Public Events

HSTM60592: Science, Government & Public Policy

HSTM60602: Science, Media and Journalism

HSTM60032: Health Communication








HSTM60022: Science Communication Research Project 60
Total credits required for MSc 180

MSc Science and Health  Communication, part-time

Semester 1


HSTM60561: Introduction to Science Communication



Semester 2

OPTIONAL COURSE UNIT: one of the following

HSTM60582: Museums, Science Centres and Public Events

HSTM60592: Science, Government & Public Policy

HSTM60602: Science, Media and Journalism

HSTM60032: Health Communication







HSTM60622: Science Communication Mentored Project

(This will take place during the summer between years 1 and 2)

Semester 3

REQUIRED COURSE UNITS: both of the following

HSTM60571: Communicating Ideas in STM

HSTM60011: Introduction to Contemporary Science and Medicine




Semester 4


Students will take another of the units listed for Semester 2.



HSTM60022: Science Communication Research Project 60
Total credits required for MSc 180

Postgraduate Diploma awards

Each MSc pathway has a corresponding Postgraduate Diploma award pathway. The course content in each case is equivalent to the taught component (Semesters 1 and 2 full-time, or Semesters 1 to 4 part-time) of the MSc, totalling 120 credits of study over 30 weeks of full-time tuition. It runs for 9 months in the case of a full-time student.

A student who initially registered for the MSc, but whose performance on the taught component does not meet the requirements for progression to a research dissertation, may exit the programme with a PG Diploma instead, provided the requirements for Diploma are met. This pathway also allows entry with the intention of taking a PG Diploma.

Postgraduate Certificate awards

Each pathway has a corresponding PG Certificate award pathway, totalling 60 credits of study over 15 weeks of full-time tuition.

For full-time study, the course content is equivalent to Semester 1 of the relevant MSc programme.

For part-time study, the course content will typically be equivalent to that of Semesters 1 and 2 of the MSc. By special arrangement and with the approval of the Programme Director, a student who has undergone interruption may be awarded a Postgraduate Certificate on completion of an appropriate 60 credits from across the course (typically, Semester 1 plus Semester 3 of the MSc pathway).

2.6 Course Units

Required and optional course units offered by CHSTM

A full list of CHSTM postgraduate course units appears below, including units not normally offered on this programme. Students in the Science and Health Communication programme can choose to sit in on any of the lectures for courses in the HSTM and Medical Humanities programmes. Students can also choose to sit in on any of the second semester courses in Science Communication that they are not taking for credit. Contact the Programme Director for details.

Full details of these course units will be provided in the unit outline documents available on Blackboard, or are available from the unit co-ordinators.

Unit code Title Credits Co-ordinator(s)
HSTM60511 Major Themes in History of Science, Technology and Medicine 30 Duncan Wilson and Pratik Chakrabarti
HSTM60561 Introduction to Science Communication 30 Elizabeth Toon and Harriet Palfreyman
HSTM60571 Communicating Ideas in Science, Technology and Medicine 15 Harriet Palfreyman
HSTM60651 Historiography of Science, Technology and Medicine 15 Duncan Wilson
HSTM60011 Introduction to Contemporary Science and Medicine 15 Elizabeth Toon and Harriet Palfreyman
HSTM60602 Science, Media and Journalism 15 Elizabeth Toon and Harriet Palfreyman
HSTM60582 Museums and Public Events 15 James Sumner and Harriet Palfreyman
HSTM60032 Health Communication 15 Elizabeth Toon
HSTM60592 Science, Government and Public Policy 15 Kieron Flanagan
HSTM60652 Decolonising History of Science 15 Pratik Chakrabarti
HSTM60692 Madness and Society 15 Carsten Timmermann
HSTM60702 Making Life: Biological Sciences since 1800 15 Duncan Wilson
HSTM60682 Technology, identity and society 15 James Sumner
HSTM60712 Nature and Artifice: A History of Environmental Thought 15 Vladimir Janković
HSTM60722 Politics of Public Health 15 Pratik Chakrabarti
HSTM60672 Risk: Science, Society and Culture 15 Elizabeth Toon
HSTM60662 The Nuclear Age 15 Simone Turchetti
HSTM60732 Placement in the History of Science, Technology and Medicine 30 Duncan Wilson

The Mentored Project

In Semester 2 (if you are a full-time student) or over the summer following Year 1, Semester 2 (if you are a part-time student), you will undertake a mentored project. The purpose of the mentored project is to allow you to bring the perspectives of the course to bear on a specific area of science and health communication that is of particular interest to you. The goal is to also acquaint you with professional contexts for science and health communication.

You will begin having discussions with the Programme Director about potential mentored projects in November of Semester 1. You will be able to choose either an organisation-based mentored project, or a creative mentored project. If you choose an organisation-based project, we will try to place you with a mentor who specializes either in the field you’re interested in or who works with the form of media you’re most interested in. Creative project students will be connected with an appropriate mentor. You will then give a brief oral presentation on your mentored project progress in mid March. The mentored project also involves a short scholarly commentary in the form of an academic report. Your finished project product, your report, and a logbook documenting your work process will all be submitted at the end of May (if you are a full-time student) or the beginning of September (if you are a part-time Year 1 student).

Some funds are generally available to reimburse appropriately documented production or travel costs. For more information on this, please contact the Programme Administrator. Please be aware that there is a limit on the reimbursement costs available for each student.

Full details of the requirements for the mentored project will be provided in the outline document for the mentored project unit (HSTM60622), to be distributed before Winter Break.

The Research Project

If you are registered for an MSc, perform successfully (i.e. to Pass level or above) on the taught part of the programme, and achieve a satisfactory research project proposal and oral presentation, you will be allowed to continue with the research project leading to submission of an MSc dissertation. The purpose of the research project is to allow you to bring the perspectives of the course to bear on a specific area of science communication that is of particular interest to you, integrating the academic research and analytical skills you have acquired in coursework with the practical skills and experience garnered through coursework and the mentored project.

Given the limited amount of time available for conducting the research project, you will need to explore potential projects well in advance. Discussions with the Programme Director about potential mentored projects will occur in both semesters. These discussions will also include considering any ethics approvals or methods training you may need. You will give a presentation on your research project proposal in early June. A complete first draft of your text for the research project should be ready by mid August, so that you have sufficient time in which to get it into final shape for submission by the due date in September.

Part-time students will follow the same schedule of research project milestones as full- timers, during the second year of study, but are strongly encouraged to develop their research project ideas as far as possible during the first year, and to consult with the Programme Director and other members of staff about possible projects.

Some funds are generally available to reimburse appropriately documented production or travel costs. For more information on this, please contact the Programme Administrator. Please be aware that there is a limit on the reimbursement costs available for each student.

Full details of the requirements for the research project will be provided in the outline document for the research project unit (HSTM60022), to be distributed in late semester 2.


Libraries, museums and research culture

Libraries in Manchester

The chief local resource is the University of Manchester Library, whose main site is a short walk away on the other side of Oxford Road. The UML is the UK’s largest non-legal-deposit library, with more than 4 million printed books and manuscripts. It’s also home to the University Archives.

Apart from the main site, there are ten satellite libraries on various parts of the University campus. You will probably need to use several of these at some point, so it’s worth finding out where they’re located. There’s a map on the University Library website:

The John Rylands Library, Deansgate is the associated Special Collections/Rare Books and Manuscripts facility: it’s in the city centre, some distance from the main site. Deansgate holds many unique archive collections which past students have used for dissertation research. Full details are available at

Other local libraries worth knowing about:

  • Manchester Central Library (“Central Ref”). Main City Council facility, and also home to the main archive services to the city. Important local history collections.
  • Chetham’s Library. Oldest surviving public library in the English-speaking world, founded 1653. Important early book and manuscript holdings:
  • Portico Library. Historic private subscription library (John Dalton was an early member) with a large nineteenth-century collection:

As a student on this course you should, of course, familiarise yourself with all the local museums with an HSTM dimension – not only to learn more about the history, but to see how those museums present it to public audiences.

  • Manchester Museum, Oxford Road. Part of the University. Natural history (botany, zoology, geology); anthropology and ethnology; biosciences; local artefacts. Famous collections from excavations in Egypt.
  • Science and Industry Museum, Liverpool Road, Castlefield. Close research links with CHSTM. Mainly engineering, physical sciences and communications; strong on transport history, working engines, textiles and the industrial city. Museum site has an interesting history as the former terminus of the world’s first passenger railway.
  • People’s History Museum, Left Bank (off Quay Street), Spinningfields. Mainly history of the organised labour movement. Important social dimension for understanding industrial change.
  • Imperial War Museum North, Salford Quays. One gallery dedicated to “science, technology and war”.

CHSTM research seminars
A research seminar is a session at which a researcher gives a lecture-style presentation on his or her current work and takes questions from the audience.

Unlike your course lectures and taught seminars, which will (usually) concentrate on the older and more established research that shapes the field, research seminars feature brand-new and sometimes unfinished (often unfinished) research, and will give you more of an insight into the life of a life of a working researcher. You are welcome to attend any scheduled research seminars. T, and the Programme Director, Deputy Director, and other Science Communication- affiliate and otherd staff will frequently pass along notices of upcoming events and seminars that may be of interest.

CHSTM runs two main seminar series during the teaching semester:

  • CHSTM Seminar (fortnightly; Tuesdays, 16.00-17.30, Room 2.57). In normal years, this seminar series takes place in person, but it is likely that it will take place online in Semester 1, on an abbreviated schedule. Our main formal series featuring invited speakers from institutions across Britain and the world, ranging from well-known senior figures to promising younger members of the profession. This is also CHSTM’s main regular social gathering. We usually adjourn for drinks somewhere after the seminar: you are encouraged to come along and meet other students, staff and the speaker.
  • Lunchtime Seminar (scheduling to be announced). Organised by PhD students, this is a less formal series featuring shorter work-in-progress reports from CHSTM staff and students, and occasionally grad students from other institutions. In normal years, this seminar series takes place in person, but it is likely that it will take place online in Semester 1, on an abbreviated schedule. You are particularly encouraged to attend these sessions since they will give you not only an overview of the research going on in CHSTM, but also a sense of how to formulate a research question and then answer it. Bring a sandwich, or stay afterwards for lunch with PhD students and the speaker.

CHSTM also runs several more specialised monthly or annual seminars and speaker events. For full details, see the Seminars page on the CHSTM website.



The wider world of HSTM and Science and Health Communication

If you’re serious about working in a relevant field – for example, as an academic researcher, a museum curator, an engagement professional or a science journalist – you need to find out as much as you can, as early as possible, about the community you will be dealing with. Teaching staff can advise on your individual needs, but here are some starting-points you should know about.

E-mail lists
Still the most common means for circulating information about jobs, studentships, conferences and public events in some fields.

Twitter and Facebook
Twitter is often useful to find out what’s going on in your field at the moment. Follow CHSTM on Twitter @ManCHSTM.

The CHSTM Facebook group rarely carries academic announcements, but is used by some staff, students and alumni to keep in touch. Contact Rob Kirk for access.

The hashtag #scicomm is very active on Twitter. You might also consider following #healthcomm, #scipolicy, #histSTM, #histsci, or #histmed, depending on your interests.

Professional societies and networks
Most academic disciplines have one or more organisations (“learned societies”) which publish journals, organise conferences, and otherwise promote the field. Some specialist trades, such as science writing, have professional bodies to give advice and support, or more loosely organised networks. A few suggestions:

  • The PCST Network operates internationally, providing information useful to anyone studying or practising science communication.
  • The Science in Public Network is a UK-based society for practitioners and academics to discuss the broad field of science communication.
  • The Association of British Science Writers has various resources on its website which may be useful to anyone thinking of a career in science journalism.
  • The British Science Association is a learned society founded in 1831 to aid in the promotion and development of science, and was known until 2009 as the British Association for the Advancement of Science. It runs the British Science Festival.
  • Stempra is a network for people involved in public relations, communications and media work focusing on science and related fields.
  • The Association for Medical Humanities sponsors an annual conference bringing together academics and practitioners from the UK and Ireland.
  • The Northern Network for Medical Humanities Research is an interdisciplinary group which acts as a hub for academic researchers in the medical humanities as well as practitioners, artists and others who may wish to collaborate.
  • Various student societies at Manchester, including the Medicine in Arts Society, the Psychiatry Society and the Manchester Global Health Society have regular events incorporating the arts and humanities into healthcare and are open to new ideas and suggestions. Please ask the teaching staff and we will put you in touch.
  • The British Society for the History of Science is the largest body for HSTM in the UK, and welcomes involvement by enthusiastic grad students. The annual Postgraduate Conference provides an excellent way to involve yourself in the community.
  • The Society for the Social History of Medicine is the main history of medicine society in the UK, and likewise organises postgrad-specific as well as general conferences.


3. Teaching, Learning and Assessment


3.1 Teaching Approaches

Contact time in class will mostly follow one of two formats:

  • Lectures consist of a presentation delivered by a single lecturer, usually with slides. You are welcome to ask questions at any time during a lecture.
  • Seminars are group discussion sessions, directed by a seminar leader but based on students’ independent contributions. Seminars are generally based on readings (journal articles, book chapters, etc) distributed in advance, sometimes with questions to guide your reading. You should always make notes in preparation for a seminar, and come to the class ready to discuss your views.

As the group sizes on this programme are often small, we will often blend elements of the lecture and seminar formats. Some classes are organised on a more informal basis, and some will be based on particular tasks assigned to students in advance.

Teaching staff are also happy to organise one-to-one meetings to discuss particular questions, including giving advice on essays in progress and feedback on marked essays.

The research dissertation produced in the final months of the Master’s programme will be supported by regular one-to-one meetings with a named supervisor.

3.2 Essay writing and assessment

Essay titles

Most courses will ask you to choose from a range of titles or subject areas. Should you wish to frame a different question, you may only do so in consultation with the course co-ordinators. Such essays must meet the stated aims of the relevant unit, and must address a specific question that you have agreed in advance. In agreeing a topic, you should discuss with the co-ordinators any previous relevant work which you may already have done on the subject, bearing in mind the rules on plagiarism (including self-plagiarism).

If you have questions about the preparation of an essay, you should consult with your unit coordinator, or the lecturer responsible for setting the title, at the earliest opportunity. The MSc Programme Director will monitor all essay topics to ensure that guidelines are observed.

Essay format and layout

Detailed guidance on essay-writing will be circulated early in the course. The general requirements are as follows:

  • All submissions should be made electronically in .docx (Microsoft Word) file format, unless you have agreed permission to use another format.
  • Your name must not appear anywhere in the document (including user details in the electronic version): by policy, all assessment is anonymous wherever this is practically possible.
  • Your student ID number, the essay title, and the word count should all be clearly displayed on the first page.
  • Your document should be formatted to A4 page size, with page margins of at least 2.5cm
  • All pages should be numbered.
  • Sources for all specific claims based on other work, including direct quotations and paraphrases, must be clearly attributed with conventional academic referencing. This can follow any of the major established citation guides for either documentary-note citation with footnotes or endnotes (for instance, Chicago A or MHRA) or in-text bracketed (“Harvard”) citation (for instance, Chicago B, MLA or APA). Vancouver (“author-number”) citation is not permitted.

These requirements may occasionally be varied for non-traditional coursework exercises, in which case the unit co-ordinator will provide alternative guidance.

Submission and feedback

Coursework submission is online, through the TurnitinUK interface accessed via the Blackboard learning management system. TurnitinUK provides a receipt for each successful submission. You should always aim to submit well in advance of the deadline, as technical problems are not normally accepted as mitigating circumstances for a late submission.

Essay feedback (written comments and marks) should be returned within fifteen working days (usually, three weeks in term time) of the submission deadline. Feedback is generally provided through the TurnitinUK interface using a feature called GradeMark. If you have any queries about the feedback or would like further information, you are always welcome to set up a meeting with the marker directly.

Please refer to your Blackboard unit spaces for more information regarding coursework and assessment, including submission deadlines:


Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations for Students

Students should familiarise themselves with the degree regulations for Postgraduate Taught Degrees by clicking on this link 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: 


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:

Academic Malpractice: Procedure for the Handling of Cases can be found at:

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

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:

SMS – Teaching, learning & Assessment – Dates for Mit Circs (Med Ed & CHSTM)

Thursday 14th October 2021

Weds 17th November 2021

Weds 15th December 2021

Weds 19th January 2022

Weds 16th February 2022

Weds 16th March 2022

Weds 13th April 2022

Weds 18th May 2022

Weds 15th June 2022

Weds 20th July 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:

Guidance on Late Submission

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


Policy on word counts for assessed work

The word count specified for each assessed submission, including coursework and research projects, includes all footnotes or endnotes, references in the main text, quotations, captions, chapter or section headings, content lists, text included as part of diagrams, and other apparatus that forms part of the content of the piece. It does not include the main document title or the bibliography/reference list.

The upper limit is an absolute maximum and must not be exceeded (there is no 10% leeway rule or similar).

Assessors will monitor the word count of submitted essays. You should note that different systems often give slightly different automatic word counts. In the event of any query, the word count we will use is the one produced from the submitted .docx version of your essay by Microsoft Word on a campus PC running the standard student Windows image.

If your submission is over the permitted length, penalties will be imposed as follows:

  • up to and including 5% over the word limit, 10 marks (percentage points) will be deducted
  • each additional 5% (or part thereof) over the word limit, another 10 marks will be deducted
  • if the penalty is equal to or greater than the assessed grading, the work will score zero.

For essays significantly below the indicated length, there is no specific numerical penalty scheme – but bear in mind that the indicated length is a guide to the breadth and depth of coverage required, so shorter essays are likely to score lower according to the mark scheme.
Dissertations and other large research projects can, with the supervisor’s approval, be submitted alongside appendices of primary source material (interviews, survey results, etc) if this is necessary to allow the assessors to judge the work. Such appendices do not count towards the word limit. Appendices must include primary source material only, and cannot be used to elaborate or extend the argument.
All judgments on word length and associated penalties will be made in accordance with the University-level Policy on Marking.


Academic Appeals, Complaints, Conduct and Discipline

Academic Appeals

Student Complaints

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

Conduct and Discipline of Students

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


Essay Mark Scheme

The following mark scheme is used for essays and short coursework items unless otherwise stated. Mark scheme arrangements for dissertations may differ, and will be listed in the dissertation course unit outline.

90 - 100%   Distinction-level performance of the highest possible quality. Exemplary work, highly accurate, innovatively analytical and critical, demonstrating rigorous and insightful judgement, thoroughly original approaches, an innovative and illuminating use of sources, and exemplary execution. Of comparable quality to publishable work. Presentation at or above typical professional standard.

80 - 89%     Distinction-level performance of unusually high quality. Excellent work, very accurate, demonstrating highly analytical style and approach with insightful judgement and highly skilled execution, original critical approach and a thoroughly illuminating use of sources. Approaching the standards of publishable work. Excellent presentation.

70 - 79%     Distinction-level. Excellent work, accurate, showing clear evidence of comprehensiveness, soundness of judgement, focus, analytical powers, insight, critical depth, skilful execution, and illuminating use of sources. Very good presentation.

60 - 69%     Merit-level. Mainly accurate, based on good reading, shows evidence of understanding of the research topic, good structure and relevant conclusions, sound in its judgements and arguments, comprehensive in coverage, effective in its use of sources, well-presented, and exhibiting, especially at the top end, a degree of depth and imagination.

50 - 59%     Pass-level. Shows sufficient grasp of the issues and reading of a sufficient range of relevant material. In argument and presentation, demonstrates accuracy, coherence, consistency, some critical and analytical ability, and (where relevant) adequate use of sources, but lacks depth and imagination. Presentation is acceptable for university purposes but not for a wider audience.

40 - 49%     Below pass-level. Shows a basic grasp of the issues posed, evidence of reading in relation to them, and coverage of their major aspects. The work may be descriptive in character and will lack the level of analysis and argument required at Master’s level. The presentation of the work will be consistent with conventions. Presentation sufficiently clear for comprehension, but has no other merit.

30 - 39%     Significantly below pass-level. Shows an elementary grasp of the issues posed, some evidence of reading in relation to them and some coverage, albeit incomplete, of their major aspects. The work is primarily descriptive but incompletely so or crudely analytical in character, and does not construct a cogent argument. Presentation is barely consistent with conventions.

20 - 29%     Very poor work. Does not show even an elementary grasp of the issues, and reading is limited or irrelevant. The work is neither a cogent narrative or descriptive piece nor a structured argument. Presentation may not be consistent with conventions and has no other merit.

0 - 19%        Should be reserved for work displaying ignorance of the most basic conventions. Marks below 10 are reserved for totally vacuous submissions (no submission or thoroughly incoherent prose).


Policy on Marker Assignment and Mark Moderation

Essays and similar coursework on this programme are generally assigned a mark and feedback by a single marker who has teaching responsibilities on the relevant unit, and a knowledge of the specialist literature relating to the title. It is normal for several markers to mark different essay titles on the same unit.

To ensure consistency in scoring between different markers, we follow a process of mark moderation:

  • For each unit, a single moderator will review a random sample of coursework at the end of the semester. The moderator must not be a marker on the unit.
  • As University regulations require a minimum of 10 scripts to be reviewed, this “sample” will in practice comprise all of the scripts for smaller units. For larger units, it will be 10 scripts including any Fails and an even distribution of scripts from across the available mark ranges.
  • The moderator should note any differences in judgment from the marker, but cannot propose to vary individual marks. (Doing so would be procedurally unacceptable because, for larger units where sampling is used, it would involve potentially advantaging/disadvantaging some students over others based on random sample selection.) The moderator’s role is to keep a check on the validity of the marking process and the overall fairness of the marking. The moderator can, if necessary, recommend reconsideration of the whole mark set, and can record any specific points for the external’s attention.
  • The External Examiner can, likewise, recommend reconsideration of the whole mark set, and can advise remarking of individual scripts if s/he has scrutinised the whole set. All marks are provisional until confirmed by the External Examiner.

Moderation generally takes place after the end of the teaching semester and following the final return of marks.

This policy applies to essays and similar pieces of coursework. It does not apply to dissertations and other large research-based submissions, which are usually fully double-marked; or to non-text assessments such as oral presentations, for which clear alternative marking arrangements will be notified in advance.

4. Student Progression


4.1 Progression requirements

Successful completion of 120 credits across Semesters 1 and 2 is required in order for students to be eligible to submit a research project.


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.


Special Permissions

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)
  • January
  • May
  • July

Please note:

  • 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.

Further information
For more information on Tier 4 visas:

If you have any concerns about the attendance monitoring census points, or your Tier 4 visa status, please contact or visit or email


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

Pastoral advisor
On arrival, all students are assigned a pastoral advisor, who will be a member of staff with teaching responsibilities at CHSTM. The pastoral advisor is the recommended first point of contact for general support requests, and can also advise generally on teaching and learning issues. Pastoral advisors may be approached in confidence with any queries, comments or complaints about any aspect of the programme or your experience as a student.

Full-time students will need to organise two short formal meetings with the pastoral advisor in Semester 1, to discuss settling in and your progress on the course, before handing this support role over to the dissertation supervisor in Semester 2. Part-time students will meet the pastoral advisor four times, on a similar basis, in the first and second years. You are welcome to arrange additional meetings as appropriate.

Research project supervisor and mentored project academic advisor
The research project supervisor will normally take on the primary one-to-one support role from the pastoral advisor at the beginning of Semester 2. The research project supervisor will also serve as the student’s academic advisor during the mentored project. Research project supervisors and mentored project academic advisors will meet regularly with students to discuss the progress of the research project and the mentored project, but are also available for pastoral support on the same basis as other staff. All students will need to organise three formal meetings with supervisors to monitor progress and discuss support requirements, and are welcome to arrange additional meetings as appropriate.

PhD mentor
On arrival, all students are assigned a mentor from among CHSTM’s current PhD students. Mentors can provide general support and advice on campus life, and are, of course, particularly good sources of guidance for students considering going on to PhD research.

5.2 Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS)

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)

Email (Assessment Centre)

School Disability Coordinator Contact Details:-


Religious Observance and Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan 

Policy on Religious Observance:

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

Programme Management
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.

Committee Structure

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.


7.3 External Examiner Details

The External Examiner for MSc Science and Health Communication is Dr Felicity Mellor, Imperial College London.

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 Service. 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 Office (or equivalent).

8. Learning Resources


8.1 Student facilities at CHSTM


Office space
When determined to be safe, and following any applicable social distancing guidelines, hot desks and networked PCs for MSc students are provided in the CHSTM Postgraduate Room (Simon 2.54), which also houses the PhD students’ desks. The keycode for the office door is available from the Programme Administrator.

Computer facilities, wifi and printing
There is a large PC cluster on the sixth floor (Simon 6.004) which contains 140 PC terminals and is open Monday to Friday, 08.30 to 17.30.

Terminals are also available in the School of Medical Sciences’ main student facilities in the Stopford Building, and in other locations including the University of Manchester Library Main Building.

For real-time information on cluster PC availability around the University, see

Free wifi for student use is provided across the campus. See Wireless service on the IT Services website for more details. The eduroam service is generally more convenient than the University-specific wifi, and you can also use it at many other higher education institutions, in the UK and internationally, with the same login details.

The university has a pull-print system allowing you to send documents to be printed from any networked computer, or your own device, and collect them from any of the Xerox printers in the PC clusters and other locations: see Student printing for details. More specialised printing services are available from the University Print Shop in the Humanities Bridgeford Street building.

CHSTM Library
The CHSTM Library is based in Simon 2.48. It has a large subject-specific collection, and is reserved for the use of CHSTM staff, postgraduates and selected undergraduates. The keycode for the Library door is available from the Programme Administrator.

To make sure that everyone has access to the books they need, the CHSTM Library is reference-only. MSc students must not remove books from the Library at any time. Always remember to re-shelve books correctly after use.

Unfortunately, we can’t provide copying facilities for students within CHSTM. A bank of photocopiers is available at the University of Manchester Library Main Building.

The kitchen (Simon 2.59) is open to students at all times during the day, and contains a kettle and microwave. Please bring your own mug and supply of teabags, coffee, etc. If you use milk, don’t steal other people’s! There is a CHSTM milk-buying rota which you can join.

Nobody is paid to clean this area for us, so make sure you wash up and put away all mugs, dishes etc, and wipe down the surfaces after you use the kitchen.

Receiving mail
Internal correspondence from the University will in most cases be sent electronically, except for a occasional official communications which will be sent on paper to your home address. If you need to use a University mail address for external correspondence (for instance, in relation to research projects), then please give the CHSTM postgraduate office as the mail point – “2.54 Simon Building, Brunswick Street, University of Manchester, Manchester M13 9PS” – with your own name clearly included, to make sure that the replies are delivered correctly.


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.

Study skills support
Study skills support is provided as part of the Communicating Ideas course unit and in various optional classes scheduled outside of standard teaching time. There are also two main University initiatives that offer further support:

My Learning Essentials, run by the University Library, offers face-to-face workshops and online resources on a wide variety of study skills.

Methods@Manchester, organised by the School of Social Sciences, provides various resources focusing on social science methods. These may be useful if you are involved in a research project involving interviews, surveys, or quantitative data analysis.

8.3 IT services and eLearning Support

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


9.1 Academic & Student Support Policies

Academic and Student Support Policies

Academic Support Policies
A full list of University Policies and documents

Academic Appeals (Regulation XIX)

Academic Malpractice: Procedure for the Handling of Cases

Basic Guide to Student Complaints

Conduct and Discipline of Students (Regulations XVII)

General University information on the Conduct and Discipline of Students

Faculty policies for students on Communication and Dress Code, Social Networking and Drugs & Alcohol can be found at:

Information on Academic Malpractice and how to avoid it

Data Protection

Guidance for the Presentation of Taught Masters Dissertations

Guidance to Students on Plagiarism and Other Forms of Academic Malpractice

Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes

Policy on Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating Circumstances Guidance for Students

PGT Degree Regulations

Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students

Student Complaints Procedure

Student Charter

Work and Attendance of Students (Regulation XX)

Student Support Issues

A-Z of Student Services


Students should access Blackboard via My Manchester

Careers Service

Counselling Service

Disability Advisory and Support Service

University Language Centre – Study English - Tel: 0161 306 3397

Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Staff and Students

Health & Fitness

Health & Safety Policy

International Advice Team

IT and eLearning Support

Mature Students Guide

Occupational Health Services for Students

Personal Development Planning

A Personal Safety Guide for International Students

Students Union