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All four-year ‘with industrial/professional experience’ and ‘with language’ degrees have been accredited by the Society of Biology. Degree accreditation by the Society recognises academic excellence in the biosciences, and highlights degrees that educate the research and development of leaders and innovators of the future (for more information see The accreditation criteria require evidence that graduates from the programme meet defined sets of learning outcomes, including gaining a substantial period of research experience. Our School has been successful in demonstrating that these programmes meet these criteria.

In recognition of your time spent on industrial/professional, or with language placement, as a graduate of an accredited programme, you can apply for membership of the Society of Biology at Member (MSB) level after just one year of practice, rather than the usual three years. This will allow you to attain the qualifications of Chartered Biologist or Chartered Scientist two years sooner than graduates from other degree programmes. Further information is available from the Society of Biology at

Industrial/Professional Placement Degrees

Industrial/Professional placements must be between nine months and one year. Placements lasting for less than nine months are not considered to have fulfilled the requirements of the placement year. In most cases, a student’s hours of work will be set by the placement company itself, and will generally be 35 hours per work.  In cases where there is some flexibility with working hours, the minimum that a placement students should be working is 4 days per week on placement, or 28 hours.  Any annual leave should be arranged in advance with your placement supervisor, according to the internal regulations of the placement company.  Note that it is a requirement of those in receipt of Erasmus+ funding that you must work a minimum of 30 hours per week.

Please note that reduced tuition fees are payable for Industrial/Professional placement students and that maintenance loans may in some cases be considerably lower for the placement year (and will depend on the the sort of placement you are undertaking and where you will be based). Further information about fees and funding can be viewed here and here. Information about bursaries for the placement year (the ‘Placement Year Support Package’) can be found here:  When researching tuition fees and bursary eligibility, please ensure that you refer to the correct information for your year of entry (so, for example, if you did a foundation year, your year of entry will be earlier that those students that started in Year 1). Please make sure you consider the financial implications of a placement before you apply.

During your second year you will obtain help from the Placement Office in obtaining a placement for the third year of your programme. Although as much help as possible will be given, we cannot guarantee all students will find a placement. Placements are obtained on a competitive basis with students applying from Manchester and other institutions. It is normal for companies to produce a short-list on the basis of application forms or CV, along with references from advisors (which will rely heavily on the performance in the First Year Examinations), and then interview students before making their decisions. However, the process will vary from placement to placement.  Some recruitment processes will be longer and will involve assessment centres and various interviews.  In other cases, recruitment decisions will be made solely on covering letters and CVs.  You must not apply for any placements that you would not be willing to undertake as you must accept the first offer that is made to you.  Declining a placement offer will result in your removal from the ‘with industrial/professional experience’ programme.

Note: to remain on the with Industrial/Professional Experience degree programme you must meet the requirements stipulated in section 3.1

‘With a Modern Language’ Degrees

Students registered for the four-year degrees with a language will spend their third year working in a university in a country where their chosen language is the native tongue. These placements will generally be arranged with the Erasmus network of partner Universities or with specified partner Universities in Japan and China and will involve you working in a laboratory environment.  It is up to students to investigate which University they wish to attend, using the Internet and other resources (e.g. the student testimonials and the Key Information for partner universities on Blackboard). Students’ choices will be influenced by how their own interests in biological sciences map onto the research programmes of the different Universities with which we have agreements (see below table). It is expected that language students will not normally arrange their own placements outside the exchange agreements. However, if you would like to self-arrange a placement, you should speak to the Placement Office at the earliest opportunity.  Students undertaking a placement at an EU university currently receive a small Erasmus grant (but please be aware that Erasmus funding will end in May 2023).  Language placements are normally for 9 months (in Europe) or 10 months (Japan and China).

Note: to remain on the with Language degree programme you must meet the requirements stipulated in section 3.2

SBS Current Bilateral Agreements

We are: UK MANCHES01

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Country University Name University Code
Austria Universität Wien A WIEN01
China Fudan University N/A
China Tsinghua University N/A
France Université Claude Bernard Lyon 1 F LYON01
France Université Paul Sabatier F TOULOUS03
Germany Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg D FREIBURG01
Germany Ruprecht-Karls Universität Heidelberg D HEIDELB01
Italy Università Degli Studi di Firenze I FIRENZE01
Italy Università Degli Studi Roma, Tor Vergata I ROMA02
Japan University of Nagoya N/A
Japan Osaka University N/A
Japan University of Tsukuba N/A
Spain Universidad de Barcelona E BARCELO01
Spain Universidad de Sevilla E SEVILLA01
Spain Universidad Autónoma de Madrid E MALDRID04
Spain Universidad de Salamanca E SALAMAN02
Spain Universidad de Santiago de Compostela E SANTIAG01
Switzerland Université de Génève (French-speaking) N/A
Switzerland Université de Lausanne (French-speaking) N/A

Aims & intended learning outcomes of the placement

The placement year aims to provide students with broad experience of the application of scientific principles, acquisition or enhancement of practical and inter-personal skills, general understanding of the requirements of professional/research establishments and promote independence and self-confidence.Schilder

2.1 Intended Learning Outcomes

After completing the placement year, the student will:

i) be able to appreciate how areas of their academic studies are applicable in an industrial, professional or research environment;
ii) have applied and/or extended their practical competence and knowledge base;
iii) have demonstrated competence in documenting results, fully appreciating their significance and writing reports in a concise manner;
iv) have improved written, oral and presentation skills;
v) appreciate the concept of employee welfare, in particular occupational health and safety requirements and procedures;
vi) have adjusted to the requirements of industry or other professional workplaces in terms of work ethics, meeting deadlines and accepting responsibility;
vii) will fully appreciate the necessity of being able to work effectively as an individual and as part of a team;
viii) be able to demonstrate reliability, honesty, tact and diplomacy;
ix) have sufficient broad-based experience to be able to contribute rapidly and effectively in an industrial, professional or research-based academic career.

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How to stay on the programmes

How to stay on the Industrial/Professional experience programme

There are several important hurdles for you to clear to remain registered for the programme

  • You must have attended the meeting for prospective students in May of Semester 2. Details about this meeting are circulated via email early in Semester 2.
  • You must pass all year 1 mandatory units at the first attempt with a mark of at least 40% in both the January and May/June examination and obtain an overall mean mark of at least 60% (including a mark of at least 70% obtained in a tutorial assignment for Writing and Referencing Skills (BIOL10741) that is attached to the tutorial unit (BIOL10000).
  • You must have submitted your CV to the submission area in Blackboard by the advertised deadline (normally late August).
  • You must attend the meeting for prospective students in Welcome Week of Semester 3.
  • You must obtain a least a pass mark (40%) in each of your Second Year Examinations at the first attempt in both the January and May/June examination periods and in the practical and tutorial units and obtain a mean average of 60%.
  • You must not divulge information about the placements offered to any other students in this School, other Schools/Faculties or other Universities.

If you fail to meet any of these requirements, you will be transferred to the appropriate three-year BSc degree by the Board of Examiners at the next appropriate Exam Board, and will be unable to undertake a placement.

Any student unable to obtain a placement will be transferred to the appropriate three-year BSc degree at the end of the second year.

If you feel that you no longer wish to continue on a programme with industrial/professional experience and would like to transfer to a standard three-year BSc degree, please discuss this with your Programme Director and/or Academic Advisor.  A completed Degree Programme Change Form should be submitted to the Student Support Office if you do decide to transfer off the placement programme (

How to stay on the “with Language” programme

  • You must have attended the meeting for prospective students in May of Semester 2.
  • You must pass all year 1 mandatory units (including all language units) at the first attempt with a mark of at least 40% in both the January and May/June examination and obtain an overall mean mark of at least 60% (including a mark of at least 70% obtained in a tutorial assignment for Writing and Referencing Skills (BIOL10742) that is attached to the tutorial unit (BIOL10000).
  • You must attend the meeting for prospective Language students in Semester 3 (see section 6 for date)
  • Students with a mark of <40% in beginners’ language semester 1 units will be removed from the “with language” programme at the start of semester 2 and must select non-language units to replace the language units in semester 2
  • obtain at least a pass mark (40%) in each of your Second Year Examinations at the first attempt in both the January and May/June examination periods and in the practical and tutorial units and obtain a mean average of 60%.

If you fail to meet any of these requirements, you will be transferred to the appropriate three-year BSc degree by the Board of Examiners at the next appropriate Exam Board, and will be unable to undertake a placement.

There is no compensation between the language and biological components – both must be passed independently.

Any student unable to obtain a language placement will be transferred to the appropriate three-year BSc degree at the end of the second year.

If you feel that you no longer wish to continue on a programme with a language and would like to transfer to a standard three-year BSc degree, please discuss this with your Programme Director and/or Academic Tutor. A completed Degree Programme Change form should be submitted to the Student Support Office if you do decide to transfer off the language programme  (

How to stay on the “with Entrepreneurship” programme

In order to continue on the ‘with Entrepreneurship’ programme you must gain satisfactory performance in both the biological science and the entrepreneurship components. In addition to the above progression criteria, you must also fulfil the following criteria:

Year 1

  • Pass all year 1 mandatory units at the first attempt with a mark of at least 40% in both the January and May/June examination and obtain an overall mean mark of at least 60% (including a mark of at least 70% obtained in a tutorial assignment for Writing and Referencing skills (BIOL10741) that is attached to the tutorial unit (BIOL10000)).

Year 2

  • pass all year 2 units at the first attempt with a mark of at least 40% in both the January and May/June examination and obtain an overall mean mark of at least 60% (excluding marks obtained for tutorial assignments).
  • attend the compulsory placement meeting for prospective students (see key dates and deadlines for details of date/time of this meeting). Details about the venue for this meeting will be circulated via email early in Semester 2.  Information will also be published on the Placement Student Area on Blackboard.

If you fail to meet any of these requirements, you will be transferred to the appropriate three-year BSc degree by the Board of Examiners at the next appropriate Exam Board, and you will be unable to undertake a placement.

Any student unable to obtain an entrepreneurship placement will be transferred to the appropriate three-year BSc degree at the end of the second year.

If you feel that you no longer wish to continue on a programme with Entrepreneurship and would like to transfer to a standard three-year BSc degree, please discuss this with your Programme Director and/or Academic advisor. A completed Degree Programme Change form should be submitted to the Student Support Office if you do decide to transfer off the Entrepreneurship programme (

Resit examinations due to Mitigating Circumstances

Students who fail to take any second year units due to Mitigating Circumstances will be required to undertake resit examinations during the scheduled resit period (see front of Level 2 student handbook for dates). Under these circumstances, if you have already obtained a placement, you should make arrangements for your placement to start after the resit examinations.

The timetable for resit examinations will be available about 6 weeks before the start of the resit period (you will be notified by the Student Services Centre), however, you must be aware that you may be required to stay in Manchester for the duration of the resit examination period as the School has no control over the scheduling of resit examinations.

How the placement year is assessed

During your placement year, you will be required to work on a research project and write this up for submission in the October following your placement year (i.e. at the start of your final year).  Further information about the project report can be found in the ‘Report Write up’ section below.  Your report will count towards 70% of your mark, and the other 30% will be derived from your viva voce examination which will be conducted between October and end November of your final year.

How your degree classification is calculated

Students on four-year BSc degrees (with industrial/professional experience or with a language) are assessed on their work in the year away from the University. This contributes an additional 10% to make a total out of 110% i.e. the placement report is calculated as contributing 10 marks out of 110 (10 from yr1 + 30 from yr2 +60 from final yr +10 from placement report); this is then scaled down to 100 to give a percentage.

For example: the calculation for a student who achieved the following marks in each year would be:

Yr1 = overall mark of 67

Yr2 = overall mark of 65

Placement report = overall mark of 71

Final yr = overall mark of 72

(10% of 67) + (30% of 65) + (60% of 72) + (10% of 71) = 76.5/110 * 100 = 69.5%

If the mark for the report is anywhere below 40%, this does not mean that transfer back to the three year degree will occur since all credits for the placement year are awarded for the successful completion of the placement. A referral for a failed report is also not possible since the assessment is at final level. Reversion to the three year honours programme will only occur in the exceptional circumstances where a placement could not be completed to the satisfaction of the examiners, or other reasons such as illness.

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Key Contacts

Placement Placement Administrator:
Jane Thomas
Room G483 Stopford Building
Tel: 0161 275 1540

All Degree Programmes with Industrial/Professional Experience



Placement Officer:
Dr Patrick Gallois
D3515 Michael Smith Building
Tel: 0161 275 3922 Placement Administrator:
Jane Thomas
Room G483 Stopford Building
Tel: 0161 275 1540

All Degree Programmes with Languages

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Sources of information

The ‘SBS Placements’ Community Area on Blackboard contains a huge amount of information including placement testimonials written by past placement students, interview feedback information written by students shortly after they have attended a placement interview, guidance about writing a placement CV/application, information about the placement report write-up, information about how to self-arrange a placement, and much more.

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All meeting locations, dates and times to be announced via email correspondence from the Placement Office.

Language Placement Meeting

(for 2nd year School of Biological Sciences students with Modern Languages)

Thursday of Welcome Week

Speaker: Dr Patrick Gallois


 Placement Meeting

 (for ALL 2nd Year Students planning to do a placement)

Wednesday of Welcome Week

Speaker: Dr Donald Ward


Interview Techniques Workshop

(for ALL 2nd year students planning to do an industrial/professional placement)

Wednesday of Week 1


Industrial/Professional & Language Placement Meeting

(for ALL outgoing students)

Tuesday of Week 12

Speaker: Dr Donald Ward

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Applying for placement positions

Please note the following:

  • All applications must be made through the Placement Office or online directly to the provider, as specified in the job advert, and it is mandatory to follow the application procedures specified by the Placement Office. If you are considering self-arranging a placement, you need to check with the Placement Office before approaching a company to make sure that the Placement Office does not already have a link with the company.  Further detailed guidance about how to self-arrange a placement can be found on Blackboard.  You may NOT approach any of the organisations with which we usually have placements directly for placements (see list on Blackboard).

You must sign and return a copy of the Student Declaration Form (Appendix 1) which will be made available in Week 0 following the placement talk.

  • You must reply promptly (normally within 2 working days) to requests from the Placement Office or companies with offers of interview dates.
  • You must inform the Placement Office in the event you are invited for interview.
  • Upon being offered a placement position, you must reply to the company as soon as possible.
  • If, upon being offered a placement, you feel you have to decline the offer, you must first discuss it with your Placement Officer. It is normally expected that students will accept the first offer of a placement, unless there are exceptional circumstances.
  • Once you have accepted an offer of a placement, you must inform the Placement Office.
  • You must inform the Placement Office of the full details of your placement via the ‘My Placement’ system (further details will be sent by the Placement Office).

Any student who is unable to obtain a placement by the end of the academic year will be transferred to the appropriate three-year programme at the end of Year 2.

Applying for placements with new organisations

While we hope that the majority of students will be successful in obtaining placements with our tried and trusted providers, it may be that some students will wish to approach organisations with which the School has not previously dealt. If you choose to do this, you MUST make sure that you follow the guidelines for self-arranging placements which are available on the Blackboard Student Placement Area (Second Year Placement Students Area).  Please be aware that there are separate guidelines for UK self-arranged placements and overseas placements.  The process can be quite time consuming and will require a large amount of paperwork to be completed by you so that we can ensure that it can be approved both from an academic point of view and also from a health and safety point of view.  For this reason, you are encourage to start organising self-arranged placements early in Year 2.

Health and Safety

Your health and safety are our primary concerns – the organisation must have a robust health and safety policy, provide comprehensive risk assessments for all activities you are likely to undertake, and must agree to adhere to the health and safety standards the University sets out in its documentation to placement providers. If you are self-arranging a placement, you must follow the steps outlined in the ‘how to self-arrange a placement’ guides.  This will involve you obtaining information about health and safety from your potential placement and completing a risk assessment process.  All placements categorised as ‘medium’ or ‘high’ risk will need approval from the Head of School of Biological Sciences.

Whilst we carry out health and safety checks for the placement providers, it is crucial that you let us know if you have any concerns about this aspect of your placement at any point during the year.  You should contact the Placement Office ( in the first instance.

Students must also complete and submit a ‘pre-departure risk awareness form’ prior to travel (available via ‘My Placement’).  If you will be undertaking fieldwork as part of your placement year, a full risk assessment must be provided for the fieldwork element in addition to the ‘pre-departure risk awareness’ form. The Placement Office will provide you with further guidance about this if this affects you.

All placement students must attend the School of Biological Sciences ‘Health & Safety and Risk Assessments’ talk, given by the School’s Health and Safety Officer in the Spring before the placement year.

Research Project

The organisation must be able to provide you with your own area of research – while a certain amount of start-up training and then day-to-day routine work is to be expected, there must be an aspect of the research for which you will be able to take responsibility once fully trained – you will need to write up this aspect in a proper scientific fashion and defend the outcome at an oral examination.  You will submit your report in the October once you return to University in your final year.

If the mark you obtain for the report is anywhere below 40%, this  does not mean that transfer back to the three year  degree will occur since all credits for the placement year  are awarded for the successful completion  of the placement. A referral for a failed report is also  not possible since the assessment is at final  level. Reversion to the three year honours programme will only occur in  the exceptional  circumstances where a placement could not be completed to  the satisfaction of the examiners, or other reasons such as illness.

Training and Research Supervision

The organisation must be able to provide training for all the techniques you are expected to master (they and you cannot expect to access facilities, equipment or expertise in the School) and a suitably qualified supervisor must be readily accessible. While short periods of separation are allowable, satisfactory supervision cannot be conducted at a distance – the supervisor should be in regular face-to-face contact with you.

So – if you do check out opportunities with organisations outside our current list of providers DO make completely sure that all of the above are achievable, DO NOT expect our Placement Office to get involved until you are 100% satisfied that this is the case and DO NOT enter into any agreements that imply that your placement will be recognised by the University until you have completed the process for self-arranging a placement. Your placement will NOT be recognised until the necessary health and safety, risk assessments etc have been completed to the satisfaction of the School of Biological Sciences, so you should NOT make any travel/accommodation arrangements until these have been completed.

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Disabled Students

To discuss a disability in relation to your placement you should contact the Central Disability Support Office by email Further help and information can be found on the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) website

Disclosure of disability on Placement

A placement provider is NOT advised of any disability disclosed to the University unless explicit permission is given by a student to do so. It is therefore essential that the issue of disclosure is discussed with either DASS or the School’s Disability Co-ordinator (Janet Ellis – Disclosure can be a sensitive issue but is critically important in order to ensure that any additional support needs are put in place to help you perform to your full potential while on placement.

If you are currently in receipt of specialist disability-related funding such as a Disabled Students Allowance (DSA) or social services funding, then you are encouraged to inform your funding provider of your placement as soon as possible and speak to DASS about this.

Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS) email

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Arrangements for outgoing students

‘My Placement’

All students who are going on placement will need to create a record on the ‘My Placement’ system.  You will only do this once you have secured a placement, and further details will be sent to you by the Placement Office once you secure a placement. You must complete the questionnaires on ‘My Placement’ (‘Placement Details’ and ‘Supervisor Details’) as soon as you have the relevant information so that we can keep ‘My Placement’ updated with details about where and when you will be on your placement, and who you will be working with.

We also need to know that both you and your placement supervisor are fully aware of your responsibilities during the placement year. To this end, you are required to sign the ‘Professional Training Agreement’ (see ‘Questionnaires’ area of ‘My Placement’).

Arrangements for Placement Year – Responsibilities

While you are away you will remain a registered student of the University. You will be able to complete online registration from 1 September and will still be able to use your swipe card (and thus student travel cards etc).

Your responsibilities

It is absolutely essential that you give us details of your placement. We need a contact address and telephone number, along with details of the type of work you are doing and who you will be supervised by. This information must be recorded by you via the ‘My Placement’ system. In addition, students will be required to complete a series of ‘Progress and Wellbeing’ questionnaires, which will be made available to you via ‘My Placement’ (on arrival, in October, in March, and in June).  Please ensure to complete these in a timely manner.

You will be allocated an academic member of staff from the University who will act as your Placement Advisor.  You will have two formal meetings with this member of staff and it is important that you respond promptly to emails from this member of staff and from the Placement Office during your placement year.  You should also maintain contact with your Academic Advisor and will still continue to have regular meetings with this person (which will be recorded online via the School intranet).

On the informal side, you are ambassadors from the School and University – your performance will reflect on both, and will affect the chances of placing the future students in the company and your potential future employment prospects. To date the feedback on our students has been excellent – please make sure it continues to be so.

While away from the University on a placement you will normally be an employee of a company. Even if you are not salaried, it is vital that you behave in a professional manner and abide by all the rules and regulations of your employer, including when coming into contact with the general public in the context of your placement. This applies to all aspects of your placement but please pay particular attention to all aspects of Health & Safety, confidentiality agreements and computer/social media use.

Your major formal responsibility as a requirement of your degree is to produce a report at the end of your placement year; this will be marked and contribute approx. 6% towards your final degree classification.  The report and the viva together contribute approx. 9% towards your final degree classification.

Our responsibilities

As you are a registered student we must make sure that you are adequately supervised during your placement and that you are gaining appropriate experience. We can only do this if you help us. There are several ways, perhaps the most important of which is to remember that we are always happy to receive telephone calls or email messages. If there are any problems at all please contact the Placement Office, the Placement Officer, your Academic Advisor, your Placement Advisor, Programme Director or the Senior Advisor.

More formally, your twice per semester ‘meetings’ with your academic advisor will continue (most likely in the form of an email meeting) and you will be allocated a member of academic staff to act as your ‘Placement Advisor’.  Your Placement Advisor will want to hear from you and your supervisor about how you have settled in to the placement and how the work is going. They will conduct two ‘virtual’ (online or telephone) meetings with you. During the second meeting you will share a short PowerPoint presentation with your Placement Advisor and enter into a ‘questions and answers’ discussion with him/her.

At the end of the placement we will ask your workplace supervisor to complete another report form. This will not be used as part of the School’s formal assessment but please note the areas of the supervisor’s assessment (Appendix 2). It may be that you will want to ask your supervisor to provide you with a reference, so this form indicates the categories of assessment your supervisor may use.

We will also ensure that you are kept informed about what is going on in Manchester and how it might affect you. The Final Year Handbooks will be available online. The Handbook for the current year will give some idea of the structure and unit content of your final year. Project information will be sent to you at the same time as to students in Manchester. It is important to ensure that any replies or confirmation of pre-arranged projects are made as quickly as possible, and certainly by the stated deadlines. If your address or phone number(s) change, you must update your details on the ‘Student System’ area of ‘My Manchester’ immediately.

Start dates

Start dates are normally by negotiation between you and your placement employer. You may be given a start date with your contract. Alternatively, the employer may ask when you will be available to start. You are not permitted to start before the end of Semester 4 (which will be mid-June: see University calendar for exact date) or after the end of October. Otherwise there are no restrictions from the University’s viewpoint as long as you can fit in 9-12 months on placement (as agreed with your placement employer) returning to University for the beginning of Semester 5 (towards the end of September) for your final year.  You must keep us updated about your exact start and end dates as these must be recorded accurately on your ‘My Placement’ Itinerary.

Fitness to travel

Depending on where you are going on placement, and what you will be doing, you may need to provide a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate.  All students need to complete the ‘Travel Health Self-Assessment’ form.  If directed to do so by this form, or if required to do so according to the SBS Fitness to Travel flow chart (which will be issued to you once you have secured a placement), you may also need to complete the ‘Travel Health Needs Risk Assessment’ form and return it to the Occupational Health Service ( After submission of a form, you will be informed if you are required to attend an appointment with Occupational Health. Please note: questionnaires must be sent to Occupational Health at least 6-8 weeks before you wish to travel.  If your questionnaire is received with less than 4 weeks’ notice prior to travel, Occupational Health may not be in a position to offer a travel appointment (if required) and process your fitness certificate. Any students who require vaccinations prior to travel will need to make sure that they look into this on advice from the Student Occupational Health team or their own GP at least 8 weeks in advance of travel.  If you prefer to arrange an appointment with your own GP (e.g. if it is outside of term time), you may do so but you may be charged for a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate.

Please note that additional health screenings may be requested by the placement provider too.

If your placement involves animal research then you must identify this on the ‘Travel Health Needs Risk Assessment’ form and send to Occupational Health with a ‘Health Surveillance form’ in addition to the ‘Travel Health Needs Risk Assessment form’ so that Occupational Health can assess you for animal worker health surveillance too.  This ‘Health Surveillance’ form can be accessed on their website:  When you submit the forms to Occupational Health, you should highlight that you require a dual assessment for travel and health surveillance clearance because you will be working with animals.  All students who are working with animals on their placement need to have a ‘fitness to travel’ certificate from Occupational Health and health clearance to work with animals before they travel to their placement.

If you have a pre-existing medical condition and will be undertaking a placement outside the UK, you must discuss this with the Occupational Health team and obtain a ‘Fitness to Travel’ certificate for the following reasons:

  • In the case of a travel insurance claim for medical costs, the insurance company will request a ‘fitness to travel certificate’ for you.  If you cannot provide this information to the insurance company, the cost of medical treatment may not be recoverable from the University’s insurance policy and you may be liable to reimburse the University for the full amount.
  • You will be able to discuss the management of your condition abroad, getting important questions answered, such as:
    • Where should I go to access medical care or other appropriate support?
    • Can I get my medication abroad? How much am I allowed to take with me through Customs?
  • It will provide you with an opportunity to raise any other health-related questions and concerns you might have to help to prepare you as much as possible before going abroad.

If there are any indications that a student may not be fully fit to undertake a placement, the School reserves the right to refer the student to a GP in the Occupational Health Service for medical assessment. If the staff of the Service express any doubt that the student is fully fit, or will be so at the time of the start of the placement, the School will withdraw the student from the placement programme.

The University may share appropriate information relating to your health and/or conduct with external organisations (in this case your placement provider). 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 the organisation. 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.

Health & Travel Insurance

If you are going overseas then you will be covered for emergencies by the University insurance but you may wish to take out additional cover for day to day healthcare. Details of the insurance policy can be found here: Any queries should be directed to

Students going abroad for more than one year, or who are aged 75 or over, must obtain prior clearance from the Insurance Office.

Many partner universities will accept Manchester’s Insurance policy, however some (such as all Australian universities, and most of the North American partners) have their own compulsory insurance policy that you are required to take out. Make sure that you check this with your partner university. Where partner universities have their own mandatory health insurance policy you will not be allowed to register at these universities unless you take out their policy. However, you should be aware of the fact that these policies are not absolutely comprehensive and
you should read the small print carefully so that you understand for what you will and won’t be covered for (e.g. you may still have to pay a contribution towards the cost of GP visits, dental treatment, etc). For other placements abroad, you should check whether or not you are covered by your employer’s insurance prior to accepting a placement:
1) in the event that you were injured or suffered a serious loss as a result of the employer’s negligence;
2) in the event that a claim were made against you whilst you were acting in the course of your duties or
under the employer’s supervision.  If your employer is not covering you, then please be aware that if you suffer any injury at work, or if someone is accidentally injured by you/you damage someone else’s property during the course of your work, you are unlikely to receive any compensation/financial assistance.

Students travelling abroad

Students who are undertaking a placement outside the UK must read the ‘Study & Work Abroad Handbook’, available in the ‘Learning Content’ area of your ‘My Placement’ record.  You must also attend the compulsory sessions organised by the International Programmes Office, including the ‘It won’t happen to me’ presentation.

If you need a visa or a work permit it is YOUR responsibility to obtain forms and information from your employer and to ensure that you have the correct visa for the country you are entering. The host placement organisation is responsible for organising work permits and providing all employment information relevant to obtaining the visa/permit etc. This may take a considerable time and may not be the host organisation’s top priority immediately after awarding you your placement position. Please be polite and patient and reply promptly to requests from your host organisation. UNDER NO CIRCUMSTANCES SHOULD STUDENTS MAKE DEPOSITS OR PURCHASE TICKETS TO THEIR PLACEMENT DESTINATION UNTIL THEY HAVE OBTAINED ALL THE NECESSARY DOCUMENTATION AND SCHOOL APPROVAL FOR TRAVEL HAS BEEN GRANTED.  Please be aware that the School’s Placement Office is not legally permitted to provide information about visas or work permits and you should ALWAYS obtain visa advice directly from the relevant Consultate or Embassy.

You do need to also bear in mind that a visa can cost you anything from £50 to £500 (or even more in some cases).  In some countries you also have to prove you’ll be able to support yourself financially while you’re there (by having a certain amount of funds in the bank), so check this out before you apply by looking at the visa requirements for your country.

Travel approval if you are going on placement outside the UK: Current University of Manchester guidance is clear that no travel can occur if the FCDO advises ‘against all travel’ or ‘against all but essential travel’ to a particular country.  Before travel, you will need to have received formal travel approval from the School of Biological Sciences.  Further information about the process will be issued to you by the Placement Team.  You must not make any travel arrangements until you have received approval in writing from the School.

Fees & Funding

Tuition fees for the Placement Year are considerably lower than the standard tuition fee.  Further details are available here:  The amount of funding available to you from Student Finance varies depending on where you will be doing on your placement year and on your personal circumstances.  Note that you will need to reapply for student finance for your placement year.  Further information can be found here:

Please make sure you consider the financial implications of a placement before you apply.

The University offers several travel awards that placement students may wish to apply for.  Further information about these awards can be found here:

Absence to due Ill Health

Whilst on placement, you must adhere to the Placement Provider’s regulations on absence due to ill health. In addition to this, you MUST inform the Placement Office ( if you are absent from your placement for a period of 10 days or more.

Ending your Placement Early

Occasionally students find that they are unable to complete the required 9 months (minimum) of the placement year.  In these circumstances, students must ensure that they discuss this with their line manager and ensure that they fulfil the terms of their contract with the placement provider (if applicable).  Students who finish their placement early will switch to the three year degree (without ‘industrial experience’) and will be required to apply for an interruption to study in order to return in the final year in the following September.  Please note that students will not be permitted to transfer to a four year MSci programme in these circumstances.

If you find yourself in this situation, please contact the Placement Office ( who will guide you through the process.

Student Visa Holders

Student Visa Holders are permitted to undertake a work placement provided that it is an integral and assessed part of your main course of study (i.e. as part of a degree ‘with industrial experience’ or ‘with a modern language’ as this will be stated on your CAS).  During your work placement, you are able to work full-time and be paid as such.  The University is still your visa sponsor so it is vital that you stay in contact with us and keep your contact details up to date.  Further information is available here:

National Insurance Number

You need a national insurance number (NI) to work in the UK.  This is a unique number used to record your National Insurance contributions.

It is free to apply and applications should be made by phone to the National Insurance Number application line.  You may be required to attend an appointment at your local Jobcentre Plus.

Please visit the Careers Website for further information about how to apply for an NI number:

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Your university ‘Placement Advisor’

visitAll students will be allocated a ‘Placement Advisor’. The Placement Advisor will be allocated based on the information that you provide in your ‘SBS: Placement Project Information’ questionnaire (i.e. we will try to match them on research area, as much as possible) – so it is really important that you complete the questionnaire promptly!    You will have two ‘virtual’ (online or telephone) meetings from your Placement Advisor during your placement year (around November and March).  They will also be the first marker for your placement report at the end of the year.  Students will not normally receive a face-to-face visit unless they are at a new placement site or a ‘higher risk’ placement site or unless one is requested by the student or placement supervisor.  Note that if a face-to-face visit is requested, this may not necessarily be made by your allocated Placement Advisor, but by another appropriate member of staff.

Once staff members have been allocated to you as ‘Placement Advisors’, you will be sent a document listing these allocations and giving contact details of your allocated visitor.

The first meeting with your ‘Placement Advisor’ will take place in the early stages of your placement year.  Your Placement Advisor will complete a report form to be filled in during discussions with you and your industrial supervisor. This allows for an expansion of the details of your work, comments from you on the placement and comments from your industrial supervisor on your performance. One section of the Workplace Supervisor’s assessment that may not be immediately familiar to you is your “Laboratory book”. This may be a very formal, closely and regularly monitored journal in some organisations, in others you may be expected to know what is required. In case you do not, do ask your Supervisor what is expected – usually up-to-date, accurate, orderly records of what you have done, and what results were obtained, any analysis performed, conclusions and notes about refinements/future experiments. As a general rule you should leave work at the end of the day having made a record of what you have done so that someone else could understand what you have done.

Your ‘Placement Advisor’ will try their best to sort out any minor issues or problems raised but will report back to the Placement Office any major issues raised during the visit. You may also wish to contact the Placement Office directly if you have any serious difficulties or complaints. Please remember that your line manager at the host organisation is the person with day-to-day responsibility for your placement. He/she should be your first point of contact in case of difficulties.

For the second meeting with your Placement Advisor, you are required to produce a PowerPoint presentation based upon your area(s) of research. This should be closely related to areas to be discussed/written up in your Placement Report. The powerpoint presentation will not be assessed and it will not affect the final overall mark of your written placement report.

Your Placement Supervisor does not need to be present during the virtual visit but you may need to obtain company approval for the content of your presentation if your work is subject to a confidentiality agreement, so it is best to check it with him/her.

This virtual visit is an opportunity for you to talk through your presentation with your Placement Advisor, who will give you feedback which should prove helpful before you finalise your report.  Note that your Placement Advisor is not able to comment on a draft of your project report – but your Workplace Supervisor is.

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Complaints Procedure

Few students experience difficulties with placements and those that do, usually find that they are best resolved by prompt informal action on site. If you are dissatisfied with the decisions made, you should make your line manager/supervisor aware of your discomfort and explain how you think the situation can be resolved. If this does not cure the problem it is far better to contact staff at the University than to attempt to get around your supervisor by going direct to his/her line manager or to the Organisation’s Personnel Department. Your Academic Advisor, Placement Office, Placement Officer, Programme Director or the Senior Advisor Team will be able to advise on possible actions to address the problem, and a visit can be arranged at short notice if the situation does not resolve itself.

For complaints against staff in the School of Biological Sciences see: here

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Intellectual property (IP) rights

Many organisations will expect you to sign contracts and agreements relating to a range of matters including IP and confidentiality, in which case you must ensure that you read them very carefully and understand the implications before signing. If you are not asked to sign anything, you should be aware that the IP rights to the research that you carry out will remain the property of the organisation for which you are working.  If publications arise from any of the work you do, you are advised to discuss authorship with your co-workers and supervisor at an early stage, as there should be no expectation of authorship as a necessary consequence of your input.

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Report write up

There are five sets of guidelines about writing up your Placement Report. The guidelines that you will use will depend on the sort of project that you are writing. The three guidelines are for Lab-based placements, Education placement, Science, Media and Communication placements, Business placements and Conservation & Animal Husbandry placements. The guidelines are saved on the Placement Student Area of Blackboard (‘Students on Placement’ folder).

In some cases the company will require you to produce an internal report in a different format – if that is the case we may be able to accept a copy as your report (subject to the agreement of the company) if it is appropriate, rather than making you produce two separate reports. If this is the case you should discuss this with your Placement Advisor or contact the Placement Office first to ensure that the format of the report will be acceptable. Remember that you may be subject to confidentiality arrangements and so you should not release information without consent. Companies normally examine, and need to approve, the report that you submit – make sure you allow time for this!

The report will be assessed by two members of staff (your Placement Advisor and a second member of staff) who will also be responsible for your oral examination (viva). The total mark will contribute approximately 6% towards your final degree classification, split 70:30 for the written report and the oral.

Vivas will normally be completed by the end of Week 7 of semester 5.

If your research results in a publication which is more or less final, or has been submitted or published before you complete your report, there is no need to rewrite this material. It could form part of your report or be included as an Appendix (to which you refer in your report). To avoid unwarranted accusations of plagiarism, you must make it crystal clear that some of your report replicates part or all of a published (or “submitted”, or “in preparation”) paper. Thus, if you are not sole author or contributor to all of the work included in the report, you must make a clear statement at the start of the report which indicates exactly what your role was in the research and writing of the paper, and cite the journal to which the paper has been/will be submitted.

It is your responsibility to ensure that your report is submitted to the University when you return.

Reports should normally be completed and checked with your workplace supervisor before you finish your placement. Your placement report should be submitted online via Blackboard (BIOL40000).  You are not required to submit printed copies of your report UNLESS your report is covered by a confidentiality agreement.  If your report is covered by a confidentiality agreement it must not be submitted online, unless previously agreed with your placement provider, but you should instead submit two printed and bound copies to the Student Support Office Reception (G.483 Stopford Building) by the same deadline.

The deadline for submission for students on placement in 2022-23 is Tuesday 3rd October 2023, 1pm.

Failure to plan ahead is not an acceptable reason for late submission and will be penalised by deduction of 10 marks for every late day.

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If any procedures, results or names of compounds or organisms are confidential for commercial reasons they may be omitted, but a statement detailing the reason should be given. Take care to observe any confidentiality requirements of your employer and ensure that proper approval is given before the report is submitted to the University. In the case of a confidential report, a special agreement between the University and the organisation should be prepared – the University has created its own agreement for this purpose, but an alternative agreement may be drafted by the employing organisation. For further information regarding confidentiality agreements, or to arrange for an agreement to be put in place between the University and your placement company, please contact the Placement Office at or by telephoning +44 (0)161 275 1540.confident

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These topics form an important part of the first stage of the Writing and Referencing skills modules in Y1 & 2 but general guidelines and advice are given hereunder.

Plagiarism is a serious offence – it is treated as seriously as cheating in exams.

  • As a student, you are expected to cooperate in the learning process throughout your programme of study by completing assignments of various kinds that are the product of your own study or research. Coursework, dissertations and essays submitted for assessment must be your own work, unless in the case of group projects a joint effort is expected and this has been indicated by the Unit Coordinator. For most students this does not present a problem, but occasionally, whether unwittingly or otherwise, a student may commit what is known as plagiarism, or some other form of academic malpractice, when carrying out an assignment. This may come about because students have been used to different conventions in their prior educational experience or through general ignorance of what is expected of them or of what constitutes plagiarism.
  • This guidance is designed to help you understand what we regard as academic malpractice and hence to help you to avoid committing it. You should read it carefully, because academic malpractice is regarded as a serious offence and students found to have committed it will be penalized. At the very least a mark of only 30% would be awarded for the piece of work in question, but it could be worse; you could be awarded zero (with or without loss of credits), fail the whole unit, be demoted to a lower class of degree, or be excluded from the programme, depending on the severity of the case.

Academic malpractice includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results and anything else intended by those committing it to achieve credit that they do not properly deserve. This also includes submitting work which you have previously submitted for credit – this is self plagiarism. You will be given exercises and guidance on plagiarism/academic malpractice in tutorials and if you are unsure about any aspect of this you should ask your Academic advisor for advice. In addition, further guidance is available on the intranet (see ‘Plagiarism – Resources for avoiding Plagiarism’ which includes helpful exercises and explanations relating to plagiarism and referencing on the web. There is also information in My Learning Essentials. It is well worth visiting these sites in your spare time to ensure that you fully understand.

You should be aware that all teaching materials and examination papers are subject to copyright by the University. If these are shared externally, then you will be subject to academic malpractice procedures, and possible legal action.

All students are required to confirm that they have read and agree to the University’s declaration on Academic Malpractice as part of the online registration process.

Further information on Academic Malpractice and how to avoid it 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.

You will be given an opportunity within the tutorials to submit a draft essay through this system, and it is very much in your best interests to do this so that you understand how it works.

Please see the document Guidance to students on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice.

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Successful Completion of Placement Year

You must satisfactorily complete the placement year to obtain a degree of ‘BSc… with Industrial/Professional Experience’, ‘With Entrepreneurship’ or ‘With Language’. In some cases, a student may fail to complete their placement year satisfactorily. This may be as a result of poor performance during the year away. Very rarely, it may also arise as a result of dismissal of the student from employment by the company, either for unsatisfactory performance, or serious misconduct. This situation also arises if a student withdraws unilaterally (i.e. resigns) from a placement. As failure to complete would normally result in a mark of zero for the placement report it is essential that you act promptly to alert us to any problems that may arise – we are here to help.

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Vaccinations may be required for placements in some countries, for example, The Gambia. In cases such as this, where vaccinations are a requirement for a student’s authorised placement, the School will pay for vaccinations to be given by the University’s Occupational Health department based in Waterloo Place if the student is in receipt of the full Manchester Bursary and if their family income is £25,000 or lower. Eligible students must complete the ‘Placement Student Vaccination Cost Waiver’ form, available on the Student Placement Avaccinesrea of Blackboard and submit it to the Placement Office well in advance of the appointment with Occupational Health. If eligible, students will be issued with a ‘Vaccination Cost Waiver Confirmation Form’ to take with them to their Occupational Health appointment. All other students must cover the cost of the vaccinations.

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Online form available here:

The University of Manchester- School of Biological Sciences 

‘With Industrial Experience’/’With a Modern Language’ Placements – Student Declaration

  • I wish to be considered for an industrial/professional placement commencing in (*2022/23)


  • I have submitted my basic curriculum vitae to the Placement Office but accept that I should consider making updates and changes appropriate to each application.


  • I will regularly check my email and respond as soon as practically possible to messages from the Placement Office, the Placement Officer and potential employers.


  • If I approach personal contacts or employers not on the School’s list I will notify my Placement Officer BEFORE accepting an offer of a placement.


  • I will inform the Placement Office of ALL correspondence from potential employers, about ALL interviews and of ALL offers of employment.


  • I will make every effort to attend all interviews offered to me. If there are exceptional circumstances stopping me doing so, I will contact the Placement Office immediately, and as far in advance of the interview time as possible.


  • I will accept an offer of employment as soon as practically possible. If I have serious reservations I will discuss the situation with the Placement Office before declining.


  • I will respond to correspondence from Placement Providers in a polite, professional and prompt manner (normally within 2 working days).


  • If I decide not to continue to seek a placement I will inform the Placement Office immediately.


  • If I break any of the above conditions I understand that I will immediately be transferred to the three-year degree.


  • If I am removed from the placement programme due to breaking any of the above conditions, I will not be permitted to transfer to an MSci programme.


  • I consent to sharing my email and location (if placed) with other placement students (if you have concerns about this, please inform the Placement Office).


  • I consent to the Placement Officer contacting my Academic Advisor for an academic reference which will be used during the application process for certain placements.


  • Declaration of consent*: I consent to the processing and transfer of my personal data as detailed below in order to facilitate, manage and support my placement. This will include CVs, covering letters, contact details and academic references.


Name:…………………………..……………….         Date:……………………………..    Signature:……………………………………..


Please sign and return one copy to the Placement Office by Sept 30th 2021 and keep one for your information.  You cannot be considered for a placement unless you do so.

*Consent to Share Data: Within The University of Manchester, the personal data held about you is processed in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. In the course of organising your placement the University and you will normally need to pass personal data (including personal sensitive data) to the relevant host organisation.  In circumstances in which the host organisation is based outside the European Economic Area (EEA) or Switzerland it will not be subject to the same data protection requirements and standards as The University of Manchester but will instead be subject to whatever privacy legislation applies in the host country. Further information on data protection can be obtained from the University’s Records Manager, Alan Carter (; 0161 275 8111.


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