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University of Manchester (Fees & Reviews): Manchester, United Kingdom





Division of Pharmacy and Optometry

School of Health Sciences

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health


Welcome from the School Director of Education


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

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

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

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

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


Mr Andrew Mawdsley
School Director of Education
School of Health Sciences

Introductory Courses

All students are automatically enrolled onto an introductory unit (SHSS60001 Introductory Courses) that provides information on health and safety, academic malpractice and academic literacy. Completion instructions for each of these sections are clearly defined within the course.

Completion of the academic malpractice and health and safety sections is mandatory for all students. All assessments must be completed as soon as possible after the programme begins, with the academic malpractice assessment completed before the first piece of coursework is submitted.

All students are also strongly advised to complete the academic literacy section. Completion of these assessments is monitored by the School.

Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health Online Skills Training Resource

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

Accessing the online skills resource

You can access Blackboard through the My Manchester portal ( The skills training resource is available in an academic community space available to all registered PGT students in the Faculty through Blackboard. If you cannot see these units in your Blackboard please contact your Programme Administrator.


Full details of all 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,3 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 3 units that cover introductions to study design, statistics, and dissertation skills. It has a number of online quizzes where you can test your knowledge.
Statistics* The course provides a valuable foundation for understanding and interpreting biostatistics. It aims to provide you with the fundamentals of quantitative analysis.
Presentation Skills This short interactive unit is designed to help you to enhance your presentation skills. Regardless of whether you are presenting in public, preparing for conferences, an oral examination or more informal settings, this unit will give you the top tips to improve your delivery.
Qualitative Research Methods* This unit has been designed to give you an introduction to Qualitative Research.

* 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.

Welcome to the Programme

Welcome to the MSc Nanomedicine by Research postgraduate programme.

This student handbook provides details of the University of Manchester Programme leading to the MSc in Nanomedicine by Research Diploma (exit award). As you will notice, much of the handbook presents general information about postgraduate study at this University and within this Faculty (Biology, Medicine and Health). It is important for you to be aware of the general support and resources that the University provides. You also need to be aware of the University regulations (such as those related to “acceptable use of computers”, academic integrity, and policies on late work, sickness, and much more).

In Sections A and B, below, you will find information about this particular course, including the aims and learning outcomes, structure, content, admissions, assessment and programme management.

Please make yourself familiar with the content, and keep this handbook for future reference. We hope you will find it a useful resource as you progress through the course. If anything remains unclear, please do not hesitate to ask me or my colleagues for more information or advice.

Section A is a summary of how the course is structured.

Section B is a description of each of the course units.

Section C contains practical information about the School.

Section D lists the various University Regulations.

The students enrolled in this course bring a great range of experience into the programme. Some of you may already have a PhD or years of experience in industry or research. Others will have recently completed an undergraduate degree in a relevant area. Some of you will have detailed knowledge of chemistry or pharmacy; others will be more knowledgeable about cell biology or medicine. Sharing that knowledge and experience with your tutors and other students in person and through the online discussion boards will significantly enhance the learning experience.

We have made every effort to provide you with the most up-to-date and accurate information. However, some minor details may change during the course of your studies. All changes and additions will be brought to your attention. If anything is not answered within the handbook please do not hesitate to contact us.

We hope that your time here in Manchester will be enjoyable and successful.

General information about the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, staff listings and research interests are contained in this handbook, but more information can be obtained from the following web sites:

Programme Director:

Sandra Vranic, PhD
Division of Cell Matrix Biology & Regenerative Medicine
AV Hill Building, Room 5.005b

School Administrative Teams:

Student Hub:
Attendance monitoring:
Disability support:
Mitigating Circumstances:

Programmes team:

Assessments team:

Section A: Programme Structure

Rationale and General Description

The MSc in Nanomedicine by Research aims to offer high quality teaching content, delivered by leading experts in the field of nanomedical research, all employed by and leading their research teams at the University of Manchester.

Nowadays, nanomedicine has hundreds of products in the clinic or under clinical trials, covering all major disease areas including cancer, or cardiovascular, neurodegenerative, musculoskeletal and inflammatory disorders. Enabling technologies in many healthcare areas, nanomedicine is already accounting for approximately 80 marketed products, ranging from nano-delivery systems (including most recently developed mRNA vaccines against SARS-CoV2) and pharmaceuticals to medical imaging, diagnostics and biomaterials.

The Nanomedicine course appeals to all sectors in life sciences and could therefore attract undergraduate students with different backgrounds. We aim to equip our graduates with transferable skills that are highly valued in the workplace and train them to work in both industry and academia (by pursuing PhDs after successful completion of the course).

Combining interdisciplinary teaching with cutting edge laboratory-based research, the University of Manchester MSc in Nanomedicine by Research is conceived as a programme designed to provide robust scientific understanding of this fast-growing research area. This programme is aligned with two of the main research beacons at the University of Manchester: Advanced Materials and Cancer.

Specific Aims and Learning Outcomes of the MSc Programme

The MSc in Nanomedicine by Research aims to provide the following learning outcomes to students:

  • Demonstrate an understanding of the use of nanomaterials in medicine, with emphasis on nano-bio interactions, principles of nanosafety and nanotoxicology, the use of nanotechnology to improve detection and treatment of disease, nanomedicine-enhanced cancer immunotherapy, biomedical imaging and treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.
  • Develop critical appraisal skills through critical analysis of peer reviewed articles and reviews. Students will be able to analyse current advances, issues and controversies in the field, critically analyse the data, formulate and defend scientific opinion and develop academic writing skills.
  • Perform an extensive lab-based project that will prepare for PhD study, specialist clinical training or a career in related industries, including pharmaceutical, biotechnology and tissue engineering sectors.

The programme consists of four core compulsory taught units (4 x 15 credits) and two research projects:

1. Introduction to Nanomedicine – 15 credits

2. Advances in Nanomedicine Research – 15 credits

3. Laboratory Skills Unit – 15 credits

4. Research Methods Unit – 15 credits

5. Research Project 1 (RP1: literature review + project proposal) – 30 credits

6. Research Project 2 (RP2: research project) – 90 credits

A copy of the programme specification is available on the Nanomedicine Virtual Common Room on Blackboard.



Programme Staff

The core teaching staff on the course are listed below:

Dr Sandra Vranic, Program Director, Lecturer, Nano-Cell Biology Team Leader

A picture containing person, indoor, person, ceiling Description automatically generated Sandra obtained her BSc Degree in Molecular Biology and Physiology at the University of Belgrade, Serbia in 2007. After graduation she completed her MRes Degree in Toxicology at the University Paris Diderot – Paris 7, France. She pursued her PhD in Toxicology in the Laboratory of Molecular and Cellular Responses to Xenobiotics at the University Paris Diderot – Paris 7. She focused on interactions of manufactured engineered nanoparticles with cells, especially on the mechanisms of their internalization and subsequent cellular effects. After her PhD, Sandra obtained Japanese Society for Promotion of Science (JSPS) Postdoctoral Fellowship at Nagoya University and Tokyo University of Science in Japan, where she focused on the effects of silica nanoparticles on mice and zebrafish models. She joined the Nanomedicine Lab in January 2015 as a Marie Curie Research Fellow studying carbon-based nanocapsules filled with radiometals aimed for biomedical applications in the areas of cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Sandra’s team explores interactions of nanomaterials with cells focusing on deciphering interactions with plasma membrane, cellular uptake pathways and intracellular trafficking/subcellular localisation. She is interested in developing and using simple (2D monocultures) and advanced in vitro models (human lung, brain and glioblastoma organoids) to unravel biological effects of nanomaterials, as well as to tailor nanomedicine-based therapies guided by the way how nanomaterials interact with cells.

Dr Marilena Hadjidemetriou, Program Co-Director, Lecturer, Nano-Omics Team Leader

A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated with low confidence Marilena obtained her BSc in Pharmacy at the University of Athens, Greece in 2012. In 2013 she completed with Distinction the MSc in Drug Delivery at the UCL School of Pharmacy, University College London. Her research project focused on the use of peptide nanofibres for the delivery of siRNA. Marilena joined the Nanomedicine Lab as a PhD student at the University of Manchester working on the development of the nanoparticle protein corona as a tool for cancer diagnostics.

After her PhD, Marilena obtained a postdoctoral fellowship by a Medical Research Council (MRC) Momentum Award to work on the discovery of novel biomarkers in Alzheimers disease. In December 2018, she became Research Fellow and Team Leader in Nano-Omics and in January 2020 she was appointed as Lecturer in NanoOmics.

Marilena’s team aims to generate fundamental knowledge about the interaction of nanomaterials with blood components. The mission of her team is to exploit the bio-nano interface in order to develop nanoparticle-based ‘liquid biopsy’ platforms. The ultimate goal is to unveil novel biomarker panels for early disease detection and to untangle underlying biological processes and molecular pathways.

Professor Kostas Kostarelos, Professor in Nanomedicine

A picture containing person, person, wall, indoor Description automatically generated Kostas read Chemistry at the University of Leeds and obtained his Diploma in Chemical Engineering and PhD from the Department of Chemical Engineering at Imperial College London, studying the steric stabilization of liposomes using block copolymer molecules. He carried out his postdoctoral training in various medical institutions in the United States.

He was Assistant Professor of Genetic Medicine & Chemical Engineering in Medicine at Cornell University Weill Medical College when he relocated to the UK as the Deputy Director of Imperial College Genetic Therapies Centre in 2002. In 2003 Professor Kostarelos joined the Centre for Drug Delivery Research at the UCL School of Pharmacy as the Deputy Head of the Centre. He was promoted to the Personal Chair of Nanomedicine and Head of the Centre in 2007. The entire Nanomedicine Lab was embedded within the Faculty of Medical and Human Sciences and the National Graphene Institute at the University of Manchester in 2013.

Kostas is a Professor and Chair of Nanomedicine at the University of Manchester, Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health and a Severo Ochoa Distinguished Professor at the Catalan Institute of Nanoscience & Nanotechnology (ICN2) in Barcelona, Spain. He has been invited Fellow of the Royal Society of Chemistry (FRSC), Fellow of the Royal Society of Medicine (FRSM), and Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA) all in the United Kingdom. In 2010 he was awarded the Japanese Society for the Promotion of Science (JSPS) Professorial Fellowship with the National Institute of Advanced Industrial Science and Technology (AIST) in Tsukuba, Japan.

Dr Cyrill Bussy, Senior Lecturer, Nano-Inflammation Team Leader

A person smiling for the camera Description automatically generated with medium confidence Cyrill obtained his MSc Degree in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Technology, Compiègne (UTC), France. He then pursued a PhD in Toxicology at the Radio-Toxicology Laboratory of the French National Institute for Radioprotection and Nuclear Safety. His PhD studies focused on the neurochemical and neurobehavioural effects of chronic ingestion of uranium in rat brains. After a postdoctoral project on the biocompatibility of innovative nanocoatings for implants and prosthesis at the UTC, he moved to the French National Institute of Health and Medical Research (INSERM) at the Faculty of Medicine Mondor-Créteil. During this time he evaluated how the physico-chemical properties of carbon nanotubes may influence their biological impact on pulmonary macrophages. Cyrill joined the Nanomedicine Lab in January 2010 as a visiting post-doctoral scientist and was awarded a Marie Curie Fellowship in 2011, to work on the pros and cons of using carbon nanotubes for brain drug delivery. Upon successful completion of his Fellowship in 2013, Cyrill joined the University of Manchester as a Lecturer in Nanosafety.

The research in Cyrill’s team aims at understanding the physicochemical properties of materials or conditions of the nano-bio interactions that make materials toxic or biocompatible. In recent years, the research of the NanoInflammation team has focused on the innate and adaptive immune responses in different tissues after injection, inhalation or ingestion of nanomaterials. The team is not only studying the impact of materials on cells and tissues but also the in situ fate and evolution of nanomaterials with time.

Dr Rob Wykes, Senior Lecturer, Nano-Neuro Team Leader

A person sitting in a room Description automatically generated with low confidence Rob graduated from Edinburgh University with a 1st class BSc(Hons) and the class prize for Physiology. He conducted his PhD “Calmodulin regulation of calcium channels and neurotransmitter release in bovine adrenal chromaffin cells” in the department of Cell Physiology and Pharmacology at the University of Leicester and subsequently characterised TRP channel and P2X receptor expression in human lung mast cells. He held a post-doctoral position at Northwestern University, Chicago performing brain slice electrophysiology and 2-photon imaging experiments to gain insight into the cellular mechanisms underlying neuronal and circuit changes in rodent models of Alzheimer’s disease. He also used viral-vector mediated expression of optogenetic constructs to selectively stimulate cholinergic axonal projections in the cortex.

Returning to the UK he worked as a senior post-doctoral researcher in the Department of Clinical and Experimental Epilepsy at the UCL Queen Square Institute of Neurology. He developed several gene therapy strategies for drug-resistant epilepsy and optimised a video-telemetry system to permit long-term continuous recordings from freely moving rodents. In 2015 he was awarded a Junior Research Fellowship from Epilepsy Research UK and developed with Dr Federico Rossi in the lab of Prof Matteo Carandini an approach to perform calcium imaging of seizures and spreading depolarisations in awake mice. In 2018 he was awarded a Senior Research Fellowship funded by the Worshipful Company of Pewterers and started his independent laboratory and research group. He joined the Nanomedicine Lab at the University of Manchester in April 2020 as a part-time Senior Lecturer and NanoNeuro Team Leader.

Rob’s team aims to utilise implanted graphene-based technologies (transistor arrays and stimulating electrodes) to gain a better understanding of neurological disease pathology and to offer novel therapeutic options. The NanoNeuro Team has considerable experience with imaging modalities and in viral vector-mediated manipulation of brain cells. They aim to complement graphene transistor recordings by genetically manipulating cells using a targeted viral approach and/or by simultaneous imaging techniques, such as widefield calcium imaging.

Dr Thomas Kisby, Senior Researcher, Nano-Therapeutics Team Leader

A person in a blue shirt Description automatically generated with low confidence Tom obtained a BSc in Medical Sciences at the University of Leeds in 2015. Tom joined the Nanomedicine Lab as a PhD student funded by the EPSRC & MRC Centre for Doctoral Training in Regenerative Medicine at the University of Manchester. His PhD project investigated in vivo cell reprogramming as a strategy to enhance tissue repair and regeneration using adenoviral vectors for gene transfer. In December 2019 he was recruited as a postdoctoral researcher funded by an EPSRC International Centre-to-Centre of Excellence grant between the Universities of Manchester and Harvard. He was appointed as Senior Researcher and Team Leader of the NanoTherapeutics Team in June 2021.

Tom’s team aims to exploit the properties of nanoparticles and their interactions with cells and tissues for the development of safe and effective medicines, using clinically-relevant in vivo disease models. The team has primarily focussed on development of novel nanomedicine based cancer therapies with a particular focus on brain cancer and immunotherapy. Tom and the NanoTherapeutics team have significant experience in using preclinical in vivo models of cancer and most of their efforts are focussed on using these models (or cells derived from them) to test the efficacy and safety of novel nanoimmunotherapies toward their clinical translation.

Research Project Dissertations

The research project dissertation (RP2) involves working closely with your supervisor to develop and implement an empirical research project. Details of what is involved, and of how and when to submit the dissertation are provided in Section B. The University’s Guidance for the presentation of Taught Dissertations can be found on the A-Z of Student Services. This guidance tends to change annually, so confirm with the dissertation unit lead that you are using the correct version. It is useful to note that the Faculty no longer requires submission of a printed dissertation, although you may want to print and bind your own personal copy. Unlike PhD theses at the University, MSc dissertations are not routinely made “open access”. We often deal with projects involving confidential data; if that is the case with your project, you should discuss with your supervisor appropriate measures to protect confidentiality.

Supervisory Arrangements

Each student’s progress will be ultimately under the direction of the Programme Directors. At the beginning of the dissertation unit (RP1) students will be provided with a list of available academic supervisors, their topic areas and potential projects. On the basis of this information, students will be encouraged to speak to individual members of staff to discuss project ideas. Students will be given a few weeks in order to select supervisors/projects/research areas of their choice. Please note: it is not always possible to allocate students to the academic supervisor of choice, but every attempt will be made to match students to a research area of their choice.


Each student will be supervised by one academic supervisor. Supervision is governed by the University Manual of Academic Procedures, which outlines in more detail the responsibilities of the Supervisor and the Student. Briefly, the responsibilities of the Supervisor include: giving guidance about the nature of research and the standard expected; the planning of the research programme; and pointing the Student towards relevant literature and other sources of information.

The relationship between the Student and their Supervisor is of central importance. Both the Student and the Supervisor have a responsibility to ensure that the dissertation is completed within the prescribed period of the programme. Supervisors and students should establish at their initial meeting clear and explicit expectations of each other in order to minimise the risks and problems of misunderstanding, personality clashes, inadequate supervision and unsatisfactory work. Timetables for Progress Monitoring meetings must be closely observed.


Each student will also be allocated an advisor. The role of the Advisor is not in any way meant to disturb the special relationship between Student and Supervisor. However, if a student feels the need to discuss matters, whether academic or otherwise, with another person, the Advisor will be available. Such discussions can be in the absence of the Supervisor outside of the framework of the formal meetings and confidential.

If you have any queries or concerns at any time during your period of study, there are a range of people you can approach:

  • Your Student Representatives
  • The Course Administrator (……)
  • Your Supervisor
  • Your Advisor
  • The Student Support Officer (……..)
  • The Programme Director (Dr Sandra Vranic)
  • The Consortium PGT Lead (Prof. Ellen Schafheutle)
  • The Head of Division (Prof. Jayne Lawrence)

Course Assessments

Full details of modes of assessment for each Course Unit are provided in Section B.

The programmes contain a range of both formative and summative assessment tasks which have been designed to establish students’ knowledge and understanding of the stated learning outcomes for the course unit.

Formative Assessments

  • These are developmental assessments which assess your learning as you work through the unit and whenever possible form part of the preparatory work for, and link to the summative assessments.
  • Formative assessments do not contribute towards the final mark but are an important form of your assessment in that feedback from these assessments will enable you to develop and improve before moving on to the summative assessment.
  • Formative assessments are marked as a pass or fail, feedback will be offered to guide your learning.
  • You must attempt all formative assessments within a course unit and if you do not pass you should discuss your learning needs with the course unit lead.

Summative Assessments

  • Each unit includes at least one summative assessment. These have been designed to assess your learning, knowledge and understanding, as well as the practice-based application of it.
  • Each assessment task is allocated a percentage weighting towards the final mark.
  • The minimum weighting of any individual summative assessment will be 10%.

Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations for Students

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

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

Please find below the link to the degree regulations:

The following guidance should be read in conjunction with the Introduction to the Postgraduate Degree Regulations for Students:

Criteria of Levels of Achievement

To obtain a pass for the Postgraduate Certificate you are required to successfully pass 60 credits, to pass the Postgraduate Diploma you require 120 credits, and for the Master’s you are required to successfully pass 180 credits. You must achieve a mark of 50% in all summative assessment components within a course unit to achieve a pass.

You will be eligible for the award of a distinction at Master’s level provided you achieve an average mark of 70% or more, based on the weighted programme as a whole. If credit has been awarded as a result of referral, you will not be eligible for the award of distinction.

You will be eligible for the award of a merit at Master’s level provided you achieve an average mark of 60% or more, based on the weighted programme as a whole. If credit has been awarded as a result of referral, you may still be eligible for the award of merit.


Where the overall unit mark is below the compensation zone (40% for Master’s and 30% for Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate) OR the number of compensatable fails (30 credits for Master’s/Diploma and 15 credits for Postgraduate Certificate) has been exceeded, reassessment may be taken.

Reassessment as a result of a fail is known as a “Referral”. Reassessment as a result of approved and verified mitigating circumstances is known as “Deferral” and may be permitted where students are reassessed as a first attempt, for which no penalty applies.

Students may be referred in up to half of the total taught credits. The combined total number of credits referred and compensated cannot exceed half the taught credits. Decisions with regard to which components should be reassessed are made by the Examination Board. When a student is referred they will normally be permitted to retake the assessment/exam on one further occasion.

At the recommendation of the Board of Examiners, students will normally be allowed one resubmission of a failed dissertation or project and this will normally be within four months of the date of the publication of the result.

The pass mark for a reassessment is the same as the first attempt (i.e. 50% for master’s and 40% for Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate). When a reassessment is passed, the mark is capped at the lowest compensable fail mark (i.e. 40R for Master’s and 30R for Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate), unless the previous mark was within the compensation zone, in which case the original mark will stand with a suffix ‘R’. This mark is used in the weighted average/total mark for the final award. The capped mark is applied to the whole unit and not the failed component.

Referrals may also be compensated providing the number of quota of compensations has not been exceeded. When a student’s referral mark is in the compensation zone (and the student/unit is eligible for compensation), the student’s mark will be capped at the lowest compensable fail mark (i.e. 40R for Master’s and 30R for Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate).

Please note that some programmes do not allow referrals. Please refer to the ‘Programme Exemptions to PGT Degree Regulations’ section of the handbook where specific exemptions applicable to the programme will be listed.

Deadlines for Assessed Work

All assessed work must be handed in at the prescribed time. Submission deadlines are published on Blackboard. Where those dates differ from those contained herein, Blackboard should be considered authoritative.


Assessment Submissions

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

All written summative assessments should be submitted via Blackboard® (the online learning system at the University of Manchester, see details about introduction to Blackboard below) through SafeAssign®. All written summative assessments must be submitted anonymously, only displaying your student ID.

Submission deadline dates are published on Blackboard® for each course unit.

We urge you to attempt to submit your assessment early in order to address any problems before the deadline.

Assessments must be submitted within the specified deadline. If there is a problem which prevents you submitting the assessment on time you must bring this to the attention of the Assessment and Progression Administrator promptly and before the assessment submission date. Depending on the length of time you require to complete the assessment you will then need to apply for an extension of up to a maximum of one week for circumstances such as acute illness (see paragraph on Extensions for full details). If you are experiencing longer term problems you should follow the mitigating circumstances route (see Section 5.5 mitigating circumstances).

The Faculty eLearning team have produced a short introduction to Blackboard for new students.  The recording is hosted in two places: the VLS and on YouTube:

Late Submissions

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 calendar 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 re-sit the assessment as the original mark can be taken in lieu of a re-sit/referral and normal re-sit/referral procedures will apply. Further information and examples can be found in the Policy and associated Guidance documents below.

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 procedures 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


Students can only make requests for extensions and mitigating circumstances if the requests are accompanied by appropriate supporting documentation and using the correct form.

Requests must also be made more than 1 working day (by 12pm, midday) prior to the submission deadline

How do I apply?

Please note that only 1 extension per assessment per attempt is available. If you are granted an extension and still unable to submit by the extension deadline, you need to submit a Mitigating Circumstances Form (see information above).

Students should complete and submit an Extension Request Form no later than 1 working day (by 12pm, midday) prior to the submission deadline. You should state the amount of extra time you require to complete your work by adding the date you feel you can complete by, the Student Support and Wellbeing team along with the Examinations Officer will agree on an acceptable deadline taking into account the marking timeframes of the course unit. The link to the form can also be found on the front page of any online submission area on the course units on blackboard. If you are unable to meet the agreed extension deadline, no further extension can be granted, however you can complete a mitigating circumstances application if there have been circumstances affecting you following your request for an extension.

You must submit evidence to support your application and send to this to You can see examples of appropriate evidence above under

‘What evidence do I need?’

Please note extensions cannot be granted on exams.

Provisional extensions can be granted in exceptional circumstances where evidence cannot be sought initially. However, if the requested evidence is not submitted before the provisional extension submission date, the extension will become null and void.

Once an extension is confirmed the student will be notified by email to their student email address. It is therefore important that students regularly check their account for important programme and assessment-related information.

Please note that as extensions fall outside the original marking period this may result in a longer marking period.

Automatic 1 week extension for DASS registered Students:

As part of your support plan you may be eligible for an automatic extension of 7 days for assessed written work. The Assessment and Progression team will already have been advised of this, and it will not be necessary for you to submit an application for mitigating circumstances if you are able to submit your work within the original deadline. If the circumstances directly relating to your disability mean that you will need additional time beyond the automatic extension of 1 week, you must submit an Extension Request Form. Please note that automatic extensions do not apply to group-work, presentations or other forms of assessment, and you must submit a mitigating circumstances application if you are unable to meet the deadline for anything other than assessed coursework.

If you have any questions, please contact the Student Support and Well-being team, you can drop in to see them in the SHS Student Hub, ground floor of the Jean McFarlane Building, or email them at, or telephone: 0161 306 7812.

Mitigating Circumstances

Please read this advice in conjunction with the University’s Mitigating Circumstances Policy:

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/or examinations.

How do I apply?

The link for the Mitigating Circumstances Form can be found here Mitigating Circumstances Form, and on the front page of any online submission area on the course units on blackboard.

You must submit evidence to support your application (further information below). Please send this to

If you do not have access to supporting evidence at the time of completing the form, please note this on your summary of circumstances and complete the form within the required deadline and evidence can be emailed when available.

What types of circumstances are normally accepted or not accepted?

Possible mitigating circumstances include:

  • significant illness or injury; or worsening of an ongoing illness or disability, including mental health conditions; (please see the following DASS webpage for examples of disabilities:
  • the death or critical/significant illness of a close family member/dependant;
  • significant family or personal crises or major financial problems leading to acute stress; and
  • absence from the University for public service, for example, jury service.

These lists are examples; other circumstances can also be considered

Circumstances that will not normally be regarded as grounds for mitigation include:

  • holidays, moving house and events that were planned or could reasonably have been expected;
  • assessments that are scheduled close together;
  • misreading the timetable or misunderstanding the requirements for assessments;
  • inadequate planning and time management;
  • failure, loss or theft of a computer or printer that prevents submission of work on time; students should back up work regularly and not leave completion so late that they cannot find another computer or printer;
  • the act of religious observance;
  • consequences of paid employment (except in some special cases for part-time students);
  • exam stress or panic attacks not diagnosed as illness or supported by medical evidence; and
  • disruption in an examination room during the course of an assessment which has not been brought to the attention of, or recorded by, the invigilators (including instances such as fire alarms or other noise disruption)

Pregnancy: events may arise during pregnancy that may constitute mitigating circumstances, and these need to be judged on a case-by-case basis. It is recommended by the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), that, at a minimum, students are required to take two weeks’ compulsory maternity-related absence, or four weeks if they are on placement in a factory. This is in line with employment law, and is to ensure the health and safety of the mother following birth.

If a student has already applied for and received an extension, to be considered for mitigating circumstances, they would need to provide additional evidence stating that the circumstances were ongoing throughout the extension period.

Students who are registered with the Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS)

If you need to apply for mitigating circumstances due to issues directly related to your disability, you do not need to provide any additional supporting evidence, but you must provide a detailed explanation on the application form of how your disability is specifically affecting your studies at the time. It is not sufficient to indicate only that you are registered with the DASS. Additionally, if you feel that your disability has been exacerbated by an event (such as bereavement or a change of medication) then you must still provide evidence of the event itself. A Disability Advisor from the DASS will be part of the Mitigating Circumstances Committee that will consider your application. When considering your application the Committee may check on your engagement with any support you have been offered by the DASS. If support is available but you have chosen not to engage, this may be taken into consideration and reflected in the Committee’s recommendation. If you are registered with DASS but need to apply for mitigating circumstances for an issue that is not directly related to your disability, you must provide supporting evidence (see below for details).

 What evidence do I need?

You should provide as much supporting information as possible with your mitigating circumstances request. This helps us to understand the severity of the situation and assess the best solution. All evidence will be treated confidentially.

You may include any evidence that supports your request, such as:

  • Extracts from your medical notes (you can request these from your GP practice)
  • Copy of prescription or photo of name label on prescribed medication
  • Appointment cards from medical unit or hospital admissions letter
  • Confirmation text of medical appointment
  • Communications from a school or care facility confirming that they are closed or the person you care for is unable to attend
  • An obituary or letter from a family member, in the case of bereavement
  • Police, security or insurance report
  • Press or media report
  • Internal confirmation of existing engagement with our counselling / Advice and Response service

Mitigating Circumstances Committee

Mitigating circumstances committees take place prior to an exam board to consider submitted applications. The purpose of the committee is to establish the severity of the mitigating circumstances and to determine if they might have a negligible or significant effect on the outcomes of the assessment.

How will my application be considered?

The Mitigating Circumstances Committee will assess whether to accept or reject your application based on the information and supporting evidence you have provided.

Following the meeting the student will be informed of the outcome in writing via email. This will also be accompanied by a ‘Mitigating Circumstances Information Sheet’ with what happens next guidance.

If my application is accepted how will mitigation be applied?

Late submission of coursework (excluding PGT dissertations):

When coursework is submitted after the deadline, the student should complete the online mitigating circumstances form explaining the reasons for the late submission, together with appropriate third-party supporting documentary evidence (e.g. medical or other). Any coursework submitted after the submission deadline will be subject to the penalties outlined in the late submission policy (available in the Assessed Coursework Guidelines) unless the mitigation is accepted. If students have valid mitigating circumstances to explain the late submission and the Mitigating Circumstances Committee accept that the circumstances warranted the length of time taken to submit the work, then it will be the recommendation of the Mitigating Circumstances Committee that the penalty is waived and full marks are reinstated.

Students are advised to aim to submit outstanding coursework at the earliest opportunity and in any case within ten working days of the deadline. If work is submitted after that date it will receive a mark of 0 regardless of mitigation. If an application for mitigating circumstances is not accepted by the Mitigating Circumstances Committee (i.e. rejected), then late penalties will be imposed.

Late submission PGT dissertations:

Students are advised to aim to submit outstanding PGT dissertation at the earliest opportunity and in any case no later than twenty working days after the deadline. Students should liaise with the regarding difficulties in meeting these deadlines. When dissertations are submitted after the deadline, the student should complete the online Mitigating Circumstances Form explaining the reasons for the late submission, together with appropriate third-party supporting documentary evidence (e.g. medical or other). Any dissertation submitted after the submission deadline will be subject to the penalties outlined in the late submission policy (unless the mitigation is accepted).

If students have valid mitigating circumstances to explain the late submission and the Mitigating Circumstances Committee accept that the circumstances warranted the length of time taken to submit the work, then it will be the recommendation of the Mitigating Circumstances Committee that the penalty is waived and full marks are reinstated

If an application for mitigating circumstances is not accepted by the Mitigating Circumstances Committee (i.e. rejected), then late penalties will be imposed.

Mitigation will not result in the changing of any marks.

Instead, the Board of Examiners will note how much of the unit was affected. Normally students will be offered a first sit opportunity. In very serious cases, the Board may also agree to apply general mitigation to your overall performance for an academic year or offer an opportunity to repeat the year.

Missed examinations or non-submission of coursework:

In the case of a missed examination, this will normally be re-scheduled for the August examination period.

In the case of a non-submission of coursework, you will be issued with a new submission date which will be set by the Board of Examiners.

How will I find out the result of my application?

You will be notified of the outcome of your application by email to your student email address. All marks are provisional until the Final Examinations Board. The Committee will recommend to the Board of Examiners whether mitigation should be applied.

Students do not have the right to appeal against the recommendation of a Mitigating Circumstances Committee, although they can appeal against the final decision of an Examination Board, or equivalent body, under regulation XIX (Academic Appeals Procedure) once the results have been published.

What support might I be offered after submitting a mitigating circumstances form?

The Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) team can help you to access the relevant support services within the University. If you have disclosed personal/medical circumstances on your application the SSW team may contact you and ask for your permission to complete a referral to the relevant University support service.

You will notice on the form that you are asked to declare that you understand and consent to the University sharing any relevant personal data about you between departments (e.g. School, Mitigating Circumstances Panel, DASS), based on the information disclosed on the form.


Word Limits for Assessed Work

In accordance with the University Policy on Marking:

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

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

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

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

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

Word limits should not include text in the bibliography/reference list, figure legends and tables and appendices (if relevant). However, students cannot use figure legends or text within tables to try and side-step the word limit (i.e. figure legends and table must be of appropriate length) and must be warned that if they do so they will be penalised.

Where assignments have high numeric content (e.g. statistics) then a judgement should be made as to whether it is reasonable for this ruling to apply.

Where any mark reductions result in a fail, the unit will be treated as a failed unit in accordance with the University’s Degree Regulations.

Submitting Work

All assignments must be submitted electronically via Turnitin. The published deadlines for assessments all relate to the electronic submission which is done via Blackboard, on the Turnitin system. You must submit by the deadline published.

NB: Please remember you can only upload 1 document so you cannot save your references as a separate document.


For Blackboard online submissions, you MUST put your ID number first in your assignment title and save your document using your ID Number (e.g. 7123456 Assignment 1).

DO NOT save the work as ‘Essay’ or as the title of the work.

When creating your document please ensure your ID number is on each page (in header or footer) and your name does not appear on the document.

The electronic copy is your official record of submission.

Turnitin System

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. Where appropriate, summative assessed written work, including dissertations and projects, should be submitted online and subjected to plagiarism detection software.

The School 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.

The Faculty eLearning team have produced a short introduction to Blackboard for new students.  The recording is hosted in two places: the VLS and on YouTube:

Example Marking Scheme

A generalised marking scheme for examinations and assignments to give an indication of the levels required for the award of a range of marks is given below.

Classification Mark as


Distinction 100



Perfect critique with outstanding degree of originality. Provides novel insights, including the ability to apply

concepts to related fields.

Excellent, well organised critique with clear evidence of understanding. Contains examples of original ideas and

supplementary reading.

Outstanding. Shows clear understanding of topic, examples of supplementary reading and cross-referencing of material.

Very well presented.

Merit 69


Very good. Well-structured and presented report that is able to convey the central aspects of the tutorial material.

Good. Comprehensive answer with accurate facts but largely limited to material covered in the tutorial class.

Pass 59


Adequate answer with some errors or omissions. Limited to tutorial class material.
Unacceptable 49


Incomplete/inadequate answer with contains relevant information but demonstrates an incomplete understanding of

tutorial material.

Clearly incomplete/inadequate answer with sparse relevant information and poor understanding of tutorial material.

Fail 39


Deficient answer with many inaccuracies and little evidence of understanding of the tutorial topic.

No relevant material presented whatsoever.

Feedback for Assessments

The purpose of feedback is to provide constructive criticism and encouragement so that you can improve your standards as time goes on. Thus, in addition to marks we will give you written feedback on most of your assessed coursework and give it back to you.

All observed assessments will be double marked. Marks awarded for your assessments (i.e. everything which contributes to your final degree classification) are subject to moderation by the examination board and the external examiner. Consequently, all marks given to students before the final examiners’ meeting has taken place must be regarded as provisional. Shortly after the examinations meetings we will publish final results and post out a breakdown of your marks.

When you have graduated you may obtain a detailed official written account of all your examination results (called a transcript) from the Student Services Centre on payment of a small fee. This carries the University stamp and is recognised for such purposes as admission to a further course of study at another institution (in the UK or abroad), membership of professional bodies, exemption from sections of professional examinations and so on. If you need a transcript, contact the SSC on 0161 275 5000.

Return of Marked Work

Understandably students are keen to know their results and to receive back written work with comments. However, there must inevitably be a trade-off between the diligence of the marking process and the speed at which it takes place. Marks from marked work must also be entered into our records, and this process is slowed by the need for painstaking checking to ensure accuracy. Students will be notified by email once the work has been marked and grades are available. We will endeavour to mark work and give feedback to students 15 working days after the hand-in date.

However, occasionally there may be delays due to staff illness or other unforeseeable factors.

The Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students can be accessed at the following link:

How To Find Your Marks

Once work has been marked you will receive an email from the programme administrator to tell you that the marks have been released. Work submitted via Blackboard will usually show a mark along with feedback on the Blackboard system, through GradeMark.

You can also access marks by logging into your MyManchester account and going to My Services/Self Service and Student Centre. You can choose ‘Assignments’ from the drop-down box and choose the relevant unit. Your Final mark for the unit doesn’t appear until the unit is fully completed and marks have been through an exam board.


Examinations run in the standard University exam periods. The University publishes the dates of each examination period two years in advance, please refer to:

Please be aware that you may be tested on any topic from within a unit. Do not presume that because a piece of coursework has covered one area of a unit that it will not also appear in the exam. Past papers for some modules (where appropriate) will be published on Blackboard. Do not assume that exams will take the same format as previous years. Academic staff should not indicate what will/will not feature in an exam as this may not be accurate. Staff may have submitted questions that may not, necessarily, appear on the final exam paper. You should presume that anything can appear on the exam paper unless informed officially by the Programme Administrator or Programme Directors.

Recording Lectures

Please do not assume you can record lectures with a voice recorder or other device. Please do not record lectures or other teaching sessions without obtaining the prior permission of the teacher. This does not apply to DASS registered students.


Attendance at taught classes and supervision tutorials is compulsory and registers are taken. If your attendance is unsatisfactory then you will be reported to the MSc Programme Committee and, ultimately, to the Pharmacy and Vision Sciences Postgraduate Consortium Committee. It is your responsibility to make sure you sign the register if one is circulated at a teaching session. Of course we realise that students will sometimes be absent for very good reasons due to personal or family circumstances, or illness; if this happens to you we will only know if you tell us, and we ask that you account for any period of absence which involves missing lectures or any other working session. In case of illness you should supply a doctor’s certificate or, if the illness is brief, a self-certification form can be obtained. If you are absent for other reasons then you should write a letter to the Programme Director, submitted via the Programmes Administrator, explaining the circumstances. Medical certificates or letters should be given in person or sent to Whatever your reason for being away, please inform your supervisor or academic advisor about it and make any necessary arrangements to catch up with work you have missed. If you have failed to hand in a piece of assessed work as a result of your absence, be sure you have complied with the rules outlined above for late submission.

The Programme Committee monitors all cases of absence, and students who do not participate satisfactorily will be asked to meet the Committee and give good reason for their lack of engagement.

The University Policy on Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students can be found at Regulation XX: Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students.

Monitoring Progress – Dissertations

In order to monitor their progress, students will have regular, scheduled meetings with their dissertation supervisor. Progress forms should be completed at these meetings. These meetings are in addition to the normal dissertation supervisory meetings between the student and supervisor, of which there should be a minimum of 12 per academic year (6 for part-time students).

In order to provide opportunity for reflection, students will be required to complete a Progress Form at each meeting with their supervisor which must be signed by both parties following the meeting. This form should be used as the basis for discussion in the meetings. After each meeting, the student will be required to submit a copy of the form to the MSc Administrator by the dates specified above, to ensure that School records are complete and up-to date.

Requests for Interruption

The course is designed to proceed according to the set timetable; there is an expectation that you complete the work within a defined limit. This is particularly true of the dissertation project, which operates on deadlines and project management. Full-time students should complete the programme in one calendar year. Part-time students should complete with two-and-a-half or at most three years.

However the University recognises that it is sometimes necessary, in unfortunate circumstances, for people to interrupt their attendance. The regulations refer to this as “interruption”. An interruption allows students the chance to recover from such things as ill health; it is NOT a device to allow students to take time off because they fancy a break.

If approved, interruption would normally be granted for a period of 12 months. Thus a student would leave the University on a certain date and resume their studies on the anniversary of that date. Shorter periods of interruption are possible, but since they inevitably involve repeating some of the programme it is unusual for the University to allow them.

If you wish to interrupt you should first discuss it informally with the Programme Directors.  If you decide to continue with your application, you must complete the online interruption form and send your supporting evidence to the Wellbeing Team at, stating your name, University ID number and programme.  You can also contact the Programmes Support Team if you need further advice on the process.

Withdrawal from studies

If for any reason you want to withdraw from your studies, please contact the Wellbeing Team at, for further guidance. We will ask you to give notification of your withdrawal in writing, and you may be invited to speak to a member of academic staff before your withdrawal is processed. Please note that you may be liable for part or whole of the tuition fees due and/or an administrative charge if you decide to withdraw once teaching has started.

Academic Appeals

Students have a right of appeal against a final decision of an Examination Board, or a progress committee, or a graduate committee or equivalent body which affects their academic status or progress in the University.

Students thinking of appealing should first discuss the matter informally with an appropriate member of staff, in order to better understand the reason for the result or decision and to determine whether the matter can be resolved informally by the School prior to making a formal appeal.

Should you wish to proceed to a formal appeal, this must be submitted within the timeframe outlined in the Academic Appeals Procedure to the Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail:

The Academic Appeals Procedure (Regulation XIX) and associated documents, including the form on which formal appeals should be submitted, can be found at


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

Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first (see the Student Complaints 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

General University information on the Conduct and Discipline of Students can be found at

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

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

Sharing Information

The University may share appropriate information relating to your health and/or conduct with external organisations such as your professional employer (for example, relevant NHS Trust Professional and Statutory Regulatory Bodies (PSRB), placement and training providers and/or regulator (such as the General Pharmaceutical Council or the Royal Pharmaceutical Society)). This may occur where concerns in relation to your health and/or conduct arise and the University considers it necessary for them to be disclosed to one or more of the above organisations.

The University’s Privacy Notice for Registered Students (which is accessible via this link: includes further information about how the University may use and process your personal data, including the legal basis and conditions which may be relevant to such processing (see section 6 of the Privacy Notice). The University will only disclose special category data (such as data relating to your health) to a third party organisation where one of the additional conditions are satisfied (see section 9 of the Privacy Notice), including where processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.

Understanding Academic Malpractice

The University does not permit plagiarism or other forms of academic malpractice under any circumstances, and individuals found to have committed such an incident can expect a harsh penalty, which in some cases results in exclusion from the University. To ensure that you are fully informed about University expectations and understand your responsibilities with regard to academic malpractice, please ensure you complete mandatory academic malpractice training in the Blackboard unit SHSS60001 Introductory Courses.

A copy of the University’s Academic Malpractice Procedure can be found at the following link:

You can also access an online e-learning package on avoiding plagiarism via the University Library’s award-winning skills programme, My Learning Essentials.

If you have any doubts or further questions please contact your Educational Supervisor or Programme Director.

Election of a Student Representative

Your representation plays a vital and important part in helping us to maintain and improve the quality of the programme we deliver. Early in Semester 1, students will be asked to select one individual to represent their interests to the MSc Programme Board. The student representative will be required to attend some compulsory training and attend one staff/student liaison committee per semester alongside all MSc board meetings throughout the year. The reps will also organise group feedback sessions at the end of each semester for all students to voice opinions on the programme. The existence of a student representative does not prevent any student from addressing suggestions or problems individually with the Programme Director or Adviser, as described above.

Student Evaluations

We will ask you to complete an evaluation form at the end of each teaching block. These questionnaires are reviewed by the unit leads and the Programme Director. The responses to these evaluations will be considered when reviewing the structure and content of the programme. Your feedback is extremely important, not only for programme quality assurance but also to the University in meeting the requirements of external quality assessment.

External Examiners

External Examiners are individuals from another institution or organisation who monitor the assessment processes of the University to ensure fairness and academic standards. They ensure that assessment and examination procedures have been fairly and properly implemented and that decisions have been made after appropriate deliberation. They also ensure that standards of awards and levels of student performance are at least comparable with those in equivalent higher education institutions.

External Examiners’ reports relating to this programme will be shared with student representatives at the programme board, where 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.

The External Examiner for this programme is: Professor Martin Clift
Name of Institution: Swansea University

Position at current Institution: Professor of Biomedical Sciences

Please note that it is inappropriate for students to make direct contact with External Examiners under any circumstances, in particular with regards to a student’s individual performance in assessments. Other appropriate mechanisms are available for students, including the University’s appeals or complaints procedures and the UMSU Advice Centre. In cases where a student does contact an External Examiner directly, External Examiners have been requested not to respond to direct queries. Instead, External Examiners should report the matter to their School contact who will then contact the student to remind them of the other methods available for students. If students have any queries concerning this, they should contact their Programme Administrator.

Role and Responsibilities of Unit Leaders

  1. To develop and update the unit specification in consultation with lecturers and programme directors, ensuring a coherent selection of teaching material and assessments to fit with the overall aim of the programme and its specifications
  2. To liaise with programme administrators and the lecturers on their unit to ensure that the information on their unit in the programme handbook is accurate
  3. To liaise with programme administrators and lecturers to organise examining, marking and student feedback
  4. To develop and monitor the Blackboard E-Learning site for their unit, in liaison with lecturers for the sessions in their unit
  5. To liaise with students concerning queries relating to teaching and assessments for the unit that are not specific to an individual teaching session
  6. To attend programme meetings and the programme exam board in order to liaise with programme directors and student representatives
  7. To consider and act upon student feedback, staff feedback, and external examiner feedback, in order to modify the structure, content and processes within their unit, in discussion with the programme team

Roles and Responsibilities of Supervisors

  1. giving guidance about the nature of research and the standard expected, the planning of the research programme, literature and sources, attendance at taught classes where appropriate and about requisite techniques (including arranging for instruction where necessary);
  2. maintaining contact through regular meetings (the frequency of meetings being appropriate to the research being undertaken and agreed in advance);
  3. being accessible to the student at other appropriate times for advice and responding to difficulties raised by the student;
  4. giving detailed advice on the necessary completion dates of successive stages of the work so that the thesis may be submitted within the agreed timescale;
  5. requesting written work or reports as appropriate and returning written material with constructive criticism and in reasonable time;
  6. ensuring that for degrees where an oral examination is required the student is adequately prepared by arranging for the student to present his or her work to staff and graduate seminars.
  7. ensuring that the student is made aware when progress is not satisfactory and facilitating improvement with advice and guidance;
  8. establishing at an early stage the Supervisor’s responsibilities in relation to the student’s written work, including the nature of the guidance and comments to be offered as the work proceeds and on the draft of the thesis before it is submitted. It must be made clear to the student that research for a higher degree is undertaken within the general principle that a thesis must be the student’s own work;
  9. ensuring that at the end of each year of the course the student produces a research report, to which the Supervisor should add comments on progress. The Supervisor’s comments on progress should be signed by the student to confirm that they have been seen, before the annotated report is submitted by the Supervisor to the appropriate Supervisory body in accordance with established Graduate School procedures;
  10. making students aware of other researchers and research work in the department and Graduate School;
  11. encouraging the student to publish the research;
  12. providing pastoral support and advising students, where appropriate, of University support services;
  13. bringing to the attention of the students the health and safety regulations and academic rules, regulations and codes of practice of the University.

More detailed guidance on Health and Safety is available in the University’s Health and Safety Policy Notice UMHSP 33, available from Health and Safety Services, which interprets and applies the CVCP Note of Guidance N/93/111, “Health and Safety Responsibilities of Supervisors towards Graduate and Undergraduate students”. Guidance on specific situations is available from the staff of Health and Safety Services.

Responsibilities of the Student

  1. pursuing the programme with a positive commitment, taking full advantage of the resources and facilities offered by the academic environment and, in particular, contact with the Supervisor, other staff and research students;
  2. discussing with the Supervisor the type of guidance and comment believed to be most helpful, and agreeing a schedule of meetings;
  3. ensuring that he/she is aware of the health and safety regulations and academic rules and regulations and codes of practice of the University;
  4. successfully completing any training programme arranged within the prescribed time period;
  5. taking the initiative in raising problems or difficulties, however elementary they may seem, bearing in mind that prompt discussion and resolution of problems can prevent difficulties and disagreements at a later stage;
  6. maintaining the progress of the work in accordance with the stages agreed with the Supervisor, including in particular the presentation of written material as required, in sufficient time to allow for comments and discussion before proceeding to the next stage. Where possible, students will be given details of the work programme for the academic year at the beginning of the year;
  7. agreeing with the Supervisor the amount of time to be devoted to the research and the timing and duration of holiday periods;
  8. checking the completeness and accuracy of the text of the thesis submitted; failure to check the thesis carefully may result in the thesis being failed or cause a delay in the award of a degree.

Section B: Syllabus, Course Units and Route through the Programme


Unit Sequence Unit Code and Title
Semester 1 (Sept-Jan) PHAR66001 – Introduction to Nanomedicine

PHAR66011 – Advances in Nanomedicine Research

MEDN66111 – Laboratory skills

MEDN69910 – Research Methods

PHAR 66021 – Research Project 1

Semester 2 (Feb-May) PHAR66031 – Research Project 2


Course Units

Study Method & Unit Content

For each unit there is a unit description outlining what is required, these are listed below. Throughout your studies help and support is available from your Academic Advisor, the Programme Director and the PGT Programmes Support team. All elements of each unit must be undertaken in order to complete the unit, they are all compulsory components.

The unit descriptions and handbook provide an overall outline for the course, any further details or advice on specifics of the programme should be sought from the unit leader. Students are advised to keep the unit leader and administrator up to date on the progress of their study, including any difficulties they are encountering. Regular updates between the students and unit leader will also take place through a series of tutorials based on specific essays and coursework questions and these will be available to Distance-Learning students through on-line virtual meetings.


PHAR66001 – Introduction to Nanomedicine

Unit Lead: Dr Sandra Vranic

Title Introduction to Nanomedicine
Unit code PHAR66001
Credit rating 15 credits
Level FHEQ level 7 – master’s degree or fourth year of an integrated master’s degree
Contact hours Lectures – 30 h
Other Scheduled teaching and learning activities* Group work assignment, independent learning (solving a clinical problem using nanotechnology approach, preparation of a presentation, oral presentation), tutorial, short answer exam.
School responsible School of Health Sciences
Member of staff responsible
ECTS** 7.5 credits
Notional hours of Learning*** 150 h
  1. AIMS

The unit aims to:

Introduce nanomedicine related topics and concepts through a series of lectures in order to provide students with an in-depth understanding of nanomedicine, biological effects of nanomaterials and their exciting therapeutic, imaging and diagnostic applications. More specifically, we aim to:

– Describe how nanotechnology can be used for the delivery of therapeutics (including COVID-19 vaccine and in cancer diagnosis and therapy), bioimaging and for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases,

– Explain principles of using nanomaterials for tissue targeting,

– Demonstrate the effects of nanomaterials and nanomaterials-based therapeutic complexes within the biological milieu,

– Describe limitations and opportunities related to using nanomaterials-based therapies and imaging systems,

– Illustrate the latest advances in nanomedicine,

– Introduce the knowledge and the skills to understand concepts, formulate ideas and translate these to clinical situations, needed for a career in nanomedicine research,

– Equip students with the knowledge to propose original way to solve a clinically relevant problem through nanomedicine-based approach.


Through face-to-face lectures and assignment-based self-directed learning, the Introduction to Nanomedicine unit is designed to teach students key concepts in nanomedicine and cover the most exciting and promising clinical applications. In particular focus will be on using nanomaterials for the delivery of therapeutic molecules, including mRNA vaccine against COVID-19. We aim to provide in-depth understanding of the impact of nanomaterial’s synthesis and characterisation and biological effects on future therapeutic applications, as well as to explain how unique properties of nanomaterials (liposomes, carbon-based and 2D materials predominantly) could be exploited in bioimaging, cancer therapy and diagnosis as well as for the treatment of neurodegenerative diseases.

Students will learn through lectures and group assignment (that will require independent and group learning). Power points of the lectures and a list of relevant literature (suggested reading materials) will be available on the University of Manchester online learning system, Blackboard. Clear guidance on the group assignment, its assessment and required independent learning will be provided during a one hour tutorial. To further their understanding and learning experience, students will be encouraged to search the literature (self-directed learning) and interact as much as possible with lecturers and facilitators by asking questions and participating in discussions during contact hours.

The unit will run in Semester 1, from October till November, and two assessments will take place in December.

Assessment for this unit will consist of:

1. A 15 min group presentation. Students from each group (2-3 members per group) will be expected to integrate knowledge from the taught material and from independent research across the literature, in order to propose a nanotechnology-based approach to solve an unmet clinical need (chosen by the student). The assignment will be assessed through marking of a 15 min oral presentation prepared and delivered by all members of the group (5-7 min each) in December, where each student will be expected to equally participate in preparation, delivery and discussion.

2. A 2 hour short answer exam (online assessment in PC cluster room).

* To inform the “Key Information Set”. Defined as ‘any activity that a student has to attend or undertake at a fixed point and that has no flexibility for when it is undertaken, and where the student also has access to an available staff member’ (“Provision of Information about Higher Education: Outcomes of consultation and next steps” June 2011/18)

** ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System): There are 2 UK credits for every 1 ECT credit, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA). Therefore if a unit is worth 30 UK credits, this will equate to 15 ECT.

*** Notional hours of learning: The number of hours which it is expected that a learner (at a particular level) will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes at that level. It is expected that there will be 10 hours of notional study associated with every 1 credit achieved. Therefore if a unit is worth 30 credits, this will equate to 300 notional study hours, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA).

Category of outcome After completing the course unit, the student will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
  1. Critically understand the principles and key concepts in nanomedicine and the methodology used in nanomedical research,
  2. Explain the development and use of nanomaterials (in particular liposomes, carbon based and 2D materials) in medicine (with focus on using nanomaterials for the delivery of therapeutics, including mRNA vaccine against COVID-19, biomarker discovery and treatment of cancer and neurodegenerative diseases),
  3. Appraise the latest advances in the design of nanoscale drug delivery systems and targeting strategies,
  4. Explain the principles of nanotechnology used for biomedical imaging,
  5. Critically explore the concept of using nanoscale devices in bioelectronics and electroceuticals development,
  6. Define the core principles underpinning nano-bio interactions (at the cellular and whole organism levels),
  7. Appraise the importance of the interactions of nanomaterials-based systems with the physiological environment,
  8. Explain key principles of nanosafety and nanotoxicology,
  9. Describe the clinically available nanomaterials-based products, and those currently in clinical trials,
  10. Describe the latest advances in using nanomaterials to address unmet clinical need,
  11. Explain the ethical and societal dilemmas around use of nanotechology in medicine.
Intellectual skills
  1. Apply several research disciplines and technologies to address a specific clinical problem using nanomedicine-based approach.
Practical Skills
  1. Present new facts and concepts whilst at the same time discuss the specific topic in the broader context of nanomedicine.
Transferable skills
  1. Plan, critically reflect and evaluate learning
  2. Independently gather, synthesise and organise material from various sources (including library, electronic and online resources), and critically evaluate its significance;


  1. Schedule tasks in order of importance,
  2. Use personal resources effectively to meet challenges,
  3. Maintain independence of thought and be self-reliant,
  4. Work independently and show capacity for self-discipline, motivation and diligence,
  5. Show capacity for self-appraisal, reflection and time management.

The learning and teaching processes will take the form of 30 h of face to face lectures (maximum of 2 h in a row), 1 h of tutorial, and 120 hours of self-directed/group learning.

Assessment task Length How and when feedback is provided Weighting within unit (if relevant)
  1. Team challenge (summative assessment) consisting of a 15 minute group presentation based on information provided in lectures. Each group (2 – 3 students) is required to present an innovative solution to a major clinical problem using nanomedical approach. The assessment will be scheduled in December. Groups should arrange to meet beforehand to brainstorm ideas, prepare power point presentation and practice showcasing their unique concept through independent research and critical thinking.
Each group will deliver a 15 min PowerPoint presentation to the assessors and should be prepared to answer the questions and discuss ideas.

Each team member should be prepared to deliver 5 – 7 min of the presentation.

Panel of 3 – 5 academic staff members will assess the presentation (marking the content, presentation style, overall clarity and design of the slides, proposed idea and capacity of the students to answer the questions) and provide formal summative feedback with the assessment (students will be marked individually). Team challenge – 50%;
  1. Short answer exam (summative assessment). The exam will take place mid-December.
2 hour short answer exam. Short answer exam will be marked by a member of staff, marking will be moderated. Short answer exam – 50%.
  1. Pelaz, B., Alexiou, C., Alvarez-Puebla, R.A., Alves, F., Andrews, A.M., Ashraf, S., Balogh, L.P., Ballerini, L., Bestetti, A., Brendel, C., Bosi, S., Carril, M., Chan, W.C.W., Chen, C., Chen, X., Chen, X., Cheng, Z., Cui, D., Du, J. and Dullin, C. (2017). Diverse Applications of Nanomedicine. ACS Nano, 11(3), pp.2313–2381.
  2. Farjadian, F., Ghasemi, A., Gohari, O., Roointan, A., Karimi, M. and Hamblin, M.R. (2019). Nanopharmaceuticals and nanomedicines currently on the market: challenges and opportunities. Nanomedicine, 14(1), pp.93–126.
  3. Donahue, N.D., Acar, H. and Wilhelm, S. (2019). Concepts of nanoparticle cellular uptake, intracellular trafficking, and kinetics in nanomedicine. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 143, pp.68–96.
  4. Youn, Y.S. and Bae, Y.H. (2018). Perspectives on the past, present, and future of cancer nanomedicine. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 130, pp.3–11.
  5. Hare, J.I., Lammers, T., Ashford, M.B., Puri, S., Storm, G. and Barry, S.T. (2017). Challenges and strategies in anti-cancer nanomedicine development: An industry perspective. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 108, pp.25–38. ‌
  6. Golombek, S.K., May, J.-N., Theek, B., Appold, L., Drude, N., Kiessling, F. and Lammers, T. (2018). Tumor targeting via EPR: Strategies to enhance patient responses. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 130, pp.17–38.
  7. Riley, R.S., June, C.H., Langer, R. and Mitchell, M.J. (2019). Delivery technologies for cancer immunotherapy. Nature reviews. Drug discovery, 18(3), pp.175–196.
  8. Cheng, Z., Zaki, A.A., Hui, J.Z., Muzykantov, V.R. and Tsourkas, A. (2012). Multifunctional Nanoparticles: Cost versus benefit of adding targeting and imaging capabilities. Science (New York, N.Y.), 338(6109), pp.903–910.


PHAR66011 – Advances in Nanomedicine Research

Unit Lead: Dr Thomas Kisby

Title Advances in Nanomedicine Research
Unit code PHAR66011
Credit rating 15 credits
Level FHEQ level 7
Contact hours Tutorials – 4h
Other Scheduled teaching and learning activities* Independent study and individual written assignment (opinion/perspective article)
Co-requisite units Introduction to Nanomedicine
School responsible School of Health Sciences
Member of staff responsible
ECTS** 7.5 credits
Notional hours of Learning*** 150h
  1. AIMS

The unit aims to:

Equip students with the ability to understand the latest, ground-breaking scientific achievements through critical study of the published scientific research and apply them to the field of nanomedicine,

– Teach students how to formulate scientific opinion, present original and creative thought and communicate this accurately with a logically developed argument.


The Advances in Nanomedicine Research unit is designed to provide students with the skills to synthesise the latest ground-breaking scientific achievements (not nanotechnology focussed) and formulate opinion as to how the latest developments in science could be applied to advance research in the field of nanomedicine.

Students will learn how to communicate their opinion through a brief (no longer than 4 pages or 2,000 words) written assignment in the form of an opinion/perspective article.

The unit will run in Semester 1 (mid-October till December). In mid-October a member of staff will provide an issue of a journal (Nature, Nature Medicine, Science, Science Advances or similar). Journals proposed by the tutor will not be nanotechnology focussed, but rather communicating latest ground-breaking scientific achievements. Students will have 12 weeks to choose a topic from the selected journal, discuss it with their peers and tutor during tutorials and write an opinion/perspective article (submission in January).

There will be four tutorials (1 hour each), as a group or 1-2-1 session.

In the first meeting (group session), a member of staff will provide a journal for each student and clearly explain the unit and assessment. Clear guidance on how to write an opinion/perspective article will also be provided. Students will be expected to read all articles from the issue provided by the tutor and select one research paper that they will focus on in order to develop the idea as to how the findings from this particular research article could advance nanomedicine research. This is a quite extensive reading/writing/critical thinking exercise as students will have to dedicate at least 80h to reading articles and doing background research to support their idea.

In the second and third meeting (group session), the group facilitated by the tutor will discuss the selection made by each student and how this inspired the topic of the opinion/perspective article. In this group session all students will be expected to read articles selected by other students and participate in the discussion about the article (offering their critical opinion about it and also about the idea proposed by the student). The peer discussion will be facilitated by the tutor.

In the last tutorial (individual (1-2-1) session), feedback will be provided by a member of staff on a draft of the perspective/opinion article written by a student, focussing on the structure proposed by the student.

Assessment: the 4-pages (2000 words) opinion/perspective article will focus on the student’s opinion as to how the findings from this paper could help advance nanomedicine research. We expect students to spend at least 40h writing the perspective article.

Category of outcome After completing the course unit, the student will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
  1. Identify, debate and formulate opinion on a topic related to current scientific progress and apply this to discuss how it could advance the field of nanomedicine,
  2. Systematically synthesise the literature and other sources to provide the intellectual foundations for a full understanding of the topic,
  3. Report on the current status of research in the selected topic through a brief opinion/perspective article.
Intellectual skills Students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate critical thinking, including analysis and critical judgement on published research
  2. Synthesise and analyse information presented in the scientific literature,
  3. Critically evaluate published scientific research
  4. Make a reasoned argument for a particular point of view,
  5. Be able to draw reasoned conclusions.
Practical skills Students should be able to:

  1. Use library, electronic and online resources to conduct independent literature and information search,
  2. Use reference manager software (such as Mendeley or Reference Manager, provided by the software centre of the University of Manchester).
Transferable skills and personal qualities Students should be able to:

  1. Independently gather, synthesise and organise material from various sources (including library, electronic and online resources), and critically evaluate its significance,
  2. Create a succinct written report,
  3. Produce a written piece of work using language appropriate to a specialist readership.


  1. Schedule tasks in order of importance,
  2. Use personal resources effectively to meet challenges,
  3. Maintain independence of thought and be self-reliant,
  4. Work independently and in a group and show capacity for self-discipline, motivation and diligence,
  5. Show capacity for self-appraisal, reflection and time management.

The learning and teaching processes will take the form of four mandatory tutorials (facilitated participative sessions, in group or 1-2-1 session) and independent study.

Assessment task Length How and when feedback is provided Weighting within unit (if relevant)
Written assignment (summative) in the form of opinion/perspective article, 2,000 words long on a topic selected by the student.

Topic will be chosen from a journal proposed by a tutor. Clear guidance on the format of the article will be provided.

2,000 words. Formative feedback on the selection of the paper, draft/development of the assignment will be provided in tutorial sessions.

Assignment will be marked and summative feedback will be provided by the end of January.

  1. Instructions for authors of editorial, focus, perspective, and commentary articles:
  2. Youn, Y.S. and Bae, Y.H. (2018). Perspectives on the past, present, and future of cancer nanomedicine. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 130, pp.3–11.
  3. Hare, J.I., Lammers, T., Ashford, M.B., Puri, S., Storm, G. and Barry, S.T. (2017). Challenges and strategies in anti-cancer nanomedicine development: An industry perspective. Advanced Drug Delivery Reviews, 108, pp.25–38.

MEDN66111 – Laboratory Skills Unit

Unit Lead: Susan Taylor

Title Laboratory Skills
Unit code MEDN66111
Credit rating 15
Level 7
Contact hours 36
Pre-requisite units None
Co-requisite units None
School responsible Medical Sciences
Member of staff responsible Susan Taylor
ECT* 7.5
Notional hours of Learning** 150
  1. AIMS
Equip students with the theoretical understanding and practical skills relating to laboratory-based biomedical techniques to enable them to undertake, interpret and accurately record experimental research in the biomedical sciences.
All students MUST complete Induction Part I, Induction Part II, Workshop 4 and two further workshops from workshops 1 – 3 to complete the unit.


(part I) – basic laboratory guidance, including health and safety regulations, keeping a laboratory notebook. Biological Safety, Laboratory Health & Safety, risk assessment and management.

(part II) – Manual handling in a laboratory, including dilutions and solution preparation.

Workshop 1 – Staining techniques: histological staining, immunohistochemistry.

Workshop 2 – Nucleic acid techniques: PCR, Real-time PCR and qPCR.

Workshop 3 – Protein handling techniques 1 & 2: 1 – Protein extraction/purification and analysis, including SDS-PAGE. 2: Western blot.

Workshop 4 – Results/ data recording, scientific report writing (including methods, figures, figure legends and referencing).

Students will attend a total of FOUR workshops including both parts of the Induction, Workshop 4 (both compulsory) and two further workshops from workshops 1-3.

* ECT (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System): There are 2 UK credits for every 1 ECT credit, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA). Therefore if a unit is worth 30 UK credits, this will equate to 15 ECT.

** Notional hours of learning: The number of hours which it is expected that a learner (at a particular level) will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes at that level. It is expected that there will be 10 hours of notional study associated with every 1 credit achieved. Therefore if a unit is worth 30 credits, this will equate to 300 notional study hours, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA).

Category of outcome Students should/will be able to:
Knowledge and understanding
  • Develop awareness of current best practice in laboratory health and safety and understand how to keep themselves and those around them safe within a laboratory environment.
  • Develop an understanding of the principles of a range of practical techniques used in the biomedical context and understand how to employ and adapt these within their own research applications.
Intellectual skills
  • Develop critical understanding of the limitations of particular techniques and their applications.
  • Develop an understanding of how to solve problems arising from unexpected results.
Practical skills
  • Acquire the practical skills to enable them to follow written standard laboratory methods and achieve expected outcomes.
  • Acquire technical competence in a range of biomedical and computational techniques.
  • Learn best practice for recording experimental procedures and outcomes in a standard laboratory notebook.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
  • Be able to carry out laboratory techniques alone or in partnership with others safely and efficiently.
  • Demonstrate the ability to record experimental procedures in written form and to interpret experimental results obtained.
The learning and teaching processes will take the form of lectures, practical laboratory classes, laboratory demonstrations and e-learning (completion of on-line formative assessments).
Assessment task Length Weighting within unit (if relevant)
Students will attend a total of FOUR workshops including both parts of the Induction, Workshop 4 (both compulsory) and two further workshops from workshops 1-3.

Induction part I will not be assessed but students are required to complete the online quiz prior to entering the lab.

Workshop 4 will not be assessed as attendance is compulsory.

For BOTH of the other two workshops attended, from Workshops 1-3:

  1. online MCQ/SAQ
  2. a practical competency assessment

For ONE of the workshops 1-3 (chosen by the Programme Director):

a written practical report containing theoretical overview of the technique/s; report and interpretation of results obtained; and appropriate reference to published literature

Students must accurately record each workshop in a laboratory notebook within two days of attendance, which will be assessed formatively by each Programme

20 MCQ/SAQ (negatively marked)

1000 words

No fixed word limit


N/A – formative only

N/A – formative only

20% (average of 2 tests taken)

N/A – formative only


N/A – formative only

Recommended reading

J Davies (ed) (2002) Basic Cell Culture: A Practical Approach. OUP Oxford; 2nd edition. ISBN-13: 978-0199638536

JP Mather, PE Roberts (eds) (1998) Introduction to cell and tissue culture: theory and technique. Plenum Press, London, ISBN: 0306458594, 9780306458590 (Blue 2: 571.538/MAT)

Cabibbo A, Grant RP, Helmer-Citterich M (eds) (2004) Internet for the Cell and Molecular Biologist (2nd Edition) Horizon Scientific Press, Wymondham, ISBN: 1-898-48632-8 (Blue 2: 570.285/CAB)

McPherson MJ, Møller SG (2006) PCR: The Basics (2nd Edition) BIOS, Oxford, ISBN: 0-415-35547-8 (Blue 2: 572.808/MCP). Available via JRULM electronic resources

T Brown (ed) (2000, 2001) Essential Molecular Biology Vols 1&2: A Practical Approach: v. 2. OUP Oxford. ISBN-13: 978-0199636426, 978-0199636440

Rosenberg, Ian M (2006) Protein Analysis and Purification: Benchtop Techniques (2nd Edition) Birkhäuser Boston MA. ISBN: 9780817644123, 9780817643409. Available via

JRULM electronic resources: Springer e-books

MEDN69910 – Research Methods

Unit Lead: Vitalia Kinakh

The Research Methods Course/Unit is an interactive blended learning unit and is worth 15 credits. It will give you a comprehensive introduction to key information and skills required for the design, execution, interpretation and dissemination of medical, scientific and clinically-related research.

The Research Methods (RM) course is an integral part of your experience whilst undertaking your degree. It will help provide you with the strongest grounding possible to carry out successful research, whether as part of your course (e.g. in a dissertation) or/and in the future in academia, industry or a medically-aligned profession.


This unit aims to prepare you for postgraduate research. Specifically, it will:

  • Introduce you to the skills and knowledge required to critically design, effectively implement, ethically conduct and knowledgeably interpret research in medical, scientific and clinically related sciences.
  • Provide you with life-long critical appraisal skills that you will be able to apply to any research evidence that comes before you.
  • Develop your competence in key transferable skills, particularly written and oral communication of research and time and project management in the research setting.


On completion of this unit successful students will be able to:

  1. Unit Overview and How to Ensure Research Ethics/Integrity.
  • To be able to use Blackboard and maximise your research methods knowledge/learning using the research methods online resources.
  • To fully understand how you will be assessed and what it takes to successfully complete the unit.
  • To understand the importance of research integrity and how to avoid plagiarism, fraud, and misconduct
  • To raise awareness of the research governance framework that underpins robust, ethical research and consider case studies when research has gone wrong.
  1. Research Study Design 
  • To understand key concepts and epidemiological study design
  • To understand the basic principles of project and time management.
  • To be able to apply project planning tools to establish and execute a successful research study with maximum research impact.
  1. Dissertation Skills 
  • To be able to critically appraise a research paper.
  • To understand the principles of effective academic writing.
  • To be able to produce a high-quality dissertation and prepare a well-structured research abstract.
  1. Introduction to Statistics 
  • To be able to appropriately describe and present quantitative data.
  • To understand the principles underlying hypothesis testing, sampling, estimation and confidence intervals.
  • To be able to carry out statistical analyses using statistical software.
  1. Research Communication Skills 
  • To understand how to effectively communicate your research ideas and findings to a wide audience.
  • To be able to produce an effective research poster with high visual impact.
  • To be able to confidently deliver a research presentation and defend/field questions.


This is a blended course and combines guided independent study (making use of online resources) and taught sessions. Blackboard RM online resources, including reading and varied visual materials, are designed to cover topics relating to critical analysis of research integrity, scientific/medical research literature, study design, basic statistical analysis, research presentation skills and scientific writing skills. Blackboard RM online resources include self-assessment exercises and quizzes to formatively assess your learning.

In addition, taught sessions will be held to allow students to consolidate their learning and to support the summative assessment aspects of the unit.


PHAR66021 – Research Project 1

Unit Lead: Project Supervisor

Title Research Project 1
Unit code PHAR66021
Credit rating 30 credits
Level FHEQ level 7 – master’s degree
Pre-requisite units Introduction to Nanomedicine

Research Methods MEDN69910

Laboratory Skills MEDN66111

School responsible School of Health Sciences
Member of staff responsible
ECTS** 15 credits
Notional hours of Learning*** 300 h
  1. AIMS

The aims of the Research Project 1 unit are to equip students to undertake:

– Literature and database searching

– Critical analysis

– Identification, conceptualisation and exposition of unsolved problems

– Literature review planning

– Creating and using appropriate images

– Scientific writing and referencing

– Research proposal design

– Critical evaluation and debate

– Effective time management


At the start of semester 1 you will be assigned a Research Project and supervisor (based on your choices from a list of projects provided, assuming you haven’t self-arranged a project). Your choice of project 1 will have a major impact on the direction of your MSc lab project, because the research you undertake in project 2 will be related to your study topic in project 1 and will have the same supervisors.

Research project 1 comprises two components: a literature review and a research proposal. Research project 1 may well be your first serious encounter with research in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine. It provides an opportunity to delve deeply into a topic in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine, the underlying basic science, and to imagine how present-day research can contribute to improved treatment of wound healing and degenerative complications.

The starting point for the project will usually be a topic defined by supervisor(s). This may be an interesting gene or protein, a basic physiological process or pathway, a known pathology, a promising prospective mode of treatment or a set of clinical or laboratory observations. Your supervisors will provide you with a brief outline of the topic and some starter references. At this stage you will not be given specific project aims as you are intended to develop a hypothesis and aims during the research proposal aspect of the unit.

During the first 10 weeks of the unit you will focus on the literature review. You will need to read the background and history of the problem, critically examine previous research that has been reported in the literature, consider the relevant molecular, cellular and tissue-level processes, and any clinical implications. Your supervisors will help you to fill gaps in your basic knowledge, depending on your background. The theoretical and practical knowledge you have gained from other modules will all help you to understand the concepts and methodology you encounter. During the weeks you are working on your literature report, you will have regular progress meetings with your supervisors.

After you have completed your literature review, you will prepare a research proposal to address a hypothesis you generate based on the gaps in knowledge identified during the literature review. Your proposal should be for a 6-month project; however, it is important to note that the project you describe in your research proposal should be designed by you and does not need to be the same as the project you will actually complete during Research Project 2. Developing a proposal is an essential skill for researchers and provides an opportunity for you to formulate a hypothesis and design a research project, using the knowledge gained so far in the course. Although the majority of your research proposal will be completed in the New Year, during the preparation of your literature review you will gradually become aware of unanswered questions, gaps in knowledge, controversies and even contradictions in your area of study. These are the starting points for your research proposal. You will receive training in developing ideas, devising a workable approach, critically appraising the likely advance this project would bring if successful, and presenting a persuasive overall case that would convince an independent body that the research will be worthwhile.

You will start by defining a main hypothesis. This is likely to be broad, leading to several subsidiary hypotheses that might be capable of being addressed in a well-equipped academic centre. Imagining you have all the necessary resources at your disposal, how would you seek to add to knowledge in your chosen topic? Would you seek to increase understanding of a basic cellular process, and if so how? How might success translate to the clinic? BUT, what can you realistically achieve in 6 months?

Throughout project 1, in preparation for the task of constructing a research proposal, you should give specific attention to areas of your topic that are incompletely understood, as these are the source of emergent research questions. This is a key part of the dialogue that you have with your supervisors, and should be an explicit component of your meetings throughout RP1.

The literature review and research proposal are equally weighted in terms of credit share (both are worth 15 credits). The marking criteria may be found in the mark sheets at the end of this section.

* To inform the “Key Information Set”. Defined as ‘any activity that a student has to attend or undertake at a fixed point and that has no flexibility for when it is undertaken, and where the student also has access to an available staff member’ (“Provision of Information about Higher Education: Outcomes of consultation and next steps” June 2011/18)

** ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System): There are 2 UK credits for every 1 ECT credit, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA). Therefore if a unit is worth 30 UK credits, this will equate to 15 ECT.

*** Notional hours of learning: The number of hours which it is expected that a learner (at a particular level) will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes at that level. It is expected that there will be 10 hours of notional study associated with every 1 credit achieved. Therefore if a unit is worth 30 credits, this will equate to 300 notional study hours, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA).

Category of outcome Students should/will (please delete as appropriate) be able to:
General Students should be able to:

  1. Identify and isolate basic scientific, translational, clinical (and where relevant) epidemiological, demographic and social elements of their research problem
  2. Synthesise and analyse data and information
  3. Show critical thinking capacity, including abstraction, analysis and critical judgement
  4. Report on the current status of research in a chosen area
  5. Pose a problem, framing it in a fashion that is amenable to solution
  6. Command an appropriate battery of communication skills – written and spoken word, images and electronic media – to engage in constructive dialogue with peers and supervisor
  7. Use effective word processing and reference manager software
  8. Use library, electronic and online resources
  9. Develop appropriate illustrative materials for a report
  10. Create a written presentation using language appropriate to a specialist readership
  11. Collect and integrate evidence to formulate and test a research hypothesis
  12. Plan time effectively, apportioning appropriate energy to literature research and writing while undertaking other essential course activities
  13. Meet agreed informal and formal deadlines for writing assignments
Knowledge and understanding/

Intellectual skills

On completion of this Unit the student should be able to:

  1. identify and isolate basic scientific, translational, clinical, (and where relevant) epidemiological, demographic and social elements of their research problem
  2. undertake background work to provide themselves with the intellectual foundations for a full understanding of their chosen area, especially where interdisciplinarity demands a wider frame of reference than former training might have required
  3. report on the current status of research in a chosen area
Practical skills On completion of this Unit the student should be able to:

  1. use effective word processing
  2. use library, electronic and online resources
  3. use reference manager software
  4. develop appropriate illustrative materials for a report
Transferable skills and personal qualities On completion of this Unit the student should be able to:

  1. improve their own learning through planning, monitoring, critical reflection and evaluation
  2. use word processing, database, spreadsheet and presentation software and the Internet
  3. independently gather, sift, synthesise and organise material from various sources (including library, electronic and online resources), and critically evaluate its significance.
  4. make a written presentation using language appropriate to a specialist readership
  5. collect and integrate evidence to formulate and test a research hypothesis
Employability skills Analytical skills

  • Critical Evaluation


  • Experience of devising and preparing research proposals

The learner will have regular (every 2 weeks) meetings with a supervisor starting with a project orientation meeting and starter references.

The learner will then have regular informal contacts with research staff with overlapping interests, identified by the supervisor to build a research network and discuss ideas.

The learner will receive training in critical evaluation of published work, and locating the edge of current knowledge, informed by unit 2 of the programme so that their inquisition transforms from ‘I don’t understand this’ to ‘ the answer is not known’, leading to the identification of an important unsolved problem to focus the literature review and research proposal.

The learner receives constructive feedback on their work and training in project design and formulation of hypothesis in close consultation with the supervisor .

Assessment task Length How and when feedback is provided Weighting within unit (if relevant)
The literature review and research proposal are equally weighted and both contribute 50% towards the final mark for this unit. Literature review – 6,500 words.

Project proposal – 2,500 words.

Formative feedback is provided by a supervisor for both the literature review and research proposal on:

  • a detailed plan
  • a one page excerpt of the report for academic writing style
  • a single full draft of the report

Submitted reports will be annotated by assessors and detailed summative feedback given on the marksheet.

Literature review – 50%

Project proposal – 50%.

Will be provided to the students as soon as the unit starts.

Organisation of the Course Unit

Research Project 1 runs between October and January, following selection of a research topic and supervisor(s). Students will work on their literature review throughout this period, working around other timetabled units (research methods, practical skills, masterclass). The literature review should be largely complete by mid-December.

After the Christmas break, there are 4 weeks during which students should focus on their research proposal. During this time weekly supervisor meetings are recommended.
Milestones and progress meetings with supervisors during the literature review and research proposal are detailed below. The literature review and research proposal should be submitted as two separate reports. Both must be submitted by 4pm on Thursday 23th January 2023.

Feedback from supervisors on drafts of reports

Literature review: One supervisor should provide written feedback on a detailed plan of the literature review and on one full draft only of the document. If requested, students can also provide a supervisor with a page of text as a ‘style guide’ before submitting the full draft for feedback; this allows the opportunity for feedback on the student’s writing style.
Research proposal: Once there is informal agreement on the topic area and approach (and several stages of discussion and refinement may be necessary), students are expected to prepare their written proposal independently. One supervisor should then finally read and comment on a single draft of the proposal.

Milestones for Literature Review

  • By 6 Oct – Students select projects in order of preference and inform the Programme Administrator using Project Selection Form. Unit lead and Programme/Deputy Directors assign projects to students.
  • Beginning 12 Oct – Students notified of project allocation. Start project and initial meeting with supervisor(s). Starter references are given.
  • Around 6 Nov – Literature review outline, comprising headings and subheadings, should be submitted to the supervisor(s) for feedback.
  • Around 15 Nov – Student supplies supervisor with one section for writing style feedback.
  • By 6 Dec – A full draft of the literature review should be submitted to the supervisor. Supervisors will aim to provide feedback on the draft report before the Christmas break. We strongly advise that the report be complete by the January return to give sufficient time to focus on the research proposal.

Milestones for project 1 research proposal

  • From 10 Jan – Students meet with supervisor(s) for discussion of research proposal.
  • From 17 Jan – A full draft of the research proposal should be submitted to the supervisor for feedback.
  • Thursday 23 Jan 2022, 4 p.m. Submission deadline for the literature report and research proposal.

Guidelines for writing the literature review

  • Define the general research area in the context of your research project.
  • Link this topic of research to a scientific endeavour and/or human health and disease.
  • Describe what has been published about the topic. Summarise the work done to address key issues, discussing how it has advanced the field and why you consider specific reports seminal.
  • All sources used must be referenced and included in a bibliography, formatted appropriately (see later formatting section).
  • Aim to use a range of sources, including important historical references and the most up-to-date research of relevance. Do NOT use only review articles. A central core of original papers should be cited and critically examined. References to web pages are acceptable but should be used sparingly. Note the date at which the page was accessed.
  • Discuss any controversial issues surrounding the field, inconsistencies between reports and conclusions made by different groups.
  • The literature review should be written for a researcher with broad knowledge of the field but not necessarily specialist knowledge of the research topic. It is useful to provide ‘signposts’ using phrases such as ‘In brief’ ‘to summarise’ in order to orientate the reader.
  • Diagrams and figures should be included to illustrate key points. Include appropriate reference/credit or make your own originals. A rough guideline for proportion of illustrations is between 10-20% of the report. Prepare concise but informative legends that make the figures understandable without having to consult the main text.
  • Conclude by summarising the key points covered in the literature review and describing deficiencies in current understanding which will then link into your research proposal.
    The word limit for the literature review is a maximum of 6,500 words, excluding title page, table of contents and references. Tables and figure legends WILL be included in the word count and should be kept to a minimum; however content of tables and figures themselves will NOT be counted. Students will be penalised for exceeding this word limit by more than 10% as described previously.
  • You should be aware that plagiarism software will be applied to all reports.

Guidelines for writing the research proposal

The research proposal should be a maximum of 2,500 words (including abstracts).
The proposal should start from a question or series of questions that have arisen during your literature research that you consider important enough to deserve attention. You will have identified gaps in knowledge and need to generate testable hypotheses to gain relevant new insight. Though you should have in mind a 6-month investigation, this may not ultimately be the exact project you complete during Research Project 2. You should describe the experimental approaches you would use to address your aims. You should demonstrate an understanding of how individual experiments work together to create a coherent and complete study (think about the types of experiments conducted in the papers you read for the literature review); however, you are not expected at this stage to know all the practical details of the techniques to be used, nor are you obliged to specify how long it may take to reach a particular goal (or what resources you might require). Examples of research proposals submitted by previous MSc students are available on Blackboard for guidance on the degree of detail required. You are encouraged to specify longer (or ultimate) as well as shorter term goals for your project. You will not need to include extensive background literature, as you will have already covered this in detail in the literature review. Your supervisor will be able to provide guidance.

  • The summary of background literature should include the salient points covered in the literature review directly relating to the research problem. As a guide, this should be ~400 words (but can be longer at your discretion). Figures showing supportive or preliminary data may be included.
  • Hypotheses should be clearly stated, testable and formatted as a statement, not a question
  • Aims should be simple and achievable and linked clearly to the hypothesis and approaches. Include a set of initial aims, leading to more ambitious, extensive interrogation of the research question.
  • The ‘approaches’ section should be a description of the experimental approaches to address each aim and should include the methodologies to be employed and the proposed analysis and statistical methods. Details of sample (N) numbers must be given. It is also important to demonstrate your understanding of the key features of approaches/techniques described. Potential outcomes should be included for each experimental aim.
  • In the ‘significance’ section, provide a clear summary of how this research will address the aims of the project and provide impact. These should include short and long-term (ultimate) goals.
  • The lay abstract (strictly no more than 250 words) must be written for a non-scientific audience and should be understandable to members of the public. Keep language and concepts simple.
  • The scientific abstract (strictly no more than 250 words) must be written for an informed non-specialist scientific readership. Technical terminology and concepts should be used.
  • The title page and references at the end for the research proposal are not included in the 2,500-word limit, but the word count does include sub-headings, figure/table legends (but not content) and both abstracts. Students will be penalised for exceeding this total word limit by more than 10% as described previously and strict abstract word limits also apply (250 words each).

The research proposal must include the following headings:

  1. Title (including total word count)
  2. Summary of background literature and research problem
  3. Hypothesis
  4. Aims
  5. Experimental approaches
  6. Significance
  7. Lay Abstract (including word count)
  8. Scientific Abstract (including word count)
  9. References

Formatting of the literature review and research proposal

The reports will be submitted both electronically as a Word document or pdf via Blackboard by the deadline stated.

  1. A title page giving the title of the report, the candidate’s number (the same as the name under which he or she is currently registered at the University), the name of the candidate’s School – School of Biological Sciences, the year of submission, and the word count for each report. The title page is not included in the word count.
  2. The reports should be typed using 1.5 spacing. Single space can be used for figure legends and references. You must use Arial, Calibri, Times New Roman or Verdana, all font size 12 (except where specialised fonts are required). Standard page margins (minimum 2.5cm) should be used throughout.
  3. Page numbering must consist of one single sequence of Arabic numerals (i.e. 1, 2, 3 …) throughout the dissertation at the bottom on the right-hand side. Page numbers must be displayed on all pages EXCEPT the title page, though this is counted as page one.
  4. All references must be included in a Bibliography in alphabetical or numerical order. References can use author-date (also known as Harvard style e.g. Marshall et al, 2014) or numerical citation in the text (also known as Vancouver style e.g. 1-3, 5). Where Vancouver style is used, in-text citations can be in square [1-3, 5] or round (1-3, 5) parentheses at the end of a sentence or superscript attached to the final word of the sentence without parehteses1-3,5. In-text citations will be included in the word count. The use of a referencing software package is recommended. A detailed guide, with information on referencing software is available at:

Assessment of the Unit

The assessment for this unit comprises a 6,500-word literature review and a 2,500-word research proposal (50% each). The reports are doubled marked by a supervisor and an independent researcher who mark the report separately and then meet to agree a mark. Both provide detailed feedback to the student.

PHAR66031 – Research Project 2

Unit Lead: Project Supervisor

Title Research Project 2
Unit code PHAR66031
Credit rating 90 credits
Level FHEQ level 7 – master’s
Pre-requisite units Research Project 1

Research Methods unit

Member of staff responsible
ECTS** 45 credits
Notional hours of Learning*** 900 h
  1. AIMS

The unit aims to:

– Equip students with knowledge and practical skills to pursue a research career relevant to the MSc programme;

– Develop practical research expertise in chosen areas of the MSc programme;

– Develop presentation skills for oral and poster presentation of new research.


A practical nanomedicine-focussed research project in a laboratory where the student is fully integrated within a research team. The project is assessed by submission of a dissertation, poster and oral presentation and an assessment of research performance.

* To inform the “Key Information Set”. Defined as ‘any activity that a student has to attend or undertake at a fixed point and that has no flexibility for when it is undertaken, and where the student also has access to an available staff member’ (“Provision of Information about Higher Education: Outcomes of consultation and next steps” June 2011/18)

** ECTS (European Credit Transfer and Accumulation System): There are 2 UK credits for every 1 ECT credit, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA). Therefore if a unit is worth 30 UK credits, this will equate to 15 ECT.

*** Notional hours of learning: The number of hours which it is expected that a learner (at a particular level) will spend, on average, to achieve the specified learning outcomes at that level. It is expected that there will be 10 hours of notional study associated with every 1 credit achieved. Therefore if a unit is worth 30 credits, this will equate to 300 notional study hours, in accordance with the Credit Framework (QAA).

Category of outcome Students will be able to:
  1. Demonstrate the theoretical and practical basis of research methods and techniques.
  2. Practically develop research questions, and use research methods to answer these questions.
  3. Have a detailed and systematic understanding of a chosen area relevant to the MSc programme.
  4. Present scientific research as an oral and poster presentation.
Knowledge and understanding Gain knowledge, practical skills and research experience to pursue a research career focussed on the field of the MSc programme:

  1. Demonstrate the scientific methods together with the philosophical contexts within which research is conducted in the field of the MSc programme;
  2. Perform the theoretical and practical basis of the research methods and techniques used in the major sciences basic to medicine;
  3. Explain the theory and practise of research methods and techniques;
  4. Outline the practical issues and problems associated with conducting high quality research in medicine, including ethical issues; informed consent; storage of patient information both summative and formative;
  5. Have a detailed and systematic understanding of a chosen area of medical science.
Intellectual skills
  1. Explain the theory behind different techniques so they can be applied and altered as required.
  2. Adopt a reflective and inquisitive attitude to the analysis and evaluation of research in the field of the MSc programme
  3. Recognise, define, formulate and prioritise research questions that are pertinent to the field of the MSc programme
  4. Analyse, interpret, objectively evaluate and prioritise information, recognising its limitations
  5. Critically appreciate methodology, including the appropriate selection of quantitative or qualitative methods
  6. Recognise the importance of rigour in collecting, analysing and interpreting data
  7. Exhibit creativity and resourcefulness in their professional learning, scientific endeavour and research formulations
Practical skills
  1. Apply appropriate methodologies to specific research questions
  2. Demonstrate competence in practical laboratory or clinical skills to enable sound and reproducible collection of data
  3. Present information clearly in written, poster, electronic and oral forms, and communicate ideas and arguments effectively
  4. Retrieve, manage and manipulate information by all means, including electronically
Transferable skills and personal qualities
  1. Effectively manage time resources and set priorities
  2. Monitor and realistically evaluate their own performance and personal capability
  3. Be aware of career opportunities and begin to plan a career path
  4. Demonstrate scholarship in research
  5. Demonstrate a capacity for self-directed, independent learning and adopt the principles of reflective practice and lifelong learning
  6. Deal with uncertainty and work within a changing environment
Employability skills
  1. Analytical skills
  • Ability to interpret experimental data and devise follow up experiments
  1. Group/team working
  • Being able to work as part of a team
  1. Leadership
  • Being able to work independently
  1. Project management
  • Good time management and ability to prioritise work objectives
  1. Problem solving
  • Ability to seek and act upon advice
  1. Research
  • Awareness of research health and safety
  1. Written communication
  • Presenting experimental data to colleagues
  1. Other
  • Having practical skills relevant to the relevant research area of the programme

The Research Project 2 is the largest component of the course and aims to give students the specialist knowledge and practical skills to pursue a research career in nanomedicine, as well as develop practical research expertise in a chosen area and enhance the ability to analyse and interpret data and summarise findings in the form of written reports, poster and an oral presentation.

During 25 weeks students will be integrated in the research team and obtain hands-on practical experience in a laboratory. The project is assessed by a poster (mid-April) and oral presentation at the end of year, research performance and by submission of a dissertation.

Students will choose from a list of nanomedicine focused research projects and supervisors. Close interaction with the project supervisor at the start of the project and regular monitoring will enable students to take responsibility for their own research development.

Assessment task Length How and when feedback is provided Weighting within unit (if relevant)
Submission of a dissertation (summative, end of the year, moderated, 60% weight), oral presentation and examination (summative, end of the year, 15% weight), an assessment of research performance (summative, end of the year, 10% weight), poster presentation (formative, mid-April, 15%). Dissertation: not more than 13,000 words;

Oral presentation: 15 minutes; Poster: A0 size, template will be provided.

Students will have a series of timetabled meetings with the project supervisor to discuss progress.

In addition the student is expected to take an active part in their research group’s lab meetings.

Final mark will be communicated to the student upon submission of dissertation and oral presentation. Dissertation will be marked by project supervisor and moderated by another member of academic staff. Posters and oral presentations will be assessed by a panel composed of 2 – 4 academic staff members.

Dissertation – 60%

Oral presentation – 15%

Research performance – 10%

Poster assessment – 15%

Will be provided to the students as soon as the unit starts.

Organisation of the course unit

You will work in the same group as for Research Project 1; however, while your primary supervisor will remain the same, you may be assigned a laboratory-supervisor who may be a PhD student or post-doctoral research to support you day-to-day. Under supervision, you will carry out a piece of empirical laboratory-based research. Initial discussion with the supervisory team will involve a process of refinement of ideas into a project that addresses a problem, the solution to which is feasible with the time and resources available. Training and mentoring will be given to achieve the unit aims, including regular meetings with supervisory team and appropriate training in methods and experimental design and in data interpretation. Bear in mind that, as this is an empirical research, the aims may change during the duration of the project as results are generated.

Feedback on research performance will be provided throughout the project.

Research performed in the project will be reported in a dissertation of between 10,000 and no more than 13,000 words which will include background, aims, results and conclusions of the study aimed at addressing a specific but limited research question in the area of clinical and/or biomedical sciences. It will consist of a clear description of methods and analysis of data appropriate for addressing research hypotheses and logical interpretation, presentation and discussion of the findings. Students will also present their findings as an assessed oral presentation towards the end of the project.


31-JAN-2023                                       Project 2 starts.

by 4-FEB-2023                                    Initial meeting with supervisor(s).

mid JUL                                                Laboratory based research completed.

by 14-JUL-2023                                   Submit draft of research project 2 report to supervisor for feedback.

by 31-JUL-2023                                 Feedback on draft report given by supervisor.

7-AUG-2023                                       Dissertation submission (4 p.m.).

beginning SEP                                     Oral presentation.

Important Information

Ethical and Research Governance Issues
Any research that involves contact with human volunteers, either patients or the general public or human material must be subject to appropriate ethical approval. You should check with your supervisors whether this has been granted BEFORE you start the project. Some projects involve working with animals and require a Home Office license. Again, you should check with your supervisors whether this is required/has been granted BEFORE you start the project and you should discuss appropriate training. The Programme will arrange and pay for appropriate in-house training in working with animals for those students whose projects require it. This training is usually undertaken in January, but must be booked in advance, therefore it is essential you seek agreement with your supervisor in semester 1 if this training is required and inform to programme director and administrator as soon as possible.

Health and Safety
In laboratories, you will come across potential hazards. Prior to starting work in any laboratory, you should undergo a Health and Safety induction by the safety officer of your laboratory project – it is your responsibility to ensure that this happens. You must ensure that you read any relevant literature relating to Health and Safety given to you at this induction or at any other time in the programme. Refer to the on-line Health and Safety course unit that you completed at Induction. Laboratory coats must be worn in laboratory areas and will be provided by your supervisor. Project work must be carried out according to the particular guidelines and COSHH regulations in the laboratory in which the project is undertaken. Any accidents occurring in laboratories should be immediately reported to your project supervisor or the laboratory staff member responsible for H&S. You need to make sure that you have signed appropriate risk assessment forms.

Out of Hours Working
You may need to work out of hours on occasion in the evening or at weekends. If this is the case, you should first consult your supervisor about this as you will need prior written approval. Permissions are granted locally via your supervisor and cannot be granted by the course administrator or programme/deputy directors. Ensure you complete any required documentation and contact the relevant building reception desks so that you are not denied building access.

Progression with the course unit

The initial assessment will be one month into Research Project 2. If at that stage achievement is <50% on assessment of Research Performance, the student will be required to attend an additional meeting with the Programme Director and Research Project 2 supervisor. An action plan of support and training and timetable will be agreed. The student must then achieve a mark of ≥50% on assessment of Research Performance two months after the start of Research Project 2. If achievement again does not meet the criteria, the student will normally be referred to the Postgraduate Taught Progress Committee, and may be transferred onto a PG Diploma.
For a PG Diploma, research performed in a 12-week project will be submitted as a 5,000-6,500 word report (9 month exit point).

Research Project 2 Dissertation

One aim of the MSc course is to provide you with training in communicating your work in writing. An essential skill is to be able to describe your work concisely to both an expert and the broader readership. The dissertation (research project 2) should be written in a journal-style format and should be 10,000 up to a maximum of 13,000 words which is counted from the start of the introduction to the end of the discussion, including sub-headings, in-text citations and figure legends/table titles. It does NOT include title page and contents, declaration, copyright statement, figure and table content, references or appendices. You should have a concise Introduction describing the broader topic and how it relates to your research project. The Methods, Results and Discussion should be separate sections. The precise balance will obviously depend to some extent on how your project has progressed. Look closely at how Figures and Tables are designed and annotated. Plan each section beforehand and agree your plan with your supervisor.

Note: The word limit range for this dissertation is minimum 10,000 to maximum 13,000 words. There is a strict maximum word limit of 13,000 words with NO 10% leeway above this allowed. Any dissertations above 13,000 words will be subject to penalty.

You should be aware plagiarism software will be applied to dissertations. Please refer to Academic Malpractice section of this handbook.

You should expect some help from your project supervisor in writing the report. ONE project supervisor will be expected to read and comment on ONE draft of the whole report. You should however provide your supervisor with adequate notice when submitting your draft report since they have many calls on their time. You will find it helps to prepare figures and to work on aspects of your report during the lab work, rather than waiting for the lab work to end before you start writing.

Keep in mind that an aim of the MSc degree is to provide research training. It should be clear to the examiners what training the project has provided. The projects are short and the examiners will know that the students are unlikely to produce a finished piece of work or to have accumulated large quantities of data. There should, however, be a clear demonstration that new skills have been acquired. It is important to remember that one of your markers will not be closely aware of your project. It is therefore important to provide a clear and concise write-up. Given that projects will vary in the number and size of figures/images, the fairest and most consistent method to standardise the length is to impose a word limit. This is also excellent preparation for scientific writing; most journals impose strict and exacting word limits.

Detailed guidelines for the presentation of a dissertation

* Introduction and aims: This section should provide information about the background to the project. The main aim of the Introduction is to inform the reader of why the area of research is important, and how the project contributes to the research field. This section should end with clearly stated hypotheses and aim – these can be listed numerically or be part of a paragraph(s) of text, but the hypotheses and aims must be clear. The Introduction should be self-contained and should not require the reader to access additional material in order to understand it. Neither should it be a leisurely review of the field. The referencing of reviews to cover large areas of literature is appropriate. However, research that is directly relevant to the project should be referenced in full as primary research papers. The use of figures to illustrate concepts or previous work is encouraged. It is best that figures are originals. Where unavoidable figures may be copied or adapted from journals, in which case they must be cited in full within the legend. It is important to avoid any issues with repetition of material from the RP1 Literature Review and Research Proposal. As all reports are uploaded onto the Turnitin software, any sentences or paragraphs that are direct copies of the literature review will be highlighted as self-plagiarism. It is therefore important to ensure that the text of the introduction is distinct from that of the literature review.

Specific Guidance

  • The literature review had much broader coverage of the general topic and probably contained a greater level of detail in many areas. The introduction should be more focussed and tailored to the specific project conducted.
  • It should be similar in format and organisation to the introduction in a paper, focussing on the key background literature in a concise manner. The goal is to provide sufficient relevant information such that the hypothesis and rationale for the study can be understood by someone external to the field.
  • You will undoubtedly need to include some information that was presented in the literature review; this is fine but it needs to be re-written rather than directly copied.
  • Although there are not defined word limits, we recommend that the introduction is relatively short (recommendation of no more than a third of the total dissertation), so that more of the word allowance can be conserved for the thorough discussion of the research findings.

In summary, it is important to identify in the introduction:

  • The research topic or area;
  • The question or questions being addressed, and why they are important;
  • The purpose of the project. In most cases, the project should seek to test a hypothesis, or at least to generate reagents that should allow the testing of a hypothesis. Some projects may be more observational, in which case it is important to identify how these observations will be utilised to advance the field.
  • The aims of the work: what did you try to do, how would the experiments allow you to test the hypothesis?

*Materials and Methods:  This should provide a description of the experimental systems and designs employed to obtain data, the materials used (including suppliers), and the methods of data and statistical analysis. Detail should be sufficient for others to repeat the work and to demonstrate that the student has understood the methods used. The key here is to appreciate which methodologies require detailed descriptions and which standard procedures can be dealt with quickly by referencing previous publications or manufacturers’ instructions.

*Results: A detailed description of the results and findings. These should not endlessly restate the aims of the project but should provide sufficient information to allow the reader to ascertain the aim of each experiment/method development and what the result was. The reader should be able to do this without getting bogged down in details. Tables and Figures should be self-contained with appropriately detailed legends and it should normally not be necessary to describe every aspect of the table/figure in the text. There may however be occasions when you want to draw the reader to specific components of the Table/Figure (for example, “note differences between columns X and Y in Table II”, or “note the asterisked bands in lane 6 of Figure 4” etc). The results are often best divided into sections, each with a theme.
The text should be supported with figures and tables. These should be placed in the appropriate position within the main body of the report, i.e. immediately following the first reference to each table or figure, and not all put at the end of the report. Unless there are special reasons, do not present the same data in more than one form.
Tables should be numbered consecutively. They must have an informative heading and an explanatory legend. These should make the general meaning comprehensible without reference to the text. Consider the layout carefully so the significance of the data can be grasped readily. Statistics should be quoted where appropriate. Units in which the results are expressed should be given at the top of each column.
Figures should also be numbered consecutively and should contain appropriate headings, annotations and legends. Do not make the figures over complicated by presenting too many sets of data. On graphs, each line should have a separate symbol and error bars should be shown where appropriate. Gel lanes should be easily identified from the annotations. Micrographs should include scale bars.
*Discussion: The Discussion should not be a paraphrasing of the results and is normally headed only by a brief summary of your findings. The Discussion should consist of a logical flow of arguments and reasoning that explains and expands upon the results in simple English and identifies their relevance to published findings. You will be expected here to refer mainly to primary papers in the literature. The Discussion also provides an opportunity for you to defend your conclusions, identify how experiments could have been improved upon, and to discuss how the project might develop given more time. A final conclusion should be given at the end.
* References. These should use a numerical (Vancouver style) citation in the text. This is to avoid impacting on the word count by using author names. However, Harvard style referencing is acceptable and this should be discussed with your supervisor. The use of a referencing software package is recommended. A detailed guide, with information on referencing software is available at:

References must be cited in full at the end (all author names and initials, date, title, journal, volume, pages). The format for references to papers and books is as follows:
Adrian ED (1932). The Mechanism of Nervous Action. Humphrey Milford, London.
Lipp P, Egger M & Niggli E (2002). Spatial characteristics of sarcoplasmic reticulum Ca2+ release events triggered by L-type Ca2+ current and Na+ current in guinea-pig cardiac myocytes. J Physiol 542, 383-393.
Buchan AMJ, Bryant MG, Polak JM, Gregor M, Ghatei MA & Bloom SR (1981). Development of regulatory peptides in the human fetal intestine. In Gut Hormones, 2nd edn, ed. Bloom SR & Polak JM, pp. 119-124. Churchill Livingstone, Edinburgh.
* Appendices etc: Appendices are useful ways to include supplementary data (e.g. DNA sequences) without breaking the flow of the dissertation. Buffer compositions are best described in parentheses within the Methods section, but their inclusion in an appendix is acceptable.

General Information on Submission

The dissertation will be submitted electronically as a Word document or pdf via Blackboard by the deadline stated. Research project 2 report will be assessed after submission and will be double marked by the main supervisor and an independent assessor. Both will mark the report separately and then meet to agree a mark and the feedback.

Guidelines and Assessment of Oral Presentation

The aim of these presentations is to help you to refine skills that are likely to be crucial in your future career. You are strongly advised to seek your supervisor’s help with your presentations. The oral presentation should be limited to no more than 15 minutes and should consist of research completed in project 2. It should be prepared using MS PowerPoint or equivalent. There will be 5-7 minutes for questions after each talk.

Your presentation does not have to contain all your data and it is more important to provide a clear and concise summary of key findings than to try and demonstrate how much data you have generated. Assessors are aware that you may not have finished all your experimental work and volume of data is not part of the assessment. Instead it is your ability to present, describe and discuss the data you have generated to date.
Where possible, you should practice your presentation in lab/group meetings. You are advised to save your presentation in a number of different formats and to make sure that it will open and run properly on the assigned computer. You should refer to the information on Effective Communications in the Research Methods Unit before you give your oral presentation; however, some guidance is also provided below.

200-word abstract must be emailed to the course administrator, a week before the oral presentation day. This abstract will not be assessed but will be circulated prior to the presentations.

Presentations will be assessed by 2 assessors. You will be provided with feedback from the assessors. The marks from the oral presentation will contribute to your final mark for research project 2.

Structure of presentation: You should aim to have 12-15 slides for your presentation although this may vary depending on exactly what you have on each slide. Your supervisor/lab members should run through your talk with you and give feedback. Ensure that your presentation does not take longer than the required time as you may be penalised, and over-running will decrease the time available for questions.

Your presentation should include:

* Title slide – The title slide should include the University of Manchester logo – in top left corner; title of your talk; your name; your supervisors.
* Introduction – You should give a brief introduction to your area of research. You will need to set the scene for your research and talk about why it is important. You should state the hypothesis you have tested and/or the main aims/objectives of your project.  Remember most of the audience will not know your project so you need to guide them through the background in simple terms – what is the question/problem, what is known, what is not known etc.
* Experimental approach – You should keep these as simple as possible; however, it is up to you to judge what details it is necessary to include. For example, if you are using a well-established method you will not need to go into much detail about it; however, if your project is to develop a particular method then obviously more detail is required.
* Results – You should present your data in a clear and logical manner that can be followed by people outside this area of research. You should not leave it to the audience to interpret your data but take them through exactly what you think your data may mean.  Results should be clear i.e. axis on graphs should be legible, figures and images large enough to see from distance. If you have lots of data you may not have time to present it all so just present main/interesting results and just say due to time limitations you are unable to show all the findings.
* Conclusions – Make sure you draw clear conclusions which are based on the data you have presented. You may want to say why you think this is important and how your findings relate to what was previously known – take home messages need to be clear. You may want to consider mentioning ways in which your findings could be developed in the future.
* Acknowledgements – You should thank all who have helped you on your project and any funding bodies.

Questions: Make sure you prepare well for questions which will be asked by reading around your subject area. If you do not understand the question ask for it to be repeated. If you do not know the answer to a question, say so.

Slides: Slides should be kept as simple as possible. Make sure that you think about colours, font type and size and background used. Think carefully about the clearest way to present information – schematics and images are better than lots of text. You should make sure that everything on your slides can be seen when projected on a screen. It is usually clearer to introduce only one concept per slide. You may want to use animation in your presentation but make sure that it enhances it rather than detracting from the points you are trying to make. Use the header on each slide to help convey the key message(s).

Delivery: Make sure that you are well prepared for giving your talk – keep practising. Try to practise your talk in the room where the assessment will take place so it is familiar. You should know exactly what you want to say about each slide and you should NOT read from a script. You should speak clearly and coherently. Think about your body language and make eye contact with your audience. Be prepared to answer questions either during your talk or at the end of it.

Guidelines and Assessment of Research Performance

An important part of research project 2 is training and development of research skills. Many students embarking on an MSc programme have not undertaken any significant research project work previously. As such, many students may not have adequate hands-on research skills at the beginning of research project 2. We do, however, expect students to learn and develop these skills during the progression of the project, during which formative feedback of research skills and performance will be given. Failure to achieve a mark of ≥50% on Assessment of Research Performance, one month after the start of Research Project 2 will result in:

  • A meeting of the student with the Programme Director and Research Project 2 supervisor, resulting in an agreed action plan and timetable.
  • The student must then achieve a mark of ≥50% on assessment of Research Performance two months after the start of Research Project 2.
  • If achievement does not meet this criterion, the student will normally be referred to the Postgraduate Taught Progress Committee, and may be required to submit for a PG Diploma.

At the end of the research project summative assessment of performance will be undertaken (10% of the total marks for the 90-credit Research Project 2 unit).

What are good research skills?
There are many good research skills which need to be developed during the course of the project. Whilst some of these are specific to the project itself – for example ability to conduct a specific experimental technique – some are generic in nature. Good researchers need to be fully engaged in the research programme. They should be organised, hard-working and highly motivated. While they need to demonstrate that they can follow instructions carefully and accurately follow experimental protocols they should also contribute to project organisation, design and development. This necessitates constant evaluation of the project both with respect to practical progress, data obtained and available and emerging literature. The contribution of this should increase as the project progresses. Good researchers should be able to recognise when they need help in performing a procedure/experimental technique but they should, with support, be able to troubleshoot and develop the skills needed to carry these out independently.

How are research skills developed and feedback given?
You will meet with your project supervisor during the first week of your project. At this meeting he/she will discuss with you the aims and outcomes of the project and the specific approaches to be taken. Health and safety issues will also be discussed and you must read any relevant literature which is supplied surrounding this. At this meeting you should also discuss the proposed research skills with your supervisor and you should highlight any which you think you may need extra support and training in developing.
You will have additional timetabled progress/feedback meetings during your project with your supervisory team at which you will be given formative feedback on how your research skills are developing and where there is a need for further improvement. At these meetings agreed actions for the development of these skills will be set. If you feel you need any additional support or training you should raise it with your supervisor and possibly contact the Programme Director (s) for further guidance. At the end of your project, you will be formally assessed on your generic research skills performance. This will contribute 5% of the total marks for research project 2.

Marking scheme
Your final assessment will be completed by two assessors and will be based on your research performance at the end of the project. If you have two supervisors, this should be done by both supervisors independently. If you only have one main supervisor, your supervisor will nominate a senior member of the group who will act as second assessor. This will be someone who is aware of the work you do during the project. The second assessor will be nominated at the start of the project and will be aware that they will be required to assess your performance.

Information for the 2022/23 Academic Year

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has become imperative to re-adjust to on-campus learning activities. These will be conducted preferably in a face-to-face manner. Lectures/workshops/tutorials and seminars will be timetabled and delivered on campus or live online. We aim to provide the necessary support throughout the year to students to ensure adequate engagement with programme. These arrangements can change at any time and we will follow University guidance and government policy at all times.



Section C: Information about the Division and University

Divisional Administration Contacts

Head of Division: Head of Student Operations:

Head of Division: Prof Jayne Lawrence

Head of Divisional Operations: Victoria O’Reilly

The Division address is:

Division of Pharmacy and Optometry
School of Health Sciences
Jean McFarlane Building
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

* To access Stopford Building you will need a swipe card. To obtain your student card, please contact the Student Services Centre (+44 (0)161 275 5000 /

Student Centre

The online student support system, MyManchester enables students to register online and have access to their personal and academic details.

This means that you will be able to use the system to check and update your address and contact details, view your supervisor and advisor details and check the course units you are enrolled on. To access MyManchester, you will use the same log-in you were provided with at registration and log in to the system from the following page:

You should use MyManchester to check we have the correct details for you and that you are on the correct programme. You should also ensure that as soon as your contact details change that you update them on the system as well as informing the Graduate Administrator for your file.

Progress Committee

The MSc Programme Board, and ultimately the Pharmacy and Vision Sciences Postgraduate Consortium Committee, considers issues of poor student progress, student dissatisfaction with academic supervision and other mitigating circumstances that may be influencing progress.

Failure to submit progress forms or assessments on time will result in investigation.

Computing Facilities

Further details can be found on the following web page:

In addition to the computers in the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry there are a number of public facilities elsewhere on campus. In particular there are large clusters of machines with printers in John Rylands University Library and Manchester Computing (Kilburn Building), and smaller clusters in the Arts Building and the Stopford Building (The Medical School). The porters in each of these buildings will direct you to the right room. The Stopford Building is open 24 hours a day.

Students can access the internet without restriction, but you will find that there are web “rush hours” when the large number of people trying to access the system from elsewhere practically brings it to a standstill. First thing in the morning is the best time for serious net surfing. Our own computers are heavily used for real work during the day so please do not play on the internet while other students are queuing for a machine.

Working With Your Own Computer

Some students may have their own computers. If you have such facilities then you should check that your system is compatible with the one in Pharmacy. This will help avoid problems when you try to transfer documents from your machine to ours.

IT Services Support Centre Online

Details can be found at:

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, report a fault, or search the Knowledge Base.  The email address is:


Blackboard (an on-line learning and information environment) is available to students.

  • Students should access Blackboard via MyManchester
  • Queries (technical related) should be directed to:
  • Queries (course content related) should be directed to:

All course-related materials will be placed on Blackboard so it is essential that you familiarise yourself with the system as soon as possible. Blackboard also offers Discussion forums which you may find a useful resource to share information about assignments and other course-related queries

Library Facilities

The University of Manchester Library provides resources and support for your Division of Pharmacy and Optometry PGT programme. The Library has an extensive collection of eBooks, databases and journals online, in addition to the print holdings in The Main Library. The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons provides a 24/7 learning environment in addition to study skills workshops.

Off -campus, many resources are available by logging in with your University username and password  (this includes individual book chapters digitised as part of a unit’s directed reading); where this option is not available, the material can still be accessed through the University’s VPN service, and this is clearly indicated in the Electronic Journals A-Z list and on the information page for each of the Databases . A small number of titles require a Special username and password . For further details, see Accessing e-journals, e-books and databases.

The My Library tab in My Manchester has quick links to get you started:

Using other libraries has information on both regional (NOWAL) and national (SCONUL) schemes which may be helpful.

Training materials to help you make the most of the Library’s resources will be available via the following link:.

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

An Introduction to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism is provided by the Student Guidance Service at:
An Introduction to Referencing and Avoiding Plagiarism (Student Guidance Service)

The Student Support website provides guidance on Good Study Skills at:

The Student Support website also provides guidance on avoiding academic malpractice:

Student Support

There are several options for support. The Student Hub is likely to be able to direct you to the most suitable support. Contact:

You can talk through issues such as interrupting your studies and progression, financial issues, the submission of details of mitigating circumstances, work and attendance problems and any personal concerns that are affecting your ability to study and engage fully with your course. It is important to point out that this is not a counselling service; it is a practical problem-solving service (a confidential Counselling Service is available for all students – see the following sections for further details).

Further details about student support are available on the following website:

Disability Advisory and Support Service

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 staff will be pleased to meet you, by prior arrangement, to discuss your needs. Staff will liaise with your School to make the necessary arrangements for your support during your time in Manchester. The 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.

The Disability Advisory & Support Office is located on University Place, 2nd Floor, Block 2.

Contact details:

Phone 0161 275 7512/8518
Text 07899 658 790
Minicom 0161 275 2794
Fax: 0161 275 7018

In addition, support is available within the School of Health Sciences:

Student Guidance Service

The Student Guidance Service is a student-centred service open to all Undergraduates and Postgraduates, from all departments across the whole University. The service provides confidential advice on any academic matter, from information regarding course transfers, for example, to referrals for study skills courses, or guidance in Appeals procedures or advice on complex issues where a student’s work is being affected in any way.

Counselling Service

The counselling service is available for all students. It is free and consists of a team of professional counsellors. The service provides confidential counselling for anyone who wants help with personal problems affecting their work or well-being.

The service is open 9.00am to 5.00pm Monday to Friday all year round except public holidays.

Occupational Health

Occupational Health is a specialised area of medicine concerned with the way in which an individual’s health can affect his or her ability to do a job and to study and conversely how the work environment can affect an individual’s health. Their aim is to promote the physical, mental and social well-being of students and to reduce the incidence of ill-health arising from exposure to work place hazards.

Students Union Advice Service

The Students Union has advisers who can help with any matter ranging from finances to housing and beyond. To contact the UMSU Advice Service please email

Health and Safety

See Introductory Courses.

Section D: University Regulations

Academic Support Policies

A list of University Policies and documents can be found at:

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 can be found at

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

Data Protection

Guidance for the Presentation of Taught Master’s Dissertations

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

Policy on religious observance for students (for UG/PGT and PGR students)

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has produced guidance for healthcare students on fasting and caring: Fasting and Caring – Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan: guidance for health care students.

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 at

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

Student Union