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Occupational Hygiene

Programme Handbook

September 2022

Introduction to the School

Welcome from the School Director Education, Andrew Mawdsley

\\\home$\Downloads\thumbnail_Andrew%20Mawdsley.jpg  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.

General Information


What is the Programme Handbook?

The Programme Handbook is a reference document that contains generic and programme specific information (or signposts to the information) that you require throughout your programme of study.

Useful contacts

If you have any questions or encounter any problems during your studies, please contact a member of the Programme Admin team and we will endeavour to deal with your query or re-direct it appropriately.

Key Academic Staff
Prof Martie van Tongeren Academic Director
Anne Clayson Programme Director

MSc Occupational Hygiene
Mike Slater Lecturer

Occupational Hygiene
Melanie Carder Programme Director

MSc Occupational Medicine
Dr Nicola Gartland Lecturer Occupational Health
School Level Management



Programme Admin team




Examination queries

Assessment queries

Assessment submissions

Resit/reassessment queries Attendance Monitoring Disability Support Mitigating Circumstances Registration advice and guidance

Course unit selection and enrolment

Timetable queries

Programme content Wellbeing student support, appointments and signposting


Student support hub – general queries and advice not covered by the above teams



IT Services Support Centre and FBMH eLearning Support

Details of what IT/eLearning support is available and how to access it can be found on the FBMH eLearning Support page.

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.

Login to the IT Support Portal, from where you may make a request, book an appointment for an IT visit, report a fault, or search the Knowledge Base.

University Virtual Learning Environment

Blackboard is the University’s ‘virtual learning environment’ (VLE) used for online teaching.

Blackboard is a web-based system that complements and builds upon traditional learning methods used at The University of Manchester. By using Blackboard you can:

  • view course materials and learning resources;
  • communicate with lecturers and other students;
  • collaborate in groups;
  • get feedback;
  • submit assignments; and
  • monitor your own progress at a time and place of your own convenience.

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:

Your Programme

Aims of the Programme

The programme aims to:

  • provide students with the core knowledge necessary to develop competence in occupational hygiene with special emphasis on legal instruments, the toxicological basis for standard setting, methods commonly used to evaluate hazardous agents, and the management and evaluation of occupational hygiene interventions;
  • provide an academic qualification that is accredited by the British Occupational Hygiene Society (BOHS). Faculty of Occupational Hygiene to equip students to gain employment in occupational hygiene and occupational health related sectors;
  • teach students the rudiments of research methods, critical appraisal and critical objectivity so that on a life-long basis they will apply their knowledge to assess, and make evidence based decisions; and
  • equip graduates with the knowledge, practical skills and critical awareness to enable them to fulfil the requirements of potential employers in government, private industry and consulting.

At MSc, students will:

  • acquire a thorough understanding of the theoretical principles and research methodologies underpinning all aspects of occupational hygiene;
  • gain sampling and analysis skills in occupational hygiene laboratory and field work;
  • develop powers of critical appraisal, analytical thinking, and logical argument to allow evaluation of concepts and/or approaches to occupational health issues;
  • carry out a piece of independent research, including the ability to design, analyse, interpret results and write up a dissertation; and
  • utilise research method skills within day-to-day practice, or within a career involving postgraduate research and study.

The MSc develops mastery of the chosen subject, developing skills and gaining experience in formulating a research question, designing and executing an appropriate study, and drawing valid conclusions through writing a dissertation.

Students completing at Master’s level have the right to use post-nominal letters of MSc.

Comprehensive guidance documentation is provided at the beginning of your programme on your dissertation, depending on your mode of registration.

If you are registered for the 3-year part-time MSc you will embark on the dissertation in the third year of the programme; if you are registered for the 2-year part-time MSc you will embark on the dissertation in the second year of the programme; if you are registered for the 1-year full-time MSc you will embark on the dissertation in the first year of the programme. Please note that you must successfully complete the taught component of the Degree of Master’s before you can progress to the dissertation year.

Some course units are run in both the occupational hygiene and occupational medicine programmes. Past experience has shown us that most students find this beneficial to their learning experience.

Eligibility for Professional Examinations

It is your responsibility to liaise with professional bodies on matters of eligibility for professional examinations. It is also your responsibility to check the appropriate syllabus when preparing for professional examinations.

Every attempt is made to ensure that course material is as up to date as possible; however the professional bodies will expect candidates to show knowledge of current/changing practice, some of which may not be available within the course materials.

Programme structure

Taught Units

POPH68881 Foundation for Postgraduate Practice

POPH68861 Fitness for Work

POPH68842 Health and Workability

POPH63182 Occupational Exposure Assessment

POPH68821 Understanding Physical Agents

POPH60161 Occupational Exposure Control

POPH68802 Research Methods and Data Analysis

POPH68892 Occupational Health Management


POPH69000 Dissertation











Award of Postgraduate Certificate (4 taught units)

Award of Postgraduate Diploma (8 taught units)

Award of Master of Science (8 taught units plus dissertation)




Occupational Hygiene Full and Part time Unit schedule

Programme Specification

Please login to Blackboard and navigate to the Programme’s Community Space for the Programme Specification.

Introductory Courses and PGT Online Skills Training Resource

Non-credit bearing Introductory Course

All students are automatically enrolled onto the non-credit bearing Introductory Courses (SHSS60001) 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 these units is mandatory for all students. All assessments must be completed as soon as possible after the programme begins, with the academic malpractice assessment completed before the first piece of coursework is submitted. Completion of these units is monitored by the School. All students are strongly advised to complete the academic literacy section pre-assessment test. Once completed access to further resources on academic writing will become available.

PGT 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 the Programme Admin team.

Content of Online Skills Resource

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

Research Methods* This course is spilt into 2 units that cover introductions to study design, and dissertation skills. It has a number of online quizzes where you can test your knowledge.
Statistics* The course provides a valuable foundation for understanding and interpreting biostatistics. It aims to provide you with the fundamentals of quantitative analysis.
Presentation Skills This short interactive unit is designed to help you to enhance your presentation skills. Regardless of whether you are presenting in public, preparing for conferences, an oral examination or more informal settings this unit will give you the tops tips to improve your delivery.
Qualitative Research Methods* This unit has been designed to give you an introduction to Qualitative Research.

* 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.

NB. It is your responsibility to regularly check Blackboard and your university email account for new material or course information. You MUST inform the Programme Admin team of any changes to your contact details. We will NOT accept responsibility if vital information does not reach you because your contact details are out of date.

Course Unit Information

The teaching material has been designed to fulfil the requirements of a postgraduate academic programme. Completion of each course unit contributes 15 credits towards the total of 60 credits required to complete the Postgraduate Certificate and 120 credits required to complete the Postgraduate Diploma. The dissertation is worth 60 credits and is essential in order to achieve the 180 credits required to complete MSc.

The course unit specifications can be found online here, on the programme’s web page.

Modes of study

The programme is delivered through a blend of online materials supported by online lectures, webinars, group discussion, tutorials and practical experience days where relevant.

All online materials are accessed solely online via the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard. Therefore, you will require regular access to a modern personal computer or laptop (Windows or Mac) with a stable internet connection. You should be confident in using the internet for web browsing and sending emails and also using word processing software, such as Microsoft Word.

Your computer/laptop will need a Blackboard-supported operating system and browser. Please visit the following link to check your compatibility:

The Virtual Learning Environment (VLE) – Blackboard

In order to undertake the programme, you must sign up for University IT facilities before completing academic and financial registration via an online process.

Once you are fully registered you will be able to access Blackboard, via the MyManchester student portal. You can find guidance on using Blackboard here, and should you have any queries of a technical nature you can contact the eLearning Team.

You will be advised when it is time to begin accessing your online resources via Blackboard. It is important that you prepare your computer/laptop to have complete and efficient access to your Blackboard-delivered online course units:

  • Check your browser is supported for use (see the list of supported browsers as above).
  • Make sure that cookies from third parties are allowed. Third party cookies are allowed by default on all supported browsers.
  • Almost every part of Blackboard relies on JavaScript for the ability to generate interactive web pages. JavaScript is enabled by default on all supported browsers.
  • Make sure your Pop-up blocker is turned off. Blackboard sometimes uses small browser windows to deliver requested content, e.g. discussion boards.
  • Make sure the Java Runtime Environment is installed.
  • Some content within each course unit may require the installation of third party plug-ins such as Adobe Flash, Windows Media Player, Real player and others. In each case there should be a notification and link informing you that you need to install a new plug-in.

Once you have access to Blackboard, you will be able to view the course units that you are studying that semester. In addition, each course unit is sub-divided into topics, and the order in which you approach the topics within a particular course unit is up to you. Please note however that the exercises within each topic are designed to be attempted in the order that they appear in.

NB. Course materials are updated on a cyclical basis and students will be informed via an announcement on Blackboard if a topic has been revised. It is very important, therefore, that you regularly check Blackboard for any updates to materials, messages from tutors, announcements, etc.


Each unit is supported by face to face or virtual workshops/seminars which will introduce the information to be covered during the semester and provide direction for your learning. They also provide an opportunity to network and to meet fellow students and professionals.

Online Tutorials

All Units are supported by tutorials and an assessment webinar. The tutorials have been designed to include problem based learning and provide the opportunity to raise any academic queries with your assigned tutor.

Please click here for your Programme timetables. For clarity, each of the taught units and the dissertation unit has a separate, downloadable timetable. There is also a separate timetable for the seminars and tutorials.

Please click here for more information regarding online tutorials.

Practical Occupational Hygiene Course

Our Practical Occupational Hygiene Course is delivered on campus in Manchester each Spring. This is optional but we strongly recommend attendance. Students find the course highly beneficial. It is included in your programme fee. Travel costs associated with visiting campus are not included.


Programme Changes/Cancellation

In exceptional circumstances the Programme Director may need to make changes to/cancel a scheduled event at very short notice. In this event, the Programme Admin team will make every effort to let you know in advance. Please make sure that you keep us informed of any changes to your contact details.

Teaching, Learning and Assessment

Summative assessment takes place in each unit and is submitted online. This will take the form of:

  • Written assignments including Reports, Essays
  • Presentations and oral assessment
  • MCQ examinations (online)

Your assessments are marked and we give feedback using a rubric system. This assessment feedback is designed to feed forward into your subsequent assessments.

Successful progression through the course relies on self-directed learning. It is up to you to plan your time and we strongly suggest that you consider the course calendar in conjunction with the syllabus to help you with this. Your success is dependent on considerable commitment and self-discipline.

In order to get the most out of the course you will also need to participate actively in seminars and tutorials – not only to complete the course but to benefit from the resulting exchanges of ideas. If you know in advance you cannot attend/participate in any teaching activity, please let us know as soon as possible.

We recommend that you allow approximately 150 hours of study time per module. This should include activities such as studying the teaching material, participating in supporting activities, completing online activities, and revising for and sitting the examinations.

Please note that you will be responsible for any incidental costs of the course, e.g.:

  • travel to and from any optional face-to-face workshops
  • board and lodging during any optional residential workshops

IMPORTANT: we will be using your university email account as the main method of communication with you. You are advised to check any spam or other filtered folders regularly in case documents do not reach your inbox. You are responsible for ensuring that we have your most up to date contact information at all times.

Expectations and Responsibilities of Staff and Students

The University of Manchester believes that education must be a partnership between the learner and the teacher, conducted within a context that provides properly for pastoral and tutorial needs. As a student at The University of Manchester you can expect to receive an education of high quality with high standards of teaching, resources and support services. You also have responsibilities, and some of these are listed below.

You may expect:

  • a good education which entails high standards of teaching and supervision, resources and support services;
  • educational facilities that support your learning development, such as library and computer facilities and study skills programmes;
  • opportunities to let us know your opinion on how well we have succeeded in these objectives.

You will be expected to:

  • pursue your academic work with a positive commitment;
  • meet the standards of good academic practice by submitting work which is your own and which fully acknowledges the ideas and contributions of others through careful referencing;
  • ensure that you understand what is meant by ‘academic malpractice’ and to seek advice if you are in any doubt;
  • take full advantage of resources and facilities offered by the academic environment, including contact with staff and other students;
  • take the initiative in raising problems or difficulties (academic or personal) with an appropriate member of staff, however elementary or trivial these problems may seem; prompt discussion and resolution of problems can prevent difficulties at a later stage;
  • submit work when required to do so; meet deadlines; and endeavor to take an active, not passive, role in seminar discussions; and
  • attend as required by your School and report promptly to tutors, your lecturers, or other appropriate members of staff, and provide explanations for any interruptions in attendance on their course (e.g. for medical or personal reasons). You must inform staff of any prolonged absence.

You will have:

  • access to a Counselling Service (Tel +44 (0)161 275 2864 The Students’ Union provides a confidential Nightline Service for students. Alternatively you may contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre;
  • access to a range of sporting, recreational and leisure facilities. The Students’ Union provides scientific, artistic, cultural, political, religious, recreational and social activities for students;
  • access to guidance and information on careers and employment;
  • access to a member of staff in your School who will be available to provide advice on general and academic issues;
  • the opportunity to comment on programmes of study and the quality of teaching;
  • access to student representatives at school and faculty level with whom you can raise issues of concern, and you will be eligible to serve as a representative yourself;

In addition:

  • you may seek advice on academic matters such as changing course or educational institution, and appealing against decisions which affect you;
  • the University aims to promote a learning and working environment that values diversity and promotes inclusion for all students and staff. Contact the Equality and Diversity Office on +44(0)161 306 5857 if you have any concerns about discrimination or want to find out more about the University’s Equality and Diversity Policy. Alternatively you may contact the Students’ Union Advice Centre. Equality, Diversity and Inclusion | StaffNet | The University of Manchester

Please refer to Manchester University’s Student Charter.

Summative Assessment Submission

Students are required to pass all summative assessments to progress through the programme, in accordance with the assessment regulations of the University. All marks will be subject to ratification at the relevant Examination Board.


The University uses electronic systems for the purposes of detecting plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice and for marking.  Such systems include TurnitinUK, the plagiarism detection service used by the University.

As part of the formative and/or summative assessment process, you may be asked to submit electronic versions of your work to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University (this requirement may be in addition to a requirement to submit a paper copy of your work).  If you are asked to do this, you must do so within the required timescales.

The School also reserves the right to submit work handed in by you for formative or summative assessment to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University.

Please note that when work is submitted to the relevant electronic systems, it may be copied and then stored in a database to allow appropriate checks to be made.

In accordance with the Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes:

All typed summative assessments, including dissertations, should be submitted online and subjected to plagiarism detection software, where appropriate.

Academic Malpractice

Academic malpractice is any activity – intentional or otherwise – that is likely to undermine the integrity essential to scholarship and research. It includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results, and anything else that could result in unearned or undeserved credit for those committing it. Academic malpractice can result from a deliberate act of cheating or may be committed unintentionally. Whether intended or not, all incidents of academic malpractice will be treated seriously by the University.

The procedures and penalties for dealing with academic malpractice are covered by the same regulation as apply to Conduct and Discipline of Students (Regulation XVII).

You are responsible for ensuring that you understand what academic malpractice is, and how to avoid committing it. If you are unsure, ask your programme director.

Guidance for students on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice can be found here.

Information on Academic Malpractice and how to avoid it can be found here.

Late Submission Penalty (including Dissertation)

Work submitted after the deadline without prior approval will be subject to a late penalty in accordance with the University Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes. The penalty applied is 10% of available marks deducted per day/24 hours (from the time of the original or extended deadline), until the assignment is submitted or no marks remain.

Penalties for late submission relate to 24 hours/calendar days, so include weekends and weekdays, as well as bank holidays and University closure days.

The mark awarded for the piece of work will be reduced by:

10% of the available marks deducted if up to 24 hours (1 day) late
20% of the available marks deducted if up to 48 hours (2 days) late
30% of the available marks deducted if up to 72 hours (3 days) late
40% of the available marks deducted if up to 96 hours (4 days) late
50% of the available marks deducted if up to 120 hours (5 days) late
60% of the available marks deducted if up to 144 hours (6 days) late
70% of the available marks deducted if up to 168 hours (7 days) late
80% of the available marks deducted if up to 192 hours (8 days) late
90% of the available marks deducted if up to 216 hours (9 days) late
100% of the available marks deducted if up to 240 hours (10 days) late

If the assessment is submitted within 10 days of the deadline the assessment should be marked and feedback to the student provided. If this mark before the penalty is applied reaches the appropriate pass mark but the applied penalty results in a fail of the assessment, the student should not be required to resit the assessment as the original mark can be taken as the resit mark. Further information and examples can be found in the Policy and associated Guidance documents.

For work submitted more than 10 days late, it is regarded as a non-submission and need not be marked. In this case a mark of zero will be awarded and normal resit regulations will apply.

The sliding scale should only be applied to first-sit submissions. For all referred (resit) assessment, any late submission will automatically receive a mark of zero.

For further information, please visit:

Guidance on Late Submission

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

Assignment Word Count (including the dissertation)

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

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

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

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

For more information, please refer to Appendix I: Word Count Guide.

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.

Examination Board

Members of the Examination Board normally include your tutors and Programme Director and are overseen by a Programme External Examiner from another university or training body. It is the job of the Examination Board to review all the results anonymously and make decisions on the award of credit and who can re-sit exams/assessment or gain compensation. It is also the role of the Examination Board to decide who cannot continue and will leave the University with an exit award. You will be notified of your result via email within 2 weeks of the Exam Board taking place.

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 committee/staff student liaison committee, 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 Programme & Subject External Examiner is Dr Peter Sykes, Dean of Faculty, Cardiff Metropolitan University and Dr Massoud Mansouri, Occupational Health, Cardiff University.

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.  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 the Programme Admin team in the first instance.

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.

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

Student Complaints

We hope that your studies go smoothly; however if you do have cause for complaint, please contact a member of the Programme Admin team in the first instance. We will try and address your concerns as swiftly as possible. Alternatively, you may inform your Student Representative, who can raise the issue on your behalf.

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

The University has separate procedures to address complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination and/or victimisation – see


Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first (see the procedure). Formal complaints should be submitted on the relevant form to Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail:

Student Progression


Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students

The programme will monitor the work and engagement of students on the programme. This is for your benefit and helps to ensure you are coping with the work. Regular or a pattern of non-engagement may result in you being asked to meet with your programme director.

Examination Boards can refuse assessment, as well as referred assessment, on the grounds of poor academic performance and engagement. A series of warnings (informal and formal) would be issues to any students failing to meet the engagement requirements of their programme. If there is no significant improvement, or the criteria set out in the formal warning is not met, then further action will be taken and may result in withdrawal from the programme.

For further information see: Regulation XX Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students

The University offers a range of advice and support to students experiencing problems with attendance. Further information can be found via Student Support –

You can also speak to the Programme Admin team or Programme Director.

Engagement and Religious Observance

We will make every effort to avoid holding seminars and assessments on religious days or festivals to accommodate those students whose commitment to the observance of their faith would otherwise cause them to miss the event.

Every effort will be made to accommodate students’ legitimate religious requirements, but the University reserves the right to hold events on any days/times if alternatives cannot be found.

The University cannot accept responsibility for students being timetabled for events at times when their religious requirements make it impossible for them to attend, if they fail to notify a member of the Education Team in advance.

Programme Approved Assignment Extensions

All assignment submission deadlines will be 12 noon (BST/GMT). There will be no grace periods following the deadline (unless mitigating circumstances are approved) and the University late submission policy will take effect.

Programme extensions will only be granted for short term unforeseen changes to your circumstances and must be submitted with supporting evidence (as per the current policy) prior to the assignment deadline. All requests are treated confidentially. Programme extensions of up-to 2 weeks will be granted at the discretion of the programme. If an extension more than 2 weeks is needed please refer to the Mitigating Circumstances information below.

Please note that extension requests can take up to 5 working days to confirm and your request is not guaranteed to be accepted, so please submit any requests as early as possible. Students who submit late will risk having penalties applied.

Any extension for a resit assignment will be dealt with by the same procedure, however you will need to submit a new request and provide new evidence.


Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigation describes the process by which a student may be compensated for poor assessment performance, or when they are not able to complete an exam/assessment, as a consequence of unforeseen or unpreventable circumstances.  Mitigation can be submitted for exams/assessments that have been completed but have been adversely affected, or for exams/assessments a student has been unable to complete.

A student who considers they may have mitigating circumstances should contact their Programme Admin team in the first instance. Formal mitigation requests should be received with relevant supporting evidence prior to the assessment deadline.

Retrospective mitigation requests will only be considered, if presented at least 2 weeks prior to the exam board and there are credible and compelling reasons as to why the circumstances could not be made known or presented prior to the assessment submission deadline/exam.

Any requests for mitigation will be considered confidentially by a mitigating circumstances panel. This will include a nominated School contact and will meet the quoracy guidelines of the University regulations. Mitigation panels are held regularly and all relevant paperwork must be received in a timely manner for a request to be included for review/decisions. Where a request for mitigation is supported, a recommendation will be made to the exam board for them to decide on the best course of action for the student.

Students are advised to consult the ‘A Basic Guide to Mitigating Circumstances’, which directs them to seek advice and support before and whilst submitting a request for mitigation. As above, please contact our Programmes Administration if you need to use the Mitigating Circumstances process.

Special Permissions (Interruptions and Extensions to Programme)

It is the expectation of the University that postgraduate taught students pursue their studies on a continuous basis for the stipulated duration of their programme. However, it is recognised that students may encounter personal difficulties or situations which may seriously disrupt or delay their studies. In some cases, an interruption or extension to your programme of study may be the most sensible option.

Students who wish to interrupt the programme or extend to write up the dissertation should initially discuss their plans and reasons with the Programme Admin team and Programme Director or Dissertation Supervisor (if requesting an extension to the dissertation).

Students must also provide documentary evidence when appropriate, for example, doctor’s letter, sick note etc.

An application must be submitted to the Programme Admin team, together with 3rd party evidence. The request will be considered by the Programme Director before final consideration by the School.

The forms required for formal application are available from the Programme Admin team.


If you wish to withdraw from the course, please contact a member of the Programme Admin team, who will advise you on the appropriate course of action.

Please note that withdrawal requests made (without mitigation), with less than 2 weeks (10 working days) to the exam date, will be considered a ‘fail’ in the exam. Under these circumstances any future request to return to the same course will not be possible.

Tuition Fee Refunds

In accordance with the University’s policy on tuition fee refunds, the amount of any tuition fee refunded is dependent on the date of withdrawal from the programme of study. Tuition fees are charged on a daily basis up to and including the date that the Education Team is informed that a student has left the course.

Any refunds will be processed to the original payee by the original method of payment. If a student has a university debt, they will be contacted by Credit Control before any refunds are agreed.

Tuition fee refunds (due to withdrawal from the programme) are calculated according to the number of days in attendance on a programme of study.

Students who withdraw from their studies will be charged as follows:

However, once registered, students who withdraw within the first 11 weeks of the course will be charged a minimum of 25% of the year’s tuition fee.

Graduation and Blackboard Access

Students who are presented at the June Exam Board will be invited to join the July Graduation Ceremony and students who are presented at the November Exam Board will be invited to join the December Graduation Ceremony.

The University’s Graduation Team will release the Graduation Ceremony information as soon as it is made available, usually late April/October.

The standard email sent by the University’s Graduation Team is sent to ALL potential graduands.  Therefore, please do not book flights or hotels until you have received your award/degree result following the Exam Board meeting.

Graduates will have access to both Course and Organisation spaces until the end of their Graduation period; end of July/end of December.

Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations

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 masters’ level in order to get an award. For a standard postgraduate taught Masters programme this will normally mean passing 180 credits. A standard Advanced 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. The programme and course unit specifications will set out the requirements for passing the credit on individual units.

You can find the degree regulations here.

The following guidance should be read in conjunction with the regulations policy document.


Master’s Degree

Students can obtain a maximum of two compensations (30 credits) in the taught component if they receive a mark in the 40 – 49% range.

Postgraduate Diploma

Students can obtain a maximum of two compensations (30 credits) in the taught component if they receive a mark in the 30 – 39% range.

Postgraduate Certificate

Students can obtain a maximum of one compensation (15 credits) in the taught component if they receive a mark in the 30 – 39% range.


Where the overall unit mark is below the lowest compensation mark (40% for Master’s and 30% for Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate) OR the number of compensatable fails (30 credits for Masters/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 Board of Examiners. When a student is referred they will normally be permitted to retake the assessment/exam on one further occasion at the next available opportunity.

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 six months of the date of the publication of the result. PGT dissertations can only be re-submitted if you achieve a mark of 30 or above. The Board of Examiners, in agreement with the External Examiner may, exceptionally, decide not to allow resubmission.

The pass mark for a reassessment is the same as the first attempt (i.e. 50% for masters and 40% for Postgraduate Diploma/Certificate). When a reassessment is passed, the mark is capped at the lowest compensatable fail mark (i.e. 40R for Masters and 30R for Advanced 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 compensatable fail mark (i.e. 40R for Masters and 30R for Advanced Diploma/Certificate).

Students achieving a mark of less than 30 for their dissertation or project submission are not permitted to
resubmit and will be given an exit award for a PG Diploma where applicable.

Exit Awards

Early exit awards are available for students who need to exit the programme early due to unforeseen circumstances or for those that do not satisfy the criteria for their registered programme.

As below, for the award of:

  • Postgraduate Diploma – students must accrue 120 credits across the programme, including any provision made for compensated or referred units
  • Postgraduate Certificate – students must accrue 60 credits across the programme, including any provision made for compensated or referred units

Criteria for Awards

Award of Master’s

The award of the Master’s degree is based upon credit accumulation using a pass mark of 50%.


Exceptional achievements over the course of the Programme according to the taught master’s marking scheme will be rewarded with the degree with Distinction.

To obtain a Distinction, students must:

  • accrue 180 credits
  • pass all units with no compensations or referrals
  • achieve an overall weighted average of 70% or more across the programme

Students who have compensated and/or referred units are not eligible for a Distinction.


To obtain a Merit, students must:

  • accrue 180 credits
  • achieve an overall weighted average of 60% or more across the programme, including any provision made for compensated or referred units.


To obtain a pass, students must accrue 180 credits, including any provision made for compensated or referred units.

Award of Postgraduate Diploma

The award is based upon credit accumulation using a pass mark of 40%, for which there is no classification other than pass/fail.

To obtain a Postgraduate Diploma, students must accrue 120 credits (as specified by the programme) including any provision made for compensated or referred units.

Award of Postgraduate Certificate

The award is based upon credit accumulation using a pass mark of 40%, for which there is no classification other than pass/fail.

To obtain a Postgraduate Certificate, students must accrue 60 credits (as specified by the programme) including any provision made for compensated or referred units.

Student Support


Student Services Centre

The Student Services Centre is based on Burlington Street between the library and the Learning Commons.

Phone: + 44(0)161 275 5000 Email:

Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS)

The University of Manchester welcomes students with a disability or specific learning difficulties. The University has a Disability Advisory and Support Service, who can supply further information, and DASS advisors will be pleased to meet you to discuss your needs. DASS will liaise with your School through the Disability Coordinator to make the necessary arrangements for your support during your time in Manchester.

The 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.

2nd Floor, University Place

+44(0)161 275 7512 / Text: +44(0)7899 658 790

Fitness to Practice

Information on Fitness to Practice should be included in handbooks for programmes which require the student to undertake practical training in a quasi-professional role in relation to patients, clients or service-users; where the qualification provides a direct license to practice; and where the students on the programme are registered health or social care professionals undertaking further study to enhance their current profession or which will allow them to practice an additional duty.

For advice on content for programme handbooks relating to Fitness to Practice:

Conduct and Discipline of Students

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

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

Information on Academic Malpractice and how to avoid it 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(s) (for example, relevant NHS Trust Professional and Statutory Regulatory Bodies (PSRB), placement and training providers and/or regulator (such as GMC, FOM, BOHS, NMC, GDC etc.). 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.

Policy on Religious Observance

Click here for more information on the Policy on Religious Observance.

Click here for the Faculty’s guidance for healthcare students on fasting and caring.

Other services and facilities

A number of other facilities for students are also available through the University:

Student Representation and Feedback


Academic Reporting Structure

The Occupational Hygiene and Occupational Medicine programmes are managed and operated in accordance with the policies, principles, regulations and procedure of the University of Manchester. The programme committee reports and responds to the Division of Population Health, which the Programme Director is a member of, which then feeds in to the School, Faculty and University committees. This academic reporting structure is below:

Division of Population Health

University Teaching & Learning Group

Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health

PGT Programme Committee

School of Health Sciences PGT Committee

Programme Committee

Occupational Hygiene and Occupational Medicine

The Committee has executive responsibility for the academic and administrative management of the programme. The Committee includes the Director of the Centre for Occupational Environmental Health, Programme Directors, Student Experience Lead and members of the Programme Admin team.

This Committee meets 4 times a year to consider pertinent issues relating to programme management, as well as quality issues, student feedback and progression.

The Advisory Committee has strategic responsibility for the academic development of the programmes. Membership of this committee includes representatives from the NHS, professional bodies, industry, small businesses and the University.

Student Representation

Students are asked to elect a Student Representative for each year group who will stay in the role for at least a year. You can view the list of the Student Representatives on the programme’s Community Space.

The role of the Student Representative is to:

  • act as an advocate for individual students or groups of students;
  • provide feedback about the University and the student experience, both to the University and to the student body; and
  • engage students in actively developing the programme.

All students are invited to attend the Staff Student Liaison Committee that feeds into the Programme Committee, which Student Representatives attend.

Please note that students’ university email addresses will be made available to the appointed Student Representative. The Student Representative will sign a declaration to confirm that they will not disclose any personal data and store the data securely.

Mechanisms for Collecting Feedback

You will have the opportunity to provide feedback at regular intervals throughout your programme. Reports and Programme Directors’ response will be available for students to view via the programme’s Community Space.

We value student feedback very highly, so please complete the online surveys at every opportunity. All feedback is anonymised, so please feel free to be honest. Occasionally we may also undertake a wider student survey, in which we may ask you to participate.

Learning Resources


All your recommended reading and core textbooks are available through The University of Manchester Library website:

Electronic Resources

Your University central username and password are provided by the University of Manchester and are used for network access, Blackboard, e-mail and other IT services. They are also used to access many electronic library resources, such as e-journals, e-books and databases.

The University of Manchester VPN service

The VPN service, provided by IT Services, makes it possible to gain full network access from off-campus. When connected, your computer is assigned a University IP address and you will be able to access IP authenticated services as if on campus.  For further information and to install the software, go to the VPN web page.

P Drive

You are provided with an allocation of networked file storage space which you can access as the P: drive through the Internet with most browsers. This storage space – located on a fileserver – is secure and regularly backed up, and is the recommended place to store your data files, or backups of files you have saved elsewhere. You can access your P drive at: (you will be asked to sign in using your IT username and password).

University Policies and Guidance


All members of the University are required to comply with the University’s Royal Charter, Statutes, Ordinances, Regulations and Policies. It is your responsibility as a student to familiarise yourself with the academic policies, procedures and guidelines governing the University of Manchester’s postgraduate taught programmes. You should note that changes to University and Faculty policy and guidance will apply to all students with immediate effect.

This programme is managed and operated in accordance with the policies, principles, regulations and procedure of the University of Manchester. The programme committee reports and responds to the PGT Lead for the Division of Population Health, Health Services Research and Primary Care. The Divisional PGT lead feeds into the School, Faculty and University committees. This academic reporting structure can be found in Appendix IV.

Please note that copies of the most important forms can be accessed via the Community Space.

Basic Guide to Academic Appeals

Academic Malpractice: Procedure for the Handling of Cases

Conduct and Discipline of Students

Faculty policies for students on Communication and Dress Code, Social Networking and Drugs & Alcohol (Communication and Dress Code) (Drugs & Alcohol) (Social Networking)

Data Protection

Equality and Diversity Policy

Guidance for the Presentation of Taught Master’s Dissertations

Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students

Mitigating Circumstances: Guidance for Students

Policy on Mitigating Circumstances

Guidance for students on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice:

Basic Guide to Student Complaints

Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes

Work and attendance policy

Student Charter

Occupational Health Services for Students

International Advice Team

A Personal Safety Guide for International Students

Students Union

Health & Fitness


A full list of student services can also be found at: A-Z of Student Services

It is your responsibility to familiarise yourself with the academic policies, procedures and guidelines governing the University of Manchester’s postgraduate taught programmes.



Appendix I: Word Count Guide

What is and what is not included in the word count.

Please note: Depending on the type of assessment, not all sections will be applicable.

Title page No
Contents No
List of tables, figures No
Glossary of Terms No
Page numbers No
Abstract No
Declaration No
Intellectual Property No
Acknowledgements No
Introduction Yes
Background, Critical Review of Existing Literature Yes
Aims Yes
Methods Yes
Results Yes
Discussion Yes
Conclusions Yes
Recommendations Yes
Citations in the main text Yes
Directly quoted material in the main text Yes
List of References No
Appendices No
Tables and Figures The titles, footnotes and citations for

Tables and Figures are included

but the actual text within them is not