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Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training

Division of Pharmacy & Optometry

School of Health Sciences

Faculty of Biology, Medicine & Health

Student Programme Handbook




Table of Updates

Date of update Update
Mar 2023 Contact details: admin contact details changed throughout to School-based addresses
Extensions, Mitigating Circumstances and Interruptions: School of Health Science forms replace Pharmacy & Optometry forms, updated School policies and procedures provided.
Sep 2022 Welcome from the School Director of Education: title amended from ‘Director of Postgraduate Taught Education’.
Welcome from the Programme Director: minor textual amendments.
Online Skills Training Resources: table updated – references to statistics and Intellectual Property Awareness Resource removed.
Reassessment: minor textual amendments.
Timetable: dates updated for 2022-23.
PIAT Annual workshop: updated for 2022-23.
Graduation: references to Covid arrangements removed.
Optional Units: unit availability updated for 2022-23. Differences in assignment length no longer applicable.
Unit Selection: minor textual amendments.
Programme Time Requirements: minor textual amendments.
Unit Time Requirements: minor textual amendments.
Learning Material: minor textual amendments.
Written Assignments: dates updated for 2022-23. Differences in assignment length no longer apply.
Assignment Deadlines: dates updated for 2022-23. Deadline time clarified.
Assignment Word Count (including the dissertation): Text amended for clarification on exceeding the word count.
Marking your Written Assignments: minor textual amendments.
Feedback for Assessments: clarification of the stages required to provide feedback. Specific timescales removed.
The Role of the External Examiners: External Examiner names updated
Academic Appeals, Complaints, Conduct and Discipline of Students: text on informal discussions expanded. Link to the Academic Appeals Procedure updated.
Divisional Administrative Contacts: names and job roles updated.


Welcome from the School Director of Education

\\\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.


Mr Andrew Mawdsley
Director of Education
School of Health Sciences

Welcome from the Programme Director

Welcome to the Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training programme. The portfolio consists of twenty-five units in three different pathways, all delivered by distance learning. They are Industrial Pharmacy, Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing (although the latter is closed to new admissions and unit enrolments). We developed the programme in co-operation with the UK pharmaceutical industry and the Pharmaceutical Microbiology Interest Group, and it is written and tutored by University staff and subject experts from all across the pharmaceutical industry.

This handbook provides details of the programme, information about the aims and learning outcomes, structure, content, assessment and programme management. Please read it thoroughly. It should also be read in conjunction with related University documentation.

Each of you will bring your personal experience and knowledge to the programme. 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 there is something not answered within the handbook, please do not hesitate to contact us.

We hope that your time studying with us will be enjoyable and successful.

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

The Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health home page:

The University of Manchester home page:

Dr Richard Campbell
Programme Director

Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training

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.

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.


Details of these resources can be found in the Virtual Common Room area of Blackboard (listed under ‘My Communities’). 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 the Programme Director. If you have questions about referencing and how it applies to your own work, please contact the Programme Director or dissertation supervisor/unit 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.
Introduction to Statistics* The course provides a valuable foundation for understanding and interpreting biostatistics. It aims to provide you with the fundamentals of quantitative analysis.
Presentation Skills This short interactive unit is designed to help you to enhance your presentation skills. Regardless of whether you are presenting in public, preparing for conferences, an oral examination or more informal settings this unit will give you the tops tips to improve your delivery. The course also includes a unit on influencing effectively, alongside the presentation and poster information.
Qualitative Research Methods* This unit has been designed to give you an introduction to Qualitative Research.

* 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.

Section A: Programme Structure

Programmes Support Team

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

Tutor Guidance

Your unit tutor is there to help and support you through the unit. Your tutor is an expert in their field and is responsible for the currency and content of the unit. You will be informed of the tutor’s email address, which should be used to contact them with any queries you have on the unit content, exercises or assignment. Please be aware that many of our tutors have other academic and industrial duties so please give adequate time for their replies.

Programme Management

The Programme Director, working with the Programmes Support Team, is responsible for student admissions, the appointment of tutors, Quality Assurance, and the general programme management. He reports to the Head of Division of Pharmacy and Optometry and makes formal reports to the Consortium Postgraduate Teaching and Learning Committee. This committee is chaired by the Divisional Head of Postgraduate Taught Studies, who in turn reports to the Head of Postgraduate Taught Studies for the School of Health Sciences.

Programme Rationale and General Description

This taught part-time Master of Science (MSc) programme is suitable for students who wish to improve their knowledge, understanding and research expertise prior to embarking on a research PhD or to support their career development in the Pharmaceutical Industry. The Masters-level qualification meets the needs of those requiring a higher degree and the programme is designed to provide training, skills and knowledge that would help support subsequent applications.

The programme is part-time. Students studying towards an award of MSc are required to complete the programme (taught units and dissertation) within a 5-year period. Information on further awards and the expected timeframes within which students are expected to have completed study can be found in the ‘Criteria for Awards’ section (below).

During the taught element of the course (optional units) you will work through learning material for up to eight taught units, supported by your tutors and enhanced by an annual workshop event.

Following completion of eight taught units within four years (and subject to satisfactory progression through the programme) you have the option of progressing to a final year in which you will be working on a dissertation, which involves a substantial piece of research. Please contact the lead for the dissertation unit, Dr Alain Pluen, prior to the completion of your eighth unit. He will assist and advise you in the development of a dissertation proposal application, which will be reviewed by an evaluation panel to assess the novelty and feasibility of the research. Before starting work on your dissertation, you are expected to review the research methods training materials available in Blackboard.

Programme Aims

Students will become members of the Division of Pharmacy and Optometry, which leads research and development in various areas of Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Microbiology. The ethos fosters excellence in pure and applied research and in developing treatment approaches. The educational aims of the programme are to provide students with an understanding of core principles and features of the Pharmaceutical Industry or professional training. The course will produce students who:

  • have an in-depth knowledge and understanding of key theoretical, clinical and methodological issues relating to the Pharmaceutical Industry,
  • have experience and training in a range of qualitative and quantitative research methods,
  • have knowledge of core principles and features of Industrial Pharmacy or Pharmaceutical Microbiology,
  • have an understanding of the ways in which scientists work within the pharmaceutical industry and related services at the level of individuals, groups and populations,
  • meet regional, national and international demand for highly qualified scientists with an understanding of theoretical and methodological applications.

Programme Learning Outcomes

Through successful completion of the programme, you will:

  • Develop professional practice. Students should be able to demonstrate personal qualities that encompass communication skills, self-management, self-awareness, acting with integrity, taking responsibility for self-directed learning, critical reflection and action planning to maintain and improve performance. Students will have the ability to work, where appropriate, in partnership with others, often as part of a team, embracing and valuing diversity.
  • Gain basic, core scientific knowledge, skills and experience, enabling them to critically evaluate and critique current research and innovation methodologies. Students will be equipped to deal with complex scientific and clinical issues both systematically and creatively, make sound judgements in the absence of complete data, and to communicate their conclusions clearly to specialist and non-specialist audiences.
  • Build a conceptual understanding and advanced scholarship in and, where appropriate, propose new research questions and hypotheses.
  • Develop scientific and clinical leadership skill based on the continual advancement of their knowledge, skills and understanding through the independent learning required for continuing professional development. They will develop ability to critique, analyse and solve problems, define and choose investigative and scientific and/or clinical options, and make key judgements about complex facts in a range of situations.

A copy of the programme specification can be found on the PIAT Virtual Common Room on Blackboard.

Credit Requirements

To gain a postgraduate award, you have to accumulate the requisite credits by completing and passing the course unit assessments. Course units carry 15 credits each, and the MSc dissertation carries 60 credits. You’ll need 180 postgraduate credits to qualify for the degree of MSc. For a Postgraduate Diploma you need 120 credits, and for a Postgraduate Certificate you need 60 credits. You can choose the units according to your own personal or career development needs.

You may be permitted to obtain credits on the basis of demonstrated learning that has occurred at some point in the past – Accreditation of Prior (Experiential) Learning – either through awards from an educational institution or training provider (APL), or through uncertified learning gained from experience (APEL). Further details on Credit Requirements and AP(E)L can be found in the PGT Degree Regulations Document (see below).

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 Masters level in order to receive an award. For a standard postgraduate taught Masters 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.

The full PGT Degree Regulations can be accessed at:

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

Exemptions to the PGT Degree Regulations

Please be aware that the PIAT programme has some higher requirements to the University degree regulations and details of these are outlined below.

Due to the professional-based nature of this programme, there are several exemptions from the regulations:

  • The programme will operate a 50% pass rate across all levels and pathways – i.e. stand-alone units, Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc.
  • The Programme will not apply compensation rules to any course units. Where the unit assessment falls below the minimum 50% pass mark, the assessment will be referred. This applies to all course unit assessments across the Programme.

Criteria for Awards

Award of Masters Degree

The award of Masters degree is based upon credit accumulation using a pass mark of 50%.


Exceptional achievements over the course of the programme according to the taught masters marking scheme will be rewarded with the degree of Masters with Distinction.

To obtain a Distinction, students must have:

  • accrued 180 credits;
  • have passed all units with no referrals;
  • have achieved an overall weighted average of 70% or more across the programme.

Students who have been referred in any course units are not eligible for the award of Distinction. In addition, the dissertation must be submitted by the end of the period of programme, unless there are significant mitigating circumstances, approved in advance for missing the end of programme deadline.


To obtain a Merit, students must have accrued 180 credits AND have achieved an overall weighted average of 60% or more across the programme, including any provision made for referred units.


To obtain a pass, students must have accrued 180 credits including any provision made for referred units.


To progress to the dissertation / research element of the Masters programme, students must have passed all taught units (120 credits) within 4 years of initial registration on the programme.

Award of Postgraduate Diploma

To obtain a Postgraduate Diploma award, students must have accrued 120 credits including any provision made for referred units.

Award of Postgraduate Certificate

To obtain a Postgraduate Certificate award students must have accrued 60 credits including any provision made for referred units.

Exit Awards

Exit awards are available for students who do not satisfy the criteria to receive the award on which they are registered (i.e. MSc or Postgraduate Diploma) or who need to exit the programme early due to unforeseen circumstances.

To be considered for a Postgraduate Diploma you must accrue 120 credits across the programme.

To be considered for a Postgraduate Certificate you must accrue 60 credits across the programme.


Reassessment as a result of a fail is known as a “Referral”. The pass mark for all unit assessments is 50% and any assessment that falls below the minimum pass mark will be referred. Decisions with regard to referred assessments are made by the Board of Examiners and you will be notified officially if you are required to re-sit an assessment. If you are referred, you will normally be permitted to retake the assessment on one further occasion.

The pass mark for reassessment remains at 50%; though the unit will be capped at the lowest compensable mark, e.g. an original assessment falling below 40%, when passed through a resit will be recorded as 40R. If the original mark is between 40-49, the original mark stands but with the suffix ‘R’. The capped unit mark will be used to calculate the weighted average/total mark for the final award.

If you have approved and verified mitigating circumstances, an assessment may be deferred or you may be awarded a further first attempt. A mitigating circumstances review panel will make such decisions and all decisions formally recorded and communicated with you. Where mitigating circumstances have been approved, no penalties will apply.

If you fail the MSc dissertation you will normally be allowed one resubmission, at the recommendation of the Board of Examiners, which will normally be within six months of the date of publication of the result. If you achieve a mark of less than 30% for your dissertation you will not be permitted to resubmit and will be awarded the appropriate exit award.


Some changes were introduced to the structure of the programme in September 2020. There is now a transitional phase where a new structure and a traditional structure are both in operation:

If you are on the new structure (starting on the PIAT programme from September 2020 or starting prior to September 2020 and opting in), the semesters this academic year will be structured as follows:

  • 12 September 2022 to 9 January 2022
  • 9 January 2023 to 8 May 2023

You will have an update on your progress each summer, before deciding to continue in the following academic year, and you will have a break from study over the summer months (unless a resit is required).

If you are on the traditional structure (you started on the PIAT programme before September 2020 and have not opted in to the new structure) you will use the following timings:

  • 1 October 2022 to 26 June 2023
  • 1 April 2023 to 29 January 2024

If you started the programme before 2020, you will have received formal written confirmation of your choice of which programme structure you are studying on by September 2020.

PIAT Annual Workshop

We hold an annual workshop event where students can interact with the tutors, the University staff who run the programme, and each other. The intention of the event is to reinforce understanding of the learning material and provide the opportunity for discussion of any problems encountered during your study and from the assignments.

This academic year the annual workshop event is planned to be held in January 2023. More details will be available about the workshop in due course. We suggest you use the workshops as an opportunity to learn more about units which you may take in the future and speak with the tutors regarding your area of interest, and you are advised to consider taking one or more days of annual leave to focus on the event in order to make the most of the workshops and tutor contact time.

The annual event is optional, but we strongly advise you to engage with this opportunity.


Each academic year you must re-register, typically every twelve months after you start on the programme. This is very important so that the University has the correct information on your student record, and because University systems attach new unit enrolments to the current academic year. You will receive an email from the Programmes Support Team asking you to re-register if you do not register at the correct time.


Students who successfully complete the programme will be entitled to graduate, in person, at the University’s graduation ceremonies. These are held in July and December each year and you will be invited to attend the first ceremony which follows your successful completion of the course. You will receive details of the ceremonies once your result has been formally approved by the University at the Board of Examiners meeting. If you do not wish to attend the graduation, your certificate will be sent by the Graduation Team to the home address listed on the central system. This will be the home address you confirm during registration, so if anything changes please make sure all your information is up to date on your student portal.


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

The Pharmaceutical Industry Advanced Training programme is an advanced-level programme and some units require an advanced-level knowledge of physical and organic chemistry and mathematics. All units require some work experience within the pharmaceutical industry. We are happy to offer you advice on selecting the most appropriate units for you.

Further details on individual units can be found on the University website, at:

Optional units

Industrial Pharmacy

PHAR71010 Basic Principles: The physicochemical principles of dosage form design
PHAR71020 Pre-formulation Studies
PHAR71040 Oral Solid Dosage forms 1
PHAR71070 Oral Solid Dosage forms 2
PHAR71050 Liquid and Semi-solid Dosage Forms**
PHAR70150 Inhalation Dosage Forms
PHAR70160 Product Development Management
PHAR71100 Pharmaceutical Packaging**
PHAR71120 Pharmaceutical Engineering
PHAR70130 Quality Control Laboratory Testing
PHAR71110 Regulatory Affairs
PHAR70140 Safety, Health and Environment
PHAR71080 Lean Processes
PHAR71060 Management Tools
PHAR72010 Introduction to Clinical Trials
PHAR70710 Scientific and Medical Writing
PHAR72090 Clinical Trials for the NHS and CTU

[** these units are unavailable in Semester 1 but we hope to offer them again in Semester 2]

Pharmaceutical Microbiology

PHAR71300 Introduction to Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Technology
PHAR71310 Water Aspects
PHAR71320 Microbiological Environmental Monitoring and Control
PHAR71330 Sterile Pharmaceutical Manufacturing
PHAR71340 Quality Assurance in Microbiology Laboratories
PHAR71350 Engineering Principles for Pharmaceutical Microbiologists
PHAR71360 Application of Microbiology in Biopharmaceuticals
PHAR71370 Antimicrobials

The units are designed to be used for the study of individual subjects and as part of an integrated programme which can lead to the award of University postgraduate qualifications. For more information on all units please visit our website:

Unit Selection

You can choose any unit as they are all optional, and don’t need to confine your choice to one particular pathway. We suggest that you complete the introductory unit in Industrial Pharmacy or Pharmaceutical Microbiology if you wish to continue in these areas and have not undertaken a first degree in a related subject, as they provide important background information. Please contact the Programme Director for advice and support on choosing the right units for your personal situation.

Programme time requirements

The University has a time limit of five year for postgraduate study. We strongly recommend that you complete at least two units (30 credits) per academic year, especially if you wish to qualify with an MSc degree, to allow enough time for eight taught units and a one-year dissertation.

Unit time requirements

Each unit merits 15 credits and comprises 150 hours, which breaks down approximately as:

  • Working through the learning material (including reading, studying and completion of practice exercises): 110–120 hours.
  • Preparation and writing of assignment: 30–40 hours.
  • Optional participation in the Annual Workshop Event – two to three days (tbc).

You must keep the Programmes Support Team informed of any change in circumstances or any difficulties you are experiencing which may have an effect on the completion of your studies, at the time they occur. An appeal cannot be made after this period has passed.

Award names

All new PIAT students are registered either on continual professional development (i.e. unit by unit progression) in Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences, or on the Postgraduate Diploma or MSc in Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences. The name of the final award is determined at the point of exit based on your unit choices.

Postgraduate Certificate

If you complete four taught units (60 credits) and choose to exit the programme, you will receive an award of Postgraduate Certificate in ‘Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences’.

Postgraduate Diploma

If you complete eight taught units (120 credits) and choose to exit the programme, by default, you will receive an award of Postgraduate Diploma in ‘Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences’.

However, if a majority of credits (75 or more) is from a single pathway, you may choose to exit with the award name of that pathway (i.e. Postgraduate Diploma in ‘Industrial Pharmacy’, ‘Pharmaceutical Microbiology’ or ‘Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing’). Alternatively, if the distribution of credits is shared equally between two pathways, you may choose to exit with the award names of both pathways separated by the word ‘and’ (i.e. Postgraduate Diploma in ‘Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Microbiology’, ‘Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing’ or ‘Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing’).

You must e-mail the Programmes Support Team with your choice by the submission deadline for your final assignment in order to exit with an award name that is not the default option.

Master of Science

If you complete eight taught units and a dissertation (180 credits), by default, you will exit with the award of MSc in ‘Industrial Pharmaceutical Sciences’.

However, if a majority of credits (105 or more) is from a single pathway, you may choose to exit with the award name of that pathway (i.e. MSc in ‘Industrial Pharmacy’, ‘Pharmaceutical Microbiology’ or ‘Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing’). Alternatively, if a majority of credits is from one pathway yet at least 60 credits are from a secondary pathway, you may choose to exit with the award names of both pathways where the majority pathway is stated first, and the majority and secondary pathways are separated by ‘with’ (i.e. MSc in ‘name of majority pathway with name of secondary pathway’. Furthermore, if the distribution of credits is shared equally between two pathways, you may choose to exit with the award name of both pathways separated by the word ‘and’ (i.e. MSc in ‘Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Microbiology’, ‘Industrial Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing’ or ‘Pharmaceutical Microbiology and Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing’).

You must e-mail the Programmes Support Team with your choice by the submission deadline for your dissertation in order to exit with an award name that is not the default option.

Learning material

For each unit you study, you will be provided with learning material containing teaching material and exercises. This will be provided to you online on the University’s Virtual Learning Environment, Blackboard, and/or as a PDF format. The text contains most of the information you will require and references to sources of additional material which you are expected to use. To gain the highest marks you need to demonstrate that you have read around the topic, not just what is provided in the learning material. Throughout your studies, a University-appointed tutor is available to help you if required. You will be told how to contact your tutor when you receive the unit content and are strongly encouraged to do so.

The unit tutor or Programmes Support Team may issue minor changes or updates such as URL links and you will be informed of the changes via email. If you find something that you think is incorrect or out of date, please let your tutor and the Programmes Support Team know.

Course Assessments

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

Formative Assessments

The learning material contains a number of practice exercises for you to do. These are to reinforce what you have learnt, and to help you check that you have fully understood the concepts. In some (but not all) units the answers to these in-text questions are given at the end, or as part of the main text. We suggest that you work through them first before looking at the answers. Doing the practice exercises will ensure that any misunderstandings can be cleared up earlier rather than later. The answers should be self-explanatory, but if there is something that you do not understand about the question, contact your tutor.

Summative Assessments

Each unit includes a summative assessment. If you are studying for academic credits or a Postgraduate qualification, you will be required to prove your competence in the subject and you will be assessed by written assignment. More details on these summative written assignments are given in the following sections.

Written Assignments

The Blackboard space for each unit contains a document detailing the title(s) and specifications for the assignment(s). The version published in the 2022-23 Blackboard space for the unit is the correct version, and supersedes any other version. The specifications outlined in the current assignment document in Blackboard will be applied to your submitted work. We recommend that you check the assignment details at the start of the unit so that you can plan how you wish to complete it as you work through the learning material. Although details are given on how to complete the assignment, we suggest that you contact your tutor before starting it.

Your tutor will set and mark the assignment. Assignments, which may take the form of one larger assignment or several smaller pieces of writing, are intended to represent a significant piece of work and require you to use/put into practice the skills and knowledge gained by working through the learning material. Whilst the assignment may require the gathering of data from alternative sources, you will not be expected to use research methodologies. Assessment is based on factual content, logical presentation and the derivation of conclusions or findings. A general marking scheme is shown below. The limit is 3,000 words for all assignments. Penalties for exceeding the word limits are detailed below, under ‘Assignment Word Count’.

Assignment Deadlines

As mentioned above, the Programmes Support Team introduced some changes to the structure of the programme from September 2020, and there is now a transitional phase where the new and traditional structures are both in operation:

If you are on the new structure (starting on the PIAT programme from September 2020 or starting prior to September 2020 and opting in) your deadlines will be:

  • 12 September 2022-start (i.e. semester 1): 9 January 2023
  • 9 January 2023-start (i.e. semester 2): 8 May 2023

If you are on the traditional structure (you started on the PIAT programme before September 2020 and have not opted in to the new structure) your deadlines will be:

  • 1 October 2022-start: 26 June 2023
  • 1 April 2023-start: 29 January 2024

If you are thinking of submitting your assignment early, you must contact the Programmes Support Team to discuss this, as special arrangements will need to be made in Blackboard. You should note that the tutor may not mark your assignment before the published deadline.

Regardless of the structure you’re following, you will receive written confirmation of your deadline each time you start a unit. We recommend that you add submission dates to your diaries as soon as you receive confirmation of your enrolment on the unit.

All assignments must be submitted electronically to the relevant Blackboard space for that unit. Email submissions will not be accepted except in exceptional circumstances

You will be informed of your provisional assignment mark as soon as possible and be provided with feedback; however, this mark can change at the discretion of the Board of Examiners.

All assignments must be submitted by 12:00 noon (UK-time) on the deadline date. Bear in mind that these are final deadline dates and not targets, and penalties for late submissions apply. You should aim to complete your learning and submit your assignments well before the deadline.

Assignment Word Count (including the dissertation)

In accordance with the University Policy on Marking, Schools must have procedures in place to apply a penalty if the word count exceeds the limit by more than 10%.

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 up to every 100 words over the limit given including the leeway.

For an original word limit that is 3,000 words and an assignment that is marked out of 100: If a submission is made that is 3,301 words then it exceeds the 10% leeway, and is less than 100 words over the original limit and should receive a 1 mark deduction. For 3,401, the deduction is 2 marks, etc.

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.

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

Reference Systems

When you write your essay or put together your end-of-project report, you will be asked to “put references in a uniform acceptable style”. This means choosing a reference system and using it accurately and consistently throughout your piece of work.

What is a reference?

A reference is a description of a source of information that you have quoted from directly or referred to in a piece of written work. All the references are grouped together in a list at the end of your work.

What is a citation?

A citation is created by inserting information into the text of your written work to tell the reader which item in the reference list has been used in making a particular quotation or statement.

What is a reference system?

A reference system is a set of rules for constructing reference lists and citations.

Which systems can I use?

Pharmacy students need to know about two major reference systems, because Pharmacy touches on a range of disciplines, some based in the sciences and others in the social sciences.

The Vancouver System

The Vancouver System is used mainly in the sciences and biomedical subject areas. The Vancouver System is a numeric or author-number system. Documents cited, or referred to, are numbered in the order in which they appear in the text. Each time the same document is referred to its unique number is inserted in superscript – a small number above the text. A full list of the references cited in the text is included at the end of the essay or, in a longer document such as a thesis, at the end of each chapter. The order of these references follows their numerical order in the text.

Citations in the text: References at the end of the essay – bibliography:
the study undertaken by Smith1 in the north of England…… Smith HJ. Smith and Williams’ introduction to the principles of drug design and action. Harwood Academic, 1998
the conclusions drawn by Jones2 in a recent paper… Jones A. Combining trastuzumab (Herceptin) with hormonal therapy in breast cancer: what can be expected and why? Annals of Oncology 2003; 14(12):1697-704.
whilst Jones2 found no evidence of… Note that should you refer, for example, to the paper by Jones again in the text, the same number should be used again.

The Harvard System

The Harvard System is used mainly in the social sciences and humanities.

The Harvard System is an author-date system. When a document is cited in the text, the author’s surname and the year of publication are included. A full list of the references cited in the text is included at the end of the essay or, in a longer document such as a thesis, at the end of each chapter. The references are presented in alphabetical order by author. If there is more than one publication by the same author, these are arranged by date, with the earliest first. If there is more than one publication by an author in the same year, then a letter is added (e.g. 2005a, 2005b)

Citations in the text: References at the end of the essay – bibliography:
the study undertaken by Smith

(1998) in the north of England……

SMITH, H.J. (1998) Smith and Williams’ introduction to the principles of drug design and action. Harwood Academic
the conclusions drawn by Jones (2003) in a recent paper… JONES, A. (2003) Combining trastuzumab (Herceptin) with hormonal therapy in breast cancer: what can be expected and why? Annals of Oncology, 14, 1697-704.
whilst Jones (2003) found no

evidence of …

Note that should you refer, for example, to the paper by Jones again in the text, this is done in just the way as the first time.

Researchers submitting to academic journals will find that the instructions to authors specify the reference system to be used: this may be one of the major systems described above, or a slightly adapted version.

Submitting Assignments

The filename MUST contain your ID number then your assignment title,

e.g. 7123456 Assignment 1.

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

All assignments must include a cover page with the unit title, assignment question and your student number. Do not include your name as assignments are marked anonymously. Please see below for an example:

The University of Manchester

PHAR71010 – Basic Principles

(Assignment title)

(Submission date)

(Final word count)

(Student ID)


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

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

To submit an electronic copy of the work:

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

The electronic copy is your official record of submission.

Blackboard Assignments – SafeAssign

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® through SafeAssign. All written summative assessments must be submitted anonymously.

Submission deadline dates are published on Blackboard® for each course unit. Please note that the submission time is always 12:00 (midday) UK local time.

We urge you 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 PGT Programmes Team 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 section on Extensions below). If you are experiencing longer-term problems you should apply for mitigating circumstances.


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.

Late Submission Penalty (Including the 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 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 resit the assessment as the original mark can be taken in lieu of a resit/referral and normal resit/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 regulations will apply.

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

For further information:

Guidance on Late Submission

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

Mitigating Circumstances

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.

The Policy on Mitigating Circumstances can be accessed here:

Guidance for students on mitigating circumstances can be found here:

A basic guide to mitigating circumstances can be accessed here:

Marking Your Written Assignments

Each topic will be marked on its own merit and contribute to a composite mark.

The table below sets out the levels required for the award of each range of marks:

Classification Mark as % Criteria
Distinction 100 Perfect critique with outstanding degree of originality. Provides novel insights, including the ability to apply concepts to related fields.
80 Outstanding. Well organised critique with clear evidence of understanding. Contains examples of original ideas and supplementary reading.
70 Excellent. 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.
60 Comprehensive answer with accurate facts but largely limited to material covered in the tutorial class.
Pass 59 Good. Comprehensive answer with accurate facts but largely limited to material covered in the tutorial class.
50 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.
40 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.
0 No relevant material presented whatsoever.

This list shows how marks are applied to the assignment. Some units have slightly different ratios; the assignment specification document for each unit provides the breakdown of categories used in that assignment.

Relevance to assignment set 15
Accuracy of content 15
Depth of content 30
Use of practical examples 15
References 5
Total 100

Once your assignment has been marked by the tutor, your mark will be released on Blackboard, along with the tutor’s comments. However, this mark is provisional until it has been officially approved at the Board of Examiners. You should expect to receive a provisional mark and feedback within 15 working days of submission, in line with the University’s feedback policy, but please see the ‘timing of feedback’ note below.

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.

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, any marks given to students before the final examiners’ meeting has taken place must be regarded as provisional. Shortly after the examinations meeting, results will be published to the student system. Students who are graduating or have been referred in any units, will be notified formally by individual letter.

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 (SSC) 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 +44 (0)161 275 5000 or

Timing of feedback

You will understandably be keen to know your results and receive feedback, but tutors need time to assign a fair mark, the Programme Director needs time to arrange second marking, the External Examiner needs time to review the marking before it is ratified at a Board of Examiners meeting, and lastly the Programmes Support Team then need time to enter your marks into the University’s record systems. These processes take some time to do accurately, which is our foremost priority.

The Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students can be accessed here:

How to find your marks

Once work has been marked and moderated you will receive an email from the PGT Programmes Team 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.

You can also access marks by logging into your MyManchester account at 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.

The role of the 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.

The External Examiners for the programmes are:

  • Industrial Pharmacy – Prof. Dimitrios Lamprou
  • Pharmaceutical Microbiology – TBC
  • Pharmaceutical Business Development and Licensing – Dr Hannah-Louise Holmes

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 Programme Team 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 Team.

Requests for interruption

Students normally study for their qualification without breaking their studies. 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 full Academic Appeals Procedure (Regulation XIX) and associated documents, including the form on which formal appeals should be submitted, can be found at

Student Complaints

  • The University’s Student Complaints Procedure (Regulation XVIII) and associated documents, including a complaints form, can be found at:
  • The University has separate procedures to address complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination and/or victimisation – see:
  • Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first (see the 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:

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

In accordance with the Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes, ‘All typed summative assessment, including dissertations, should be submitted online and subjected to plagiarism detection software, where appropriate’.

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

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:

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). 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. It is very important that all students, especially those who have not been in adult learning for some time, take this matter very seriously and engage with the topic of what constitutes plagiarism. For example, even the use of some of your own text from an assignment you have submitted previously is considered to be self-plagiarism, which comes as a surprise to many students, because credits have already been awarded for that text. Examples of unintentional plagiarism may also not be that clear. To ensure that you are fully informed about University expectations and understand your responsibilities with regard to academic malpractice, and don’t fall foul of academic malpractice yourself, you must ensure that you complete mandatory academic malpractice training in the Blackboard unit SHSS60001. Do not underestimate the importance of this matter.

You can find a copy of the University’s Academic Malpractice Procedure 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 the programme directors.


Section C: Information about the Division and University

Divisional Administration Contacts

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

ID cards are not issued automatically to distance learning students. To obtain your card contact the Student Services Centre on +44 (0)161 275 5000 or

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 you update them on the system, as well as informing the Programmes Support Team.

Communication with Students

Please note that only Blackboard (the University e-learning platform) and your allocated student university email address will be used as official communication by University staff. It is your responsibility to ensure that you can access and read email from this source.

You are required to keep the University informed of any change to your personal circumstances such as change of name or address. You can update your own details via the MyManchester portal.

IT Services Support Centre online

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

For IT and eLearning support visit:


Blackboard, the University’s ‘virtual learning environment’, will be used for online teaching.

What is Blackboard?

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

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

Training in the use of software

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

The recording is just over seven minutes long and covers most of the commonly used tools in Blackboard.

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.

Training materials to help you make the most of the Library’s resources will be available in Blackboard.

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.

The Academic Liaison Librarian for the School of Health Sciences is Tristan Hooper (see:

Help is also available at the Library’s Information Desks

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:

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

The Students Union website can be accessed here:

Health and Safety

See Introductory Courses.

Section D: University Regulations

Academic Support Issues

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:

Data Protection

The University of Manchester guidance on presentation of taught Masters Dissertations is available at:
Guidance for the presentation of Taught Masters dissertations

The guidance explains the required presentation of the dissertation, and failure to follow the instructions in the guidance may result in the dissertation being rejected by the examiners.

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)
Regulation XX Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students

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

Students Union