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1.  General Information


Welcome to the School of Medical Sciences and the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health

Welcome to your Postgraduate Taught Programme in the School of Medical Sciences within the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health at the University of Manchester. The University has a worldwide reputation based on high quality teaching and research, and I am sure that your programme will provide a solid foundation for your future career success.

Within the School and the wider Faculty, our goal is to create an environment that allows you to excel and reach your full potential. Offering access to first-class facilities and strong links with regional health-service providers, our postgraduate programmes are designed to meet the diverse needs of all our students. The curriculum of our taught programmes provides the knowledge and skills you will need in your subject area and all our Masters programmes include an opportunity to carry out an independent research project on topics spanning all areas of biomedical research from molecular to experimental biology and clinical medicine. While subject areas cover a broad range, all our taught programmes have two common aims:

  • To develop your skills in your chosen field of study
  • To enhance your knowledge within the field you have chosen. Whether you are a graduate, professional or have a clinical background, the programmes have been tailored to meet your specific needs

As a student of the School of Medical Sciences, you will be expected to take responsibility for your degree, within a supportive environment that fosters your development and helps prepare you for your future career. This handbook will be a useful resource as you progress through your programme. It provides programme-specific information that I am sure that you will find helpful throughout your study. If however, you have questions or would like some further advice, please do not hesitate to contact the people listed in this handbook for further information and assistance.

I wish you every success as you embark upon your programme, and in your future career.

Dr Helen Jopling
Director of Education

Welcome to the PGDip Clinical Practice

A very warm welcome to the University of Manchester from myself and the programme team. We are delighted that you are joining the PG Diploma in Clinical Practice, designed especially for doctors working in the NHS for the first time. We are really looking forward to supporting you through the next two years. Our programme team includes very experienced educators and leaders, many of whom have been involved in the programme since the very beginning of its development.
We have designed an exciting and innovative course that will give you a broad range of knowledge and skills in core, and more specialised, areas of clinical practice. In the first year, we will cover areas such as the NHS and its ethos and working, research methods, clinical communication and patient-centredness, governance and core areas of clinical, surgical and medical practice. In the second year you will have choice of units, so that you can focus on areas you are interested in – for example health policy, humanitarian conflict response.

The course should challenge you and make you think in new ways. It will demand self-motivation and energy as you engage with other students and your tutors. We hope you will also find it a richly rewarding and enjoyable experience. It will help you to think in different ways about your own clinical practice and the context in which you are working. As a graduate of the course, you will be equipped with new expertise and skills to take forward into the next stage of your careers.

Most of your teaching time in the first year will be based at your local trust. For many of you this is Lancashire Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. But we are delighted, for the first time to include those of you working for Blackpool Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust. This arrangement will enable you to settle into life and your clinical work whilst attending teaching at your trust and online. There will be some face-to-face sessions in Manchester, your work patterns permitting. The programme team will come to visit you in Preston from time to time and support you there and virtually. In the second year, there will be some teaching online and some face to face in Preston/Manchester (depending on the units you choose), and the programme team will continue to support you wherever you are

Prof Doug Corfield
Programme Director

List of important contacts with e-mail, telephone and location

Programme Director: Prof Doug Corfield
School of Medical Sciences, G.026 Stopford Building
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL
Tel: (0161) 275 2385
Programme Support Team:



Programme Support Team
School of Medical Sciences, Coupland 3 Building
University of Manchester
Manchester M13 9PL
PGDip Clinical Practice Student Representative: To be appointed by students post registration. The student rep will be nominated from the selection of the students who would like to volunteer for the position. The student rep is required to feedback to the programme directors and administrator on any issues or queries that the students have. They will be required to attend official programme committees throughout the year.
eLearning Support:

You can contact eLearning to receive support at

However, you must enter “FBMH eLearning – PGDip Clinical Practice” in your email subject header.  This will help ensure your request reaches us quickly. Further information on BMH eLearning can be found here.

General IT Support: Report any IT failure or submit a service request. Call the Service Desk on: 0161 306 5544 (or ext 65544). Opening hours are: Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.


Staying Safe – Covid-19

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

We’re adjusting our COVID-19 guidance in line with the latest government recommendations.

We will continue to move forward with caution to protect ourselves, each other, and the most vulnerable in our society. For the latest advice, please refer to the UK government’s coronavirus information.

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

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

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

The Student Charter

Our Student Charter, developed jointly by the University and the Student's Union, is an important part of how we establish and maintain clear mutual expectations for the experience of all undergraduate and taught postgraduates. It sets out what we can expect from each other as partners in a learning community.

Online Skills Training Resource

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

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

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

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

Research Methods* This course is spilt into 2 units that cover introductions to study design 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.

Mandatory Introductory Courses

All students are automatically enrolled onto the Blackboard introductory unit that provides information on Health and Safety and Academic Malpractice.

Completion instructions for each of these sections are clearly defined within the course.  All assessments must be completed within a month of you starting your programme, with the academic malpractice driving test completed before the first piece of summative assessment is submitted.

You must achieve 70% in each of the Health and Safety elements and 100% in each of the Academic Malpractice Driving Test elements to pass.

Health and Safety

Before you visit the University campus, please take time to read the University’s Health and Safety Policy.

Communication with Students

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

Students are required to keep the University informed of any change to their personal circumstances such as change of name or address. Changes can be recorded by the student via their own personal online record. It is also essential to inform your programme team if you do not intend to return to the next session of the course, if, for example, you are moving away.


All students who successfully complete the Postgraduate Certificate, Postgraduate Diploma and MSc/MRes programmes are invited, along with their guests, to attend a graduation ceremony. Further details can be accessed via the Graduation page on the University's website.

The University of Manchester degree ceremonies are broadcast live online, and are also stored on the University website.


2.  Overview of the Programme


This is a part-time programme. The structure of the programme is as follows:

Year One
Complete the 4 course units indicated below. These units together contribute 60 credits to the programme.

  1. Medical Practice in the NHS: expectations and values MEDN61510 (15 credits)
  2. Clinical Governance, Wellbeing and Professionalism MEDN61520 (15 credits)
  3. Core Clinical, Medical and Surgical Practice MEDN61530 (15 credits)
  4. Research Methods MEDN69910 (15 credits)

Year Two
Requires 4 additional units (an additional 60 credits, making a total of 120).

  1. Advanced Clinical Practice MEDN61540 (15 credits) – Mandatory
  2. Evidence Based Practice POPH60041 (15 credits) – Optional
  3. Evidence Synthesis: Systematic Reviews POPH68001 (15 credits) – Optional
  4. Guideline Development and Implementation POPH68012 (15 credits) – Optional
  5. Emergency Planning, Response and Resilience POPH64132 (15 credits) – Optional
  6. Introduction to Health Policy POPH65052 (15 credits) – Optional
  7. Health Services Management POPH64662 (15 credits) – Optional
  8. Reflective Teaching and Learning in Practice NURS 67801 (15 credits) – Optional

Aims and Learning Outcomes

The aim of the PG Diploma is focusing on becoming a reflective clinical practitioner in the NHS.


  • Demonstrate understanding of the NHS and health care systems, considering ethos, structure, evolution and function.
  • Critically evaluate concepts of professionalism
  • Interpret quality improvement frameworks and be able to apply these in clinical practice.
  • Interpret theories of communication and apply these to your own communication in clinical practice.
  • Recall and interpret core clinical, medical and surgical concepts. Apply and reflect on these as part of clinical practice.

Intended Learning Outcomes of the Programme

A. Knowledge and Understanding
At the end of the programme students should be able to:

A1 Critically evaluate health systems and structures
A2 Critically analyse the development of the National Health Service in the UK
A3 Critically explore the issues around professionalism, clinical audit and clinical governance
A4 Critically evaluate the contemporary theories and principles of communication
A5 Critically appraise key core clinical, medical and surgical procedures and developments.

B. Intellectual Skills
At the end of the programme students should be able to:

B1 Consider their own identity as clinicians as they embark upon the reflective process to improve their own clinical practice
B2 Critically reflect on their own research and audit skills
B3 Subject their own clinical practice to critical evaluation
B4 Critically appraise health systems and health and social care contexts locally and nationally

C. Practical Skills
At the end of the programme students should be able to:

C1 Apply governance and quality improvement processes in clinical practice
C2 Plan, design and evaluate critical incident reporting
C3 Apply the elements of successful mentoring and supervision to further their own practice as a reflective clinician
C4 Make informed evidence-based judgements on developments in clinical practice

D. Transferable Skills and Personal Qualities
At the end of the programme students should be able to:

D1 Develop effective, facilitative communication and relationships as clinicians
D2 Practice effectively in a variety of contexts
D3 Demonstrate awareness of the wider context of the health care system

Course Units

Medical Practice in the NHS: expectations and values MEDN61510 (15 Credits) YEAR 1
You will be introduced to values and ethos of working in the NHS and living in the UK as a doctor. Therefore, you will learn, appraise and reflect on health and social care systems in the UK. You will explore cultural and social beliefs.
You will critically appraise health regulation and policy; public health and social care and you will be supported to discuss and reflect on your own values and how these apply in the context of the NHS and key differences between the UK and other health care systems.
You will learn about the NHS and its history, how it was developed and evolved, the political context which led to its development and discuss the challenges facing the NHS now.
You will take part in practical learning designed to demonstrate an understanding of how NHS patient-centred principles are applied to consultation skills and prescribing; through experiential learning and simulation.

Clinical Governance, Wellbeing and Professionalism MEDN61520 (15 Credits) YEAR 1
You will be introduced to key theoretical concepts around professionalism; to support your development as a reflective practitioner. You will learn about key statutory processes and regulation and how to implement these, and reflect on your own professional development.
You will be empowered to analyse your own communication and consultation skills in the context of regulatory and practice requirements for working in the UK. You will be encouraged to reflect on the knowledge and skills you will need to apply more advanced communication abilities such as dealing with complaints and resolving conflict. You will reflect on how to learn from mistakes and the psychological underpinnings for this.
You learn about theoretical frameworks of quality improvement and will start to develop quality improvement skills and applications within your local context. You will discuss and critically appraise a range of quality improvement cycles.
You will be supported to consider your own development as a doctor practicing in the NHS, focusing on your own wellbeing and transitioning through to considering career options.

Core Clinical, Medical and Surgical Practice MEDN61530 (15 Credits) YEAR 1
Masterclass series will be delivered predominantly by consultants who are practising experts in their fields and will provide content that builds on the previously taught undergraduate content.
This content will include state of the art approaches to the subject matter; recent innovations and developments and will provide real-life examples of cases to highlight the importance of the subject matter. Simulation sessions will allow opportunities for you to consolidate learning and apply it in practice.
Your independent study will be focused on understanding medical science underpinnings and the latest world leading research evidence, coupled with reflection and assimilation of the content following the masterclasses.

Research Methods MEDN69910 (15 Credits) YEAR 1
The Research Methods Course/Unit is an interactive blended learning unit and is worth 15 credits. It will give you a comprehensive introduction to key information and skills required for the design, execution, interpretation and dissemination of medical, scientific and clinically-related research.
The Research Methods (RM) course is an integral part of your experience whilst undertaking your degree. It will help provide you with the strongest grounding possible to carry out successful research, whether as part of your course (e.g. in a dissertation) or/and in the future in academia, industry or a medically-aligned profession.

Advanced Clinical Practice MEDN61540 (15 Credits) YEAR 2
This module is focused on learning and applying that learning in the classroom. You will attend sessions where you have the opportunity to consider your own development as a professional, learn about best practice evidence and apply this reflectively to your own practice. You will be enabled to understand your own key strengths and interests and how this applies to medical speciality careers.
You will focus on evidence based medicine – key theories and applications, and critically evaluate ways of applying this to medical practice. You will take part in critical discussion about yours and other roles in challenging ethical and professional cases; and critically appraise best practice.
You will take part in advanced masterclasses in specialised areas such as maternal, children’s and mental health; advanced medical and surgical skills.

Evidence Based Practice POPH60041 (15 Credits) YEAR 2 – OPTIONAL
An important aspect of public health practice is using evidence to inform changes in delivery, design and policy to achieve improved quality in care. All professionals need to be able to confidently and competently access, appraise and apply different types of evidence to inform the decision making process. This unit will provide practical skills and theoretical understanding to help you do this.
This course will provide practical skills and theoretical understanding to help you develop evidence-informed practice. The first part of the course will develop your skills in finding existing sources of evidence to inform your professional practice. The second part of the course will develop your critical appraisal skills and the practical application of evidence into practice.

Evidence Synthesis: Systematic Reviews POPH68001 (15 Credits) YEAR 2 – OPTIONAL
This module is designed to provide students with the knowledge and skills to conduct a systematic review of intervention effectiveness. Vocational relevance This module will help both clinicians and health scientists develop their careers in the area of evidence synthesis by providing them with the knowledge and skills to conduct a systematic review of intervention effectiveness as part of a team.
The module is intended to provide students with an overview of systematic reviews but will primarily be focused on systematic reviews of intervention effectiveness. The module will cover the following areas:
– Formulating review questions
– Selecting appropriate review types
– Developing eligibility criteria and identifying evidence
– Critical appraisal for different study designs
– Data synthesis (meta-analysis & narrative) and interpretation
– Reporting standards and GRADE

Guideline Development and Implementation POPH68012 (15 Credits) YEAR 2 – OPTIONAL
Practically this module will help to enable clinicians to evaluate whether to use guidelines and to provide them with an understanding about approaches to implementation in the local setting. Methodologically, this module will provide those interested in careers in health scientists with an understanding of approaches to guideline development and implementation.
The module will cover:
– Identifying a need for guidelines
– Identifying relevant stakeholders
– Identifying evidence
– Development processes including a range of case studies
– Critical appraisals of guidelines including development processes
– Strategies and interventions to support the translation of evidence into practice, including the role of behavioural science for implementation
– Evaluating and updating guidelines
– Guideline repositories

Emergency Planning, Response and Resilience POPH64132 (15 Credits) YEAR 2 – OPTIONAL
This course is designed to provide a theoretical grounding in Emergency Planning, Response & Resilience (EPRR) for health care professionals with a responsibility for emergency planning and resilience and an introduction to the subject for those with an interest.
The unit will enable students to study the evidence base underpinning major incident and emergency management, with case studies, in order to develop a critical view of resilience and capacity management. The course will provide students with an ability to critically review major incident planning and explore some of the specialist incident types that require a dedicated response. Students will review the UK legislative framework surrounding major incident planning and resilience as a basis to discuss regional, national and international responses to multiple casualty events. Students will also gain an understanding of the health effects of chemical, biological, radiation and climate related hazards.
This is an interactive online course. Students must work through the online course material. Students are encouraged to use the Blackboard discussion boards to ask questions and check their understanding of the course materials.

Introduction to Health Policy POPH65052 (15 Credits) YEAR 2 – OPTIONAL
This course unit provides an introduction to health policy, including approaches to policymaking, policy analysis, and its evaluation. The unit is of relevance to a range of professions within health and care services, the wider public services, and those interested in public policy at the local, national and international scale. This extends to NHS staff, local authorities, the voluntary sector, non-government agencies, policy think-tanks, and consultancies in the health policy world.
The course complements existing units on ‘Health Services Management’, ‘Implementation Sciences’, and ‘UK Leadership and Public Health Strategy’. It is unique in providing techniques for evaluating policy and offering students an opportunity to design an outline for their own policy evaluation. This unit is relevant internationally, using both core case studies and inviting examples of health policies from students’ own contexts, in order to apply and test concepts from the course in relation to different international settings.

Health Services Management POPH64662 (15 Credits) YEAR 2 – OPTIONAL
The course is aimed at professionals wishing to learn more about healthcare management from both the UK and Global perspective.
This course gives students the background needed to manage healthcare in different settings, effectively manage change, cope with uncertainty, and adjust to social, economic, environmental and scientific changes.
What service that you have received was high quality? Why? Do you provide a good service? How do you know? What is the best way to improve your service? These are the types of questions this course unit aims to help you answer.
This module explores how management theories can help health service staff make improvements to the quality, effectiveness and efficiency of provision by developing the skills necessary to contribute to delivering a service and improving quality.

Reflective Teaching and Learning in Practice NURS 67801 (15 Credits) YEAR 2 – OPTIONAL
This course is aimed at practitioners who as part of their work will engage with others as educators and learners. Participants will be introduced to current theoretical frameworks which are used to underpin effective Higher Education practice in teaching, learning, assessment and evaluation. They will critically appraise a range of teaching and learning processes that can be used to create an environment conducive to learning, recognising that their own practice should be informed by broader higher education principles as well as developments in their discipline area.
Participants will critically explore current principles and practices related to session design, delivery, assessment and evaluation. Participants will also be encouraged to reflect upon the knowledge and skills needed to enable them to contribute effectively to the formative and summative assessment of student performance.
Furthermore, in the context of considering their own values base in relation to teaching and learning, participants are expected to consider the importance of equality and diversity for effective teaching, the need for fair and robust assessment and the effective evaluation of learning.
The course will also cover multidisciplinary/multi professional/multi-agency working, organisation of services, leadership skills, health promotion/education models, patient pathways, palliative and end of life care.


Programme Specification and Course Unit Specifications

Programme specification and course unit specifications can be viewed in your Blackboard Programme Community Space via -

3.  Teaching, Learning and Assessment


Coursework and Assessment

Assessment methods employed by the programme will be designed to meet the stated intended learning outcomes of a particular unit. Specifically, assessments will be designed to assess participant knowledge and understanding and practical skills where appropriate whilst at the same time refining, expanding and testing his/her intellectual and transferable skills. All assessments will meet the requirements of the University of Manchester for academic awards and will conform to the Faculty’s criteria for marking of PG Diploma Awards with percentage marking and a pass mark of 40%. Where deemed appropriate, reasonable adjustment may be made to assessments for programme participants with identified additional support and learning needs.

A range of summative assessments will be employed by the programme to assess each course participant’s knowledge and understanding, practical skills where appropriate and developing intellectual and transferable skills. Assessment methods employed will be flexible, enabling individuals to tailor their assessment methodology to meet individual circumstances. The assessment methods employed by each unit will vary and be tailored to align with the stated intended learning outcomes of that particular unit. The assessments will give participants the opportunity to demonstrate their ability to gather information from a wide range of sources, evaluate and critically analyse information, make considered judgments about that information and synthesize material into logical and coherent arguments. Students will receive appropriate support in preparation for assessments, for example in academic writing skills. A standard set of assessment criteria for all PGT units is utilised which sets out an agreed marking scheme for PGT study units. A copy of this proforma marking scheme for the assessment of verbal and written presentations will be included in the relevant units.

Assessment information for your programme

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

Placement Learning

You may have to undertake a placement as part of your programme of study. These often take place off-campus. If your programme involves placement learning, please refer to the Policy for Placement Learning. 

The University's Health and Safety Services have produced Health and Safety Arrangements: Chapter 24 - Health and Safety in Off Campus Work including field work, field trips and business travel, which contains guidance on health and safety issues for off campus work.

Postgraduate Taught Degree Regulations for Students

Students should familiarise themselves with the degree regulations for Postgraduate Taught Degrees by clicking on this link or reading the University document here: Introduction to the Postgraduate Degree Regulations for Students

Turnitin and Plagiarism

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

The Faculty of Biology Medicine and Health have designed a learning module to raise your awareness of academic malpractice and how it can occur in general writing during your studies. This resource can be accessed via Blackboard - SMS Introductory Course and must be completed before you submit your first piece of academic writing for assessment.

The University provides workshops and online training via My Learning Essentials

Please refer to the University of Manchester guidance to students on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice

The full guidance document can be viewed here:

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

The University uses electronic systems for the purposes of detecting plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice and for marking.  Such systems include TurnitinUK, the plagiarism detection service used by the University.
As part of the formative and/or summative assessment process, you may be asked to submit electronic versions of your work to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University (this requirement may be in addition to a requirement to submit a paper copy of your work).  If you are asked to do this, you must do so within the required timescales.
The School also reserves the right to submit work handed in by you for formative or summative assessment to TurnitinUK and/or other electronic systems used by the University.
Please note that when work is submitted to the relevant electronic systems, it may be copied and then stored in a database to allow appropriate checks to be made.

Mitigating Circumstances

Mitigating circumstances are personal or medical circumstances which are unforeseeable and unpreventable that could have a significant adverse effect on your academic performance. You should only submit a mitigating circumstances application if you consider it serious enough, and the timing critical, to have affected your performance in your assessed work and examinations.

Request for mitigation must be submitted via the online form, in advance of your assessment submission deadline or exam. Requests for mitigation submitted after the assessment or exam (except those requests made as a result of circumstances that have arisen during the course of that assessment period) will not be considered without a credible and compelling explanation as to why the circumstances were not known before the beginning of the assessment period or why you were unable to complete or submit an application prior to the assessment or exam. Please note that not informing the University of circumstances due to personal feelings of embarrassment and pride, or having concerns over the confidential treatment of requests for mitigation, are not considered to be credible and compelling explanations

All mitigating circumstances applications must be supported by independent third party evidence. The type of evidence required will vary according to the nature of the circumstances. Examples of evidence include a doctor or other health professional’s letter, counsellor’s letter, self-certification form signed by your GP or GP’s Medical Practice (for illnesses of 7 days and under only). Please note that it is a University policy that the self-certification form must be signed by a GP; we cannot accept forms which have not been signed by a GP. Please note that if evidence has not been received within 2 weeks of the submission of your form, and you have not contacted them to inform them of any delay, your application will be refused and no further action will be taken.

Any requests for mitigation will be considered confidentially by a mitigating circumstances panel or sub-panel. Where a request for mitigation is supported, a recommendation will be made to the exam board for them to decide on the best course of action for the student. Please note, all mitigating circumstances applications must come to School Medical Sciences, regardless of which School within a unit sits.

You are advised to consult the following guidance, which directs you to seek advice and support before and whilst submitting a request for mitigation.

Guidance for students is available on the web: A Basic Guide to Mitigating Circumstances

For further information about the process and acceptable grounds for mitigation see: Mitigating Circumstances Policy & Procedures:

Mitigating Circumstances Meeting Dates

Please be advised that any requests need to be submitted by midday, at least 8 days before the pre-arranged Mitigating Circumstances meeting to The dates of Mitigating Circumstances meetings for the 2022/23 are:

Meeting date Application Deadline 
Wednesday 14th September 2022 Friday 2nd September 2022
Wednesday 12th October 2022 Friday 30th September 2022
Wednesday 16th November 2022 Friday 4th November 2022
Wednesday 14th December 2022 Friday 2nd December 2022
Wednesday 11th January 2023 Friday 30th December 2022
Wednesday 15th February 2023 Friday 3rd February 2023
Wednesday 15th March 2023 Friday 3rd March 20223
Wednesday 12th April 2023 Friday 31st March 2023
Wednesday 10th May 2023 Friday 28th April 2023
Wednesday 14th June 2023 Friday 2nd June 2023
Wednesday 12th July 2023 Friday 30th June 2023

Late Submission Penalty (Including Dissertation)

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

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

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

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

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

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

For further information:

Guidance on Late Submission

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

Assignment Word Count (Including Dissertation)

In accordance with the University Policy on Marking:

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

For an original word limit that is 1000 words and an assignment that is marked out of 100.  If a submission is made that is 1101 words then it 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
  • All directly quoted material

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

Word 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
Discussions 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.

Fitness to Practise

Where a programme of study requires the student to undertake practical training in a quasi-professional role in relation to patients, clients or service-users or where the qualification provides a direct license to practise, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has a duty to ensure that the student is fit to practise. In order to protect present or future patients, clients or service users and to comply with the requirements of professional/regulatory bodies, the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health has established a procedure for dealing with student-related fitness to practise issues.

Fitness to Practise issues are initially investigated and considered locally within the School (e.g. by a Health and Conduct Committee) and if necessary referred to the Faculty Fitness to Practise Committee.

A student may appeal against the decision of a Fitness to Practise Committee within twenty days of the decision but only on one or more of the following grounds:

a) procedural irregularity;

b) availability of new evidence which could not reasonably have been expected to be presented to the original hearing;

c) the disproportionate nature of the penalty.

The TLSO facilitates the arrangements for Fitness to Practise Appeals Committees.  An Appeals Committee has the power to confirm or alter the original decision, and the outcome is confirmed to students in a Completion of Procedures letter.  A student may then decide to pursue a complaint with the OIA.

Information on Fitness to Practise related matters can be found at:

Academic Appeals, Complaints, Conduct and Discipline

Academic Appeals

  • Students have a right of appeal against a final decision of an Examination Board, or a progress committee, or a graduate committee or equivalent body which affects their academic status or progress in the University.
  • Students thinking of appealing should first discuss the matter informally with an appropriate member of staff, in order to better understand the reason for the result or decision and to determine whether the matter can be resolved informally by the School prior to making a formal appeal.
  • Should you wish to proceed to a formal appeal, this must be submitted within the timeframe outlined in the Academic Appeals Procedure to the Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team, Room 3.21, Simon Building, University of Manchester, M13 9PL (e-mail:
  • The Academic Appeals Procedure (Regulation XIX) and associated documents, including the form on which formal appeals should be submitted, can be found at

Student Complaints

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

Conduct and Discipline of Students

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

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. 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.

4.  Student Progression


Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students

The programme director and teaching staff will monitor the work and attendance of students on the programme. This is for your benefit and helps to ensure you are coping with the work. Regular or a pattern of non-attendance and/or engagement will result in you being contacted by the School to meet with your programme director. Following this, further action will be taken if there isn’t a significant improvement in attendance.
For further information see: Regulation XX Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students

The University offers a range of advice and support to students experiencing problems with attendance. The A-Z of Services can be found on the MyManchester website. Here you can find a information on a wide range of topics such as library services, disability support and careers advice.

You can also speak to your Programme Director and/or Academic Advisor.

What to do if you are absent
In case of illness you should supply a doctor’s certificate or, if the illness is brief, a self-certification.  If you are absent for other reasons then you should write a letter to the Programme Director explaining the circumstances. Medical certificates or letters should be given in person or sent to the Programme Administrator. Whatever your reason for being away, tell your supervisor about it and make any necessary arrangements to catch up with work you have missed.

Special Permissions

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/programme extension/change mode of study or an extension towriting up may be the most sensible option.

Should you wish to apply for special permission, in the first instance, please discuss your circumstances with your Programme Director/Academic Advisor/Dissertation Supervisor.

Withdrawal from the Programme

Students who are considering withdrawing from the programme should discuss this in the first instance with the Programme Director.
If arrangements for withdrawal need to be made, this will be handled by the Programme Administrator, who will manage communication with the Fees and Records Departments and other University bodies as appropriate OR Students may liaise directly with the Programme Administrator who will communicate this information directly to the University Student Services Centre.

5. Student Support


Student Support and Guidance

Student support and guidance within the programme

Support and advice is available to all students both formally and informally from the Programme Directors, the Programme Administrator and research project supervisors.

If you have any queries or would like to discuss any issues at all – academic, administrative, technical or personal – please do not hesitate to get in touch. All personal issues will be dealt with confidentially.

If we are unable to help you directly, we can put you in touch with many of the support services that are available to students of the University through our Student Services Centre.

You can approach these services independently, without the involvement of programme staff. Please refer to the Blackboard Space on Student Support and Guidance which is available via

Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS)

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

The DASS office can also provide a copy of the University’s Disability Statement, ‘Opportunities for Students with Additional Support Needs at the University of Manchester’ which sets out the policy and provision for students with a disability.

DASS Contact Details:-
Location: 2nd Floor, University Place

Tel (Disability Service) +44 (0)161 275 7512

Tel (Assessment Centre) +44 (0)161 275 0990

Mobile Number (Text only for d/Deaf students) 07899 658 790

Email (Disability Service)

Email (Assessment Centre)

School Disability Coordinator Contact Details:-

Academic Success Programme

You’re studying at the University of Manchester – congratulations!  Writing and speaking Academic English can be challenging, even for native speakers.  Our team of experienced tutors are here to support you, and will help boost your confidence to work independently in English through a series of interactive workshops - freely available to all University of Manchester students.

To find out more, and to register, please go to

The Academic Writing workshops are delivered via live synchronous video sessions, and offer faculty-specific support covering both the basics and the finer points of good academic writing. The sessions are interactive and encourage small group work to solve problems and edit texts. Our Academic Grammar workshops are also online and open to students from all faculties. They include the fundamentals of good sentence structure as well as more subtle ways of showing nuance and emphasis.

There are also self-study resources available via our Blackboard community – details, and registration, is via the “Online Resources” link.

Should you have further queries, please email

Religious Observance and Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan 

Policy on Religious Observance:

6.  Student Representation and Feedback


A Student Representative is a student leader and works in partnership with the University staff and Students’ Union to represent the views and experiences of student peers.

The programme’s Student Rep is expected to:

  • Complete general SU training & specific school or programme training
  • Contact your cohort (other students on your course) to introduce yourself & gather feedback
  • Work with staff, the SU and other reps to act on feedback and enact change
  • Use existing data to suggest improvements to student experience
  • Attend regular staff-student meetings to deliver feedback & propose change
  • Attend Faculty level feedback meetings (i.e. Faculty Forum)

There is a dedicated team in the Students’ Union available to support reps with each aspect of the role, along with staff contacts in each programme who help to facilitate the staff-student meetings.  Further details of training will be provided for reps once elected and information about additional support/activities for student representatives can be found on the Students’ Union website .

You can find more information by visiting the SMS PGT Student Support Hub.

Course Unit Evaluations

The quality of teaching on the programme is monitored in part by student feedback. Thus it is very important that you make your views, good and bad, known. At the end of each course unit, and at the end of the programme, you will be asked to complete an anonymous course unit evaluation form. In addition, please let the course unit leader or the programme director know at any time if you feel there is a problem with a particular area of the programme.

7.  Programme Management


Programme Management and Committee Structure

Programme Management
The programme is managed and operated in accordance with the policies, principles, regulations and procedures of the University of Manchester.
Programme Directors relate to the School and Faculty Postgraduate Teaching Committees on matters relating to admissions, exams, reviews and approval of new programmes and units, quality assurance etc. and policy issues of broad relevance to the Graduate School.
The Programme Committee will meet each semester and consist of the Programme Director, Programme Administrator, Programme Committee members and the unit co-ordinators.

The remit of the committee will be to:

  • Oversee the teaching, assessment and examining arrangements;
  • Monitor cohort progression including failure rate, withdrawal rate;
  • Evaluate the extent to which the learning outcomes are achieved by students;
  • Monitor, maintain and enhance standards of all aspects of the programme;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness of the curriculum and of assessment in relation to programme learning outcomes;
  • Evaluate the effectiveness and relevance of the teaching and learning methods employed;
  • Review and revise the programme in the light of any relevant Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) benchmarks, any other relevant external and/or professional requirements and developing knowledge in the subject area;
  • Receive, consider and respond to feedback from students, employers and external examiners;
  • Where the need for change is identified, effect the changes quickly and efficiently;
  • Produce an annual action plan via annual monitoring;
  • Produce reports for periodic review
  • Produce relevant information for an Institutional Audit;
  • Review programme documentation, e.g., programme handbooks, programme specifications, promotional literature and programme website;
  • Ensure suitable and efficient arrangements are in place for recruitment, admission and induction.

Committee Structure

The Programme Committee acts as a curriculum development team for the Programme. The Programme Committee will report to a School, or Department, or Faculty level committee. The Programme Director is responsible for the management of the programme, and the Programme Committee is established to support the Programme Director in the carrying out of their responsibilities.

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

External Examiners’ reports
External Examiners’ reports relating to this programme will be shared with student representatives at the Staff Student Liaison Committee and/or Programme 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.

External Examiner Details

The External Examiner for this programme is Dr Philip Welsby, who is Associate Head PG/CPD, Programme Lead, Medical School Quality and Enhancement Lead at Edge Hill 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.  Other appropriate mechanisms are available for students, including the University’s appeals or complaints procedures and the UMSU Advice Centre. In cases where a student does contact an External Examiner directly, External Examiners have been requested not to respond to direct queries. Instead, External Examiners should report the matter to their School contact who will then contact the student to remind them of the other methods available for students. If students have any queries concerning this, they should contact their Programme Office (or equivalent).

8.  Student Privacy Notice


Student Privacy Notice

The University of Manchester needs to collect, maintain and use personal data relating to you to allow us to process your application for study, register you as a student, to administer your course and to provide facilities during your time as a student. We will also use your data to keep in touch with you after you have graduated, and contact you to complete a graduate outcomes survey.

We share this data within the University in order to deliver a high standard of service to you, so it is important that you regularly check to see that we have up to date information about you in the Student System. We are occasionally required to share your information with external agencies who have need for it, such as the Higher Education Statistics Agency, or Student Loans Company. We may also ask other agencies for the information they have about you, in order to verify the personal details you provide.

Please read the full Privacy Notice - Registered Students here.

9.  Learning Resources


All registered students may become members of the University of Manchester Library on the main campus.
Up-to-date news about the library is available here.

IT Services Support Centre online
Details of what IT support is available and how to access it can be found on the FBMH eLearning Support page.
Login to the Support Centre online to log a request, book an appointment for an IT visit, or search the Knowledge Base.
Telephone: +44 (0)161 306 5544 (or extension 65544).  Telephone support is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
In person:  Walk-up help and support is available at the Joule Library, Main Library or Alan Gilbert Learning Commons:
Use Support Centre online for support with eLearning, from where you may make a request, or search the Knowledge Base.

For IT and eLearning support visit:

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

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

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

Training in the use of software
The Faculty eLearning team have produced a short introduction to Blackboard for new students.  The recording is hosted in two places: the Video Portal and on YouTube:

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

10. Useful Links

Academic Support Policies
A full list of University Policies and documents
Academic Appeals (Regulation XIX)
Academic Malpractice: Procedure for the Handling of Cases
Basic Guide to Student Complaints
Conduct and Discipline of Students (Regulations XVII)
General University information on the Conduct and Discipline of Students
Faculty policies for students on Communication and Dress Code, Social Networking and Drugs & Alcohol
Information on Academic Malpractice and how to avoid it
Data Protection
Guidance for the Presentation of Taught Masters Dissertations
Guidance to Students on Plagiarism and Other Forms of Academic Malpractice
Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes
Policy on Mitigating Circumstances
Mitigating Circumstances Guidance for Students
PGT Degree Regulations
Policy on Feedback to Undergraduate and Postgraduate Taught Students
Student Complaints Procedure
Student Charter
Work and Attendance of Students (Regulation XX)

Student Support
A-Z of Student Services
Blackboard via My Manchester
Careers Service
Counselling Service
Disability Advisory and Support Service
University Language Centre – Study English - Tel: 0161 306 3397
Equality, Diversity and Inclusion for Staff and Students
Health & Fitness
Health & Safety Policy
International Advice Team
IT and eLearning Support
Mature Students Guide
Occupational Health Services for Students
Personal Development Planning
A Personal Safety Guide for International Students
Students Union