2016handbookfound2018 entry

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Welcome to this issue of the undergraduate programme handbook for the Foundation Year programme in Biosciences of the School of Biological Sciences at the University of Manchester.

We would like to extend a warm welcome to you as a new student who has recently joined this programme, as the first part of a period of study leading to a bachelor’s degree from The University of Manchester. The Foundation Year of study is delivered primarily by staff on the premises of Xaverian College, Manchester, with some teaching undertaken on the University campus. We hope you thoroughly enjoy your Foundation Year and subsequent further studies and we hope that in four or five years’ time you will have obtained a degree of which you can be proud.

Remember that, as a registered student of the University, all of the facilities that are available to other students are available to you. This includes recreational and social facilities such as the Students’ Union (UMSU) and Advice Service, the academic support services such as the Library, Computing Facilities, Careers and Counselling Service and the full range of university accommodation, plus lots more.

There are many exciting things to do as a University student so ensure you make the most of the facilities, both academic and social, and enjoy yourself.


  1. General Information

1.1       Sources of Information
1.2       Advisors at Xaverian College
1.3       The Programme Director
1.4       Academic/Academic Advisors at the University of Manchester
1.5       Essential Dates
1.6       Administrative & Management Staff at Xaverian College
1.7       Teaching Staff at Xaverian College
1.8       Staff at the University of Manchester
1.9       Programme Communication


  1. Programme of Study

2.1       Introduction
2.2       The Purpose of this Programme
2.3       Programme Aims and Objectives
2.4       The Programme Structure                                                                                          


  1. Teaching, Learning & Assessment 

3.1       Credit Rating and Study Time
3.2       The Teaching Approach
3.2.1    Laboratory Classes
3.2.2    Continuous Assessment                                                                                                            


  1. The Programme Content                                                                    

4.1       Criteria used to determine achievement
4.2       Booklists
4.3       Timetables
4.4       Assessment
4.5       Arrangements for Examinations
4.5.1    Timing of Examinations
4.5.2    Examination Procedure
4.5.3    Location of Examinations
4.5.4    The Examiners
4.6       Requirements to Complete the Programme Successfully
4.7       Compensation Procedures
4.8       Resit Arrangements
4.9       Release of Results and Marks                                                                                               


  1. Student Progression

5.1       Registration
5.2       Induction
5.3       Change of Address
5.4       Selecting your chosen degree programme
5.4.1    Changes to Programme and Course Units                                                                 |
5.5       Withdrawal from the Programme                                                                               


  1. Student Representation and Feedback

6.1       The Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)
6.2       Student Feedback
6.2.1    Course Unit Questionnaires
6.2.2    Programme Questionnaires
6.2.3    External Examiner
6.2.4    Day to day problem solving and other ways of making your views known
6.3       Complaints
6.4       Academic Appeals                                                                                                     


  1. Services

7.1       Computing Facilities in the Stopford Building
7.2       Intranet
7.3       The University of Manchester Library
7.4       The Manchester Museum
7.5       The University Language Centre                                                                                


  1. Support and Well-Being

8.1       The Student Services Centre
8.2       Counselling
8.3       Accommodation
8.4       Students with Additional Support Needs
8.5       Financial Help
8.6       Discrimination and Harrassment
8.7       Health
8.8       International Students
8.9       Night-time telephone advice/listening services
8.10     Security on campus
8.11     Students’ Union Advice Centre
8.12     The Careers Service

  1. Regulations of the School, the University and the College

9.1       Work and Attendance Regulations
9.2       Permitted Absences
9.3       Religious Observance
9.4       Guidance on Ill Health
9.5       Absence due to Ill Health
9.4       Health and Safety
9.5       Absence due to Illness affecting attendance at Xaverian College
9.6       Absence due to Illness affecting attendance at University Sessions
9.7       Absence affecting submission of written coursework or attendance at progress tests for Xaverian College
9.8       Absence from Examinations due to Illness
9.9       Illness not resulting in Absence from Examinations
9.10     Mitigating Circumstances Committee                                                                                    


  1. Health and Safety                                       


  1. Plagiarism, Collusion and other forms of Academic Malpractice
    11.1     Conduct and Discipline of Students
  2. Appendix 1: First semester examination timetable Jan 2018
  3. Appendix 2: Resit examination timetable Aug 2018



One of the University’s three core goals is “To provide a superb higher education and learning experience to outstanding students, irrespective of their backgrounds, and to produce graduates distinguished by their intellectual capabilities, employability, leadership qualities, and their ability and ambition to contribute to society” (from the University of Manchester Strategic Vision 2020).

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

The Charter provides an overview of the Manchester experience.

To access the Charter please go to: http://www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/enhancing-my-experience/charter/.

1. General Information

1.1       Sources of Informationinformation

This handbook gives you much useful information. It is designed to serve as a starting point if you have questions or problems.
It gives the aims and objectives of this year of study and a
brief description of the programme.  It tells you about the
support that is provided for you as a student and how you
can influence the development of your programme. It tells
you about the resources available to you as a student, those you will use as a compulsory part of your programme such as lecture rooms, laboratories and computer facilities and those available to support your learning such as the College and University libraries. Perhaps most important of all it tells you how your programme is assessed.

During Welcome Week, you will meet your Xaverian advisor. If there is anything you want to know, or any help you need, talk first to your advisor. If you need help, advice or clarification on any academic or personal matter, seek help straight away. Any member of staff is willing to help, but, where possible, you should initially contact one of a number of designated people as outlined below

1.2       Advisors at Xaverian College

At the start of the academic year, you will be allocated to an advisor at Xaverian College. Your advisor will be one of the following members of staff:

Mr Ray Skwierczynski (Ray Ski) (r.ski@xaverian.ac.uk)
Mrs Suzanne Thatcher (S.thatcher@xaverian.ac.uk)

First and foremost your advisors are people with whom you can discuss any difficulties that you are experiencing whether these are related to your academic study or to your personal or financial life. An advisor cannot be expected to know the answer to every problem but will talk things over with you and set out your options wherever appropriate and will refer you elsewhere within the College or the University if needed.

Secondly, your advisors will monitor your academic performance in your assignments and in-class tests and will discuss your progress with you. You will be allocated appointments to speak to your Xaverian College advisor to discuss academic matters and any personal problems. Your advisor will also be available at other times should you need to speak to them.

1.3       The Programme Director

The Programme Director for the Foundation Year is Dr Katherine Hinchliffe (Katherine.a.hinchliffe@manchester.ac.uk)

The Programme Director is involved in overseeing the smooth running of the Foundation Year and ensuring the Foundation Year course is delivered to a high standard. The Programme Director liaises with Xaverian staff at both management meetings and chairs the exam board and student-staff liaison committee meetings. If you have any academic or personal concerns please feel free to get in touch with your Programme Director.

1.4       Academic/Academic Advisors at the University of Manchester

At the start of the academic year, you will be allocated to a tutorial group at the University. You will be allocated to one of the following members of academic staff:

Your allocated advisor will lead your academic tutorial group at the university and will also be your allocated personal advisor. Although there are no scheduled one-to-one meetings with your personal advisor, you can arrange to meet with your personal advisor for advice on academic matters or to discuss any personal problems.

1.5       Essential Dates

Monday 17 September to Friday 21 September Welcome week
Monday 24 September Semester 1 lectures and lab classes commence
Friday 19 to Friday 26 October Reading Week
Friday 14 December Last day of lectures before Christmas vacation
Monday 14 January Semester 1 examinations commence
Thursday 24 January Semester 1 examinations end
Monday 28 January Mitigating Circumstances Form Deadline (5pm)
Monday 28 January Semester 2 lectures and lab classes commence
Friday 15 February to Friday 22 February Reading Week
Friday 5 April Last day of classes before Easter vacation
Monday 29 April First day of classes after Easter vacation
Friday 3 May Last day of teaching
Monday 6 May  to Friday 10 May Revision Week
Monday 13 May Semester 2 examinations commence
Wednesday 22 May Semester 2 examinations end
Friday 7 June Mitigating Circumstances Form Deadline (12pm)
Wednesday 19 June Examination results communicated to all Foundation Year students by 5pm
Wednesday 28 August Re-examination period commences
Friday 30 August Re-examination period ends
Monday 2 September Mitigating Circumstances Form Deadline (12pm)
Monday 9 September Examination results communicated to students who have taken resit examinations by 5pm


Note: On the following dates there are no lectures at Xaverian. However, still will be required to attend any seminars or tutorials at the University arranged on these days.

  • Monday 8th October
  • Friday 19th October
  • Monday 12th November
  • Friday 30th November

1.6                   Administrative & Management Staff at Xaverian College

Address and telephone:
Xaverian College
Lower Park Road
Victoria Park
M14 5RB

College Office Tel:   0161 224 1781  college@xaverian.ac.uk

1.7       Teaching Staff at Xaverian College

Senior Advisors
Mr Ray Ski r.ski@xaverian.ac.uk
Mrs Suzanne Thatcher s.thatcher@xaverian.ac.uk
Mr Mick Crowe m.crowe@xaverian.ac.uk
Ms Kath Gunn k.gunn@xaverian.ac.uk
Ms Kimberley Stafford k.stafford@xaverian.ac.uk
Mr Edward Hillman E.Hillman@xaverian.ac.uk
Mr Tom Simpson  t.simpson@xaverian.ac.uk
Dr. Geoffrey Garnham g.garnham@xaverian.ac.uk
Mr Carlton Pass C.Pass@xaverian.ac.uk
Mrs Helen Parkin h.parkin@xaverian.ac.uk
Mr Tom Lee t.lee@xaverian.ac.uk
Ms Priyanka Nayar p.nayar@xaverian.ac.uk
College Counsellor
Mr Patrick Clark P.Clark@xaverian.ac.uk
Ms Marianne Garside M.Garside@xaverian.ac.uk
College Chaplain
Ms Esther Knowles E.Knowles@xaverian.ac.uk

1.8      Staff at the University of Manchester

School of Biological Sciences address and telephone:

School of Biological Sciences                         Tel: 0161 275 1487
G.483 Stopford Building                                Email: foundationyear.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk
University of Manchester
Oxford Road
Manchester M13 9PT

Senior Advisor                                                 Dr Tracey Speake
Room G.554                                                      Email: Tracey.speake@manchester.ac.uk
Stopford Building                                            Tel: 0161 275 3905

Programme Director                                       Dr Katherine Hinchliffe
Room A.1026                                                    Email: katherine.a.hinchliffe@manchester.ac.uk
Stopford Building                                            Tel: 0161 275 0698


1.9       Programme Communication

There is a notice board located in the University Students’ Common Room (first floor) in the Science Block of Xaverian College which is used to convey important messages about the programme and for individual students. It is your responsibility to check this notice board regularly.

Email is a frequently used means of contacting individual students and the programme cohort as a whole. You should check your email regularly (at both Xaverian and University email addresses).

Any announcements or changes to the programme, along with a frequently asked questions (FAQ) section will be posted on your Virtual Learning Environment Blackboard community area ‘Biosciences with Foundation Year’. You can access Blackboard via my.manchester.ac.uk

This site can be used as a chat forum for students on the course and to find out more about studying in the School of Biological Sciences, Manchester. Copies of the Course Syllabus and Programme Regulations handbooks will also be on this site. Timetables for unit BIOL10900 will also be available on Blackboard, in the course unit area for this unit.

Make sure you check your university email inbox on a frequent basis (at least once per day). Your university (or Xaverian) email address should be used to contact university staff. Hotmail addresses are ignored!

My Manchester: My Manchester is a personalised online space for current students, which provides easy access to learning resources, services, student support and information, all in one place.

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 2.1       Introduction

This handbook relates to the Biosciences Foundation Year. This is a one year programme and does not result in a qualification or award (other than of attendance) on completion. The Foundation Year is the first year of an extended programme of study of four years or five years leading to the award, on successful completion, of a bachelor’s degree or a UG Master of Science (MSci).

The Biosciences Foundation Year, on successful completion, leads to further study in a number of programmes in the School of Biological Sciences. The programmes are: Anatomical Science, Biochemistry, Biology, Biology with Science and Society, Biomedical Sciences, Biotechnology, Cell Biology, Cognitive Neuroscience & Psychology, Developmental Biology, Genetics, Immunology,  Medical Biochemistry, Microbiology, Molecular Biology, Neuroscience, Pharmacology, Pharmacology & Physiology, Medical Physiology, Plant Science, Zoology.

2.2       The Purpose of this Programme

This Foundation Year programme provides an entry route into the School of Biological Sciences for those students who do not meet required entry qualifications and the programme aims to give students a solid and sufficient platform in the core science subjects for successful further study.

2.3       Programme Aims and Objectives

The Foundation Year programme of study has the following aims;

  • to meet the need of students from a range of educational backgrounds to access programmes in biosciences so addressing the University’s aspirations to widen participation,
  • to prepare students in a number of fundamental science subjects for subsequent successful study in a range of existing University programmes,
  • to encourage students to develop independent study skills and extend their communication and IT skills so as to provide the best platform for subsequent study,
  • that students will be supported by an academic and pastoral tutorial system that is responsive to their range of backgrounds, that includes a ‘needs’ aspect and that includes links to the University,
  • that students, although mostly not taught on University premises or by University staff, will be full members of the University and will have access to all support facilities,

The one year, pre-degree, programme of study has the following learning outcomes.

On successful completion of the year students will have:

  • a knowledge across the underlying science subjects of Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics that is appropriate for university study,
  • depending upon the subsequent degree programme to be pursued, a knowledge and understanding of certain topics within that discipline, that have characteristics of HE learning and that are outside the core subjects in order both to smooth the transition to university study and to assist students to make informed choice about their future educational path,
  • develop their skills in application of number and communication and will have been given the opportunity to develop their skills of working with others improving their learning and performance and problem solving,
  • experienced teaching and learning principally through small group and individual sessions,
  • demonstrated their knowledge and understanding primarily through time constrained formal examinations together with elements of continuous assessment,
  • experienced a student support and guidance system that includes scheduled sessions with Xaverian Advisors and contact with relevant recruitment and subject specialist staff of the University,
  • experienced learning that is supported by laboratory, library and IT facilities that are appropriate for the level of learning,
  • had an opportunity to comment upon their programme of study anonymously and in writing and to have a mechanism through which concerns may be addressed.

2.4       The Programme Structure

A programme of study has been devised consisting of 120 academic credits.

Students will study a common core of units in Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics. Biology will form approximately half the academic core content and lectures will cover a wide range of areas including cell biology, biochemistry, genetics, biotechnology, microbes and disease, ecology and physiology. Regular laboratory work will reinforce some of the subject material and help develop practical skills.

A third of the academic core will consist of Chemistry involving the study of atomic structure, bonding, rates of reaction, inorganic and physical chemistry, organic and medicinal chemistry. Lectures on these subjects will be supported by relevant laboratory practicals.

The units in Mathematics will enable students to manipulate and analyse experimental data accurately and to use statistical and mathematical techniques in a biological context.

The table below shows the course units which form the compulsory elements of the programme of study. The BIOL10900 unit outlined in the table below will be taught on University campus. The unit involves the delivery of tutorials each semester in addition to seminars and practicals revolving around four different biological themes.

Student should expect on average to spend approximately 10 hours of study on each credit of each course unit. Thus a 10 credit course unit is expected to require 100 hours of study and a 20 credit course unit 200 hours and so on. For each hour of lecture you should typically spend between about one and one and a half hours of private study. For each laboratory session you should spend some additional time divided between prior preparation and post reflection.

The assessment for each course unit is achieved by the summation of up to three aspects; an end-of-semester examination; laboratory; coursework and/or in-course progress test:


XABY01 Molecules Cells and Variation Mr Mick Crowe/ Mr Edward Hillman / Ms Kimberley Stafford
XABY02 Microbes and Disease Ms Kath Gunn / Dr Geoffrey Garnham/ Mr Tom Simpson
XABY03 Energy and the Environment Ms Kath Gunn / Dr Geoffrey Garnham/ Mr Tom Simpson
XABY04 Physiology Mr Mick Crowe/ Mr Edward Hillman/ Ms Kimberley Stafford
XA0201 Fundamental Principles of Chemistry A Mr Tom Lee / Mrs H Parkin / Ms Priyanka Nayar
XA0221 Fundamental Principles of Chemistry B Mr Tom Lee / Mrs H Parkin / Ms Priyanka Nayar
XA0212 Inorganic and Organic Chemistry A Mr Tom Lee / Mrs H Parkin / Ms Priyanka Nayar
XA0222 Inorganic and Organic Chemistry B Mr Tom Lee / Mrs H Parkin / Ms Priyanka Nayar
T01/T02 Tutorials Mr Ray Ski / Mrs Suzanne Thatcher
XAMA01/02 Maths Mr Carlton Pass
BIOL10900 Tutorials, Practicals & Seminar Series Dr Katherine Hinchliffe / Dr Ben Chapman/ Dr Shazia Chaudhry / Dr Tristan Pocock / Dr David Hughes / Dr David Boam /  Professor Amanda Bamford

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3.1       Credit Rating and Study Timehoersaal

Degree programmes at this University are organised around a credit-rating scheme based on course units. A course unit is a self-contained part of a degree programme with its own distinct objectives, syllabus and marks assessment scheme. You will be told more about this when you progress from this Foundation Year and enrol for a particular degree programme because there are specific requirements for the number of credits needed for a degree.

Course units of this Foundation Year are assigned at level 0 (to indicate that they are preliminary to the normal levels of degree study) and vary from 5 to 20 credit units. Credit points assigned to a course unit reflect the amount of time that most students will need to spend in the study of that unit. You will need to spend about 10 hours of study for each 1 unit of credit. These programmes are 30 weeks in length and you study 120 credits. This gives 1300 hours in total or about 40 hours per week. Being a student is a full time activity. Clearly, every student will not need exactly the same amount of study time for each unit, it will depend upon your individual strengths, interests and weaknesses, but you should expect to spend about 40 hours each week in study. About half of this is timetabled time (or contact time). In addition to this contact time you will need to study individually, in the library, at home or in your hall of residence.

3.2       The Teaching Approach

You are on a programme of study of The University of Manchester and you will find both differences and similarities to the teaching and learning styles employed in the degree programmes of the School of Biological Sciences. The main similarity to University study is that you are responsible for organising your time so that you devote appropriate effort to your studies whilst also experiencing the benefits of University life. It is your responsibility to ensure you hand work in on time, prepare properly for classroom tests and plan your revision for examinations.

You will be given regular problem sheets for each of your subjects, exactly as you will on your degree programme and you should ensure that you allocate sufficient time to attempt these sheets. As with all examinations, the clue to success in the examination is to have prepared properly through the coursework.

3.2.1    Laboratory Classes

 In the laboratories you will normally work in pairs. You will be trained in any necessary techniques for safe working and you will be supervised in the laboratories. You must at all times comply with health and safety requirements. The requirements and background information for successful conduct of experimental work will be given to you in course notes. Where you are given these in advance you should read through them and understand the tasks required of you so that you gain maximum advantage of the time spent in the laboratory. You will be expected to attend all the laboratory sessions and to maintain a record of the procedures and results. Questions on practical work will form a part of the assessment of the laboratory component of the course units in biology and chemistry.

3.2.2    Continuous Assessment

Every course unit includes elements of continuous assessment. In Biology, Chemistry and Maths this will include in-class progress tests held at regular intervals. These tests will allow you to monitor your progress in acquiring the knowledge and in its understanding and application. You will be in a good position to assess your own learning needs and to allocate your time to each subject.

Continuous assessment in Biology and Chemistry will include coursework based on laboratory work and/or researching scientific literature.

The overall assessment of a course unit is achieved by integrating the examination and continuous assessment marks.

Students must ensure they pass the tutorial unit BIOL10900 taught on the University campus in order to progress on to their degree programme course. Failure of the tutorial unit will involve a resit over the summer period (resit essay).

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 4.1       Criteria used to determine achievement

The criteria used for determining achievement will be similar to that used for ‘A’ level qualifications. Xaverian staff have considerable experience in the setting, marking and grading of ‘A’ level examinations. Marks will be determined for each academic course unit according to the weighting of continuous assessment and examinations.

The total mark for each of the three academic components of the Foundation Year will be proportional to its credit rating. Thus:

  • Biology will be marked out of 600 equivalent to 60 credits.
  • Chemistry will be marked out of 400 equivalent to 40 credits.
  • Mathematics will be marked out of 200 equivalent to 20 credits.

First Semester


Course Unit Method of Assessment Credit Rating
Molecules Cells, and Variation Examination at end of first semester (80%)Progress test during first semester (10%) Coursework (10%) 15
Microbes, and Disease Examination at end of first semester (80%)Progress test during first semester (10%) Coursework (10%) 15
Chemistry 1 Examination at end of first semester (80%)Progress test during first semester (10%) Coursework (10%) 20
Mathematics 1 Examination at end of the first semester (80%)Progress tests during first semester (20%) 10


Second Semester

Course Unit Method of Assessment Credit Rating
Physiology Examination at end of second semester (80%)Progress test during second semester (10%) Coursework (10%)* 15
Energy and the Environment Examination at end of second semester (80%)Progress test during second semester (10%) Coursework (10%)* 15
Chemistry 2 Examination at end of second semester (80%)Progress test during second semester (10%) Coursework (10%) 20
Mathematics 2 Examination at end of the second semester (80%)Progress test during first semester (20%) 10


4.2       Booklists

Many of the texts that you will require for this Foundation Year of study will be given to you by Xaverian College. Additional books may be recommended to you either to use for reference from the library (both Xaverian College and The University of Manchester have libraries you can use) or to purchase.

4.3       Timetables

Lecture, tutorial and laboratory timetables are published separately from this booklet and are distributed after registration. They are displayed on the programme notice board. The timetable for BIOL10900 will be available via Blackboard (https://online.manchester.ac.uk)

4.4       Assessment 

Your work will be assessed in several different ways during your programme. The primary written forms of assessment are coursework, progress tests and the formal time constrained examinations. The course unit syllabuses give information on the assessments of each unit. You will also find assessment criteria for the different types of work that will be assessed in mathematics and in the laboratory based subjects. These criteria should help you to understand what is expected of you and what the marker of your work will be looking for.

4.5       Arrangements for Examinations

4.5.1    Timing of Examinations

The examination periods for these Foundation Year programmes may differ slightly from the periods for other University examinations. Do not let this confuse you if you are talking to other university students.

You will have formal time-constrained University examinations at the end of each semester in the course units of biology, chemistry and mathematics.

4.5.2    Examination procedure

Xaverian College will organise your examinations but they will be run in accordance with the examination rules of the University. All examinations are marked anonymously.

Please note that, as University of Manchester students, you may receive automatically generated email communication about University examinations from the University’s Student Services Centre. This information will contain information about how to access your examination timetable via the Student Portal. These emails do not apply to you as your examinations are organised by Xaverian College, and not by the University. Examination timetables will be provided by Xaverian College.

4.5.3    Location of Examinations

You will sit your examinations in Xaverian College. The exact location will be communicated to you well in advance of the examination period.

4.5.4    The Examiners

Your examinations will be set and marked by Xaverian College. To ensure comparability of standards, the University appoints an External Examiner to inspect your programme content and to assess the examination questions and specimen answers before you sit the papers and to review the marking of those papers and any other assessed work. The External Examiner participates fully in the examiners meeting.

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.

For the Foundation Year programme the internal examiners are teaching staff of Xaverian College who set and mark the papers and assignments.

4.6       Requirements to complete the programme successfully

To pass the Foundation Year a student must acquire the equivalent of 22 points from the maximum of 30 points attainable. The number of points allocated to each of the three academic components of the Foundation Year will be proportional to its credit rating and the mean percentage achieved in the relevant assessments over both semesters.


In Biology a grade A (80%) will be equivalent to 15 points.

In Chemistry a grade A (80%) will be equivalent to 10 points.

In Mathematics a grade A (80%) will be equivalent to 5 points.


The grades of A to E will be associated with the mean percentage achieved in each component, Biology, Chemistry and Mathematics according to the uniform modified score system. The associations will be subject to discussion by the board of examiners:


A 80%             B 70 %            C 60% D 50 %            E 40 %


Biology Component

Grade A B C D E
Points 15 12 9 6 3
Mean % 80 70 60 50 40


Chemistry Component

Grade A B C D E
Points 10 8 6 4 2
Mean % 80 70 60 50 40


Mathematics Component

Grade A B C D E
Points 5 4 3 2 1
Mean % 80 70 60 50 40


There will be no separate requirement for a particular mark/percentage in a single course unit e.g. Molecules and Cells, so incorporating internal compensation within a programme component.

Progression to a student’s preferred degree programme in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Medical Biochemistry will require a grade B in chemistry.

4.7       Compensation procedures

You may hear from other University students about ‘compensation’, that is, that each separate course unit does not have to be passed to be considered as having passed the year. Compensation applies to you but it is already built into the above rules for progression. Weakness in one course unit can be compensated by strength in a related course unit in awarding the grade for the subject and weakness in one subject can be compensated by strength in other subjects in award of the overall points total.

4.8       Resit Arrangements

There will be one opportunity for re-examination during August/September of the year of study. You may be re-examined in any course units that you choose.  You will be advised of the most sensible units in which to be re-examined so as to meet the requirements for progression. Progression following a re-examination will be according to the same rules as given above.

When the examination board in September considers your marks and grades to determine whether you meet the criteria for progression the marks that will be used will be those obtained in your most recent assessment for any particular course unit. The mark used will NOT be the higher mark of your two attempts. The mark will be derived solely from the resit examination and will not include any coursework component carried over from the first sitting.

If you should fail to pass the Foundation Year after the one re-examination opportunity you will not normally be permitted any further opportunities to pass or an opportunity to retake the year in attendance except on the grounds of ill health.

Because you are a registered Undergraduate student at the University of Manchester, you may receive automatically generated email communication about University resit examinations from the University’s Student Services Centre.  This communication will contain information about how to access your resit examination timetable via the Student Portal and how to pay your resit examination fees.  These emails do not apply to you as your resit examinations are organised by Xaverian College, and not by the University.  Examination timetables will be provided by Xaverian College and you are not required to pay a resit examination fee.

Please note that it is not possible to take resit examinations at another location or to reschedule them.

4.9       Release of Marks and Results

You will be informed using the ‘my messages’ facility of the School of Biological Sciences intranet.

Please note that the marks provided after the first semester examinations are provisional and are provided for information only. They may go up or down at the examinations board in June, when all marks are confirmed.

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5.1       Registrationregister

Registration is the formal process that you must complete before you can be considered to be a student of the University. The University of Manchester has a student record system that allows you to complete most of the registration process online from home. We strongly recommend that you complete registration before you arrive by referring to the information in the Crucial Guide posted to you and available at http://www.welcome.manchester.ac.uk

5.2       Induction

Your first few weeks at The University of Manchester may at times be daunting. Not only do you need to familiarise yourself with the University and its many buildings but you also need to come to know the buildings and staff of Xaverian College.

The first week of the academic year, the week in which you register, is called Welcome Week. During this week you will have some free time to explore the University and the City and you will be sent a programme of events organised by the School of Biological Sciences. You will have plenty of time to explore the Student Welcome Fair and to join student societies and clubs so that you can pursue existing interests or develop new ones. There will also be an induction meeting organised by Xaverian College.

5.3       Change of Address

If you change your term time or home address during the academic year you must report the change as soon as possible to the Administrative Office of Xaverian College and also make this change to the University of Manchester Student System (which you can access via the Student Portal at www.manchester.ac.uk/portal). This is particularly important because for a variety of reasons, it may be necessary to contact you at short notice.

5.4       Selecting your Degree Programme

To pass the Foundation Year you must acquire the equivalent of 22 points from the maximum of 30 points attainable. Progression to your preferred degree programme in Biochemistry, Molecular Biology and Medical Biochemistry will require a grade B in chemistry.  During the Foundation year, you will have the opportunity to learn about the various degree courses in the School of Biological Sciences. In order to inform the University about which programme you wish to pursue, subject to gaining sufficient points on the Foundation Year programme, a ‘Degree Preference Form’ will be made available via Blackboard.

5.4.1    Changes to Programme and Course Units

There are very few choices that you have to make about your academic study during this Foundation Year. The course units in the syllabus handbook are compulsory.

If you would like to make a change to your degree choice after you have submitted the Degree Preference Form (see above), you should contact the Foundation Year Student Support Office at foundationyear.biosciences@manchester.ac.uk

5.5       Withdrawal from the Programme

We very much hope that once you have embarked on the programme you will wish to see it through to the end of the year and you will not wish to withdraw from it. However, if you do think you wish to withdraw talk things over first with a Xaverian or University Advisor and with the Programme Director.

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The structure of the School of Biological Sciences is intended to give you opportunities to express your views and to influence School and University policy. Specific problems should be dealt with by your Xaverian or University Advisor, but from time to time matters of a general nature may arise which need to be discussed in a wider, more formal setting. In addition, the School of Biological Sciences values your views on academic and organisational matters and welcomes the contributions you can make to the work of its committees. So if you feel you could serve as a student representative for your Degree Programme please discuss this important and rewarding role with your Programme Director as early as possible. Training is provided by the Students’ Union for Student Representatives.

6.1       The Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC)

The Biosciences Foundation Year Student-Staff Liaison Committee (SSLC) meets, as a minimum, twice during the year of study. The School of Biological Sciences Programme Director chairs this committee. Students on the programmes of study will elect student representatives who will be the student members of this Committee.

The Student-Staff Liaison Committee gives your representatives the opportunity to discuss aspects of the programme in a semi-formal setting. Minutes are taken and these are reported to the Management Team and Board of Studies. Obviously we have given careful thought to the design and delivery of your programme of studies and we all hope that you enjoy and benefit from it. By listening to your views we may be able to make it even better.

If there are any matters about the programme which are causing you concern you can raise these with your student representatives who will be in a position to form a collective opinion before raising the matter through the appropriate channels. Contact your student representatives in person in class or through a note on the notice board.

6.2       Student Feedback

6.2.1   Course unit questionnaires

You will be given a questionnaire to fill in about the content and delivery of the course units. This forms a standard part of the monitoring of provision both of the University and of Xaverian College. A summary of results of these questionnaires and a brief report by the programme director will be considered at relevant meetings of the Programme Management Committee.

6.2.2    Programme questionnaires

You will be given a programme questionnaire in the summer term before your examinations. This gives you the opportunity to comment on issues relating to the structure and quality of the year of studies as a whole and to comment on other aspects of the University.

6.2.3    External Examiner

The External Examiner may meet with a number of students, not for the purpose of making any academic decisions, but to discuss the programme with you and to form an opinion of the quality of the programme.

6.2.4    Day-to-day problem solving and other ways of making your views known

 You are welcome to make comments about any aspect of your programme at any time. If you have difficulties or suggestions please be aware that they should be raised promptly, and that the resolution of problems is likely to be most effective via face-to-face interaction. You should feel free to comment on unit content, delivery or assessment direct to the teacher in the first instance. If you feel this is not appropriate, you are encouraged to discuss matters with your Programme Director.

6.3       Complaints

As part of its commitment to ensuring the standard and quality of its programmes of study, services, and facilities, the University has established a Complaints Procedure to deal with complaints from students. Complaints provide useful feedback information and, where appropriate, will be used to improve services and facilities.

The University defines a complaint as ‘an expression of dissatisfaction which merits a response’.

The Procedure is designed for complaints in respect of the student’s experience at the University related to:
(a) the provision of programmes, or parts of programmes of study, services or facilities by the University;
(b) the actions or lack of actions by the University or its staff.

The Complaints Procedure does not cover the following, for which separate procedures exist (as noted in brackets):
(a) appeals relating to examinations or assessments or to academic progress or against expulsion or exclusion on academic grounds (Regulation XIX Academic Appeals);
(b) complaints involving an allegation of misconduct by a student (Regulation XVII Conduct and Discipline of Students);
(c) complaints involving an allegation of harassment or discrimination by a student or member of staff (Dignity at Work and Study Policy and Procedure);
(d) complaints against the Students’ Union (Code of Practice on the Students’ Union).

For further information on the Complaints Procedure see: http://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/study-support/complaints/

6.4       Academic Appeals

This Procedure may be used by students who wish to appeal against a final decision of a board of examiners, which affects a student’s academic status or progress in the University.

An appeal may be made only on grounds alleging:
a) that there exists or existed circumstances affecting the student’s performance of which, for good reason, the board of examiners or committee may not have been made aware when the decision was taken and which might have had a material effect on the decision [Note: if students wish to appeal on such grounds, they must give adequate reasons with supporting documentation why this information was not made available prior to the decision being made.];
b) that there had been a material administrative error or procedural irregularity in the assessment process or in putting into effect the regulations for the programme of study of such a nature as to cause significant doubt whether the decision might have been different if the error or irregularity had not occurred;
c) that there is evidence of prejudice or bias or lack of proper assessment on the part of one or more of the examiners;
d) that the supervision or training of the student in respect of research for a dissertation or thesis or equivalent work was unsatisfactory to the point that his or her performance was seriously affected.

An appeal which questions the academic or professional judgement of those charged with the responsibility for assessing a student’s academic performance or professional competence will not be permitted.

For further information on Academic Appeals see: http://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/study-support/appeals/

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7.1       Computing facilities in the Stopford building

Computing facilities are available to students within the School of Biological Sciences in three computer clusters situated on the ground floor: Stopford PC Clusters 1-3. Although these clusters are used for scheduled classes, the School tries to ensure significant free time on these computers for student use (email, word processing etc). Standard word processing, spreadsheet and database software is pre-installed (Microsoft Office Suite), as well as any software related to your studies. Printing facilities are available in each cluster and technical help can be obtained via the IT Service Desk (see here for contact and further information).

In addition, the University of Manchester provides several large public computer clusters based around the campus, which are available to all students. All the PC clusters run the same operating system and have the same software installed. Visit http://www.itservices.manchester.ac.uk/students/pc-on-campus/ for the location of these clusters.

Guidance notes for students wishing to access their University email accounts outside the University can be found at http://www.itservices.manchester.ac.uk/students/internet/

7.2       Intranet

The School of Biological Sciences intranet (https://www.intranet.ls.manchester.ac.uk/default.aspx) is a service provided for staff and students in the School of Biological Sciences. Like any other electronic medium there may be occasional outages caused by power surges beyond the control of the School and/or malfunctions, so its operation cannot be guaranteed. Any material on the intranet, as well as that on any other platform, should be accessed well in advance of any deadlines. Non-availability of the service for 48 hours or less would not be considered a circumstance to mitigate against non-completion of an assignment.

7.3       The University Of Manchester Libraryliabray

The University of Manchester Library provides you with the resources and support you need throughout your Foundation Year programme. The Main Library and Stopford Library house all of the essential text books whilst the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons provides a 24/7 learning environment in addition to study skills workshops. The Library also has an extensive collection of eBooks, databases and journals available online.

The My Library tab in My Manchester has quick links to all of the Library’s resources and services available to students. 

Getting Started

You will need your student card to access all library sites around campus. Many of our services and resources also require you to confirm that you are a registered student. This authentication can be your student card, the ID number on the card, your Library PIN, the central username and password you use to log on, or a combination of these.

There is a library guide for Biological Sciences students giving all of the latest information on resources and learning and research services available. This is a good starting point if you are looking for any library resources or information related to your course.

The Library provides a reading list service called Link2Lists, which links either to the catalogue entry for items on your course reading lists or, where possible, to electronic full text versions of the list items – whether it is books, digitised readings, journal articles or websites.

The Main Library

The Main Library holds the principal collection of Life Sciences books and journals available.
Life Sciences textbooks are available on Floor 2 of the Blue Area but some copies are held in the High Demand Collection for either 1 or 2 night loan. Books and periodicals in other related subjects such as Biology are located in other areas of the Main Library. The library search facility will let you know what items are available and where to find them including eBooks and online journals. All the main biosciences databases are available including Web of Knowledge, Biosis Previews, the Cambridge Scientific Abstracts Biological Sciences Collection, Medline, Embase, Scopus and Zoological Record. These can be used to discover what has been published on a particular subject. The electronic resources can be accessed both on-campus and remotely.

The Main Library offers group study rooms, individual study space options and computer clusters. Wi-Fi is available throughout the building and a cafe lounge can be found on the ground floor. The Library has long opening hours and extends these during exam periods. Please check Locations and Opening Hours for full details on opening hours and facilities.

Xaverian College Library

The Xaverian College Library is currently open between 08.15 and 16.30 on weekdays during term time. It contains the books which are recommended for the programme to which reference may be made in the library. Facilities for borrowing books should be discussed with the librarian.

The library also provides space for quiet private study.

The Stopford Library

The Stopford Library is a smaller site library for Medicine, Dentistry, Pharmacy and Life Sciences and holds multiple copies of all new editions of core and useful texts. Full details of what is available can be found using library search or asking a member of customer service staff. In addition to books, Stopford Library also has half skeletons and iPads available for loan.

The Stopford Library also has a computer suite, wifi and 6 group study rooms with a large table and 14 chairs, a 32 inch LCD monitor and a large “sqwiggle” board. Bookings can be made via My Manchester or at the customer service desk in the Stopford Library.

Please check Locations and Opening Hours for full details on opening hours and facilities.

 The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons is a state-of-the-art learning environment with 24/7 opening hours throughout term-time. The Learning Commons has flexible open learning spaces with multimedia facilities, computer clusters and 30 bookable group study rooms with whiteboards and media screens.

There is a series of training workshops covering a variety of academic and transferable skills hosted in the training room at the Learning Commons.  These workshops include training on revision/study skills, note-taking and other topics and have been developed by Learning Commons staff in partnership with other teams across the University.  Full details of training sessions are available on the My Learning Essentials website: http://www.library.manchester.ac.uk/using-the-library/students/training-and-skills-support/my-learning-essentials/ 

7.4       The Manchester Museum

The Manchester Museum is part of The University of Manchester. It has a distinctive role in engaging the public with the work of the university. The Museum has the third largest natural sciences collection in the UK, with four million specimens, from birds and plants collected by Charles Darwin to specimens of new species collected and classified by present curators. Many of the collections can be searched from the Museum’s website (www.museum.manchester.ac.uk). There are also numerous additional resources, such as library materials and associated archives. The Museum has around 380,000 visits per year and over 20,000 visits by schoolchildren.

  • Museum staff work to make the collection available for teaching, research and public engagement and are always keen to explore new opportunities to engage students with the collection. Many museum staff teach on lecture courses and field courses, practicals and research skills modules. They also offer a number of studying opportunities, including final year projects, industrial placements, use of the Museum resources in PhD and Post-Doctoral work and co-supervision of PhDs. These may involve the collections or the specialist interests of staff. Students are encouraged to contact museum staff to self-arrange projects.
  • The Museum is heavily involved in local biodiversity and sustainability work and helps to deliver the Biodiversity Action Plan for Manchester.
  • The Museum can help students develop employability through its many volunteering opportunities, particularly useful to those who wish to enter careers in public communication, education and, of course, museums.
  • Anyone—staff or student—can visit collections that are not on display. This is done by arranging a visit with the appropriate curator (details below) or by arranging to visit the Collections Study Centre. The collections are a wonderful source of inspiration and information for research on scientific subjects and the history of science.
  • Entry to the Museum is free. It has fantastic galleries and a busy programme of temporary exhibitions and public events. The museum café is a popular meeting place for both students and staff.

Zoology: internationally important collections of many groups of animals, particularly birds, mammals, skeletons, molluscs and many other invertebrates, around 250,000 specimens. Contact Henry McGhie, Head of Collections and Curator of Zoology, who has a particular interest in bird biology and ecology, email: henry.mcghie@manchester.ac.uk.

Botany: an internationally important collection of over one million specimens of worldwide plants, mostly herbarium sheets. Contact Rachel Webster (email: Rachel.E.Webster@manchester.ac.uk), Curator of Botany.

Entomology: internationally important collections of over two million insects from most taxonomic groups. Contact Dmitri Logunov, Curator of Arthropods, who has a particular interest in spiders, email: dmitri.v.logunov@manchester.ac.uk.

Earth Sciences: one of the five regional Earth Science Collection centres in the UK; one of the largest mineral collections with over 30,000 specimens and important collections of fossil plants and animals, with over 100,000 specimens. Contact David Gelsthorpe, Curator of Earth Sciences, email: david.gelsthorpe@manchester.ac.uk.

Vivarium: a unique collection of live animals with over 270 specimens of 40 species. Contact Andrew Gray, Curator of Herpetology, who has a particular interest in tropical frogs, email: andrew.r.gray@manchester.ac.uk.

Also humanities collections, notably an important Egyptology collection and Archaeology collection.

To book a visit to the museum Collections Study Centre, telephone 0161 275 2643 or email museum@manchester.ac.uk.

7.5       The University Language Centre

The University Language Centre provides courses and language learning resources for students from a wide variety of disciplines wishing to include a modern languages element within their studies. It also offers a wide range of courses and services for international students for whom English is not a first language.

English Language Programmes and Advice

If English is not your native language, you may wish to enquire about the wide range of credit bearing and non-credit bearing English courses available through the University Language Centre.

International students who would like advice on how they can improve their academic writing are encouraged to make use of the one-to-one writing consultation service. Around 500 individual sessions are held per year and these are free of charge.

Timetabled insessional courses for international students, covering areas such as academic writing, academic speaking, pronunciation and grammar are also available at no cost to students. Writing is delivered on a broad disciplinary specific basis: Engineering and Physical Sciences, Biosciences, Medical and Human Sciences, Business-related disciplines, Humanities.

Please refer to the Academic Support Programmes section of the ULC webpage via the link given below.

Face to Face – This is a reciprocal language learning scheme, in which students can meet with native speakers of the language they are learning. International students find that this is a good way to meet home students and to become more integrated into the University. Home students can prepare themselves for study abroad by finding out about their partners’ home universities and cultures. For more information, please enquire at the ULC reception.

Tandem Programme – This programme is similar to Face to Face, but is more formal and provides credits which count towards your University degree. It is fully monitored, assessed and supported via practical workshops. For more information please refer to the Foreign Languages section via the link given below.

Open Learning Facilities – The University Language Centre’s open learning facilities, situated in the Samuel Alexander Building, offer:

  •  A well-stocked library of materials in text, audio, DVD and CD-ROM formats
  • Materials in some 75 languages
  • Two suites of dedicated multimedia PCs for computer aided language learning, DVD playback and access to TV over IP (for viewing live satellite channels via the University network)
  • Booths with LCD screens for group viewing of DVDs
  • A conversation room for group work and voice recordings
  • Short-term loan of digital recorders, cameras, webcams, etc
  • Support and advice for learners from expert staff and through on-line resources

A full guide to the University Language Centre’s courses, services and its language learning resources is available at: http://www.ulc.manchester.ac.uk.

7.6            Student societies

A number of societies run by students and covering a range of interests are affiliated with the Students’ Union and several of these concern the life sciences. These societies are open to students and staff of the University. They usually provide a series of lectures, social or sporting events. You are likely to be canvassed for a subscription, and invited to participate in social and sporting activities, during Welcome Week.

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Although you have personal and academic advisors and access to all members of academic staff in the School of Biological Sciences, there may be occasions when you need or would like to talk to someone else about issues that may be worrying you. The services listed below are able to offer you confidential help and advice on a number of matters. The Crucial Guide Live also provides additional information on support and services available https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/personal-life/.

8.1       The Student Services Centre

The majority of the University’s administrative services for students (except Accommodation Office) are available from our centralised Student Services Centre, off Burlington Street.

Student Services Centrerezeption
Burlington Street
The University of Manchester
Oxford Road
M13 9PL

Telephone enquiries: 0161 275 5000
Email: ssc@manchester.ac.uk
Website: https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/ssc-contact-details/

8.2       Counselling

The University Counselling Service offers you help in understanding, dealing with, or overcoming the many sorts of difficulties that may prevent you getting the most out of your life and studies at university. These may include problems at home, pressures from personal relationships, and difficulties in coping with stressful events, now or in the past, such as examinations, separation, bereavement or forms of abuse. There are also some group sessions/workshops on specific issues, e.g. confidence and self-esteem, managing low mood, managing exam stress, coping better with academic pressure, speaking out in groups, etc. Please see the counselling service website at www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/counselling for more details and up-to-date information.

For any enquiries or to make an appointment to see a counsellor, please phone or call in to the Counselling Service between 9am and 4pm, Monday to Friday. The Service aim to offer an appointment within 10 days of an enquiry, but at busy times there may be a longer wait. You can call their reception desk for available appointment times on 0161 275 2864. At certain times the Service experiences especially high demand and waiting times can increase. To ensure the best possible service is provided and waiting times are managed effectively, a Duty Counsellor is available each day (during opening hours) for those who feel they need to talk to someone before the earliest available appointment date.

The Counselling Service is on the fifth floor of Crawford House (building number 31 on the campus map) on the east side of the University Precinct Centre (building number 30 on the campus map), at the junction of Oxford Road and Booth Street East.

Enter Crawford House at street level by the central entrance on Booth Street East, or at the end of the walkway on the east side of the Precinct Centre across the road from the shops.

Opening times

The Counselling Service is open from 9:00 to 16:00, Monday to Friday, except on public holidays and during the University’s Christmas closure period.

Contact details
Email: counsel.service@manchester.ac.uk
Tel: 0161 275 2864 (52864 from an internal phone)
Fax: 0161 275 2281
University of Manchester Counselling Service
5th Floor, Crawford House
Precinct Centre
Booth Street East
M13 9QS

Whilst you are most welcome to make use of any of the University support services, you will be spending most of your time at Xaverian College and you may feel it is more convenient to discuss any problems with someone local to where you are studying. The College Counsellor is listed at the start of this handbook (see ‘Administrative & Management Staff at Xaverian College).

The College Counsellor is regularly available to discuss any problems whether connected with your study or with your private life. These discussions are in complete confidence unless you wish the circumstances to be made known to the academic staff or to an examination board. You can discuss with the Counsellor whether you should be referred elsewhere within the College, University or wider support facilities.

College Chaplain
Esther Knowles                e.knowles@xaverian.ac.uk
Chaplaincy, Main Building, First Floor

As with the Counsellor, conversations with the Chaplain are in complete confidence and can extend to any aspect of your life, not just religion.

8.3       Accommodation

The Accommodation Office provides information and guidance on a range of issues including ways to deal with any problems that students might encounter over accommodation choices, special needs, existing accommodation difficulties, accommodation for students with families and on temporary accommodation, including provision available outside semester time.

The Accommodation Office opening hours and contact details are as follows:

The Accommodation Officeaccommodation
Grove House, 316 Oxford Road
University Of Manchester
M13 9WJ

Tel: +44 161 275 2888
Fax: +44 161 275 3213
email: accommodation@manchester.ac.uk

The Accommodation Office Opening Hours are:

Mon – Fri: 09.00 – 17.00
Tue: 10.00 – 17.00

For private sector accommodation see the Manchester Student Homes website at www.manchesterstudenthomes.com. Manchester Student Homes (MSH) is owned, managed and funded by the University of Manchester and Manchester Metropolitan University and their respective Students’ Unions.

The Students’ Union Advice Centre is also an excellent source of help and advice on problems with private accommodation – see http://manchesterstudentsunion.com/accommodationadvice.

Further information can also be found in the Crucial Guide Live at https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/home-life/.

8.4       Students with additional support needs

The University of Manchester welcomes students with additional support needs arising from a specific learning difficulty, such as dyslexia, an unseen medical condition, or a disability or impairment. The University has a central Disability Advisory and Support Service (DASS). In order to access the full support that the University can offer, you should contact the DASS to discuss your support requirements. They can be contacted by the following means:

Email – dass@manchester.ac.uk
Telephone – 0161 275 7512 / 0161 275 8518
Text – 07899 663 512
Minicom – 0161 275 2794

Or you can just drop in to the DASS on the second floor of University Place, Block 2, where you can speak in confidence to a Disability Adviser about your needs. The Disability Advisory and Support Service is open:

Monday to Thursday 09.30-16.00
Friday 09.30-12.30

Further information on disability support can be found in the Crucial Guide Live at https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/academic-life/support/disabled-students/.

If you are a student who has, or suspects they have, support needs and have not yet informed the DASS, then please contact them in the first instance. In addition to this, the School of Biological Sciences has a Disability Coordinator, Miss Joanne Jolley, who liaises with the DASS to organise your support in the Faculty. She can be contacted by email or telephone: (0161 275 1525/ joanne.r.jolley@manchester.ac.uk). The Stopford Building has wheelchair access and an adapted lift at the car park end of the building. There are also car parking spaces reserved for blue badge holders adjacent to this entrance.

8.5       Financial help

If you are a UK student for fees purposes, you can apply to Student Finance for a Student Loan for Maintenance and a Loan for Fees (. Payments for the Maintenance Loan are made directly into your bank account. If you choose to take one, the Loan for Fees is paid directly to the University. Some students may also be eligible for a non-repayable grant and your Student Finance will assess you for this. If you get into difficulties while you are a student, the Student Services Centre on Burlington Street can help with money advice and budgeting. Further information is available in the Crucial Guide Live at https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/financial-life/.

 8.6       Discrimination and Harassment

Information and University policies on discrimination and harassment can be found in the Crucial Guide Live at https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/personal-life/emotional-problems/discrimination-and-harassment/. For further information about the University’s Policy on Harassment, or if you have been a victim of some form of harassment, contact the Equality and Diversity Office on 0161 306 5857 or the Students’ Union Advice Centre on 0161 275 8066 or 275 8077.

8.7       Health

The University recognises the importance of the health and wellbeing of all students. Occupational Health Services aim 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 can access advice and guidance by going to see the Service or by visiting their website below (for some issues). Some students will undergo regular health surveillance as required by their School/Faculty/Dept etc, but you can also refer yourself for an appointment.

Where necessary the Service work closely with other services at the University e.g. the Disability Support Office (DSO) to support students with health problems or disabilities.

The Occupational Health Service does not deal with medical or first aid emergencies and cannot diagnose or provide treatment. If there is a serious medical emergency you should phone (9)999 for an ambulance, remembering to call University Security (69966) immediately afterwards so that they can assist the ambulance in getting to you.

See the Occupational Health Services website for further details https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/occupational-health/.

The Occupational Health Services receptions are open for enquiries from Monday to Friday between 09.00-16.00.

You will need an appointment to see an Occupational Health Adviser or Physician as the Service does not have the capacity to see you as a ‘drop-in’. Their contact details are:

Tel: 0161 275 2858
Fax: 0161 275 3137
Email: waterlooocchealth@manchester.ac.uk
Campus map location: Building 38
Address: 182/184 Waterloo Place, Oxford Road, Manchester, M13 9GP

Additional information on health issues can be found in the Crucial Guide Live at https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/personal-life/health/.

8.8       International students

The International Society, William Kay House, 327 Oxford Road (opposite the Students’ Union), offers advice, information and a social base for students. Telephone: 0161 275 4959, email: int.soc@manchester.ac.uk. Further information can be found on the International Society website at www.internationalsociety.org.uk.

The International Team forms part of the Student Services Centre. The advisors see students on an individual basis to discuss any problems (e.g. visas, finance) you may have. Telephone: 0161 275 5000 to make an appointment or see http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/international/why-manchester/student-support/advice-team/

8.9       Night-time telephone advice/listening service

The Students’ Union runs Nightline, a telephone advice and listening service operated by students that offers a point of contact throughout the night. You can contact Nightline by telephone on 0161 275 3983 / 0161 275 3984 from 20:00-8:00. If you’d feel more comfortable emailing Nightline rather than phoning them, you can send an email to nightmail@nightline.man.ac.uk. Further information is available at www.umsu.manchester.ac.uk/nightline.

8.10       Security on campus

The University Security Service should be contacted if you have concerns about personal security or theft (0161 275 2728) or wish to speak to a member of the security staff. You can also contact the Police Liaison Officers on 0161 275 7042 or police@manchester.ac.uk. Information on safety can also be found in the Crucial Guide Live at https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/personal-life/safety/.

8.11       Students’ Union advice centre

The Students’ Union Advice Service (see their website at http://manchesterstudentsunion.com/adviceservice) offers free and confidential information and advice to students on personal and academic issues. It is run by professional Advisors who are independent of the University. The Advice Service is based on the ground floor of the Students’ Union building on Oxford Road, M13 9PR.

The Advice Service is open Monday to Friday, 10:00 – 16:00 (closed 13:30 – 14:30) all year round – both in and out of University terms – with the exception of public holidays and occasional training days.

During these times you can drop-in, book an appointment, telephone and email.

Telephone: 0161 275 8066 or 0161 275 8077

Internal phone: 58066 or 58077


8.12       The Careers Service

Becoming a Manchester Graduate starts with your degree, but the secret to future career success is using your time as a student to explore options, build your connections and reflect on what you learn. Working in collaboration with the School of Biological Sciences, other partners in the University and with organisations across the world, the Careers Service can help you reach your potential – but it all starts with you.  What can you do to improve your chances of getting into the kind of work you’d love to do?

Making the most of your time at Manchester

Actively seek out opportunities to build your experience; this could be work experience, voluntary work, being active in a University society or developing new skills. Careers Service research proves that students who do so move swiftly into the kinds of careers they want after they graduate. From the Manchester Gold Mentoring Scheme to Student Experience Internships and Work Experience Bursaries*, the Careers Service can help you achieve your goals.www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/experience/  (*funding to be confirmed for 2018-19)

The Careers Service has a dedicated FBMH Faculty Careers Team which offers a programme of activities for Biological Sciences students, organised in collaboration with the School’s employability team and the Alumni Relations Team. This includes the Biological Sciences Careers Fair in Semester Two.  These events are advertised internally by the School of Biological Sciences and also highlighted on the School’s Careers Facebook Group. https://www.facebook.com/groups/biosciencecareersUoM/?ref=bookmarks

Build and broaden your connections

Learn from other people, including people like you i.e. other students in your School, PASS Leaders, house-mates, lab demonstrators, people you work with and people you socialise with.  Talk about careers and options, your ideas and aspirations; share ideas and connections. Our research shows that people who do this are more likely to make a smooth transition to work or further study after their degree.www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/myfuture/connect/

Your Future Toolkit

The My Future Self Reflection Tool is a short online questionnaire and report, developed exclusively for University of Manchester undergraduates. It can help you figure out what to do next, to put you on target for a successful future. You’ll find it on My Manchester when you log in. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/myfuture/

The Atrium in University Place is where you can access face-to-face Careers information and guidance.  It is open all year round, including vacation time. Tel: 0161 275 2829. The Information Team can help you research your options and there is information on reference and to take away. You can book a guidance appointment with a Careers Consultant to explore options, and get feedback on applications and interviews from an Applications Adviser. The FBMH careers team also offer guidance in your School at specific times during semester time. www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/

The Careers Service Website contains information, advice and interactive services. Explore tailored sections for each year of study and international students, plus general sections on job hunting, career options and applying for jobs.  www.manchester.ac.uk/careers/

Your Careers Account “CareersLink” lists job vacancies and careers events. You can also choose to receive email alerts about relevant jobs and events.  We advertise thousands of vacancies each year: everything from summer internships and part-time jobs, to industrial placements and graduate jobs and internships. www.manchester.ac.uk/careerslink/

Use Social Media?  Check out our Facebook page, Careers Blog and Twitter feeds.  Join the Careers Facebook Group for Biological Science students to stay on top of careers and for specific tips and advice for Biological Scientists.www.careers.manchester.ac.uk/services/socialmedia/

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Important information including University Regulations, Appeals and Complaints Procedures, Finance, Health and Welfare, and learning resources can be found via the Crucial Guide Live at www.studentnet.manchester.ac.uk/crucial-guide/. Other information specific to the School of Biological Sciences can be found at https://www.intranet.ls.manchester.ac.uk/default.aspx

9.1       Work and attendance regulations

The college monitors your work and attendance throughout the course. Your work and attendance is also monitored by the University for your BIOL10900 unit. This monitoring is for your own benefit (to make sure that you are coping with your programme and keeping up with any continuous assessment elements) as well as to confirm that you are actually attending the University and College. In practice, only a small number of students contravene these regulations and are called to account for their actions.

You are expected to attend all of the classes for which you are registered, and to be familiar with their content.

You must submit all associated work (e.g. essays, practical reports) by the dates stipulated. Attendance at all appropriate examinations and tests is compulsory.

If your work or attendance gives cause for concern you will, in the first instance, be asked to explain your position to your Academic Advisor. This will be triggered if your attendance at Xaverian College classes falls below 80% or if you miss more than one scheduled University teaching session for BIOL10900. If you continue failing to meet the work and attendance requirements, you will be issued with a written warning informing you that, should your work and attendance not come up to the required standard, you will not be allowed to sit examinations.

On receipt of a warning letter you will be given the opportunity of meeting with the Senior Advisor to explain your position.

If you are refused permission to sit an examination or undertake a final year laboratory-based project, you have the right to appeal. Information on Academic Appeals can be found here: http://www.studentsupport.manchester.ac.uk/study-support/appeals/

9.2       Permitted Absences

If you need to be absent from a class or tutorial, for reasons other than ill health you must supply documentary evidence to your teacher strongly supporting your reasons for absence well in advance of the occasion in question. If you are granted leave of absence your attendance will be recorded as a permitted absence.

9.3       Religious Observance

If religious observance affects your attendance at normal teaching and learning activities including any assessments in ways that will cause problems, you should discuss the issue with one of the Advisors at Xaverian College. The School and College will give sympathetic consideration to your problems and will try to make reasonable adjustments. However, adjustments can only be made provided they maintain the standard of your programme (e.g. you will not simply be excused from parts of the programme affected by your religious observance or from satisfying overall attendance requirements). You must ensure that you make arrangements to copy notes from another student for any missed classes.  Similar principles apply if religious observance affects your attendance at assessments (e.g. presentations or practical tests). You should discuss the issue with the Senior Advisor before the assessment date, and the College/School will use its best efforts to reschedule the assessment to accommodate your needs (e.g. by changing your scheduled slot in a programme of assessed presentations).

Deadlines for handing in assessed work will not normally be extended to allow for religious observance, and you must therefore schedule your work accordingly.

For guidance on the University’s examinations and religious observance policy please see https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/academic-life/exams/timetable/religious-observance/ where you can also download an Examinations & Religious Observance form.

9.4       Guidelines on ill health

You should register with a local General Practitioner who is willing to provide evidence in the form of letters, or comments and a signature on a self-certification document. A list of GP practices can be obtained from the Student Occupational Health Services, any University Hall of Residence and some pharmacies. According to guidance issued by the General Medical Council it would not be regarded as good practice for a family member to be the registered GP or to offer treatment, except in the case of an emergency.

You should always consult your GP (or for emergencies the Accident and Emergency Department of a hospital) if your illness is severe, if it persists, or if you have any concerns about your health. Your Xaverian Advisor will give you guidance on the effect of any absence from your studies and your options if you consider your illness has affected your studies. If you have repeated episodes of ill health that are affecting your attendance and/or studies, you may be referred to the Student Occupational Health Services.

9.5       Absence due to illness affecting attendance at Xaverian College

If you are unwell and feel unable to attend the College to attend your classes then you must inform the College. You can inform the office in person, through a friend or family member*, by telephone (0161 224 1781) or by email (college@xaverian.ac.uk).. If you send an email you should ensure that you keep a copy of both the email itself and the confirmation of reading the email. You must do this as soon as possible, so that all options can be considered, and certainly no later than the day and start time of your compulsory class.

If you do not do this then you will normally be considered to have been absent from the class without good reason in which case you will be recorded as having an unauthorised absence. Until your return to the College you must also inform us of any further missed classes.

9.6       Absence due to illness affecting attendance at University tutorials (BIOL10900)

If you are unwell and feel unable to attend the University to take a tutorial then you must inform the Student Support Office immediately and they will complete a Notification of Absence form for you. You can inform the office in person, through a friend or family member*, by telephone (0161 2751487) or by email (studentsupportoffice.sbs@manchester.ac.uk). If you send an email you must ensure that you keep a copy of both the email itself and the confirmation of reading the email, as there may be serious implications of being absent and consequences for your academic progress. You must do this as soon as possible, so that all options can be considered, and certainly no later than the day and start time of your compulsory class.

If you do not do this then you will normally be considered to have been absent from the class without good reason in which case you will be recorded as having an unauthorised absence. Until your return to University you must also inform us of any further missed tutorials.

On your return you must report to the Student Support Office to complete a Self-Certification Form. This MUST be completed within 7 days of your initial absence.

If illness keeps you away from the University for more than 7 days including weekends, you must consult your GP. If you do consult a GP and he/she considers that you are not fit for attendance at the University, then you should obtain a note from the doctor to that effect or ask him/her to complete Part III of the University form ‘Certification of Student Ill health’ copies of which are available at local GP surgeries. You should hand this certificate to the Student Support Office as soon as you return to University and no later than 7 days after your return. The use of the “Certification of Student Ill Health” form by GPs, as described above, has been agreed by the Manchester Local Medical Committee. A GP may make a charge for completing the form.

* If you are so unwell that a friend or family member has to contact the Student Support Office on your behalf it will only normally be possible for them to provide information for you – they will not be able to learn of the implications of your absence on your academic progress, which you must discover for yourself on your return to health. The Faculty staff will not engage in any dialogue with third parties regarding your studies without your explicit, written consent.

9.7       Absence affecting submission of written coursework or attendance at progress tests for Xaverian College

If, as a consequence of illness or other mitigating factor, you wish to seek an extension to a deadline for submitting written coursework for a course unit at Xaverian, you must contact one of the Advisors at Xaverian by email and provide appropriate supporting evidence. The application for extension must be made BY 10AM THE DAY BEFORE THE DAY OF THE DEADLINE and NOT retrospectively.

If, as a consequence of illness or other mitigating factor, you are unable to attend a progress test for a course unit at Xaverian, you must contact one of the Advisors at Xaverian by email and provide appropriate supporting evidence. You must contact one of the Advisors BY 9AM OF THE DAY OF THE PROGRESS TEST and NOT retrospectively.

9.8       Absence from examinations due to illness

You should make every effort to attend all examinations; it is often surprising how well candidates who are ill can perform in written examinations. If necessary (e.g. contagious diseases), special arrangements can be made to take the exam in isolation from other candidates; if you cannot write (e.g. due to a broken arm), it may be possible for someone to write for you. If you feel you might experience any examination difficulties, you must inform Xaverian College as soon as you can.

If you are so ill you are unable to take an exam you must contact your advisor at Xaverian College as soon as possible, and certainly no later than the day and start time of your examination. You should complete a Mitigating Circumstances Form which must be accompanied by appropriate independent third-party supporting or collaborative documentation such as a Doctor’s note or letter signed by your GP or a letter from your health care professional. If the information is of a highly confidential nature, you may submit your evidence in a sealed envelope, marked for the attention of the Senior Advisor, School of Biological Sciences. Students who attend a hospital Accident and Emergency (A&E) Department must obtain written confirmation of attendance either from the hospital or subsequently from their GP confirming their attendance and stating the nature of the emergency. A hospital attendance card alone will not be accepted as appropriate evidence of illness. Submission must be made to the Student Support Office (G.483 Stopford Building) by the deadlines given at the start of this handbook. Requests for mitigation submitted after this date for the end of an examination period cannot be considered without a credible and compelling explanation as to why the circumstances were not known or could not have been shown beforehand (and in no circumstances after results have been released).

If you miss a unit examination through illness, you will be required to take the examination again in the resit examination period. Provided that you have followed the procedures described above, this re-examination will normally be counted as your first attempt.

Mitigating Circumstances Forms are available from the Blackboard programme area or from the Senior Advisor at Xaverian College.

9.9       Illness not resulting in absence from examinations

You may be unwell but able to proceed with an examination, but feel that your performance will have been impaired. If you wish this to be taken into account you must follow the same procedures as in the section above. Note that long-term chronic conditions or suffering from stress, anxiety or feelings of panic would not normally be considered a mitigating circumstance. If you anticipate or experience any of the latter problems you are strongly encouraged to contact the counselling service (further information available in the Crucial Guide Live at https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/personal-life/emotional-problems/).

9.10       Mitigating Circumstances Committee

Sometimes circumstances or events beyond your control may adversely affect your ability to perform in an examination/assessment to your full potential. The University defines mitigating circumstances as ‘unforeseeable or unpreventable circumstances that could have, or did have, a significant adverse effect on the academic performance of a student’. 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: dso.manchester.ac.uk/who-do-we-support/current-students/)
  • 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.

Circumstances or events that would 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;
  • 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).

Please be aware, mitigation will NOT result in the changing of any marks. Instead, mitigation may result in you being permitted to sit the examination again in the next available examination period.   In the case of mitigation being granted for an examination taken in the August resit period, this will involve taking an interruption year and returning to sit your examinations in the next relevant examination period (January or May).

Please note some doctors surgeries can take 2 weeks to provide you with a letter of evidence, so it is important to organise this as soon as possible, if your evidence will not be available until after the deadline, you must ensure your application form is submitted on time and notify the Student Support Office when they can expect to receive the evidence.

You will be notified of the outcome of your submission during February for Semester 1, June for Semester 2 and September for the resit period.

If you are found to have been deceitful or dishonest in completing the Faculty Self-Certification form or the Mitigating Circumstances form you will be liable to disciplinary action under the University’s General Regulation XVII: Conduct and Discipline of Students (https://my.manchester.ac.uk/d/crucial-guide/academic-life/formal-procedures/conduct-and-discipline/).

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workplacesafetyThe work that you do this year will require knowledge of and conformity with health and safety rules. It is consequently important for you to gain a wide understanding of the legal and practical requirements for working safely.

The University of Manchester is subject to British and European Community law on health and safety. The University has therefore, a duty to formulate health and safety policies and to promote these. From time to time the University issues its updated “Health and Safety Policy Statement”, as well as Codes of Practice and Guidance Notes. Following the requirements stipulated in the latter, the Faculty of Life Sciences is required to devise regulations that are suited to its work. These regulations apply to staff, students and visitors to the Faculty. Similar obligations and procedures apply to all employers in the UK, so that preparation and familiarity gained now could stand you in good stead for future employment. Please see the Health and Safety pages on the Faculty intranet at https://www.intranet.ls.manchester.ac.uk/default.aspx

An important set of regulations that require close attention are those that relate to the Control of Substances Hazardous to Health; the COSHH Regulations. Everyone is required by these regulations to make an assessment of the risks that might arise during the storage or use of the substances that they use in their work. You must ensure that no one will be adversely affected as a consequence of the decisions that you make. During your undergraduate year practicals you will find that this will  have been done for you by the practical coordinators (bear in mind that the term substance covers a wide range in relation to risk – biological as well as chemical). See https://www.intranet.ls.manchester.ac.uk/default.aspx

It should be understood that these rules are not designed to prevent potentially hazardous work from taking place, but that they are designed to make sure that the work is done safely. This means that substances that might be hazardous to health can continue to be used when due precautions are taken by those engaged in the work. You are thus obliged to take these things into account, yourself. You are entitled to expect that due care has been taken by those responsible for supervising your work, but it is important to remember that your willing co-operation for the implementation of safety measures is required. It is thus reasonable to expect that, so far as is reasonably practicable, you prepare in advance for the work that you will undertake.

The first stage in the COSHH process is called risk assessment. You are required to refer to published information and, where appropriate, to ask for advice when carrying out this assessment. Manufacturers and suppliers are legally obliged to provide written information about the storage and use of substances. The range of examples to be considered is large, so that each individual substance must be considered, both alone and in conjunction with other substances to be found adjacently e.g. the same cupboard or in a mixture. The fact that a substance is within a container may not provide sufficient protection in all the circumstances that might arise, i.e. you are required to anticipate what could happen in the event of an accident. Flammability is one example of the information to be provided but you would also need to know if a substance became hazardous or more hazardous upon heating (physically and/or chemically): i.e. would it become explosive; how it might react in combination with other things? Then, what safety precautions and remedies must be provided?

The next stage is to decide how and in what circumstances a substance might be used safely, even if there is a risk. If there is a risk or the consequences of an accident could be serious, it would be necessary to consider the use of a satisfactory substitute. Someone in authority must decide this.

The principles of Risk Assessment cover all forms of activity in the place of work, and every activity should be assessed before you start work. A person in authority will normally have carried out this assessment on your behalf, and it is important to adhere to the protocol you have been given. You must be familiar with the contents of the relevant Risk Assessment before you start any form of work, and you must not make any changes to work procedures without the permission of your supervisor. Risk Assessments for most common procedures can be found at http://www.healthandsafety.manchester.ac.uk/toolkits/ra/

Finally, a decision has to be made by a person in authority, e.g. your supervisor, about who should do the work and in what circumstances should the work be done. You can expect to be informed about any particular hazards and methods that apply in a laboratory. Please note that if you are pregnant you should inform the Practical Unit Coordinator so that the appropriate risk assessments can be undertaken.

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

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

Academic malpractice includes plagiarism, collusion, fabrication or falsification of results and anything else intended by those committing it to achieve credit that they do not properly deserve. Further guidance is available on the intranet (see ‘Plagiarism – Resources for avoiding Plagiarism’ at
https://www.escholar.manchester.ac.uk/learning-objects/mle/avoiding-plagiarism and http://www.tlso.manchester.ac.uk/plagiarism/
which includes helpful exercises and explanations relating to plagiarism and referencing on the web. It is well worth visiting these sites in your spare time to ensure that you fully understand.

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

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.

Different types of academic malpractice are explained over the next few pages.


  • As you can see, it is most important that you understand what is expected of you when you prepare and produce assignments and that you always observe proper academic conventions for referencing and acknowledgement, whether working by yourself or as part of a team. In practice, there are a number of acceptable styles of referencing depending, for example, on the particular discipline you are studying, so if you are not certain what is appropriate, ask your Advisor or the course Unit Coordinator for advice. This should ensure that you do not lay yourself open to a charge of plagiarism inadvertently, or through ignorance of what is expected. It is also important to remember that you do not absolve yourself from a charge of plagiarism simply by including a reference to a source in a reference list that you have included with your assignment; you should always be scrupulous about indicating precisely where and to what extent you have made use of such a source.
  • To assist you, here are a few important do’s and don’ts:Do get lots of background information on subjects you are writing about to help you form your own view of the subject. The information could be from electronic journals, technical reports, unpublished dissertations, etc. Make a note of the source of every piece of information at the time you record it, even if it is just one sentence. Consider writing skeletal notes of your own rather than storing original text.Don’t construct a piece of work by cutting and pasting or copying material written by other people, or by you for any other purpose, into something you are submitting as your own work. Sometimes you may need to quote someone else’s exact form of words in order to analyse or criticize them, in which case the quotation must be enclosed in quotation marks to show that it is a direct quote, and it must have the source properly acknowledged at that point. Any omissions from a quotation must be indicated by an ellipsis (…) and any additions for clarity must be enclosed in square brackets, e.g. “[These] results suggest… that the hypothesis is correct.” It may also be appropriate to reproduce a diagram from someone else’s work, but again the source must be explicitly and fully acknowledged there. However, constructing large chunks of documents from a string of quotes, even if they are acknowledged, is another form of plagiarism.Do attribute all ideas to their original authors. Written ‘ideas’ are the product that authors produce. You would not appreciate it if other people passed off your ideas as their own, and that is what plagiarism rules are intended to prevent. A good rule of thumb is that each idea or statement that you write should be attributed to a source unless it is your personal idea or it is common knowledge. (If you are unsure if something is common knowledge, ask other students: if they don’t know what you are talking about, then it is not common knowledge!)
  • Plagiarism is presenting the ideas, work or words of other people without proper, clear and unambiguous acknowledgement. The most obvious examples of plagiarism would be to copy another student’s work, or to copy text from a book or website. Even if you acknowledge the source in a citation, you must put the ideas or concepts into your own words, unless you are using a direct quote. It also includes ‘self-plagiarism’ (which occurs where, for example, you submit work that you have presented for assessment on a previous occasion), and the submission of material from ‘essay banks’ (even if the authors of such material appear to be giving you permission to use it in this way).It is as serious to use material from the internet or from a computer based encyclopaedia or literature archive as it is to use material from a printed source.Paraphrasing, when the original statement is still identifiable and has no acknowledgement, is plagiarism. Taking a piece of text, from whatever source, and substituting words or phrases with other words or phrases is plagiarism. It is not acceptable to put together unacknowledged passages from the same or from different sources linking these together with a few words or sentences of your own and changing a few words from the original text; this is regarded as over-dependence on other sources, which is a form of plagiarism.It is essential to make clear in your assignments the distinction between the ideas and work of other people that you may have quite legitimately used and developed, and the ideas or material that you have personally contributed.
  • So far, plagiarism has been described as using the words or work of someone else (without proper attribution). However, it could also include a close paraphrase of their words, or a minimally adapted version of a computer program, a diagram, a graph, an illustration, etc., taken from a variety of sources without proper acknowledgement. These could be lectures, printed material, the Internet or other electronic/AV sources.
  • Remember: no matter what pressure you may be under to complete an assignment, you should never succumb to the temptation to take a ‘short cut’ and use someone else’s material inappropriately. No amount of mitigating circumstances will get you off the hook, and if you persuade other students to let you copy their work, they will be disciplined as well.


  • Collusion is any agreement to hide someone else’s individual input to collaborative work with the intention of securing a mark higher than either you or another student might deserve. Where proved, it will be subject to penalties similar to those for plagiarism.
  • Students who allow another student to copy their work are also committing collusion and both the copier and the provider of the work are liable to be penalised.
  • On the other hand, collaboration is a perfectly legitimate academic activity in which students are required to work in groups as part of their programme of research or in the preparation of projects and similar assignments. If you are asked to carry out such group work and to collaborate in specified activities, it will always be made clear how your individual input to the joint work is to be assessed and graded. Sometimes, for example, all members of a team may receive the same mark for a joint piece of work, whereas on other occasions team members will receive individual marks that reflect their individual input. If it is not clear on what basis your work is to be assessed, to avoid any risk of unwitting collusion you should always ask for clarification before submitting any assignment.

Fabrication or falsification of results

  • For many students, a major part of their studies involves laboratory or other forms of practical work, and they often find themselves undertaking such activity without close academic supervision. If you are in this situation, you are expected to behave in a responsible manner, as in other aspects of your academic life, and to show proper integrity in the reporting of results or other data. Hence you should ensure that you always document clearly and fully any research programme or survey that you undertake, whether working by yourself or as part of a group. Results or data that you or your group submit must be capable of verification, so that those assessing the work can follow the processes by which you obtained them. Under no circumstances should you seek to present results or data that were not properly obtained and documented as part of your practical learning experience. Otherwise, you lay yourself open to the charge of fabrication or falsification of results.


  • If you commit any form of academic malpractice, teaching staff will not be able to assess your individual abilities objectively or accurately. Any short-term gain you might have hoped to achieve will be cancelled out by the loss of proper feedback you might have received, and in the long run such behaviour is likely to damage your overall intellectual development, to say nothing of your self-esteem. You are the one who loses.

For further guidance, please see the document Guidance to students on plagiarism and other forms of academic malpractice which can be found on the intranet in your ‘My
Independent Study’ area and at:

11.1       Conduct & discipline of students

Regulations concerning Conduct and Discipline, including rights of appeal, are set out in University Regulation XVII, which can be found here:

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Appendix 1


All exams are in the Sports Hall. Please ensure you are outside the Sports Hall 10 minutes before the start of the exam.

Monday 14th January    
1.30pm XA0BY02 Microbes and Disease 2 hours
Friday 18th January
9.15am XABY01 Molecules, Cells and Variation 2 hours
Monday 21st January  
9.15am XAMA01 Maths 1 hour
Tuesday 22nd January  
9.15am XACH01 Fundamental Principles of Chemistry A 1 hr 20 m
Thursday 24th January
9.15am     XACH02 Fundamental Principles of Chemistry B                         1 hr 20 m



All your exams will be in the Sports Hall. Please ensure that you are outside the Sports Hall 15 minutes before the start of each exam.

Monday 13th May
9.15 am XABY03 Energy and the Environment 2 hours
Wednesday 15th May
9.15 am XAMA02  Maths 1 hour
Friday 17th May
9.15 am XABY04 Physiology 2 hours
Tuesday 21st May
9.15 am XACH02A  Inorganic and Organic Chemistry A 1 hour 20 mins
Wednesday 22nd May
1.30pm XACH02B Inorganic and Organic Chemistry B 1 hour 20 mins


All exams will be held at Xaverian College in room XV14 in the Xavier Building

Wednesday 28th August
9.15 am XABY01 Molecules, Cells and Variation 2 hours
11.30 am XAMA01 Maths 1 (Biology) 1 hour
2.00 pm XABY02 Microbes and Disease 2 hours
Thursday 29th August
9.15 am XABY03 Energy and the Environment 2 hours
11.30 am XAMA02 Maths 2 (Biology) 1 hour
2.00 pm XABY04 Physiology 2 hours
Friday 30th August
9.15 am XACH1A Fund Principles of Chemistry A 1 hr 20 m
10.45 am XACH1B Fund Principles of Chemistry B 1 hr 20 m
1.00 pm XACH2A Inorganic and Organic Chemistry A 1 hr 20 m
2.30 pm XACH2B Inorganic and Organic Chemistry B 1 hr 20 m