Start of your 2020/21 academic year

We know our students want the best start possible at university, and we're working hard to put measures in place to make sure you're receiving the highest-quality learning experience, while keeping safe.

We're planning an extended and enhanced period of induction, welcome and development activities which will also be available online for those who are unable to join us on campus.

Everyone will receive washable face masks in their welcome packs and clear guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. You'll be fully briefed on health and safety as part of our welcome and induction activities.

In Semester 1, large lectures will be delivered online and supported with timetabled activity to structure your study week. You'll also be able to work through the material at your own pace, where and when best suits you.

Undergraduate

Will the new academic year still start in September?

We've confirmed our start dates for teaching next semester for the majority of our new students. 

New undergraduate and foundation year students:

  • Week commencing Monday, 21 September: University welcome and induction programme
  • Week commencing Monday, 28 September: School and programme induction activities
  • Week commencing Monday, 5 October: Teaching starts

There'll be a small number of programmes that will have different start dates, such as our Clinical and Health Professional programmes, so your academic School will be in touch with you should this be the case for your programme of study.

We understand that the current COVID-19 crisis has created real uncertainty for all our future students, particularly those who need to travel from outside the UK to take up their place in Manchester. We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at Manchester and we're very much looking forward to seeing students on campus as soon as we can; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

We're currently planning for every eventuality in order to follow UK government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online. What this means is that students will still be able to engage with their programme effectively, and receive the highest quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

We're also committed to providing the most up-to-date information about studying at Manchester and are pleased to reassure our future students that there will be little change to our start dates and everything will be in place so that students can begin their undergraduate study with us in September.

If you've any specific queries, please contact your academic School/Department, but more details about the precise timetable during this period will follow and we'll keep in touch with our future students regularly over the next few months.

Will there be a University induction/welcome programme for new students?

This year students will be able to benefit from an extended and enhanced period of induction, welcome and development activities. We're planning a two week welcome and induction programme which will allow our new students time to make friends and settle into our Manchester community, before their studies fully commence. Time for our new students to learn about our amazing campus and city and how they can make the most of all that Manchester has to offer. Time for students to feel prepared, equipped and ready to succeed.  

In the first week of our welcome and induction programme, the emphasis will be on study skills: our unique Stellify programme; employability; peer mentoring and buddying introductions.

In the second week students will focus on academic community building, meeting their academic advisor and gradual familiarisation with academic subject matter. This will also be an opportunity to catch up on any curriculum essentials that students may have missed due to the current situation and perhaps not completing their prior studies. All of this activity is specifically designed to support our new students in their undergraduate studies and help them make the most of their campus life, in our wonderful city.

We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year.  However, we're also aware that there may be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice. To ensure that no one is excluded or disadvantaged in any way, our welcome and induction programme will also be accessible online.

  

How will campus be kept safe?

Feeling prepared and equipped at the present time inevitably brings thoughts of health and safety. Many of our academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise. We're busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place.

When arriving on campus, you'll notice the changes we've made to keep everyone safe. For example, our buildings will have clearly marked entry and exit points; we’ll be asking everyone to sanitise or clean their hands immediately on entry; and markings on floors, stairwells and doors will help maintain social distancing.

You'll receive two free washable face coverings at the start of Semester 1 and clear campus safety guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. You'll be fully briefed on health and safety, as part of our welcome and induction activities.

What will Semester 1 look like?

We're proud of our teaching and learning at Manchester and the industrious ‘Manchester spirit’ which drives it forward. This has been the case in the current pandemic, with the way we have responded following lockdown in the UK and our incredible staff rallied together to deliver our teaching in new, innovative and exciting ways. Before the pandemic we were already committed to improving our blended learning provision, as our students tell us that the best learning comes from both on and off campus experiences. The current situation has given us a catalyst to start that at full throttle, and we will continue to innovate and bring a whole new range of experiences to our students.

In Semester 1, large lectures will be delivered online in virtual spaces and supported with timetabled activity to structure the study week. The online lecture material will allow students to work at their own pace, where and when this suits them. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A and other interactivity, across different formats in timetabled slots. The lecture material will be available for students to watch and re-watch whenever they wish, to catch up on anything they may have missed. When campus is fully opened and some lectures will revert again to face-to-face, student lectures will still be captured digitally so that students can watch them back online, with our lecture capture service.   

Students will still have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. Exactly how this works will depend on UK government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time. Until UK government advice allows us to be on campus we'll provide face-to-face teaching activities in a digital format; students contact time and ability to discuss and debate with their lecturers will remain, whatever our mode of delivery.

Can you explain what you mean by ‘online teaching’ and ‘on-campus’ activities’?

‘Online teaching’ will take place where it involves large groups of students or we're unable to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. Large lectures will be delivered online in virtual spaces and supported with timetabled activity to structure the study week. The online lecture material will allow students to work at their own pace, where and when this suits them. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A and other interactivity, across different formats in timetabled slots. The lecture material will be available for students to watch and re-watch whenever they wish, to catch up on anything they may have missed. When campus is fully opened, and some lectures will revert again to face-to-face, student lectures will still be captured digitally so that students can watch them back online, with our lecture capture service.

‘On-campus teaching’ will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. We hope that these will take place face-to-face on campus to allow for discussion and interaction with your academics as long as government guidance allows for this.

Students will have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. Exactly how this works will depend on UK government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time. Until UK government advice allows us to be on campus, we will provide face-to-face teaching activities in a digital format; students contact time and ability to discuss and debate with their lecturers will remain, whatever our mode of delivery.

If my lectures are online, does this mean I won’t have any teaching in person at all?

We've made the decision for all lectures to happen online for Semester 1 due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students.

With all lectures being delivered online, this allows you to work at your own pace, where and when it suits you. This also gives the University extra space to deliver as many of our seminars, tutorials, practicals and labs as we can, on campus, face-to-face, to small, socially distanced groups. We are putting safety first for everyone, by sticking with 2 metre social distancing wherever we can.

We'll continue to revisit these arrangements during Semester 1, to see if more face-to-face teaching can be introduced.

How will I be assessed in Semester 1?

We don’t know what the government guidelines will be in January 2021, but we do know that under current guidelines, it wouldn’t be possible for all assessments to take place face-to-face. So we’ve taken the decision now to do most January 2021 assessments online, even if restrictions are relaxed by then.

There will be a small number of exams and practical assessments that still need to be on campus, where students need to demonstrate a specific skill as part of a professional accreditation; decisions on this will be made and communicated in early September.

We're also listening to student feedback about assessments to consider what changes we might make longer term, for example by using more online methods where this has proved popular and makes sense, academically. We want our assessments to be more inclusive – and ideally to give students greater choice.

What kind of IT technology and support will I have access to?

We’ve sped up our IT Modernisation Programme to give students access to the right tools for learning in a digital world. This summer we’re rolling out Microsoft Teams to all staff and students, to make it easier than ever to communicate and collaborate. We’re also introducing a new version of Blackboard, and tools for you to live chat with staff, rather than waiting for email responses.

Longer term, we’ve committed to a multimillion pound investment in our technology through the Student Experience Programme, which will significantly upgrade My Manchester so you can do more things online, and change our backend systems so you get responses quicker.

Thanks to the exceptional generosity of our alumni and friends, we now have a fund of more than £1.3m for student hardship, which will include a substantial laptop loan scheme to support any UK student struggling to get online.

Will there be financial support for students who don't have access to IT equipment? (UK only)

For those students that don't have access to a computer or financial means to purchase one, the University has an IT Access scheme to provide laptops loans and help getting online.

We're also able to offer financial support, thanks to more than 2,000 amazingly generous alumni, staff and friends of the University who have donated more than £1 million to our Emergency Hardship Fund.

We'll be sending out more information over the summer months about the type of support available and how to apply.

If some elements of my teaching are online, will I be charged the full published tuition fees?

Students will be charged the full published tuition fees for 2020 entry.

We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at Manchester and are very much looking forward to welcoming students onto our campus as soon as we can. We're currently planning for every eventually in order to follow UK government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online.

We're confident that students will still be able to engage with their programme of study effectively, and receive the highest-quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

Do I have to come to Manchester in Semester 1?

We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year. However, we're aware that there might be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice.

To ensure that no-one is excluded or disadvantaged, we can confirm that the majority of students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme online and then study wholly online until they are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

There are some notable exceptions however including:

  • Courses that require students to undertake clinical placements in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health including Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Audiology, Biosciences with a Foundation Year and Pharmacy with a Foundation Year.
  • Courses that have Semester 1 activities associated with professional body accreditation. 

Academic schools will communicate directly with offer-holders where studying wholly online will not be available and what options are open to those students who are unable to join us in Semester 1.

What if I am unable to be in Manchester for the start of Semester 1?

We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year. However, we're aware that there might be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice.

To ensure that no-one is excluded or disadvantaged, we can confirm that the majority of students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme online and then study wholly online until they are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

There are some notable exceptions however including:

  • Courses that require students to undertake clinical placements in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health including Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Audiology, Biosciences with a Foundation Year and Pharmacy with a Foundation Year.
  • Courses that have Semester 1 activities associated with professional body accreditation.

Academic schools will communicate directly with offer-holders where studying wholly online will not be available and what options are open to those students who are unable to join us in Semester 1.

Postgraduate

Will the new academic year still start in September?

Postgraduate taught students

We understand that the current COVID-19 crisis has created real uncertainty for all our students, particularly those who need to travel from outside the UK to take up their place in Manchester. We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at Manchester and we're very much looking forward to seeing you on campus as soon as we can; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

We're currently planning for every eventuality in order to follow UK government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online. What this means is that you'll still be able to engage with your programme effectively, and receive the highest-quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

We're committed to providing the most up-to-date information about your studies and can confirm that we've put back the start of the new term to allow more time for students to make all the necessary arrangements to prepare for their postgraduate study at Manchester.

The confirmed start of year schedule for postgraduate taught students in 2020/21 is:

  • Week commencing Monday 5 October and 12 October: University welcome and induction programme
  • Week commencing Monday 19 October: School and programme induction activities
  • Week commencing Monday 26 October: Teaching starts including an online option

If you have any specific queries, please contact your academic School/Department, but more details about the precise timetable during this period will follow and we'll keep in touch with students regularly over the next few months.

Postgraduate research students

Yes, the start of the academic year will commence as planned (as outlined in your offer letter) and we're working tirelessly to bring our new PGRs the best possible research experience under the current circumstances. We're really looking forward to welcoming PGRs onto campus as soon as it is safe to do so; however, we recognise that this might not be possible for a little while.

As social distancing measures may be in place for some time, we're recommending that you keep in regular contact with your supervisor and your local PGR support team over the initial stages of your research programme. We're planning for every eventuality and, in order to follow the government advice, we may either begin all research remotely, or deliver some activity on campus.

Will there be a University induction/welcome programme for new students?

Postgraduate taught students

This year students will benefit from an extended and enhanced period of induction, welcome and development activities. This will focus on University welcome, employability kick-starter sessions and English language top-ups for international students who may have lost out on expected instruction, and testing will also be available. This will also be an opportunity to catch up on any curriculum essentials that students may have missed due to the current crisis and not completing their prior studies. All this activity is specifically designed to support students in their postgraduate studies and get the most out of their time at Manchester.

Postgraduate research students

We understand how different postgraduate research is from your previous study and we've put in place a virtual induction programme that will start on the week of September 21 with virtual induction events planned throughout that and following weeks. These events will give you the opportunity to meet and interact with fellow PGRs, academics and support staff.

All new PGRs will be invited to an online Faculty welcome event led by the Associate Dean for Postgraduate Research. Here we’ll give you an overview of the wealth of services available to you, including hints and tips on who can support you throughout your doctoral journey. We know you’ll have questions and possibly concerns as you prepare to embark on this journey, so we’ll allocate plenty of time to talk about these and share our thoughts, ideas and suggestions with you. You'll also receive invitations to attend follow-on sessions with Schools and Departments and will have an online training programme to follow.

The induction programme will be a combination of online live events along with training you can follow in your own time. This will take place at the end of September and into October. You'll be contacted by your School/Faculty with details on how to access the programme.

How will campus be kept safe?

Feeling prepared and equipped at the present time inevitably brings thoughts of health and safety. Many of our academics are undertaking world-leading research on public health and our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise. We're busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place.

When arriving on campus, you'll notice the changes we've made to keep everyone safe. For example, our buildings will have clearly marked entry and exit points; we’ll be asking everyone to sanitise or clean their hands immediately on entry; and markings on floors, stairwells and doors will help maintain social distancing.

You'll receive two free washable face coverings at the start of Semester 1 and clear campus safety guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. You'll be fully briefed on health and safety, as part of our welcome and induction activities.

What will Semester 1 look like? (postgraduate taught)

We're proud of our teaching and learning at Manchester and the industrious ‘Manchester spirit’ which drives it forward. This has been the case in the current pandemic, with the way we have responded following lockdown in the UK and our incredible staff rallied together to deliver our teaching in new, innovative and exciting ways. Before the pandemic we were already committed to improving our blended learning provision, as our students tell us that the best learning comes from both on and off campus experiences. The current situation has given us a catalyst to start that at full throttle, and we will continue to innovate and bring a whole new range of experiences to our students.

In Semester 1, large lectures will be delivered online in virtual spaces and supported with timetabled activity to structure the study week. The online lecture material will allow students to work at their own pace, where and when this suits them. It will also bring opportunity for Q&A and other interactivity, across different formats in timetabled slots. The lecture material will be available for students to watch and re-watch whenever they wish, to catch up on anything they may have missed. When campus is fully opened and some lectures will revert again to face-to-face, student lectures will still be captured digitally so that students can watch them back online, with our lecture capture service.

Students will still have safe face-to-face contact with our world-leading academics through seminars, tutorials, practicals and other teaching activities on campus. Exactly how this works will depend on UK government advice, especially on social distancing, at the time. Until UK government advice allows us to be on campus we'll provide face-to-face teaching activities in a digital format; students contact time and ability to discuss and debate with their lecturers will remain, whatever our mode of delivery.

Can you explain what you mean by ‘online teaching’ and ‘on-campus’ activities’?

‘Online teaching’ will take place where it involves large groups of students or we're unable to ensure that we follow the government’s social distancing rules. For example: we've made the decision for all lectures to happen online for the first semester due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students. Lectures are likely to happen online at set times, with some live components such as quizzes, small group sections, or Q&As.

'On-campus teaching’ will be activities such as seminars, small group sessions and practical elements of courses. We hope that these will take place face-to-face on campus to allow for discussion and interaction with your teacher/academics as long as government guidance allows for this.

We're currently planning for every eventuality to ensure that we deliver the highest-quality learning and student experience and ensuring that we follow UK government information and advice. We'll ensure that more details about the format of teaching and learning for the first semester are shared with our future students regularly over the next few months.

If my lectures are online, does this mean I won’t have any teaching in person at all?

We've made the decision for all lectures to happen online for Semester 1 due to their size and it being extremely hard to manage social distancing with large groups of students.

With all lectures being delivered online, this allows you to work at your own pace, where and when it suits you. This also gives the University extra space to deliver as many of our seminars, tutorials, practicals and labs as we can, on campus, face-to-face, to small, socially distanced groups. We are putting safety first for everyone, by sticking with 2 metre social distancing wherever we can.

We'll continue to revisit these arrangements during Semester 1, to see if more face-to-face teaching can be introduced.

How will I be assessed in Semester 1?

We don’t know what the government guidelines will be in January 2021, but we do know that under current guidelines, it wouldn’t be possible for all assessments to take place face-to-face. So we’ve taken the decision now to do most January 2021 assessments online, even if restrictions are relaxed by then.

There will be a small number of exams and practical assessments that still need to be on campus, where students need to demonstrate a specific skill as part of a professional accreditation; decisions on this will be made and communicated in early September.

We're also listening to student feedback about assessments to consider what changes we might make longer term, for example by using more online methods where this has proved popular and makes sense, academically. We want our assessments to be more inclusive – and ideally to give students greater choice.

If some elements of my teaching are online, will I be charged the full published tuition fees?

Students will be charged the full published tuition fees for 2020 entry.

We're absolutely committed to delivering the highest-quality learning and student experience at Manchester and are very much looking forward to welcoming students onto our campus as soon as we can. We're currently planning for every eventually in order to follow UK government advice and either begin the new semester wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus but provide our lectures and some other aspects of learning online.

We're confident that students will still be able to engage with their programme of study effectively, and receive the highest-quality learning and student experience, no matter what the circumstances.

What kind of IT technology and support will I have access to?

We’ve sped up our IT Modernisation Programme to give students access to the right tools for learning in a digital world. This summer we’re rolling out Microsoft Teams to all staff and students, to make it easier than ever to communicate and collaborate. We’re also introducing a new version of Blackboard, and tools for you to live chat with staff, rather than waiting for email responses.

Longer term, we’ve committed to a multimillion pound investment in our technology through the Student Experience Programme, which will significantly upgrade My Manchester so you can do more things online, and change our backend systems so you get responses quicker.

Thanks to the exceptional generosity of our alumni and friends, we now have a fund of more than £1.3m for student hardship, which will include a substantial laptop loan scheme to support any UK student struggling to get online.

Do I have to come to Manchester in Semester 1?

We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year. However, we're aware that there might be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice.

To ensure that no-one is excluded or disadvantaged, we can confirm that the majority of students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme online and then study wholly online until they are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

There are some notable exceptions however including:

  • Courses that require students to undertake clinical placements in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health including Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Audiology, Biosciences with a Foundation Year and Pharmacy with a Foundation Year.
  • Courses that have Semester 1 activities associated with professional body accreditation. 

Academic schools will communicate directly with offer-holders where studying wholly online will not be available and what options are open to those students who are unable to join us in Semester 1.

What if I am unable to be in Manchester for the start of Semester 1?

We expect the vast majority of students to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year. However, we're aware that there might be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice.

To ensure that no-one is excluded or disadvantaged, we can confirm that the majority of students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme online and then study wholly online until they are able to join us later in Semester 1 or at the start of Semester 2.

There are some notable exceptions however including:

  • Courses that require students to undertake clinical placements in the Faculty of Biology, Medicine and Health including Medicine, Dentistry, Nursing, Midwifery, Speech and Language Therapy, Audiology, Biosciences with a Foundation Year and Pharmacy with a Foundation Year.
  • Courses that have Semester 1 activities associated with professional body accreditation. 

Academic schools will communicate directly with offer-holders where studying wholly online will not be available and what options are open to those students who are unable to join us in Semester 1.