Student support services during the pandemic

We recognise how difficult this past year has been for our students, as studying and living through the coronavirus pandemic has brought new challenges and uncertainty to your university experience.

However, it is important to remember that you're not alone, and that there are many support services in place to help you through it. 

If you need help or support, don’t worry – we’re here for you. Explore the links below to find out more about the support service we continue to offer, as well as the people to contact if you're in a crisis. We're constantly adapting these services to remain relevant in each stage of the pandemic in order to support you as best as we can. 

For the latest information and advice on coronavirus and your studies at the University, please read our coronavirus: frequently asked questions.

Mental health and wellbeing services

We’re here to help you throughout the pandemic, whenever you need it and whatever your concerns. Through the ups and downs of this difficult period, you won’t be alone. 

Counselling and Mental Health Service

The Counselling and Mental Health Service offer a wide range of support.

  • These online resources may be helpful in the first instance.
  • If you need to talk to someone, please complete this online questionnaire before calling the appointment line on 0161 275 2864 (Monday–Friday, 10.30am–1.30pm). Please state the colour suggested upon completing the questionnaire and you will be booked in for the next day.
  • If you need support immediately, use this list of urgent mental health support

24/7 phone line

Our new Health Assured 24/7 mental health support phone line and app mean that there is always someone available to offer support  whatever time of day or night. 

Wellbeing chat

A wellbeing chat service is available to students Monday to Friday between 11am to 12pm and will be monitored for messages throughout the week too.

If you would like to request a different live chat time outside of these hours, you can email: studentsupport@manchester.ac.uk.  

Shout

Shout is the UK’s first free 24/7 text service for anyone in crisis anytime, anywhere. It’s a place to go if you’re struggling to cope and you need immediate help.

Text 'Shout' to 85258. 

Nightmail

Nightmail is a confidential email listening and information service run by Greater Manchester Nightline. Nightmail is staffed by trained student volunteers with an understanding of the student perspective.

The email service is still up and running, and an instant messaging service is now available from 8pm to 2am and can be reached by visiting Greater Manchester Nightline.

Email: nightmail@manchester.nightline.ac.uk 

Help in a crisis

Should you need urgent help in a crisis or emergency, you can go to the accident and emergency (A&E) department of a local hospital. Find your nearest hospital.

If you can't get there quickly enough, then you should dial 999 for emergency services (calling 112 on your mobile phone permits emergency call roaming and should allow any available network to connect your emergency call).

The nearest local A&E unit to the University campus is Manchester Royal Infirmary. The unit provides emergency help for injuries or for urgent medical or mental health needs.

Contact the Manchester Royal Infirmary by calling 999 or 0161 276 1234. 

Additional phone lines for crisis support

If you're feeling suicidal or very low and need to talk to someone urgently, you can ring any of the following out-of-hours services:

  • Greater Manchester Mental Health 24/7 Helpline – 0800 953 0285 (freephone) 
  • The Samaritans – 116 123 (freephone) or 0161 236 8000 (charged at local rate)
  • Papyrus – 0800 068 4141

Safety and disability support

Your safety is of the upmost importance to us, whether you’re working remotely or on campus. 

The Advice and Response team will be working a mixture of on and off-campus over the summer and into the start of the next academic year. You can report sexual violence, harassment, hate crime or discrimination by visiting the Report and Support website and a caseworker will get back to you, and can arrange an in-person or remote meeting. 

If you're planning on staying on campus, we'd recommend you download the SafeZone app. It also allows you to contact our Security team directly if you're in an immediate emergency or require first aid, and you can use the 'check-in' function to let Security know of your whereabouts for extra peace of mind. 

We strongly urge all students and staff who are on campus to take two coronavirus tests every week, three to four days apart, as long as you aren’t experiencing COVID-19 symptoms. You can collect free rapid lateral flow tests from multiple points on campus, open Monday to Friday:

  • Fallowfield Squirrels Bar – 3pm–6pm
  • Oxford Road, Old visitors centre (Whitworth Building) – 2pm–5pm
  • North Campus, Barnes Wallis (Ground floor) – 2pm–5pm 

Book appointment

The Disability Advisory and Support Service are continuing to carry out appointments via video and phone. Their phone lines are open from 10am to 4pm wherever possible or you can email: dass@manchester.ac.uk.

Financial support

Living Cost Support Fund

If you're struggling financially as a result of the ongoing pandemic, the Living Cost Support Fund is open all year round to provide practical support. The fund can award small grants and loans to support you if you find yourself experiencing unexpected or additional financial worries. 

COVID-19 Expense Fund

As an undergraduate or postgraduate taught student, you can now access the COVID-19 Expense Fund. Developed in collaboration with the Students’ Union, this funding is designed to help students who have personally incurred unexpected programme-related costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For full details on what you can apply for, and how to make an application, please see our full guidance

Postgraduate research (PGR) COVID-19 Expense Fund

This fund is available to all PGRs who have personally incurred unexpected research programme-related costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic (since March 2020). PGRs will be able to make one application to the expense fund per academic year. Awards will be capped at a maximum of £500 except in the case of required hotel quarantine costs, which will be covered in full (where approved).

For full details on what you can apply for, and how to make an application, please see the guidance document (PDF, 539KB). Any questions can be directed to mdc@manchester.ac.uk.   

Postgraduate research (PGR) COVID-19 Hardship Fund

This fund is available to PGRs facing real and demonstrable financial hardship as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic (which can be defined as where your essential outgoings are greater than your income). PGRs applying to this fund could be eligible for a non-repayable award of up to £2,000. Awards are granted on a case-by-case basis after consideration of each application.

For full details on eligibility and the application process please refer to the PGR COVID-19 Hardship Fund guidance document (PDF, 432KB). Any question can be directed to your local PGR Support team.

IT support

If you happen to encounter any IT issues, IT Services are here for you.

There are a range of support options available, depending on your issue.

  • Get advice on returning after a break including what do to if you've forgotten your password or need support setting up new devices.
  • Report a fault or ask for advice by calling 24/7 IT Support – 0161 306 5544.
  • Ask IT support questions on Library Chat (Monday to Friday, 9am to 5pm).
  • Search our IT Support Portal and Knowledge Base for step-by-step guides and troubleshooting articles.
  • Use our Help me get online laptop loan and WiFi access scheme for undergraduate and postgraduate taught students.

Library

Find out about all Library services that are currently available. You're required to wear a face covering (unless exempt) at all times in the Library and must maintain social distance. 

Library opening hours over summer vacation

From Saturday, 12 June to Sunday, 19 September, you'll be able to access study spaces at the following Library sites and study spaces:

  • Alan Gilbert Learning Commons (9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday; 9am to 5pm Saturday and Sunday);
  • Main Library (9am to 8pm, Monday to Friday; 9am to 5pm, Saturday and Sunday);
  • Eddie Davies Library (open to AMBS students only when the AMBS building is open; not staffed by Library staff). 

Book returns and renewals

If you're graduating, please return your books to the Library before leaving Manchester if you can. Books can be returned at the book return bin in the Main Library entrance. If you won't be able to return your books, contact the Library team via Library Chat. If you're returning next year, your books will be automatically renewed until June 2022. 

Library Chat

Remember, if you need help you can talk to the Library via Library Chat. 

My Learning Essentials

The Library offers a variety of training and skills resources to support your studies and research with My Learning Essentials.

Explore the online resources to develop skills in everything from presenting like a pro to avoiding plagiarism.

Halls of residence

We expect all halls of residence to remain open during any periods of national or local restrictions related to COVID-19. However, you may see some reductions in services as we aim to protect and safeguard our front-line staff as much as possible. 

All halls administration and reception offices are currently open as normal Monday to Friday (8am–6pm). In the event of a COVID-19 outbreak, we may have to reduce the hours or close receptions at short notice. The exceptions to regular opening hours are Brook Hall, Weston Hall and Denmark Road. We advise that you contact those receptions directly for their opening hours. 

You can also contact our teams by email: accommodation@manchester.ac.uk or reslife-admin@manchester.ac.uk. Please note these are monitored only during office hours and should not be used for emergencies. 

Don’t forget you can contact the ResLife team Monday to Friday, 6pm to 8am and any time during the weekends by phoning the on duty RLA. Please be aware that the duty phones are not monitored between 8am and 6pm, Monday to Friday. 

If you require immediate assistance please contact University Security on 0161 306 9966 or use the emergency call button on the SafeZone app

If you’re living in halls and need to self-isolate, then please follow our guidance on self-isolating, which is in line with national guidelines.

Sport and fitness

The Sugden Sports Centre, The Armitage Sports Centre and all GLL leisure centres (including the Manchester Aquatics Centre) are now open and will be running a bookable service in line with the current COVID-19 government guidelines. 

We also offer numerous activities onsite and online to keep you fit and active. Visit UoM Sport as well as our social media channels, for more information for what’s on and how you can get involved.

Careers support

Our Careers Service has moved online and hosts a new CareerConnect platform where you can access events, appointments and careers resources. You can also personalise your CareerConnect Discovery page to include recommendations and articles matching your career interests. 

CV checker

Get instant, personalised feedback on your CV using our online CV checker. Use the TargetMyCV option to match your CV to a specific job. 

Real-world interview practice

Practice a range of careers and recruiter video interviews using the Shorlist.Me platform. You’ll receive automatic feedback on your performance and expert guidance on how to answer interview questions. 

Online workshops on-demand

Don’t worry if you missed an online workshop or an employer event, all recorded sessions are available on our Careers Service YouTube channel

Volunteering

Explore the Volunteer Hub to find out more about the range of volunteering opportunities available, including those related to COVID-19.

School support

We have contact details of all School Support Offices, or equivalents, who can support your wellbeing and academic life. 

Due to the current circumstances causing staff to work at home, School Support contacts should be contacted by email only during this time.