Teacher FAQ on the University and current coronavirus pandemic

If your students have any questions regarding their application/offer from Manchester we recommend that they have look at our offer-holder page and review the FAQs we have put together.

In addition to the applicant and offer-holder FAQs, below are some additional FAQs for you as teachers and advisers, where we have aimed to answer any additional questions you may have.

Both the applicant and offer-holder FAQs and this page are updated frequently when we have new information we need to share with you and our prospective students. Please be assured that we will also communicate with applicants and offer-holders directly for any important updates.

UCAS also have a dedicated coronavirus information page for students and advisers which is updated as new information is confirmed. We encourage you and your students to review this periodically and also pay attention to other updates that UCAS may provide you and your students directly or via UCAS Track.

International advisers may also like to review the information on the UK Council for International Student Affairs website, which is regularly updated with advice and information for international students.

Results 2020

Last updated: 20 August 2020

Start of the 2020/21 academic year

Last updated: 11 June 2020

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, but the academic School will be in touch with your students should this be the case for their 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 your students have any specific queries, they can contact the 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, students will 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.

Students will 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. They'll be fully briefed on health and safety, as part of our welcome and induction activities.

Is the University able to support students if they need to quarantine on arrival in the UK?

We'll be closely following the UK government’s advice with regard to any quarantine requirements for inbound travellers to the UK in order to understand any impact it may have upon our new and returning students by September/October 2020. We're working hard to make sure that any appropriate arrangements will be in place to support our students. Coronavirus regulations mean that individuals must self-isolate for 14 days if they enter the UK from a country outside the common travel area.

The government is satisfied that it is now safe to ease these measures in England and has introduced travel corridors for some countries and territories. The UK government have released a list of countries where visitors to England do not have to self-isolate on arrival if these are the only places you have been to or stopped in during the previous 14 days.

Students whose permanent domicile is within countries required by the UK government to quarantine on arrival and who have booked University Halls of Residence will be able to arrive two weeks in advance of their accommodation contract start date in September with no additional charge for accommodation prior to the contract start date.

We also are working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester Airports Group and major airlines with flights into Manchester to ensure there is capacity for students to arrive on campus in time for the start of the academic year.

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'Ve 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'll 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.

What is meant 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 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 lectures are online, does this mean students 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 studnets to work at their own pace, where and when it suits them. 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 students 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 is available?

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 students 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 students can do more things online, and change our backend systems so they 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.

If some elements of teaching are online, will students 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 students 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.

Will there be any 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.   

Open days and events on campus

Last updated: 4 June 2020

Is the University still running recruitment events on campus?

The University of Manchester is closely monitoring national and international developments in relation to coronavirus and taking action as appropriate.

As a result, a decision has been made to cancel or postpone on-campus recruitment events with large visitor groups.

Unfortunately, this includes guided campus visits and University accommodation tours.

We realise that the cancellation and postponement of events will cause inconvenience and disappointment, however the health and wellbeing of our students, staff and visitors are our highest priority at this difficult time.

The University offers a range of information, advice and guidance to prospective students on our website, including our ‘Manchester Live’ webinar series.

We're working to develop additional online resources to provide students and advisers the opportunity to speak to staff, learn more about our programmes of study and get a flavour of life at Manchester.

We apologise for any inconvenience caused, but believe this is the best decision for the safety and wellbeing of our staff, students and visitors.

Are you running a virtual open day?

Yes, we’ll be running a virtual event from 15-19 June 2020. Please feel to publish this to your students in Year 12/lower sixth. Teachers and advisers are welcome to attend. Find out more about the undergraduate virtual open week and book sessions

Applications and offers

Last updated: 4 June 2020

Where can students find the latest information about their exams?

UCAS have specific information pages for students from England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland, where the latest updates for a range of different qualifications are published:

Do teachers/students need to send you information on mitigating circumstances due to the outbreak?

No. We're aware that due to the unprecedented nature of the coronavirus outbreak that all applicants to The University of Manchester will have faced some disruption this year and we don't require applicants to submit individual mitigating circumstances.

We would like to assure you and your students that upon receiving results in the summer we will carefully consider all candidates and make admissions decisions based on all the information included in their application as well as contextual data. Where students narrowly miss the terms of their offer we will try our best to be as flexible as possible. Where we are initially unable to accept applicants we will also try to identify suitable alternate courses and offer places on these where possible in the hope that we can still welcome your students to Manchester.

If a student decides to take exams later in the year will you automatically defer their place?

We need to await further information from the UK government and UCAS regarding the awarding of qualifications and processes involved before we can confirm whether it will be an option for a student to defer their place, should they choose to take the exam assessment later in the year.

Is there going to be a universal approach or separate institution processes/rules?

Universities are currently awaiting further information from the UK government and awarding organisations regarding the awarding of qualifications. We're unable to confirm at this time if universities will take a universal approach. The University of Manchester will follow the advice and information provided by the UK government and will provide more information on our admissions process on our website which we encourage you to review periodically.

UCAS also have a dedicated coronavirus information page for students, which will be updated as new information is confirmed. We encourage you to review this regularly and also pay particular attention to other updates that UCAS may provide you with directly or via UCAS Track.

How will you treat International Baccalaureate Diploma (IBDP) students this year?

The International Baccalaureate Organisation (IBO) has confirmed that every student will receive a final grade in each part of the IBDP. The most up-to-date information on how these grades will be calculated is available on the IBO’s website.

We can confirm that we'll accept any grades awarded in the IB Diploma this year as normal. We'll consider your grades when they are available and, providing you meet your offer conditions, your place will be secured. We're confident that the IBO will have used all resources available to them as an awarding organisation (historical assessment data, externally marked individual assessments, school data and subject data) to ensure that they operate a rigorous process of due diligence in what is a truly unprecedented situation.

The University of Manchester is aware that this is a very unsettling time for all applicants but please be assured that we'll do all we can to ensure the changes to the IBDP assessment and examinations won't affect your opportunity to attend our University in the coming academic year. We're working closely with colleagues at the IBO to understand the changes that they've put in place and will adapt our admissions processes to take account of the necessary changes.

Our admissions teams are on hand to discuss your individual offer if you have any queries or concerns. We'll consider your needs when addressing any issues with your application and be as flexible as possible. This applies wherever you're studying in the world.

I have students who received a contextual offer, will the lower requirements still apply? (UK only)

Yes, the conditions of your student's offer will not change. Therefore if a student has accepted Manchester as their firm choice, the student is only required to meet the lower entry requirements.

Is the Manchester Distance Access Scheme still running for those students invited onto it? (UK only)

The Manchester Distance Access Scheme is running as normal this year for eligible students. Please visit the MDAS website for more information about the programme.

Are you still accepting applications for September 2020?

We're still accepting applications for September 2020 entry.

Students who wish to apply should make an application via UCAS.

Prospective students should check that the course they would like to apply to is still open – as we receive many more applications than we have places for every year, some of our courses close early in the application cycle.

For undergraduate courses, students can check availability via the UCAS site.

Can students defer their offer to 2021 entry?

We appreciate that the situation with coronavirus is changing quickly and some offer-holders may be considering deferring their offer. The option of deferring will vary from one course to the next but requests are welcome; applicants wishing to discuss deferring their application should contact the admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

We can confirm that everything will be in place so that students can begin their undergraduate study with us in September (semester one) and we're working tirelessly to bring our new students the best possible teaching and learning experience. We're really looking forward to welcoming students 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 committing to delivering all lectures for semester one online. We're also planning for every eventuality so that we can follow government advice and either begin semester one wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus while still providing our lectures online.

If a student deferred their place in 2019 for 2020 entry, can they defer their place again?

We appreciate that the situation with coronavirus is changing quickly and some offer-holders may be considering deferring their offer. The option of deferring will vary from one course to the next but requests are welcome; applicants wishing to discuss deferring their application should contact the admissions team within the relevant academic School or Department at the earliest opportunity.

We can confirm that everything will be in place so that students can begin their undergraduate study with us in September (semester one) and we're working tirelessly to bring our new students the best possible teaching and learning experience. We're really looking forward to welcoming students 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 committing to delivering all lectures for semester one online. We are also planning for every eventuality so that we can follow government advice and either begin semester one wholly online, or deliver some activity on campus while still providing our lectures online.

Will the admissions/student number control cap affect my student's application/offer to Manchester?

This will not impact your student's offer.

If they meet the terms of their offer they will be accepted, and where students narrowly miss the terms of their offer we will try and be as flexible as possible. Where we're initially unable to accept applicants we will also try to identify suitable alternate courses and offer places on these where possible in the hope that we can still welcome them to Manchester.

We hope this provides reassurance to you and our offer holders who may be concerned.

What will the UCAS deadlines be for 2021 entry?

UCAS have confirmed that they're maintaining the key dates and services for the 2021 cycle. The key dates are: 

  • 5 May 2020 – UCAS search tool will be updated to display undergraduate 2021 courses. 
  • 19 May 2020 – UCAS Undergraduate Apply will launch, so students can start their applications. To ensure stability UCAS will not be making any updates to the design of Apply for 2021 application cycle. 
  • 8 September 2020 – Completed 2021 entry UCAS applications can be submitted to UCAS.

UCAS will continue to review the 2021 cycle dates and deadlines in line with UCAS scenario planning for coronavirus.  Further information is available on the UCAS website.

Year 12/lower sixth students are struggling to get suitable work experience, will this be an issue?

We're working across the university sector to agree advice for applicants who require work experience to meet their desired course’s entry requirements, particularly in a clinical setting. At this time we've not yet come to an agreement but will update this page with further information as soon as a position is clear.

Student finance

Last updated: 11 June 2020

Will applications to the UK Student Loans Company be affected by the outbreak? (UK and EU only)

No. UK and EU applicants to courses starting in September 2020 can apply for student finance online as normal. More information is available in the following government press release:

SLC Coronavirus (COVID-19) update

What financial support is available from the University? (UK only)

We believe that finance shouldn’t be a barrier to coming to Manchester and being successful. We've one of the most generous financial support packages in the UK. Approximately a third of all our undergraduate UK students will receive bursaries of up to £2,000 per year. The University is committed to supporting eligible UK students from low-income households through our financial support packages (bursaries and scholarships). Further information can be found on our university support student finance webpages.

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.

 

Accommodation

Last updated: 11 June 2020

Will students be able to move into University accommodation in time for the start of the year?

We have one of the largest university-owned accommodation provisions in the UK, much of which has remained open throughout the current pandemic providing excellent support and a vibrant community for those students who have remained with us here at Manchester. We're confident that with this experience, our halls and residences teams are fully prepared for the next academic year and that all the right safety measures are in place ready for students to arrive. We've adjusted our residences contract terms, to provide maximum flexibility for any further disruption that may occur during a student's time in University accommodation.

With our accommodation guarantee students can apply for a place in halls with the reassurance that their Advance Licence Fee Payment is fully refundable should they be unable to take up their offer to study at Manchester.

They can apply for University accommodation by completing an online application. Applying is free but if they wish to accept an offer of accommodation they'll need to make an Advance Licence Fee Payment to secure their room. Further information can be found on our accommodation webpages.

International students who have booked University Halls of Residence and are required by the UK government to quarantine on arrival, will be able to arrive two weeks in advance of their accommodation contract start date in September with no additional charge for accommodation provided during this period. We also are working with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority, Manchester Airports Group and major airlines with flights into Manchester to ensure there is capacity for students to arrive on campus in time for the start of the academic year.

Will students still be guaranteed accommodation if they come later or defer the offer?

Yes, accommodation is guaranteed if the application is received by the Accommodation Office before 31 August of the year of entry.

Further information on our accommodation guarantee is available on the accommodation office webpages

Is the deposit/Advance Licence Fee fully refundable if students are unable to take up their offer?

It's understandable that students may have concerns over their University accommodation, so we're happy to confirm that contract terms are being adjusted to provide maximum flexibility for any further disruption that may occur during their time in Halls.

With our accommodation guarantee, students can apply for a place in Halls with the reassurance that their Advance Licence Fee Payment is fully refundable should they be unable to take up their offer to study at Manchester.

How do students apply for University accommodation?

Students can apply for University accommodation by completing an online application. Applying is free but if they wish to accept an offer of accommodation they'll need to make an Advance Licence Fee Payment of £400 to secure their room.

They'll need a valid email address to complete the application and a valid University of Manchester ID number which will be on their offer letter. Further information can be found on our accommodation webpages.

Visa, travel and English language (international students only)

Last updated: 4 June 2020

Do you anticipate any travel restrictions for students coming to the UK?

We'll be closely following the UK government’s advice with regard to any quarantine requirements for inbound travellers to the UK in order to understand any impact it may have upon our new and returning students by September/October 2020. We're working hard to make sure that any appropriate arrangements will be in place to support our students.

We will provide more information as soon as it is available. 

We have students that need to apply for a visa but their nearest visa application centre is closed?

Please check for updates on when visa offices (services) in your country are expected to re-open.

Will the pre-sessional course be taught online?

Due to the ongoing global situation, a decision has been made that the six and ten week pre-sessional courses will now be delivered online.

Unfortunately, the three week pre-sessional course has been cancelled.

Further details on how the course will be delivered online can be found on the pre-sessional website.

The online pre-sessional courses are scheduled to start on the dates published on our website. Students will attend live classes and so will be expected to start on the following dates:

  • PS10 – 6 July
  • PS6 – 2 August

Can the University test students English language in order to receive an offer?

The University recognises a number of English language tests, including TOEFL iBT, Pearson PTE and IELTS. In addition to these tests, in response to disruption caused by COVID-19, we're now able to accept the following online tests for 2020 entry:

  • TOEFL iBT Special Home edition
  • LanguageCert International ESOL B2 Communicator / C1 Expert

Given the ongoing disruption to global English language testing centres because of the coronavirus pandemic, the University is continually reviewing additional and/or alternative forms of confirming prospective students’ levels of English for entry in 2020. We'll announce further information on this area in due course, and our applicants and offer-holders should please check email regularly, as further individual guidance from admissions teams will follow as soon as possible.

If students have an English language qualification that isn’t listed here, please ask them to contact their admissions department who will be able to advise them on the acceptability of this English language qualification. Students from certain European countries may be able to demonstrate their English proficiency using alternative means. Please contact the admissions team in the relevant academic School or Department for further advice.

Can the University contact IELTS for certificate information?

Yes, students will need to provide us with their IELTS TRF number and we can use this to verify their results via the IELTS results portal.