PGR offer-holder webinar

Thank you to those of you who attended the postgraduate researcher (PGR) offer-holder webinar on Thursday, 6 August. If you missed it, or if you would like to see it again, please click the video below.

This webinar was designed for new postgraduate researchers who will be joining the Faculty of Science and Engineering in Autumn 2020. In this webinar we spoke to Professor Sarah Heath, Associate Dean for Postgraduate and Early Career Researcher Development, Sarah Mitchell, Admissions and Intake Team Leader, and Hannah Jordan, International Recruitment Officer. We also spoke to three of our current students: Anupam Dey from the Department of Mechanical, Aerospace and Civil Engineering, Perpetual Idehen from the Department of Chemical Engineering and Analytical Science, and Manasij Chowdhury from the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences.

Between them they shared lots of useful information, including:

  • Preparing for arrival: the essential next steps (view between 00:04:22 - 00:05:00 and 00:06:45 - 00:11:24)
  • Welcome Week and the information we’ll be sharing to help you settle into life in Manchester (view between 00:11:30 - 00:16:28)
  • What a remote start will look like - and why this approach ensures the best possible start to a PhD (view between 00:05:03 - 00:05:40 and 00:16:28 - 00:23:10)
  • Why we recommend you start your project from Manchester if possible (view between 00:35:37 - 00:43:34)
  • How we will introduce you to your colleagues and the wider research community (view between 00:25:24 - 00:34:14)
  • We’re ready for you: the health and safety measures we have in place to protect both staff and students (view between 00:05:40 - 00:06:10 and 00:34:14 - 00:35:30)
  • The University of Manchester student experience: what it’s like to be a postgraduate researcher (view between 00:43:50 - 00:53:45)

Watch the webinar here:

Below is a recap of some of the useful links and contacts we shared as part of the webinar. We’ve also addressed all the questions that we didn’t have time to answer during the webinar.

Your questions answered:

Questions about your research project

Due to the bespoke nature of your research, if you have any questions the single best thing you can do is email your supervisor. They are available to help as often as you need and they are best placed to answer questions on any aspect of your project from the project structure and the equipment (including IT) you might need; to reading lists, training courses, opportunities for industrial collaboration and start dates. They are there to help you - do get in touch.

Questions about CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) and ATAS (Academic Technology Approval Scheme)

You should already be in contact with your Departmental admissions team to ensure you have all the details you need for both your CAS and (if required for your course) ATAS applications. If you haven’t, please contact them via accommodation@manchester.ac.uk and they will help you make this a priority.


Sarah Mitchell shares advice in the webinar between 00:06:45 - 00.11.24. That said, this is general guidance only; if you need advice for your specific situation we recommend contacting our Student Immigration Team who are always available to help.

Funding and fees

Again, as everyone’s case is individual the best thing you can do at this time is email funding@manchester.ac.uk if you have concerns or questions about funding, student stipends or scholarships. This specialist team will be able to look into your specific case and provide clear and informed advice.

Returning to campus

You can rest assured that with many of our academics undertaking world-leading research on public health, our pandemic response protocols are founded on the latest science and expertise, as well as adhering to all UK Government guidance and regulations. We are busy making our campus safe, putting appropriate social distancing and new cleaning measures in place. You will receive two washable face masks in your welcome pack and clear guidance on how our teaching spaces, libraries, study spaces and labs will operate to ensure everyone’s safety. Last but not least, we will of course take the opportunity to fully brief you on health and safety as part of your welcome and induction activities.

Travelling to the UK

To make sure you have access to the most up-to-date advice, keep checking our Frequently Asked Questions. These are constantly being updated in line with the latest information and this is the best place to get advice on any potential quarantine restrictions and the support that will be available to you.

We’d also recommend our National Health Service for health advice and the UK Government for travel guidance. Both are trusted sources of information.


We’re aware that some of you may have questions about your accommodation arrangements. By way of reassurance, we have one of the largest university-owned accommodation provisions in the UK. Drawing on their considerable experience, our halls and residences teams are fully prepared for the next academic year and have the right safety measures in place ready for your arrival. We have adjusted the contract terms for our residences to provide you with maximum flexibility for any further disruption that may occur during your time staying with us. If you have any questions in regards to accommodation, get in touch here. The experts within this dedicated team are the right people to speak to and will be able to guide you, based on your specific needs.

Welcome week, registration and practical advice, including opening a bank account

Your Department will share details of your welcome and induction programme with you nearer the time; it will be fully accessible online. Although we are still planning for an initial period of up to three months working off campus we will work hard to help you settle into our Manchester community from the very beginning, meeting fellow PGRs, academics and support staff online just as if you were on campus. We’ll also provide you with a welcome pack that has all the key information you need to access the library and open a bank account. If you have any questions before then, get in touch with your department admissions team.

Full registration instructions are available here and registration can be completed online from anywhere in the world. You will receive an email asking you to sign up for an IT account - to sign up you will need your University ID number (you will be able to find your ID number on your offer letter and other correspondence from the University) and access to a digital photograph of yourself, which will be used for your student card. Once your account is all set up you will have access to My Manchester where you will be able to complete the registration process. Registration opens on the first day of the month you are due to register, so on 1 September for September starters. If you haven’t received an email asking you to complete IT sign up by the 1st of the month, please contact your departmental admissions team for immediate assistance.

Finally, we are starting to receive a number of queries from new overseas students who will be studying remotely during the first semester and want to know how they will receive their stipend payments. At present the University student system only allows payments to students’ UK bank accounts, and that is something we are unable to change in the short to medium term. We appreciate that the majority of high street banks in the UK require students to provide proof of residency in order to open an account, something which is simply not possible for overseas students who are studying remotely.

However, there are a number of online banks that do offer the facility to open a UK bank account from overseas, without proof of residency, and we would encourage prospective students to take a moment to read this article and consider their options for opening an online UK account. If, after that, you’d like to discuss further or have any other questions, do not hesitate to contact funding@manchester.ac.uk.


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