New Academic Year FAQ

FAQ for Staff

For key dates for the academic year, please see the Key Dates Calendar.

Teaching and Learning

I’m new to digital and online teaching what support is available?

Advice and guidance is available from the eLearning Team.

You can also speak to your Directors of Teaching and Learning and School-based eLearning leads, and Champions for further support. Read more about T&L support here.

What does asynchronous and synchronous teaching mean?

Synchronous teaching is online/blended education that happens in real time (ie, ‘live’), whereas asynchronous learning occurs through online channels without real-time interaction (ie, pre-recorded).

We are recommending asynchronous lectures to ensure the highest quality experience for our students who may be learning across different time zones.

In order to add more interaction with students a live Q&A could be added at the end of the lecture.

Keeping our students engaged

How can I help keep our students engaged until they join in the autumn?

We need to keep both our Undergraduate and Masters offer holders engaged between them accepting an offer and joining us in late September / October.

We know that our prospective students very much value hearing from you. In order to do this effectively we understand you need clarity about what to say.

Our Marketing and Communications Team are on hand to help with key messaging and to ensure the process runs as smoothly as possible.

If it is a panel, video, interview or Q&A and time allows there will also be the opportunity to practice your responses with a member of the team.

Where possible the team will support logistics, with technology and editing, meaning you can focus on communicating the Manchester offer to our prospective students.

Please get in touch with Emma Porter to get involved.

Key messages for offer holders

The following key messages are to help you respond to UG and Masters offer holder queries. Key messages for returning students are in development and will be updated shortly.

Where can I find key dates for the semester?
What is blended learning?

Blended learning combines on campus teaching with online learning.

It is designed to give you flexibility to learn at a time that suits you.

Manchester was an early adopter through our Global MBA and we already teach 800 students within our faculty every year using blended learning methods.

Will I have an academic advisor and what learning support will be on offer?

Yes, you will be allocated an academic advisor who will be available online or on campus to offer you all the academic support you need.

Our student support teams will be on hand to support your learning and you’ll be able to access reading materials from the library. 

At the start of the year, you will be given a timetable which will have all the information you need to keep your learning on track week by week.

Will I be able to access the Careers Service?

Careers Consultants from the Careers Service will continue to support you either online or on-campus.

You’ll continue to benefit from practical help with CVs, applications and preparing for interviews -through to helping you decide what you want to do after graduation and help with getting work experience/placements along the way.

You’ll be able to access the full range of services including an extensive programme of webinar workshops/lunchtime live sessions with employers.

I’ve heard about Stellify – what is it?

Stellify is our package of activities that guides you to develop the 5 distinctive attributes of a University of Manchester graduate:

  1. Learn without boundaries
  2. Understand the issues that matter
  3. Make a difference
  4. Step up and lead
  5. Create your future

You will:

Take part in academic and extracurricular activities to help you stand out and improve your employability prospects with this award.

Complete three Ethical Grand Challenges and take course units outside of your degree.

Make a difference and learn from local and global communities through volunteering and gain confidence and experience by taking on a leadership role.

Will I be able to access libraries, data sets and learning resources on campus?

Yes, our libraries have the largest academic digital collection in Britain. 

Over 11 million full text articles are accessed each year alongside 5.5 million e-book sections.  As in any other year, you will have access to more digital materials than those at any other British University.  

We are also working with publishers who are currently providing access to additional e-resources, on a rolling trial basis to increase your access to materials.

For those who prefer print, you will be able to access over 2 million books. 

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons currently has a number of bookable study spaces available where you can plug in a personal laptop, or use one of the PCs provided.

Our Library offers online support through My Learning Essentials to support your academic and personal development and is working towards restarting face to face interactive training sessions.

Will I have access to computers on campus?

Yes, computer clusters across campus will be open for students to study and access University and externally hosted software.

Will there be learning/ study spaces for me to meet up with classmates?

You will also have access to learning spaces on campus where you can meet classmates to discuss course material and undertake group work.  

Between teaching sessions, you will be able to collect books and other reading from the library.

Bookable rooms will be available for you to study either alone or in small groups. 

The Alan Gilbert Learning Commons will be open for independent study.

There will also be a range of other less formal spaces available for study and discussion such as bars and cafes.

Will I be able to access lectures at a time that suits me?

Online lecture material can be viewed at any time that suits you.  You won’t be constrained to watching your lectures in allocated time slots.

This means that you can watch, pause, rewind or watch again at any time that suits you.   

How can I feedback about my learning experience?

We very much value listening to your views – it’s one of the most important ways we continue to improve your learning experience.

Each programme has student reps who feed your views to the Programme Director.

You’ll also be able to share your views with Student Support Teams and Academic Advisors.

What Disability Advisory Support Service (DASS) support can I access?

DASS will continue to run its usual service for students (for more information see their website – This will primarily be remotely via phone and video appointments.

Will there be learning/study spaces for me to meet up with classmates?

Bookable rooms will be available for you to study either alone or in small groups. The rooms will be bookable via; students will be able to access this link ahead of the semester starting.

What happens if I don’t have broadband access or the IT hardware to take advantage of online learning?

There will be spaces on campus where you can access computers and/or university internet services. Students who cannot come onto campus or do not have access to broadband or IT hardware can apply to the IT access scheme for a laptop loan and request support with Wi-Fi access. Priority will be given to students who do not have the funding buy their own laptops.