Welcome to SALC Linked – the weekly round-up of news, tips and resources for students in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. This will be our last edition before the Christmas break but we will return on Friday 8 January with the usual offering of SALC related announcements and news. There are 8 items for you this week, including the chance to participate in a BAME Wellbeing & Support focus group, tips for the assessment period and a reminder to make yourself heard by completing the course unit surveys.

Remember, there is a wide range of academic and personal support available to you at the University, which is summarised on our blog. You can also find a full list (including the Counselling Service) on the University’s Student Support website, including details of our 24/7 Mental Health helpline (0800 028 3766). The website is also full of resources to help support your wellbeing and studies.

Please be aware that, from Saturday 19 December until Monday 4 January,  SALC staff (including programme administration teams, the Student Experience team and the Student Support & Guidance Office) will not be able to answer emails due to the University Christmas closure period. However, there’s still plenty of support available to you throughout the break and you can find more information on the University’s Christmas support website.

If you have experienced mitigating circumstances that have had a significant adverse effect on your academic performance or ability to meet upcoming deadlines, you may wish to find out more about our Mitigating Circumstances process.

If you’re feeling isolated, remember that the Student Union’s Buddy Scheme is open and Togetherall, the free, online community monitored by trained clinicians offering free mental health and wellbeing support, is also available 24/7. SALC’s Student Support and Engagement Officers, Gareth and Emma, are also here until Friday 18 December (and then back from Tuesday 5 January) to talk through any issues that you might be having. To book a telephone or Zoom appointment, please email them at salcstudents@manchester.ac.uk.


BAME Wellbeing & Support Focus Group

Hello, my name is Hope and I am the new BAME Wellbeing Assistant here at the University. My role is to review the University’s approach to wellbeing and help to ensure that it is inclusive of BAME students’ experience and responsive to the support needs of those across the different communities.

I want to give students from Black Asian Minority Ethnic backgrounds the chance to have their say and voice their experiences with accessing student support services and handling their wellbeing whilst at University. This information (only with your explicit permission) will go towards a report that identifies the gaps in the University’s support provisions for BAME students. The report aims to show that the decolonisation of an institution involves more than just the curriculum. Until the University decolonises it’s support services, with insufficient systems in place to specifically help and address racial trauma and culturally specific issues, how can BAME students be truly supported? To join, please register via the sign-up sheet. If you have any questions, please email hope.leslie@manchester.ac.uk.


Looking After Yourself as a BAME Student Online

Hope has also created a resource discussing how to manage your wellbeing as a BAME student when encountering media content of racism and discrimination online. In this time of digital saturation, this resource offers suggestions on self-care and support specific to those in BAME communities. If you have any questions or want more information about the work Hope is doing, you can contact her by emailing hope.leslie@manchester.ac.uk.


DASS Coursework Deadlines over the Christmas Break

 Some DASS students may note that their automatic one week extension takes some of their submission deadlines into the Christmas Break (21 December – 3 January), when staff will not be immediately available (Please see DASS FAQs). You are encouraged not to leave submission to the last few moments before a deadline in case of unexpected technical issues with Turnitin. Should you come across any technical issues preventing you from submitting, email your UG Programme Administrator or PGT Programme Administrator before the deadline, attaching your work. The date and time received via email will be used as your submission time. Please ensure that you send only MS Word or PDF format versions of your work; not Pages files.

Staff will not be available during the Christmas Break but they will be able to respond to you and help resolve your submission issue from Tuesday 4 January onwards.

Check out this 60 second video demo to ensure you’re submitting successfully and remember, only work that is the correct version and is received before the submission deadline will be accepted as on time so please do leave plenty of time before the deadline to submit and email your programme administrator with your work, as above, if you have any technical issues.


PGT Digital Certificates

The Graduation Team are piloting a brand new provision of an official digital version of your Certificate. Please note this will currently only be available to all December 2020 graduating students. This will provide verification of your degree award certificate 24/7 and enable you to share with others, securely, quickly and easily.

You will be sent an email on either 17 or 18 December to your personal email account held on the student record or your university account if you have not provided a personal account. This email will contain instructions of how to access your digital certificate. You will be unable to access your digital certificate until you receive these instructions.


Tips for the Assessment Period

After some rest during the Christmas break, your thoughts will undoubtedly turn to the January assessment period. For tips on how to get prepared and keep a sense of balance during the exam season, have a look at our Tips for the Assessment Period blog.

There is also a student news blog about assessments with videos on items such as how is your work graded, examination boards and mitigating circumstances you might like to read.

Semester 1 Exam Timetable

 The SALC Semester 1 Exam Timetable is now live and ready to view on the Student Intranet. Here you can also view general guidance on how to undertake these exams; please ensure you read this information carefully. Course-specific guidance relating to word limits, rubrics, marking criteria and referencing expectations will be issued to you in due course by individual Course Unit Directors. Unlike on-campus exams, your individual exams will not be displayed on your personal My Manchester timetable. Therefore, please take note of when exam papers or Blackboard tests will be released and the deadlines for submitting your answers.


Semester 1 Course Unit Surveys

The surveys for your Semester 1 course units are open until Sunday 10 January 2021. The surveys are your chance to let us know what’s gone well and how we can improve. They are anonymous, don’t take long to complete and your input is more valuable than ever. You can download an app onto your Apple or Android device to complete your Unit Survey. A one-time download of the survey EvaluationKIT survey app will last for the whole time you’re at University. You can find instructions on how to do this on this guide. All you need is the unique key which will be provided in your Unit Surveys email. You can also complete the Unit Surveys by logging into Blackboard using the link in My Manchester to find the individual Unit Surveys. For more information, please go to the Your Say page.


Your Careers Service

You can use the Careers Service website for careers information and support, practice interviews and appointments for advice on applications and PG study personal statements. please note however, that the Careers Service will be closed between 19 December and 3 January. You can also find vacancies on Careerslink as well as online workshops, including recordings of our previous sessions.

Interested in finding out about a particular career? Use the Which Career pages and see the Find Jobs page for internships and job opportunities. For further information, contact careers.info@manchester.ac.uk and connect with us via our social media.

That’s everything from us this week. We hope you are able to find some time to rest and connect with loved ones other the next couple of weeks. If you have a society, scheme or event that you’d like to promote to the rest of SALC, please contact us via salcstudents@manchester.ac.uk and we could be promoting your content in the New Year.