Welcome to the first SALC Linked of 2021 – the weekly round-up of news, tips and resources for students in the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures. Please look out for SALC Linked each week as it contains important reminders and announcements relating to your studies and University services. There are items for you this week, including a chance to book onto a workshop to help you to prepare for your exams, the last chance to complete our Semester 1 course unit surveys and a reminder of our tips for the assessment period

2021 hasn’t started in the way that any of us would have hoped for but please remember that there’s a wide range of academic and personal support available to you at the University; see our blog for more informationYou can also find a full list of support services (including the Counselling Service) on the University’s Student Support website as well as 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. If you are struggling to cope, please remember that you are not alone – please take a look at the University’s support and advice for help in a crisis. 

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 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.


New National Restrictions and our University

In light of the recent national lockdown measures introduced by the UK government, please see this message, if you have not done so already, for the latest guidance on how the University will operate over the next few weeks.


Semester 1 Exam Timetable

You can view the SALC Semester 1 Exam Timetable 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.


Last Chance to Complete Semester 1 Course Unit Surveys

The surveys for your Semester 1 course units close on Sunday 10 January 2021 so you still have a couple of days to give us your views. 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.


Changes to Library Services Due to Lockdown

If you are already on campus, you can book study spaces at the Alan Gilbert Learning Commons (24 hours a day, seven days a week), the Main Library (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm) and the Stopford Library (Monday-Friday, 9am-5pm). However all other Library sites are currently closed. The Click and Collect service to access physical resources is still available from some Library sites but Special Collections can currently only be accessed digitally. To find out how to access Library services and support during closure, visit the Library’s Service availability page. For Library help and support, visit the Library Help page or contact the team on Library Chat.


Tips for the 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 that you might like to read.


Calm Your Brain

If anxiety is impeding your preparations for your exams, why not book your place on the Counselling Service’s ‘Get Prepared: Strategies for Managing Exam Stress’ online workshop on Tuesday 12 January, 13:00-14:00. The Counselling Service is also running daily Calm Your Brain workshops everyday, 9:30-10:00, between Monday 18 January and Friday 29 January. These sessions use guided relaxation to help start your day with a sense of calm and acceptance to enable you to face the challenges ahead more easily and you can book your place now. 


That’s everything from us this week. If you have an online event or society that you would like to shout about, please let us know via salcstudents@manchester.ac.uk and it could be included in the next edition of SALC Linked.