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Confirmation of start dates for the academic year 2020/21: A message from April McMahon

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I am pleased to be able to give you some clarity about our arrangements for the start of the 2020/21 academic year and reassure you that everything will be in place so that you can continue with your studies.

I am very happy to confirm that there will be little change to our start dates and we will be welcoming most undergraduate students in September 2020. There will be a small number of programmes that will have different start dates, such as our clinical and Health Professional programmes. Your School will be in touch with you should this be the case for your programme of study.

The confirmed start of year schedule for 2020/21 is outlined below:

Returning undergraduate students

  • w/c 28 September: Welcome back week, with School and programme level introductions to your new level of study, plus an opportunity to cover any essential material from the last session
  • w/c 5 October: Teaching starts

Returning postgraduate taught students

  • w/c 5 October and 12 October: University induction programme for new PGTs
  • w/c 19 October: Welcome back week, with School and programme activities
  • w/c 26 October: Teaching starts, including an online option, with an aim to begin on campus teaching activities from November, subject to UK Government advice

We are following UK Government advice closely and plan to 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 you will still be able to engage with your programme effectively, and receive a really high quality learning experience, no matter what the circumstances.

We are absolutely committed to continuing to deliver the high-quality student experience that you expect here at Manchester and are very much looking forward to seeing you physically back on campus as soon as we can. To support social distancing and help you (and our staff) adapt, we are planning to welcome students back in a phased manner. This approach will be informed by the latest UK Government advice, but as we anticipate social distancing measures will be in place for some time, we have taken the decision to conduct all lectures for Semester 1 online as a lecture theatre environment does not easily support spatial separation. This being the case, we are keen to continue with other face to face activities such as small group teaching and tutorials as safely and as early as we can, subject to UK Government advice.

You will also be able to benefit from an extended and enhanced period of welcome and development activities, specifically designed to support you in returning to your studies with us and to help you get even more out of your time at university. This will include an opportunity to cover any essential material which you may have missed during the last session, as well as a range of activities and workshops that go beyond your core curriculum.

I am very much looking forward to welcoming you back to your studies with us in the new academic year. In the meantime, I hope you continue to stay safe and well. We are here to support you at all times, including through the summer period, and I will continue to keep you updated on any further developments.

Professor April McMahon

Vice-President Teaching, Learning and Students

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