We know there are still a lot of uncertainties about what the next few months will bring, and not just with University life. But we’re working hard on our plans for the next academic year, and you’ll already have seen the announcement from Professor April McMahon on the current plans for September.
We are planning for an on-campus learning experience for Semester 1 which will see large lectures delivered online by our world leading academics, alongside face to face seminars and other teaching activities which allow for social distancing. We are therefore expecting the majority of students to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year, however, we are also aware that there may be some students unable to join us at that time, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice. To ensure that those students are not excluded or disadvantaged in any way, they will be able to study wholly online until they are able to join us later in the Semester.
Even with things as they are, there are still a few things that either need doing or that are worth keeping in mind to help you get ahead for the next academic year:
Many of you will be sent a course handbook or given a list of modules to choose from, make sure you dedicate some time to thinking about your next course modules – and check the deadline for choosing. For some of you this might be over summer.
Find out who will be teaching what and don’t just look at the introduction or title, instead try and find out what’s covered each week. If in doubt, you can email the course leader to find out more. On a similar note, if you want to experiment on studying outside your degree, check out the University College for Interdisciplinary Learning. They offer a wide variety of course units that support you in developing your interpersonal skills and having a well-rounded education.
Are you a second year student? Start thinking about dissertation topics
We understand, the last thing you want to do is think about that dissertation, but getting a head start or even putting together a simple plan will massively help you in the long term. Do some mind maps of whatever you’re interested in, then think about topics and narrow it down as much as you can – dissertations are deceptively short. Check My Learning Essentials Choosing your dissertation topic and Dissertation planning for some tips and advice.
Get ahead with your reading
If you’re feeling motivated, you can start reading around subjects you know you’re taking next year. Take a look at Megan’s top reading tips to get you through your degree, or take a look at how Harveen discovered the importance of extra reading.
Is there something you struggled with this year or you’d like to improve? If you’re looking to stay occupied you could always brush up on study skills. The Library’s My Learning Essentials online resources cover everything from presenting skills and group work, to exploring the University’s special collections and subject specific databases. There’s also practical support for things like time management, critical reading and writing and analysing sources. They don’t take long to complete, but could be useful refreshers as the beginning of semester gets closer!
If you’re interested in developing new skills that will help either your academic work or career aspirations, you could take a look at LinkedIn Learning which is offering a month’s free trial (just don’t forget to cancel before you’re charged!)
Moving from halls?
Maybe not yet, but as your plans for next year become more clear, you’ll need to have a think about what you might need to bring back that you didn’t have in halls – and have a chat with your new housemates about who’s bringing what! Also spend some time talking about how you plan to work things like bills, shopping, and cooking. If you haven’t already, take a look at our tips for things to think about.
Most importantly, enjoy your summer! It’s been a tough year – even tougher than expected. Once you’re finished with your academic work take some time to relax and catch up with friends and family (virtually if needed, and always following government guidelines for socialising!)
Your My Manchester newsletters usually take a break over summer, but this year we’ll be sending out fortnightly newsletters, keeping you updated with all university news, support for you and your wellbeing and good news stories from our students and staff. We’ll also be posting regularly on Student News and Students at Manchester so you can keep up to date.
We hope to see you all next academic year!