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Programme handbook toolkit

Here you will find essential information that should be included within the programme handbooks.

Essential content for FBMH UG and PGT programme handbooks

Programme Specification

Programme handbooks should include a link to the programme specification.

Academic appeals, complaints, conduct and discipline, and fitness to practise

Academic appeals - suggested wording

  • For the most up to date information regarding appeals, students should refer to the University’s general support pages, since the pages are updated to reflect changes in policy and guidelines.
  • Students have a right of appeal against a final decision of an Examination Board, or a progress committee, or a graduate committee or equivalent body which affects their academic status or progress in the University.
  • Students thinking of appealing should first discuss the matter informally with an appropriate member of staff, in order to better understand the reason for the result or decision and to determine whether the matter can be resolved informally by the School prior to making a formal appeal.
  • Should you wish to proceed to a formal appeal, this must be submitted within the timeframe outlined in the Academic Appeals Procedure to the Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team electronically by email:
  • The Academic Appeals Procedure (Regulation XIX) and associated documents, including the form on which formal appeals should be submitted, can be found at 

Student complaints - suggested wording

  • The University’s Student Complaints Procedure (Regulation XVIII) and associated documents, including a complaints form, can be found at
  • The University has separate procedures to address complaints of bullying, harassment, discrimination and/or victimisation - see
  • Students thinking of submitting a formal complaint should, in most instances, attempt informal resolution first (see the procedure). Formal complaints should be submitted on the relevant form to Faculty Appeals and Complaints Team electronically by e-mail:

Conduct and discipline of students - suggested wording

Fitness to practise

Information on Fitness to Practise should be included in handbooks for programmes which require the student to undertake practical training in a quasi-professional role in relation to patients, clients or service-users; where the qualification provides a direct license to practise; and where the students on the programme are registered health or social care professionals undertaking further study to enhance their current profession or which will allow them to practise an additional duty.

For advice on content for programme handbooks relating to Fitness to Practise:


A-Z of Student Services

  • The A-Z of Services can be found on the MyManchester website.
  • Here you can find a information on a wide range of topics such as library services, disability support and careers advice.

Course unit outlines

  • Include either a URL to where these details are provided or include course unit outlines within Handbooks.
  • All course unit outlines must be up to date and include a revision date to specify such.

  • Clear details of core compulsory or optional units and/or any prerequisite units must be clearly described.

External examiners

IT Services Support Centre and FBMH eLearning support

Mitigating circumstances

  • Include the following URL to direct students to the Mitigating Circumstances information on the web: A Basic Guide to Mitigating Circumstances.
  • Handbooks must include local (School) arrangements on: how to apply; who to apply to; who will help with queries.

Monitoring attendance and wellbeing of students

  • Signpost students to the policy and University overview:  Regulation XX Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students.
  • In accordance with Regulation XX - Monitoring Attendance and Wellbeing of Students, Programme Handbooks must:
    • Include a clear statement of attendance requirements and how attendance is recorded and monitored.
    • Include a statement on the consequences and penalties for students who fail to meet academic and professional attendance requirements.
    • Include information on sources of advice and support available to students if they are experiencing problems with attendance.

Religious Observance and Looking after yourself and your patients during Ramadan 

Policy on Religious Observance:

Student representation

  • Details of student representation on the programme.
  • This statement should include how the student representative is nominated, their role and the committee they will be expected to attend.

Special permissions

  • Special permissions - Include the URL to where students can find guidance and forms.
    • Special permissions include interruptions, extensions to the final submission deadline of dissertations, changes in programme or mode of attendance, APEL.
    • Handbooks must include local (School) arrangements: how to apply; who to apply to; who will help with queries.

Sharing Information

The University may share appropriate information relating to your health and/or conduct with external organisations such as your professional employer(s) (for example, relevant NHS Trust, Professional and Statutory Regulatory Bodies (PSRB)), placement and training providers and/or regulator (such as [Note – ideally this should be tailored for each programme handbook, with the name of the relevant regulator included]).

This may occur where concerns in relation to your health and/or conduct arise and the University considers it necessary for them to be disclosed to one or more of the above organisations. The University’s Privacy Notice for Registered Students (which is accessible via this link: includes further information about how the University may use and process your personal data, including the legal basis and conditions which may be relevant to such processing (see section 6 of the Privacy Notice).

The University will only disclose special category data (such as data relating to your health) to a third party organisation where one of the additional conditions are satisfied (see section 9 of the Privacy Notice), including where processing is necessary for reasons of substantial public interest.


Essential FBMH PGT Programme Handbook contents checklist

PGT Faculty generic statements

Please include the following details describing both the Introductory Courses and Online Skills Training courses available to all PGT students.

Introductory Courses

All students are automatically enrolled onto an introductory unit that provides information on health and safety, academic malpractice and academic literacy. Completion instructions for each of these sections are clearly defined within the course. Completion of the academic malpractice and health and safety sections is mandatory for all students. All assessments must be completed as soon as possible after the programme begins, with the academic malpractice assessment completed before the first piece of coursework is submitted. Completion of these assessments is monitored by the School. All students are also strongly advised to complete the academic literacy section.


Online skills training

FBMH online skills training resource

PGT degree regulations

Programmes are asked not to include the degree regulations in their entirety, neither any interpretation of these in programme handbooks.

Instead, students should be directed to the regulations by including the following URL in programme handbooks:

In addition, programme handbooks should include the University document Introduction to the Postgraduate Degree Regulations for Students with amendments as follows:

  1. For any programmes with approved exemptions to the degree regulations, the following statement should appear immediately before the Introduction to the Postgraduate Degree Regulations for Students document "Please be aware that the (name of programme) has some higher requirements to the University degree regulations and details of these are outlined below".
  2. Reference to Masters will need to be deleted if your programme is PGDip or PGCert only.
  3. For Masters programmes only, you will need to ensure that the correct criteria for the award of distinction (either a GPA across the whole programme or 70% or above in both the taught and research components of the programme) is given.
  4. A statement on the minimum requirements for progression to the dissertation/research project.  (Note:  Regulation 10 of the PGT Degree Regulations states "Where students are required to progress to a research element including a dissertation or similar, the programme handbook must state the minimum requirements for progression to this element of the programme").


Guidance for the presentation of Taught Masters dissertations:

Late Submission Penalty (Including Dissertation)

Work submitted after the deadline without prior approval will be subject to a late penalty in accordance with the University Policy on Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes.  The penalty applied is 10% of available marks deducted per day/24 hours (from the time of the original or extended deadline), until the assignment is submitted or no marks remain.

Penalties for late submission relate to 24 hours/calendar days, so include weekends and weekdays, as well as bank holidays and University closure days.

The mark awarded for the piece of work will be reduced by:
10% of the available marks deducted if up to 24 hours (1 day) late
20% of the available marks deducted if up to 48 hours (2 days) late
30% of the available marks deducted if up to 72 hours (3 days) late
40% of the available marks deducted if up to 96 hours (4 days) late
50% of the available marks deducted if up to 120 hours (5 days) late
60% of the available marks deducted if up to 144 hours (6 days) late
70% of the available marks deducted if up to 168 hours (7 days) late
80% of the available marks deducted if up to 192 hours (8 days) late
90% of the available marks deducted if up to 216 hours (9 days) late
100% of the available marks deducted if up to 240 hours (10 days) late

If the assessment is submitted within 10 days of the deadline the assessment should be marked and feedback to the student provided. If this mark before the penalty is applied reaches the appropriate pass mark but the applied penalty results in a fail of the assessment, the student should not be required to resit the assessment as the original mark can be taken as the resit mark. Further information and examples can be found in the Policy and associated Guidance documents.

For work submitted more than 10 days late, it is regarded as a non-submission and need not be marked. In this case a mark of zero will be awarded and normal resit regulations will apply.

The sliding scale should only be applied to first-sit submissions. For all referred (resit) assessment, any late submission will automatically receive a mark of zero.

For further information:

Guidance on Late Submission

Policy on the Submission of Work for Summative Assessment on Taught Programmes


Assignment Word Count (including the dissertation)

In accordance with the University Policy on Marking:

Each written assignment has a word limit which you must state at the top of your first page. It is acceptable, without penalty, for you to submit an assignment within a range that is plus 10% of this limit. If you present an assignment with a word count exceeding the specified limit+10%, the assignment will be marked but 1% will be deducted from this mark for every 100 words over the limit given.

For an original word limit that is 1000 words and an assignment that is marked out of 100.  If a submission is made that is 1101 words then it exceeded the 10% leeway, and is more than 100 words over the original limit and should receive a 1 mark deduction.

 In accordance with accepted academic practice, when submitting any written assignment for summative assessment, the notion of a word count includes the following without exception:

  • All titles or headings that form part of the actual text. This does not include the fly page or reference list
  • All words that form the actual essay
  • All words forming the titles for figures, tables and boxes, are included but this does not include boxes or tables or figures themselves
  • All in-text (that is bracketed) references
  • All directly quoted material

Certain assessments may require different penalties for word limits to be applied. For example, if part of the requirement for the assessment is conciseness of presentation of facts and arguments. In such cases it may be that no 10% leeway is allowed and penalties applied may be stricter than described above. In such cases the rules for word count limits and the penalties to be applied will be clearly stated in the assessment brief and in the submission details for that assessment.


Introduction from the School PGT Director

Please include at the beginning of all programme handbooks.

Essential FBMH UG Programme Handbook contents checklist

UG Faculty Generic Statements

The below is essential information that should be included within the UG Programme Handbooks.

UG Regulations

The following two documents can be found at

  • UG Degree Regulations. Please do not include the regulations in Programme Handbooks, only include the URL to where they can be found.
  • Introduction to the Undergraduate Degree Regulations for Students. This TLSO document, to aid students in their understanding of the degree regulations, must be included within programme handbooks. The document may require some amendments, specifically:
    • For those programmes where exemptions to the degree regulations have been approved by Faculty, include the following statement in programme handbooks immediately before this introduction: “Please be aware that the (name of programme) has some higher requirements to the University degree regulations and details of these are outlined below”.
  • Exemptions to the UG Degree Regulations. Full details of any approved programme exemptions to the University degree regulations must be included in the handbook below the URL link to the regulations.
    • If any programme level exemptions to the degree regulations have been approved by Faculty, provide full details of these immediately below the URL for the degree regulations. The wording used in the programme handbook should be the same as that in the signed agreement form. 

Format and style

Programme handbooks should:

  • Be written in a friendly style, referring to the reader as 'you' and the School as 'we'.
  • Be clear and concise.
  • Use a standard size of type face that must be readable (or can be made to be readable) by students with disabilities.
  • Provide sufficient white space in margins and between paragraphs.
  • Not duplicate material that is available elsewhere in the University.
  • Use some form of flexible binding where possible.
  • Include standard text provided by the University on regulatory matters.
  • Be readable and look professional without being expensive to produce.
  • Programmes are strongly advised to ensure that handbooks are proof read.
  • Handbooks should include a version number and date, either on the cover or first page so that students can make sure that they have the latest version e.g. where wording changes or errors are corrected.