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New way of delivering online information, advice and guidance to students

23 Oct 2015

Crucial Guide Live has been replaced by a network of new microsites - please update your bookmarks and any links you provide to students or colleagues

Student microsites

​As part of a major upgrade project to deliver enhanced access to information, advice and guidance services to students online through My Manchester, colleagues from across the Directorate for the Student Experience have been working hard over the summer months to create a brand-new network of thematic sites.

The microsites have been created to better meet the needs of our students, with each one following the same principles for digital student content. Most importantly, the new sites put the needs of the users - our students - ahead of any other concern, meaning content should be simpler and quicker for students to find and navigate from a number of starting points, whether that's My Manchester or Google.

Content on the new sites has been developed - and will continue to be maintained - by teams across the Directorate for the Student Experience, with support from the Student Communications and Marketing Team and IT Services. The Disability Advice and Support Service, Counselling Service, Volunteering and Community Engagement, University College for Interdisciplinary Learning and Accommodation websites are also undergoing redevelopment.

Explore the new microsites 

  • Exams: Information, support and advice about the most important assessments in a taught student's academic career.
  • Explore: Helping students find their way around campus, and make the most of the city of Manchester.
  • Get involved: Activities and facilities students have access to that will help them make the most of their time in Manchester.
  • Go abroad: Details of the life-changing opportunities for students to study, work, volunteer or spend a summer abroad.
  • Graduation: Information about what to do before and on the day, as well as accessing transcripts after graduation.
  • Peer Support: Students support each other in all sorts of ways at Manchester, including Peer Mentoring and PASS.
  • Regulations and policies: Simple to understand introductions to every student- and PGR-related regulation and policy.
  • Student support: Academic, health, financial and immigration advice and guidance, including where to get help on campus.
  • Volunteers: Completely redeveloped student volunteering microsite, including a new campus-wide volunteering portal.
  • Your Say for Your Uni: Showing students how their voice and contribution makes a real difference to their experience of their University.

Why change?

Crucial Guide Live has served students well for almost nine years, but hadn't really changed in that time, while digital services have changed immeasurably. Since the birth of Crucial Guide Live, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram have changed the way we communicate with each other, and there's been a mobile revolution.

These new microsites, along with the rest of the My Manchester improvement programme, are bringing our digital information, advice, and guidance into line with the expectations of our students.

The new sites are consistent with the online experience they expect from the University, from the look and feel to the tone of voice. More importantly, they're also consistent with one another. This makes it simpler for students to know they've come to the right place for information they can trust.

We've also made every microsite fully mobile-responsive, meaning it will work on any device students might own, and making it as easy for students to get access to information while the on the bus as when they're in a computer cluster.

What do you need to do?

Almost a hundred people from across the University have already been part of creating and developing the new microsites, and redeveloping existing site. Despite this, we know that there will be some errors - missing information, broken links, and weird-looking pages.

You can help improve digital service for students by reporting these errors wherever you find them by emailing or Please remember to include the full web address of the page you were on.

You'll also need to change your bookmarked pages, and ensure you're now giving the correct links to students and colleagues. Explore the microsites thoroughly, and use the excellent search function, to make sure you're giving the best link to students. If you can't find something and think it's missing, email with the details.

Finally, we'd love to get your feedback on the new sites and the content on them. While all the sites were developed for our student audiences first and foremost, we know how important the Crucial Guide Live was to many of you in your daily work. We think these new sites will be an improvement for you too, and we'd love to know how we can make them even better.