Search the Staffnet siteSearch StaffNet
Search type

UMW Frequently asked questions

University of Manchester Worldwide

Q1: What is University of Manchester Worldwide (UMW)?

University of Manchester Worldwide (UMW) was created in August 2017 to extend our distinctive world leading education to a much wider audience - offering a University of Manchester education to those who are unable to study on campus.

As we move into Education 4.0, we are seeing a significant shift in the way that higher education is being delivered, with learning environments becoming increasingly media rich, interactive and personalised. Through UMW we are able to develop a much more agile and digitally enhanced approach to learning, helping us to meet the needs and expectations of today’s digitally native students.

Our ethos is no boundaries, no barriers and by working collaboratively with the UMW team (made up of expert learning technologists, marketers and advisors), academics have the opportunity to transform their course content into a variety of high quality multimedia resources.

Q2: Why is the University investing in UMW?

Investing in the development of premium online teaching materials will allow us to remove barriers to learning, whether studying on campus or through online and blended delivery. This is an opportunity for us to radically rethink our approach to delivering education and broaden the opportunity for students, wherever they live and work, to benefit from a University of Manchester education. 

Q3: What services does UMW offer?

UMW offer the full range of services that will support you from the first stage of proposing your course as a distance learning option through to course delivery and launch. Our services include: market insight, marketing and recruitment, admissions (in association with the School), course materials development including advice on learning design, the creation of reading materials, interactive learning materials, multimedia resources, a reading list and the latest digital approaches to assessment and feedback. We also offer student support for all courses from managing the induction process through to organising assessments and examination board preparation. 

Q4: What separates UMW from its competitors?

The University of Manchester has made the strategic decision to move into education 4.0, digital. Online, blended learning without using a commercial partner.  This decision allows us to decide on the pedagogical approach that we have adopted, to develop our own design templates and to retain ownership of our IP.  UMW has adopted a world leading and dynamic approach to online and blended learning using Diana Laurillard’s Conversational Framework. This established teaching method emphasises the importance of dialogue between teacher and student whilst simultaneously advocating peer-to-peer interaction. 

Q6: Why should I consider developing my course with UMW?

Digital technology gives us new ways of enhancing the student experience. High quality digital learning environments are increasingly becoming the norm and are now employed from Primary education onwards. UMW is focused on meeting the needs of students who expect their learning environment to be increasingly media-rich, interactive and personalised.

Q7: What are the benefits of working with UMW?

By working collaboratively with UMW and our team of expert learning technologists, you’ll have the opportunity to transform your course materials into a variety of high quality multimedia resources. Materials developed for off-campus students studying at a distance can also be repurposed to improve the experience for on-campus students.

Q8: Does my course meet the criteria for UMW?

In the first instance it’s important to consider whether your course can be delivered as an online or blended learning programme of study. Market demand is also an important factor; through UMW the University’s Market Insight Team will provide support in order to ascertain the level of potential demand for your subject. To be considered for development courses should also have the potential to generate significant market demand both nationally and internationally. As you might expect, we are particularly keen to focus on areas of teaching that demonstrate the University’s academic strengths and align with our Research Beacons. UMW will also take into account how your subject area fits in with the existing portfolio of courses on offer. 

Q9: Can all courses be converted to an online or blended mode of study?

The majority of courses can successfully be converted into an online or blended learning course. There are some instances where laboratory work may be required as part of the assessment, however, in most cases it is likely that students will be working in industry and will have access to the required equipment.  

Q10: Who are the UMW team?

Led by Professor Elaine Ferneley, former Global and MBA Director at the Alliance Business School, the UMW team are experts in their field drawn from a range of disciplines from across the University. Elaine is supported by:

Professor Pam Vallely, UMW Academic Director, Tel +44 (0) 161 275 1900
Rosie Williams, UMW Head of Operations, Tel + 44 (0)161 306 8417
Ian Hutt, UMW Head of Operations, Tel +44 (0)161 275 1380
Ffion Rees Hughes, UMW Marketing & Recruitment, Tel + 44 (0)161 276 4632
Alison Walker Twist, UMW Head of Regulations and Compliance, Tel +44 (0) 161 275 6310
Zoë Rainey, UMW Financial Controller, Tel +44 (0) 161 306 3528
Sharon Newham, UMW Administrative Assistant, Tel +44 (0) 161 275 7784

Q11: Who should I contact if I would like to find out more about UMW?

For all general enquiries contact Professor Elaine Ferneley, UMW Director and for questions regarding criteria, course structure and online and blended teaching contact Professor Pam Vallely, Academic Director. For any enquiries regarding transforming your course contact Ian Hutt, UMW Head of Operations. 

The process

Q1: What's the timeframe from submitting your course up to course launch?

Timelines for converting new and existing courses will vary according to the course. The course approval process may take from one up to three months, whilst the course design and development process may require six to 18 months depending on the course content. We aim to begin the marketing and recruiment process 12 months before the course is launched. 

For further guidance on timelines concerning the course approval, development and launch process contact Alison Walker Twiste, UMW Head of Regulations and Compliance.  




Q2: What's the first stage in the process?

If you have an idea for converting a new or existing course, we recommend that in the first instance you speak your respective school. Your Faculty Teaching and Learning Manager can advise on the most appropriate route for course approval in your area.

Q3: What happens next?

Once you've met with your School, UMW will review the outline business case and the team will meet to discuss your course proposal. 

Q4: What do I need to do in the course approval process?

The University's new programme process should followed on a collaborative basis, with the School, Faculty and UMW being involved at all stages. Ahead of this, there is also an additional stage to gauge potential markets for the course and its suitability for delivery via UMW. Market research will be funded by UMW, and we will work collaboratively with you to support the approval process, taking into account specific requirements for online, blended and transnational delivery. 

Q5: Will UMW support a non-credit bearing course?

Yes, if it meets the UMW course criteria. Factors considered are: whether your course can be delivered online, national and international market demand and whether it is scalable to accommodate large numbers of students in the future. UWM will also consider how the subject sits within the current portfolio of courses on offer. We are especially interested in developing courses that demonstrate the University’s academic strengths and align with our Research Beacons. 

Q6: Will UMW support the development of Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs)?

The University has entered into an agreement with FutureLearn to develop and host MOOCs. The aim is to have an entry level MOOC associated with each UMW course.

Q7: What is the course structure for a Masters course delivered through UMW?

Masters level courses delivered through UMW will follow the standard University of Manchester model – being comprised of 120 credits, PG diplomas 90 credits and PG certificates 60 credits. Course units may be offered in a 15 or 20 credit format or multiples thereof.

UMW will offer a flexible format for the 60 credit ‘dissertation’ component of a masters course with options to take a series of 10 credit research skills modules (up to 6), and/or group projects and shorter workplace based research projects as well as the traditional dissertation-based format. For all options the dissertation component will only be taken to an exam board for ratification once all 60 credits have been completed. Masters courses will have a default duration of two years part-time study, up to a maximum duration of five years.

Q9: If my course is not suitable for UMW, can I still access support from the UMW team?

Faculties have access to an eLearning team who can provide advice and guidance on developing your course materials. 

Q10: Does UMW offer any support after the course is launched?

Yes. UMW will provide ongoing support in a host of areas, from marketing and recruitment, to admissions, student support plus teaching and learning support. UMW colleagues will also continue to work alongside you to develop and maintain the course as learning from each cohort is embedded.

International Centres 

Q1: Where are the University's international centres?

The University has strong global links and a well-established footprint in key markets stretching from South America to the Far East. UMW has the use of the our international centres in Dubai, Hong Kong, Shanghai, Singapore and a presence in South America.

Q2: What facilities do the international centres offer?

Our global hubs offer our students a space to study, collaborate and network, creating a highly interactive and personalised distance learning environment. Students taking a blended learning pathway delivered through the centres and in Manchester will be able to take part in workshops and seminars to supplement their course material, whilst students taking a purely online mode of study can benefit from networking sessions to connect with their peers and share best practice.