Information for new Physics and Astronomy undergraduate students

Congratulations on securing your place at The University of Manchester! We are very much looking forward to welcoming you to the Department. Here you will find all the information you need to get started at the University, including all of the available events happening over Welcome.

All these sessions are mandatory and will take place online.

Week 1 - week commencing 21 September

Your induction session was on Monday 21 September, but don't worry if you missed it - all sessions are being recorded so you can watch it back at your convenience in your programme's Blackboard area.

The rest of the University sessions this week are available to book on the What's on page.

Week 2 - week commencing 28 September

During this week there will be several events that you will need to attend as a new undergraduate student. Below is an overview of some of the events you are required to attend.

  • What is blended learning and how does it work with topics on the structure of the teaching week and timetabling, working remotely, Blackboard and other useful resources.
  • Introduction to First Year Labs providing useful information to prepare you for working in the labs including health and safety, attendance and assessments.
  • Meet your Personal Tutor
  • Mathematics Diagnostic Exercise will be made available for you to complete. This is a multiple choice exercise hosted in the PHYS10101 Blackboard area.
  • Python Primer Data Analysis Course which is an important element of your lab work. In this session you will be introduced to python, a widely used computing language, and show you how to manipulate, process and plot your data using some simple python commands. 
  • Introduction to the Peer Assisted Support Scheme (PASS)
  • Special Lecture by an Associate Director in the Jodrell Bank Centre for Astrophysics.

Programme specific sessions

If you are on the Mathematics and Physics programme, you will also need to attend the following sessions organised by the Department of Mathematics:

  • Meet the Department of Mathematics - 28 September, 10am.
  • How to study Maths at university? - 30 September, 10am.
  • Introductory lectures to Foundations of Pure Maths and Calculus and Vectors (A and B version) - 2 October 10am - 12noon.

If you are doing Physics with Philosophy, you will meet with the Programme Director during the session - Monday 28 September, 10am.

Personal timetable of events

Once you have activated your account and confirmed your attendance you will be able to gain access to the University Student Portal ‘My Manchester’ where you will be able to access a personal timetable that will include all the events that you will need to attend for your programme during the welcome and induction period. There will also be further information available to you in your Departmental Blackboard Area.

Getting started with your studies

Keeping you safe

Of course, across the whole of our campus we are working hard to keep you (and our staff) safe. There are hand sanitisers available at building and classroom entry points and signs and markings on the floors, stairwells and lifts to help with social distancing. We're also providing you with two free washable face coverings at the start of semester and there will be a 15-minute timetabling gap between classes, to give you extra time to arrive and leave safely.

To make sure you stay safe in our laboratories we have cleaning protocols in place, and rotas mean individual laboratories will never be operating at more than 20% capacity, ensuring we are able to comply with social distancing guidance (2m separation).

Read more about our safety measures >>

However, we know that for reasons outside your control, it might be difficult for you to get to campus for the start of Semester 1 this year, for example due to travel restrictions or medical advice. To ensure that no one is excluded or disadvantaged, we've already announced that the majority of students will be able to access our welcome and induction programme remotely, and then study wholly remotely until they are able to join us a little later in the year.

Semester 1

In the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where your course is based, Year 1 students will need to be on campus for specific activities in Semester 1 in order to ensure that we continue to meet the Institute of Physics' requirements for course accreditation. We are working hard to ensure that you graduate from Manchester with a degree that is highly sought after by employers and officially recognised by professional bodies.

  • Year 1 students on the BSc and MPhys Physics with Theoretical Physics / BSc and MPhys Physics with Philosophy / BSc and MMathPhys Mathematics and Physics courses will develop their practical skills through laboratory work and need to be on campus in Semester 1 for the PHYS10180 lab-based course unit.

We will contact you again to find out more about your plans to join us this autumn (see below for more details). Please make sure you tell us if you think you will have any problems joining us in September, and we will do our very best to accommodate your situation as we plan our on-campus activity. More details about the start of the academic year, including semester dates, can be found on the University website.

Tell us your plans

We are working hard to plan all of our activities in the best possible way. This includes our exciting Welcome programme, sports, activities, wellbeing initiatives and, of course, our teaching programme.

To help with this planning we will contact you again to ask whether you intend to begin your studies on campus, or begin them remotely and join us on campus as soon as you are able in Semester 1. Please look out for this email.

In the meantime, you can find more information about our plans for welcome and induction this autumn.