Essential information for returning Physics and Astronomy undergraduate students

Across The University of Manchester we are working hard to finalise our plans for teaching in 2020-21.

Your year will start with a "Welcome back" session during the week commencing 1 February. This will be organised by your Department so watch out for an email from them.

In the meantime there are a growing range of "on demand" sessions you can view at your convenience, which cover topics such as wellbeing, and the essentials of learning - good for the current climate and in case you need a refresher after the summer.

Teaching this year

We expect the vast majority of students, both new and returning, to join us in Manchester for the start of the academic year. We are currently planning our 'Welcome Back Week' (beginning 1 February) and developing our teaching and learning to make sure you have a great student experience back on our campus.

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 Back' programme remotely, and then study wholly remotely until they are able to join us a little later in the year.

For students in the Department of Physics and Astronomy, where your course is based, you will need to be on campus for some specific activity 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 2 students registered on the BSc and MPhys Physics / Physics with Astrophysics / Physics with Theoretical Physics / Physics with Philosophy / Mathematics and Physics courses will develop their practical skills through laboratory work and need to be on campus in Semester 1 for the PHYS20180 lab-based course unit.
  • Year 3 students registered on the BSc and MPhys Physics / Physics with Astrophysics / Physics with Philosophy courses will further develop their practical skills through laboratory work and need to be on campus in Semester 1 for the PHS30180 lab-based course unit.

We will contact you again later this week to find out more about your plans to re-join us this autumn (see below for more details). Please make sure you tell us if you think you will have any problems returning in September and we will do our very best to accommodate your situation as we plan our on-campus activity.

You can find more details about the start of the academic year, including semester dates on the Student News website.

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).

Tell us what you are planning so we can ensure you get the very best experience

We are working hard to plan all of our activities in the best possible way. This includes our exciting Welcome Back 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 in Semester 1. Please look out for this email.

In the meantime, you can find more information about our plans for welcoming you back to Manchester on our Student News website's pages for returning students.