Help and support

There is a wealth of support for you and it comes in a variety of guises.

Whatever query or difficulty you have this year you don’t need to face it alone. If you are having problems the first thing to do is to talk to someone.

There are lots of different people on hand to offer you practical advice and support throughout your time at University. They want to help so don’t be afraid to get in touch.

Your support network

  • Your UG Programme Administrator
  • Your Programme Director
  • Your Academic Advisor or BA (Econ) Programme Tutors (if you are on the BA(Econ) programme you can also talk to one of the programme tutors)
  • Course Unit Tutor
  • Disability Co-ordinator: Alex Collins 
  • Student Support and Development Officer for Student Support and Wellbeing: Dr Ian Fairweather
  • SoSS Student Welfare Officer: Philippa Wilson, Joseph Barrett and Michael Barringer can be contacted via
  • University Support Services – there are also a number of specialised support services. You will find information about these services in MyManchester.

Come along to the UG Support Office or get in touch by phone or email.

Your Undergraduate Support Office

From registration to graduation, the undergraduate team will be here at every point to support and guide you through your three years in Manchester.

We have an enormous amount of experience so don’t hesitate to contact us. Make us your first port of call for any queries you have regarding your academic progress or personal welfare.

How we can help

  • Assessment queries
  • Appeals and complaints
  • Course unit selection queries
  • Coursework submission
  • Examination queries
  • Feedback
  • Interruption queries
  • Mitigating circumstances
  • Signposting to specialised support
  • Timetable queries

Opening times

Our office is based on the ground floor of the Arthur Lewis Building. Turn left as you go through the main doors.

The office is open Monday to Friday from 9am-5pm during term time and 10am-4pm during holidays.

Academic advising

Academic advising is an efficient way of establishing a personal and motivating relationship with an academic member of staff. Your academic advisor is expected to work with you to build a personal relationship based on matters of academic development and progress.

Topics covered with your academic advisor may include the transition to independent learning in higher education, plagiarism and academic malpractice, essay writing, preparation for exams, and time management. Your academic advisor will be able to write references on request, and to refer you, where necessary, to study clinics and to other support services within the University. Please note, however, that it is your responsibility to engage with your academic advisor in order to realise the intended benefits. If you do not turn up to meetings, it will be that much harder for your academic advisor to write a meaningful reference for you.

You should take note that your academic advisors are not "personal tutors". Pastoral support is provided through a variety of means and your advisor will be able to refer you to these.

Schedule of meetings

In general, it is expected that you should have three meetings with your academic advisor in your first year and two meetings in each of your subsequent years. On the timing and purpose of these meetings, please refer to the schedule for meetings with academic advisors. However, you are invited to bring any academic issues of concern to you to your Academic Advisor at any time. 

Matching advisors to advisees

In general we will make every effort to match students with advisors from their subject. This will not always be possible, however. It should be noted that the main function of the academic advisor is to give generic academic advice, and that that function can be provided just as well by somebody from a different discipline.

Students should be aware that they are able to request a change of Academic Advisor at any time. They may do this by contacting their Discipline Area Undergraduate Administrator. Where a student chooses to change his/her advisor they should also be given the opportunity to provide feedback on why they feel a change of Academic Advisor is necessary.

Mitigating circumstances

We understand that illnesses and difficult or distressing personal circumstances can occur as part of everyone's life and that these issues may have a profound effect on your studies.

This is a normal part of life and you mustn’t be afraid to contact us if you find yourself in a difficult situation.

We have a ‘mitigating circumstances’ procedure in place that means we can make sure you get the support you need to get you back on track. Don’t sit in your room and worry about things. If something is upsetting you, then it’s not trivial! Come and see us.

Applying for mitigating circumstances

It’s important that you notify us of any problems when they occur so that we can put appropriate support in place for you.

  • Step 1: Talk to someone in your support network about your situation and/or submit mitigating circumstances online.
  • Step 2: Email your supporting evidence to your Programme Administrator. (We know that in some cases it is difficult to provide evidence, but don’t let that put you off contacting us as we can discuss of what evidence you can submit.)   
  • Step 3: The UG team will then consider your request.  In order to assess the extent of the external interference on your university studies, we may need to meet with you to discuss your situation. We will then make sure you get the support that you need.

Types of support

  • Extensions to coursework. If you are offered an extension the UG administrator will confirm this and set a new submission date. 
  • If your exams have been affected, or if you have experienced a serious problem which has impacted on all of your work, your mitigation will be considered at the exam boards in February and June. Your Programme Administrator will contact you after the board to inform you of the outcome. Extensions cannot be granted for exams (whether your apply in advance or after the exam).
  • If you need ongoing support we will work with the people within your support network and University services to make sure you have the appropriate support in place to continue your studies.

Further information on mitigating circumstances is available from the UG Support Office.  

UMSU mitigating circumstances advice video

Monitoring attendance and wellbeing of students

This policy applies to all students undertaking taught programmes both undergraduate and postgraduate.

Attendance at lectures is not compulsory and is therefore not formally recorded.  However regular attendance at lectures is highly recommended so that students may take full advantage of the benefits of actively engaging in all aspects of the learning experience. 

Attendance at tutorials, seminars and workshops is compulsory and is monitored via Blackboard.  Where a student is unable to attend a tutorial or seminar they should (and wherever possible in advance) inform the tutor or programme administrator of the reasons for their absence. 

Programme Administrators review attendance patterns on a monthly basis and will contact, by email, students who have had two consecutive absences in a course unit, to seek out the reason for non-attendance.

If the absence persists, students will be asked to meet with their Academic Advisor, Programme Tutor or Programme Director according to the pastoral care arrangements for their particular programme.  The purpose of such meetings will be to establish whether or not there is an underlying reason for the unacceptable attendance and whether or not the student is in need of further pastoral, welfare or academic support. 

If following these supportive interventions, attendance levels remain unacceptable, the School reserves the right to invoke the formal warnings procedures set out in Regulation XX which may ultimately result in the exclusion of a student.

Your future and career

It’s never too early to start thinking about your career options.

Each subject area arranges events throughout the year that focus on the skills you will be developing through your degree, and how you can use your degree to move forward in planning for a successful career. 

Careers Service

The Careers Service will be in the Common Room of the Arthur Lewis Building every Tuesday 1-2pm to support social science students and answer any careers related questions. They can help with CV’s and applications for internships, graduate schemes or part time jobs.