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Can current University of Manchester students explain low student satisfaction rating

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Applying to Uni? Let Universities come to you. Click here to get your perfect place 20-10-2014
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    (Original post by Davidosh)
    In some departments it is but I personally think the satisfaction data is completely skewed at Manchester for reasons I've listed somewhere on this thread.

    Philosophy if it's part of humanities or social science not quite sure which should be fine, I'm in social science and have always been happy with the level of teaching that I have received.
    Also, the Guardian is the MOST unreliable league table by a mile, you should take them all with a pinch of salt, the focus on student satisfaction doesn't effect future prospects or how employers rate the institutions, but take the Guardian with a handful of salt..
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    I never seem to understand how UoM gets such low satisfaction ratings, In the school of EEE where I study, we managed 98% student satisfaction this year!

    Not only that, but I've not had anyone complain to me so far of any annoyances they've had with their subject's teaching.

    Although I'm a first year, so perhaps that is just a sign of things changing, with the past years having all the complaints.
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    (Original post by Leo*)
    I never seem to understand how UoM gets such low satisfaction ratings, In the school of EEE where I study, we managed 98% student satisfaction this year!

    Not only that, but I've not had anyone complain to me so far of any annoyances they've had with their subject's teaching.

    Although I'm a first year, so perhaps that is just a sign of things changing, with the past years having all the complaints.
    I think humanities, arts, social sciences bring it down massively and as I've said before no-one bothers with the feedback process, only those that want to complain do and a lot of the time are complaining about how the university has offended their political views rather than actual teaching quality.

    (Will point out I am part of social sciences so not making this observation as a completely biased individual).
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    (Original post by Davidosh)
    I think humanities, arts, social sciences bring it down massively and as I've said before no-one bothers with the feedback process, only those that want to complain do and a lot of the time are complaining about how the university has offended their political views rather than actual teaching quality.

    (Will point out I am part of social sciences so not making this observation as a completely biased individual).
    Do you know what many humanities students don't bother with the feedback process?

    I'm thinking of doing a postgrad in social science at Manchester. The feedback scores are indeed dreadful, but I am never one to take statistics at face value as a rule.

    What is your view of political bias within the humanities BTW? I am just interested in what sort of department I am potentially going to get mixed up with. Thanks.

    FYI I used to be very left wing but am a disillusioned socialist now. There are not many as blind as left wing ideologues.
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    (Original post by snozzle)
    Do you know what many humanities students don't bother with the feedback process?

    I'm thinking of doing a postgrad in social science at Manchester. The feedback scores are indeed dreadful, but I am never one to take statistics at face value as a rule.

    What is your view of political bias within the humanities BTW? I am just interested in what sort of department I am potentially going to get mixed up with. Thanks.

    FYI I used to be very left wing but am a disillusioned socialist now. There are not many as blind as left wing ideologues.
    From my experience in economics there is a slight right wing bias but nothing hugely noticeable. The major bias has come from the students themselves although has softened somewhat.

    The feedback just isn't done because there's no incentive I know in other departments I think life science they hand out surveys to do in lectures or give them an extra past paper etc if they do it.
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    (Original post by Davidosh)
    From my experience in economics there is a slight right wing bias but nothing hugely noticeable. The major bias has come from the students themselves although has softened somewhat.

    The feedback just isn't done because there's no incentive I know in other departments I think life science they hand out surveys to do in lectures or give them an extra past paper etc if they do it.
    I think that completely depends on the lecturers. I'm doing a humanities degree as well and some lectures are great with feedback and some aren't!
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    Thanks everyone
    Very informative thread
    I'll probably firm Manchester after this and make Leeds as my insurance
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    Speaking as a medical student from manchester university (St-Andrews university previously). I have to say that I regret for doing my clinical years at manchester, for the following reasons.

    1. The way of implementing PBL (problem-based learning) with lack of useful lectures is a "CHEAP" way of teaching medicine to cut down their costs.

    2. Accepting more than 450 students in each year makes it quite challenging to deliver quality of teaching.

    3. As a medic, although we get teaching from the placements in hospital, but it's all about "How lucky you are with each consultant" and sometimes a bit of ass kissing. (excuse this word)

    4. Where the Manchester curriculum has taught me to study for the exam, not for the sake of learning and the problem based learning would leave you with alot of gaps that makes you feel incompetent.

    5. St-Andrews University (STAFF and Lecturers) are Legends. They usually get 99% of Student satisfaction, I strongly believe that Student satisfaction is quite important when you would apply to any university, it gives an insight of what you are going to expect from the curriculum and the "quality of teaching".


    Therefore, if any one is thinking of applying to medicine, don't consider manchester university as an option, you will be basically teaching yourself.

    As you can see, I feel quite gutted, as an international student, to pay 25k annually, and I'm getting this terrible learning experience.
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    As a biomed student, I have to say the teaching is excellent, however I have friends doing History/History related courses and according to them the department is drastically underfunded. They apparently lose a member of the teaching faculty a year. However my friends still enjoy there course and the teaching standard isn't affected. The reason is because Manchester is regarded as a research institution and so money is ploughed into bio-science (as the vice principle is a life scientist) and engineering (as that where the money is). Furthermore, we're one of the largest Universities in europe, let alone the UK so the sheer number of people taking the survey is going to impact on the overall satisfaction percentage.

    But as a student here, it's a fantastic, the teaching is great, the facilities are brilliant and constantly upgraded and the social life is amazing.
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    (Original post by bigerler91)
    As a biomed student, I have to say the teaching is excellent, however I have friends doing History/History related courses and according to them the department is drastically underfunded. They apparently lose a member of the teaching faculty a year. However my friends still enjoy there course and the teaching standard isn't affected. The reason is because Manchester is regarded as a research institution and so money is ploughed into bio-science (as the vice principle is a life scientist) and engineering (as that where the money is). Furthermore, we're one of the largest Universities in europe, let alone the UK so the sheer number of people taking the survey is going to impact on the overall satisfaction percentage.

    But as a student here, it's a fantastic, the teaching is great, the facilities are brilliant and constantly upgraded and the social life is amazing.
    Oh, I'm going to be studying History! Could you ask your friends if they truly feel teaching will improve? History is meant to be taking on 6 new members of faculty this Summer, and apparently they've acknowledged that teaching needs to be improved. Could you ask your mates if it's true? Cheers. And yeah, I can understand why more money would go into science, tbh, it's far more expensive to research those subjects than History, arts and humanities and social sciences tbh.
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    Hey all!

    I just wanted to ask about pharmacy at Manchester, is it good?
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    (Original post by medic86)
    Speaking as a medical student from manchester university (St-Andrews university previously). I have to say that I regret for doing my clinical years at manchester, for the following reasons.

    1. The way of implementing PBL (problem-based learning) with lack of useful lectures is a "CHEAP" way of teaching medicine to cut down their costs.

    2. Accepting more than 450 students in each year makes it quite challenging to deliver quality of teaching.

    3. As a medic, although we get teaching from the placements in hospital, but it's all about "How lucky you are with each consultant" and sometimes a bit of ass kissing. (excuse this word)

    4. Where the Manchester curriculum has taught me to study for the exam, not for the sake of learning and the problem based learning would leave you with alot of gaps that makes you feel incompetent.

    5. St-Andrews University (STAFF and Lecturers) are Legends. They usually get 99% of Student satisfaction, I strongly believe that Student satisfaction is quite important when you would apply to any university, it gives an insight of what you are going to expect from the curriculum and the "quality of teaching".


    Therefore, if any one is thinking of applying to medicine, don't consider manchester university as an option, you will be basically teaching yourself.

    As you can see, I feel quite gutted, as an international student, to pay 25k annually, and I'm getting this terrible learning experience.
    Uh-oh, I've just firmed Manchester for Medicine and will be starting in September. Is this view of yours shared with most of your peers? Did you personally just not gel with the PBL system of learning? 'cause I thought of it like, they are producing ~400 competent doctors every year so it must be working? Also, there are other PBL schools in the country and it seems to be well known that PBL teaching makes you the more confident doctor as you aren't spoon-fed like the more conventional lectures-based schools.. I'm just a little apprehensive now, I hope I don't regret this decision!
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    (Original post by medic86)
    Speaking as a medical student from manchester university (St-Andrews university previously). I have to say that I regret for doing my clinical years at manchester, for the following reasons.

    1. The way of implementing PBL (problem-based learning) with lack of useful lectures is a "CHEAP" way of teaching medicine to cut down their costs.
    How are the lectures in Manchester not useful? Not enough content or disorganised?

    2. Accepting more than 450 students in each year makes it quite challenging to deliver quality of teaching.

    3. As a medic, although we get teaching from the placements in hospital, but it's all about "How lucky you are with each consultant" and sometimes a bit of ass kissing. (excuse this word)
    Are the consultants not willing to teach? Or is there heavy favouritism of some sort?

    4. Where the Manchester curriculum has taught me to study for the exam, not for the sake of learning and the problem based learning would leave you with alot of gaps that makes you feel incompetent.
    To be honest, this is just plain worrying. I applied to Manchester thinking that PBL is supposed to teach me to prepare for lifelong learning and not just for the exams. I understand that gaps in knowledge is a big complaint about PBL, but is this a problem with most of the cohort? Are the gaps so big that it is extremely difficult to cover them by doing more independent study?

    5. St-Andrews University (STAFF and Lecturers) are Legends. They usually get 99% of Student satisfaction, I strongly believe that Student satisfaction is quite important when you would apply to any university, it gives an insight of what you are going to expect from the curriculum and the "quality of teaching".
    How are the staff and lecturers at St Andrews legends? Were they extremely helpful and supportive? At least, in comparison to Manchester's?


    Therefore, if any one is thinking of applying to medicine, don't consider manchester university as an option, you will be basically teaching yourself.

    As you can see, I feel quite gutted, as an international student, to pay 25k annually, and I'm getting this terrible learning experience.
    Can you please elaborate more on the highlighted points and perhaps provide some evidence (from your experience or your peers')? I have offers from both St Andrews and Manchester, hence would be very grateful if I know which would provide me the best education experience overall. Thank you!
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    On the changes to SAHC - I wrote in a different thread a month or so ago that the school was improving, and was consequently negged by someone who clearly had a chip on their shoulder.

    The information from the two posters on this thread who are involved in the committees is very interesting, because only yesterday the History faculty hosted a day in which we were taken through our potential choices for next year, we also had a 'course fair' where we were given handouts detailing individual courses that we could take and where we could talk to the lecturers about the course. So that was really useful, and I do feel a lot clearer about by second year choices. They said they're going to improve this for next year aswell, as this was the first year they've done it. I can only assume that this is part of the school's concerted effort to provide the students with feedback.

    Also, relating to the increase to '15/hr' contact time, when I look at the sheets I was given, it shows that several of the courses have introduced extra hours for feedback (one of them even included 1 essay feedback session per lecturer for both assessments, making 12 hours of possible academic feedback for students in the run up to assessments). Many of them are also introducing several hours during the course where they review and screen films and documentaries it looks like. One of them I got from an ancient-looking academic who didn't seem particularly interested in the whole process and he's barely provided any information at all. Haha. So it looks like we're already seeing improvements.

    I also have to say that, this year the History department has been better by quite a long way than the Politics department in terms of feedback and quality of tutors in my opinion. Both departments have fantastic lecturers, but most of the Politics tutors I've encountered don't seem massively interested, whereas my History tutors have always been good thus far. This is added to the introduction of 6 new lecturers to the school - one of which we were told is an East Asian historian who previously taught, from a little research, at the University of California, Irvine (excellent US public university). We as students were also encouraged to engage in the process of choosing our future lecturers, and quite a few signed up to watch them in 30-minute lecturers on their topic areas.

    I'd like to see a bit more work done by the Social Sciences department when considering the momentum of change that seems to be taking place in the SAHC.
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    (Original post by Aquinas)
    On the changes to SAHC - I wrote in a different thread a month or so ago that the school was improving, and was consequently negged by someone who clearly had a chip on their shoulder.

    The information from the two posters on this thread who are involved in the committees is very interesting, because only yesterday the History faculty hosted a day in which we were taken through our potential choices for next year, we also had a 'course fair' where we were given handouts detailing individual courses that we could take and where we could talk to the lecturers about the course. So that was really useful, and I do feel a lot clearer about by second year choices. They said they're going to improve this for next year aswell, as this was the first year they've done it. I can only assume that this is part of the school's concerted effort to provide the students with feedback.

    Also, relating to the increase to '15/hr' contact time, when I look at the sheets I was given, it shows that several of the courses have introduced extra hours for feedback (one of them even included 1 essay feedback session per lecturer for both assessments, making 12 hours of possible academic feedback for students in the run up to assessments). Many of them are also introducing several hours during the course where they review and screen films and documentaries it looks like. One of them I got from an ancient-looking academic who didn't seem particularly interested in the whole process and he's barely provided any information at all. Haha. So it looks like we're already seeing improvements.

    I also have to say that, this year the History department has been better by quite a long way than the Politics department in terms of feedback and quality of tutors in my opinion. Both departments have fantastic lecturers, but most of the Politics tutors I've encountered don't seem massively interested, whereas my History tutors have always been good thus far. This is added to the introduction of 6 new lecturers to the school - one of which we were told is an East Asian historian who previously taught, from a little research, at the University of California, Irvine (excellent US public university). We as students were also encouraged to engage in the process of choosing our future lecturers, and quite a few signed up to watch them in 30-minute lecturers on their topic areas.

    I'd like to see a bit more work done by the Social Sciences department when considering the momentum of change that seems to be taking place in the SAHC.
    Your post sounds very reassuring, just need to get the grades now. Thanks!!
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    (Original post by victoryshinesonus)
    Your post sounds very reassuring, just need to get the grades now. Thanks!!
    No problem! Any questions and I'll be happy to answer them as far as I can. Keep coming on here in-between writing this particularly uninteresting essay. :P
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    I do maths at manchester and to be honest, i dont know what my money is going towards as many of my lectures have ~200 people in them, and tutorials of ~40 are a norm, when in other departments people get tutorials of around 4 or 5! tutors are often hard to track down (i swapped from maths and language to just maths, and i needed my tutor to sign it, it took me weeks longer than it should have) and i have not seen my personal tutor since last christmas (yes, 2010) and he is supposed to be the one writing my reference at the end of this?!
    overall, if i could start over, i dont think i would do this course, or even be here.
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    (Original post by sunshine43)
    I do maths at manchester and to be honest, i dont know what my money is going towards as many of my lectures have ~200 people in them, and tutorials of ~40 are a norm, when in other departments people get tutorials of around 4 or 5! tutors are often hard to track down (i swapped from maths and language to just maths, and i needed my tutor to sign it, it took me weeks longer than it should have) and i have not seen my personal tutor since last christmas (yes, 2010) and he is supposed to be the one writing my reference at the end of this?!
    overall, if i could start over, i dont think i would do this course, or even be here.
    I started maths at Manchester and know exactly how you feel, however I was lucky enough to be able to switch to economics
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    I've always been shocked at the poor ratings for student satisfaction Manchester receives year after year especially considering the fact that Manchester has a very good overall reputation.

    One factor that seems to be cropping up in this thread frequently is the sheer size of the university - it's the biggest university in the country with about 40,000 students.

    Since Manchester expanded by merging with UMIST, I have always thought it is too large.

    Does any think it's extremely large number of students has major factor in the poor standards of teaching that has been mentioned on this thread?
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    It seems as though some people seem a bit insignificant, which is understandable. It means the more pro-active students thrive and I think in a way, the people that do thrive in such a large university are those that will thrive better out in the 'real world' than those who've been perfectly well catered for.

    Despite that, from what people have been saying above it's clear that the University has got some work to do in terms of improving Undergraduate experience. Tutorials of ~40 for example seems very large to me. My tutorials in History and in Politics are usually occupied by no more than 8-12 depending on who decides to turn up.

    To be honest, I think the Uni could do well by setting an account up on here, like Warwick's Economics dept. have done. That way you can get a better feel of exact grievances people might be feeling, rather than the generic 'less than satisfactory' rating for a question that may or may not apply exactly to the student. They could then also answer questions to prospective students on which direction which department is taking in order to improve.
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