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Uni of Manchester FAQ - almost everything you've ever wanted to know about UoM

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Origami Bullets
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The Big, Fat Manchester FAQ
by Origami Bullets

I've covered all the questions I can think of that are commonly asked in the UoM forum, but if you've got any other questions / spot any glaring errors or omissions, then please post below and I'll incorporate it into the post.

Looking for the stuff on accommodation? That's now in this thread

Anyway, here goes!

Visiting the University & Halls
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When are the university open days?
Details are posted on the university's website here several months in advance, and you will need to pre-book. These are the academic open days and they provide a great opportunity to get a 'feel' for the uni, and to ask any questions you may have.

But I can't get to an open day!
The university runs campus tours every Wednesday afternoon. You can prebook here and many people choose to combine an accommodation tour (see below) in the morning with a campus tour in the afternoon.

Is it really worth going to an open day?
Yes. Often, some things only become apparent when you get there, and I know that going to open days stopped me going to a uni that I would have hated, and quite possibly dropped out of.

You wouldn't buy a house without viewing it first, so don't spend £27k on your education without viewing it first (honestly, compared to the tuition fees, the cost of the train fare is small change).

Can I visit the halls?
The university runs accommodation tours around Fallowfield every Wednesday morning between October and March, along with one tour in May and another in August. You need to pre-book here. There's also an accommodation open house day once a year, in around March. There's very little to stop you having a wander around the outside of the accommodation, although obviously you won't be able to look inside on those days. Furthermore, starting in 2013, Ashburne and Sheavyn will be open on the academic open days.

What happens on accommodation tours?
A current university student, who lived in Fallowfield in first year, will take you on a walking tour of Richmond Park, Woolton Hall, Oak House, Owens Park, Ashburne Hall and Sheavyn House. You will get to see inside two contrasting halls (normally Richmond / Sheavyn and Woolton / Ashburne) and inside some amenity areas like bars, and you can ask your tour guide all sorts of questions along the way. Your tour guide should also tell you about all the peripheral things like transport and where you do your laundry.


Freshers Week (sorry, Welcome Week in Manchester parlance)
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When is Freshers Week?

Have a look at Manchester's key dates page. The start date for Semester 1 is always on a Monday. However, you can move into halls from the Thursday to the Sunday directly beforehand. Most people move in on the Saturday, but that means that the traffic is horrendous. I spent a full hour in traffic waiting to be able to unload the car that Saturday. The first official Freshers events are on the Sunday night. For instance, in 2013 the Semester 1 start date is Monday 16th September. You can move into halls between Thursday 12th and Sunday 15th September. Freshers Week events run from Sunday 15th - Sunday 22rd September.

Which freshers tickets should I buy?

Both UMSU (students union) and your halls will offer tickets for freshers week. It's best to wait until you get to halls and find out what your flatmates are buying, but halls ones are definitely better – if you buy UMSU ones then all the events are in UMSU, whereas halls take you to a different venue each night.

But I don't drink!
Be prepared that people may ask you why you don't drink, but there won't be any significant pressure to drink (especially after Freshers Week). However, there is a massive difference between not drinking, and refusing to be around people who are drinking (I really can't stress this enough). Make sure you don't shut yourself away from people who are drinking though. 90% of people at uni do drink, so by avoiding them you are vastly reducing your potential pool of friends (largely to those who don't drink for religious reasons, and a fair few who are just a bit odd). You can still go out with them and share in the fun without drinking, whilst making friends.

And finally, a video from the Students' Union, all about Welcome Week 2014
https://youtu.be/Ututm9DEOyU


Your first week at Manchester (drunken bits notwithstanding)
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I'm worried I'm going to get lost!
The university publishes a variety of maps. They are available online here, and they are also published in paper format and handed out to students during Freshers Week.

They also employ lots of second and third year students to stand around in purple hoodies, hold big 'ask me' signs (they look a bit like the ones lollipop ladies use) and answer questions from lost freshers, plus lots of staff wear 'ask me' badges too.

I'm worried I'm not going to make friends!
Talk to lots of people in halls, join a society, go out in freshers and you will make friends. I absolutely promise you this! Even the weird ones, the ones who were bullied at school and the ones with really 'offbeat' interests make friends. There are 40,000 students at Manchester, so there are people out there who you have something in common with.


Money, Money, Money

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I promise I'll stop using ABBA song titles from now on ...

How much money can I get from the government?
Use this student finance calculator - it depends on your parents income. You may also be eligible for a Manchester bursary (see below).

But my loan doesn't cover the cost of my accommodation! How will I eat?
Your entitlement to funding is calculated on the basis of your parent's income. It is expected that if you do not receive the full entitlement then your parents will top up the funding that you do receive. It is, apparently, a controversial view that £50,000 is not a pittance, but unless your parents are living way beyond their means, then they can afford to contribute to their offspring's education - especially when you consider that you will no longer be at home eating their food, using their hot water or generally having anything spent on you by them.

I'm getting a bursary. Should I choose the accommodation discount or the tuition fee discount? (this applies to 2014 freshers, but not 2015 freshers)
The accommodation discount. The reasons for this is are - you'll get the cash when you really need it - an extra £2000 when you are a student is likely to make much more difference to you than it would when you're working full time after graduating. - you have the option to save the money up for a rainy day - many people will never pay off their student loans before they are written off. If you are one of those people, then you will effectively be throwing money away, because you would never have repaid it anyway. This is the best explanation that I can find online. You're an intelligent lot, so just imagine that the £2k is coming from your parents rather than the university - the financial principles remain the same.

How is the bursary changing for 2015 entry?
The funding levels are reducing, as are the income criteria. However, all of the funding you receive will now come as cash, rather than taking part as an accommodation / fee discount. The details can be found at http://www.manchester.ac.uk/study/un...ips-bursaries/

When will my student finance (maintenance loan & grant) come through?
Three times a year, at the beginning of term in September, January and April. Your first payment will only be sent when you have registered with the university (you get your student ID at the same time).

When will my bursary from the university come through?
The cash portion comes in three times a year; 25% on December 10th, 50% on February 15th, and 25% on April 15th. The accommodation discount is applied to your last accommodation payment(s)


Internet & laptops
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Is there wifi at Manchester?
Yes, across the academic campuses and in some halls of residence. You need to use your username (which will look something like mrsa2ob5) and your password to log in.

But I want wifi in halls! Can I set up my own access point in halls?
Until very recently, this was banned. However, the university is now starting the process of installing uni wifi in halls. This will take some time, so in the meantime you are allowed to set up your own wifi, with some restrictions. More info: http://hornet.manchester.ac.uk/wifi

How to do I log in to the wifi / computer cluster on campus?
You use your IT username and password, which you get during registration. The username will fit the same format as mrsa2ob6 and cannot be changed.

What will my student email address be?
It will fit the format of [email protected] .uk (or occasionally [email protected]) and, if you so wish, you can set it to automatically redirect all your emails to another email account, so you don't have to keep checking it.

Are there computers that I can use?
Yes, there are computer clusters in various locations across the academic campus, and at Owens Park halls (open to all students). However, it can be hard to find a computer at busy times of the year. There's a nifty little live computer availability tracker that shows most (but not all e.g. Arthur Lewis isn't shown) of the computer clusters on campus http://www.itservices.manchester.ac....avail.php?html

Do I really need a laptop?
Yes. You need your own computer at uni - because a lot of the work is done on line, the intranet (Blackboard) is heavily used for courses, and essays must be typed.

But I don't have a laptop!
If you're in halls, and you don't have a laptop because you can't afford one, then the Laptop Bursary scheme may be able to help.


OMG I don't think I'm going to meet my offer!!1!!!
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What do I do????
First off, calm down. Secondly, this hasn't happened yet - it may, or it may not, and there is minimal point in getting het up about it until results come through.

But if I don't meet my offer, will they still accept me?
We don't know. It depends on a number of things, which change year-by-year and course-by-course
- if they have already filled all the places with people who did meet their offer, or if they still have a few spaces left
- if they think they can fill up their remaining spaces with better quality candidates by going through clearing or by accepting people who just missed their offer
- how narrowly you missed your offer
- if there was anyone else who missed their offer by a narrower margin
- whether you are an international student (if you are, then you are more attractive because you pay higher fees, and the government can't fine the university for over-recruiting internationals)

But my results have come through, and I have missed my offer! What do I do???
Firstly, has your UCAS changed?
- if it still says conditional, then this is your chance to ring up the admissions dept and beg.
- if it has changed to unconditional, then congratulations - they've accepted you anyway
- if it has changed to unsuccessful, then unfortunately you've been rejected already. HOWEVER, you should consider if your marks were such that a remark might mean you meet your offer after all. If so, get a priority remark. You must also inform the university that this is what you are doing, as otherwise they won't hold on to your place for you.

Nope, I've definitely been rejected this year after all
There are a number of routes you can take at this point
- go to your insurance choice (if you met their offer)
- check Clearing to see if any other good universities have your course available
- take a gap year. I ended up taking an unintentional gap year, and had the time of my life - it seemed terrible at first, but I'm actually really glad that it happened the way it did. It's a good idea to get a job asap (start looking at the beginning of summer; if nothing else you will have a nest egg to take to uni) and save up to go travelling. Meanwhile, you can revise and retake in January, before you go travelling, having already submitted a UCAS application.

I've received an email shortly before results day that contains information that is only relevant to those who have been accepted. Does this mean I've been accepted?
NO. The university is under strict instructions from exam boards not to reveal results, directly or indirectly, before results day. They send out these emails to everyone, because they want people to have the information before results day, but they can't reveal who is / isn't in.

I haven't received one of the above emails. Does this mean I've been rejected?
NO. Not all courses send out these emails, and those that do will often stagger the sending of such emails.


Students' Union, Clubs and Societies
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What is the students' union?
It's much more than just a bar, despite the public image of SUs! It does SO many things, including offering independent advice, organising non-sport clubs and societies, campaigning, student media (radio, TV and newspaper), Nightline, gigs, Pangaea, cafe, shop and, yes, a bar.



So what societies are actually available?
Here are the sporty ones http://www.sport.manchester.ac.uk/athletic-union
And the rest http://manchesterstudentsunion.com/groups

What about Freshers Fair?
It's held in the SU / Academy buildings, and it's well worth going - not only do you get to see the water polo team wearing next to nothing :sexface: and pick up various freebies (condoms, bottle openers, USB sticks, inflatable pool cues, cotton shopping bags and Dominoes pizza) but you might actually find something that you want to do with your time!

I've never done that activity before - can I still join in?
YES! Clubs and societies thrive on having new members with no experience joining the club and learning. For those more niche activities that few people have tried before, there is often a free taster session. For more competitive sports teams that take on fewer ab initios (e.g. football) there are often try-outs.

I'm really rubbish at [insert common sport such as football]. Can I still play?
More commonly played sports, such as football, rugby, hockey and netball have many different teams. At the top, there is the University team, but there are also course and hall based teams. Some turn out players that play for their country. Some go on the principle that practising is tantamount to cheating, and spend far more time in the pub than they do playing.

For more niche sports, you'll find that the full spectrum of ability will be encompassed within the University team.

But why would I want to join a society?
- Looks good on your CV - especially if you later rise to a committee position (I know people who have been headhunted on the basis that they are a society president and nothing more)
- Great for your social life and you'll make loads of new friends - however serious the society initially appears, they all put on great socials full of mess and debauchery. Some also put on balls and other black tie events - although those tend to descend into debauchery anyway once alcohol is involved!

I'm from UoM and I want to join an MMU society. Can I do so?
Yes. There is a reciprocal arrangement between UoM and MMU that allows students from both universities to be a member of the other's society.

The only downside is that if it's a sport club, then you will be unable to compete at BUCS as BUCS won't allow you to compete for a university other than your own. However, whilst for some sports BUCS is the main focus, for others it is very much a sideshow. You can always ask at Freshers if that particular sport competes at non-BUCS events.

So what societies does MMU have?
http://www.mmunion.co.uk/studentactivities/

There are four tabs. Those referring to 'MCR' are at Manchester (the relevant ones), whereas the 'CHR' ones are at the Cheshire campus in Crewe (i.e. irrelevant to UoM students)


Libraries
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How do I find books?
Use the library catalogue http://catalogue.library.manchester.ac.uk/
Books are ordered by the Dewey Decimal System, and are in various libraries around campus. You can find the relevant library at http://www.manchester.ac.uk/medialib.../campusmap.pdf

How do I take books out?
You'll need your library card and PIN number. If you don't know your pin number, ask a librarian (I'm sure there's a better way to do it, but I don't actually know what that is!). Then take the books along to the self service check outs and follow the instructions

Help! The library doesn't have a book I need! Can I use MMU / Salford's library?
YES! Thanks to a rather nifty scheme known as SCONUL you can use the library of almost any other university in the country, which probably includes the academic library local to your family home, which is useful in the holidays. However,
1. it's on a reference-only basis (i.e. you can't borrow books, but you can look at them in the library).
2. access can be restricted during & in the run-up to exam season, usually meaning that you have to make an appointment about a specific text that you want
3. you need to register online in advance at the link above before using SCONUL for the first time

So what books do MMU and Salford have available?
Salford: http://sal-primo-production.hosted.e...fromLogin=true
MMU: http://prism.talis.com/mmu/


Manchester is big! Will I get lost?
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You'll find your way around much quicker than you think you will, as in reality 90% of students never have any reason to leave one small area of South Manchester.

However, I've made a map that shows where things that are of interest to students are http://goo.gl/maps/YwRla
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Origami Bullets
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[reserve post]
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Aicha1
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This was very helpful!!


This was posted from The Student Room's iPhone/iPad App
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Alirh
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What about scholarships offered by the university. I recieved the grades needed for a small scholarship at manchester but I haven't heard anything since.. only what is written on the manchester website
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Uncertainty
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When do we get told if we've got a bursary?
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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by Alirh)
What about scholarships offered by the university. I recieved the grades needed for a small scholarship at manchester but I haven't heard anything since.. only what is written on the manchester website
Which scholarship is this? Is it competitive, or does everyone who gets the grades get the scholarship? If it's the former, contact the relevant department. If it's the latter, hold on tight.

(Original post by Uncertainty)
When do we get told if we've got a bursary?
If you have an income below the threshold, then you will get the bursary. As far as I know, no one has had their bursary letter yet - including me.
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lumzz
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Are there any societies for track events like the 100 or 200m races? All I've found on the sports website is the Athletics & Cross Country Club.
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Origami Bullets
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(Original post by lumzz)
Are there any societies for track events like the 100 or 200m races? All I've found on the sports website is the Athletics & Cross Country Club.
I think the Athletics club will include sprint running? You'll be able to go along and find out at Freshers Fair (NB there are two bits to freshers fair - the non-sport bit in the Academy, and the sporty bit in the union).
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CaaBaa
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Would arriving on the Sunday be just awful? My parents are working any other time but I feel like it might be a bit late, everyone will know each other etc...
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ellakrystina
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(Original post by CaaBaa)
Would arriving on the Sunday be just awful? My parents are working any other time but I feel like it might be a bit late, everyone will know each other etc...
No, not at all. Most of my eight person flat arrived on Sunday. One even arrived and Friday to dump his stuff and didn't come back again until Sunday, which was weird... You've still got the rest of the year to get to know them!
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(Original post by ellakrystina)
No, not at all. Most of my eight person flat arrived on Sunday. One even arrived and Friday to dump his stuff and didn't come back again until Sunday, which was weird... You've still got the rest of the year to get to know them!
Hahaha that's what my plan is! How is that weird??? My plan is to pick my room key up and ID card on the 13th, drop some of my stuff off, then move in a few days later. I do live in Manchester already though.
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
x
(Original post by ellakrystina)
x

I'm stuck on the my.manchester registration thing.

I'm on the very last step (10) of registration and it's the tution fees section.

It asks for my method of payment and I selected Student Loans/NHS.

This message comes up:
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This information is for students who are expecting a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company.
If you are in receipt of confirmation of your sponsorship please email a copy to [email protected] or bring your letter to the Whitworth Hall between the 15th September and the 28th September. If you email your letter please check your registration again in a few days.
If you are not yet in receipt of your paperwork the University of Manchester has agreed to a special arrangement which will allow you to complete your registration. By clicking on the link below you will be taken through the process to set up a Direct Debit for the full tuition fees, which will be due in April 2012, by which time you should have received your paperwork.
When you receive confirmation of your tuition fee loan or sponsorship you will need to email a copy to [email protected] or bring a copy to the Student Services Centre. This will cancel your Direct Debit however please also cancel it yourself with the bank. Please DO NOT cancel the Direct Debit prior to sending us your paperwork, if he Direct Debit is cancelled then the full tuition fee will become due immediately.


I then click "Set up Installment Plan"

On the next page, the only option is "1 installment in April" so I click continue.

I then click continue on the next few pages until I'm hit with a direct debit form.

Why is it asking for direct debit details if the student loans company is paying for me?

I'm so damn confused! :afraid:


EDIT - Sorted out the problem. We only have to complete steps 1-9 and then 10 when we arrive at UoM.
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CaaBaa
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Thanks, ellakrystina!
Just wondering, are there any lectures we need to attend during welcome week? Or classes or anything? :}
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(Original post by CaaBaa)
Thanks, ellakrystina!
Just wondering, are there any lectures we need to attend during welcome week? Or classes or anything? :}
This is entirely course dependent. I think pretty much all of them have introductory lectures, where they go through modules, meeting staff, peer mentors and just general introductions to the departments/school.Some courses have lectures, tests and workshops during Fresher's week, I've heard this is common for engineering and I know it happens in some of the Languages departments. You will probably also have a meeting with your academic advisor, 'welcome parties' for your course and maybe various tours for your department ( for example we had one for the language centre.) I know in the languages dept we had to go to meetings to sort out seminar times too.

Some of them are absolutely useless where as others are helpful, if I'm honest I can't remember half of what was said at my introductory talks. However I really would attend anyway, as alot are compulsory and it's not really the right attitude to have bunking off from the start of freshers. You will usually be emailed or posted a timetable and info pack regarding all this within the next few weeks.
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(Original post by Javilionaire)
I'm stuck on the my.manchester registration thing.

I'm on the very last step (10) of registration and it's the tution fees section.

It asks for my method of payment and I selected Student Loans/NHS.

This message comes up:
Spoiler:
Show

This information is for students who are expecting a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company.
If you are in receipt of confirmation of your sponsorship please email a copy to [email protected] or bring your letter to the Whitworth Hall between the 15th September and the 28th September. If you email your letter please check your registration again in a few days.
If you are not yet in receipt of your paperwork the University of Manchester has agreed to a special arrangement which will allow you to complete your registration. By clicking on the link below you will be taken through the process to set up a Direct Debit for the full tuition fees, which will be due in April 2012, by which time you should have received your paperwork.
When you receive confirmation of your tuition fee loan or sponsorship you will need to email a copy to [email protected] or bring a copy to the Student Services Centre. This will cancel your Direct Debit however please also cancel it yourself with the bank. Please DO NOT cancel the Direct Debit prior to sending us your paperwork, if he Direct Debit is cancelled then the full tuition fee will become due immediately.


I then click "Set up Installment Plan"

On the next page, the only option is "1 installment in April" so I click continue.

I then click continue on the next few pages until I'm hit with a direct debit form.

Why is it asking for direct debit details if the student loans company is paying for me?

I'm so damn confused! :afraid:
I've just gone and done the whole process myself. However, it's worked for me (I'm a second year though) and frankly I'm out of ideas on this one, unless there was an option other that 'set up installment plan'.

Have another go in the morning (registration was only ever meant to open on the 3rd) and if not contact the uni.
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Javilionaire
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(Original post by Origami Bullets)
I've just gone and done the whole process myself. However, it's worked for me (I'm a second year though) and frankly I'm out of ideas on this one, unless there was an option other that 'set up installment plan'.

Have another go in the morning (registration was only ever meant to open on the 3rd) and if not contact the uni.
Alrighty. However I just found this on the My manchester website:

"You can register between between 3 and 30 September 2012 by visiting the 'My Services' tab on My Manchester. Please make every effort to complete steps 1 to 9 before you arrive in Manchester, so that all you have to do when you get here is pick up your student card."

So I don't have to fill in step 10? What do you think?
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CaaBaa
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Thanks again! I wasn't planning on missing anything! Just wanted to know if we were expected to jump right in :L last minute worries!
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(Original post by Javilionaire)
I'm stuck on the my.manchester registration thing.

I'm on the very last step (10) of registration and it's the tution fees section.

It asks for my method of payment and I selected Student Loans/NHS.

This message comes up:
Spoiler:
Show

This information is for students who are expecting a tuition fee loan from the Student Loans Company.
If you are in receipt of confirmation of your sponsorship please email a copy to [email protected] or bring your letter to the Whitworth Hall between the 15th September and the 28th September. If you email your letter please check your registration again in a few days.
If you are not yet in receipt of your paperwork the University of Manchester has agreed to a special arrangement which will allow you to complete your registration. By clicking on the link below you will be taken through the process to set up a Direct Debit for the full tuition fees, which will be due in April 2012, by which time you should have received your paperwork.
When you receive confirmation of your tuition fee loan or sponsorship you will need to email a copy to [email protected] or bring a copy to the Student Services Centre. This will cancel your Direct Debit however please also cancel it yourself with the bank. Please DO NOT cancel the Direct Debit prior to sending us your paperwork, if he Direct Debit is cancelled then the full tuition fee will become due immediately.


I then click "Set up Installment Plan"

On the next page, the only option is "1 installment in April" so I click continue.

I then click continue on the next few pages until I'm hit with a direct debit form.

Why is it asking for direct debit details if the student loans company is paying for me?

I'm so damn confused! :afraid:


EDIT - Sorted out the problem. We only have to complete steps 1-9 and then 10 when we arrive at UoM.
Where are these nine steps?
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llama-beans
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(Original post by kerb123)
Where are these nine steps?
Confirming your contact details, course details, tuition fee payment etc. Can't remember them all exactly.
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wwelol
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is anyon else stuck on step 3 - where there is only one bursary option in tuition fee discount
somene help me plz
and am i the only one confused with the lack of clarity so far - no email to remind us to register etc etc
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