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2014/2015 Cohort 1

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A5 pre-work

Up to 2014/2015 Cohort 1
May 04. 2016
Ronnie Wright


In response to concerns raised by student representatives about the amount of pre-work, we received this e-mail on Friday. MAHSE administrators also said they'd post it on blackboard but i'm not sure I've seen anything yet. I'll feedback on some of the other points raised shortly (after I've completed A5 pre-work).

I also think it might be useful for those life scientists attending next week's sessions to gather for 10 mins and take advantage of being there in person to discuss any issues/concerns about the programme. Anyone not attending is welcome to forward me anything in advance.

Re: workload


We realise that the workload is high at the moment, particularly for Cohort 2 who are currently doing 2 ‘A’ units in parallel, as in the ‘standard’ design.


There a lot of credits for these units, and consequently there is a lot of work involved. This is particularly the case for the A units which are often a bit further from your direct day-to-day work. Although the hours on the unit outlines are based on the University standard multiplier, and we expect people of your calibre and experience to be able to get through the units with less input than that, they are an indication of the sort of input a university expects.


I know that it is frustrating for many that you physically are not able to put in as much time as you’d like to be able to engage more deeply with the material and do justice to your ability. We do recognise that you are at a stage of life where other demands mean that compromises have to be made. Most of us on this side are in a similar position with the demands of university work…


One new thing this semester is that we have been asking you to prepare presentations for workshops. As this is the first time we have done this on HSST we particularly welcome your feedback, and will tweak things as we proceed and incorporate ideas for improvement for future cohorts.


I am pleased to see that the presentations that were part of the recent A2 (Cohort 2) workshop seem to have gone well.


For the upcoming A5 workshop presentations I would like to clarify:

  • You are not required to find time to work together ‘live’ away from Manchester: you should be able coordinate, carve up and discuss group work asynchronously
  • We will give you some final preparation time on the day (as for A2) – probably 15-20 minutes per presentation
  • The 30 minute slots are for presentation AND discussion, so your presentation should be 15-20 minutes, not the full 30 minutes. When you are the audience, please do raising points of interest with the presenting group.


And I hope you get a little downtime (and that it stops raining…) this ‘holiday’ weekend.



May 10. 2016
Chris Holmes

Thanks Ronnie,

I get the impression that the introduction of the presentations as pre-work is to force us to do more prior to the sessions. I've always approached this by doing the bare minimum, not because that's what I want to do, but because of the overall workload and trying to avoid working for every waking minute!  I can understand the university's point on maintaining their standards. I think the school has been overambitious with what it has requested the university to deliver.

When are you planning to meet to discuss this?


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