English Language requirements

What level of English is needed?
A C1 level will be required in English. Unless you are from a majority English-speaking country you will need a certification to prove your level.

Nationals from which countries are exempt from taking any English language test?
Countries considered by UK Visas and Immigration to be English speaking are listed here.
This webpage is updated regularly so please refer to this. Please note that this list is determined by the UK’s Home Office, not by The University of Manchester.

What are the English language requirements for Canadian nationals?
For candidates outside of Quebec, the University can simply vouch for them without requiring a SELT (Standard English Language Test). Applicants from Quebec will need to provide their High School Diploma with additional evidence that the medium of teaching was in English.

What are the English language requirements for EU candidates?
As an EU student does not require a student visa, we do not legally require an English test to satisfy it. However, it is University policy to ensure that its students have English language skills sufficient for them to thrive; we can simply be a little more flexible. For example, provided we can demonstrate that we have taken reasonable steps to establish the candidate’s level of English in an interview and/or writing sample seen by the programme director, we can waive a SELT requirement for bilingual students / those who have studied undergraduate level English / those who have lived in an English speaking country for a while. However, if we are not asking for a SELT and cannot demonstrate evidence that the student’s English is up to scratch, and the student struggles or fails, then the University could rightly be accused of being negligent of the student’s needs.

Can a candidate waive the English language test requirement if they have work or domestic experience in an English speaking country?
The admissions team can use the candidate’s cover letter and domestic experience of living in an English speaking country to waive the test, though a telephone interview between the student and the programme director would be recommended so that they can confirm in an email for the record that the student’s English is sufficient.

Can a candidate waive the English language test requirement if they have studied a degree in English/in an English speaking country?
English language requirements may be waived for holders of bachelor’s degrees or higher from the list of countries issued by the Home Office deemed to be majority English-speaking, as well as degrees from Canada, Ireland and the United Kingdom. The programme must have been completed in the last seven years for this to be a possibility.

Read about the entry criteria here.

Health insurance

Are part time students entitled to NHS healthcare whilst in the UK?
Part time students/students here for less than six months are not entitled to free NHS healthcare, unless they are EU nationals or nationals of countries with which the UK has a reciprocal health agreement. Unfortunately the University is unable to advise on specific providers for health care. Students can be signposted to this University page on health for international students.
Useful information is available on UKCISA website.


Which visa will students need to apply for?
Students will apply for either a Tier 4 visa or short term study visa, depending on their pathway and how long the student will be in the UK for each period of study. Due to the part time, flexible nature of the programme, many students may only need to apply for a short term study visa instead of a Tier 4 (usually for full time international students).
Further information about visas is available on the Home Office website:
Short term study visa
Tier 4 visa

How will students apply for a short term study visa?
Students will not need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) or a £1000 deposit for a short term study visa. However, they need to be very clear about when they will be studying in the UK and for how long as this will depend on the type of invitation letter that they will be provided. This visa will allow students into the country for a maximum of 6 months. If the student is attending short sessions as part of a distance learning course then they will need to visit for no more than 56 days in a 6 month period to allow for successive short term visa applications to be made.
For students to apply for a short term study visa, they must have first received an invitation letter from the University of Manchester to study. To receive this, they will need to apply to the course through the university, and have received and accepted an unconditional offer. Students can apply for the short term study visa online, but will need to travel to a visa centre in order to enrol their biometrics (photograph and fingerprints). This does not have to be a British embassy, though some countries may not have a visa centre, which means that some students may need to travel to a different country to do this. A list of visa centres can be found here.
Information about applying can be found on the Home Office website.

Transferring credits

Can students transfer credits from another course to supplement the LEAP programme?
Yes, this is possible under the Principles and Guidance for the Application of the Accreditation of Prior Learning (AP(E)L): see the policy document here.
Where the PG Certificate is a standalone programme, AP(E)L will be permitted up to a maximum of 15 credits.
Where the PG Diploma is a standalone programme, AP(E)L will be permitted for up to a maximum of 45 credits.
Master’s Degree: 60 (not dissertation or equivalent).

Is it possible for a student to progress from a PG Cert onto the next level of the programme if they did not originally apply for it?
Yes. We want to make the course as flexible as a possible. You can only exit with one certificate, but if you haven’t exited from the programme you can progress to the next level if you have passed all the course units adequately.
For MSF candidates, this needs to be agreed with your sponsor Operational Centre (OC).

Can a student take a course unit as a standalone course?
MSF staff can take a standalone course unit as a CPD unit (Continuing Professional Development). The application and fees for this will need to be discussed with the relevant OC.
This option is currently not available to external candidates.

Entry requirements

What Academic Background do you need?
You will need to have a 2.1 undergraduate degree or international equivalent in a relevant subject to the course. Professional experience in a humanitarian organisation can also be considered as an alternative, on the provision that you include evidence of such experience in your application, as well as evidence of your academic capability. This can be demonstrated through a written essay or personal statement illustrating that you can communicate clearly, are highly motivated, and have experience of prior learning. The final decision on admissions will be taken by the academic committee at the Humanitarian and Conflict Response Institute (HCRI) at the University of Manchester.

What if you don’t have an appropriate academic background?
The universities can consider significant relevant professional experience as a valid background, as long as you are able to prove that you have the necessary skills to follow an academic course at Master’s level. You can contact leapmsf@manchester.ac.uk for more details.

Read about the entry criteria here.

Mode of Study

Can you follow LEAP alongside your job?
The programme is being created in order for you to have the opportunity to access a range of courses in humanitarian action while working. The flexibility of the course will enable you to integrate your studies into your career path, as you will have the opportunity to progress towards an MSc over a 1 to 5-year period.

How much time will you need to devote to studying for LEAP?
The programme has a variety of delivery modes so that it can be as flexible as possible. The time it will take to complete the programme depends on the pathway that you choose. The programme is made up of a mix of online, face to face and blended courses. Please see the Course Handbook for example pathways.
One credit is equivalent to 10 hours of study.

How will the e-learning modules be delivered?
E-learning is delivered using digital technologies through an online interface. Each course provided online will have an induction for students to familiarise with the technology and to meet their peers and students. Students will access courses while off campus but this does not mean that their experience will be undermined by the distance as they will have access to a student community site. Low bandwidth connection can hamper the accessibility to the online course.

How much face-to-face teaching is there?
The core modules all have an element of face-to-face teaching, which takes place over two weeks in each Semester. Each module has two days of teaching, and the core modules are taught in pairs meaning that each week of face-to-face teaching has four days in total across two modules. There are also a number of optional modules offered through LSTM which are taught face-to-face, often over a two-week period. You can find more about individual courses on the Module List page.

How do you choose which courses to study?
The choice will depend on which formula you choose and can be tailored to your individual interests and your career path. There are some mandatory courses for the postgraduate certificate and diploma, as well as for the MSc. There is also a wide range of optional courses. Please see the Course Handbook for example pathways.

Student Support

What academic and welfare support will be available for students?
Both universities have a welfare support system for students (for LSTM, click here for more info. For HCRI, click here for more info). Regarding academic support, both universities’ teaching and academic staff is available to help students.