Travel approvals, Fieldwork and Risk Assessments

Risk assessments

Wherever and whenever you travel there will be some form of risk involved.  It is compulsory, regardless of your destination, to assess the risks associated with your trip and that a risk assessment is in place before any travel commences or booking made.  If you are planning to travel on University business (e.g., conference, research fieldwork) you will require a risk assessment and pre-travel approval.  In Humanities, all Schools follow the current University guidance at  Travel | Compliance and Risk | StaffNet | The University of Manchester  

In addition to the risks involved in travel, any other risks associated with the teaching or research activity also need to be assessed. Students who are required to travel for course related work will be insured under the University travel insurance provided that necessary risk assessments are carried out prior to the planned trip or activity, approval has been obtained and travel booked through the University’s approved supplier. Your School Safety Advisor (email address below) will be able to provide guidance on the School travel approval process. Depending on the destination, travellers are strongly encouraged to prepare their risk assessment 3 months in advance to allow sufficient time for approval and travel booking.

For ethical risk associated with research, you will also need to assess the risk level or applications under UREC consideration, please see the University Ethics website. For applications under the remit of Divisional/School review, Please see:

Travel approval and insurance

University uses AIG, the University’s insurance company’s risk indicators and FCDO foreign travel advice as guidance to categorise travel destinations as low, medium, high, or extreme risk. The University Insurer’s AIG Travel Assistance website can be accessed through here (requires creating an account with the University’s Insurance policy number).

The risks associated with fieldwork are not necessarily confined to travel related risks. All hazards associated with fieldwork needs to be carefully considered and assessed. All individual and group fieldwork require a School approval prior to the start of the fieldwork.

Travellers should follow the travel flowchart and comply with the University Travel Policy. For trips to high risk countries, travellers must seek appropriate approval before travel. Further information on the University Travel Policy can be found on Travel. Please also refer to the University Business Travel Insurance Procedure website for information on what to do in an emergency.


Fieldwork off-campus training

  • TLCO210 Managing Health and Safety in Off Campus Activities -Fieldwork This training will help you understand and appreciate the value of systematic management and planning to fieldwork activities. Drawing on the principles of Risk Assessment and integration of Health and Safety into the overall management process.
  • TLCO300 Principles of Risk Assessment E Learning Management of Health and Safety at Work Regulations require you to assess risks to health and safety of anyone that may be affected by your activities. This course will cover methods for identifying hazards and assessing risks, how the perception of risk is influenced by many factors, and how using successful control strategies can minimise the risk of damage/injury.

Application process

Fieldwork - Applications to undertake fieldwork should be made using the Postgraduate Research Fieldwork Application Form and send to at least 3 months in advance of the start of the fieldwork.

Other travel – Applications for other travels such as overseas conference and summer school, please complete the risk assessment with your supervisors and once approved, send it to at least 1 month before the travel date.

Travel booking

For travel bookings funded by the University of Manchester, please see further information on how to make booking arrangements in the Funding section of the PGR handbook.

The University is committed to cutting carbon emissions. Please consider sustainable travel options when planning your journey by checking information on the website below.

Advice on travel health, vaccination and protection

If you are travelling outside of the UK for fieldwork or other study visits, you should see the Occupational Health Service’s website for advice on safe travelling, vaccination and protection recommendations.  If you have concerns around pre-existing health conditions or medication which may be affected by the trip and vice versa, please seek advice from your GP and the University Occupational Health Service before arranging the travel.

Export control

PGRs must discuss with their supervisor and take into consideration whether the activities they carry out could be subject to export control regulations as their studies and research may include movement of tangible and intangible "controlled" items and whether a licence would be required. Export control training is highly recommended and available online.

PGRs travelling internationally need to be aware of the export controls that apply to goods, technology, software and/or knowledge “exported” outside of the UK. If you are uncertain whether export controls apply to you, please contact the Export Controls Compliance (CCC) Team at for assistance.

Contact details

For further information on travel, fieldwork and risk assessment approvals please see the School website and contact your School Safety Advisor by using the relevant email address below: