MAHSC School’s Conference


This case study outlines a project led by the Public Programmes Team’s to help the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre (MAHSC) engage with local school pupils.

MAHSC is a partnership between The University of Manchester and six NHS organisations, uniting leading healthcare providers with world-class academics and researchers. MAHSC is one of only five AHSCs in England set up to interconnect existing research activity; generate health benefits; economic development; enterprise; innovation and wealth creation.


  1. Engage with over 100 14-18 year old students, and their teachers, in Manchester with the work being carried by MAHSC and the ‘Well North’ programme.
  2. Hold an interactive event on the themes of smoking, alcohol and obesity and health in November 2014.
  3. Enable students to generate ideas about potential approaches that could be used to improve health in their community.
  4. Support students in developing a creative presentation of their ideas as part of a performance at the MAHSC conference.

What we did

We organised the a one day MAHSC Schools Conference, which brought together over 90 secondary school pupils, teachers and biomedical researchers / clinicians to discuss new ideas about tackling public health issues.

We arranged an agenda which included researchers speaking to pupils about their work, impactful drama performances, hands-on activities and saw pupils working in small groups to tackle the challenge of improving health in their community. The aim of the day was to make pupils actively think creatively about how we can improve public health.

Following the Schools Conference we ran further workshops led by playwright Sarah Woods, who has produced a number of Wellcome Trust funded performances and plays.

The workshops involved a smaller group of 15 pupils, who worked on translating their ideas into a 30 minute performance, which was rehearsed and then performance at the MAHSC “Our Impact on Health” conference, which was attended by over 600 of the leading researchers, clinicians and academics from across Manchester.


  • 600 researchers, clinicians and other professionals watched the performance from The University of Manchester
  • 100 pupils from across Manchester
  • 1 x 30 minute performance

End of project report

See our MAHSC School’s Conference End of Project report.