Student support FAQs
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions.
What do I do if...
- I need information on matriculation?
- Please contact registry if you have any questions about the matriculation process.
- I was not here for Freshers' Week?
- It is vital that you contact Registry as soon as possible to confirm your matriculation.
You also need to come in to see us (at the Student Support Office) so we can confirm your attendance and ensure that you are registered on the correct courses.
- I need a letter confirming that I am a student?
- The Student Support Office can provide confirmation of status letters for many organisations/circumstances including council tax. Please get in touch with us in the Student Support Office.
- I would like to change a course?
- Please speak to the relevant course organiser and subject area secretary. The earlier in semester you request a course change the more likely this will be approved.
- I miss a tutorial?
- Tutorials are an integral part of your study and you should make every effort to attend these as failure to do so may result in penalisation. If you have missed a tutorial, you MUST contact your tutor to account for your absence and find out what preparation is required for the next tutorial. Similarly, if you know in advance of any good reason why you will not be able to attend a tutorial, you should inform your tutor at the earliest opportunity and be prepared to catch up on any missed coursework.
- I miss a deadline?
- If you cannot complete your coursework in the allotted time-frame, you should contact the relevant Tutor or Course Organiser at the earliest opportunity to request an extension. Please note that extensions are only given in cases of severe or unforeseeable difficulty and requests must be accompanied by a medical certificate and/or letter from your Personal Tutor. Any course-work submitted late without an extension having been agreed will be penalised and may not be assessed. Please note that computer problems are not accepted as an excuse for late submission.
- I need an academic reference?
- When you graduate you will be given a Final Profile which you should keep safe. This serves as both a professional and academic reference.
- I need to speak to my Personal Tutor?
- Your Personal Tutor should be your first port of call for academic advice and guidance as well as for providing academic references. It is advisable to contact your Personal Tutor by email to arrange an appointment unless you know his or her office hour(s). If your Personal Tutor is not available for any reason, you should visit the Student Support Office who can put you in touch with the School's Senior Tutor or another relevant Academic member of staff.
- I have failed an examination?
- Please see you Personal Tutor in the first instance. If your Personal Tutor is not available please contact the Student Support Office (contact details at foot of this page) .
- I have failed to progress to honours?
- You should speak to your Personal Tutor as soon as possible to discuss the options available to you, or please contact the Student Support Office.
Further support and guidance on academic appeals can be obtained from the EUSA Advice Place:
- I am struggling with coursework?
- Please speak to your Personal Tutor as soon as you know you are having problems.
- I wish to take an Authorised Interruption of Study?
- Students who require a leave of absence exceeding four weeks in duration should apply to the Dean of Undergraduate Studies for an Authorised Interruption of Study (AIS). An AIS will not normally exceed one academic year and supporting evidence (such as medical certificates) must be provided. Students wishing to apply for AIS should contact the Student Support Office (contact details at foot of this page) to complete a request form and provide relevant documentation. This will then be sent to the Dean's office who will contact you directly to confirm the outcome. During the period of absence it is your responsibility to provide a current postal contact address and to ensure that any legal requirements imposed by your funding or grant authority are met. You must also check their University email account regularly for communications from the University. AIS is not permitted unless there is satisfactory evidence of illness or other circumstances beyond your control which justify such a measure.
- I wish to transfer to another degree programme?
- Students wishing to transfer into another degree programme within the School of Education should contact the Student Support Office (contact details at foot of this page) as early as possible to complete a transfer request form. It should be remembered that final authorisation of transfers lies with the Senior Tutor and that whilst transfer to a different degree programme in CHSS is possible, it is not automatic and some transfers are not possible, particularly where there are tight subject limits and minimum entrance grades for degree programmes. Students wishing to transfer into another School within CHSS should contact the Senior Tutor of the School into which they wish to transfer to explore the possibility of transfer. Transfers into another College to those which extend the period of study must be approved by the Dean of Undergraduate Study. There is a strict deadline for such requests (usually mid-March) and students will be informed of the outcome in May.
- I wish to withdraw permanently from the University?
- Please contact the Student Support Office (contact details at foot of this page) as soon as possible in order that we can notify Registry. You should also discuss your intentions with your Personal Tutor. Please note that your e-account will become inactive shortly after leaving the University therefore you should inform your email contacts and be sure to copy all important data to a personal account. It is your responsibility to inform your Local Authority.
- I need to transfer to a different university?
- You will need to speak to the University you wish to transfer to; they will advise if your transfer is possible. You will then need to speak to your Personal Tutor.
- I have a disability?
- The University welcomes students with disabilities and we strive to maintain equal opportunities for all, creating "reasonable adjustments" to curricular requirements to ensure that students are not disadvantaged. The Student Disability Service can offer a wealth of advice and support to students with both existing conditions and those which have developed during the course of their studies.
- I have health problems?
- The University offers a variety of support services to maintain the health and well being of students. Please see the Health and Welfare pages for details.
It is advisable for you to register with a GP as soon as possible on your arrival in Edinburgh.
- I am absent through illness?
- It is important that you contact your Course Organiser and Secretary as soon as possible to record your non-attendance of classes. You may self-certify up to seven days. For more than that it is necessary to submit a medical certificate. Absences of up to four weeks duration are permitted and it is your responsibility to ensure that you can catch-up with your coursework. If your period of absence exceeds 4 weeks, you will be required to apply for a temporary Interruption of Study. Please contact the Student Support Office to help you through this process. If you feel that your illness has significantly affected your progress, you can apply for consideration of Special Circumstances. If your illness prevents you from dealing personally with your academic affairs, you may nominate someone (e.g. a parent) to act on your behalf however we must receive confirmation from you in writing before we will communicate with a third party.
- I have personal problems?
- It is inevitable that many of us will be faced with difficult situations at some point in our lives and we understand that your studies may be affected by these. There is a network of support available to students, and you may find it useful to speak to the Student Counselling Service, the Chaplaincy or Nightline. Where you feel that your performance in assessment has been affected by your personal issues and that you can provide supporting evidence, you should approach your Personal Tutor about applying for Special Circumstances. The Advice Place has a drop-in advice centre which can offer advice and information on health, disability issues, finance, accommodation, academic and legal matters, plus specific information for international and mature students. The chaplaincy also offers a support service to all students.
In some cases you may wish to take time off from your studies and the Student Support Officers can guide you through this process. As with many issues noted here, if you do find yourself in a difficult personal situation, it is important that you inform the Student Support Office as early as possible in order that we can help you access as much help as possible.
- I have had a bereavement/family crisis?
- Let the Teaching Secretary know and they will ensure that your course organiser and all relevant staff are aware of the situation and are able to offer support during this time. This may include giving you an extension on coursework deadlines. The Student Counselling Service and the Chaplaincy Centre may be able to offer you emotional support.
- I have financial problems?
- If you are unable to pay your fees, you MUST contact the Finance department (Feepayment@ed.ac.uk) at the earliest opportunity in order to find a solution. Further support is also available from the EUSA Advice Place. The Advice Place will also be able to offer guidance on applying for Hardship Funds.
- I have a problem with my accommodation?
- Whether you are experienced at living independently or are taking the plunge for the first time, the University Accommodation service are on hand to offer advice and residential support.
- I need advice on study skills?
- Many students find it difficult to settle into academic life and make the transition from school to University. The Centre for Teaching, Learning and Assessment (TLA) offers advice and documentation on effective learning and also runs Study Skills workshops throughout the year.
- I need careers advice?
- Our dedicated Careers Service offers practical and impartial advice to undergraduates on a variety of topics including career planning and advice and guidance on application and interview techniques.
- I have computer problems?
- Please contact Information Services.
- I need childcare?
- Please see the Childcare web pages for details of our nursery facilities and available support.
- I am an international student?
- Each year the University of Edinburgh plays host to a large number of students from all around the world. Our International Office can help with any queries you may have whether immigration or English language requirements or simply advice on living in a foreign city for the first time.
Student Support Office contact details
This article was published on Feb 17, 2014