Biomedical Teaching Organisation

Academic Families

When entering university for the first time you may have lots of questions – finding answers from students already on your programme is one way to help you quickly settle into your new life and make the most of your time at Edinburgh.

Student leaders with the Impact award 2017

Impact Awards for Academic Families

Our peer support programme, Academic Families, has won Impact awards in 2016 and 2017 in the category of Best Peer Group Support.

Best Peer Support Group Impact Award

More about our programme 

More about our Academic Families Scheme on the Edinburgh University Students' Association website.

Biomedical Sciences Academic Family

Key facts

  • Academic Family support is available throughout your first year of study with 2-3 family meetings each semester.
  • Each meeting is tailored to your needs, with plenty of time to ask questions and get advice on a variety of issues - there are no silly questions!
  • All new undergraduate students within Biomedical Sciences are automatically allocated into an Academic Family, each led by two or three trained senior students. You'll recieve a welcome email telling you when your first family meeting is, and you'll meet your family leaders during Welcome Week.


There are no set dates for the Academic Family meetings - each family arranges their own according to the needs of the group. As an idea, your timetable may follow roughly this pattern:

Semester 1

Welcome Week or Week 1 - Introduction to the University of Edinburgh

Week 5 - Settling in and time management; reflections on University life so far; progress and problems

Week 10 - Coping with stress and exam/revision technique

Semester 2

Week 3 - Making the most of Semester 2

Week 7 - Looking ahead; making course choices for next year

Got any questions?

Dr Deborah Shaw is the academic lead on the Academic Families scheme and is happy to answer any questions you may have.

Dr Deborah Shaw

Lecturer and UG Senior Personal Tutor

  • Biomedical Teaching Organisation (BMTO)
  • Edinburgh Medical School: Biomedical Sciences

Contact details



Medical School (Doorway 3)
Teviot Place

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