Transitioning to University and Welcome Week
Whether you are coming straight from school to University, or returning to study after a break, preparing for your studies will help you transition into University life
If you are joining us as a new student: welcome!
This is an exciting time but being new can also bring challenges. Don't worry. Support is available from a range of sources and there are many ways you can help ease your transition to University.
Our top tips
- Make sure you know about your degree programme (see below)
- Attend Welcome Week events held in the School and get to know other students on your programme
- Attend Study Skills sessions offered by the School so you are prepared for University level study
- Get involved in a society! Edinburgh University Students' Association (EUSA) societies offer you the chance to develop your interests, network and meet like-minded people
- Become part of the student community by participating in PEER support, volunteering as a class rep, or becoming involved with EUSA.
Know about your degree programme
It can help with your transition to University life if you know about your degree programme and the courses you can take. You can find programme and course information through the DRPS and PATH.
- Degree Regulations and Programmes of Study (DRPS) provides information on degree programme structure, compulsory courses, and credit requirements.
- PATH is a degree programme builder that allows you to look at the courses you can take on your degree programme.
Attend Welcome Week
Welcome Week takes place the week before teaching commences. It offers a programme of events across the University for new students. During Welcome Week you will:
- Attend school induction events
- Meet your Personal Tutor
- Register for your courses
- Matriculate with student administration
- Confirm your attendance with Student Support
- Explore the University and have the chance to meet fellow students.
Some of the things you should participate in during Welcome Week include:
- School Welcome Meeting – This meeting is compulsory for all new students. You will be welcomed to Divinity by the Head of School and introduced to other key staff who will support you in your studies. You will also receive your Welcome Pack which includes details of your Personal Tutor, your course enrolment form, details of Study Skills Sessions, and other important information. School Welcome Week events are a great way to meet other new students, as well as staff, and students who have already been here a year or more.
- Course Options Fair – This event is for undergraduate students who have an element of choice within their degree programme. Schools have ‘stalls’ at the event where you can speak to staff, pick up information and discover some courses you might not have already considered.
- Meeting with your Personal Tutor – During Welcome week you should make an appointment to meet with your personal tutor. At this meeting you can discuss suitable courses to take and finalise your course enrolments.
- EUSA Welcome Week Events - EUSA offers a wide range of events during Welcome Week.
Study skills - becoming an effective learner
If you want to succeed at University and work towards getting the best marks possible you will find the following resources helpful:
- Divinity Study Skills Sessions - The school offers a series of study Skills sessions to new students. These sessions cover subjects such as; effective note taking, presentation skills, how to write an essay, how to use the library, avoiding plagiarism and exam revision. Information regarding these sessions will be provided in your Welcome Pack. We strongly recommend you attend all sessions.
- Institute of Academic Development - The Institute of Academic Development (IAD) offer Undergraduate study development workshops, self-study learning resources, and people you can talk to, to help you succeed in your studies:
- New College Library - Library tours and induction sessions are offered to new students at the start of session.
- Computer Labs – There are two computer labs in New College, the Tower Computing lab, and the William Manson Room. Printers are located in the computer labs.
While some students find the move to University and University-style learning an exciting time, others can find the transition more difficult. If you struggle with your transition to University life, don’t struggle alone. You can find support through:
- Divinity's Student Support Team
- Student Wellbeing Services
- Your Personal Tutor is available for consultation about academic or personal issues throughout the year
- The Student Counselling Service supports the mental health of all students at the University, using short-term counselling and referral to other services
- The Chaplaincy is a safe and welcoming space for people of all faiths and none.
Some of the other people who will support you during your time at University are:
- Senior Personal Tutor – Each school has a senior personal tutor who oversees personal tutoring and works closely with personal tutors. The senior tutor for Divinity is Dr Alex Chow.
- Director of Teaching – Works closely with personal tutors, the senior personal tutor, student support and course managers. They are responsible for the overall delivery of teaching within the School. The Director of Undergraduate Studies for Divinity is Dr Anja Klein.
If you require adjustments to be made to ensure access to lectures, tutorials or exams, or any other aspect of your studies, plrease contact the Student Disability Service as soon as possible.
Other useful links