Information for current postgraduates

Personal Tutor

School of History, Classics and Archaeology Personal Tutoring (Postgraduate Taught Students) 2021/22

Aims of the Personal Tutor System

The Personal Tutor system will provide you with a named member of academic staff, your Personal Tutor, who will support you throughout your time at the University, giving you academic support and a route to pastoral support. You, as a Tutee, will work with your Personal Tutor to reflect on your academic performance, how this contributes to your aspirations and helps you to engage as a member of a community of learners. You will also be supported throughout your time at university by a Student Support Team. More details on the Personal Tutoring system can be found at:  My Personal Tutor

Your Personal Tutor

Your Personal Tutor will:

  • help you to review your academic progress and performance regularly;
  • help you to think about your learning, how it contributes to your future development, prepares you for your time at university and your career;
  • help you to become a confident, active member of a community of learners;
  • help you to deal with any concerns or problems that might affect your studies and refer you to other staff in the School and support services as appropriate.

You can find out who your Personal Tutor is via MyEd

Postgraduate Taught Students

During the taught part of your degree programme your Personal Tutor will get in touch to schedule meetings to enable you to settle in and support your development as a member of your subject area’s academic community. You will also have one further scheduled individual meeting with your Personal Tutor during the research part of your degree programme (as appropriate). 

If you are a continuing student, we will endeavour in as far as possible to keep you with the same personal tutor throughout the course of your studies, however, this is not always possible due to staff leave, which does require some reallocation of personal tutor allocation.

 One-to-one Meetings:

As a postgraduate taught student you will have at least two individual meetings with your Personal Tutor (this will normally be your programme director but is not always the case) in the taught part of your degree programme and one individual meeting in the research part (usually dissertation writing). You will have one meeting during each semester. The Semester 1 meeting will take place during Welcome Week, the Semester 2 meeting will take place at any point. Each meeting will be scheduled to last for around 20 minutes.  Your Personal Tutor will contact you to advise how to sign up for your first meeting. You should contact your Personal Tutor at the beginning of Semester 2 and the start of your MSc dissertation to sign up for further meetings at a mutually convenient time.

Generally, the Semester 1 meeting will involve discussion of postgraduate requirements, your programme, your course choices, and specific aspects of the Edinburgh system (e.g. marking scheme). The Semester 2 meeting will usually comprise a discussion of your academic progress, with specific reference to the marks you have achieved. Your MSc dissertation meeting will also give you a chance to discuss academic progress and to ask for advice on post-degree plans.

In addition to the scheduled meetings, students are welcome to contact their Personal Tutor  to arrange an appointment at a mutually convenient time.  To arrange this, you should contact your Personal Tutor by email.  Appointments are likely to be online in the first instance unless there is a particular need to hold them on campus.

Group Meetings:

You will also be involved in at least two group meetings (in the taught part of your degree programme) and other activities designed to support your development as a member of an academic community. There shall be one group meeting in Semester 1 and Semester 2.

The first group meeting will be organised by your programme director and will take place early in Semester 1. You, and all the other students on your programme, will receive an invitation to attend this online meeting. Your Programme Director will discuss the programme structure, curriculum and assessment, including the criteria for progression to the dissertation. The Programme Director will also talk to you about the nature of research-led teaching and assessment, the transition from undergraduate to postgraduate study and research, and the core postgraduate values of autonomy, responsibility and initiative. The meeting will also reinforce information given in induction about the support services available to postgraduates and the Special Circumstances procedure.

The group meeting in Semester 2 will be organised by Subject Area Graduate Officers. This meeting will introduce you to the dissertation component of your degree. It will focus on the transition to dissertation research and project/time management. All of the students in your year and subject area will attend this meeting. Each of these meetings will last approximately one hour.

How to access HCA's Graduate School Office

Each School has a Student Support Team working with Personal Tutors to support you and for postgraduates, this is the Graduate School Office.   

Your first point of contact for general enquiries (e.g. matriculation, fees, assessment deadlines, University procedures) should be the Graduate School Office.  For specific academic enquiries (e.g. the academic content of the programme, your research ideas and plans), you should contact your Programme Director.

At the beginning of the academic year 21/22 physical distancing is still in place, in line with Scottish Government and public health advice on preventing the spread of Covid-19. While this is the case students should access our local Graduate School Office by email in the first instance,

Our Graduate School Office staff are working 9-5, Monday to Friday as normal. If your query cannot be resolved by email they will set up an online appointment with you. Online appointments will be arranged via Microsoft Teams. The Graduate School Team also have dedicated time throughout the week to set up an in-person appointment with you on campus if your query cannot be resolved by email or via an online meeting.

Out of hours support (out of office hours during the week or any time at the weekend) is available through the University Security 24/7 contact number: 0131 650 2257. For further details on out of hours support please visit

Senior Tutor

Each School has a Senior Tutor who oversees the effectiveness of personal tutoring within your School.  If you feel that you cannot speak to your Personal Tutor (and sometimes people simply do not get along due to no fault of either side) please contact your Senior Tutor.

  • The Senior Tutor for all postgraduate students in HCA is the Director of the Graduate School. For 2021/22 this is Dr Wendy Ugolini in Semester 1 and Dr Ben Russell in Semester 2.
  • If you wish to request a change of Personal Tutor, please contact the Senior Tutor.