Information for undergraduates

Personal Tutor Statement

School of History, Classics and Archaeology Personal Tutoring Statement (Undergraduate Students) 2019-2020

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 during 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:

Your Personal Tutor

Your Personal Tutor is a member of academic staff familiar with your general area of study and the expectations of academic work in your discipline.  Working with your Personal Tutor will help you to:

  • become a more confident learner in your discipline and play an active part in your academic community.
  • reflect on your academic progress and make the most effective use of your academic feedback.
  • develop the range of skills and attributes required for success at university and beyond.

You can find out who your Personal Tutor is via MyEd

During your early years at the University your School will schedule meetings with your Personal Tutor to enable you to settle in and build a relationship.  Contact will gradually become less formal in the latter years of study, however you are actively encouraged to request meetings with your Personal Tutor as required throughout your time at the University

In the School of History, Classics and Archaeology, the number of scheduled* one-to-one meetings you will have with your Personal Tutor will depend on which year you are in. These meetings will typically be of 15 minutes’ duration.

  • Year 1: one-to-one meetings with your Personal Tutor in Welcome Week, in week 5 of semester 1 and in week 6 or 7 of semester 2.
  • Year 2: one-to-one meetings with your Personal Tutor in Welcome Week and in weeks 6 or 7 of semester 2.
  • Honours years: one-to-one meeting with your Personal Tutor in weeks 1 or 2 of semester 1.  

*‘Scheduled’ means that the School has made a reasonable proactive attempt to arrange a meeting between a Personal Tutor and a Tutee.

For the initial meetings in semester 1:

  • First-year students will be told how to sign up for their meetings at the School ‘welcome’ meeting (Tuesday 10 September 2019).
  • Second-year students will be told how to sign up by an email sent from the Student Support Office (late August).
  • Honours students will need to ask either their Personal Tutor or the Student Support Office to confirm their attendance during Welcome Week; confirmation of attendance must be done in person, not by email or telephone. An email from the Student Support Office will tell you how to sign up for your meeting with your Personal Tutor.

Detailed advice on preparing for your meetings can be found on the Institute for Academic Development website:

The later one-to-one meetings (after Welcome Week) are intended to provide support and guidance and, in the case of the second semester meetings, to review your progress. An email from the Student Support Office will tell you how to sign up for these meetings, and your Personal Tutor will be in touch as well.

You can contact your Personal Tutor at any time by email or telephone or by calling on them at their office, if you wish to speak to them. All Personal Tutors hold weekly office hours, the times of which are advertised on their doors. If you cannot get hold of your Personal Tutor, you should get in touch with the Student Support Office (contact details given below) or with the Senior Tutor.

In addition to the one-to-one meetings, there will be meetings by year groups, put on by the School, as follows:

  • Year 1: in weeks 1 and 4 of semester 1, and in week 6 of semester 2.
  • Year 2: in week 5 of semester 1.
  • Year 3: in week 6 of semester 1.
  • Year 4: in week 7 of semester 1.

These meetings will be on topics of particular interest to all students in that year group in HCA. More details will be provided in circulars inviting you to specific year group meetings.

If you are not on campus (e.g. studying abroad for a period) then your meetings may take place by telephone, live internet call, or a web conferencing application. Email exchanges are not considered to be meetings unless they take place within a pre-agreed timeframe to enable you to have a “conversation” (e.g. if you are overseas and emailing within a 24-36 hour period to take account of time differences).     


Support Contacts

Within each School there are a number of other roles working in partnership with Personal Tutors to make sure the Personal Tutor system works for you.   

Student Support Team

Each School has a Student Support Team (SST) working with Personal Tutors to support you.

You are very welcome to call on the School Student Support Office team between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m., Monday to Friday. The Student Support Office is in G.08, on the ground floor of the School building (William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place).

The friendly and knowledgeable Student Support Team can provide advice and support on a range of matters.

  • If you are not sure who to approach on any matter, the Student Support Office will always serve as a first point of contact.
  • If you have personal problems or ill-health that affect your studies they can advise on extensions and special circumstances.
  • If you wish to change your courses or your degree programme they can guide you through the process.

As a student you have responsibility for reporting any special circumstances, such as illness or personal problems, which affect academic performance or attendance. Student Support maintains a confidential record of these circumstances. For more information on the support provided by Student Support please see

Email enquiries should be sent to

The School has two Student Support Officers:

  • Judith McAlister (0131 650 3845)
  • Julie Nicol (0131 651 1800)

They are assisted by a Student Support Assistant:

  • Eva Snedden (0131 650 4303).

Judith is also the Coordinator of Adjustments for the School.

The Student Support Team also coordinate the monitoring of attendance and engagement to enable us to identify where individual students may be experiencing difficulties and to ensure that timely and appropriate intervention can be delivered to provide support and guidance. This work is undertaken by the Student Experience Assistant:

  • Jessica Rees (0131 650 4590)

The Student Support Office is overseen by the School Student Support Manager:


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 School Senior Tutor is available for consultation by Personal Tutors and Personal Tutees regarding any aspect of the Personal Tutor system.

The Senior Tutor in HCA is Dr Sandra Bingham (; 0131 650 6689).

Peer Support

The School’s Peer Support scheme, run by volunteers, helps pre-honours students with general information and advice. Further details can be found on the Peer Support page:

Further Information

Support for Students information on the HCA School Student Intranet is here:

On the following university page you can find answers to all kinds of questions, including information on academic life, health and wellbeing and money, fees and finances: