Each undergraduate in the School is assigned to a Personal Tutor who will provide them with academic advice, guidance on their course choices, regular guidance on their academic progress, and advice on where and how to seek help with personal problems. You will find the name and contact details of your Personal Tutor in MyEd (www.myed.ed.ac.uk).
Your Personal Tutor will always be a member of the academic staff in your Subject Area (or in one of your Subject Areas, if you are a Joint Honours student). The School will ensure that you are not reassigned to a different Personal Tutor more often than necessary. If you are not happy with your Personal Tutor, however, you should talk to the Student Support Officers or the Senior Tutor about this. But requests to change Personal Tutor will be allowed only if there are problems that cannot otherwise be resolved.
You must have a minimum of one scheduled meeting with your Personal Tutor each semester. These meetings will typically be of 20 minutes’ duration. You must also attend a personal tutoring group meeting in each semester.
2.1 Scheduled Semester 1 meeting:
The meeting will take place in Freshers’ Week, and at the meeting your Personal Tutor will also confirm your attendance for you. First-year students will be told how to sign up for their meetings at the School welcome meeting; second-year students will be told how to sign up by an email sent from the Student Support Office. In each case, the procedure will normally involve going to your Personal Tutor’s office and signing up for an appointment.
The meeting will take place either in Freshers’ Week or early in the semester. If it takes place after Freshers’ Week, you will need to ask either your Personal Tutor or the Student Support Office to confirm your attendance for you during Freshers’ 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. The procedure may involve going to your Personal Tutor’s office and signing up for an appointment (if you wish, you could ask your Personal Tutor to confirm your attendance for you at the same time); alternatively, you could arrange your meeting by contacting your Personal Tutor by email or telephone (in this case, you would need to call in at the Student Support Office and ask the Student Support officers to confirm your attendance).
2.2 Scheduled Semester 2 meeting:
The meeting will take place early in the semester—in the case of pre-honours students, once any results from Semester 1 are confirmed. An email from the Student Support Office will tell you how to sign up for your meeting.
In addition to the scheduled meetings, students are welcome to meet their Personal Tutor at any mutually convenient time. To arrange this, you should contact your Personal Tutor by email or telephone, or by calling on them at their office. Some Personal Tutors may ask that you call on them during their advertised office hours.
2.3 Students not in Edinburgh:
If you are not in Edinburgh (for example, if you are studying abroad, or studying for an online degree), then your meetings may take place by telephone, live internet call, or through a web conferencing application. Email exchanges are not considered to be meetings unless they take place within a pre-agreed timeframe and constitute a genuine conversation.
2.4 Preparing for your scheduled meetings:
In the Personal Tutor channel in MyEd, you will find a facility which enables both you and your Personal Tutor to keep records of your meetings and discussions. Before a meeting, you should think carefully about what topics you would like to discuss with your Personal Tutor. If you wish, you can make a note of this in MyEd.
Detailed advice on preparing for your meetings can be found on the Institute for Academic Development website (www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/institute-academic-development/undergraduate/apsupport/tutor). The adaptable resources section of the website contains worksheets which you can use to help you focus your thoughts (www.ed.ac.uk/schools-departments/institute-academic-development/learning-teaching/academic-pastoral/support/resources/adaptable).
2.5 Keeping a record of your scheduled meetings:
After a meeting, your Personal Tutor will record in MyEd that the meeting has taken place; but you are also strongly encouraged to add your own, fuller account and list any points for action. These records will be helpful to you and your Personal Tutor when you review your progress, and they will also be useful to your Personal Tutor if you ask them to write a reference for you. If you are reassigned to a different Personal Tutor, the records will enable your new Personal Tutor to learn about your progress to date.
The notes that you, your Personal Tutor and the Student Support Officers make in MyEd are visible to you and to all authorised staff in the University. However, if the box marked “Confidential?” is ticked, the relevant note is visible only to yourself, your Personal Tutor, the Student Support Officers, the Senior Tutor and the Dean of Students.
2.6 Group meetings:
In Semester 1, the School will also arrange group meetings at which information and advice on matters such as research techniques and ethics, scholarships, study abroad, work experience and careers will be conveyed to Personal Tutees. These meetings will be held separately for students in different years. In Semester 2, the type of group meeting you attend will depend on which Subject Area you belong to. History students will attend group meetings which will address particular issues arising at various points in the History programmes and will help them to navigate their way more effectively through them; for final-year students, the emphasis will be on all aspects of assessment and classification procedures. The meetings will conclude with follow-up discussion with Personal Tutors. Classics students will attend group meetings with their Personal Tutors in which they will receive advice on study skills, critical thinking skills, essay writing, revision, exam technique and other topics. Archaeology students will attend group meetings with their Personal Tutors which will cover general course feedback, coursework and exam issues, course choices, administrative matters, student experience issues, and practical and fieldwork training advice.
You will be notified of these group meetings by email and by other means. Semester 1 meetings will last for an hour and a half and semester 2 meetings will typically last for an hour.
Attendance at the scheduled and group meetings is compulsory, as specified in the General Undergraduate Degree Programme Regulations 2014-15, paragraph 24 (www.drps.ed.ac.uk/14-15/regulations/general.php).