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The University of Edinburgh School of History & Classics

School of History, Classics & Archaeology
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Personal Tutoring Statement (Undergraduate Students) 2015-16

School of History, Classics and Archaeology Personal Tutoring Statement (Undergraduate Students) 2015-16


1. Personal Tutoring

The University’s Personal Tutor system aims to:

  • support students in becoming confident learners in their discipline(s);
  • encourage students to play an active part in their academic community;
  • support students in meeting the challenges and opportunities of university life;
  • support students in developing and reflecting on the range of attributes required for success at university and beyond;
  • encourage students to reflect on the feedback they receive;
  • encourage students to reflect on their academic progress;
  • encourage students to reflect on and develop their graduate attributes.

2. Your Personal Tutor

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 (

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.

2.1 Number of scheduled one-to-one meetings:

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 20 minutes’ duration.

First-year students will have one-to-one meetings with their Personal Tutor in Freshers’ Week, in Weeks 6 or 7 of Semester 1, in Week 1 of Semester 2, and in Weeks 6 or 7 of Semester 2.

Second-year students will have one-to-one meetings with their Personal Tutor in Freshers’ Week, in Weeks 6 or 7 of Semester 1, and in Week 1 of Semester 2.

Honours students will have a one-to-one meeting with their Personal Tutor in Freshers’ Week, Week 1 or Week 2 of Semester 1.

2.2 The initial Semester 1 meeting:

Pre-honours Students

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.

Honours students

The meeting will take place either in Freshers’ Week or in Week 1 or Week 2.  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).

2.3 The other meetings during the year:

First-year students will have three further meetings during the year (one in Semester 1 and two in Semester 2) and second-year students will have two (one in Semester 1 and one in Semester 2).  These meetings will be intended to provide support and guidance to students in Weeks 6 or 7 of Semester 1, to support students and review their progress and course choices with them as they enter Semester 2 and, in the case of first-year students, to review their Semester 1 course results with them once these results are available and to review with them what they learned during Innovative Learning Week.  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.

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.

2.4 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.

2.5 Preparing for your scheduled one-to-one 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
).  The adaptable resources section of the website contains worksheets which you can use to help you focus your thoughts

2.6 Keeping a record of your scheduled one-to-one 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.

2.7 Group meetings:

Personal Tutors in History, Classics and Archaeology do not normally hold group meetings with their tutees, preferring to meet them individually.  However, the School puts on centrally-arranged School Year Group Meetings for all students in Semester 1.  These meetings will be held separately for students in different years, and will consist in each case of a series of short presentations covering such topics as research techniques and ethics, scholarships, study abroad, work experience and careers.  The individual Subject Areas may also put on year group meetings in Semester 2.  You will be notified of these meetings by email and by other means.

These group meetings are not formally part of the Personal Tutor system (your Personal Tutor is unlikely to be involved), but are nevertheless part of the means by which the School supports you in your studies and in your life at University.

2.8  Importance of attendance:

Attendance at the scheduled one-to-one and group meetings is compulsory, as specified in the General Undergraduate Degree Programme Regulations 2015-16, paragraph 24 (


3. The Student Support Officers

In addition to your Personal Tutor, you are welcome to call on the School Student Support Office team between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m.  The Student Support Office is Room G.08 on the ground floor of the School building (William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place).

The Student Support Officers can provide advice and support on a range of matters, including curricula, registrations, degree transfers, special circumstances and ill health, coursework extension requests and many administrative procedures.  If you are not sure who to approach on any matter, the Student Support Officers will always serve as a first point of contact.  Email enquiries should be sent to

The Student Support Officers are:

Ms Jo Wilkie

0131 651 1800

Ms Judith McAlister

0131 650 3845

The Student Support Assistant is:

Ms Eva Snedden

0131 650 4303

The Student Support Officers are overseen by the School Student Experience Officer, who is:

Ms Anne Brockington

0131 650 2505

Further details may be found on the Student Support Office page:


4. The Senior Tutor

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

The Senior Tutor is:

Dr Sandra Bingham

0131 650 6689


5. Contact with other academic staff

Throughout your time at university, you are encouraged to contact the relevant lecturer or tutor for any questions you may have about a particular course, and you may also contact any member of staff for advice about specific research-related issues.

You will also be asked, as a member of the student body, to elect fellow-students from your course and year to represent your views to the academic staff at the course, Subject Area and School Student-Staff Liaison Committees, and at the School Board of Studies.  The School Student-Staff Liaison Committee provides the opportunity to discuss a range of matters relating to undergraduate teaching and the academic experience of students. The function of the School Board of Studies is to approve new courses and sanction amendments to existing ones at both Pre-honours and Honours level for all three Subject Areas.  Participation in these committees allows you to have a say in how your University works.

For further information, see


6. Peer support

The School’s Peer Support scheme is run by Honours (third or fourth year) volunteers and is aimed at helping Pre-honours students with general information and advice.  The volunteers run both topic-focused and drop-in sessions in Potterrow and in the Undergraduate Common Room in the School building (William Robertson Wing, Old Medical School, Teviot Place).  These provide a friendly environment in which the volunteers can share their experience and refer students on to other sources of support within the School and the wider University as appropriate.

For further information and details of sessions see:

The scheme is overseen by the School Student Experience Officer, Ms Anne Brockington ( and is part of the partnership project between EUSA and the University.  For more information on the project see:


7. Further information about the Personal Tutor system

The University’s policies explain what the Personal Tutee can expect from their Personal Tutor and what is expected of them in return:


8. Special circumstances, coursework extensions, degree programme transfers, interruptions of studies, academic appeals, and complaints

Advice on these matters may be found below.  If you are thinking about any of these courses of action, you should consult your Personal Tutor or the Student Support Office in the first instance.

8.1 Documenting and lodging special circumstances:

Applies if you feel your performance has been affected by adverse circumstances.




8.2 Requesting coursework extensions:


8.3 Requesting degree programme transfers:



8.4 Requesting interruptions of studies:

Applies if you require a break from study for personal, medical or other satisfactory grounds.



Students who hold a Tier 4 visa and require an interruption of two months or more should check with the International Office before applying because they will be required to leave the country during the period of interruption.

8.5 Making an academic appeal:

Applies if you wish a decision about marks, progression, degree classification or degree award to be re-considered. There must be valid grounds.



8.6 Lodging a complaint:





9. Other sources of advice and support

Below are some key services offering advice and support to students on a range of issues.

9.1 General:

EUSA:  Main Student Union page:

EUSA:  The Advice Place:

Careers Service:


9.2 Study support:

Institute for Academic Development:

University Library:

Information Services:

Assistive technology:

Advice on plagiarism:

9.3 Student health and welfare:

Student Counselling:

Student Disability Service:

University Health Centre:

9.4 Finance:

Scholarships and Student Funding Services:

University Discretionary Fund for UK students:

University Hardship Fund for EU and overseas students:

Additional financial assistance:

9.5 Advice for international students:



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School of History, Classics and Archaeology
Doorway 4
Teviot Place
Edinburgh, EH8 9AG

Tel: +44 (0) 131 650 6693
Fax: +44 (0) 131 651 3070

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