Overview of student support
We are keen to provide effective support to your studies and in other areas such as career advice and personal problems.
Formal support is provided through electronic communications from staff, seminars and scheduled meetings of the students with their Personal Tutors. We also encourage students to approach appropriate members of staff whenever they need advice on specific matters not covered by the formal support system. Members of staff who are most likely to be able to answer your queries are your Personal Tutor, the Deputy Course Leader, the Course Administrator, Module leaders (for module-specific issues) or project supervisors (for project-related questions).
Module leaders should be your first contact for questions relative to the taught material and assessment in specific modules. For very specific questions, you can also approach other members of staff involved in the course as appropriate (e.g. individual lecturers when seeking clarification on their lectures).
Your personal tutor
You will be allocated a personal tutor, or advisor, early in the course. The role of the tutor is to provide guidance in meeting the course objectives, act as first point of contact should a problem arise and to guide, help and support the student. Ideally, you will have the same personal tutor throughout the course, although if this is not possible (e.g. you wish to do the research project offered by your tutor), an alternative tutor will be allocated.
Your personal tutor will follow your academic progression throughout the course and will be your first point of contact to discuss problems affecting your learning in this course (e.g. academic, financial, illness etc.).
You will have three scheduled meetings with your tutor, in November, February and May. Through these meetings, your tutor will review your progress on the course and help you identify and address potential problems or weaknesses. In particular, the last meeting will focus on the progress of the research project after the first two months of laboratory work
You should feel free to contact your personal tutor or meet them informally whenever needed. Your tutor may also contact you in case you are experiencing personal problems or for concerns regarding your progress on the course (e.g. poor attendance, low marks). In these cases, the role of your tutor will be to try and help address the issues or direct you to the appropriate support service offered by the University.
Your tutor will also help you to set up a personal development plan (PDP) if you chose to do one. PDP is an optional component of the course that aims to help you develop professional skills and improve your applications for jobs or PhD positions. PDP consists of a set of short exercises that you can submit to your personal tutor for feedback and advice. These exercises include for example writing a CV, reviewing your professional skills or building a professional web page.
We strongly encourage you to do some of these exercises and share the results with your tutor. This is the best way to provide your tutor with the information they will need to give you personalised career advice and write strong reference letters in support of your applications.
Early in the course, students will appoint two class representatives who will provide a formal channel for staff/student communications.
The class representatives will consult the class to identify issues of concern to the students and will communicate with the Course Tutor any matter they wish to bring to the attention of staff. The Deputy Course Leader will provide support and advice to the representatives to help them consult their peers (for example by making meeting rooms available).
During the academic year, the class representatives are expected to attend three meetings of the Module Leaders Committee (November/March/June) and three meetings of the Staff-Student Committee (November/March/July). The representatives will also be asked to meet the external examiner at the end of the academic year.
Computer, printing and library facilities
When it is not used for teaching, the computing room, DU23, is available for you for quiet work on networked computers, with access to the Internet and a local printer. However, it must NOT be used for social activities or eating.
Printing from the DU23 printer is free. Paper supplies and replacement printer cartridges can be asked for at the reception desk on C Floor or by email to Jane Shields.
Internet and printers can also be accessed from other locations within the University (e.g. libraries and Information Commons) when the DU23 room is unavailable, but printing charges will apply whenever using printers others than that in DU23.
Students are advised to use the comprehensive journal, textbook and search facilities of the Health Sciences Library, Floor C, Medical School, as well as the main University Library at Western Bank. This can be accessed over the University PC network.
Studying, socialising and eating
Meals and snacks are available from 1828 coffee shop on C Floor of the Medical School and also from the shops in the main entrance of the Hospital on B Floor and in the Hospital cafeteria on D Floor.
Please refer to the Course Handbook for information on on-line networking and Uspace.
Student Services Information Desk
The Student Services Information Desk in the Union of Students Building is a first point of contact for all student-related administrative enquiries. It is also the application point for replacement U Cards and University Financial Help (ie Hardship Fund). A wide range of information is available, along with relevant leaflets and other publications, forms, etc.
English Language Support for overseas students
Foreign students often achieve lower marks than they expect simply because their English is not good enough to participate in tutorials or express their ideas precisely in essays. If you need a dictionary to follow the lectures or plan to use one in examinations, then you are probably in this category and in order to improve your marks in this course, we strongly recommend that you invest some of your time in improving your English.
The University of Sheffield English Language Teaching Centre (ELTC) provides various courses to international students who wish to improve their English. The Centre also offers individual advice to scientists and help with the writing of assignments, reports, and dissertations.
Please refer to page 16 of the Course Handbook.
The Careers Service at the University of Sheffield
The Careers Service offers advice and support on any job or career related issue to students of the University. For students at postgraduate level the help offered by the Careers Service frequently centres on a clarification of next steps and the provision of practical help to achieve them (e.g. how to put together strong job applications, how to do well at interview). The Service has a very full range of information resources and can advise on a variety of job search strategies. The Service offers a very wide-ranging programme of careers related `Events´ throughout the year. Individual career guidance is offered by advisers through appointments.
The University of Sheffield Union of Students
The Union is run by students, for students. It provides advice and support on a wide range of issues, both academic and practical (e.g. visas, accommodation etc.). It also manages social activities, sports and other leisure pursuits.