FAQ for students

Frequently asked questions for UG and MSc students.

If you have any issues that Student Services may be able to help with, please check the following FAQ to see if we can help you resolve any problems that could arise during your period of study.  If your question is not answered here, please contact the Informatics Teaching Organisation.  

If you are a prospective student, there is a separate Under-Graduate FAQ available.

Where is the Informatics Teaching Office?

The Informatics Teaching Office (ITO) can be found at Appleton Tower, Level 6. If you need to contact us, please visit out Contact Information page.

What should I do as a new student?

If you are an undergraduate student you will need to meet with your Personal Tutor who will enrol you on your courses and confirm your attendance. Before you meet your Personal Tutor, you can pre-select your preferred course choices using the PATH tool. PATH is an online application that helps you select your courses from your Degree Programme Table. You can use it to explore your options and see the resulting timetable. Please note that PATH does NOT enrol you on your course choices - your Personal Tutor does this. Once you have selected your preferred courses using PATH, you can send your choices to your Personal Tutor by simply pressing a button. You will then meet with your Personal Tutor to discuss and finalise your course selection. See here for more information: PATH.

If you are a postgraduate taught student you will need to attend the Induction session where your attendance will be confirmed and your Personal Tutor allocated.  You will then need to meet with your Personal Tutor who will advise which courses to choose. As with undergraduate students, you should use the online PATH tool to pre-select your course choices and send your selections to your Personal Tutor. If you are unable to attend the Induction session, you will need to visit the ITO once you have your student card, and we will confirm your attendance.  You should then arrange to meet your Personal Tutor as soon as possible.  You can also find information on matriculation from Student Systems.

What should I do as a returning student?

The process for confirming your attendance is similar to your first year; your Personal Tutor will enrol you on non-Honours courses and confirm your attendance.  All students must use PATH to pre-select their course choices prior to meeting with their PT.

Late arrival to the University?

The deadline for all undergraduate and postgraduate taught students to arrive is Friday the 29th of September.  This deadline may be extended for those students who have informed the School in advance that they will be delayed and have been given permission for a deadline extension by the College Office.  Students who know they will be arriving after this date should contact ITO as soon as possible with the reasons for their late arrival.
 
If you are not here for Induction week, if you are an undergraduate student you must contact your Personal Tutor as soon as possible.  If you are a postgraduate taught student, please contact your Personal Tutor once you have your student card so you can complete matriculation process. If you are unable to meet with your Personal Tutor before the arrival deadline, please contact the ITO as soon as possible.

When will I be appointed a Personal Tutor?

If you are an undergraduate student, your Personal Tutor will be appointed in early September and appear on your MyEd page in due course. 
 
If you are a postgraduate taught student, your Personal Tutor will be allocated to you when you arrive.  Please contact the ITO if there is a reason you need to know this information in advance. 

How do I matriculate?

You can find information on matriculation from Student Systems.  Postgraduate taught students will have their attendance confirmed by the ITO as part of their matriculation; please note that you will need to have your student card before this can be completed.

How do I get a student card?

Information on getting your first student card is available from Information Services.  If you have lost your student card, you can get a replacement card from a Card Help Desk.      

Forgotten or can't find PIN for student card?

If you don't know or have forgotten the PIN for your student card, you can find this out or reset via MyEd's Card Pin section.  If you have any further problems with your student card, you can contact Card Services who will be able to help with your query.

I need access to Appleton Tower?

If you do not have access to Appleton Tower and are registered on an Informatics course, please either visit the ITO and we can organise this for you or contact us, stating your student number and the long number of your card (beginning 100100).  If you require access to a particular room in Appleton Tower or the Informatics Forum, please contact us so that we can confirm you have the relevant permissions before we give you access to these rooms.

How do I choose my courses?

If you are a Honours or MSc student, you will be able to choose courses that fall within your Degree requirements using the PATH online tool.  These courses should also fit with your Degree Programme Table.  Your Personal Tutor will be able to advise you on course choices.  

Can I choose external courses?

This is possible if it falls within the choices of your Degree Programme Table and you have met the pre-requisites of the course.  Depending on the course, you may also need to obtain the permission of the lecturer. Please note that some external courses may have limited spaces so you would need to make this request as soon as possible.

I need to change my tutorial group?

If you're unable to attend the tutorial group you have been allocated, please go to the Theon Student Portal at student.inf.ed.ac.uk. This portal has personalised information about your courses. You can request a change to your tutorial group; this may take a day or so to change. If you do request a change, you will need to wait overnight to see the change. Please bear in mind that if a tutorial group is already full it may not be possible to move into it.

Missing a tutorial?

If you know that you will miss a tutorial or plan to attend another tutorial that week in its place, please contact the relevant tutor/s directly to let them know.

I need a coursework extension?

Please contact the ITO with any coursework extension requests, outlining the reason for the request and how many days extension you may require.  Please note that extensions are only given in cases of severe or unforeseeable difficulty.  Any course-work submitted late without an extension having been agreed will be penalised and may not be assessed. The policy on extensions can be found here.

When will I be examined?

First and second year courses (Non-honours) are examined at the end of the semester in which they are taught.  Third and fourth year courses (Honours) are examined at the end of semester 2.  The majority of taught Masters courses are examined at the end of semester 2, although some semester 1 course lecturers elect to examine at the end of semester 1.  For semester 1 only Visiting Students, a special exam sitting of semester 1 courses normally taken in year 3, 4 or 5 is provided in December.  The School policy on the timing of examinations can be found on the Teaching Committee pages.

Confirmation of study letter required?

If you require a letter confirming that you are a student at the University of Edinburgh or other official documentation, you can contact the Student Information Point who can provide this for you. 

Need a transcript?

You can request a transcript from Student Administration.  The ITO does not provide official transcripts for students however we can print out a copy of your EUCLID record if an unofficial transcript of studies can suffice - please contact the ITO to request this.

New or Forgotten DICE password?

Please visit the Informatics Password Portal to set an initial password.  If you need your DICE password to be reset, please contact Computing Support

Struggling with coursework?

Please contact your Personal Tutor as soon as you know you are having problems. Other options available for help are InfBase who offer additional support and advice on all Informatics taught courses, particularly non-honours courses and the Maths for Informatics courses taught in 1st and 2nd year.  The Institute for Academic Development runs workshops to help with study skills for students.

Is there disability assistance?

The University welcomes students with additional needs and we strive to maintain equal opportunities for all, creating "reasonable adjustments" to curricular requirements to ensure that students are not disadvantaged. The Student Disability Service can offer a wealth of advice and support to students with both existing conditions and those which have developed during the course of their studies.

Problems affecting studies?

It is inevitable that many of us will be faced with difficult situations at some point in our lives and we understand that your studies may be affected by these. There is a network of support available to students, and you may find it useful to speak to the Student Counselling Service, the Chaplaincy or Nightline. Where you feel that your performance in assessment has been affected by your personal issues and that you can provide supporting evidence, you should approach your Personal Tutor about applying for Special Circumstances. The Advice Place has a drop-in advice centre which can offer advice and information on health, disability issues, finance, accommodation, academic and legal matters, plus specific information for international and mature students. As with many issues noted here, if you do find yourself in a difficult personal situation, it is important that you inform your Personal Tutor as early as possible in order that we can help you access as much help as possible.

Visa queries?

The International Office is a central point for all non-UK students to go to for assistance, advice and support.

Accommodation problems?

Whether you are experienced at living independently or are moving for the first time, the University Accommodation Service are on hand to offer advice and residential support.  The Advice Place also has a guide on Searching for Accommodation.

Computer problems?

Please contact Computing Support with any computing issues that you have, including printer problems and regaining access to your DICE account. The ITO will not be able to offer assistance with this as we do not have the necessary IT expertise.  If the printers in Appleton Tower have run out of paper, you can collect more from the ITO office. 

Financial Problems?  

If you are unable to pay your fees, you must contact the Finance Department as soon as possible.  Further advice is available from the EUSA Advice Place.  The Advice Place will also be able to offer guidance on applying for Discretionary Funds

Careers advice?

There is information on Careers Services, career events and career presentations from companies on our Careers page.  In addition, you can find out information about part-time teaching support opportunities on our Vacancies page

I am unable to get hold of my Personal Tutor?

If you have requested a meeting with your Personal Tutor and not heard from them or have an urgent matter to speak to your Personal Tutor about, please contact the ITO.  We will try and enable you to contact them as soon as possible or will refer you to the Senior Personal Tutor if appropriate.