Student support summary
An overview of student support within Informatics and the University.
Student support within Informatics
As an Informatics student we encourage you to play an active part in the Informatics student community, where we can help you develop your academic skills and become a confident learner within your programme of study.
We encourage you to reflect on your academic goals and your progress towards them; important goals for informatics students are a solid foundation in programming languages and mathematical ability which lay the ground work for future learning.
- The Student Support Team in the Informatics Teaching Organisation (ITO) located in Forest Hill provides a first point of contact for all student enquiries. In most cases the Student Support Team can deal with your enquiry directly, but will direct you to the relevant person/university section as appropriate.
Every undergraduate student is assigned a Personal Tutor. Each year, you have at least two one-to-one meetings with your Personal Tutor at which you review your past performance and discuss plans for your future studies. Personal Tutors also provide advice if you are encountering difficulties with your studies, for example because of health issues.
The Informatics Personal Tutoring Statement provides detailed information on
- how find contact information for your Personal Tutor,
- the structure of the one-to-one meetings,
- what you have to do in order to get effective support from both your Personal Tutor and other support staff.
It is essential that you familiarise yourself with the contents of this statement, referring back to it as needed throughout your time in Informatics.
If have some sensitive issue you do not wish to discuss with your particular Personal Tutor, have some complaint about your Personal Tutor, or wish to change your Personal Tutor, please contact a member of the Student Support Team in the ITO.
Your Course Lecturer or Course Tutor can help with specific questions relating to a course. Tutors take a note of tutorial attendance and participation to feed back to your Personal Tutor to create a strong link for academic support.
INFBase provides a drop-in service to support student learning. INFBase tutors can help you understand problems, providing explanations (not course work answers!) that enable you to tackle course work with more confidence and a greater understanding.
Informatics Computing Support maintain all the computers in the informatics domain inf.ed.ac.uk, aiming to help you get the best use out of the DICE computing environment, and to help you with computer-related problems and faults.
It is invariably true that students learn as much from one another as from formal lectures and tutorials. We recommend that students form groups of three or four to discuss issues and difficulties they might have in the courses they do. This is often best done informally with people you know are doing your particular course(s). If you are not able to form such a group informally then we can put you in touch with any other people who might also want to form a group. Just let an INFBase tutor know your details.
For first year students, peer support is available via InfPALS. This is a set of peer support groups that you can sign up to and will help you in your learning via discussion with peers.
As you go through the work, you may well be able to help one another with understanding. Discussion helps clarify precisely what you do or don't understand. If, after discussion you still do not understand something then INFBase is for you. Go along as a group (or individually) to talk to an INFBase tutor, who will help you with the issues you do not understand.
Computers never do what you want them to!. So help is always welcome. We have joined with Compsoc to restart the Cascaders scheme. CompSoc volunteers from later years of Informatics courses can choose to select a toy from a box in the corridor/lab which they will place near to them. This is an indicator that they are open to receiving questions from others who might need computer-related help. Volunteers can choose to display a toy when they have the time to help out. At other times they may have looming deadlines and not take a toy, as they would rather not be interrupted. Please respect this.
There are many opportunities for you to get involved in group activities as part of the Informatics student community, here are some examples!
Year Representatives provide the vital link between students and staff who support their learning. Year reps feed back on the content and delivery of courses at Staff Student Liaison meetings and at weekly meetings with the Director of Teaching, to influence the overall student learning experience. School Representatives are elected to represent hundreds of students within our School.
There are many opportunities for enthusiastic Student Ambassadors to become involved in the recruitment of the next generation of Informatics students!
CompSoc (the University of Edinburgh Computing and Artificial Intelligence Society) is a student-run organisation with strong ties to the School of Informatics. CompSoc aims to provide a social network for students with an interest in computers, encourage both novice and advanced computer users to further educate themselves and others and build relationships between students and professionals in the IT industry.
Edinburgh University Hoppers support women in technology by organising events that concentrate on gathering women interested in technology, as well as providing the opportunity for them to develop their skills in this field.
Tech Meetup is a monthly excuse for developers and the tech community around Scotland to get together and learn new stuff from each other - Student Tech Meetup (STMU) is the local Informatics student version held the first Wednesday of every month during semester time.
In addition to academic support offered by your Personal Tutor and Course Tutor/Lecturer, the University's Institute for Academic Development also offers a range of courses and study workshops to support you in your studies.
The Advice Place offers free impartial advice for students.
Disability Service offers guidance and support for disabled students.
The Student Counselling Service offers counselling to help students work through their difficulty, understand themselves better and find ways of managing their situation.