How you are supported
Natural Sciences has a strong sense of community which includes everyone involved with the course; the learning community, course staff, peer mentors, the society and the student body.
Support for your learning
Most of the support for your learning is provided directly by the schools through workshops, tutorials and office hours which allow you to ask questions about the material you are learning and clear up any confusion.
In addition, Natural Sciences has a Subject Advisor for each of the disciplines that contribute to the course. This is someone who you can go to see if you are having problems with the fundamentals of a subject or if you want to talk about modules you would like to study in future years.
The Director of Natural Sciences has overall responsibility for the course and works closely with the Subject Advisors to make sure that what you study in each subject makes sense and that teaching and support is a good fit for students.
Support for personal development
All Natural Sciences students are allocated a personal tutor when they begin their course who will be with them throughout their studies. You will meet with your personal tutor at key points through each year to discuss how things are going, your results and your continuing development. You can also arrange to see your personal tutor outside of these times should you have any issues or concerns that you want to discuss.
Personal tutoring is overseen by a Senior Tutor who makes sure that personal tutors are familiar with what they need to know to provide the support which students need.
The Student Experience Manager organises activities to enhance the experience of students on the course, working closely with the society and peer mentors to ensure new students feel welcome and are aware of opportunities available to them. They also run the first year skills module so you will have lots of interaction with them about study skills and settling into university.
Putting Students at the Centre of what we do
We encourage students to be actively involved in the course community and shaping their learning experience. We have an Education Rep whose role is to drive development to help improve the student experience and we hold Learning Community Forums in each term where students can provide feedback through their course reps about how the course is going and changes they would like to see.
We have both a peer mentoring scheme and a course society which are entirely student-run and are an integral part of the course community. They contribute to and organise a range of interactions and support for students throughout all years of study including pastoral and social opportunities.
The University provides administrative support for all students through the Student Service Centres on campus. This is where you go to amend personal details, deal with issues with module registration, make changes to your course, ask questions about timetabling and exams or to request official documents or letters.
The Financial Support Team are available at set times in different Service Centres around campus to ask questions related to managing you finances and financial support which is available. They can help you to plan a budget and can direct you to sources of funding that you might not be aware of.
Welfare Officers are there to provide an alternative to personal tutors and are there to support students in times of crisis and provide a link between students and other support services.
The Disability Support Team provides support for students with a long-term condition, disability or specific learning difference. They do this through making recommendations for accommodations such as additional time in exams, additional support during classes, alternative formats and even accessible transport or accommodation.
Comprehensive healthcare is available to all staff and students at the University through the Cripps Health Centre located on campus. This is the largest single-site health practice in the UK and offers a range of services including a GP practice, minor procedures, physiotherapy, dental practice and mental health support. The University also runs a health promotion initiative called HealthyU which is aimed at providing advice and guidance on staying healthy during your studies.
There is a free counselling service located on campus which students can self-refer to if they need a little extra support. They offer professional counselling for students experiencing personal, emotional or mental health problems during their studies including one-to-one sessions and groups.
The Chaplains are an important part of the University community providing faith support for staff and students. They are a multi-faith team which includes chaplains from Christian, Muslim and Jewish faiths. They are there to listen confidentially and can provide support to help you practice or explore your faith.