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CIS Undergraduate Handbook - Support - 2014/15

When you start your course you will be assigned a personal development adviser - you will meet your personal development adviser in a small group regularly during first year, and periodically in subsequent years. You can also arrange a personal meeting at any time if you wish to discuss matters in private. If you are in any doubt, you can find out who your personal development adviser is by looking at your Pegasus record.

In addition to your personal development adviser, each year has a year adviser of studies who is more likely to be able to help with timetable and other curriculum related issues. In 2014-2015 the year advisers of studies for each year are:

  1. Murray Wood
  2. Isla Ross
  3. John Levine
  4. Sotirios Terzis
  5. Marc Roper

If you feel that you cannot talk to your personal development adviser or your year adviser of studies, you can talk to Alex Coddington, the Director of Undergraduate Teaching, or Professor Ian Ruthven, the Head of Department.

Resolving Problems

If you think something is wrong with how we teach, assess or administer a course it is helpful for us to know - although all lecturers in the department have considerable experience of teaching they might be teaching this material for the first time or external factors may be impacting on the course differently this year from the past. It is worth speaking to the lecturer as soon as possible if you perceive a problem - things can usually be corrected or at least the reasons explained. If you have questions or problems with the course as a whole, you should talk to your year adviser of studies in the first instance.

You may also refer issues to the Staff Student Committee representatives for your year (details of this can be found in the following section). There is also a University complaints procedure, for use where it has proved impossible for you to resolve a difficulty satisfactorily within the normal departmental procedures.

Staff Student Committee

The Departmental Staff Student Committee includes representatives of undergraduates of all years; first year representatives are elected some weeks into the first semester, and other members at the start of the academic year. The role of the Committee is to discuss and suggest solutions to student problems arising within the Department, and to act as a channel of communication between undergraduates and academic staff, particularly through encouraging contact between staff and students. Issues for the staff student committee should be raised through your class representative, but only if the issue has not been handled satisfactorily by the lecturer involved or the year adviser of studies. The Chair of the Staff Student Committee is Isla Ross.

What to do in an Emergency

The University provides a list of emergency contacts which are available between Monday and Friday 9-5pm. Outwith office hours the University Security Services are available 24 hours a day to provide assistance with emergencies, first aid, and security incidents and can be contacted on the following numbers.

  • 3333 using the internal phones from any academic building
  • +44 (0)141 548 2222 (emergency use only)
  • +44 (0)141 548 3333 from off-campus or mobile phone

If you need urgent emergency help call the security desk on 3333 from any internal phone (including the lifts). Alternatively, call 999 from your mobile but then please inform security (0141 548 3333) who can prepare for ambulance/police arrival.

If you find a fire, raise the alarm with an alarm point - this will automatically lead to evacuation and call the fire service. Always raise the alarm first before taking other action! If the fire is very small you may then try to extinguish it using a fire extinguisher but always keep on the exit side of the fire. Never use water/foam extinguishers on electrical equipment (including near computers!).

In addition, the contact details of various external support groups that can offer advice outwith office hours, such as the Samaritans, Nightline and NHS 24, can be found via the following web page on Emergency Contacts & Support.

External Support Services

The University has many support services. The University's Student Support & Services web page provides an overview with further links to some of the services that are available.

Disability Service

The Disability Service offers advice and assistance to students (and prospective students) with disabilities. Assistance is available in relation to claims for Disabled Student Allowance, advice on the purchase and use of special IT equipment, and liaison with academic staff on behalf of students, e.g. in relation to adjustments which might be made in the light of a disability.

Julie Sobocinski is the Departmental Disability Contact (DDC) if you wish to get advice or discuss issues within the department.

Study Skills Service

The Study Skills Service is located on the 6th floor of the Livingstone Tower and organises a series of Study Skills Workshops on topics such as: assignment planning, writing and reviewing; critical thinking; time management. The Study Skills Service also provides support to students in the form of individual consultations.

Maths Skills Support Centre

The Maths Skills Support Centre aims to provide academic support to all students who are studying mathematics at Strathclyde or who require an element of mathematics in their chosen degree. The Centre focusses on support for 1st and 2nd year undergraduates but tries to help all students with their mathematical needs. The Maths Skills Support Centre is located in Room 308 in the Livingstone Tower and is open on Monday-Friday, 10.30am-3.30pm. If you are struggling with maths, either drop in to the Centre or contact them to arrange an individual appointment.

Careers Service

The Careers Service is located on the 6th floor of the Livingstone Tower and is a recognised leader in its field. Its mission is to 'enhance students' employment prospects' and in this they are consciously contributing to the University mission to be 'The Place of Useful Learning'. Strathclyde students and graduates are targeted through the Careers Service by a wide range of international, national and local employers; market research amongst these groups regularly identifies the Careers Service as amongst the most highly regarded. It deals with over 30,000 enquiries each year from students, graduates, employers, university administrators, academic colleagues and government departments and agencies.

The centre is not only useful for seeking a first permanent job upon completion but also for finding summer work and placements.

Student Advisory & Counselling Service

The Student Advisory & Counselling Service is a confidential service for UK undergraduate and postgraduate students at the University of Strathclyde, available at any time during your university career.

The Student Advisory & Counselling Service is a good place to start for students experiencing difficulties which prevent them from making the most of the many opportunities which the university offers. You are welcome to explore any issue with one of the staff, whether this is personal or related to your academic studies, from the past or something that is on-going. Staff are also happy to make suggestions about other sources of information and support.

The Advice Hub

The Advice Hub is located on Level 5 (access via Level 6) of the Students' Union building and is the Union's free independent advice and support centre. It can help with academic appeals, financial problems and personal matters, as well as general enquiries. Whatever your issues are, you can discuss them with expert staff by appointment or just dropping by.

The Advice Centre

The Advice & Support service, is located on Level 1 of the McCance Building and provides general advice on a number of matters, providing either general over-the-counter information or by making a one-to-one appointment with an Adviser. The Centre has General Advice drop-in sessions on Mondays and Thursdays from 2pm to 4pm.

The Student Financial Support Team

The Student Financial Support Team provide advice and assistance to students on financial matters, including Undergraduate and Postgraduate degree funding queries, applications for the Discretionary Fund, applying for support from SAAS and the Student Loans Company, and advice regarding short term loans. The team is located within the Advice Centre in the McCance Building.

The Chaplaincy Centre

The Chaplaincy's function is to support the University’s students and staff - a community comprising more than 40 different nationalities - and to provide opportunities for religious worship and celebration, as well as social interaction. The University has a full-time Chaplain who can be found within the Chaplaincy Centre on Level 2 of the Graham Hills Building (GH208). The Chaplaincy also runs The Cafe on John Street which sells reasonably priced food and drinks.

Centre for Sport and Recreation

The Centre for Sport and Recreation offers all members of the University the opportunity to participate in physical activity as a means of achieving a healthier lifestyle, to develop new physical skills and to maintain or improve their sporting talents. The department is located in the Sports Centre at the top of John Street, very close to the Students' Union. Facilities include a twin court Sports Hall containing 6 badminton courts and facilities for all major indoor games; a separate activities room which houses fitness classes and a range of martial arts; 6 squash courts, a weight training room and a well-equipped cardiovascular fitness suite containing 70 exercise machines and personal weight training stations.

In the Royal College Building, accessed from John Street, there is a 20yd x 10yd 4-lane swimming pool, above which is a traditional gymnasium. The University Playing Fields are sited at Stepps. Facilities include grass soccer and rugby pitches and a floodlit sand-dressed artificial turf hockey pitch. The Centre offers a range of fitness classes, fitness testing, health and lifestyle consultations, weight and fitness room inductions, sports coaching classes, and swimming and lifesaving classes. The Centre also provides facilities for many of the Sports Clubs run through the Students Sports Union. The Centre co-ordinates the University/Glasgow City Council Sports Bursary programme for elite sportsmen and women and the R & A Golf Bursary Programme, details of which are available from the CSR Office or the website.

Student Health Service

The Student Health Service works in conjunction with the NHS to enable students to access appropriate services and to register with a general practitioner (GP). The Service provides support with health related issues, assistance to access other professionals and advice on a range of health issues, minor illness and common ailments. The Student Health Service Nurse can assist in promoting positive health and wellbeing by providing advice and information on looking after your health. Appointments with the nurse can be made Monday-Friday. The Student Health Service is located on level 2 of the Livingstone Tower.


Meningococcal meningitis and/or septicaemia is a rare but potentially fatal illness which can develop very rapidly. Meningococcal meningitis is caused by an organism commonly found in the throats of healthy people. Young children and students are two of the key vulnerable groups because their immune systems are often working hardest.

There are different types of meningitis - the most common being Groups B and C. While there is now a safe vaccine for Group C only young children have received this routinely, but it is available through your GP. Because of lack of coverage for Group C vaccination and the lack of a vaccine against Group B, it is very important that students should be alert to the possibility of meningococcal infection if they, or any of their friends/flat-mates, develop a rapidly progressing flu-like illness, particularly when characterised by any of the following symptoms or combination:

  • Fever/vomiting
  • Limb / joint / muscle pain
  • Cold hands and feet / shivering
  • Pale or mottled skin
  • Breathing fast / breathless
  • Rash (anywhere on the body)
  • Very sleepy / vacant / difficult to wake
  • Confused / delirious
  • Severe headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Dislike of bright lights
  • Seizures

Diagnosis can be extremely difficult but early intervention can be very effective and life saving- if in doubt, seek help early from your GP, the NHS 24-hour helpline (08454 24 24 24), the Meningitis Research Foundation 24-hour (08088 003344) or if very concerned by calling for help on 999.

See Full symptoms alert chart


ChildCare Scotland runs a custom-built Nursery on the campus for pre-school children of all ages, on a paying basis (the Nursery Manager can be contacted on 0141 553 4125 / 0141 548 4125). Places are however limited so early application is best.