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7: Pastoral Care and Welfare

Personal Tutor

For MRes students (during the taught component of the programme), the Director of MRes acts as Personal Tutor. Your Personal Tutor is somebody you can talk to about any matters, academic or personal, on which you need guidance or advice. There are designated weeks throughout the academic year when you are required to meet with your Personal Tutor (please see the section in this handbook on ‘Engagement and Assessment‘). However, if you have questions or concerns at other points throughout the year that you would like to see someone about, the Director of PhD/ Director of the MRes/ Teaching and Learning Manager (Research) are there to discuss them. Every member of staff has feedback hours, so in any week during term time you can use those hours to meet with the appropriate person. Please note that academic staff might not be available in person during vacation.

Once you progress to the PhD, pastoral arrangements will change. Generally, responsibility for pastoral care rests with the supervisors. However, pastoral care for PhD students with one supervisor will be provided by the Director of PhD. It is not intended that PhD students meet with their personal tutor at prescribed times throughout the year (as for UG and PGT). However, the personal tutor will be available as required. It is expected that this arrangement will be particularly useful for students working with one main supervisor, whereas students working with two or more supervisors will continue to seek/receive pastoral care from one or other supervisor. Where a student is working with one supervisor and that supervisor is the Director of PhD, additional arrangements for pastoral care of that student will be put in place, so that the student will always be able to seek the advice and support of a member of faculty, who is not their Supervisor.

Help is always available when things are not going as well as you would like. Your meetings with your personal tutor might cover issues such as:

  • How to prioritise your module work
  • Concerns about application forms for internships/jobs
  • Gaining feedback on your personal development, such as skills that you should develop
  • Changing modules
  • Your non-academic achievements to help your tutor write your reference
  • Advice on further study.

By discussing your personal and academic development, as well as your future career plans, your personal tutor will be in a much better position to write you a reference at a later date should that be required.

Postgraduate Senior Tutor

If you have a concern or problem that is perhaps more serious, it is a good idea to go straight to the PG Senior Tutor. You can, of course, discuss any problems with your Personal Tutor, but they may feel that because of the nature of your concern, the Senior Tutor is in a better position to offer advice. As such, your Personal Tutor may refer you to the Senior Tutor. He or she will be able to offer help and advice or point you in the direction of other people
and services within the University. Your Senior Tutor will respect any confidences (subject to University guidelines on confidentiality). If you wish evidence of mitigating circumstances to be lodged on your file then the Senior Tutor is the best person to speak to.

Things you may need to discuss with the Senior Tutor include:

  • Illness that is affecting or might affect your coursework, tests or exams
  • Family or personal circumstances that are affecting or might affect your coursework, tests or exams
  • Problems with managing your workload, which is starting to cause you anxiety.

Academic Lecturers

The lecturers that you see within your modules are there to provide you with guidance on their subject area. You may only see them for one to two hours per week within a large lecture. However, every member of academic staff has two feedback hours per week. You should make use of these, as a means of clarifying any areas of confusion within previous lectures or to discuss future topics. You can also use them to discuss areas that you both find interesting. You should always ensure you are prepared for your lecturer’s feedback hours. You shouldn’t be using them as a means of asking the lecturer to repeat the lecture, but should attend them with specific questions or areas of confusion that you would like clarification on.

Seminar Tutors

For core modules you will have small group classes with seminar tutors, who go over topics within your module in much more detail than in lectures. These are essentially feedback sessions and should be used as such. You are in much smaller groups than in lectures, so this is a good opportunity to discuss questions and concepts and receive feedback on your approach to problems and understanding key concepts. These tutors also have feedback hours every week during term time. It is important that you take the opportunity now to clarify areas of confusion and develop your understanding of the topics by further reading and discussion with your peers and tutors.

Postgraduate Office

The MRes/PhD Office is a key resource within the Department and for MRes/PhD students is located in room S0.91 (close to the main department entrance on the ground floor). If you have questions about your timetable, problems with clashes, or queries about Departmental procedures, you should go to the MRes/PhD Office in the first instance. If you have medical evidence that needs submitting, you should go there to do it; assignments that need submitting are also handed in there.

Director and Deputy Director MRes/PhD

You can see the Director of MRes/PhD, Professor Manuel Bagues during his feedback hours if there is anything you need to discuss.

You can also contact the Director of MRes, Professor Sharun Mukand, and the Director of PhD, Professor Bhaskar Dutta, during their feedback hours.

University Support

The University has a comprehensive network of support and welfare services available to support you in times of difficulty. There is often more than one service which may be able to help and services work together to ensure that any problems are dealt with swiftly and effectively. Find out more about the Support Services (warwick.ac.uk/supportservices ) available to help you.

Director of Student Support and Dean of Students

The Dean of Students and the Faculty Senior Tutor and colleagues in Student Support work closely together to help students in times of need. If you need help during your time at Warwick, it is likely that one of them will be able to help. The Dean of Students' Office also provides help and advice to members of academic staff who are Personal Tutors and is responsible for the University's Personal Tutoring system.

For more information about the work of the Dean of Students' Office please visit their website.

The University Counselling Service

The University Counselling Service provides an opportunity for all students at any level and at any time of study at the University of Warwick to access professional therapeutic counselling so that they may better develop and fulfil their personal, academic and professional potential. There are a wide variety of services, including individual counselling, group sessions, workshops and email counselling.

t: +44 (0)24 7652 3761 or internal extension 23761
e: counselling@warwick.ac.uk
w: warwick.ac.uk/counselling

The University Mental Health Coordinators

The Mental Health Coordinators are available to provide you with mental health difficulties with advice, information and support as needed to facilitate academic work and participation in University life. All communication is confidential and informal. You are encouraged to disclose your mental health issues either at enrolment or at any time afterwards so that they can actively take part in how best to manage any difficulties that may arise.

To arrange an appointment with a Mental Health Co-ordinator, please visit their website and complete the appointment request form online:
w: warwick.ac.uk/mentalhealth
e: mentalhealth@warwick.ac.uk

Disability Services

Disability Services work to help students with disabilities, such as hearing and visual impairments, dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, AD(H)D, dysgraphia, mobility impairments, Autistic Spectrum Disorders, ‘unseen’ disabilities such as asthma, epilepsy and diabetes, and any other conditions to address barriers to study.

Disability Services can help make reasonable adjustments to facilitate study, provide advice and specialist services to students. If you experience any access issues in the department due to a disability, please contact the MRes/PhD Office (Room S0.91, Natalie Deven, in the first instance).

t: +44 (0)24 7615 0641 or internal extension 50641
e: disability@warwick.ac.uk
w: warwick.ac.uk/disability

Postgraduate Mentoring

The University has a postgraduate peer mentor-ship scheme to provide support for postgraduate students- encouraging integration and a vibrant postgraduate experience. The online forum allows students to either ask a question directly to a selected mentor or to the whole community of postgraduates. Postgraduate mentors are experienced postgraduate students or Early Careers Researchers who work in a team to provide support, guidance and practical tips on various topics relevant to student life. Further information is available here. (https://warwick.ac.uk/services/library/pghub/mentorship/)

The Student Union and Welfare Advice

This service offers a range of independent advice and guidance, in particular, in housing law and finance/social security. It also offers advice in other areas, including academic problems.

t: +44 (0)24 7657 2824 or internal extension 72824
e: advice@sunion.warwick.ac.uk
w: warwick.ac.uk/advice


The Residential Life Team

All students who have accommodation on campus are provided with a network of support staff called the Residential Life Team. The Residential Life Team work and live alongside students within the Halls of Residences and are a key part of the University’s welfare and support network. They also have responsibility for enforcing discipline on the rare occasions it is required.

t: +44 (0)24 7652 4704 or internal extension 24704
e: seniorwarden@warwick.ac.uk

The Chaplaincy

The Chaplaincy provides pastoral and spiritual care to all members of the University community, of all faiths and none. They provide a space for worship and quiet reflection and the leadership of religious worship. The Chaplaincy is home to the Anglican, Roman Catholic, Free Church, Islamic and Jewish chaplains, who are always glad to meet students socially and pastorally. All faiths (and those with none) are welcome. The University also has a dedicated Islamic Prayer Hall immediately adjacent to the Chaplaincy building.

t: +44 (0)24 7652 3519 or internal extension 23519
e: chaplaincy@warwick.ac.uk 
w: warwick.ac.uk/chaplaincy

The Health Centre

Students resident on campus should register with the University Health Centre. The Health Centre provides primary health care GP services to registered patients, two medical practices with both male and female doctors, nurse practitioners and practice nurses, sexual health clinics, travel clinics and immunisation facilities.

t: +44 (0)24 7652 4888 or internal extension 24888
w: uwhc.org.uk

The Student Funding Team

The Student Funding Team offers advice and guidance on all aspects of financial support. The team administers the University Hardship Fund.

t: +44 (0)24 7615 0096 or internal extension 50096
e: studentfunding@warwick.ac.uk
w: warwick.ac.uk/studentfunding

The International Student Office

The International Student Office has a team of qualified advisers to assist you on all immigration and related matters (including student visas, travel overseas and post-study work), working closely with other University and Students’ Union services to offer induction and generalist support with welfare matters and crises. There are also regional specialists and include a team who administer student exchange/study abroad programmes.

w: warwick.ac.uk/immigration

w: warwick.ac.uk/studyabroad

w: warwick.ac.uk/worldatwarwick

University Security Team

The Security Team exists to support the University’s overall aims by ensuring as far as possible, a safe, secure and friendly environment for students, staff and visitors, free from injury, personal threat, damage and theft.

Emergency: Internal system 22222
t: +44 (0)24 7652 2083 or internal extension 22083
e: security@warwick.ac.uk
w: warwick.ac.uk/security

University Nursery

The University nursery based on campus provides wrap-around care for children of staff and students, who are aged between three months and five years. Further details can be found on the Nursery web page. (warwick.ac.uk/nursery)