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6: Pastoral Care and Welfare

Personal Tutor System

There are various sources of student support and guidance available to you within the Department and the University, but the one that you might find most easily accessible is the academic and pastoral support system within the Department.

In the Department of Economics, there is a network of Personal Tutors (PT), and Year Tutors (YT), headed by the Senior Tutor, who works under the overall responsibility of the Director of Undergraduate Studies. Each of these roles carries specific responsibilities. We also have Student Wellbeing and Progression Officers who are available for students based in the Department of Economics. Tina MacSkimming is primarily responsible for students in Year 1 and Inga Turner is primarily responsible for Year 2, and they both look after Year 3. Both officers are based in S0.86. They are also available to speak to you by appointment in person or via Microsoft Teams.

The Senior Tutor is Amira Elasra. You can find details of who the Year Tutors are and how to contact them on the Pastoral support Link opens in a new windowweb pages. You can also make an appointment to meet with Amira or one of the Year Tutors.

Your Personal Tutor

You will be allocated a Personal Tutor (PT), who is the member of academic staff to whom you can turn for confidential advice regarding academic or personal matters. Your Personal Tutor is your first point of contact with the Department and University. New students can find out who has been assigned as their Personal Tutor on Tabula.

Your Personal Tutor is there to guide you through your degree course when you need advice on academic progression and career prospects. Your tutor is also here to help you when things are not going as well as you would like. Perhaps you have concerns about your academic work or need pastoral support. You should email your tutor to arrange an appointment during their advice and feedback hours, either in person or via Microsoft Teams to discuss some of the following things, for example:

  • How your modules are progressing - which subjects you enjoy and which you find more challenging, and prioritising your workload
  • Changing modules
  • Gaining feedback on your academic progress and areas that can be improved
  • Gaining feedback on your personal development, such as skills that you should develop
  • Your non-academic achievements to help your tutor write your reference
  • Your wish to go on an exchange or take up another study abroad opportunity – Personal Tutors will be asked to provide a reference for you if you apply for such schemes
  • Concerns about application forms for internships/jobs
  • Asking about references and how to request them
  • Gaining advice on further study, such as Master's Degrees

It is important that you know your Personal Tutor and that they know you, as this will enable them to provide you with much more effective feedback on your academic and personal development. By discussing your academic and personal development, as well as your future career plans, your Personal Tutor will be in a much better position to write you a reference and you will be in a stronger position having benefited from their expert feedback and advice. Your Personal Tutor will respect any confidences (subject to University guidelines on confidentiality).

Where possible, you will retain the same Personal Tutor throughout your undergraduate career. If your Personal Tutor goes on study leave or is seconded temporarily elsewhere, you will be allocated a temporary replacement except when the interests of continuity suggest a permanent change would be better.

If you wish to change your Personal Tutor for any reason you should contact the Student Support and Progression Officer at opens in a new window.

Year Tutors

The main responsibility of the Year TutorsLink opens in a new window is to act in the role of a senior tutor for their respective year groups. Thus the role of each of the Year Tutors will be based on the following responsibilities:

  • Any medical or personal extenuating circumstances that are affecting your ability to study and/or engage in your degree course. Any evidence should be submitted via the mitigating circumstances portal on Tabula under 'personal circumstances'.
  • Any additional support that you may require from University Support Services.
  • Any concerns you have over your engagement.
  • Any issues relating to Departmental or University rules and regulations.
  • Temporary or Permanent Withdrawal queries.
  • Any problems relating to plagiarism.
  • Concerns that you may not wish to raise with your Personal Tutor.

In addition to this, the Year Tutor may ask to meet with you if the Department or University has concerns about your attendance or engagement on your degree course; in particular if you are missing too many Monitoring Points or non engagement at seminars.

Year Tutors may represent you in University processes, such as in the investigation of plagiarism, other sorts of cheating, exam boards and in investigation or disciplinary committees, although more severe cases may be referred to the Senior Tutor.

The Director of Undergraduate Studies has overall responsibility for the academic progress of all Undergraduate Students and the Senior Tutor and Director of Student Engagement and Progression and the Year Tutors will work with them. They will be involved pro-actively in making contact with students who appear to be experiencing difficulties.  We will use various platforms to make contact with you regarding these meetings which may be face-to-face or via Microsoft Teams.

Senior Tutor

Under the guidance of the Director of Undergraduate Studies, the Senior Tutor (Amira ElasraLink opens in a new window) has overall responsibility for the operation and design of the Personal Tutor system in Economics. The Senior Tutor also directs the Academic and Pastoral Support team involving Personal Tutors and Year Tutors, who may defer cases needing higher-level support, particularly those in which advocacy or representation at a University committee are warranted, to the Senior Tutor.

Another aspect of their role is to review cases of students with poor attendance or study records. When records identify cases of students with poor attendance or with other apparent study problems, the relevant Year Tutor will have the responsibility of contacting students to suggest a review meeting.  If a meeting is required we will use various platforms to contact you such as email and Microsoft Teams. Students might choose to involve the Personal Tutor in this discussion.

Find out more about the Senior Tutor at the Pastoral Support webpagesLink opens in a new window.

Daily drop-in sessions and the Student Wellbeing and Progression Officer

Your wellbeing is important to us and we are always here to help you. If there is something troubling you, or hindering you from focusing on your studies please do make contact with our Academic and Pastoral Support (APS) teamLink opens in a new window. One of the members of the team will be able to discuss your concerns and signpost you to the appropriate person or service when needed. It is important to understand what the mitigating circumstancesLink opens in a new window process is and make the department aware of any extenuating circumstances that could be affecting your degree course.

To support you the departmental APS teamLink opens in a new window provides twice daily drop-in sessions where you are welcome to make an appointment to speak with one of the members of our team. The drop-in sessions will be held during term time. Those held in person will be via the Student Wellbeing room and those held online will be via MS teams from 12-1pm and 3-4pm (British time).

Our Student Wellbeing and Progression Officers, Tina MacSkimming and Inga Turner, are members of the department APS team. They are here to offer pastoral support to students. They are available to discuss concerns about your ability to engage efficiently with your degree course and they will provide you advice on how to apply for mitigating circumstances or extensions. You can meet them in their sessions available through our daily drop-in sessions. Should you need to speak to them or the APS team outside of these sessions, you can email them at opens in a new window to arrange a meeting.

Please note: none of the above meetings is to be a replacement for attending your Personal Tutor meetings.

The University has a very detailed webpage describing how Warwick operates its welfare system. It is important to make yourself familiar with all the services available to you: Wellbeing Support Services

References and referees

When you apply for jobs, postgraduate degrees and scholarships, you will usually need at least one academic referee who has some general familiarity with your work and progress over your degree course. Your Personal Tutor is one person who will normally do this. So, it is important to always attend your personal tutor meetings and stay in touch with your tutor. You can also ask other members of academic staff (i.e. lecturers and professors) to act as referees as well as or instead of your Personal Tutor. So, engaging with your lecturers and tutors is very important to make them familiar with your course engagement. Please note that many class tutors are graduate teaching assistants, completing their PhDs and they will not be able to provide you with a reference and instead will refer you to a member of academic staff.

Before citing anyone as a referee you should seek their advice and permission first. You should ask permissions from your referees in ample time. This is both a matter of courtesy and to give your referee the permission to divulge information about you to third-parties seeking a reference. Please note that if your Personal Tutor or other nominated referee receives a reference request from, say, a potential employer, the nominated referee will be able to report only if they have previously received your explicit permission to produce a reference for that employer.

It is important to keep in touch with your lecturers and Personal tutor so that they are able to act as your referee. Once you have the agreement of the referee, and in order that references can be as accurate and supportive as possible, please supply your referees with a copy of your curriculum vitae (CV), transcript of marks (HEAR), details of any academic integrity investigations, let them know why you are applying, and keep them informed of your strengths and weaknesses. If you believe that you have some quality or experience that is especially relevant to a particular application, please make a point of telling your referees.