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Section 4: Student Support

Students can be intellectually adventurous when they know there is a community of interested and supportive people around them. For Phil/Lit students we try to provide this support in a number of ways.

Personal tutors

On entering the University you will be assigned to a personal tutor, whom you should contact straightaway and certainly before the end of the first week of term.

Your personal tutor is a member of staff who can offer academic and personal advice, and act on your behalf in many internal University matters. If, for any reason, your work is discussed by your teachers or – more significantly – by a Board of Examiners, your personal tutor should be able to speak for you. Your tutor is regularly consulted by both administrative and academic staff on all manner of matters that may concern you, so it is important that you meet your personal tutor within the first week of term. Should there be any difficulty about this you should inform one of the convenors of the course (Eileen John and Emma Mason) without delay. Similarly, either of the convenors may be approached on any matters relating to the Phil/ Lit programme on which your personal tutor is not fully briefed. Should you wish to change your personal tutor you should approach either one of the convenors or the Senior Tutor in Philosophy.

Your personal tutor can advise you in your selection of options, and should also be told of any personal matters that might affect your academic work or position at the University. Keep in regular contact with your tutor and make sure you meet him or her at least once a term. In cases of illness, unsuitable accommodation, shortage of money or inability to work, you should get in touch with your personal tutor as soon as possible. If well-informed, he or she may be able to help and will be able to speak on your behalf if problems arise.


To each incoming student we assign a mentor, who is a second or third year Phil/Lit student who helps orientate the newcomer in the first weeks of class; thereafter they are asked to remain available to offer help and advice. All mentors will be invited to the introductory meeting for first years on the first day of term so initial contacts can be made.

Staff/Student Liaison Committee (SSLC)

The Staff/Student Liaison Committee is made up of a Convenor of the Degree Course and students from each of the three years of the course, elected by students in the appropriate year. The business of the committee is to provide a forum where students can raise matters to do with modules, lectures, examinations, etc., and where suggested changes in regulations can be discussed before being sent to the appropriate Committees and other relevant bodies. It is an excellent tool in ensuring good communication between staff and students. You may wish to consider putting your name forward to serve on the committee. Students who serve get firsthand insight into the running of the course and contribute directly to improving it.


Phil/Lit graduates have, over the years, gone on to a stunning variety of careers, from medicine and journalism to aid work and law enforcement. Some are writing novels, others are working for charities. Many have gone on to do graduate work and are now teaching at school or university level. Whatever your future plans may be, do make use of the services provided by the Careers Service, located in University House, and look out for department-based surgeries.