New Students' Guide Getting started on your UCL journey
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UCL STUDENT SUPPORT AND WELLBEING New Students’ Guide Getting started on your UCL journey
New Students’ Guide 1 Welcome Congratulations on joining us at UCL! This guide is aimed at any student SECTION 1 SECTION 4 You are joining a diverse and curious new to UCL, from first-year 03 ARRIVING AT UCL 27 SUPPORT SERVICES student community where you will undergraduate freshers all the 04 have the freedom and courage to way to experienced researchers. How to find out more 28 Student Support and Wellbeing challenge ideas, to think differently 05 Pre-enrolment and enrolment 29 and to take on some of the biggest You’ll see some sections aimed International Student Support 06 Settling in 30 issues of our time with the potential specifically at international students Faith support to make real world impact. Welcome – read these for more info 30 Student Enquiries Centre to your student community – we hope if you’re from outside the UK. 31 SECTION 2 askUCL you are excited! We hope you find this guide useful, 07 ESSENTIALS 31 Student Funding Adviser 32 Starting out at university can be a time and we look forward to meeting you! 08 Students’ Union Advice Service Accommodation of big change. Alongside the New 33 Student Mediator 10 Students website, the Countdown Fees, funding and finance 33 11 Report + Support to UCL emails, the Welcome to UCL Follow UCL on social media Bank accounts app and others, this guide is here to 12 Healthcare help you figure out what you need to Instagram: www.instagram.com/ucl 15 Visas and immigration SECTION 5 do before and after you arrive. It will Facebook: www.facebook.com/uclofficial also introduce you to some of the 17 Transport and travel 34 OPPORTUNITIES Twitter: www.twitter.com/ucl 19 opportunities and activities on offer. ISD and IT on campus #LoveUCL 35 Students’ Union UCL 20 Safety and security 36 UCL Careers 37 Alumni Online Community Follow UCL Student Support 38 and Wellbeing on social media SECTION 3 UCL Innovation & Enterprise 38 21 ACADEMIC LIFE Go abroad Instagram: www.instagram.com/uclcares 39 Learn a language 22 Facebook: www.facebook.com/uclcares Starting your programme 39 Sustainable UCL 23 Twitter: www.twitter.com/uclcares Academic support 40 You shape UCL 24 #UCLcares Library Services 40 Global Citizenship Programme 25 Exams and assessment 26 Finishing your programme Download the Welcome to UCL app – search ‘Welcome to UCL’ in the App Store or Google Play This guide is accurate at time of publishing (August 2019), but please be aware that Visit the New Students website: information is subject to change. www.ucl.ac.uk/students/new-students
2 New Students’ Guide 3 SECTION 1 ARRIVING AT UCL How to find out more Pre-enrolment and enrolment Settling in
4 New Students’ Guide 5 How to find out more Pre-enrolment and enrolment The two steps to becoming an official UCL student. New Students website The Countdown is arranged into 12 Pre-enrolment Enrolment different themes, from ‘London life’ This guide is just the beginning! This is an online process in which you Once you’ve completed pre-enrolment, to ‘Settling in’. If you’re starting in Make sure to check out the ‘New accept the conditions of your offer, verify you’ll receive a confirmation email that September, then you’ll receive an email Students’ pages of our UCL Students the information we hold about you and contains details about your face-to-face recap for each of these themes in the website for lots more information on pay your fees. enrolment appointment. All new students run-up to the beginning of term, but the everything you need to do to prepare need to complete this when they arrive. articles are available all year round. International students also have the for your arrival and what to expect opportunity to sign up to the International Please follow the instructions given and when you get here. Countdown articles are mostly written Student Orientation Programme during attend at the time and location you’ve by students – undergraduates, Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/new- pre-enrolment (see page 29). been allocated. postgraduates and researchers – so be students sure to read through them for a first-hand You’ll receive an email inviting you to You’ll need to bring acceptable ID with account of life on campus. complete pre-enrolment usually a few you (usually your passport). If you’re an Checklists weeks before the start date of your international student with a visa, you’ll Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/new- programme. Please note you’ll only also need to bring confirmation of your It can sometimes be tricky to stay on students/countdown-ucl receive this once you’ve accepted and right to study in the UK – this is usually top of everything you need to do when met all the conditions of your offer. your Biometric Residence Permit (BRP). you start at university. We’ve tried to See the New Students website for full make things easier by putting together Welcome to UCL app You’ll firstly create a password for your information on what to bring with you to a number of checklists on our New To help you organise your first few UCL account. You’ll then be asked your enrolment appointment. Students site, so you can cross things weeks, which can be packed full with to log in to Portico (the UCL student off as you go. induction events and social activities, information service) using that password At enrolment, we’ll check your ID, we’ve created the Welcome to UCL app. and your UCL user ID. Both of these you’ll confirm you accept the terms These are arranged into three different will stay with you throughout your time and conditions of study, you’ll have a categories: before you arrive, your first This allows you to build your own at UCL. chance to pay your fees if you haven’t few days, and your first few weeks. schedule of welcome events, set done so already, and finally you’ll receive Each checklist is then broken down reminders, navigate your way around Once you’ve logged in, follow the a Statement of Student Status (a letter into essential activities, recommended campus, connect with others, find out on-screen instructions to complete confirming you’re now a UCL student) as activities, and some optional extras. more about services and opportunities, pre-enrolment. If you have any well as your student ID card, which you’ll There are even checklists for any and keep on top of everything going questions, contact details are provided need to keep with you whenever you’re students arriving late. on with notifications. on each page. on campus. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/new- There are two separate guides within Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/new- Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/new- students/checklists the app, for those starting in September students/pre-enrolment students/enrolment-new-students and those starting in January. Available on iOS and Android – search Countdown to UCL blog ‘Welcome to UCL’ on the App Store or As well as the checklists, Google Play. announcements and information on the enrolment process, our ‘New Students’ website hosts the Countdown to UCL, a comprehensive blog to help you get an idea of what it’s like to be a UCL student.
6 New Students’ Guide 7 Settling in Starting out at university can be tough, whether you’re brand new to studying or an experienced student, but there’s lots of help available. SECTION 2 Feeling homesick? International students London is a large city and can sometimes feel a bit chaotic, but remember that with – Culture shock If this is your first time living in the UK, ESSENTIALS a little time and effort you’re sure to feel you may find yourself experiencing settled in and part of the capital’s vibrant culture shock. Adapting to a new Accommodation and diverse community. environment can be a challenging If you find yourself feeling homesick, try learning process. This is completely Fees, funding and finance normal and can happen even if you’ve your best to get involved. There are lots of ways to do this, from joining a club or carried out extensive preparation before Bank accounts your arrival or if you have travelled a lot society in the Students’ Union to getting previously. Healthcare out and exploring your neighbourhood with friends – UCL is surrounded Make sure you keep in touch with friends Visas and immigration by green spaces that are perfect for and family back home, surround yourself relaxing. with familiar objects and explore the Transport and travel opportunities living in a new country It’s important to speak to others about offers you. The International Student ISD and IT on campus your feelings – you’ll probably find that lots of those around you are feeling the Support team in Student Support and Wellbeing can help you acclimatise and Safety and security same way! It takes time to build up a network of friends and colleagues, so settle in, so get in touch with them via be patient and keep going! askUCL (see page 31) and they’ll do their best to help. If you find after a few weeks that the feelings haven’t eased, come speak Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ to a Student Support and Wellbeing international-students Adviser (see page 28). They can help you manage your feelings and find solutions.
8 New Students’ Guide 9 Accommodation One of the first things you’ll need to do as a new student is secure accommodation. UCL-managed and intercollegiate You can speak to your SRA about any Council tax accommodation mental health or wellbeing concerns Full-time students don’t have to pay (for you or a fellow student), maintenance There’s a variety of accommodation council tax (a tax that goes to your local issues, or anything affecting your ability available to UCL students, including council for services such as transport to live and study peacefully in your hall. halls of residence and student houses. and police) if they’re living in a property Some is managed by UCL itself, some by Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/life/ only with other students. If you’re living the University of London (of which UCL accommodation/wardens with non-students, you may be eligible forms a part) or partner providers. for a discount. UCL guarantees accommodation for Please note that council tax exemption Help finding private runs from the start date to the end date full-time, first-year undergraduate students who are studying at UCL for accommodation of your programme – you may still need the first time, as well as international If you’re not able to get accommodation to pay council tax for any periods before first-year postgraduates who are single in a hall of residence, don’t worry – or after this, for example if you arrive and meet the eligibility criteria. there’s plenty of support available to early. help you find somewhere suitable in the In most cases, you’ll need to apply for The deadline for applying is in May for private sector. an exemption online and will need to undergraduate students and in June for postgraduate students. University of London Housing Services provide evidence that you’re a student offers a variety of services to help, from (the Statement of Student Status letter). Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/accommodation housing databases to contract checking. If you’re living in a UCL hall of residence, Be wary of housing scams – these aren’t you’re automatically exempt, so don’t Wardens and Student common, but affect a few students each need to take any action. Residence Advisers (SRAs) year. If something seems too good to be Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/life/ true, it usually is! Make sure never to pay accommodation/student-council-tax Every UCL hall of residence has an any money for a property you haven’t yet in-house team of Student Residence seen, and if in doubt contact the Housing Advisers (SRAs), who are current Services team. postgraduate students, supported by TV licensing a Warden, who is a UCL staff member. Web: housing.london.ac.uk It’s a legal requirement to have a valid The team are there to help you get the TV licence if you watch or record TV most out of life in halls and ensure your programmes live on TVs, computers, safety. They’re available when your hall mobile phones or any other devices, office is closed and can be contacted or if you watch shows on catch-up using through the duty mobile number BBC iPlayer. (see the website). Web: www.tvlicensing.co.uk
10 New Students’ Guide 11 Fees, funding and finance Bank accounts There are a variety of options to fund your studies and Whether you’re a home or international student, having a student a range of support available if you find yourself struggling. bank account can help you manage your finances. Funding Student discounts Features Digital banks can sometimes offer perks unavailable through high street banks, Many students with Home or EU status London can be an expensive city, Compared to standard current accounts, such as locking and unlocking your card are eligible for loans from Student but there are a number of ways to save. student bank accounts may offer if you lose it, or free transactions abroad. Finance to help them fund their studies. additional features such as interest-free There are a wide range of student It can also sometimes be faster to open More information about the funding overdrafts, cash incentives or freebies discounts available, often by simply an account with a digital bank. available from Student Finance can be like railcards. showing your UCL student ID card at found on the UK government website. retailers, restaurants or elsewhere All accounts will give you a debit card as Web: www.gov.uk/student-finance – it never hurts to ask if a discount standard and you’ll be able to manage Opening an account is available! your money online, over the phone and You’ll need to provide documentation usually through an app. Some students may want to purchase to confirm that you’re a student. It may Funding for study should ideally be a TOTUM card from the National Union be enough to provide your Statement secured before your course starts. of Students (NUS). This is available of Student Status (the letter from For more information on how to fund Choosing a bank for a small fee in 1-year, 2-year and enrolment) but you should check with the your course and the financial support 3-year versions, and grants additional Many student bank accounts will seem bank to make sure – some banks need available from UCL, visit the UCL discounts. The card comes with a 1-year similar, but it pays to do a little research documents in a particular format. website. free ISIC (International Student Identity online to find the option best for you. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees-and- You’ll also need to provide ID, typically Card) for further money off overseas. funding In addition to the features mentioned your passport. above, you might want to consider which Depending on the bank you choose, banks have branches near where you it may take several weeks before your live. Most major banks have branches Paying fees as a self-funded account is open and you’re able to use near the UCL campus, usually on student Tottenham Court Road. your card. There are a number of ways to pay your fees if you are self-funded. The easiest option is to use the UCL online payment International students Digital banks system, which requires your UCL student – Further things to consider In recent years, more and more students ID. You can alternatively pay by cheque It generally pays to open a UK account have been moving to digital banks. These or banker’s draft. if you’re an international student. If you allow you to manage your money through Note that there are deadlines for paying don’t, you’ll likely find you build up high an app, online and over the phone, your fees (in instalments) depending on charges in foreign transaction fees, and but they’re digital only and don’t have when you start your programme in the it may be more difficult to do things like branches. They usually offer one type of academic year. take out a phone contract or join a gym. account for everyone, and won’t have a Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/fees/pay- ‘student-specific’ option. If you’re studying in the UK for less than your-fees 6 months, you might not be able to open an account with certain banks. Instead, it may be easier to use a pre-paid cash card throughout your time at UCL.
12 New Students’ Guide 13 Healthcare It’s vitally important to make sure you can access healthcare during your studies. When opening an account, you’ll usually About the NHS Other GPs If you are studying in the UK for less than need to show your visa (BRP card if you 6 months, you will not be able to register Even if you’re from the UK, the NHS can If you live elsewhere in London or have one) as well as your passport. with a doctor but will still be able to visit sometimes be confusing! Our national outside the city and can’t register with one as a temporary patient if required. To avoid any delays, make sure your health service is free to use and receives Ridgmount Practice, you can find your You may, however, need to pay for these home address and your term-time (UK) funding from taxation, and most NHS closest GP surgery on the NHS website. services. You are therefore encouraged address are both up to date on Portico, services are free at the point of delivery. You should contact a practice close to to have private medical insurance. so that they appear correctly on your where you live to find out how to register You should always go to your doctor – Statement of Student Status and any there. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ your GP (General Practitioner) – first for other letters. accessing-healthcare-uk any physical or mental health concerns. All UK students from outside the greater Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ They can refer you to specialist care London area are advised to register with international-students/international- (usually in a hospital clinic) if needed. a GP in London, as this is where you’ll support/money-and-finances One of the first things all new students be spending most of the year. If you go should do is register with a local GP home during the holidays, you can still Vaccinations surgery. be seen by your local GP as a temporary Students are more at risk of certain International students patient if needed. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/register- illnesses than the general population, – Funding your arrival doctor Web: www.nhs.uk/service-search so it is important to have the appropriate Because you may not have your card vaccinations and remain vigilant for immediately, it’s important to bring symptoms. sufficient funds to cover your first Ridgmount Practice International students All students under 25 should be month in the UK. However, bringing – Eligibility UCL’s partner GP surgery, Ridgmount immunised against meningitis (the ACWY this as cash is risky – choose other Practice is located just a few streets from Eligibility to access healthcare and vaccination). It is advisable to get the options such as pre-paid cash cards our main campus. Many students living register with a GP will depend on a vaccination several weeks before arriving or traveller’s cheques. in north and central London will fall within number of factors, such as the length at UCL. You may also want to explore some its catchment area and will be able to of your programme of study and whether The MMR vaccination protects against of the digital banking options, which register. or not you are studying on a visa. measles, mumps and rubella. There sometimes allow you to open your Registration involves a simple online form If you require a Tier 4 visa to study in the have been more cases of these diseases account prior to your arrival in the followed by an in-person appointment at UK, you will have paid the Immigration in recent years, so new students are UK (see page 11). the surgery. If you’re eligible to register, Health Surcharge (IHS), allowing you to strongly advised to make sure they’ve Remember that you can pay your we strongly recommend that you do so use NHS services in full. had this vaccination. UCL fees online, so you shouldn’t as soon as possible after your arrival on Whilst the UK remains part of the EU, If for any reason you’re unable to have need to bring this amount with you. campus. the European Health Insurance Card these vaccinations before arriving at In addition to GPs, Ridgmount has a (EHIC) allows EU students to access UCL, you should be able to get them at team of nurses on site, who can provide healthcare for free. However, EU students your GP surgery. Please do this as soon services like travel vaccinations. are encouraged to apply for pre-settled as possible after registering. You can make an appointment to see a status once they start at UCL, as this doctor or nurse easily over the phone or will protect this right once the UK online. has left the EU. Web: www.ridgmountpractice.nhs.uk
14 New Students’ Guide 15 International students - Visas and immigration UCL is home to a diverse community of students, many of whom are from overseas and studying on a visa. Dental care Sexual health care Support and advice Full guidance is available on the UCL website, and the Student Immigration There are two types of dental care in There are numerous sexual health Applying for a visa (typically a Tier 4 Compliance team are able to answer the UK – NHS and private. Many dental centres in London, including the student visa or a Short-term study visa) any queries if you’re ever in doubt. surgeries will offer both, but you may find Mortimer Market Centre close to can be complicated. Full guidance there is a long waiting list to register as UCL’s campus. Call to make an can be found on the UK government’s Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ an NHS patient. appointment – some clinics will also website and we also provide guidance on immigration-and-visas/tier-4-visas/tier- offer walk-in services. the UCL website. 4-responsibilities You’ll almost always have to pay for both types, but private dental treatment can Sexual health services are free, including If you have questions about applying be significantly more expensive. Certain any testing, treatment, medication and all for a visa, you can get help for the groups, such as those under 19 and contraception (you can also usually get Student Immigration Advice team Police registration pregnant women, can get free dental free contraception from your GP). through the website below. Some students studying on a visa will treatment. need to register with the police when For those students already living in the they arrive in the UK. This requirement Charges for dental treatment can be UK who want to extend their visa to complicated, so always ask how much Pharmacies study at UCL, the Student Immigration is typically shown on your entry clearance sticker in your passport or on you’ll need to pay. Pharmacists are experts in medicine and Advice team run a Tier 4 student visa correspondence from the Home Office. can often help with minor concerns such document checking service to help Check the information on the website as coughs, colds and sore throats. facilitate this process. below carefully, as not all students on Eye care If you think something might not be Web: www.gov.uk/visas-immigration a visa will need to register. Most people will need to pay for eye serious enough for a GP appointment, Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/police- tests and any contact lenses or glasses. visit a pharmacist for advice on self-care. immigration-and-visas registration Again, there are some exemptions, such as those diagnosed with diabetes or glaucoma. Contact the NHS Tier 4 student visa responsibilities Opticians will sometimes offer vouchers Calling 111 (the NHS non-emergency Those studying in the UK on a visa for discounted or even free eye tests, number) can help you if you have a need to ensure they adhere to the so always shop around. medical problem and need advice on responsibilities specified by the Home what to do. You’ll speak with a highly Office. This can include things like not trained adviser about your symptoms working in excess of a certain number Prescriptions and they’ll provide medical advice and of hours per week and ensuring regular direct you to the most appropriate care. The NHS charges for prescriptions – the attendance at lectures and seminars. amount increases every so often, but In a medical emergency, you should call is currently around £9. Again, there are 999 and provide the operator with details some exceptions, including those with of your situation. certain long-term medical conditions, but in most cases students will need to pay.
16 New Students’ Guide 17 Transport and travel London is a large city but is very well connected and has many different transport options. Biometric Residence Permits EU/EEA/Swiss students Transport for London (TfL) There are different fares for many (BRPs) and Brexit services depending on the time of day, TfL manages much of London’s with ‘off-peak’ and ‘peak’ pricing In most cases, when your Tier 4 student We are aware that there is a lot of transport infrastructure, including the – the peak times are Monday to Friday visa application is approved overseas, uncertainty around Brexit for all students Underground (also known as the Tube), (not public holidays), 6.30am to 9.30am you’ll receive a 30-day travel visa sticker but in particular students from the EU, the Overground, our bus network, trams and 4pm to 7pm. in your passport to allow you entry into EEA and Switzerland. In order to ensure and river boats. For pricing, TfL divides the UK. Once you’ve arrived, you’ll need that your immigration status and access London into zones, from zone 1 in the Buses are charged at a fixed rate of to collect your Biometric Residence to healthcare are protected when the centre out to zone 9. £1.50 for any journey. The ‘Hopper fare’ Permit (BRP) card, which is your full visa. UK leaves the EU, you’re strongly allows you to transfer to other buses an Web: tfl.gov.uk encouraged to apply for pre-settled or unlimited number of times within one Many students collect their BRP from hour without being charged more. settled status through the EU Settlement UCL after selecting this option in their Scheme as soon as possible. application. If you’ve chosen to do this, Paying for transport you’ll be contacted by the Student The Student Immigration Advice Many people pay for transport using the Cycling Immigration Compliance team with team has a lot of information about Oyster card, which can be topped up full instructions once we’ve received the application process, answers to London has a network of hire bikes with credit for pay-as-you-go journeys the card. frequently asked questions and links (Santander Cycles) as well as new app- or loaded with a Travelcard, which gives to other resources on their pages. based hire bike services, which can be a Unless there are exceptional you an unlimited number of journeys handy way to get around. UCL also has circumstances, you’ll need to collect Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ within particular zones for a particular free bike maintenance and bike sales your BRP before you can enrol. immigration-and-visas/eu-settlement- time period, e.g. one week, one month. throughout the year and Camden Council scheme You can top up your Oyster credit or buy Take care not to lose your BRP, offers free cycle safety training. a Travelcard in stations and online. especially if you’re travelling, as this can If you plan to cycle, there are a network make it more difficult to re-enter the UK. It pays to do some research into different of designated cycle routes across the If your BRP is lost or stolen, follow the fare options and think about how much city, but take extra care and ensure you instructions on the website below. you are likely to use public transport. For are cycling safely – be sure to always example, if you live close to campus and Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ wear a helmet and high-visibility clothing. will mostly walk, it probably won’t make immigration-and-visas/tier-4-visas/ financial sense to buy a Travelcard. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/greenucl/what-we- biometric-residence-permit/biometric- do/travel residence-permits You can use a Contactless debit or credit card in exactly the same way as Oyster pay-as-you-go, for exactly the same price. If you’re using pay-as-you-go on Oyster or Contactless, there is a daily and a weekly cap, meaning you won’t pay more than a certain amount per day or per week, no matter how much you travel.
18 New Students’ Guide 19 ISD and IT on campus UCL’s Information Services Division (ISD) provides a wide array of IT services for students. Taxis and minicabs International students MyAccount Digital learning You’ll see London’s famous black – Schengen visas Many systems at UCL require your ISD provides support for a number of cabs throughout the city, which can If you’re not from the EU, the EEA or password, and you’ll need to update learning tools and services including be convenient but often costly – you Switzerland and would like to travel in this periodically. With MyAccount, this Moodle, UCL’s online learning space. just need to hail the cab on the street. Europe, you may need to apply for a is made easy – just register your phone Find out more about the digital skills You can also book a taxi (a minicab) in Schengen visa. You’ll need to collect a number and you’ll be able to reset you might need and the tools and advance by calling one of London’s letter from the Student Enquiries Centre your password anywhere, anytime. services you might encounter by many services – never get into an for your application. You’ll need to do this as part of exploring our short course on Moodle, unlicensed taxi. pre-enrolment (see page 5). ‘Digital Learning at UCL’. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ London also has a number of app-based immigration-and-visas/other-visas/ Web: myaccount.ucl.ac.uk There are also many digital skills courses ridesharing services, which can be a schengen-visa on offer, teaching you how to use a wide cheaper alternative to get around town. range of software. Wi-Fi on campus Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/training All students can access a Wi-Fi network Travelling around the UK at UCL: eduroam. This is also available It’s easy to go between London and in halls of residence and buildings at UCL Go! app other towns and cities in the UK numerous other universities. To connect, Get useful information on the move. by train and coach. you’ll need to enter your UCL user ID View campus maps and your timetable, (@ucl.ac.uk) and password. If you’re likely to take trains on a regular or find available study places or free basis, the 16-25 Railcard and the 26-30 PCs in one of the computer workrooms. Railcard can be a good investment – for Download via your app store. a small one-off payment, these can give Printing Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/ucl-go you 1/3 off rail fares. You can even link There are printers located in all library these cards to your Oyster for extra sites and elsewhere at UCL, most of discounts on pay-as-you-go fares which will also allow you to copy and on the Underground or Docklands Light IT support scan. You can access the printers using Railway (DLR). your student ID card. Once you’ve used Support is available at IT Service Desks up your free credit allowance, you can located in the Main Library, Science easily top up your credit online. Library, Institute of Education Libraries Travelling in Europe and the Student Centre. You can see Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/services/print- them for any issues with Wi-Fi, email, London is one of the best connected copy-scan-services printing, software and UCL’s IT systems. cities in the world, and it’s easy and often Support is also available online, by email cheap to travel to Europe by plane, train and over the phone. (Eurostar) or ferry from nearby ports. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/isd/help
20 New Students’ Guide 21 Safety and security London is a safe city, but there are a few easy things we can all do to help reduce our chances of becoming a victim of crime. SECTION 3 ID cards All students should carry their ID cards with them at all times. You’ll need this to • Register your belongings on Immobilise (www.immobilise.com) ACADEMIC LIFE enter most buildings and to use lots of – if police retrieve lost or stolen items, UCL services. they can then be returned to you. • Beware online scams and never Starting your programme If you lose your ID card, visit the Security Systems team in the Andrew Huxley give out your bank details or send Academic support someone money if you’re unsure. Building on campus for a replacement. If something seems too good to be Library Services true, it probably is. Exams and assessment Lost property All lost property found on campus Contacting the Security team Finishing your programme (except in the Cruciform Building or the UCL has 24/7 security cover. If you see Bloomsbury Theatre and Fitness Centre) anything that causes you concern, speak is taken to the Security office in Foster to any member of Security staff. Court. Email the team to report an item as lost. The Crime Prevention and Personal Safety Officer is a member of the Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/estates/our- Security team focussed on helping services/security-ucl/lost-property students avoid crime and supporting any students affected by it. Call the non-emergency number below to Safety tips arrange an informal meeting. • Take care of your belongings, • Emergencies on campus especially in study spaces (from a UCL phone): 222 – do not leave valuables like laptops unattended. • Emergencies on campus (from a mobile phone): • Beware of tailgating (people following +44 (0)20 7679 2222 directly behind you to gain access to buildings), especially in halls of • UCL Security non-emergency residence. number: +44 (0)20 7679 2108 • Be vigilant when using your phone in public spaces – phones are among the most commonly stolen items. • Do not travel at night in empty carriages on the London Underground or trains. If you’re on a night out, always try to plan how you’re going to get home.
22 New Students’ Guide 23 Starting your programme Academic support Starting out on your academic journey at UCL Whatever your programme, there’s a wide array of needn’t be complicated. support available. Portico In some cases, students will need to Personal Tutors Academic writing support select particular modules to satisfy the UCL’s online student information system, All taught students, both undergraduate Depending on your department, you requirements of their programme – there Portico allows you to see your student and postgraduate, will be assigned a may have access to additional academic may be other things to consider too, like record and is used for a number of Personal Tutor. This is a member of writing support through either the Writing credit value and any pre-requisites. administrative tasks. academic staff from your department, Lab or the Academic Writing Centre in There will be a deadline for module who should be your first port of call the Institute of Education (IOE). You should try to update your details selection and it’s really important that for any academic issues affecting on Portico on a regular basis, especially Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/writing-lab you choose your modules on time – this your studies. contact information for both yourself and Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/ioe/departments- is essential to ensure you’re entered for your next of kin. Personal Tutors can support you and-centres/centres/academic-writing- the right exams. with things like module selection, centre Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/portico If you’re unsure about any of this, or work-life balance, academic progression, would like to discuss the best modules professional development and even for you, speak to staff in your department pastoral or wellbeing issues. International students Academic Manual and handbooks such as your Personal Tutor. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ – English language support All study, teaching and research at UCL Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/student- academic-support/personal-tutors If English isn’t your first language, is governed by a variety of regulations, status/module-registration policies and procedures, which are there are a lot of resources and support covered in the Academic Manual. services at UCL to help you improve Supervisors your written and spoken English. It’s certainly not expected that you Transition Mentors If you’re a research student, your Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ read this in any detail, as it’s a very Every first-year is given a Transition supervisory team will fulfil much the international-students/international- long document, but you may find it a Mentor, an older student from your same function as Personal Tutors support/academic-life-uk helpful reference if you have a query or degree programme. They can advise on – they should be the first people you complaint about your programme. academic topics, support services and speak to for any issues, academic Many departments provide their students administrative questions; and help you or otherwise, affecting your ability to with a handbook, which summarises socialise in your department. complete your work. important information about your It’s really important that you attend the programme and life in your department. ‘Meet your mentor’ session in your first Unlike the Academic Manual, students week. You’ll also receive an enrolment Doctoral School are encouraged to read any handbooks email for the Transition Moodle course in full. Research students have access to a for your department: here you can find range of additional support (from skills Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/academic-manual/ the mentoring groups, message your development to funding guidance and mentors and access first year resources. the Research Student Log) through our Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ Doctoral School. Module selection academic-support/transition-mentors Web: www.grad.ucl.ac.uk Students on many (but not all) taught Email: firstname.lastname@example.org programmes will be able to choose from a number of different optional modules – this is done through Portico.
24 New Students’ Guide 25 Library Services Exams and assessment UCL has 18 libraries and learning spaces There’s a variety of different assessment methods across London, all fully equipped to support at UCL, so make sure you understand what’s expected your studies. of you on each module. Using libraries Library help First-Class Upper Second-Class Lower Second-Class Third-Class All students can access all of our libraries Staff are available to assist throughout Honours Honours Honours Honours and learning spaces – you simply need our library sites – there are dedicated 70% and above 60% - 69% 50% - 59% 40% - 49% your student ID card to enter. The largest Reference Desks in the Main Library and are the Main Library, the Science Library Science Library. Support is also available and the Student Centre. over the phone or through email. Grading Try to prepare as far in advance as You can view real-time study space Library skills training and guidance is possible, and remember there’s a wide availability on the Library Services available through LibrarySkills@UCL. The UK degree grading system array of support available (see section 4). website, as well as the UCL Go! app. is quite different from that in many A team of specialist librarians are able to other countries. Many libraries also have group study provide guidance for in-depth research rooms, which you can also book online. Your overall degree classification is the Examinations help for their particular subject area.. Some also have spaces reserved for average of your grades for assignments postgraduate students. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/library/libraryskills- The main exam period takes place in and exams, although these may be ucl May and June. Library opening times vary from site to weighted differently. Email: email@example.com Most students will sit their exams at site, but the largest are typically open 24 Phone: +44 (0)20 7679 7792 (x37792) ExCeL London by Custom House, which hours a day on weekdays. Assignments is easily accessed on public transport. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/library Any students with exam adjustments Many programmes include written like extra time or the use of specialist assignments – these are usually equipment will have their exams on the submitted through Moodle. Accessing materials main Bloomsbury campus. Your department will give you full Students can find books, journals, and instructions on assignment submission. Your personal exam timetable for the much more using Explore, the library main exam period will be published UCL uses automatic plagiarism catalogue, as well as links to hundreds of several weeks in advance. Make sure detection software on assignments thousands of online resources. You can you check this when it’s released and get to promote academic integrity. borrow items using your student ID card in touch with the Examinations team as Students may sometimes find that and can renew items online. In many soon as possible if there are any errors. they have plagiarised work cases, materials on your reading lists To make sure you’re entered for the unintentionally, usually when they have will also be available in a digital format correct exams, it’s very important that not fully understood citation procedures online. you register for any elective modules on or have over-relied on the original Past exam papers are also available time. source material. online through the Library Services UCL has a secondary exam period, If you’re not sure how to correctly website. Late Summer Assessments, which cite sources, make sure you speak Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/library/explore occurs at the end of August. to teaching staff or your Personal Tutor Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/library/teaching- early on for guidance. Results are typically released learning-services-tls/readinglistsucl through Portico several weeks after You might find that the third term is exams take place. especially busy – you may be expected to submit assignments and deliver Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/exams- presentations on top of your exams. and-assessments/exams
26 New Students’ Guide 27 Finishing your programme It may seem like a long way off, but with some students on programmes lasting just a year, the end of your studies will come around sooner than you think! SECTION 4 Thesis submission What next? Research students submitting a thesis will need to do so in the Student Even after graduation you’ll have access to lots of support from UCL to help you SUPPORT SERVICES Enquiries Centre (on Floor 1 of the in your next steps. In particular, you’ll Student Centre). Theses must be continue to be able to use any services submitted in a particular format, so make sure you understand the from UCL Careers to support you as you enter or go back into the world of work Student Support and Wellbeing guidance before submitting. (see page 36). International Student Support Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ exams-and-assessments/research- Don’t forget that UCL has a worldwide network of alumni, which you’ll Faith support assessments automatically become a part of, offering a wide range of benefits. Student Enquiries Centre Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/alumni askUCL Transcripts and certificates Once your results from any final-year Student Funding Adviser exams or assessments and your final award (1st, 2:1, 2:2 or 3rd) have been Students’ Union Advice Service conferred by UCL, you will automatically Student Mediator be sent 5 copies of your transcript, which lists your results. You will also be sent Report + Support your final degree certificate. These documents are posted to your home address, as it appears on Portico, so it’s important to make sure this is kept up to date. Graduation Your graduation ceremony is a recognition of your achievement and a chance for you to celebrate with family and friends. You’ll receive an invitation to your graduation ceremony towards the end of your programme, and you’ll need to register to attend. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/graduation
28 New Students’ Guide 29 Student Support and Wellbeing International students Here at UCL’s diverse Student Support and Wellbeing (SSW) - International Student Support department, we’re on hand to support you throughout your time at UCL and help you get the most out of your studies. Part of UCL Student Support and Wellbeing, the International Student Support (ISS) team can help students adjust to life in the UK. Disability, Mental Health Evening and weekend support Support around arrival Other helpful resources for international and Wellbeing Support students include UKCISA (the UK Even when UCL is closed, students can In order to settle in and make the most Council for International Student Affairs) All students can easily access support access free therapeutic support from of their time in the UK, international and the British Council. for any issues related to disability, mental accredited counsellors online through students need to complete additional health or wellbeing that may affect their real-time messaging and over the phone. tasks when they first arrive, such as Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ ability to study. We offer pre-booked opening a bank account or registering international Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/support- appointments and a drop-in service for healthcare. Contact: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ask and-wellbeing/evening-and-weekend- every day that UCL is open, no support To help with this, the ISS team run appointment needed. the International Student Orientation Programme (ISOP) the week before Support for affiliate students Appointments and drop-ins take place on Floor 1 of the Student Centre, Find out more the start of the academic year. Although some affiliate students are and allow you to speak confidentially Registration for ISOP takes place at UCL for a short period of time, we Much more information about the various and without judgement to one of our as part of pre-enrolment. encourage you to take advantage of the services offered by Student Support Disability, Mental Health and Wellbeing many opportunities available to you to and Wellbeing (and other teams at UCL ISOP includes a comprehensive set of Advisers. Together, we’ll help you find make the most of your time with us. and in the local area) can be found on welcome talks to help you figure out all solutions, and we can refer you to other the essential steps in your transition to ‘Meet your department’ sessions take our website and in the ‘Here to Support services as appropriate, whether those a new country. It’s also an opportunity place during ISOP for affiliate students You’ guide to UCL Student Support and are in UCL or external. to ask questions to our Global to meet your dedicated Affiliate Tutor, Wellbeing services. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ssw- Ambassadors. There will be a range who will be able to help you with all Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ssw drop-ins of social events and activities academic enquiries. These sessions Contact: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ask organised by Students’ Union UCL are also an opportunity to get to know and other departments to help you other affiliate students, learn more about Student Psychological and settle in and meet others. your department and get your Learning Counselling Services (SPCS) Agreement forms signed if needed. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ Our on-site therapeutic support team, international-students/isop Students who have an arrival form or SPCS is made up of qualified Erasmus placement form that needs counsellors and psychiatrists with signing can do so in the Student a range of specialisms. Ongoing support Enquiries Centre once they have completed enrolment (see page 30). Students need to register online and Beyond your arrival, the ISS team will then have an initial consultation. can provide guidance on any issues Following this and based on your needs, around acclimatising to life in the UK. you’ll typically have access to 6 free They’re a great first port of call if you’re therapy sessions, or we can refer you unsure, and can refer you to other to other local services as needed. teams as needed. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/support- and-wellbeing/student-psychological- and-counselling-services
30 New Students’ Guide 31 Faith support Student Enquiries Centre askUCL Student Funding Adviser Part of UCL Student Support and Part of UCL Student Support and Wellbeing, Our student enquiry management system, For any students facing financial Wellbeing, our Chaplain and Interfaith the Student Enquiries Centre (SEC) team askUCL, streamlines the way we handle difficulties, UCL offers support and advice. Adviser provides support to students exists to support students with enquiries your enquiries. of all faiths, and none. and UCL processes. Pastoral support How they can help FAQs How they can help UCL’s Chaplain and Interfaith Adviser can Staff in the Student Enquiries Centre can If you can’t find the answer you’re The Student Funding Adviser can help provide pastoral support and guidance assist with the following topics and more: looking for elsewhere on the UCL you find solutions and figure out ways to any student at UCL who is facing website, askUCL’s helpful knowledge to manage your money more effectively. • Confirmation of student status issues around faith. You can speak to the bank (FAQs) allows you to quickly search Alongside expertise in budgeting, they Interfaith Adviser no matter which faith • Schengen visa letters based on categories and key words. To can help with complex questions about group you’re from, or even if you identify • Updating student details access the FAQs or submit an enquiry, Student Finance funding as well as with no faith at all. • Changes to your studies you simply need your UCL login details. interruption of studies, withdrawing or repeating due to funding issues. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/support- • Confirmation of award and-wellbeing/specialist-information- • Fees and funding enquiries and-support/religion-and-faith Enquiries • International student support Emergency funding It’s easy to submit an enquiry online • Third-party verification of studies through askUCL – this will be sent In an emergency, limited cash loans of up Faith societies and qualifications directly to the correct team. to £250 are available if you experience a delay in your normal funding being paid. All major faiths are represented by a You’ll then be able to track your enquiry Students’ Union UCL society. You can Visiting the Student Enquiries with the unique enquiry number, allowing The UCL Financial Assistance Fund is find out more about these and join by you to see which team is currently an additional source of support that Centre attending the Welcome Fair (for new dealing with your issue and what action you may have access to if you’re in students starting in September) or by Located on Floor 1 of the Student has been taken. Each time your enquiry financial difficulties. Particular groups contacting them directly at any point. Centre, the Student Enquiries Centre is is updated, you’ll receive a notification of students who may be in greater need a face-to-face service where students and when your enquiry is resolved you’ll are prioritised, including students with Web: studentsunionucl.org/clubs- can ask questions about a wide variety get an email showing the resolution. children, those with disabilities or those societies/directory of topics. Their extended opening hours who are care-experienced. If you feel your issue hasn’t been fully allow students with other commitments resolved or if the situation changes, you For research students who for to visit at a time suitable for them. Finding a place to pray or worship can re-open your enquiry and update it. unforeseen circumstances find that Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/life-ucl/ their funding has been interrupted or For any students looking for a place to Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/askucl student-enquiries-centre completely withdrawn, UCL offers a pray or worship on campus, there is a Contact: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/ask Doctoral School Fellowship. This is Prayer Room and a Meditation Room awarded on the basis of financial need. available on Floor B2 of the Student Centre, along with additional prayer Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/students/funding/ rooms in buildings across campus. financial-support The Interfaith Adviser can support any students looking for a place to pray or worship off campus.
32 New Students’ Guide 33 Students’ Union Student Mediator Report + Support Advice Service A dedicated member of staff to advise All students affected by bullying, students on making complaints and harassment or sexual misconduct can An independent and impartial advice support students with the resolution of report it and access appropriate support. service for all UCL students. informal complaints. Contacting the Student How they can help How they can help Full Stop Funding Adviser The Advice Service is a great place The Student Mediator can help UCL is saying Full Stop to bullying, If you find yourself struggling to manage to go for any issues related to investigate and resolve informal harassment and sexual misconduct. money or experiencing any complicated academic matters or disputes, housing, complaints and disputes you may have It has no place in our community. funding issues, speak to the Student employment and any other legal or involving UCL staff members, students The Full Stop campaign focuses on Funding Adviser. university matters. It’s fully independent or services. They can also advise and preventing unacceptable behaviour from UCL, so you can be assured that provide support to students who are The Student Funding Adviser is within the UCL community. We all have your interests will always come first. considering a complaint concerning available through email or in a a role to play in making the UCL campus cases of bullying and harassment. confidential face-to-face or telephone a safe and respectful environment. appointment (arranged by email). This is an impartial service – the Student A variety of guidance materials, key Visiting the Advice Service Mediator will not direct decision-making, messages and information on how to be Email: firstname.lastname@example.org Located on the first floor of 25 Gordon but will enable both parties to express an active bystander can be found on the Street, the Advice Service has regular their views and facilitate a mutually Report + Support website. weekday opening hours, including drop- agreed solution. in times. Please be aware that mediation is The Advice Service is open to all UCL not possible in all circumstances, for Reporting bullying, harassment and students, including offer-holders, recent example compromises cannot be made sexual misconduct graduates and those on interruption of in complaints concerning the award If you’ve been the target of unacceptable studies. of marks or other academic issues. behaviour, there are two ways to report: Nevertheless, the Student Mediator may Web: studentsunionucl.org/help-and- 1 – Anonymously, enabling us to build be able to investigate such complaints advice/advice-service a picture of issues where people do not and will be able to give advice on the Email: email@example.com formal complaint procedure. feel able to reveal personal information but would like UCL to be aware, helping us monitor trends and inform our proactive and preventative work. Contacting the Student Mediator 2 – Contacting an adviser, in which case Student mediation always starts with a you’ll be put in contact with an adviser to one-to-one appointment, in which you’ll discuss your concerns and receive initial jointly decide the best course of action support. For students affected by sexual together with the Student Mediator. misconduct or violence, UCL works with If you’re involved in a complaint or Rape Crisis and SurvivorsUK to provide dispute and would like to make an independent support on campus. appointment, please first read the FAQs We strongly encourage all students online before emailing the Student affected by bullying, harassment or Mediator with a brief overview of the sexual misconduct to report in one issue and your availability. of the two ways above. Web: www.ucl.ac.uk/student-mediator Web: report-support.ucl.ac.uk/ Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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