A woman wearing a brown shirt stands in front of a bookcase full of books

Academic support at uni

It’s deadline season. Exams, dissertations (see my blog about diss tips), assignments, and countless other deadlines to meet. If, like me, you need a bit of support, then this is the blog for you!

Obviously, uni comes with a certain level of independence that is unlike anything most freshers have seen before. School and sixth form/college have a very obvious support network that can often feel like hand-holding, but at least you always know who to go to for help. University is slightly different in its approach but a common misconception is that you’re completely alone in your work. That’s not the case! There is a huge support network for anything you might need help with.

Academics-wise, these are the people to go to:

Personal Tutors

A good point of contact, and one of the first you’ll encounter, is your personal tutor. They handle any issues you may have at University and are always on hand for advice. Also, they are the people who can organise an extension for your assignments, should you ever need one.


Subject tutors have individual office hours, which you can find on BlackBoard, when you can drop-in and seek advice or help for your assignments. If this isn’t convenient, they are only an email away!

Dissertation Supervisors

If, like me, you’ve just finished a dissertation or are about to start one, you’ll know that dissertation supervisors are key if you want to do well. Regular meetings with your supervisor can be make or break for the 10,000 word assignment that often completes your degree.

Academic Subject Librarians

One avenue that not many students are initially aware of is academic subject librarians. You can book appointments with them or email them with queries about your subject. They are very knowledgable and specialised, so can help with the specifics of your degree.

Librarians – Cheryl Cliffe

We all need to research at some point. The library is the best place to do so and, if you need help navigating it or even just finding a specific book, Cheryl Cliffe is the person to speak to. Another useful resource is the free referencing guide each student is given at the beginning of their degree. If you happen to lose it, you can access other copies at the library or on the library website.


There are many resources on Blackboard that will aid your learning. Reading lists, suggested extra reading, assessment details and the contact details of all of the staff on each module can be found here. If in doubt, email one of your tutors, they’ll always be happy to help!

Student Wellbeing Centre

It goes without saying that mental health impacts on how we do academically. The Student Wellbeing Centre can provide you with a Learning Support Plan if you need extra help. Personally, I have one because I suffer from migraines quite frequently, and it means that the university is a bit more lenient with my attendance.

At the end of the day, the University wants you to do well and there is a huge support network that is just waiting to help you – you just have to let it.

Good luck with your studies!

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