Every student has a member of academic staff allocated to them as a personal tutor who will be a key source of advice, guidance and support during your time at Heriot-Watt. Your personal tutor is your first point of contact if you need advice on any issue, both academic and non-academic, and can refer you to other support services where relevant for non-academic matters. Personal tutors provide a clear point of contact for you throughout your degree.

Making the most of your personal tutor

Your personal tutor is an important source of advice, guidance and support, and can direct you to other University support systems and resources as required. However, as a student you have certain responsibilities to help make personal tutoring as effective as possible:

  • Make sure you check your Heriot-Watt e-mail (this is vital for all communications with the University) and respond to any meeting invitations
  • If you are unable to attend an arranged meeting at the agreed time, then let your personal tutor know as soon as you can.
  • If you have any changes in personal circumstances which may affect your studies, let your personal tutor know as soon as you can.
  • Remember that your personal tutor is not just there if things go wrong, they can advise you on a range of issues and also direct you to other sources of advice.

Meetings with your personal tutor

Although arrangements may be in place in your School for more frequent face to face meetings, your personal tutors will offer a face to face meeting on at least three points during the academic year.

Key contact points for new students (first year and direct entrants)

  • Welcome Week: during your induction programme you will find out about the personal tutoring system and have the opportunity to ask any questions.
  • By the end of teaching week 2 you will be invited to a meeting to discuss settling in and check that things are going well.
  • Week 8 or 9: you will meet with your personal tutor to discuss end of semester assessments. It is an opportunity for you to discuss any anxieties you have over assessments, seek guidance on revision, and reflect on your learning and the academic skills they need to develop to be successful in your assessments.
  • Post-assessment: Early in semester 2, you will be invited to a meeting to discuss your semester 1 results. This is an opportunity for you to discuss what has gone well, or not so well, and how the 1st semester experience will help in semester 2 and beyond.

In addition,

You may be invited to other meetings throughout the year and should attend.
You may request meetings at other times if you need to talk to your personal tutor, you don't have to wait until the next scheduled meeting.

Key contact points for continuing students

  • By the end of teaching week 5 you will be invited to discuss how you are settling in to the new academic year, if any optional courses you have chosen are going well and if there are any points of discussion arising from the previous semester's assessments.
  • Semester 2 post assessments: Early in semester 2 you will be invited to a meeting to discuss your semester 1 results. This is an opportunity for you to reflect on what has gone well, or not so well, and how your 1st semester experience will help you in semester 2 and beyond.

In addition,

You may be invited to other meetings throughout the year and should attend.
You may request meetings at other times if you need to talk to your personal tutor, you don't have to wait until the next scheduled meeting.

Contacting your personal tutor

Sometimes your personal tutor may be unavailable due to a planned absence or other University commitments, if you need to speak to someone while your personal tutor is unavailable, you should contact your year co-ordinator, programme director or head of discipline (contact details for each will be in your programme handbook).

Changing personal tutor

Students can request a change of personal tutor by contacting their Student Office.

Your personal tutor may change during your time at University. You will be notified by your School Office by email of any change in your personal tutor. You will also receive an introductory email from your new personal tutor giving details of how to contact them and when they are available.