If you ever feel as though feedback on your work isn’t that useful, that you’d benefit from some tips on how to work more effectively or that you’re finding academic pressure a bit too intense, your first port of call should usually be your tutors. Of course, you might not get the help you’re looking for from them, or even feel a little bit uncomfortable asking them for it in the first place. If that’s the case, there are several other ways you can get help with your degree.
Face to Face Help
The next person to ask for help might be your Director of Studies, who will normally be more than happy to sit down with you and discuss anything degree-related you want to. There’s also Merton’s Welfare team, who are always ready to offer you support about academics or anything else.
Merton has Graduate Mentors (SSO required) for every subject, who are Graduate students who volunteer to help with work and academic pressures – a lot of them remember (only too vividly) going through the Undergrad course themselves, so are happy to help!
Another option you have is to go through the JCR’s very own Academic Affairs Representative (email@example.com), who can be a confidential but unintimidating way of raising your concern. In addition to always being ready to listen to a concern you raise with them, the AcAf arranges weekly drop-in sessions, will chase your late collections, puts out weekly bulletins of job and volunteering opportunities and runs events with the University Careers Service.
The AcAf has also encouraged each of Merton’s subject societies to put out a subject-specific guide, written by current students, with tips on how to approach studying at Merton and what to expect. Do also check your course’s handbook.
If you’d rather a fully anonymous way to offer feedback on your tutors, at the end of each term a formal survey is circulated by college. It asks you to rank and review different elements of a tutor’s teaching, and can be an excellent way to flag issues and allow college to pick up on patterns both positive and negative.
The college has a number of full-time staff, whose jobs it is to work to ensure students are able to achieve their full potential.
Jemma Underdown in the Academic Office works alongside Dr. Jane Gover, the Senior Tutor, to look after academic affairs connected with junior members from application to graduation.
Jemma is formally the College’s Academic Registrar and Disability Coordinator, and should be the first point of contact for help and advice on:
- Alternative exam requirements such as extra time, use of computers or dictionaries, and making alternative arrangements for exams that clash with religious holidays.
- Co-ordinating support for students with disabilities or health problems including signalling special needs to Tutors; liaising with College staff on food, accommodation, laundry and linking up with the Disability Advisory Service
- Discussing potential suspension of studies where there is a legitimate cause
- Email Jane Gover (firstname.lastname@example.org)
- Email Jemma Underdown (email@example.com)
- Intranet: Academic Resources (SSO required)
- Intranet: Graduate Mentors (SSO required)