Support to study

Support to Study is a process designed to help you to participate fully and satisfactorily in student life when health-related issues cause you problems.

If one or more members of staff are concerned about your welfare they may refer you to a Support to Study meeting. They may have offered support themselves but now feel that you need more support.

A meeting may involve the staff member (or members) concerned about you and staff from other areas to make sure that appropriate help and support are in place for you.

They may be concerned about:

  • your academic progress
  • your health and/or wellbeing
  • your ability to live safely and independently at university
  • how you are mixing with other students.

How a referral is made

The concerned staff will write a referral, identifying the issues that they think you are facing.

What happens next

There will be a panel meeting to discuss your support, usually within three weeks of the initial referral.

You are invited to the meeting as well as staff from your faculty and the Student Wellbeing Service or Residential Life Service. There are usually about three or four members of staff at the meeting.

We encourage you to attend if possible. You can bring a friend or companion, or come with someone from the Student Union's Academic Advice service.

If you do not feel able to come, you can write a statement explaining what you want to say. If you do not attend it will not count against you, but the meeting is likely to be more successful if you are there.

The meeting

You will have the chance to discuss the issues that you have been experiencing. This may include what steps you have taken to address the situation, and what support might be helpful.

The meeting will be friendly and supportive and everybody will treat you with respect.

Staff will ask you questions, make recommendations for support, and discuss what impact these could have.

You might want to share evidence from your doctor or any professionals who are supporting you. This will help staff to understand what you are experiencing.

Outcomes of the meeting

An action plan will be agreed which should help improve your situation. Actions are normally agreed with you and could include recommendations for support.

You will receive the plan within a week of the meeting. You should be ready to work proactively with staff when you get your action plan.

You cannot be required to suspend or leave your studies by a Support to Study meeting.

What happens if this intervention does not help

If your situation gets worse, talk about it with any member of staff who is supporting you. They may be able to consider alternative actions. These may include moving to the next stage of the Support to Study process, Fitness to Study.

You can also consider suspending your studies. This may be because you need time to recover from a health condition or something similar. You can discuss this option and any implications with the staff on the panel.

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