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Undergraduate Welcome Booklet 2011



Congratulations In a few weeks, you will make your home at one of the world’s most prestigious universities. A university at the heart of one of Europe’s most loved capital cities, steeped in history, but always looking forward with ambition, the University of Edinburgh is a thriving, welcoming community. We are delighted that you are coming to Edinburgh, and hope you are now looking forward to this next, important, stage in your life. This booklet You will have many questions ahead of your move to Edinburgh, and that is where this booklet comes in. It provides lots of helpful information to help you prepare for your arrival in September. There is also plenty of additional information online – see the Useful Links at the end of the booklet. If you have unanswered questions, please get in touch. Welcome to Edinburgh! We look forward to seeing you in September!


Contents Welcome 2 Table of Contents 3 Checklist 4 Before you arrive 4 Once you have arrived in Edinburgh 4 Travelling to Edinburgh 5 By road 5 By rail 6 By air 6 Freshers’ Week 2011 7 Accommodation 8 Applying for accommodation 8 Accommodation guarantees 8 When to apply for accommodation 8 Accommodation allocation 8 Accepting your accommodation offer 8 Cancelling your offer of accommodation 9 Moving into your accommodation 9 Collecting the keys for your accommodation 9

Temporary accommodation for those arriving early 9 Further information 9 Money 10 Tuition Fees and Student Support 10 Living Costs 2011/12 11 Council Tax 11 Banking 12 Employment 13 SAGE (Student and Graduate Employment @ the Careers Service) 13 Childcare 14 Chaplaincy Centre 15 EUSA Advice Place 16 Health 17 University Health Service 17 Students with a disability 17 Dentists and Opticians 17 Useful Links 18


Checklist Before you arrive …… Read the joining instructions from your College carefully, as these will contain important information regarding specific activities and requirements related to your programme …… Complete your matriculation form and return it by post …… If you have applied for University accommodation, remember to bring your accommodation contract …… Bring all your relevant documentation as requested in the information from your College …… Bring passport photos

Once you have arrived in Edinburgh …… Attend your induction events for your programme …… Meet with your Director of Studies (DoS) …… Register with a Doctor …… Inform the Council if you are living in non-University accommodation and wish to be exempt from Council Tax

Travelling to Edinburgh You can gain access to University accommodation during ‘Coming Up Weekend’ (10 and 11 September). Accordingly, we strongly encourage you to plan your travel around this period. If you come to Edinburgh too early, you will need temporary accommodation until the University’s accommodation becomes available, and this can be very expensive. If you come to Edinburgh too late, you will miss important orientation and induction events during Freshers’ Week. By road Edinburgh can be reached easily by road, and is well-placed on the Scottish motorway network. Route information, including up-to-date traffic news, can be found online: AA Route Planner: RAC Route Planner: The University of Edinburgh is located to the south of the city. The postcode for Pollock Halls of Residence is EH16 5BQ. Approximate travel times to Edinburgh by road: 1 hour from Glasgow 2 hours from Aberdeen 2 hours from Newcastle 3 hours from Inverness 4 hours from Manchester 5 hours from Birmingham 7 hours from Cardiff 7 hours from London There are regular bus and coach services to Edinburgh from major towns and cities across the UK.



Megabus: National Express: Scottish Citylink: By rail Edinburgh has excellent rail links throughout the UK. All trains arrive at Waverley Station in the city centre. Waverly Station is the station closest to the University. Some trains also stop at Haymarket, a smaller station in the West End of the city. Approximate travel times to Edinburgh by rail: 45 minutes from Glasgow 1.5 hours from Newcastle 2 hours from Aberdeen 3.5 hours from Inverness 3.5 hours from Manchester 4 hours from Birmingham 4.5 hours from London 7 hours from Cardiff For train times and ticket prices, visit By air If you are an international student, please see the International Pre-Arrival Guide for more information about visas and travel to the UK. Edinburgh International Airport is around 20 minutes from the city centre. There are frequent daily flights from across the UK and Europe, and several transatlantic flights a day. For airport information, visit Airport Welcome Service Edinburgh International Airport is small and it is very easy to find your way around. A University welcome team will be based at

the airport and will be easily identified by their clothing. • When: Saturday, 10 September and Sunday 11 September 2011 • Times: 8.30am to 8.30pm • Where: at the airport – at a desk outside Arrivals Onward travel from the airport Edinburgh Direct Shared Travel Service Edinburgh Direct has been set up in conjunction with the University to transfer students, parents, friends and staff, to and from Edinburgh Airport. If you would like to arrange to be met at the airport on 10 or 11 September and taken to your accommodation, you must book in advance online at: Cost: £10 per passenger for one way travel Airlink Frequent Express Shuttle Service The Airlink bus service operates between the airport and Waverley Bridge (beside Waverley Railway Station in the city centre). Buses run at regular intervals. The journey time is approximately 25 minutes. Cost: £3.50 single; £6.00 open return Taxi Taxis are relatively expensive compared to the other options for travel from the airport, and will cost up to £25, so do try to share.


Freshers’ Week 2011 The week immediately before your first semester starts at the University of Edinburgh is known as Freshers’ Week. The University of Edinburgh Freshers’ Week is organised by the Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA). EUSA is your Student Association and, when you enrol as a student at Edinburgh, you automatically become a member. This allows you to benefit from a number of different services including representation, welfare, advice, and the facilities that are provided within your union buildings. EUSA runs four Student Union buildings at Teviot, Potterow, Pleasance and King’s Buildings House. These facilities include bars, cafes, study spaces, gym facilities and hireable venue spaces. Freshers’ Week takes place in all of these buildings and stretches across the whole University. There are hundreds of events to help you find your feet, make new friends, and explore and get prepared for your new life in Edinburgh.

Some of these events, such as Registration & Matriculation and your first meeting with your Director of Studies (DoS), are essential. Other events are optional but very much recommended as they are designed to give you the opportunity to meet new friends and familiarise yourself with University life. Some examples of events you can attend are: Clubs and Societies Fair – your first chance to see which societies are available to join. Edinburgh International Day – a great welcome to international students and a fantastic insight into studying in Scotland. Freshers’ Ball – your opportunity to celebrate with your new found friends. Live music nights, great comedy, dance tasters, social meets, club nights, postgraduate and mature student events, quizzes, society events, debates, film showings, and much more! Much more information about Freshers’ Week is available online at


Accommodation Applying for accommodation Applications for accommodation must be made separately from any application to study at the University of Edinburgh. With your offer pack you should have received information advising you to apply online for accommodation; if not, check the Accommodation Services website at where you will also find further information, including the application and offer process and the terms of the accommodation guarantees. It is the University’s policy to issue all accommodation offers and receive all acceptances online. It is therefore vital that, when submitting an accommodation application, you provide an email address at which you can be contacted throughout the summer from June to September. Accommodation Guarantees For the latest information, please check online at new-prospective/

When to apply for accommodation You can apply any time – whether your offer is conditional, insurance or unconditional – once the applications process has been opened by Accommodation Services, usually from February. However, you must ensure that you apply by the deadline in order to be guaranteed an offer of accommodation. The deadline for those applying for 2011 entry is 16 August 2011. Accommodation allocation Offers of accommodation are usually sent out from June onwards for all students who have applied by the required date and whose place at the University is Unconditional Firm (UF). Accepting your accommodation offer You will be given a limited time in which to accept your offer of accommodation. As a condition of acceptance, you will be required to pay a £250 deposit which must be paid online. Details of this method of payment will be included with the accommodation offer.


Cancelling your offer of accommodation Where the acceptance has been confirmed, and the deposit paid, the following cancellation rules will apply: • Cancellation before the start date of the tenancy - £250 deposit (less a £50 administration charge) is refunded • Failure to take up your place without prior notice - £250 deposit will be forfeited If you fail to take up your place in accommodation by Saturday 10 September 2011 without notifying Accommodation Services of either your cancellation or late arrival, you will be deemed not to be taking up residence and your accommodation will be made available for re-letting. You will be charged for the accommodation until the vacancy is filled. Moving into your accommodation If you have been allocated accommodation in a University residence or student flat, you will normally be able to move in from the Saturday before the start of Freshers’ Week – Saturday 10 September 2011. You will not be able to move into your accommodation earlier; if you need accommodation before these dates, advice on where to look for temporary accommodation is available at the end of this section.

Collecting the keys for your accommodation If you have fully accepted the accommodation offered, you should go directly to the Accommodation Services office identified to you as part of your offer. Please note, if you expect to arrive after 10pm, we are unable to guarantee access to your accommodation and you will need to consider spending a night at a local guest house. Temporary accommodation for those arriving early Past experience has shown that you only need a few days to settle in and that the earliest date you need to arrive is Saturday 10 September 2011. However, if you do decide to travel earlier than this, you should be aware that it can be difficult to find short-term accommodation because of high demand at this time of year; it can also prove expensive. Further information For the most up-to-date situation you should refer to the information which will be sent out with your offer of accommodation. Alternatively, check out the Accommodation Services website, which has full and up-to-date details of all University accommodation, application and allocation procedures, as well as substantial information about private accommodation. accommodation-services/newprospective/undergraduate


Money Tuition Fees and Student Support Tuition fees are shown in the document “Table of Fees for Session 2011-12”, which is available from Scholarships and Student Funding Services. You can email them at, tel. 0131 650 2230, or find up-to-date information at: www.registry. More detailed information about payment options and payment methods offered by the University is available at: www. students/fees. You may be entitled to financial support from your government, be funded by a sponsor or have arranged some other form of student loan. Normally you will have to apply for this type of financial help as early as possible and for each year of study – your financial support or sponsor funding provider will be able to advise you. Scottish and EU applicants If you are Scottish domiciled or a student from a non-UK EU country completing your first degree, you are eligible for your tuition fees to be covered by the Scottish

Government through the Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS). You must apply for this, and details of how and when to apply are available from SAAS at: www. Applicants from the rest of the UK Variable top-up fees have not been introduced in Scotland. Instead, as a student from England, Wales and Northern Ireland you will pay a flat rate, non-means tested tuition fee typically for each year of your programme. You can apply to Student Finance England, Student Finance Wales or Student Finance Northern Ireland (as appropriate) for student loans and a range of bursaries and grants. Eligible full-time students can apply for a tuition fee loan to cover the cost of their tuition fees. Further information can be found at: undergraduate/fees-finance/uk/tuitionfees. Students will receive the same level of support that would apply if studying at a university or college elsewhere in the UK.


International applicants from outside the EU Information regarding fees and funding is available online at studying/international/finance. Payment of Tuition Fees Payment of fees, in pounds sterling, can be made with one or a combination of the following options: • Financial Support/Sponsor Funding • In advance and/or at registration • By installment You can find out more about these payment methods at: schools-departments/finance/students/ fees/payment-methods. Living Costs 2011/12 In addition to any tuition fees you may have to pay, the cost of living in Edinburgh is estimated at around £6,549 for a typical 37-week academic year. These calculations will vary according to your lifestyle and the type of accommodation you live in. For other possible costs please visit: www.

Council Tax As a student you may not be liable for Council Tax (a tax set by local Councils to pay for local services). You are not automatically exempt from council tax: you must register exemption with the Council yourself. Registry will provide the City of Edinburgh Council with a list of full-time undergraduate students resident within the City of Edinburgh. The Council will use a student list from Registry to verify your status as a registered student at the University. Full-time students living outside of the City of Edinburgh area can request a Certificate of Student Status from the Registry to accompany any form issued by a Local Council. You can find out more about Council Tax exemption at: council-tax. Further information may be obtained from the Advice Place, Bristo Square, who specialise in student enquiries and will be able to provide information on eligibility for Council Tax discounts and rebates; the Advice Shop, 85/87 South Bridge; or any Citizens’ Advice Bureau (all of which are independent advice centres); or direct to the City of Edinburgh Council, Chesser House, 500 Gorgie Road, telephone 0131 459 1991.

Estimated weekly budget University room in halls Rent £113-£227 Food £15 for lunches Gas/Electricity Included in rent Internet Included in rent Mobile phones £10-£15 Laundry/Toiletries £8 Total Per Week £146-£265

University self-catering room £57-£104 £50 Included in rent Included in rent £10-£15 £8 £125-£177

Private flat £90 £50 £15 £8 £10-£15 £8 £181-£186


Banking UK Students If you do not already have a bank or building society account, you should set one up before you start your degree programme. Student Loans and Access Bursary payments are now paid directly into your bank account. The most common type of bank account is a current account, which allows immediate access to your account. Most banks offer preferential terms to UK students and it is advisable to take advantage of any interest-free overdraft facility offered. To open a bank account, you will need to bring the following information: • Photo ID (passport, driving licence, EU national identity card or NUS card) • The original copy of your unconditional offer letter from the University of Edinburgh • Address verification (SLC award letter, UCAS letter) International and EU Students You may find it helpful to open a UK bank account to help you manage your money. You will not normally be allowed to open a bank account until you arrive in the UK, although you should check with international banks in your home country. Unlike UK students, your account will not offer an overdraft facility. You will be required to provide the same sort of verification as indicated above but may be asked for proof of both your home address and the address at which you will be staying in Edinburgh. You may also be required to provide a reference letter from your bank in your home country, written in English, providing details on your credit status.

Please note that International students will also require a bank letter of introduction from Accommodation Services or online: bank_account.html On arrival you can obtain a letter of introduction which will be sent to you at the Edinburgh address you have provided. As banks differ in what they require from EU and international students, it is advisable before leaving your home country to look at the websites of some of the main banks to see what documentation they require. In order to ensure that you have sufficient funds available for the first five weeks after arriving in the UK, it is sensible to bring some travellers’ cheques with you which you can easily cash in at any bank.


Employment SAGE (Student and Graduate Employment @ the Careers Service) SAGE is part of the Careers Service and maintains a list of job vacancies suitable for students. You can register with them once you have your matriculation number and student email account. Details explaining how to obtain a National Insurance Number can be found at: More information •

Information on working during your studies

Students from the European Economic Area

Student and Graduate Employment (SAGE) at the University

• Working in the UK after your studies


Childcare Childcare for young children, babies and pre-school children (6 weeks to 5 years) The University Day Nursery offers childcare, but spaces are limited so it is important to plan well in advance if you wish to secure a place. You should be aware that childcare is relatively expensive in the UK. Please note that, once you are settled in Edinburgh, you could enquire about funded places for 3-5 year olds through the Edinburgh City Council (Partnership Funding). Forms and information are available from: University Day Nursery 79/81 Dalkeith Road Edinburgh, EH16 5AL Tel: 0131 667 9584 Email: For children from 2.5 to 5 years UNI-TOTS Nursery University of Edinburgh 7 George Square Edinburgh, EH8 9JZ Ms Audrey Cameron, Manager Tel: 0131 650 3448 Email:


Chaplaincy Centre The Chaplaincy Centre, at the hub of University life, is for your use, whatever your background, culture or belief. Please feel free to drop in Monday to Friday during the semester between 9.30am and 5pm. Location: next to the Potterrow Student Union in Bristo Square. Map reference: Further information is available from: The Chaplaincy Centre 1 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL Email: Web: Tel: 0131 650 2595 Fax: 0131 650 9111


EUSA Advice Place The Advice Place is a free, friendly, independent and confidential advice and information centre run by EUSA. It offers a welcoming environment to help you achieve your potential at university. The Advice Place provides information, advice, and support on a range of issues, including finance and funding, academic issues and university regulations, processes and procedures, advice on finding accommodation and dealing with tenancy issues, employment issues, immigration advice, help with welfare benefits and council tax, and general information about the University and student life. For more information look online at You can drop in any time during opening hours or you can contact The Advice Place by phone or email: Tel: 0131 650 9225 to speak to someone or make an appointment Email:


Health University Health Service If you will be staying in Edinburgh for more than 3 months, you should register with a doctor (a General Practitioner (GP)) soon after your arrival so that you can receive treatment quickly and easily. The University Health Service provides comprehensive medical care under the National Health Service (NHS) for those who wish to register as patients of the practice, and who live within the practice area. Alternatively, you may register with any other general practice near where you live. Special arrangements for registration are made during Freshers’ Week and, although you may have to wait, you are strongly advised to register then. Full-time overseas students (including students from the EEA) who become ill after arrival in the UK may obtain NHS treatment without charge, provided they are registered on a recognised course of study. University Health Service Richard Verney Health Centre 6 Bristo Square, Edinburgh, EH8 9AL Tel: 0131 650 2777 Email: University Pharmacy 6 Bristo Square, EH8 9AL Tel/Fax: 0131 650 2525 Email: Students with a disability Disabled students, including those with specific learning disabilities, are warmly welcomed to the University of Edinburgh. The Disability Office offers information and advice on all aspects of support

for disabled students and can help you plan your studies at Edinburgh. If you think you are eligible for adaptations, adjustments to teaching or assessment practice, or personal assistance (e.g. a note taker or proof-reader), it is essential that you contact the Disability Office as soon as possible if you have not done so already. The University has an ongoing programme to make its buildings as accessible as possible. It can take several weeks to make additional adaptations, so early contact is essential. In order to make recommendations for support, it is necessary to provide relevant evidence of your disability or specific learning difficulty. Arrangements here may be different from those you already have, so an early consultation is essential. Disability Office 6-8 South College Street, EH8 9AA Tel: 0131 650 6828 Textphone: 0131 650 9371 Email: Dentists and Opticians Dentists and opticians make a charge for treatment and details of these services are available from the Advice Place. Note that you do have to register separately with these services for treatment and that registration with a GP Practice for NHS treatment does not automatically allow you free dental and optical care. Please consult the Yellow Pages Directory as most dentists and opticians are listed in the Yellow Pages. You can obtain details of the NHS Dentist nearest to your home by phoning 0131 537 8424 or by consulting the following website:


Useful Links University of Edinburgh

Website for new students new-students

Freshers’ Website freshers-week

EUSA Freshers’ Website

Accommodation Services

Disability Office

International Office

Scholarships & Student Funding Student Fees



University Health Service

Student Counselling Service

Chaplaincy Centre

Edinburgh University Students’ Association (EUSA)

EUSA Advice Place


City of Edinburgh Council

The University of Edinburgh is a charitable body, registered in Scotland, with registration number SC005336. Š The University of Edinburgh 2011

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Student Recruitment & Admissions The University of Edinburgh 57 George Square Edinburgh, EH8 9JU Tel: 0131 650 4360 Email:

welcome brochure  

new UG students 2011

welcome brochure  

new UG students 2011