If you have a question, hopefully you can find the answer or a bit of guidance in this section.
Your question not covered here? Contact ASK, and we'll get back to you!
Answers are split into the following categories - click to go to the section you want:
I'm unhappy with my course. It isn't what I thought it would be, and now I'm worried I've wasted my chance at University. Is there anything I can do?
Your options will depend in part on what year you are in, and what type of course you are doing.
In the first instance, it is a good idea to make an appointment to see your academic adviser, and talk to them about it. They should be able to let you know whether there is another course you could switch to with the credits you have already gained.
If there is not another course, or if you feel you are in the wrong area entirely, then you may want to change your course. There is information about this on the Transferring page.
I think that my marks are unfair, and that I'm not getting what I should be. Can I ask someone else to mark my assignments?
Most assignments are blind-marked (the marker does not know who's assignments they are marking), and some departments frequently double-mark assignments.
If you feel that your marks are less than you would expect, your options depend on why you think this is.
Asking for more feedback on assignments is a good place to start. There may be technical skills you can improve (CAPLE may be able to help you with this) that would benefit your future performance.
It may be that you feel that you underperformed due to a particular set of circumstances - perhaps ill health or difficult personal circumstances. Alternatively, you could feel that a particular member of staff doesn't like your work and is perhaps treating you differently to other students. In these cases, you may be able to appeal your marks, and get another chance to submit the work.
In any case, it will always be worthwhile trying to identify the reason for the difference in your marks and your expectations. You will not be able to challenge your marks, or to appeal, purely because you disagree with the lecturer or tutor's opinion. This is called challenging 'academic judgement'.
I'm having a difficult time at the moment, and I'm worried it will affect my studies. Do I just have to accept I might not get the degree I'm capable of because of bad timing?
If you have personal circumstances that are making it difficult for you to study, you have several options to try to reduce the impact on your grades.
The first thing to do is to let your Department know about the problems you are having. While this can be very difficult, it is important to understand that the Department cannot give you any assistance if they do not know about the circumstances you are dealing with. It is up to you who to talk to: for example, find a tutor you trust, or speak to your academic adviser.
Depending on your circumstances, you may need an extension on an assignment, or to miss an exam, or even to take a break from your course completely for a few months. If you do not feel your Department are giving you the support you need, you can come to ASK for further assistance.
I'm enjoying my course, but I'm struggling with some of the work. My lecturer doesn't seem to want to give me extra help. What can I do?
If you are asking the lecturer for help just after lectures, or when passing them in the corridor, it may be that you are catching them at a bad time. Ask in the Department whether the lecturer has times that they set aside for meeting students, and try to make an appointment with them to discuss your concerns. You could email them before the meeting to let them know what you want to talk about, which may help them to prepare something to help you.
If this is not the issue, or you've tried that and the lecturer won't assist, you could contact CAPLE for assistance with academic techniques, study skills and suchlike.
I've missed a lot of lectures this year, and I'm now worried that this will affect me in my exams and possibly for the rest of my course. Is there anything I can do about this now?
Your options will depend on why you have missed the lectures. If it is due to medical or personal circumstances, speak to your Department about the difficulties you have had. They may be able to take this into account if your exams go badly.
If you have missed them due to poor time-keeping, or from being overwhelmed by the freedom of University to make your own decisions and keep your own hours, you will have less leeway. However, try not to panic. Except for Honours courses, students are given at least one opportunity to re-sit failed examinations. It is also possible to repeat a small number of courses the following year on an part-time basis - this is called 'Registered with Attendance'.
The most important thing, if you realise that you have not been putting enough commitment into your studies, is to take steps to change that as soon as possible. Your Department, CAPLE, Student Counselling and ASK can all help you to talk through why you're struggling and what you can do to get yourself back on track.
I've come to University after a long break from education. I don't feel my IT skills are up to how much of the course is online and uses computers. I'm also struggling with the academic writing styles. Can I get help with these things from the University?
The Centre for Academic Practice and Learning Enhancement (CAPLE) can help you with study skills and Academic Writing, while Learning Services runs IT courses for undergraduates throughout the year.
I've been accused of plagiarism. What does this mean? What happens now?
The ASK page on plagiarism will give you the basics on this. If you have more questions, or if you would like assistance from Nicola or Caroline in dealing with the process, then contact ASK.
How do I appeal a decision of the Exam Board?
Information on the first stage of the appeals process is available here. If you would like further assistance after reading the page, call in to ASK to speak to Caroline or Nicola.
I want to appeal my degree classification. Will I still be able to graduate with my friends if I do this?
Unfortunately, it is extremely unlikely that the appeals process would be completed in time for you to graduate with your class. Students cannot graduate until the final result is confirmed, and so you cannot graduate while there is an ongoing appeal relating to your degree classification.
I'm thinking of complaining about my course/ tutor, but I'm worried that this may mark me as a troublemaker and affect my future if I do. Is this likely?
It is part and parcel of the complaints procedure that students be protected from being disadvantaged by making a complaint. The complaints procedure is on the University website here.
Paragraph 1.5 states "You should note that, if you raise a complaint, you will not suffer any disadvantage as a result of making the complaint".
There is more information on the ASK complaints page.
There's a student in my class who makes me feel very uncomfortable. I don't know if I'm imagining it, but I feel like they are having a go at me all the time. I want to speak to someone about it, but I'm worried I'll just get told I'm overreacting. Is there someone I can talk to who will listen to me?
Bullying and harassment are taken very seriously by the University. There is more information on how the University deals with these issues on the ASK Bullying & Harassment page.
I need to repeat a year of my course. Will I get the same funding for this?
Whether or not you receive repeat year funding will depend on who you funding provider is, and what circumstances have caused you to need to repeat. There is more information on this at the ASK student funding page. However, it is very much tied to your personal circumstances, so it is worthwhile contacting your funding provider to ask them. If you are not sure about your funding provider's decision, you can contact ASK, and we will be happy to help you make sure you have the correct funding.
I'm thinking of transferring to another course or University. How will this affect my funding?
The effect of changing your course or moving to another University will depend on who your funding provider is, and whether you will need to take any additional time to complete the course. There is some information on the ASK Transferring page. However, it is worth contacting your funding provider to ask them. If you are not sure that you are getting the right information or funding, you can contact ASK, and we will be happy to talk through your options with you.
I'm finding it difficult to pay my rent. Is there any financial help I can get?
If you are not claiming your student loan, this is the first thing you need to do if you are struggling financially and want to access additional support. Other financial support is available only after you have claimed your maximum loan entitlement. (This does not apply to wages or income from employment)
Details of additional financial support you may be able to claim are on the finance page.
I've been relying on credit cards to meet basic expenses, and I now can't afford the repayments. I'm getting letters from my creditors and the stress is beginning to affect my studies. What can I do?
Take action as soon as possible!
The finance page has information on other sources of income, as well as on how to manage your money and deal with debt.
ASK advisers can also go through your finances with you, explaining your options for rearranging payments, reducing your debts or increasing your income. Contact us to make an appointment with Caroline or Nicola, and bring all the relevant letters and paperwork with you!
I want to leave Halls and move in with friends, but the Accommodation Office say I have to stay until the end of the year. Is this the case?
Your Occupancy Agreement is a legally binding contract with the Accommodation Office, just like a tenancy agreement would be in a private flat. The Agreement will specify the dates of the contract. If you move out during the period of the Agreement, you will be liable for the rent on your room until the end date specified on the Agreement, or until another student can be found to take your room. It is up to the Accommodation Office whether or not to accept a proposed replacement occupier as suitable.
If there is a problem with your Accommodation, or if you have exceptional circumstances that mean it becomes impractical for you to remain in University Accommodation, speak to the Accommodation Office. They may be willing to come to an agreement with you to release you from the contract early.
How do we find a private flat in Glasgow? What's the best place to look?
Information on flat hunting in Glasgow is on the housing page.
We're having problems in our rented flat - the landlord isn't doing repairs that are needed. We were told these would be done by the time we moved in. What can we do?
Landlords have a legal obligation to make sure their properties meet a certain minimum called the 'Repairing standard'. Any repairs required have to be completed within a 'reasonable' time of the landlord being made aware of the problem.
If you are having trouble getting your landlord to make repairs, write to them by recorded delivery, keeping a copy of the letter. Set out the problems that need to be fixed, and give your landlord what you feel is a reasonable deadline to start repairs.
If your landlord continues to avoid repairs, you can ask the Private Rented Housing Panel (PRHP) to get involved.
There is more information on renting rights and the repairing standard at the Shelter Scotland website.
NB: Housing law in Scotland is very different from that in England and Wales. Make sure you are at the Shelter Scotland website before using any of the information there.
ASK can help you to draft a letter to your landlord, and answer any questions you have about your accommodation.
The landlord is threatening not to give our deposits back. We need this to get another flat. How do we make sure the landlord doesn't keep our money?
There is no guaranteed way of getting all of your deposit back, but there are some steps you can follow to increase the chances of this happening.
- Have an up to date inventory of what is in the flat, and its condition, when you move in;
- Clean the flat thoroughly before you leave, and take photographs of it;
- Be present at the end of tenancy inspection, and ask the landlord or agency representative to confirm in writing at the end of the inspection that it is in acceptable condition;
- Don't leave any unwanted items in the flat, even if you think they would be useful for future tenants - you will be charged for their removal;
- Agree a time within which the landlord will return the deposit. This gives you a date you can start to chase them about it if it hasn't been paid.
If the landlord still does not return the deposit, or if you are unhappy with any of the deductions being made, you may need further assistance to recover it. ASK can help you negotiate with the landlord and, if necessary, advise you about taking court action to get your money back.
The landlord is selling the house, and has said we need to move out next month. Our contract hasn't ended yet - do we have to move?
Whether you will have to move will depend on what your contract says, and what information your landlord has given you.
There are very defined legal procedures that a landlord has to follow in order to evict tenants. What these procedures are will depend on what type of tenancy you have.
If you are being threatened with eviction, bring a copy of your tenancy agreement, as well as any other paperwork you have from your landlord or agent, to ASK. Caroline or Nicola will be able to advise you on your options, and whether or not you have to leave.
How do I get a National Insurance Number (NiNo)?
If you are an international student wishing to work in the UK, you will need to telephone Jobcentre Plus on Tel 0845 600 0643 (lines are open 8.00 am to 6.00 pm Monday to Friday) to arrange to get one.
If you have been living in the UK, and someone has been receiving child benefit for you, you should already have a NiNo. If you have not received it, you should contact the National Insurance Registrations Helpline on Tel 0845 915 7006 for advice. Lines are open 8.30 am to 5.00 pm Monday to Friday.
What's the best way of finding a job?
There are several methods of job-hunting, and it's probably worth trying all of the ones listed here, as well as any others you can think of!
- Most newspapers have a jobs section in their back pages on a particular day of the week (annoyingly, this varies with the paper, so you'll have to look for the ones indicating a jobs section);
- Online: Newspapers' websites will often list the same jobs their publications do. There are also several specific jobsearch websites. Put 'jobs in Glasgow' into a search engine of your choice, and see what comes up!
- Window-shopping: some businesses will advertise vacant positions in their windows. Keep your eyes peeled!
- CV distribution: update your CV and send copies off to companies you want to work for. Even if they're not advertising at the time, they may keep it on file. (don't assume when a job comes up they'll think of you, though - if you see an advertised position, still apply for it!)
- Jobcentre: The Jobcentre Plus offices have jobsearch points that you can go in and use. Just browse for the jobs you're interested in.
There is more information on jobsearching, writing a CV, and other employment-related issues at the Careers Service website.
I'm a full-time student, but tax was taken off my pay over the holidays. How do I get a student tax code?
There is no such thing as a student tax code. Every person employed in the UK has a 'personal allowance' of income on which no tax is paid. If you earn under that threshold, you don't pay income tax. Most full-time students are in low-paid, part time work, and so don't meet the threshold.
However, if you work full-time during vacations, your weekly earnings can reach a level where you would pay tax if you earned that much all the time. Revenues and Customs (HMRC) don't want to miss out on taxes, so they take tax off your earnings just in case. They'd rather make you claim a refund than have to try to get the money from you later!
If you are working only during vacations, you can complete form p38(s). This should mean that tax is not deducted from your earnings, provided you do not earn more during the year than your personal allowance mentioned earlier (National Insurance payments will still be deducted if you earn over the NI threshold).
If you are taxed, you will need to claim it back. There are more details on income tax, and on claiming back overpaid tax, at the HMRC website.
I haven't been paid. What can I do to get my money?
The law assumes that all work undertaken is on a remunerative (paid) basis, unless there has been a specific agreement to the contrary. So, if you can show you did the work, there will be a way for you to approach your employer for the money you are owed.
However, employment law is complicated, and your options will depend on what type of work you did, and what type of worker or employee you were.
If you are in this position, contact ASK for further advice, giving as much detail as possible, or calling in to the ASK office on Level 5 of the Union building, bringing any paperwork (contract, payslips etc) with you.
There are strict timelimits in employment law, so always seek advice as soon as possible if you have an employment problem.
Where can I collect an HC1 form?
You can get an HC1 from from ASK on level 5 of the Union building.
They are also available from NHS hospitals, and Jobcentre Plus.
Where can I get free condoms?
You can get free condoms from the ASK office on Level 5 of the Union building.
Where can I find a dentist or GP?
NHS 24 has a tool on their website to help you find local health services.