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Who Does What? Where to find Help?

Online Undergraduate Handbook

Information is available through the online Undergraduate Handbook, these pages contain basic information about all the course regulations, module descriptions, and things you should be doing. If you have a question regarding your degree these are the first place you should look before you ask anyone else in the department. By the start of term there will be a pdf snapshot available to download, but note that the online version will always be the most up to date instance.

Undergraduate Office

The Undergraduate Office is your destination for most of your day to day needs in the department. It is where you can buy printed lecture notes and books of past exam papers (although you won't need those in the first few weeks!), and for general enquiries regarding modules and registrations. They do not deal with more general University issues such as fees or residences, questions on these should be directed elsewhere. If you have an urgent problem and cannot find your personal tutor you should also start here to get help. On the wall outside the office you will find racks containing various forms for Unusual Options, Changing Course, or Self Certification forms for illness. All of these forms should be handed in to the Undergraduate Office once you have the neccessary signatures (they will then pass them on to the Director of Undergraduate Studies for his signature). They will also make sure that there are copies of assignment sheets and handouts that have been distributed in lectures. They are all very happy to help, but please bear in mind that at certain times in the day they will be very busy so if it's not urgent try to time your visit to miss busy periods.

Personal Tutor

Your personal tutor is a member of academic staff who is there as a first port of call for problems. They can give you advice on module choices, help with problems you are having with lecture material and should be the first person you see if you are having other difficulties including problems that are affecting your ability to continue your studies. You will see your tutor regularly in your tutor group with other students, but they will also make themselves available to see tutees individually if it is needed through "office hours" or asking you to sign up for meetings on schedules outside their office. They may not always be able to help, but in that case can tell you where to go to get the help you need.


Your Supervisor is a 4th year MMath student or a Postgraduate student who you will meet with twice a week in the same group as for tutorials. They have already been through the first year of a maths degree so know what you are going through and have a good understanding of the material, but some may be teaching for the first time so it is a learning experience for all of you. If you feel that the supervisions aren't helping you as much as they could then discuss this with your Supervisor... they want to help you and the Supervisions are for your benefit.

Supervision in progress

Senior Tutor

Professor Roman Kotecky

The Senior Tutor is responsible for the Tutorial system, and is there to help students with serious pastoral problems. If your tutor, or the Undergraduate Office, think that you are having problems and need help they will refer you to the Senior Tutor. Depending on the situation a chat might be all that's needed, or help can be provided either within the department or through the Student Support Services. In extreme circumstances it may be possible to take "temporary withdrawal" to allow students to recover from a medical problem or serious extenuating circumstances, or occasionally students are given help to change degree. If you have a problem, don't just sit on it and hope things get better but seek help.

Director of Undergraduate Studies

Dr. David Wood

The Director of Undergraduate Studies is responsible for all things to do with the Undergraduate teaching in the department from regulations to teaching assistants in Support Classes. In the first week you will see him quite a lot, he is responsible for the initial Induction sessions, and Supervisions. As with the Senior Tutor if you have a problem that needs his help you will be referred to him through either your Personal Tutor or the Undergraduate Office. A lot of his work also overlaps with that of the Senior Tutor so you may find that you are getting help from both if you are struggling for whatever reason. The Director of Undergraduate Studies is ultimately responsible for authorising module choices including Unusual Options and change of degree (most commonly between the 3 year BSc. and the MMath), but mostly he will not need to see you personally and forms should be returned to the Undergraduate Office who will then pass them on to him to sign (although you should get all the other necessary signatures before handing them in).

Head of Department

Prof. Colin Sparrow

Apart from the first day induction, unless he is your Personal Tutor, it is unlikely you will need to see the Head of Department in your first year, but rest assured he is looking after the department to make sure everyone is happy!

Deputy Head of Department (Teaching)

Prof. Gavin Brown

Apart from also being lecturer of the first year optional module Introduction to Geometry much of his involvement in the degree for first years will also be in the background, but you may see his name occasionally.

The Student Staff Liaison Committee


The SSLC is an elected committee of mathematics students who meet twice a term to discuss problems for students in the department with academic staff in attendance... there will be elections for first year representatives in the first couple of weeks of term, but you will be able to contact some members early on if there are problems that you would like to bring to their attention (they have a noticeboard outside the computer rooms in the Zeeman Building). They discuss library issues, building issues, general problems with lectures etc.