School of Mathematics

Student support

There are various avenues of both academic and pastoral support available in the School to help you succeed in your studies.

Personal Tutor

Every student has a Personal Tutor, a member of the teaching staff who provides academic guidance and support.

You will meet your Personal Tutor regularly throughout your studies. They will help you choose your courses and discuss your progress with you, providing advice on how to make the most of your time at university. Personal Tutors can also advise you on where to find other forms of support if you need them.

Student Learning Advisor talking to a student

If you are studying a joint honours programme, your Personal Tutor will be an academic from your host School.

For example:

  • Your Personal Tutor will be from the School of Mathematics if you are studying BSc (Hons) Mathematics and Physics.
  • If you are studying MA (Hons) Economics and Mathematics, your Personal Tutor will be from the School of Economics. 

Student Support Team

Our dedicated Student Support Team consists of two Student Support Officers.

The team are there to provide support and guidance to students who are encountering difficulties with any aspect of University life. They will liaise closely with your Personal Tutor and where appropriate, with University Support Services, so they are able to provide the best possible support and advice for you. They can also help with a wide range of administrative and practical issues to do with your degree programme.


MathClans is a student-led initiative to help new students to settle into the School of Mathematics community. New students will be allocated to a Clan on arrival, and will be supported by Clan Leaders. Clan Leaders are continuing students, and each Clan has 2-3 Clan Leaders.

Clan Leaders will:

  • Meet you during your initial induction activities at the start of Semester 1.
  • Organise social and community events for your Clan.
  • Guide your Clan to organised events.
  • Act as a general mentor, answering questions about the School of Mathematics from a student perspective.

Academic support


MathPALs session
Year 1 students in a MathPALs session

In first year, you can take part in MathPALS, which is a weekly Peer Assisted Learning session. Trained senior students will help you to help each other - both with studying maths and university life in general - in an informal setting.

These sessions support the core mathematics courses in Year 1. They are optional, but our students find them extremely valuable. They also provide an opportunity to get to know others in the School, both in first year, but also students in higher year groups.

This year, MathPALS has been taking place online due to Covid-19.

MathsBase drop-in

MathsBase is our dedicated study space for Year 1 maths students, located in Appleton Tower at the Central Campus.

As well as being a space for independent study (with lots of desk space and whiteboard walls), it is also home to our drop-in sessions.

We know that asking questions in lectures can be a bit daunting! These drop-in sessions allow you to chat with tutors from the core first-year mathematics courses, and ask questions in a more informal setting.

Again, due to Covid-19, this has been taking place online this year.

Online maths forums

During the year we also operate online forums for each of our mathematics courses.

Here you can ask questions, anonymously if you like, and receive answers from classmates and academic staff alike.

Transition to university

Sometimes our students want to work on their maths skills before they arrive, particularly after a gap year. We offer an optional mathematics transition course in the lead up to the start of the academic year. The course is not assessed, and is simply an opportunity for you to brush up on core maths topics, and feel confident with starting the next stage of your mathematics journey.

Additional Support

Additional support is available from outside the School of Mathematics from many university services. These include, but are not limited to the following:

Institute for Academic Development

The IAD website contains resources with advice about studying techniques and good academic practice. The IAD also run workshops on topics like time management and preparing for exams, and offer one-to-one consultations.

Advice Place

The Advice Place is run by the student association, EUSA, and offers an independent and impartial source of information and advice. They can help with everything from academic matters through to finance and accommodation.

Disability Service

If you have a disability, e.g. dyslexia, the University's Student Disability Service can arrange support for you. If you are offered a place to study here and you have declared a disability, you should contact the Service as early as possible so they can make arrangements for the start of your studies.

Student counselling

The Student Counselling Service offers a range of mental health support. From resources and activities to help you manage your own mental health, to counselling appointments with the team. 

Health and wellbeing

While university life is full of exciting opportunities, it can also be an overwhelming time. Use the Health and Wellbeing pages to find information on a range of services provided by the University and throughout Edinburgh to support your physical and mental wellbeing.