Table of Contents

  1. Who is this page for?
  2. What sort of problems does this include?
  3. What help is on offer?

Who is this page for?

This page is for all University of Bristol Computer Science students, undergraduate and postgraduate alike. It also serves for students on joint honours courses like Computer Science and Electronics, Computer Science and Maths, and Computer Science with Innovation.

We aim for this page to hold all of the information you might need to seek support during your time as a student in Bristol. Although we hope your studies will be a smooth ride, a majority of students will face with personal or academic problems at some point during their studies so we encourage everyone to seek support when needed.

What sort of problems does this include?

In short, anything that is having a negative impact on your ability to study, or otherwise do the things you want to do. This might include, but is definitely not limited to:

We would like to highlight two in particular. They are no more or no less important or severe than the others but they are by far the most common in Bristol and the Computer Science community.

Stress and Mental Health

Studying Computer Science can be stressful. Multiple deadlines, exams and group projects can all add up and seem insurmountable. For some people the resulting pressure can affect their health outside of University and their ability to function properly.

This has had issues with being a taboo topic in the past, resulting in unnecessary misunderstanding and grief. We seek to create an environment within the computer science community at Bristol where people feel able to ask for help without worrying about being judged or not gritting their teeth enough and carrying on.

Similarly, if someone does open up to you, it is important that you are comfortable in knowing how to respond! There is a lot of advice online on talking about mental health, and how to seek help. This page is not meant to be a singular guide for that but the services and resources listed will guide you on the right path.

Online Discussion Spaces

The internet has both wonderful corners and dark ones. We value respect online as much as in person and knowing that there is a human on the other end of the comment thread. Sometimes this gets forgotten.

If you feel uncomfortable in an online space or in person, the department, students union, and university have guidelines on how to resolve the situation. As a union affiliated society, CSS is bound by their safe space policy. Such policies are often drastically misunderstood and end up being ridiculed online. Bristol SU’s safe space policy, recently renamed “code of conduct”, can be read here so you know exactly what it does and does not say. There are also some guidelines available for how to interpret the safe space policy in a sensible way. Any problems you have yourself or witness as a 3rd party, can be raised with your personal tutor or the students union.

Again, none of this is a definitive list. At the end of the day, if you feel that your ability to study is negatively affected by something, the best thing you can do is seek help as soon as possible, and not bottle it up and hope it passes!

What help is on offer?

Personal Tutors

Your personal tutor is your first point of contact for academic issues. It is their job to represent your interests in all matters between yourself and the department.

You should have been told who your personal tutor is, and have met them! If for any reason you don’t know who they are, then you can find out by looking at your profile on SAFE. If you have a serious issue with your personal tutor you have the option to request a different tutor.

Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

Senior Tutors

These tutors are “one up” from your personal tutor, and can be turned to for problems that for whatever reason, you cannot solve with your personal tutor. These might be academic or personal in nature.

The undergraduate Senior Tutor is David Bernhard and the Deputy Senior Tutor is Chris Priest. The postgraduate Senior Tutor is Paul O’Dowd. Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

Wellbeing advisers

Wellbeing advisers work alongside personal tutors and other staff in the department to provide support. They are not trained to give medical services or counselling.

Please refer to them for:

Residential life advisors

Residential life advisors are available 24/7/365 to students in halls for just about anything, even things not related to accommodation. If they cannot help directly then they are able to show you the way to people who can. More info

University Student Health Service

The Student Health Service offers a full NHS General Practice service for all University of Bristol students. They are the best place to go for any medical problems, mental or physical.

Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

Student Health Services website

University Student Counselling Service

This is a dedicated service for students who need support or counselling on a wide range of issues including mental health, family, relationships and general wellbeing. They offer individual sessions, group sessions and workshops for specific problems. Group sessions & workshops cover things like specific illnesses, or methods of coping with stress and other problems. The service is confidential and free to use.

Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

University Disability Services

A confidential service providing information, advice and guidance to prospective and current disabled students as well as to staff working with disabled students.

Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

Disability Services Homepage

Bristol SU JustAsk

JustAsk aims to be a one-stop shop for student support, signposting students in the right direction where necessary but ensuring support throughout. The service is free, confidential, impartial and accessible to all students. With this in mind we have a range of ways to get advice and support. The Just Ask Office is located on the 3rd Floor of the Students’ Union main building on Queens Road in Clifton. You can generally drop by to ask a question or have a chat Monday-Friday from 10am-4pm, but if it is a particularly busy period they may not accept drop-ins in which case it is best to email them.

Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

JustAsk Homepage · Email: [email protected]

Bristol Nightline

Nightline is a confidential and anonymous chat service for students at the University of Bristol. It is similar to the Samaritans, with trained (student) volunteers who are there only to listen and not to judge. It is open 8pm to 8am each night. If you find yourself up at two in the morning still writing code and struggling to cope, they are a wonderful friendly ear to your problems. Nightline is also an information service so if you are locked out of your halls and have no data to find the security team’s number so they can let you in, keep in mind the Nightline number is on the back of your Ucard and they can give you the number you are looking for. This also applies to any other situation where you might need the contact details of organisations or parts of the university relevant to your situation.

Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

Nightline Homepage · Telephone: 01179 266 266

University Multi-faith Chaplaincy

The University of Bristol Multi-faith Chaplaincy seeks to serve students and staff of all faiths and none by:

Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

Chaplaincy Homepage

The University offers a lot of support and information around sex, consent, and clearing up myths and misunderstandings. If you don’t know what the fuss is about, want to understand more about consent, or need support for yourself or a friend, then the University can help. It is nothing to be embarrassed about. Please refer to them for issues relating to any of the following:

University Consent Homepage

Drugs

University is the place where many of us try new things and explore more of the world. Sometimes, that includes drugs. If you are worried about your or a friend’s drug use, the University has a list of resources that can be found here. Keep yourself safe.

You should avoid drugs, but if you are going to take them do it responsibly. In addition to the university’s resources it’s worth visiting the following websites.

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