Student support at NCH
For some students, the thought of studying in such a vast city as London may be daunting, but at New College of the Humanities you will enjoy the best of both worlds with a warm, supportive, friendly community in a collegiate environment from which to launch yourself confidently into London life.
As a student at NCH your experience is personal, not anonymous. The smaller scale of the College means that there isn’t the same sense of isolation that students might sometimes feel at other universities. All our members of staff are friendly, responsive and easy to contact. Whether you need guidance on day-to-day student life, academic matters, illness or other worries, whatever your question there is always someone who will listen and offer support.
Your personal tutor
You will meet with a designated member of academic staff at least once a term. They will advise you on your work, monitor your overall academic progress and offer help and support if any problems arise, whether academic or personal.
Your academic tutors
You will get to know your tutors and lecturers from your very first day at the College. They will take a personal interest in your academic development both in the classroom and at the variety of subject specific events that take place throughout the year. Your lecturers and tutors are your first port of call if you have any queries or concerns about your academic performance, workload or specific assignments. They are friendly, approachable and responsive.
Student support administrators
Rosalind Barrs (our Registrar), and Katherine Walsh (our Academic Services Coordinator) can help you with any Freshers, orientation, registration, timetabling, study skills, examinations, accommodation, extenuating circumstances or facility-related queries you might have. You’ll find them in the Student and Academic Services Office, conveniently located on the ground floor of the Registry and they are usually available from Monday to Friday between 08.30 and 17.00.
Student support adviser and welfare advice
Emma Norman, Student Wellbeing Coordinator, is also located in the Student Support Office. She is available at any time during office hours to provide support, guidance and information.
Emma has undertaken introductory counselling training and is always happy to listen, no matter how big or small the concern. Should the need arise, they are also able to direct you to the various forms of help available to students in London, including low-cost therapy and learning support.
The College’s welfare policy may be viewed here.
Student welfare officer
Each year, NCH students elect a student welfare officer (SWO). This student acts as a focal point for pastoral issues within our student community. If something external to your course of study is negatively affecting your College experience or academic performance, you can talk to the SWO about it and they’ll point you in the right direction to get it fixed. This might be a health issue, a family crisis, a disagreement with a staff member or student, or just difficulty settling into university life. Whatever it is, your SWO is here to provide impartial advice and help you identify and access the resources available to you.
The buddy system is an optional part of our student support network. In conjunction with the student union welfare officer, we assign all offer holders a College buddy. This is normally a student in the second or third year, often taking the same course as you. We will put you in touch with your buddy who will be happy to answer any questions you have about your course or about student life in general. Once you enroll, they’ll be a friendly face to greet you during Freshers Week, an additional point of support with any academic queries, and there to generally help you settle into life at College.
Withdrawing from your studies
If you decide that you no longer wish to study at NCH, please follow the withdrawal procedure. Remember that student support and your personal tutor are here to offer advice and guide you through the process.
Disability support at NCH
At New College of the Humanities, we use the term ‘disability’ to include any physical, sensory and intellectual impairment (e.g. mobility impairment, visual impairment/blindness, hearing impairment/deafness), certain medical conditions (e.g. HIV, cancer, epilepsy, multiple sclerosis), mental health difficulties, Asperger’s syndrome, or specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) such as dyslexia, dyspraxia, dyscalculia, dysgraphia, or ADHD/ADD.
In general, a ‘disability’ is the result of interactions between an impaired person and the environmental and attitudinal barriers he or she may face. The Equality Act (2010) defines disability as: ‘a physical or mental impairment which has a substantial and long-term adverse effect on a person’s ability to carry out normal day-to-day activities’.
‘Normal day-to-day activities’ refers to everyday things like eating, washing, walking and going shopping. It is also defined as anything not unusual or individual. It doesn’t necessarily mean it is something everybody does; it just needs to be fairly usual. Examinations, for example, would be seen as ‘normal’ activities.
We realise that many students, especially those with specific learning difficulties (SpLDs) may not regard themselves as ‘disabled’. However, if you do have any of these conditions, we feel it is important that you are aware of support that could be arranged for you should you need it. You don’t have to accept the word ‘disability’ as a label, but it can be used as a way to get support; remember that everyone, including those with or without a disability, can ask for help with their studies.
Support for students with medical conditions, disabilities and SpLDs
If you are disabled or have a special learning difficulty, the College will always try to ensure that your requirements are met in a way that suits you best. Under the Equality Act, colleges and universities have to make ‘reasonable adjustments’ so that disabled students are not ‘substantially disadvantaged’. This means they have to put in place support to help you access the course and successfully complete your studies. The specific factors that may be relevant to take into account are listed as follows:
- the need to maintain competence standards
- the financial resources available to the education provider
- any grants or loans available to the student (specifically Disabled Students’ Allowances)
- the cost of the adjustment
- how far it is practical to make the adjustment
- the technology available
- how far aids or services may be provided by others
- health and safety requirements
- the relevant interest of other people, including other students
Where a disabled applicant or student would otherwise use a facility located in the Registry (NCH’s main administrative headquarters), but is unable to do so by reason of his or her disability, for example for an interview or tutorials, the College will arrange alternative accessible and/or adapted accommodation in nearby buildings.
The types of provisions and arrangements that might be made include:
- flexibility regarding attendance and coursework deadlines (time off for appointments, etc.)
- specialist equipment and/or software
- copies of handouts in advance of your lectures
- providing handouts on different coloured paper or in a larger font
Please note that this list is not exhaustive so additional adjustments could be made, based on your particular circumstances.
Senate House Library offers support to all users with a disability or requiring additional accessibility support. For more information contact Charlotte McDonaugh (Charlotte.McDonaugh@London.ac.uk) or by phone on 020 7862 8468.
Disability disclosure form
Before we can make arrangements to support you, we first ask that you fill out a disclosure form which permits us to share confidential information about you with relevant members of staff. In many cases, it’s fairly common for people with certain medical conditions to keep their information private. For example, if your health has previously been well-controlled, then there may be little need to tell anyone, even your parents. However, this does make it difficult to introduce the information to people you have known for some time. This, in turn, can lead some students to struggle on for weeks and months without seeking help until a crisis is reached. To avoid this situation, we recommend that you speak with an NCH staff member as soon as possible if any health or disability issues begin to have a detrimental effect on your ability to reach your full potential.
It is your choice whether or not you disclose your medical condition, disability or SpLD to us. No disclosure will take place unless you have signed the form. You can disclose your disability to NCH whenever you like, although we recommend that you inform us sooner rather than later. Even if you do not tell us until after you start your course, we will endeavour to put support in place as soon as possible. Please be aware that later disclosure may result in delays which can adversely affect your studies. After you have completed the form, and if you have agreed to disclose your information, we will meet with you first to discuss your needs and then contact your respective tutors to inform them of any provisions or arrangements you require.
You can change your mind about declaring your medical condition, disability or SpLD at any time. If you decide that you want to make the information about your needs either more or less confidential then simply complete another disclosure form. You may choose to keep all information about your disability or needs entirely confidential so that information cannot be disclosed to any other person. It is your right to do this, but please be aware that the College will be restricted in its ability to meet your needs, so some or all of your support may not be put in place.
Mental health support
Your time at university is often said to be the best years of your life. However, for some students higher education can also be daunting and stressful. Problems can arise from the exacerbation of an existing mental health condition, or simply as a result of a new situation in which you find yourself.
A range of support services are available to help. Our student support team will liaise with you on how to contact internal and external sources of support, and will help you plan your responses to stress triggers and managing crisis or relapse situations.
It is advisable that you let Emma Norman (firstname.lastname@example.org), Student Wellbeing Coordinator, know if you currently manage a mental health condition. This will be dealt with in strict confidence, and she can liaise with academic staff on your behalf if necessary. You are advised to register with a local GP at the earliest opportunity. This will often be the quickest route to accessing specialist services if necessary.
Here are a few tips for staying healthy and happy:
- talk about your feelings
- keep active
- eat well
- drink sensibly
- keep in touch with friends and loved ones
- care for others
- take a break
- do something you enjoy
- be kind to yourself
- ask for help
If you need to talk to someone urgently:
- Call Samaritans any time you like, talk in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you: 08457 909090.
- London Nightline provides emotional support to students in distress. Their phones are manned from 18.00 to 08.00 during term time: 020 7631 0101.
- Emma Norman, your Student Wellbeing Coordinator, is here to support you through your college experience: +44 (0) 20 7637 4550
- Camden & Islington Crisis team – available 24 hours a day 7 days a week for students who are not under the care of a mental health team (students who are should contact their team). Call them on 020 3317 6777.
A member of academic staff will be assigned to you as your personal tutor, to whom you can look for academic advice and encouragement. If problems arise during your studies, your personal tutor will usually be the best person to speak to in the first instance. If a personal or medical emergency impacts upon your studies and you require an extended absence or essay extension, consult the Extenuating Circumstances Policy found in the NCH Academic Handbook.
Counselling can help you to understand and cope with difficult experiences and feelings. If you are finding life difficult, the opportunity to think and talk reflectively about your difficulties can bring relief and meaningful changes. Counselling is offered for any personal issue that may affect you. Though our student support team have had counselling training, we can also put you in contact with local therapy services. The College’s GP at the Holborn Medical Centre offers a free counselling service. The service has a six to eight week waiting list, so if necessary Emma can arrange some interim counselling until a place at the GP’s service is available.
You might also find the Counselling Directory or the Minster Centre helpful. Please note that although NCH staff do have some counselling training, they are not qualified as professionals. For more serious issues, we recommend that you contact Emma Norman (email@example.com) who will advise you on your next step.
Here are some other useful support sites:
Sexual heath and wellness
For many students, university marks the point in their lives when they become sexually active. The best way to protect yourself and your partner is to always use a condom and try to carry one at all times if you are sexually active. If you do have unprotected sex (or the condom splits or comes off), go to your local sexual health clinic as soon as possible to talk about STI tests and emergency contraception.
It is also important to remember that you have complete autonomy over your body – never do anything that you don’t feel totally comfortable with, and report any abuse or violence to the police or student support team. For further advice and support, Emma is always available to talk during office hours. There are also free condoms in the NCHSU office.
Local sexual health clinics include:
The STI Clinic
12 Harley St
London W1G 9PG
08.00 – 18.00
020 7419 8762
Marie Stopes International
1 Conway St
London W1T 6LP
08.00 – 17.30
020 7636 6200
55 Wimpole St
London W1G 8YL
0844 561 0750
Soho NHS Walk-in Centre
1 Frith St
London W1D 3HZ
08.00 – 20.00
020 7534 6500
Urgent Care Centre
42-52 Nottingham Pl
London W1U 5NY
08.00 – 22.00
020 7908 2144
Useful links for sexual health
www.doh.gov.uk – Department of Health – information on all topics of sexual health
www.thesite.co.uk – sexual health and relationship advice
www.brook.org.uk – free and confidential sexual health advice and contraception for people up to the age of 25
www.fpa.org.uk – Family Planning Association – information on contraception and sexual health
www.efc.org.uk – Education for Choice – discusses choices around pregnancy and abortion
www.bpas.org – British Pregnancy Advisory Service – information about abortions and options for dealing with unplanned pregnancy
www.endo.org.uk – Endometriosis UK – information and self help group for endometriosis
www.tht.org.uk – Terence Higgins Trust – information on HIV/AIDS
www.sda.uk.net – Sexual Advice Association – information on both male and female sexual function
www.fatherhoodinstitute.org – Fatherhood Institute – national information centre on fatherhood
https://switchboard.lgbt – London Lesbian and Gay Switchboard – information on sexual health
Safety and crime
Although London is a relatively safe city in which to be a student, it is still important to be vigilant, especially at night. We all drop our guard sometimes, especially when we have had a few drinks or are tired and stressed after a long day of studying. Adopting a few sensible precautions and being aware of the dangers will help you to avoid becoming a victim.
The ‘opportunist thief’ commits 80 per cent of crime, which implies that many crimes could be prevented. The bulk of crime includes burglary, theft of and from cars and theft of pedal cycles. The fact is that a few elementary precautions, which make it more difficult for the thief, may well prevent you from becoming another crime statistic. These include:
- Keep valuable items, such as phones and MP3 players, out of sight.
- Avoid travelling alone in quiet areas, especially at night.
- Walk facing traffic so that you can see all on-coming cars.
- Be extra vigilant when using cash machines – protect your PIN.
- Never leave your drink unattended.
- Try to let someone know where you are when out.
- Only use authorised cab companies or black cabs.
- Do not hitchhike or accept lifts from strangers.
- Cover up expensive looking jewellery.
Tips on managing your money
A little research will go a long way in helping to stretch your money. The web is the perfect place to start for tracking down special offers – Student Beans and Save the Student (their guide to student bank accounts) are two useful sites.
Here are some tips:
- Study resources, most notably books, can be purchased second hand on a number of websites, saving a great deal of money.
- Socialising costs (including clubbing, going to bars, cinema and eating out) can be kept down by using places that provide student discounts or offer specific student nights. Check out discount voucher websites for 2-for-1 meal deals.
- Students can buy discounted public transport Oyster cards, and London has a bike scheme (see Transport for London for details).
- Make the most of London’s free museums, galleries and festivals – it’s the ideal way of experiencing the city without denting your budget.
- Go to swap shops when you get a shopping craving – everything is free and your wardrobe gets a clear out.
- There are numerous opportunities for students to work part-time in London, and a good way of doing this is to register with a local temp agency. Working part-time is a great way of covering living costs, although it is important that this work does not affect your studies, and you should not work more than 15 hours per week.
- Invest in a decent cookbook and head to the local supermarket on a full stomach with a list in your hand. If you plan your meals for the week, you will save on impulse buys. Pack a lunch to save money.
- Finally, don’t forget that help is always at hand – our student support team will be happy to share with you their knowledge of how to survive the not-so-mean streets of London.
Cost of student living in London
This is a rough guide to how much you might expect to spend on a weekly basis during your time in London. Aside from accommodation, living expenses will generally take up the majority of your budget. Of course, this is entirely dependent on the kind of lifestyle you lead and the amount of money you like to spend. There is a perception that London is more expensive than other cities in terms of living costs. This can be the case, but there does tend to be some degree of exaggeration. Our student support team will always be on hand to offer advice and to help you to keep your finances in check, and will keep you updated with all the very best deals this amazing city has to offer.
Based on our research, we anticipate the following will be a sufficient weekly budget for living costs for an average student lifestyle in London. The weekly budget costs are an average and you may spend less or more, depending on some a variety of factors and money saving tips.
|Type of Cost||Average per week|
|Accommodation (includes heating, electricity, water, wireless, contents insurance)||£197.00|
|Food, toiletries and general housekeeping||£35.00|
|Socialising and entertainment||£40.00|
|Transport (Oyster card zones 1-2)||£22.47|
We recommend that you use the excellent library facilities available to our students and that, where possible, you purchase your books from second-hand book shops or buy second-hand books online to minimise your expenditure.
If you stay in our recommended accommodation, contents insurance is included in your weekly rent. If you choose to stay elsewhere, possessions insurance is optional, but we recommend that you have your possessions insured either through your parents’ household contents policy or one of the specialist student contents insurance providers.
If you stay in our recommended accommodation, you will have a flatscreen Freeview TV in your shared living area. For this, you do not need a TV licence. However, if you choose to watch IPTV live or have your own TV in your bedroom, you are required to have your own TV licence, which costs £147.00 per year.
Use a budget calculator to ensure that you aren’t spending more than you should.
Making the most of London’s free museums, galleries and festivals is the ideal way of experiencing the city without denting your budget. Again, our dedicated student support team will help to keep you up to date with what’s on offer.
There are numerous opportunities for students to work part-time in London, and a good way of doing this is to register with a local temp agency. Though working part-time is a great way to cover living costs, it is important that this work does not negatively affect your studies.
We strongly recommend that you register with a local doctor within two weeks of arrival for the duration of your course. The NCH local GP surgery is The Holborn Medical Centre, 64-66 Lamb’s Conduit Street, Holborn, London WC1N 3NA. You can only be registered with one GP at a time, but if you would like to switch practices, the student support adviser will help you do this.
The Holborn Medical Centre
64-66 Lamb’s Conduit Street
0844 477 1770 or 020 3077 0044
The NCH local dentist is Holborn Dental Centre which offers 10 per cent off to NCH students. If you would like to register with them, speak to the student support adviser and she will talk you through the simple application process.
If you are 19 or older, you do not automatically receive free NHS dental care. You may be eligible for an HC2 certificate, which will entitle you to financial assistance with NHS charges. You can apply for an HC2 certificate by completing an HC1 form, which is available from your dentist. The application process normally takes up to six weeks and is dependent upon your means. Please note that the HC2 certificate also entitles you to free prescriptions and eye tests. It is only valid for six months and requires re-application after that time.
If you require dental care and have not obtained a HC2 certificate yet, you must pay for your NHS dental care. If you keep your receipts you can obtain a refund of your charges when you receive your certificate.
Holborn Dental Centre
3 Lion Court
020 7242 7212
10 per cent off for NCH students