Current Undergratuates - Frequently Asked Questions

1. How should I make sure that I am aware of information provided for students by the Department?

Information about things happening in the Department, arrangements for teaching (and changes to existing arrangements), deadlines and other things you need to know about will usually be communicated to you in at least one of the following ways:

i) A notice on the B1 undergraduate noticeboard.
ii) E-mail to your University e-mail address. (N.B. if you have e-mail accounts other than the one provided by the University then you must still ensure you also check your University account regularly - all Departmental (and University) communications will come to your University account and it is your responsibility to check it.

It is your responsibility to check these information sources. It will be assumed that you have received information that is put out by any of these routes.


2. Where do I hand work in?

If you have assessed work to submit for a module then, unless you receive instructions to the contrary, you should follow the following Instructions:-

When submitting coursework you must complete and download a unique barcoded coversheet from https://sciencecoversheet.group.shef.ac.uk/ ensuring that you (a) add your TurnItIn receipt code and (b) add an accurate word count. No other alterations must be made to the coversheet. Then attach the coversheet to your coursework and deposit in secure Black Box which is situated in the Foyer (next to the porters desk) of the Alfred Denny Building before the deadline. Your Coursework will then be scanned and you will receive an email confirmation once your coursework is scanned.

Tutorial work is usually handed in to your tutor but essays and abstracts must also be submitted to TurnItin (accessed via the APS132 or APS222 websites)


3. How will I get my exam results?

For Level 1, 2 and 3 students results will be displayed (by candidate number) on the undergraduate noticeboard on B1 floor in the Department.

All students will also receive personal notification of their module grades from Student Services.


4. How do I get feedback on my performance in examinations?

You will get feedback via many different routes depending on the sort of module that you are taking.

At level 1 you will get feedback from the online self-assessment examinations via MOLE and after the main examinations via email. You will also get detailed feedback from your personal tutor on work that you do during tutorials. Feedback will be provided for other modules via similar routes.

At levels 2 and 3 you can get feedback on your performance in examinations by asking to see your examination folder with your personal tutor. It is your responsibility to arrange these meetings. You will also get detailed feedback during field courses and from your project and dissertation supervisor. Please remember that there are many additional opportunities for you to get feedback on your work, but that you are responsible for taking advantage of these.


5. What do I do if I need advice on personal or academic matters?

In the Department, you can ask for advice on both personal and academic matters from your personal tutor, or from the appropriate year tutor. In addition, there are a number of sources of advice on welfare, finance, etc. through the Student Services Information Desk and the Student's Union. The handbooks have a diagram showing the routes available in the section Seeking Help


6. What should I do if I am experiencing difficulties which I am concerned may affect my academic work?

Your personal tutor and year tutor are there to help you. You may not feel that you need help dealing with the problem, but you must make someone within the department aware of the difficulties if you want them to be taken into account. You must complete a special circumstances form (available from the Student Services Information Desk – SSiD). All special circumstances forms are treated confidentially, but if you have concerns about a particular sensitive matter then please discuss this with your personal tutor or year tutor as appropriate. A special circumstances form must be completed if they are to be taken into account in assessments or providing extensions to deadlines For this to happen it is important that you talk to your tutor when you first become aware that there may be a problem, rather than after the assessments or deadlines have passed.

7. What do I do if I miss a practical or a lecture?

If you miss a lecture, it is usually possible to make up the missed work by reading references used for the lecture, and sharing lecture notes with a colleague.

If you miss a practical, you should contact Dr Fiona Hunter (f.m.hunter@sheffield.ac.uk) for Level 1 practicals, or the member of staff who was running the practical (Level 2) and explain why you missed the session and find out the best way to catch up the work you have missed.

(If you will, or have, missed a number of lectures or practicals due to illness, then see "What should I do if I have been unwell?" below).


8. What should I do if I have been unwell?

If illness has prevented you attending scheduled classes then if the period of absence is less than seven days you should complete a Special Circumstances form available from SSiD or the Department Office. If the period is greater than seven days, you should obtain a medical note from your doctor, which should be handed in, with a completed form to the Department Office . You should then see the staff whose teaching you have missed.

9. What do I do if circumstances mean I am going to miss submitting work for a deadline?

Go and see the appropriate year tutor before the deadline and explain the circumstances to them and they will decide whether an extension to the deadline is justified.

10. What will happen if I miss a deadline for submitting a piece of work and I have not been granted an extension?

Late submission will result in a deduction of 5% of the total mark awarded for each working day after the submission date.

Working days includes working days within standard vacation times. For example, if a submission date falls on the last day before the start of the Easter vacation, penalties would start to be applied from the following working day and not from the first day following the vacation


11. What do I do if I have comments, criticisms, questions or suggestions about my course, or the Department?

There are various ways you can provide feedback on, and influence, what happens in your degree, and in the Department. There is a suggestions box on floor B1. Your tutor will be happy to talk to you about any issues that you may want to raise, and will usually be able to put you in contact with the most appropriate person to see about it, or to pass on the comments to the relevant person. You can talk to your year tutor, or to the member of staff running a particular module, if that is where your concerns lie. The other main route for you to have input is through the Staff-student committee. If none of these contacts are appropriate for the issue that is concerning you can talk directly to the Chairman of the Department.

12. I want to change my registration from a BSc to an MBiolSci, or from an MBiolSci to a BSc - what do I need to do?

In the first instance (in either case) you should see the level 4 year Tutor as soon as you can to discuss the change you want to make. There are a number of things you will need to consider, including your current and anticipated academic achievement and financial implications of changing (for going from a 3 to a 4 year degree). The earlier you discuss things with the Level 4 year Tutor, the more straightforward the process should be. Please note that transfers from BSc to MBiolSci are not normally possible.