Contents isas by linxiaoqin


									                                                                       Contents                 isas
                                                                                                 independent student
                                                                                                                       advice service

Welcome                                               international StudentS
President’s Welcome                         02        Orientation / Finance                                      42
About ISAS                                  03        Register With Police / Leave to Remain                     43
                                                      Employment                                                 44
Funding                                               Workers Registration Scheme                                45
Tuition Fees                                04        Tax                                                        46
Student Loans                               06        Benefits                                                   47
Grants / Travel Expenses                    08
Young Students’ Bursary / New Fees Grant    08        HealtH
University Funds                            09        Absence / Health Care / Emergencies                        49
Nursing & Midwifery Students                10        NHS Costs                                                  50
NSA Funds / Childcare Help                  11        Meningitis                                                 51
Other Sources of Funding                    12        Stress / Mental Health                                     52
Postgraduate Funding                        13        Drugs                                                      53
Funding Summaries                           15        Alcohol / Tobacco                                          54
Time Out From Course                        16        Sexual Health                                              55
Undergrads Fees, Loans, Grants Table        17        Healthy Living                                             57
Benefits                                    18
Tax Credits                                 20        perSonal Security
Health Benefits                             21        Student Safety                                             58
Banks / Credit Facilities                   22        Public Transport / The Internet                            59

money management                                      nurSeS & midWiveS
Budgeting                                   25        Financial Matters                                          60
Debt to the University                      27        Mitigating Circumstances / Conduct                         61
Debt Management                             28        Fitness to Practice / Health / Absence                     62
Fraud / Identity Theft                      29
Credit Rating / Consumer Rights             30        education
                                                      Programme Information                                      64
employment                                            University Regulations                                     65
Seeking Employment                          31        Transferring/Quitting                                      67
National Insurance                          32        Personal Support                                           68
Income Tax                                  33        Study Support                                              69
                                                      Problems Affecting Performance                             70
accommodation                                         Academic Performance (MC1)                                 72
University Accommodation                    34        Exam Boards / Appeals                                      73
Private Rented Accommodation                35        Discipline / Plagiarism & Cheating                         74
Before You Move In                          36        Student Complaints                                         76
Tenancy Agreements                          36
Inventory / Deposits                        37        diSabled Student Support
Gas Safety                                  38        Special Needs / DSA                                        77
Tips for Shared Living                      39        Dyslexia / ATC / Library Staff / Exams                     78
TV Licence / Council Tax                    40

The Napier Student Survival Guide was produced by ISAS which is part of Napier Students’ Association.

                                                                                           WELCOME                         1
isas                                       President’s Welcome
    independent student
                          advice service

Hello, I’m Carys Evans, the elected student                As well as providing written information – leaflets,
president of Napier Students’ Association (NSA) for        the web site, posters, the Survival Guide, ISAS
the year. When you matriculate you automatically           operates a confidential one-to-one service with
become a member of NSA and are entitled to use             individual students, on 2 sites. When I say
its services. The well-being of Napier students is         “confidential”, I mean that your personal details
what NSA is all about and the Student Survival             don’t get discussed with anyone outside the ISAS
Guide has been put together for Napier students            team without your say so. You can also be assured
with this in mind.This little book is crammed full of      that the likes of me and other elected student
factual information on all the practical issues and        officers won’t get near that information either
problems a Napier student may have to deal with:           without your prior consent. You can have complete
funding, fees, money management, debt, accom-              confidence in the integrity of the service provided.
modation and tenancy rights, looking after yourself,            ISAS works like a Citizen’s Advice Bureau
employment rights, immigration; and then there’s           tailored specifically to the needs of Napier students.
all the stuff about university rules and procedures,       It sees over 1000 students every year, so it’s well-
problems on course, plagiarism and appeals…it’s a          used and it plays an important part in keeping
long list.                                                 students well-supported and informed. There’s more
      You may not want to read the whole Guide             about ISAS on the next page.
cover to cover, but it’s well indexed and easy to               You’ll find that student life doesn’t always go to
navigate so that you can find what you need and            plan, or, in the absence of a plan, it’s not always best
make an informed decision about what to do in              to bury your head in the sand in the hope that you
specific situations. And, if it doesn’t have the           can somehow muddle through. Good information
answer to your particular problem, it will refer you       is often the key to a solution – and that’s where the
somewhere for further help. Failing that, make an          Survival Guide can be useful. Keep it somewhere
appointment with someone from our ISAS team to             you can put your hands on it when you need it – but
see you one-to-one, telephone 229 8791.                    hopefully that won’t be too often.
      The Guide has been put together by Napier
Students’ Association’s ISAS team. ISAS stands             Best Wishes,
for Independent Student Advice Service – and               Carys Evans
that’s exactly what it is. The ISAS team consists of       NSA President 08/09
a manager and 4 professional advisers, with years
of advice experience between them, employed by
NSA. NSA provides this service because it believes
that it’s important for students to be able to ac-
cess information that is accurate, up to date, and
independent of service providers.This means that
ISAS can support students without there being any
conflict of interest.
      So, if you’re resident in student halls and the
university is your landlord, and you have a problem
over your tenancy; or you have an issue over tuition
fee payments with the University Finance Office, or
you have a disagreement over your academic
transcript, or an academic appeal against a univer-
sity decision; you can get impartial advice and help
from ISAS.

2                  WELCOME
 Independent Student Advice Service                                                                                      isas
                                                                                                                         independent student
                                                                                                                                               advice service

                                                                                  independent student
                                                                                                        advice service

                                                 ISAS – whAt IS It?
                   dent advice servi
    independent stu
                                         It is a campus based generalist advice service set
                                         up to provide Napier students with accurate and up
                                         to date information and support.

                                         It’s staffed by a manager and a team of 4 trained
                                         professional advisers who have around 40 years of
ISAS advisers can access                 advice experience between them.
information on almost
anything and where
necessary refer you on                   The service is free to all currently matriculated
to another agency.                       Napier students and it is available at the main
                                         campuses. It is appointment based and aims to see
Advisers are here to listen,             students within 3 working days (phone 229-8791).
help you explore your
options, and help you
make an informed                         Students are offered a confidential one-to-one
decision. Where necessary                interview in a private office and their information is
they will write letters on               not shared with people outside the ISAS team, or
your behalf and/or make                  anyone else, without their consent.
telephone enquiries, and
accompany you to
meetings and/or formal                   Advice is non-directive, but an adviser will discuss
University hearings with                 available options and possible consequences of
the aim of negotiating a                 these with clients before helping decide on how to
solution or resolving                    progress the issue.
the problem.

                                         Advice is provided on a wide range of course related
0131 229 8791                            and university issues, such as academic appeals,
                                         mitigating circumstances, plagiarism & disciplinary                        hearings, problems on course, university policies
                                         and procedures.

                                         Advice is provided on a broad range of welfare-
                                         related issues: funding and fees, debt and money
                                         management, housing and tenancies, employment
                                         and consumer rights, immigration status and

                                                                                                    WELCOME                                        3
            Tuition Fees
                   tUItIoN FEES                           by SAAS/LEA/ELB. Use the form on Napier registry
                                                          website if you wish to check your fee status:
As a student, you are responsible for ensuring that
your fees are paid. Some students can get their fees
paid by SAAS/LEA/ELB – the university will be paid        SAAS will pay tuition fees for all eligible Scottish
directly in these cases, but you must apply for the       domiciled/EU students. Students must apply each
fees. If you are not eligible for fees you will have to   year. The SAAS application form is SAS3. It is
make arrangements to pay them yourself.                   preferable to complete the form online but it can be
                                                          printed and sent to SAAS by post.

         ELIGIBILtY FoR tUItIoN FEE                       Other UK students (English, Welsh, N.Irish) must
       SUPPoRt – FULL-tIME StUDENtS                       apply to their LEA/ELB for a non-means-tested loan
                                                          to pay the fees. You must apply every year.
You must be attending a full-time course and
satisfy the residence requirements of the Student         When you receive your letter of award you should
Allowances scheme. You must have been resident            take it to Napier registry or finance office as proof
in the UK for 3 years prior to the relevant date – for    that the fees will be paid on your behalf.
SAAS applications that means 1st August 08 for
courses starting in September 08.
                                                                      PARt-tIME StUDENtS –
If you are an English/Welsh/NI student who started                     FEE wAIVER SChEME
your studies in 01/02 to 05/06 and are doing a 4
year course, you must register with the Student           Part-time fees are charged per module. If you are
Loans Co in order for your 4th year fees to be paid       in receipt of JSA, IB, IS, DLA, Carers Allowance,
on your behalf by the Scottish Government. This           Housing Benefit or Working Tax Credit or have a low
concession ended for new students from 06/07              income you can apply for a fee waiver.
                                                          You must be registered on a part-time undergraduate
EU Students can be funded for tuition fees as long        course studying 50% of the full-time equivalent.
as you have 3 years residence in the EU prior to the      Application forms are available from Registry
relevant date. You should give your Scottish address      Services at Merchiston campus (0131 455 2535) or
on the form otherwise the award letter will be sent       ISAS (0131 229 8791).
to your home country and this can delay you being
able to tell Napier that SAAS are paying your fees.

If you are not a UK/EU student you must have                               Important Note
settled status in the UK within the meaning of the
Immigration Act 1971 on the relevant date. There             The SAAS deadline for tuition fees is 30th June
are certain exceptions to this rule eg refugees, those       09. However Napier expects you to have
with Humanitarian Protection/Discretionary Leave.            applied to SAAS for your fees by 30th Nov 08.
For more information on this specialist area, contact        Failure to have done so will result in you being
SAAS/LEA/ELB or ISAS on 0131 229 8791.                       invoiced for your fees, and failure to pay could
                                                             result in your withdrawal from the programme.
International (non-UK/EU) students generally have
to fund their own fees which are expensive. Some             You must re-apply for your tuition fees at
international students can be assessed to pay the            the start of every year of your programme.
‘home’ fee rate even though they are not funded


This is where you purchase or collect your Freshers Week Pass. If you
already bought your Pass in advance, either online or via cheque or postal
order, bring ID to the pre-paid desk where your Freshers Pass will be
waiting for you. If you wish to purchase a Pass on the day, you can do so
using CASH ONLY for £30.

The Freshers Week Pass will get you entry to all of the Napier Freshers
Week events. It also entitles you to drink discounts. Please note that the
nightclub events are over 18s only and that the clubs may request proof of
age. If you cannot make it to the Registration Event on Sunday 28th
you will be also be able to collect your Freshers Week Pass at NSA HQ
(12 Merchiston Place) from Monday 29th (9am-5pm).

For more inFormation pleaSe call 0131 229 8791

                                                               SECTION TITLE   5
           Student Loans

               StUDENt LoAN:                                      StUDENt LoAN ELIGIBILItY
             FULL-tIME StUDENtS
                                                        uK students: you must be on a full-time loan
(PART-TIME STUDENTS SEE NEW FEES GRANT ON P8)           bearing course. You must also satisfy the Student
                                                        Allowances Scheme residence requirements. This
The student loan is the primary source of support for   means that you must have been ordinarily resident
living costs for most under-graduate students. There    in the UK for the three years prior to the first day of
are differing rates of loan available depending on      the first academic year of the course – in Scotland
students’ individual family circumstances.              this is 1st August 08 for courses starting in autumn
There are also student loans available to cover the
costs of fees for students from England, Wales and      eu students: you may fulfil this requirement if you
N.Ireland (see page 17).                                have been in the UK for three years prior to 1st
                                                        August 08, working and/or studying part-time but
Unless you satisfy the criteria for ‘independent’       not in full-time education for the 3 years.
status (see below) a proportion of the maximum
loan that you may be entitled to will be subject to     if you are not a uK or eu national: you must also
a means-test based on parental income including,        have settled status in the UK within the meaning of
from Aug 08, the income of your parent’s partner.       the Immigration Act 1971 on the relevant date.
You have the option to avoid the means-test and
apply only for the non means-tested minimum loan.       There are exceptions to ordinary residence criteria
                                                        for students with EEA/Swiss migrant worker status,
                                                        refugee status or with Humanitarian Protection,
            INDEPENDENt StAtUS                          Temporary Protection or Discretionary Leave (before
                                                        April 2003 known as Exceptional Leave to Remain).
Independent status generally applies to unmarried       If you have any doubts about your residency status
students 25 and over, students with spouse/civil        contact SAAS/LEA/ELB or ISAS by telephoning
partner/partner or younger students who can prove       0131 229 8791.
that they have been self supporting from their own
earnings/state benefits for a three year period prior   If you have previous study and any outstanding
to the start of the course. Any periods in full-time    student loan(s) on which you have not agreed
education will not be counted in this calculation.      deferred payment with the Student Loan Company,
There are a few other special categories of students    you could be prevented from taking out any further
who may be granted independent status and               student loans until the arrears are paid.
additional information can be obtained from ISAS
(229 8791).

                                                            nursing and midwifery bursary Scheme
                                                            students and postgraduates are not
                                                            eligible to apply for the Student loan.
                                                            (see relevant sections for funding informa-
                                                            tion for these two groups, pages 10+13)

                                                              Student Loans

    APPLYING FoR YoUR StUDENt LoAN                        each instalment and the payment date. Payments
                                                          are made monthly directly into your bank account
You must apply for your Student Loan through your         on the 7th of the month The first instalment will be a
LEA/SAAS/ELB. YOU should apply for your loan and          double payment to help with books and other start
for tuition fee support before the beginning of the       up expenses.
academic year, but applications can still be made
up to 30 June of the same academic year. Scottish         You must provide SAAS (for Scottish students) and
students apply though SAAS on form SAS3 or you            the Student Loan Company with up to date details
can apply online at The form can         of your bank account and notify them immediately
also be downloaded from the website.                      of any change of circumstances. Change of bank
                                                          details can be done online at, or by
english domiciled students can find more info at:         calling the SLC on 0845 607 7577.
Welsh domiciled students go to:                           loan rates - for new students from Scotland                             starting 08/09 and continuing students who started
if you are from northern ireland, apply to your           01/02 or later or are entering higher education after
local education and library board, go to:                 a break in study of one year or more:                                         maximum rate ( away from home) - £4510.
                                                          Non means-tested loan - £890
national insurance number: although SAAS will             maximum rate ( in parental home) - £3570.
process Scottish applications without a NI number,        Non means-tested loan - £590
you will not be paid your monthly loan if you do not
supply a NI no. for the SLCo. If you are working/         These figures are now not the same in Scotland as
looking for work, phone the DWP on 0845 6000 643          elsewhere in the UK. You should check with your
to obtain a NI number, otherwise the SLCo should          funding body or an ISAS adviser, 229 8791, if you
apply on your behalf. If there is a long delay with the   wish to obtain confirmation that you are receiving
DWP (not unusual) this should not prejudice your          your full entitlement.
loan being paid.

                                                                            toP-UP LoAN
                                                          If you do not take out your full loan entitlement when
SAAS uses this form if you are in 2nd year onwards        you first apply, you can apply to top up your loan to
and exempt from giving spouse/partner/parental            the full amount available. Contact the Student Loan
income details (usually when there are no dependants      Company on 0845 607 7577 or write to the SLC,
and you have applied for the non-means-tested loan        100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD, or go online
only). If your circumstances change and you want to       to to download a form.
apply for the full loan and supplementary grants, this
is still possible by contacting SAAS. You can also
speak to an ISAS adviser on 0131 229 8791.                             REPAYING YoUR LoAN

                                                          Repayment will commence in the April after
     PAYMENt oF YoUR StUDENt LoAN                         graduation or leaving your course through the
                                                          PAYE (tax system). Payments begin once earnings
The Student Loan Company will send out a                  exceed £15,000. The amount you pay each month
Payment Schedule letter detailing the amount of           will depend on your earnings.

                                                                                                 FUNDING          7
             Grants / Expenses / YS Bursary+Loan

        SAAS SUPPLEMENtARY GRANtS                       you have unusually high travel costs you can apply
                                                        to SAAS early for up to 50% of your costs. Apply in
                                                        writing with full details and proof of travel.
    Dependants - for
                               £2575 maximum
    spouse/civil partner                                the absolute deadline for claiming travel
    Lone parents               £1270 maximum            expenses from SaaS in 08/09 is 31/7/09.

    Lone parent childcare      up to £1185
    Care leavers –
                               £100 per week
                                                                 YoUNG StUDENtS’ BURSARY
    for rent in summer
    Disabled Students’         £5030 maximum            SAAS will pay this bursary instead of part of the loan
    Allowance                  over whole course for    where family income is low – the maximum bursary
                               equipment;               is £2575 in 08/09. This is payable if the family
    (see page 77 for details   up to £20000 per         income is £18820 or less. No bursary is payable if
    of general help with       year for non-medical
                                                        family income is £33330 or more.
    disability needs)          helper;
                               up to £1680 per year
                                                        From autumn 08, the bursary is available if you are/
    Travel Expenses            See below                were under 25 at start of the course and single and
                                                        still dependent on parents or have one or more

                 tRAVEL EXPENSES                           YoUNG StUDENtS’ ADDItIoNAL LoAN

If you are funded through SAAS you can claim some       If the above bursary is payable to you, you may
re-imbursement of travel expenses, but not if you       also be eligible for the additional loan on top of the
are only assessed for tuition fees or if you have not   main loan. The maximum is £590 based on a family
taken out your full entitlement of student loan.        income of £17835 pa. No additional loan is payable
                                                        if family income is £21210 or more.
SAAS will help with the cost of daily travel to/from
the university provided it is not considered to be
within walking distance. If you are living away from                    NEw FEES GRANt
home you can also claim for 3 return journeys per
academic year.                                          If you are a part-time student on a low income (less
                                                        than £18000) you may be eligible for a student grant
SAAS will disregard the first £155 of any claim and     of £500 each year to help towards student fees.
will consider only the cheapest fares. There are
maximum limits also – see You          To be eligible you must fulfil the residency rules in
must provide proof of travel, for example copies of     Scotland, be treated as ‘independent’ with income
student bus/railcards.                                  of less than £18000 and be attending a part-time
                                                        undergraduate course consisting of at least 50%
Application forms are available on campus and from      equivalent of a full time course. Application forms are
ISAS from mid-December 08. You can also apply           available from Learn Direct Scotland from June 08. Tel
online from SAAS – form AB4. SAAS pay the money         0808 100 1090. Forms will be processed by SAAS.
into your bank account, usually within 21 days. If      Previous support from public funds will be ignored.

                                  Grants / University Funds

SAAS will be writing to existing part-time students         The University’s Student Funding Office administers
who till now were eligible for the part-time loan to tell   the Discretionary Funds. Application forms can be
them about the changes.                                     downloaded from their website at
                                                            depts/ssshome.html. Forms are also available from
The part-time fees grant is disregarded as income           main campus receptions and ISAS offices.
for Income Support, Housing Benefit, Council Tax
Benefit, and Tax Credit purposes.                           Students are unlikely to receive an award if they
                                                            have not taken up all the statutory funding that is
                                                            available to them.

See page 15 and also OTHER FUNDING on page                               thE ChILDCARE FUND
                                                            All matriculated students can apply to the University
                                                            Childcare Fund for assistance with the costs of
          DISCREtIoNARY FUND                                registered childcare.
    (formally known as hardship Fund)
                                                            This is a discretionary fund for help towards the cost
All UK under-graduate, post-graduate, full-time and         of registered or formal childcare (childminders, after-
part-time students can apply to this fund for support       school clubs, daycare, sitter services and providers
if in financial difficulty. Exceptionally EU and over-      of pre-school education).
seas students may also be eligible if they meet the
SAAS residency conditions. (See page 4 ).                   The Childcare Fund is administered by the University’s
                                                            Student Funding Office ( 0131 455 2929) and
Nursing and Midwifery Students are not eligible for         payments are assessed on personal and financial
this fund. (See Nursing section on page 10).                circumstances. If applicable, students who apply for
                                                            help from this fund must already have taken out, or
This fund is allocated to universities by the Scottish      applied for, their full student loan entitlement.
Ministers to assist students who experience financial
difficulties that could prevent them from continuing        The Childcare Fund is paid monthly.
on their course. To qualify for help, you must be able
to demonstrate that you are in financial hardship and       Nursing & Midwifery, EU and International students
provide appropriate documentation in support of             can receive up to 50% of childcare costs. Home
your application.                                           students can receive up to 80% of childcare costs.
                                                            There is some limited help for part-time students.
The Discretionary Fund application form contains
clear guidance notes and you should read these
carefully before applying. It’s also useful to discuss a            othER SoURCES oF FUNDING
discretionary fund application with an ISAS adviser.
Advisers will be able to give advice on your overall        See page 12.
financial situation and, if necessary, support your
application to the Fund.

                                                                                                   FUNDING        9
            Nursing & Midwifery Students

                      BURSARIES                           Single parent’s allowance - £1270
                                                          You may be entitled to this allowance if you are
Nursing students at Napier, including English, Welsh      single, widowed, divorced or separated and bringing
and N.Irish, may qualify for the Scottish Executive       up children on your own. Proof of lone parent status
Health Department Bursary.You must have been              is required.
resident in the UK for 3 years before the relevant
date – 1 August 07 for 08-09 students. The Scheme         childcare allowance for any parent (from aug
is handled by SAAS and you must apply to them             07) up to - £1185. If you pay for registered child-
every year for your bursary.                              care you may be entitled to this allowance. Apply
                                                          on a separate form from SAAS. This allowance was
Apart from the first payment which is normally            previously restricted to single parents and if you
available for collection at the University, the monthly   started in previous years you still come under those
payment goes directly into your bank account.             rules –

The financial support available changed in August         disabled Students’ allowance (dSa)
07. The figures below apply to students who started       •	 For equipment throughout the course
in Aug 07 onwards. The bursary and supplementary             up to £5030
grant figures for pre-August 07 starting and              •	 non-medical helpers allowance
continuing students can be found on the SAAS                 up to £20000 per year of course
website –                                 •	 basic allowance
                                                             up to £1680 per year of course

            Bursary                          Year 4       To obtain further information about whether you
                                                          qualify and to receive help with making the applica-
  Aug ‘07 onwards -                                       tion contact Student Support Services on 455 2929.
  All new students incl graduates
                                    £6411    £4808
                                                          expenses for clinical placement
  Initial Expenses Allowance                              Nursing and Midwifery students cannot claim for
  Paid in the 1st year of study     £58      N/A
  with 1st bursary instalment.                            normal daily travel to and from the University.
                                                          However you may be able to claim for extra
                                                          expenses incurred going to placements.
                                                          SAAS will pay the cheapest fares available. They will
dependants’ allowances                                    deduct the usual cost of travel to Napier and pay the
Additional allowances are paid for dependants. If         difference. Receipts will be required.
you are married, have a civil partner/partner, your
partner’s taxable income will be taken into account.      Subsistence
Further details can be found at          If you have to stay elsewhere during placement, you
nursing_and_midwifery.htm.                                may claim the extra expense involved. Receipts will
                                                          be required.
maximum amounts paid to students who
started on 1st august 07 onwards:                         napier childcare Fund
•	 For spouse/civil partner/partner/dependent adult/      This is the only source of funding within Napier for
   or, if none, 1st child - £2573                         student nurses and midwives who have childcare
•	 For all other children - £543                          costs. Contact Student Support Services for the
                                                          application form. See page 9.

                            NSA Funds / Childcare Help

           NSA’S CRISIS LoAN FUND                                    ChILDCARE SUPPoRt

NSA operates a Crisis Loan Fund to assist students     Summary of childcare Help:
in immediate financial need. ISAS advisers can,        •	 SAAS lone parent grant – non-nursing students
where appropriate, make available a small (£20)        •	 SAAS childcare grant – any parent doing a
interest-free loan to cover emergencies such as food      nursing course
and travel.                                            •	 University hardship childcare fund – non-nursing
The amount allocated to this fund is very limited.     •	 Napier childcare fund – nursing students/
Keeping it afloat so that it can continue to help         international students
students out in emergencies throughout the year        •	 Local Authority childcare - nursery places for 3
very much depends on the students who have                years and over
borrowed from the Fund paying back their loans         •	 Local Authority early years childcare – you may
when their finances have improved.                        get help from your LA if your child cannot take
                                                          up a LA nursery place. Five half day sessions are
All matriculated students attending Napier are            provided in partner organisations in the voluntary/
eligible to apply to this Fund except students who        independent sector.
already have an outstanding crisis loan.               •	 Working Tax Credit childcare element – you must
                                                          be working at least 16 hours per week. See page
            NSA’S EXtRAoRDINARY
                 CRISIS FUND
                                                                         ChILDCARE LINK
NSA also operates an additional crisis fund for
students who encounter unexpected financial            If parents require details of childcare facilities in their
hardship and who have particular needs. This fund      area information can be found at the following site:
is primarily aimed at international students who
experience a disruption of funds from overseas,
nursing and midwifery students, and students with
child dependants.

Assistance from this fund is also in the form of a
short-term loan (usually up to £50).

Both NSA funds can only offer short-term assistance
and are unable to provide ongoing support. ISAS
advisers will however assess a student’s overall
financial situation and help identify any other
possible sources of assistance. Telephone 0131 229
8791 for an appointment.

                                                                                                 FUNDING 11
           Other Sources of Funding

         DEPARtMENt oF woRK AND                                   EDUCAtIoNAL tRUSt FUNDS
            PENSIoNS /BENEFItS
                                                         SAAS can search the Scottish register of educational
Full-time students are generally not eligible to claim   trusts on your behalf – fill in form REE1. If any are
benefits such as Income Support, Jobseekers              suitable for you, you will be sent their name/address.
Allowance or Housing Benefit. Exceptions are lone        You have to make your own application. Trust fund
parents/incapacitated /disabled students. Part-time      committees do not necessarily meet very regularly –
students can in principle claim benefit.                 check the deadline dates so as not to waste time.

                                                         You can also consult the Educational Trust Advisory
                   tAX CREDItS                           Service: or
Child Tax Credit is available to anyone with a child,
if other rules are satisfied. Working Tax Credit can
be claimed if you work a minimum of 16 hours per
week + other rules. See page 20 for more details on         please be aware that none of these
benefits/tax credits.                                       sources of funding are easily or quickly


Career Development Loans are aimed at students
on vocational courses who are not in receipt of
student financial support. A Career Development
Loan is a deferred repayment bank loan – no interest
is paid by you during the time of study.

Some of the major banks participate in the scheme
and if the bank agrees the loan, you can borrow
between £300 and £8000 to cover up to 80% of
course fees (100% of fees if you have been
unemployed for 3 months) and 100% of other costs.

CDLs can cover full-time, part-time and distance
learning courses provided they are vocational, last
no more than 2 years, (plus, where relevant, up to 1
year’s practical course-related work experience), and
that you are not supported by a student grant or loan.

A CDL becomes repayable one month after the
course is completed and there is a limited period of
deferment (up to 17 months) if you are unemployed.

For general advice on CDLs contact 0800 585 505
or go to

                                          Postgraduate Funding

SAAS only fund certain, mainly diploma, courses for         maximum amounts:
full-time postgraduate study. These are called
‘eligible courses’. You must also satisfy the residency     In Parental Home              £2780
requirement (see page 4). SAAS also look at who
funded you at undergraduate level and whether               Away From Home                £3675
you should be applying to that authority instead of
                                                            Unmarried/in parental         £3675
                                                            home/parental income
                                                            under £23660 p/a
You can check if your course is an eligible course for
funding by SAAS. They publish the courses on their          Independent students          £3675
website in May of each year. Universities are invited       in parental home
to submit applications for funded courses and
the postgraduate allowances selection committee             For longer terms:
decides on the allocation of funded places to each
                                                            In parental home              £44 per week
university. These are called the ‘quota’.
When you have checked that your course is on the            Away from home                £74 per week
quota you have to ask the department to support                                           extra
your request for funding from SAAS.

If you get a quota place and you meet all the SAAS        Supplementary grants for:
conditions the following support applies:                 •	 Lone parents
                                                          •	 Travel
•	 tuition fees - up to £3315. These are paid             •	 Students with disability
   directly to Napier. Napier may be charging more        See undergraduate section for full details of
   than this. Check with the department.                  supplementary grants as the same rates apply.

•	 Standard maintenance grant is income-                  the absolute deadline for applying to SaaS for
   assessed and covers 30 weeks and 3 days. If            eligible postgraduate funding is:
   your course is longer/shorter this amount may be       •	 30 June 09 for courses in Scotland
   amended. If your course lasts at least 45 weeks,
   your grant will cover 52 weeks.

                                                             note: Students with a disability
                                                             If your course is not eligible for funding from
                                                             SAAS, or if you are on a part-time or distance
                                                             learning course, you may still be eligible for
                                                             the Disabled Students’ Allowance (see p15).

                                                                                                FUNDING 13
            Postgraduate Funding

     ADVANCED PoStGRADUAtE StUDY:                                           UNIVERSItY FUNDS
                                                             uK postgraduate students can apply for
research councils                                            •	 University discretionary funding – student support
These courses are not funded by SAAS/LEA/ELBs                   services – 0131 455 2929
but by the Research Councils, if applicable. You             •	 Childcare funding - as above
should ask the department you are hoping to study            •	 NSA crisis fund – limit of £20 loan – 0131 229 8791
with for advice about applying. There is limited             •	 NSA extraordinary crisis fund – short-term loan
funding and many people applying so do not delay.               up to £50
•	 Arts and Humanities Research Board
•	 Particle Physics and Astronomy Research                   eu postgraduates can apply for
•	 Engineering and Physical Sciences Research                •	 Discretionary funding if SAAS residency conditions
•	 Natural Environment Research Council                         met
•	 Economic and Social Research Council                      •	 Napier childcare fund
•	 Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research            •	 NSA crisis loan - £20
•	 Medical Research Council
                                                             international postgraduate students can
Get more information from the prospects website:             apply for (link to postgraduate study).            •	 Napier childcare fund – 0131 455 2929
                                                             •	 NSA crisis loan - £20 – 0131 229 8791
                                                             •	 NSA extraordinary crisis – in an emergency – loan
             othER SoURCES oF                                   of up to £50

•	 Employment within your department of study –                 ***NB*** Remember that most post-graduates
   check with the department.                                   are responsible for paying their fees and the
•	 Scholarships – check if the department you are               university has a very strict policy on fee debt. If
   hoping to study with has a scholarship scheme or             you default on your agreed fee payments, your
   links with local business awards. For general info           internet access can be withdrawn/ your results
   on scholarships -              withheld and you can be withdrawn from the
•	 Educational trusts                                           university altogether. Make sure you have
•	 SAAS can search the Scottish register of trusts              sufficient funding in place. See page 27.
   on your behalf – fill in form REE1. If any are suitable
   for you, you will be sent their details. You have to
   make your own application. Funding committees
   do not usually meet very regularly – check
   deadline dates so as not to waste time.
•	 You can also consult the Educational Trust
   Advisory Service:
•	 Employer support – your employer may consider
   funding your study or part of it e.g. fees. Check
   with your personnel department.
•	 Bank loan – if you have a long-term good record
   with your bank and you have an income to meet
   repayment terms, your bank may consider you
   for a loan.

                                               Funding Summaries

      DISABILItY FUNDING SUMMARY                        •	 You can apply to the Napier childcare fund for
                                                           help with childcare expenses
UK undergraduate, postgraduate, full/part-time and      •	 You can apply to NSA Crisis loan fund - £20 only
distance learning students can apply for financial      •	 You can apply to NSA Extraordinary Crisis Fund -
help through the Disabled Students’ Allowance              loan of £50 in emergencies
for extra costs associated with disability. The
assessment and application process is done with         non uK/eea Students
the help of the Special Needs Team within Student       •	 SAAS will pay your fees if you have ‘settled
Support Services. Telephone 0131 455 2929.                 status’ within the meaning of the Immigration
                                                           Act 1971 and 3 years’ residence before the 1st
The DSA is paid by SAAS on top of any other                August 08 or
funding you have applied for. There are 3 sections      •	 Refugee status or humanitarian protection/
                                                           discretionary leave to remain in the UK
•	 Basic Allowance                                      •	 You can apply to SAAS for the loan if you fit the
   up to 1680 per year of course                           above rules
•	 Non-medical helper’s allowance                       •	 If you are treated as a ‘ home’ student you can
   up to £20000 per year of course                         apply to the various hardship funds available to
•	 Equipment Allowance                                     UK students
   up to £5030 over whole course
                                                        other international Students
eu and international students with disability           •	 You are responsible for paying your tuition fees.
needs please note: Even although you cannot get            The consequences of not paying are quite severe,
the Disabled Students’ Allowance through SAAS,             including being withdrawn from the course. See
you may be eligible for other university academic          section on Debt to the University (page 27)
and practical support. Please see section on            •	 You cannot get a student loan from SAAS
Disability Needs on page 77.                            •	 You can apply to the International Emergency
                                                           Fund in an emergency (but not just because you
                                                           do not have enough money to live on) 0131 455
 NoN-UK StUDENtS FUNDING SUMMARY                           2929
                                                        •	 You can apply to the Napier Childcare Fund for
eu Students                                                help with the costs of childcare 0131 455 2929
•	 Fees paid by SAAS if you have 3 years residence      •	 You can apply to NSA Crisis Loan Fund - £20
   in the EU before the relevant date, 1st August 08       loan
   in Scotland                                          •	 You can apply to NSA Extraordinary Crisis Fund –
•	 You can apply for the student loan if you have 3        loan of £50 in emergencies.
   years’ UK residence before the relevant date and
   this was not solely in full-time education
•	 If you are an EEA/Swiss migrant worker you do
   not need 3 years’ residence to apply for the loan
   but SAAS will want to see that the work you are
   doing has some relevance to the course you are
   proposing to follow
•	 You can apply to the University discretionary fund
   if you fulfil the SAAS 3 year residency rule

                                                                                              FUNDING 15
            Time Out From Your Course

  tAKING tIME oUt FRoM YoUR CoURSE                        For international Students
                                                          International students may experience visa
For eu and uK Students                                    difficulties if taking time out from the course due to
If you withdraw permanently from your course you          illness. See pages 42-48.
can claim benefits. Please note that if the withdrawal
is only temporary (suspension of studies) and you
intend to return to your course, you will be regarded
as a continuing student and will be refused benefits,        EU students must have comprehensive
unless you fall into one of the categories below.            sickness insurance in the UK.

if you take time out due to illness/caring you
can claim benefits as follows:

Incapacity benefit for illness – if you have worked
and have an National Insurance record;
Income Support for illness after 28 weeks. If the
university suspends you on health grounds, you
can ask SAAS to continue to fund you for the first
28 weeks as they have the discretion to do so. You
will need a letter from the university explaining their
decision and supporting evidence from your doctor.

You cannot claim Carer’s Allowance as a full-time
student. If you have to wait to return to university
after the end of the caring period you can claim JSA
and HB/CTB for up to one year before re-starting at

If you have to repeat a year or part thereof you
can ask SAAS to use their discretion to award you
repeat funding on health or compassionate grounds.
You will need to supply supporting evidence, usually
from a health professional.

Nursing/Midwifery students who suspend studies
due to illness can normally continue to receive
their bursary for up to a maximum of 60 days and,
exceptionally, for a longer period with the approval
of their school.

See also pages 18 and 19.

Undergraduates Studying in Scotland


         FEES (£)                   LOANS (£)                  LOW INCOME          ExTRA GRANTS (£) MAx

Funded by SCOTLAND - SAAS (

One-rate: 1775               (income assessed)           max bursary: 2575         (income-assessed)
SAAS will only fund 500      max away from home:         additional loan: 590      dependants: 2575
‘excess’ after a break       4510                                                  lone parents: 1270
in study                     max at home: 3570                                     childcare: 1185
                                                                                   travel costs
                             (non-means tested)                                    disabled allowance:
                             away from home: 890                                   basic: 1680 pa
                             at home: 590                                          equipment: 5030
                                                                                   non-medical helper:
                                                                                   20000 pa

Funded by ENGLAND - Local Education Authority (

One rate: 1775               (75% income-assessed,       maintenance grant         special support
Student loan available to    25% non-means-tested)       max grant: 2835           (on IS/HB)
pay for fees - deferred      max away from home:                                   for help with childcare
payment until graduation.    4625                                                  up to 85% of costs
                                                                                   1 child: max 148.75 pw
Note: Must register with                                                           2 or more: max 255 pw
loan company to get 4th                                                            parents learning allowance
year fees paid, if started                                                         (means-tested) help for
between 01/02 to 05/06                                                             course costs with parents
                                                                                   50-1470 max
                                                                                   disabled allowance: as
                                                                                   above for Scotland

Funded by WALES - Local Education Authority (

One rate: 1775               as per England              assembly learning grant   as per England
Student loan avaiable as                                 max grant: 2835
per England


One rate: 1775               as per England              maintenance grant         special support (on
Student loan avaiable as                                 max grant: 3335           IS/HB) max grant: 3335
per England                                                                        others - as per England

EU Students funded by SAAS (

One rate: 1775               possible if EU student      if eligible, as per       if eligible, as per
Paid by SAAS if EU           fulfils 3 year residency    Scotland                  Scotland
student fulfils 3 year       in Scotland prior to 1st
residency in EU prior to     Aug 2008 if eligible, see
1st August 2008              Scottish section

                                                                                                FUNDING 17

                     BENEFItS                              Your income, and your partner’s, is taken into
                                                           account for all means-tested benefits. You are
Benefits are complicated for students, especially if       advised to check out your eligibility to benefits with
you are from the EU, EEA and overseas. International       an ISAS adviser before applying. Phone 229 8791
students should have ‘no recourse to public funds’,        for an appointment.
and claiming benefits could jeopardise your visa
position, so it is very important that you do not claim
any benefit without first seeking further help.                   MEANS-tEStED BENEFItS -
                                                              tAKING tIME oUt FRoM thE CoURSE
EU and EEA students may need to fulfil the ‘Habitual
Residence Test’ and the ‘Right to Reside Test’ in          If you withdraw from your course you can claim
order to be eligible for benefits. Students can            benefits. But if withdrawal is temporary (suspension
discuss eligibility and get advice from ISAS before        of studies) and you intend to return to the course,
applying. Phone 229 8791 for an appointment.               you will be regarded as a continuing student and
                                                           be refused benefits, unless you fall into one of the
Benefits fall into 2 main categories; means-tested         categories already noted.
(based on income) and non-means-tested.
                                                           If you take time out due to illness/caring responsibili-
                                                           ties you can claim means-tested benefits as follows:
          MEANS-tEStED BENEFItS                            Income Support after 28 weeks. During this 28
                                                           weeks you can ask SAAS to continue to fund you as
The majority of full-time students are not entitled to     they have the discretion to do so.
claim means-tested state benefits for the duration
of the course. You may be able to claim benefits if        Once you have recovered, you may be able to ‘sign
you fall into certain categories: lone parents, students   on’ for benefit until you can return to the course.
with dependant children, disabled students, part-          Students are not eligible to claim Carer’s Allowance.
time students and full-time students who have              After the end of the caring period you can sign on
suspended their studies through illness/caring             for JSA for up to a year before returning to studies.
responsibilities. If you live with a spouse or partner     On top of the above benefits, you may be able to
they can claim benefits for the ‘family’.                  claim housing and council tax benefit.

                                                           Nursing/Midwifery students who suspend studies
   means-tested benefits are:                              due to illness can normally continue to receive the
   •	 Housing Benefit                                      bursary for up to a maximum of 60 days and,
   •	 Council Tax Benefit (where applicable),              exceptionally, for a longer period with the approval
   •	 Income-Based Job Seekers Allowance                   of the school. In order to receive the continuation
      (part-time students and, during summer               of bursary past 60 days you must apply for
      vacation only, couples with dependant                continuation of bursary through the Programme
      children where both are students)                    Leader, see also page 60.
   •	 Income Support
                                                           International students see pages 42-47.


       NoN-MEANS tEStED BENEFItS                          maternity benefit and maternity allowance
                                                          Employers pay Statutory Maternity Pay (SMP) to an
These benefits are not dependent on income levels         employee off work to have a baby. You are eligible
but eligibility depends on an your particular             to claim Statutory Maternity Pay for 39 weeks if in
circumstances, or can be employment linked.               employment, earning at least £90 per week (08/09),
Again, you are advised to contact ISAS for more           when pregnant or just had a baby. SMP is payable if
information – especially international students, as       you have been working for the same employer for at
this may affect your visa conditions.                     least 26 weeks by the time you are 15 weeks away
                                                          from the date your baby is due.
disability living allowance (dla)
DLA is a benefit if you need help with personal care      Maternity Allowance is a benefit for women who
or have mobility issues. You are eligible to claim        have been working but do not meet the work and
DLA in the same way as other benefits. If you think       earnings conditions for SMP. In order to get this
you may qualify you should contact ISAS for further       benefit you must have worked for at least 26 weeks
information.                                              out of the 66 weeks before your expected week of
                                                          birth and have average earnings of at least £30 per
incapacity benefit (ib)                                   week.
IB is for people who are incapable of work. It is
payable after 28 weeks of incapacity or from the          contribution based Job Seekers allowance
start of sickness if you are not eligible for statutory   This benefit can only be claimed by the categories
sick pay from your employer or if you are not             of students entitled to claim means-tested benefits.
currently in work and you have the requisite NI           See pages 20 and 21. In order to be able to claim
record. The rules recognise that some young people        this benefit you must have paid sufficient NI
will not have had time to build up a contribution         contributions to qualify for contribution based JSA.
record, so you may be able to claim IB after being        For further assistance you should contact ISAS on
incapable of work for 28 weeks. Starting a course         0131 229 8791.
of study may prompt the DWP to re-assess you, but
this should not happen routinely. If you require more
information you are advised to contact ISAS on 229

   note: the rules about incapacity benefit
   are changing from october 08. there
   will be a new allowance for new claims
   which will be called ‘employment and
   support allowance’.

                                                                                               FUNDING 19
           Tax Credits

                  tAX CREDItS

Child Tax Credit and Working Tax Credit were
introduced in April 2003. Most students with children
(except international students) are eligible to claim
Child Tax Credit. If you are working at least 16 hours
a week, or have a partner working over 16 hours a
week, you can also claim Working Tax Credit.

child tax credit (ctc)
If you are a student parent you should claim
support for your children through Child Tax Credit.
You do not need to be working to qualify. CTC is
paid directly into the bank account of the main carer    childcare element of Wtc
on a weekly or four weekly basis.                        If you are a lone parent working at least 16 hours a
                                                         week, or a couple where you are both working over
                                                         16 hours a week, or one of you is incapable of work,
Working tax credit (Wtc)                                 it is possible to claim WTC for childcare if the child-
This is a means-tested credit for working people on      care provided is by registered nurseries, playgroups,
a low income. You can claim if you have dependant        after-school clubs, or child-minders. If eligible, you
children and you, or your partner (if applicable), are   can get up to 80% of childcare costs subject to
working at least 16 hours a week. If you do not have     a maximum cost per week of £175 for one child
children you can claim WTC if aged 25 or over and        (£140), and/or £300 for two or more children (£240).
working at least 30 hours a week. Normally this          The childcare element is paid directly to the main
applies only if you are on a full-time work placement,   carer, along with Child Tax Credit.
or through the summer vacation. The work must
continue for at least 4 weeks from the date of claim.    treatment of Student Support for ctc/Wtc
The Inland Revenue will pay this directly into a bank    Most elements of student support are completely
account. To avoid any overpayment of WTC you             disregarded as income. Tuition Fees, Student Loans,
should inform the Inland Revenue when you stop           additional Childcare Grant for Lone Parents,
work or reduce working hours to below the level          Disabled Students Allowance, Young Students
required for WTC. The income threshold for WTC           Bursary, Additional Loan, Childcare Fund,
is £6420 and if income is less than this, entitlement    Discretionary Fund awards, postgraduate awards
is to the maximum WTC. If income exceeds the             from Research Councils/SAAS and travel expenses
threshold, WTC is payable at a reduced amount.           are all disregarded when calculating CTC and WTC.

                                                         ALL elements of the Scottish Executive Health Dept
                                                         Bursaries paid to Nursing & Midwifery students are
                                                         disregarded for CTC and WTC.

                                                         Dependants’ Grant for Adults and the Lone Parent
                                                         Grant are taken into account and will affect the level
                                                         of CTC and WTC payable.

                         Tax Credits / Health Benefits

claiming ctc & Wtc                                                     hEALth BENEFItS
There is one form for both CTC and WTC, form
TC600. The form is also available from the              As a student,you are not automatically exempt from
Department of Work and Pension Offices, or from         NHS charges but you may get help because you
the Tax Credit Helpline on 0845 300 3900. There         get a qualifying benefit, belong to an exempt group,
is an online facility for claiming tax credit           or qualify under the low income scheme. Students
( but this may      (including International students) are eligible to
be temporarily unavailable.You should check the         claim help towards certain NHS costs such as
website for its re-opening.                             dental treatment and glasses on the grounds of low
The Helpline can provide advice on completing the
form. You must provide income details from the          The application form HC1 asks for details of income,
previous tax year, but if your current income for       and any student who qualifies for help will receive
the year is lower, or if it will be more than £25,000   a voucher which will offset some, but not all, of the
higher, you should inform the Inland Revenue of this    NHS costs. The voucher is valid for 6 months. If
change in circumstance. Income increases of up to       possible, you should apply before you receive
£25,000 do not affect the current year award but will   dental treatment, although if eligible for help, you
obviously change/cancel the award for the following     can apply for a refund. You can apply for a refund
year. The Inland Revenue has a tax credits website;     on the costs of glasses (NHS lenses and frames) but This can be accessed to check          your claim must be received within 3 months of the
eligibility for tax credits and any amount due.         date when the contact lenses or glasses were paid
                                                        for. Prescription charges are not covered.

other income
Income from social security benefits count as              Hc1 forms are available from iSaS
income, but some benefits such as Child Benefit,           offices, dental practices and opticians.
DLA and Maternity Allowance are disregarded. Any
maintenance or child support from a parent/ex-
partner is disregarded.

   Wages: gross earnings before Income Tax
   and National Insurance are taken into
   account, minus any personal pension
   contributions. Business profits from self-
   employment, less any personal pension
   contributions, are taken into account.

                                                                                             FUNDING 21

                                                          useful documents to take as proof of
Students need a bank account: to receive payments         identity and residence:
of the student loan or bursary, or wages from part-
time jobs; or to make direct debit payments for           •	 passport with student visa (if appropriate)
university accommodation and tuition fees, and to            OR
pay rent.                                                 •	 national photo ID card if from an EU
                                                             country and the letter from the
Banks want your business and offer incentives to             university confirming your status as a
get you to open up an account, such as: book or              UK student (students can obtain this
CD tokens, railcards, travel insurance etc. But you          from Registry Services)
should try to look beyond this to the really important    •	 the letter of acceptance onto a course
bit: an interest free overdraft, which is a very useful      from the university
thing to have. However, unless you have been              •	 home students may require a utility bill or
resident in the UK for a considerable time (usually 3        bank statement in their own name sent to
years) if you are from outside the UK you are unlikely       where they live as proof of residence
to be offered an overdraft facility.                      •	 a copy of the lease, provided the property
                                                             is leased through a letting agent, can also
                                                             be accepted for both home and overseas
opening a bank account                                       students, but some banks will not accept
All students should be able to open a ‘basic bank            leases from private landlords
account’. These accounts allow account-holders            •	 overseas/EU students will usually find
to pay money in, take money out and pay bills by             that a letter/bank statement from their
standing order or direct-debit. You may, depending           home bank sent to their UK address is
on the bank and your particular circumstances, get           acceptable
other types of accounts but you need to ask the
bank about this.                                          If you have any difficulties providing the
                                                          necessary documents, you should ask the
UK law requires that all financial services companies     bank staff if you can speak to the person
take steps to prevent their services being used           who is authorised to make a decision.
in financial crime and identity fraud. This means         If you continue to experience difficulties
that everyone who wants to open and operate a             opening an account, you should contact
bank account must provide proof of identity and           ISAS for further advice. Telephone 229 8791.
residence. The fact that these checks are carried out
does not mean that the bank believes that
applicants are criminals – conditions apply to all
bank account applicants.

                                      Banks / Credit Facilities

                                                        Bank customers can challenge bank charges that
         Managing a Bank Account                        they think are unfair or too high. Information on how
                                                        to do this can be found on or seek
   •	 open an account locally - close to campus         advice from an ISAS adviser by calling 229 8791.
      or your term time address - to allow quick
      access to sort out any problems.
   •	 always check and keep bank statements.                     CREDIt CARDS/StoRECARDS
   •	 keep track of what is paid by Switch/Visa:
      it’s easy to underestimate your spending.         These may seem tempting, particularly so if you are
   •	 if paying out money that will exceed the          struggling on a low income, but be careful. It is very
      overdraft limit, speak to the bank straight       easy to lose track of what is spent on credit cards
      away. Banks will try to be helpful if they        and the interest rates (APR) are generally high, on
      are kept up to date on any changes in             some cards up to 30%. It is better to avoid credit
      circumstances or potential difficulties.          cards if possible, but if you do take one out, then
   •	 keep your account active by regularly             you should check the interest rate, make sure your
      paying money in and with-drawing funds            budget can cope with the monthly repayments, and
      from it. If the account becomes inactive for      always read the small print on the agreement before
      a while, some banks will close the account        signing up for a card.
      leaving the account-holder with the over-
      draft to clear with immediate effect.
   •	 maintain a good working relationship with                         PERSoNAL LoANS
      the bank – even after graduation.
                                                        It is unlikely that any bank/financial institution will
                                                        agree to give personal loans to students. If you do
                                                        manage to obtain a personal loan you should be
overdrafts                                              aware that the interest rates are often very high. It
Sticking to a budget and not over-spending is           is important to be sure of being able to meet the
tough. ISAS has budget forms to help you plan your      monthly repayments before signing up for a loan.
budget. Having access to an interest free overdraft
can come in very useful provided you keep track of
spending and stay within the authorised limit. Bank
charges can arise if the limit is exceeded and a good
relationship with the bank can quickly vanish – often
along with the bank card! If you are experiencing
problems with your bank should contact ISAS for
advice – 229 8791.

bank charges
Banks can make charges for late payments and
returned direct debits etc. Average bank charges
cost the customer £30 each time. The law
however, states that banks cannot profit from
recovering their costs and therefore bank charges
should truly reflect the cost of administering them.

                                                                                                 FUNDING 23
                                                   Money Management

             MoNEY MANAGEMENt                             At this point, if expenditure exceeds income, there
                                                          are two options: cut back spending or increase
As a student you can rarely afford to live as well as     income.
you would like. A rich social life, high tech gadgetry
and an up to minute music collection and wardrobe
don’t come cheap. Apart from that, Edinburgh is an
expensive place to live, but it’s possible to live here               Some Suggestions on
on a budget. You must become expert at deciding                        Increasing Income:
what is essential and what to do without, and at
finding out where the best bargains are.                     •	 get a part time job
                                                             •	 ask the bank for an extended interest-free
                                                                overdraft (it will have to be repaid, but
budgeting                                                       later)
Budgeting means balancing what you have                      •	 try to renegotiate repayments for existing
coming in as income with what you spend, and                    credit agreements
if this sounds boring, it’s no fun being broke with          •	 check out the funding section of this book
weeks to go before the next instalment of the                   or contact an ISAS adviser to ensure all
student loan/bursary.                                           sources of income have been exhausted.
                                                                Phone 229 8791.
                                                             •	 ask parents if they can assist you
                                                             •	 find full-time work in the holidays and work
                Budgeting Basics                                towards saving up/paying off debts to start
                                                                the next academic year in a better financial
    •	 Calculate “essential” or “core” living costs             position.
       – rent, bills, travel, course fees – then see
       what’s left afterwards. Is there enough
       money coming in to cover these in full for
       the academic year?
    •	 Be realistic about “any other expenses”
       such as course costs, field trips, mobile
       phone bills, clothes, books, music,
       toiletries, sports, birthdays, haircuts, social
       life. It’s easy to underestimate how much
       money is needed for these things, and
       because these other costs are not as vital
       as rent, heat, light, and food, there’s a
       tendency not to build these things into a
       budget. They should be included in any
       realistic budget.
    •	 Work out a realistic spending limit at the
       start of every week, and try to stick to it.

   (ISAS have a budget form which can help
   you itemise all your spending – tel 229 8791)

                                                                               MONEY MANAGEMENT 25

                                                   Students need to access all the money they can,
            Money Saving Tips                      and make that money last. It’s tricky. The budget
                                                   shown below isn’t meant to be definitive but
  •	 buy a student railcard to get a third off     provides some indication of what you might spend
     the price of a train journey. Pick up an      on average every month.
     application at most main train stations
     and travel agents. The card costs £24 and
     to qualify you need to bring 1 passport
     photograph, a passport or drivers’ licence
     identification (photocard), a current
     matriculation card or letter from the uni
     confirming full time student status (the
     latter is required for students aged over
     25). More information can be obtained

  •	 ISIC cards are available for £9 from
     Merchiston Student Union reception and
     represent good value because they
     provide a range of discounts, including
     30% off the costs of flights, and discounts
     on everything from driving lessons, to
     clothes, coach travel, and pizza with
     named suppliers.

  •	 find out the essential text books on the
     reading list and try to get them second
     hand (get the correct editions). is one source.

  •	 get an NUS ID card from NSA, or an
     NUS Extra Card for £10 to obtain student
     discounts. S-Pod, Snapfax and Student-
     freestuff offer special student discounts.

  •	 Take advantage of the food bargains and
     special offers in supermarkets.

  •	 Try to buy second hand

                                             Debt to the University

                   tUItIoN FEES                                            ACCoMMoDAtIoN

Napier University has a ‘zero tolerance’ policy on         If you are in university accommodation you need to
tuition fee debt, further details of which can be          budget to cover the rent. If you experience any
found at                            difficulties paying, you should contact your Housing
                                                           Officer immediately to discuss the situation. If
If you are self-funding you are required to make           you fall into arrears with rent and have not made
arrangements to pay your fees at matriculation.            arrangements to pay them, the University is legally
There are only two options and the University does         entitled to issue you with a notice to quit the
not accept alternative proposals.                          accommodation. The University will also pursue
                                                           your guarantor for the rent arrears owed.
•	 Payment of fees in full at matriculation                Independent advice can be obtained from ISAS.
•	 Payment of fees by direct debit in 8 instalments

If you have not paid in full or signed up for the direct                     LIBRARY FINES
debit scheme within 4 weeks from the start date
of the course you will automatically be put into the       The maximum library fine per item is £6. You can
debt cycle and debt sanctions will be applied.             accrue up to £15 fines per semester but amounts
                                                           in excess of this will result in library services being
                                                           withdrawn, as will the non-payment of fines / failure
               Sanctions include:                          to return items.You should not permit others to use
                                                           your matriculation card to obtain library services
    •	 removing access to services and facilities          because you will be held liable for anything
    •	 preventing debtors from submitting                  borrowed in your name.
       assignments or sitting examinations
    •	 withholding assessment/exam results
    •	 preventing progression to the next level                      ADMINIStRAtIoN ChARGES
       of the course
    •	 prevention from graduating                          There are a range of administration charges which
    •	 withdrawal from the university                      are payable on demand such as resit fees,
    •	 referring the debt to a debt collection             graduation expenses, matriculation card
       agency                                              replacement (unless Police evidence of theft
                                                           provided), duplicate transcripts.

If you experience any difficulties paying fees you
should contact the University Fees Office
immediately. Independent advice can be obtained
from ISAS, phone 229 8791.

                                                                                  MONEY MANAGEMENT 27
           Debt Management

                                                         if you find that your income does not
Many students find that their income does not cover      cover expenses do not just ignore the
their living expenses and that debts start accruing.     situation. there are steps you can take
If you can’t cover rent and bills, if you go over your   that can help you to regain financial
overdraft limit or miss credit repayments, then pretty   control.
soon debt can feel overwhelming. Money worries           •	 Try to identify possible ways of increasing
are stressful and can start to affect health and            income or cutting down on non-essentials
studies.                                                    (see pages 26). Check income sources; are
                                                            there any more sources available? Check
Expert advice and assistance with debt management           weekly spending and where money is
and debt rescheduling can be obtained from the              going; can any savings be made?
Independent Student Advice Service (ISAS).               •	 Draft a financial statement listing total
Telephone 229 8791.                                         income, essential expenses, and all debts.
                                                            The statement should detail priority pay-
                                                            ments such as rent/mortgage, utility bills,
                                                            food, travel, childcare, insurances, council
        USEFUL SoURCES oF FREE,                             tax (if applicable), and tuition fees (if appli-
     INDEPENDENt, INFoRMAtIoN AND                           cable). It should also list monthly payments
            ADVICE oN DEBt:                                 due to creditors such as banks, loan
                                                            companies, credit cards, store cards etc.
   •	 independent Student advice Service                 •	 If there are priority debts such as rent/
   12 Merchiston Place, Edinburgh                           mortgage, a loan secured on your home,
   Tel 0131 229 8791.                                       gas, electricity, council tax, court fines,
                                                            these should be dealt with first. Use
   •	 Scottish debtline                                     the financial statement to work out an                               affordable repayment plan. Draft a
   Tel 0800 138 3328                                        repayment proposal in writing to the
                                                            people owed money (creditors).
   •	 clear Start                                        •	 After priority debts, there may be credit                                    cards, loans, store cards etc. If there is
   Tel 0800915 9592                                         any surplus income available this can be
                                                            offered on a pro-rata basis to each creditor
   •	 citizens advice bureaux                               i.e. who is owed the most gets the most.                             •	 Don’t worry if repayment offers are small,
   Check phone book for local offices.                      most creditors will eventually accept that
                                                            agreeing to small but regular repayments
   •	 advice Shop                                           is a better alternative to costly and time
   85-87 South Bridge, Edinburgh                            consuming debt recovery action.
   Tel 0131 225 1255.                                    •	 Keep copies of all credit agreements and
   e-mail:                      correspondence.
                                                         •	 ISAS advisers are experienced money
                                                            advisers and can assist you with debt
                                                            management. For a free, confidential
                                                            appointment telephone 0131 229 8791.

                                             Fraud / Identity Theft

               IDENtItY thEFt                         in order to avoid identity Fraud you should
                                                      take the following precautions:
This is when criminals find out your personal
details and use them to open bank accounts,           •	 Get a copy of your personal credit report and
get credit cards, loans, state benefits and              update it periodically. This can be obtained from
documents such as passports and driving                  a Credit Reference Agency. Charges vary
licences in your name.                                   between agencies and may be free in some
                                                         cases. Check for entries you do not recognise.
Students have been identified as a high risk          •	 Royal Mail offers a redirection service for when
group for Identity Fraud due to their lifestyle and      people move home. Consider redirecting any
unique circumstances. Being away from home               post for at least a year. Be careful if other people
for the first time, independently managing their         have access to your post, particularly in shared
own finances, regular changes of address and             accommodation.
the need to carry personal details or documents       •	 Collect post daily and contact Royal Mail if you
all contribute to their vulnerability.                   think your post is being stolen.
                                                      •	 If you move house, inform your bank, Credit
More information regarding Identity Fraud can            Card Companies and other organisations that
be obtained from the following website:                  you deal with. To check that your personal                                 details are secure, get a copy of your credit
                                                         report two to three months after moving.
See also the section on Personal Security,            •	 If you use external internet facilities, such as
page 58.                                                 internet cafes, choose reputable ones that
                                                         completely erase the disk you were using and
                                                         reinstall the operating system from scratch for
                                                         each user. Don’t leave the computer unattended.
                                                      •	 Cancel any lost or stolen credit/debit cards
                                                         immediately. Keep a note of the emergency
                                                         numbers you should call.
                                                      •	 Keep your personal info secure when using your
                                                         card over the phone, on the internet or in shops
                                                         by making sure that other people can’t overhear
                                                         you or see your personal info.
                                                      •	 Keep your personal documents in a safe place,
                                                         preferably in a lockable drawer or cabinet.
                                                         Consider storing valuable financial documents
                                                         with your bank.
                                                      •	 If your passport or driving licence has been lost
                                                         or stolen, immediately contact the organisation
                                                         that issued it.
                                                      •	 Protect yourself and your identity whilst online
                                                         (for more info see
                                                      •	 Be careful about what you disclose about
                                                         yourself in chat rooms and social networking
                                                         sites (Bebo, MySpace, Facebook etc). Not
                                                         everyone out there is friendly. See page 59.

                                                                               MONEY MANAGEMENT 29
            Credit / Consumer Rights

            CREDIt RAtING ChECKS                          You can make an appointment with an ISAS adviser
                                                          to discuss your credit rating – phone 229 8791.
If refused credit without good reason, it is a good
idea to contact a Credit Reference Agency for a           If not corrected, inaccuracies in a credit report can
credit rating. Charges for this vary and should be        influence financial decisions for years to come and
checked on the relevant website. There could be           could cause major problems when it comes to
a simple explanation for credit refusal, such as the      renting a flat, obtaining a mortgage, getting a loan
fact that there is no record of any credit history, but   or even getting into a career.
it could be more sinister as in the case of Identity
                                                                         CoNSUMER RIGhtS

        Credit Reference Agencies:                        ISAS advisers can give advice on consumer rights. If
                                                          you have bought and paid for goods or a service but
   •	 experian ltd                                        are not happy with the standard of these, you may                                     be able to get all or some of the money returned.
   •	 equifax                                      Advice can also be obtained by phoning Consumer
   •	 callcredit plc                                      Direct, a Government helpline set up to give help
   Tel: 0870 060 1414 /              and advice to consumers:
                                                          08454 040506 or


                                                     You are at university to get an academic qualification
before applying decide:                              and that aim should always be uppermost. However,
•	 what kind of work you are able to do and          many students have part time jobs – to make ends
   what you will/won’t do                            meet or generate some cash to support a social life.
•	 how many hours you want to work (fit it in
   with your academic time-table)                    It is important that part time jobs do not take up
•	 whether you are prepared to work shifts           too many hours, resulting in missed classes or
•	 whether you are prepared to work at night         contributing to academic failure. Cutting classes
   or would prefer weekends                          means having to take time outside of class to make
                                                     up for lost tuition, and academic failure could result
check:                                               in more costs and time being lost to cover re-sits,
•	 the number of hours you will be asked             or even repeating failed modules.
   to work
•	 on “variable” hours or “casual” contracts,        The accepted wisdom is that you should not work
   how often you are likely to be asked to           more than 15 hours per week if you do not want to
   work and whether there’s a weekly                 jeopardise your academic performance. If you are an
   minimum/maximum number of hours you               international student (non EEA/UK student) you are
   can expect to get                                 not legally permitted to work more than 20 hours a
•	 how much you will be paid, as well as how         week during term-time, see pages 44-46).
   and when it will be paid – and whether
   extra hours will be paid at a higher rate         Ideally, an employer should be able and willing to
                                                     be more flexible about your working hours around
once in employment:                                  exam time and reduce work commitments. Working
•	 after a month in employment you are               and studying is a balancing act and both require
   entitled to a written statement of particulars.   planning and organisation.
   Read it carefully and note any informal
   agreements. Find out if your employer has
   a grievance procedure, and who to contact                          PAID hoLIDAYS
   if problems arise
•	 if you work over 8 hours per week, make           All employees, whether or not in temporary or part-
   sure you receive a written pay slip. This will    time jobs, are entitled to 4.8 weeks paid holiday
   let you check your gross pay and what, if         leave per year. Entitlement begins on the first day of
   any, Income Tax and National Insurance            employment and builds up over the year. At the end
   has been deducted                                 of any employment workers are entitled to payment
•	 From October 08 the national minimum              in lieu for any leave outstanding.
   wage will be £5.73 per hour for workers
   ages 23 and over, £4.77 per hour for              Some employers include a holiday allowance in their
   workers aged 18-21, and £3.53 for                 rate of pay for casual or part-time staff rather than
   workers aged 16-17.                               give time off. This is legal as long as the employer
                                                     states what the rate of holiday pay is and does not
                                                     merely state that pay includes holiday pay.
                                                                                                continues >

                                                                                      EMPLOYMENT 31
            Sick Pay / National Insurance

> continued                                                or having fees paid through SAAS, also need a NI
If hours and shifts vary from week to week, leave,         number. No-one is permitted to work in the UK
or payment in lieu of leave, should be based on the        without a NI number. An employer can issue a
average weekly hours worked over a lengthy period          temporary number until the permanent one comes
(usually 12 weeks).                                        through but it is your responsibility to apply for a
                                                           number if you don’t have one and are working.
Students often experience difficulty getting holiday
pay entitlement paid for part time work. If you are        If you are an International student you can apply
in this position, you should contact ISAS for help,        for a NI number once you have a job offer from an
phone 229 8791.                                            employer or, if you can prove you have been actively
                                                           seeking work for some time. When you call you
                                                           should state that you are an international student
              StAtUtoRY SICK PAY                           and explain how long you will be in the UK to study.
                                                           The Enquiry Centre will offer an interview at the local
If you are absent from work through illness and            Jobcentre Plus which is part of the Department of
your (average) weekly earnings are above the lower         Work and Pensions.
earnings limit of £90, you will be entitled to Statutory
Sick Pay (SSP). There is a 3 day qualifying wait for       To apply for a NI number, you should contact the
SSP, but every day counts, even if it is a day that is     National Insurance Enquiry Centre, telephone
not normally worked. In order to make a claim, you         number: 0845 6000 643. It may take some time to
must inform your employer that you are sick (even if       get through.
this is a rest day).

             NAtIoNAL INSURANCE                               to get a national insurance number,
                                                              international students should take the
Students are not exempt from paying National                  following to the interview:
Insurance (NI). Provided earnings reach £90 per
week NI is deducted at source from pay at 11%. NI              •	 passport
is a social security contribution from wages made              •	 birth certificate
by every person working in the UK so that the                  •	 a bank statement and a utility bill and /
government can provide security for the working                   or current tenancy agreement confirming
population when they are sick, unemployed or retire.              term-time address
Most people brought up in the UK are automatically             •	 a contract of employment plus any wage
issued with a National Insurance number when they                 slips, or a written offer of the job from the
reach 16. UK citizens who have not got a NI number,               employer
or who have lost it, should contact the National               •	 course confirmation letter from the
Insurance Enquiry Centre on 0845 6000 643. NI                     university
numbers should also be on old pay-slips, P60s or               •	 matriculation card

The NI number is used in all dealings with certain         You should keep all pay-slips and the P45/46 from
government departments and by employers,                   the employer at the end of the job and the P60 if you
for them to make deductions of tax and NI                  are given one in April each year.
contributions from wages. Students receiving loans

                                                                     Income Tax

                   INCoME tAX                                            INLAND REVENUE

Students do not have special exemption from               The Inland Revenue has a useful Taxback Helpline
paying Income Tax. Everyone working in the UK is          on 0845 077 6543. You can also get advice and
taxable, but you are only taxed once earnings reach       assistance in claiming back any tax you may be due
a certain level.                                          by calling into the Inland Revenue Enquiry Centre at
                                                          Haymarket House, just round the corner from
The tax year runs from 6 April to 5 April the following   Haymarket Station. (Telephone 0845 302 1484)
year. In the tax year 2008/2009 every person in the
UK can earn up to £5435 without being taxed. This
is called a personal allowance.

To ensure that you are not taxed on personal
allowances, you must complete the relevant tax
forms for every paid job that you do. If you work
during term time you will be liable for Income Tax in
the normal way and the employer should supply a
form P46 for completion. If you are planning to work         you can also get help from the new
only during the summer vacation, and expecting not           inland revenue dedicated student
to earn more than your personal tax allowance, you           website:
can ask your employer to complete form P38S. This  
will confirm that you are only to be employed for            or from the voluntary sector body:
a limited period and will not exceed your personal 
allowance, so no Income Tax should be deducted,
although National Insurance contributions may still
be due.

If you think you are paying too much tax, you can
ask the Inland Revenue to check this, and any tax
due will be refunded to you.

Payslips and P45s will be useful supporting
documentation for this. Any tax due will normally
be paid out at the end of the tax year.

                                                                                         EMPLOYMENT 33
            University Accommodation

Sharing accommodation with fellow students                  tenancy agreement
should be an enjoyable experience. Many freshers            Students moving into Napier Accommodation who
will have already been allocated places in Napier           can provide a signed direct-debit mandate must pay
Accommodation but others will be seeking a                  a £375 non-refundable advance payment plus £100
tenancy in the Private Sector or living with a              deposit. If you do not provide a direct-debit mandate
resident Landlord.                                          you will have to pay an advance non-refundable
                                                            payment of £700 as well as a deposit of £100. All
Whether staying in Napier Accommodation,                    students must sign a tenancy agreement for a fixed
renting in the Private Sector or living with a              period of let. University leases run for 39 weeks but
resident landlord, it is important to be clear about        Postgraduate, Nursing and Midwifery students are
the terms and conditions of the lease before                offered a 50 week lease due to the nature of their
accepting the tenancy. Leases are legally binding           courses. All leases run until the end of the session –
once they are signed, so you should not sign                even if students move in mid-session.
anything you are unsure about. If there are clauses
you do not understand or believe to be unfair you           If, for whatever reason, you want to move out before
should get things checked over before signing and           the end of your lease you must be aware that the
are advised to make an appointment to see an                university is not obliged to release you from your
ISAS adviser, call 229 8781.                                contract early, but will normally do so provided
                                                            another suitable replacement tenant can be found to
                                                            take your place. Outgoing tenants however, remain
        UNIVERSItY ACCoMMoDAtIoN                            responsible for the rent up until the incoming tenant
                                                            takes over the lease. It would therefore be unwise
Most lets in university accommodation are                   to pay a deposit or sign a lease on another flat until
allocated prior to students arriving in September.          the Accommodation Office agrees to terminate the
Occasionally vacant places may become available             Napier lease. If you withdraw from your course and
throughout the academic year, so if you are looking         are no longer a registered student your lease will
for university accommodation mid-session you                automatically will be terminated.
should check with Napier’s Accommodation
Office – e-mail or call          There is a designated Housing Officer and
455 3713. There will be a special Accommodation             designated Senior Resident for each Napier
Advice Information Desk available at the beginning          Accommodation development. They are there to
of the academic year on 455 3811.                           help in the first instance if you have questions, or
                                                            have complaints about your accommodation, or
                                                            other tenants.
Weekly rents for Napier Accommodation depend
on the locality but range from £80.36 - £81.41.             rent arrears
This rent includes background heating (except               The University has a strict policy regarding
Blackfriars Street) reasonable use of electricity but       accommodation debt, so if you experience difficulty
not telephone charges. Rent must be paid monthly            paying your rent you should speak to your housing
in advance by direct-debit or in full at the start of the   officer as soon as possible, or contact ISAS on 0131
tenancy.                                                    229 8791. For further information regarding debts to
                                                            Napier see page 27.

                Private Rented Accommodation

    PRIVAtE RENtED ACCoMMoDAtIoN                         Housing in multiple occupation
                                                         licensing Scheme
Edinburgh has a wide range of rented accommoda-          Private rented properties with 3 or more occupants
tion, but competition for it is high, with rents         must be licenced by the Council. A licence is only
generally more expensive in the popular ‘student         granted if the property meets certain safety
areas’ such as Bruntsfield, Marchmont, Morning-          standards. You may want to check the register to
side, Polwarth and Newington. Flats are advertised       ensure that your landlord is licensed as this should
widely in newspapers, property agencies and shop         ensure that the property is properly managed and
windows. There are also several websites which           that it meets certain safety standards.
can be used to find accommodation such as, and                                    landlord accreditation Scheme
                                                         Accreditation is a code of standards relating to
If you choose to register with a property agency you     property and tenancy management of privately
cannot lawfully be charged until the agency finds        owned accommodation. Landlords and letting
you somewhere to live and the contract is signed.        agencies in the scheme agree to abide by the code
Upfront charges are not lawful. However it is            of standard and provide good quality, well managed
important to establish the agency’s fee at the outset,   properties. A list of accredited landlords and letting
and if you do not do this you could find yourself        agents and further info on the scheme can be found
paying over the odds. The agency can charge an           at Properties and Letting
administration fee for preparing a tenancy               Agencies registered under this scheme will display a
agreement, making an inventory and other costs           recognisable logo.
associated with setting up a tenancy. If possible you
should use an agency signed up to the National
Approved Letting Scheme (APLS).

When looking for accommodation in the private
rented sector there are several things that you
should be aware of:

landlord registration Scheme
All private landlords should be registered as fit and
proper to be letting residential property.
Details of landlords registered on this scheme can
be obtained from the following website:

                                                                                    ACCOMMODATION 35
           Private Rented Accommodation

             BEFoRE MoVING IN -                                     tENANCY AGREEMENtS
              ChECK thINGS oUt
                                                        A lease is a legal contract between you and the
For your own safety, you should not go to view          landlord, outlining the terms and conditions of the
flats on your own – you should take a friend and tell   tenancy. You should insist on a written lease and
someone where you’re going and when you’ll be           not sign it before you read it through carefully,
back. When viewing a flat, you should feel free to      understand it and accept its terms.
ask any questions, it will be too late to do so once
the lease is signed.

                                                           a lease should include:

   There are several important checks to                   •	 the length of the tenancy – start date,
   make when looking for a property to rent,                  finish date (if applicable) and how the
   before signing on the dotted line:                         parties may give notice to quit to one
   •	 locality - should be safe, well lit,                 •	 the amount of rent due, when and how it
      convenient for university, near to shops,               is to be paid – the period and method of
      bus routes, amenities.                                  any rent reviews (eg annually, at the rate
   •	 external appearance – should be in a good               of inflation).
      state of repair, no peeling paint, the stair         •	 the terms for the return of the deposit
      should be clean.                                        (usually equivalent to a month’s rent).
   •	 internal appearance – no signs of                    •	 special clauses that apply to the property
      neglect, no inadequate or dirty furnishings,            such as: no overnight guests, no smoking,
      no old gas/electric appliances, no mould                no subletting, no pets, no redecorating, no
      or sign of damp.                                        blue tack on walls. Some of these issues
   •	 safety and security – adequate locks,                   will affect the level of insurance cover
      smoke alarms that work and gas                          should things go wrong.
      appliances that have a record of having
      been regularly checked by a CORGI
      registered engineer.
   •	 appliances – in good working condition.           You should be wary of unfair clauses: penalty
   •	 overall – does it look comfortable to live in/    charges for late payment of rent, expecting tenants
      do current tenants seem happy?                    to pay the cost of repairs, allowing the landlord
                                                        complete freedom to say how much of the deposit
                                                        s/he can retain without challenge, permitting the
                                                        landlord unrestricted access instead of notified

                                                        All tenants have certain basic rights under the law,
                                                        regardless of what it says in the lease, or even if
                                                        there is no written lease. A landlord cannot remove
                                                        these basic rights. If you pay your rent on time, pay
                                                        bills on time, take care of the property and do not
                                                        move out before the end of your tenancy, you should
                                                        not encounter problems with your landlord.

                                                 Inventory / Deposits

For their part, landlords have a responsibility to keep                        DEPoSItS
the property in good repair, have gas appliances
checked annually, respect your privacy and provide         Most landlords insist on a deposit (usually an extra
at least 24 hours written notice of a flat inspection/     month’s rent) as cover for damage or any unpaid
visit. It is a criminal offence to harass you or try       rent and/or utility bills at the end of the tenancy.
to force you to leave your accommodation. There            You should ensure that you get a receipt for your
are legal procedures that need to be followed if a         deposit. Provided there is no rent owing or bills
landlord wants to evict a tenant.                          outstanding and the property is left in good order,
                                                           this deposit should be returned to you at the end of
                                                           your tenancy.

   If you run into any problems with your                  The property should be left clean and tidy. If this is
   accommodation or want some advice about                 not the case the landlord may bring in special
   tenancy rights, contact an ISAS Adviser on              cleaners and deduct this cost from the deposit.
   229 8791. For additional info on housing                Similarly the cost of any damage that has to be
   rights go to               repaired or items that have to be replaced can also
                                                           reasonably be expected to be deducted. If you
                                                           experience problems getting your deposits returned,
                                                           or you think too much has been deducted and you
                                                           want to challenge this, you should contact ISAS on
           INVENtoRY oF CoNtENtS                           229 8791 for advice.

Each flat and tenancy agreement should come with
an inventory of contents listing furniture, appliances,
and any other equipment supplied by the landlord.
The inventory should be checked over by you and
the landlord at the start and end of your tenancy and
if things are missing from the list or are not in proper
working order, this should be noted before you sign
and date the inventory. If you sign for things that are
missing or not working at the start of a lease you
could find that you are charged for them at the end
of your tenancy (or an amount for this is deducted
from your deposit).

If there is not a written inventory at the start of a
tenancy, you should draft your own, sign and date
it and send it to the landlord, keeping a copy for

                                                                                      ACCOMMODATION 37
            Gas Safety

                    GAS SAFEtY
                                                            Symptoms of carbon monoxide poisoning
Every year a number of people die as a result of            include drowsiness, tiredness, headaches,
carbon monoxide poisoning caused by gas                     chest pains and nausea. There’s a risk if:
appliances that have not been properly installed
or maintained. Carbon monoxide is known as the              •	 there is staining or soot around the fire
‘silent killer’ because it is invisible and has no smell.      or the top of the water heater. There are
It is a toxic gas produced when there is a blockage            yellow or orange flames instead of blue
in the air supply to gas appliances. It can build up           (although this probably will not apply to a
without warning, and kill in a matter of hours.                ‘real flame’ gas fire). The pilot light blows
                                                               out frequently.
Landlords have a legal obligation to ensure that all
gas appliances are checked once a year. These               •	 any gas appliance is not working properly.
safety checks must be carried out by someone who
is registered with the Confederation of Registered          •	 there is insufficient fresh air in the room
Gas Installers (CORGI). If landlords do not carry out          and/or excessive condensation on the
these checks, or do not produce a copy of the                  windows.
inspection record, tenants should contact Letwise
at Edinburgh City Council on 529-7454. They can             •	 the gas appliances have not been checked
check if the property has an HMO Licence and take              or maintained properly. Modern gas
steps to enforce the safety requirements. The Health           appliances that are installed and checked
and Safety Executive (HSE) also operates a 24hr                by a member of the Confederation of
freephone Gas Safety Advice Line on 0800 300363.               Registered Gas Installers (CORGI) should
                                                               be safe, but older appliances which go
                                                               unchecked could be hazardous.

                                         Tips for Shared Living

      tIPS FoR ShARING A hoME                       tIPS FoR LIVING IN thE CoMMUNItY

•	 make a list of everyone’s home (parental)        Mutual respect is good and remembering
   address so that there are genuine contact        that not everyone is a student in your area/
   addresses should anyone leave without            common stair– ie some people have to get
   paying bills etc.                                up for work early, or they have kids they are
•	 discuss how household bills are to be            trying to get to sleep, or are elderly or live
   paid. It could be useful to draw this up in      alone and might be intimidated and upset by
   writing and all sign. Ideally the names of all   excessive noise or disturbance.
   tenants should be on the fuel bills rather
   than one person.                                 •	 be on good terms with neighbours.
•	 respect each other as housemates. Try to            Excessive noise and frequent parties
   establish some ground rules about having            can result in a visit from the Police or
   friends round or staying over, accessing            Environmental Health and may cause
   a flat-mate’s room or belongings in their           trouble with the landlord.
   absence etc.                                     •	 try not to bang doors, speak loudly on the
•	 respect each other’s property. Agree on             communal stairs – especially late at night.
   what things it is OK to share and what is        •	 be aware that noise travels at night and
   out of bounds.                                      banging car doors, loud goodbyes and
•	 advise the landlord of any damage caused            conversations on the pavement can annoy
   / any repairs needing done as soon as               or wake people inside trying to sleep or
   possible. Keep copies of correspondence /           get their kids to sleep.
   note of telephone calls about these things.      •	 keep music at an acceptable level,
•	 agree about responsibilities for household          especially late at night. Turn it down,
   tasks and make sure it works. Communal              reduce the bass, and shut the window
   areas need to be kept reasonably clean - a          when other people would be expected to
   dirty flat could mean a lost deposit when           be in bed.
   the landlord gets the industrial cleaners in     •	 if it’s part of your tenancy agreement, take
   to clear up the mess.                               your turn at cleaning communal areas
•	 cover the basics of cleanliness. Do not             such as stairs.
   leave food lying out. Bin waste properly         •	 put all refuse out on a regular basis and
   and put food away in the appropriate                in the correct place. Do not leave bags of
   place. Failure to do so could result in             rubbish lying about outside the property
   bacteria, vermin or cockroaches. Student            for days.
   flats are known for mice infestations and        •	 if you use the garden for a barbee, don’t
   this is largely because food is not properly        trash the flower beds or picnic furniture,
   stored away or disposed of.                         make everything safe and bag your
•	 avoid excessive noise – especially late at          rubbish before you go to bed, so it’s safe
   night (including making noise in the                for neighbours to use the next day.
   common stair).

                                                                           ACCOMMODATION 39
           TV Licence / Council Tax

                  tV LICENCES                                              CoUNCIL tAX

Being caught using TV equipment without a licence       This is a system of local taxation collected by local
can result in a fine of up to £1000. A TV licence       authorities. The tax is based on the value of
currently costs £139.50 (black and white licence is     domestic property. Full-time students aren’t liable
£47). It is possible to pay by direct debit to spread   for payment of Council Tax, but if you leave your
the cost and, if the TV is not being used over the      course or change to part-time study you could be
summer vacation, licence holders can claim a refund     liable.
for any completely unused quarters on the licence.
So if you buy a licence in October and go home at       exempt categories:
the end of June, you can claim a refund for July,       full-time students who rent/own a property alone or
August and September.                                   with other full-time students, international students
                                                        living with their spouse/civil partner, where that
a tv licence is required:                               person is the only other adult living in the property,
to use any television receiving equipment, including    students living with a resident landlord.
set-top boxes, video or DVD recorders, computers
and mobile phones as well as TV sets being used to      liable to pay categories:
watch TV programmes as they are being recorded.         a student sharing with one other non-student – the
                                                        student should pay nil but the non-student is liable
but is not required:                                    to pay, minus a 25% discount.
to use a set-top box with a hi-fi system or another
device that can only be used to produce sounds and      Part time students – where a programme is not at
cannot display TV programmes, and where no other        least of 1 year’s duration/or does not require
TV receiving equipment is installed.                    attendance for a min of 24 weeks in the year.

Shared:                                                 Full time: a student on a course lasting a minimum
one licence shared between housemates is                of 1 year and attending classes for at least 24
required for using a TV anywhere in a property          weeks in the year. Some students on short full
where TV viewers are all part of the same joint         time courses (especially EU) experience difficulty
tenancy agreement using only 1 shared TV between        in establishing student status with the Council for
housemates in a shared property where everyone          Council Tax purposes. If this happens, you should
has an individual tenancy agreement.                    contact an ISAS adviser, phone 229 8791.

individual:                                             inform the council
TV licences are required for using a TV in a bedroom    You must inform your local authority Council Tax
of university accommodation living in shared            Office of your student status as soon as you
accommodation with individual tenancy agreements        matriculate. Council Tax Student Status forms, for
where there is more than one TV (i.e. individual        Edinburgh Council only, are available from ISAS
tenants who have their own TVs in their rooms need      offices, Registry Services or the Council. For those
a licence)                                              living outside Edinburgh, these forms need to be
                                                        obtained from their local Council Tax Office. Once
                                                        the form is completed, it must be stamped by
                                                        Registry Services and sent to the Council Tax
                                                        Office. You should keep a copy of the completed
                                                        form. Contact ISAS for advice (229 8791).


            International - Orientation/Finance

       oRIENtAtIoN / CULtURE ShoCK                                                FINANCE

Studying abroad is exciting, it offers chances to           It is essential for international students (non EU) to
make new friends and engage with a different                have sufficient financial provision in place to cover
culture. Scotland, Edinburgh and Napier are good            tuition fees in full for each year of the course. On
choices. The country and the city are beautiful and         average, undergraduate course fees are between
the university is a friendly and informal place. But        £8600 - £9990. Postgraduate fees normally exceed
there’s a lot for you as an international student           £9000.
to get used to at once and culture shock and the
climate are just two of these things. It can be difficult   The university has a very strict policy on tuition fees
to settle in and you can often go through a period          debt and if you are unable to cover the fees, services
when you wonder why you decided to come here                will be withdrawn and you will be discontinued from
at all. The excitement and the newness wears off,           the course. If you are withdrawn from the university,
the weather gets colder and the nights get darker,          this can have very serious implications for your right
and suddenly you are homesick, missing family and           to remain in the UK. See the section on University
friends, missing the comforts of home and finding           Debts, page 27.
everything here alien and just too different.
                                                            Students living away from home need around £750
Most students manage to go through this difficult           a month, in addition to fees, to meet average living
time by speaking to friends or housemates, but              costs such as rent, food, phone/gas/electricity bills,
there is support at NSA and the University too. ISAS        travel, books and other necessities. If international
and the International Student Support Advisers are          students plan to have their family join them here,
here to help. You cannot be expected to know how            they will need to consider any additional costs such
everything works in the UK – paying bills, setting up       as bigger accommodation, food, heating, clothing,
bank accounts, tenancy agreements, the examina-             transport and so on and budget well in excess of
tion process, claiming back health care charges             £750 (see the budget plan on page 26).
– but ISAS does, so you should not be afraid to use
the service, phone 229 8791 for an appointment.             The Immigration Rules state that as an international
                                                            student you must be able to pay the tuition fees and
International students do not come all this way to          support yourself (and any family members coming
study and socialise with students from home. To get         with you) without needing to work.
the most of your time here in Scotland you need to
meet the locals and get used to the strange quirks
of the culture. It’s important not to take offence          banks
at things that are done differently in Scotland             You are generally able to open an account with any
compared to at home. Most things are just                   major bank in the UK. Most banks however are only
”different” and need time to get used to.                   prepared to offer you an ordinary (basic) account
                                                            with no overdraft facility. To open an account you
One way of getting involved in university and               need your passport, evidence of your date of birth
student life after Freshers’ Week is to join sports         and nationality, written confirmation of your place at
clubs & societies (see,             university, your address here and, if appropriate your
get a job, try some voluntary work (www.edinburgh-          home address as well as a letter of introduction from, or join          the university (see page 22). If you experience any
local organisations. You need to get out there, mix         difficulty setting up an account, you should come
with other people, and see what is on offer.                and see ISAS, telephone 229 8791.

               International - Police Reg / Visas

      REGIStRAtIoN wIth thE PoLICE                        There are three ways of extending leave to remain.
                                                          You can post the forms and supporting documen-
Students from some countries have a stamp on their        tation to the Border and Immigration Agency (the
passport that says they are required to register with     address to use is given on the form) you can attend
the police. If this is the case with you,you must         in person at a Public Enquiry Office, the nearest is
register within 7 days of arrival in the UK. In           Glasgow; or you can participate in the Home Office
Edinburgh this is done at Lothian and Borders             student scheme, also known as the batch scheme.
Police Headquarters Nationality Department. Police
Headquarters is in Fettes Avenue in the Comely            Napier’s International Student Office, part of the
Bank Area of Edinburgh. The office is open 9.00           International College, runs drop-in sessions to
– 11.30am, Monday to Friday. An appointment is            help international students with applications to
not necessary, but to register you should bring the       extend leave to remain. You should consult
£34 registration fee in cash, your passport, 1 recent or phone 0131 455
passport sized photograph, letter from sponsor if         4701 for the times of the Visa sessions. You will be
being sponsored by a company or organisation, a           given a list of what you need to produce for the
letter of acceptance from the university, and             application and when you return this it will be sent
confirmation of address in Edinburgh, such as a           off to the Home Office via the batch scheme. Once
tenancy agreement You will need to return within          the application has been processed, it is posted
7-10 days to pick up the registration certificate. If a   back to the university, usually within two to three
spouse or other dependant(s) is coming to the UK,         weeks, provided the application is straightforward.
their passports must be checked for work                  The fee for a student visa extension is £295.
registration requirements also.

Once registered with the police you must inform           visa no longer valid
them within 7 days of any new address, change of          If you are removed from your course, you leave,
passport, extension of visa granted by the Home           you cease to have full time student status, or your
Office, marital status or change of studies/university.   visa runs out this affects your right to remain in the
                                                          UK. If you are in this position contact immediately
Further information can be obtained by calling 0131       the international office on 0131 455 4647 for help in
311 3171 or e-mail or          making an application to extend your stay.
visit the website
                                                          If leave to remain is about to expire or there is no
                                                          time to join the batch scheme, you may be able to
        EXtENDING LEAVE to REMAIN                         attend the Border and Immigration Agency Public
                                                          Enquiry Office in Glasgow. This is a “same day”
Note that rules are subject to frequent change, so        service but an appointment is necessary. The fee
you must get advice before applying.                      for this service is £500. Before attending such an
                                                          appointment it is essential that you have all the
If you have been given a period of leave to remain        required documentation and the means of paying
which is shorter than the duration of the course, you     the fee (personal cheque with guarantee card, postal
will need to apply to the Home Office to extend your      order or debit/credit card). If it is not possible for
stay. This should be done about a month prior to the      applications to be dealt with when attending in
expiry date in your passport. You should complete         person it is likely to take some time, possibly three
form FLR(S) which can be downloaded from:                 months, for passports to be returned.                                                                            continues >

                                                                          INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS 43
           International - Visas / Employment

> continued                                                              EMPLoYMENt
Glasgow Immigration Office is at Festival Court, 200
Brand Street, Govan, Glasgow G51 1DH. Telephone        If you are a student from a non-EEA country you
0870 606 7766.                                         do not need a work permit to take up part-time
                                                       employment in the UK if your course of study is
If you have any queries about extending your leave     longer than 6 months. Under the terms of your
to remain, or want your application checked over,      student visa you are only permitted to work up to
contact the International Student Support Office by    20 hours per week in term time. It is very important
telephone on 0131 455 4701 or by e-mail                that you do not work in excess of these hours. The                     Home Office does check up and exceeding the
                                                       limit can result in the visa and right to remain being
ISAS can also help with general queries regarding      withdrawn.
student visa and immigration status. Phone 0131
229 8791 for an appointment or      You can work full-time during the vacations but if
                                                       on one-year Masters course you should know that
                                                       vacations do not cover the period of writing up your
                                                       dissertation. Further information on the conditions
        LEAVING THE PROGRAMME                          under which international students can work is
                                                       available from ISAS. Telephone 229 8791.
   An underlying condition of your student
   visa is that you remain on your full-time           If your passport is stamped “work prohibited” you
   programme of study. You must seek advice            are not permitted to take up work in the UK and
   regarding your immigration status if you leave      could face deportation if you work illegally.
   your programme even if your student visa
   has not yet expired.                                If you want to gain some work experience while
                                                       you are here, you should check out vacancies
                                                       advertised in local jobcentres, newspapers and
                                                       shop/ restaurant windows and the university online
                                                       Careers Service.

                                                       You will need a National Insurance number once
                                                       you have a job offer from an employer. For more
                                                       information see page 32 and 46.

    International - Workers Registration

    woRKERS REGIStRAtIoN SChEME                                      BULGARIAN & RoMANIAN
   FoR StUDENtS FRoM EU ACCESSIoN                                        StUDENtS (A2)
           CoUNtRIES (A8)
                                                           You do not need any form of registration to come to
Students from the newer EU member states of                the UK as students, but you do need to register if
Cyprus, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia,          you wish to work. But if you were in the UK with no
Lithuania, Malta, Poland, Slovakia and Slovenia are        restrictions on your stay as at 31st December
free to work in the UK. However, except for those          2006 you will be exempt from having to obtain a
from Cyprus and Malta, you will have to register your      registration certificate.
employment with the Home Office under the Worker
Registration Scheme, if the job is going to last more      You can apply to confirm your student status using
than one month. You must apply for a registration          form BR1 from Some
card from the Home Office as soon as the job               family members can be included in this application.
begins, or within one month at the latest.                 You are permitted to work 20 hours in term time and
                                                           full time during vacations. Students following a
this can be done as follows:                               vocational course with a work placement are
•	 by obtaining an application form (WRS), by              permitted to work more than 20 hours during the
   downloading a form from www.ukba.homeoffice.            placement. If you want to work for more than 20                              hours during term time it is necessary to obtain
•	 by completing the form and returning it along with      an accession work card (a document issued to an
   the £90 fee                                             A2 national authorising you to start working with a
                                                           specified employer).
The Home Office will then send a registration card
and a registration certificate. The card needs to be
kept in order to register any other jobs. The certifi-
cate is specific to that employment/employer and if
you change jobs within 12 months you must apply
for another certificate. There is no extra fee for this.

Once you have worked in the UK for 12 months,
without a break or breaks of no more than 30 days,
you can apply for a residence permit as a worker
and you no longer need to register under this

   you do not need to apply if:
   •	 You were working legally in the UK on 30
      April 2004 and for the previous 12 months.
   •	 You were working legally in the UK on 30
      April 2004 and have remained with the
      same employer after that date. If you got
      a new job before working for 12 months
      without interruption you need to register
      the new job.

                                                                          INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS 45
           Non-UK National Insurance & Tax

       NAtIoNAL INSURANCE AND tAX                               RECLAIMING tAX whEN LEAVING
                                                                        thE CoUNtRY
Everyone who works in the UK must pay National
Insurance contributions and these are recorded            Anyone who works in this country for more than 183
through an individual NI number. You do not need          days is liable to pay income tax. If you have been
an NI number before you start work, but once you          working since 6th April in the year you complete
have a job, or the offer of a job, you should apply       your studies and are going back home, you may
for a NI number to be assigned. Telephone 0845            have tax to reclaim before leaving. The website
600 0643. Staff will take your details, arrange to call gives full details and contact
back if necessary and to interview you at the local       numbers for your employer’s tax office. It is this
Jobcentreplus office which is part of the Department      office that you must contact for any reclaims. P45s
for Work and Pensions (DWP).                              (issued by the employer to workers when they leave
                                                          their employment) have a three digit code for your
                                                          employer’s tax office and this can be looked up
   at the interview for an ni number you                  under the Contact Us section of the webpage.
   need to take:
   •	 passport                                            To re-claim tax you are required to send a P85
   •	 birth certificate                                   (download and complete) together with the P45 to
   •	 a bank statement and a utility bill and /           the relevant tax office. It can be useful to contact the
      or current tenancy agreement confirming             office by phone and ask if you have paid excess tax
      your address                                        in earlier years. If so,you need to send in your P60
   •	 a contract of employment plus any wage              (summary of earnings and tax paid in any tax year
      slips, or letter offering the job to you            and issued by employers shortly after 5th April each
   •	 your course confirmation letter from the            year) with a covering letter to reclaim tax.
   •	 your matriculation card
                                                                   INtERNAtIoNAL StUDENtS &
                                                                          CoUNCIL tAX

It may take several weeks to process your NI              The Council Tax is set by local council authorities to
number but in the meantime employers should issue         pay for services they provide to the public such as
a temporary number.                                       police, schools, street lighting and refuse collection.
                                                          The amount people pay depends on the type of
Working students should keep all pay-slips and the        accommodation they stay in and the number of
P45/46, on leaving the job.                               people aged 18 or over living there.

For information regarding Income Tax see page 33.         Full-time students, living alone, or with other full-time
                                                          students, should be exempt from council tax. If your
                                                          spouse/civil partner has come with you to the UK
                                                          and is not allowed to work or to claim public funds,
                                                          you should both be exempt from the council tax.
                                                          See the section on Council Tax, page 40.

                                     Non-UK Student Benefits

       NoN-EEA NAtIoNALS & SoCIAL                          “urgent cases payments” of Income Support for
           SECURItY BENEFItS                               up to 6 weeks if you are experiencing a temporary
                                                           disruption of funds from your home country. If you
It is a condition of entry to the UK as an international   believe you may qualify for this at any time, you
student that you should have sufficient funds to           should contact an ISAS adviser.
support yourself, and your dependants, for the
duration of your studies. Most international students,
and their dependants, are not entitled to claim                             EAA StUDENtS
social security benefits in the UK as this is seen as
“recourse to public funds”. Any claim for benefits         means tested benefits
deemed to be “public funds” would be a breach of           Full time students, of whatever nationality, are
immigration regulations and could jeopardise your          unlikely to receive Means Tested Benefits such as
right to remain in the UK.                                 Income-based Jobseekers Allowance, Housing
                                                           Benefit, Income Support, or Council Tax Benefit but,
                                                           there are a number of exceptions. Lone parents or
   benefits classed as public funds are:                   part-time students may claim these benefits. If you
                                                           are an EAA lone parent or part-time student you
    •	 Help with housing from the local authority          may be subject to the Habitual Residency Test if
    •	 Attendance allowance                                you have been in the UK for less than two years. If
    •	 Carers allowance                                    you are married/have a (deleted) partner and your
    •	 Child benefit                                       spouse/(deleted)partner is looking for work or has
    •	 Council tax benefit                                 become unemployed, they may be able to claim
    •	 Disability living allowance                         these benefits.
    •	 Housing benefit
    •	 Income support                                      child tax credit and Working tax credit
    •	 Income-based jobseeker’s allowance                  Unless you can show you are either working in the
    •	 Social fund payments                                UK or seeking work, you are unlikely to be eligible,
    •	 Child tax credit                                    unless you fall into one of the excepted categories,
    •	 Working tax credit                                  e.g. single parents.
    •	 Pension credit
                                                           contribution based benefits
                                                           Entitlement to some of these benefits, which includes
                                                           Sick Pay and Maternity benefits are based on your
Access to the National Health Service, education or        individual NI record.
any education funding (being assessed as a ‘home’
fee payer or being eligible for student support) do        child benefit
not breach immigration conditions.                         This can be claimed after you, your spouse/partner/
                                                           child has been in the UK for six months, or sooner if
Contributory benefits, those contributed to with           their country of origin has a reciprocal arrangement
National Insurance contributions, are not ‘public          with the UK. If you, your spouse or partner start
funds’ and neither are most employment linked              work and pay National Insurance contributions you
benefits such as maternity allowance.                      can claim Child Benefit immediately.

There are specific regulations which permit                                                        continues >
international students on limited leave to claim

                                                                           INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS 47
           Non-UK Student Benefits

> continued                                                       hELP towARDS NhS CoStS

disability living allowance                              International students are eligible to claim help
All EEA nationals (including A2 and A8) can apply for    towards NHS Costs such as dental treatment and
Disability Living Allowance if they have been living     glasses on the grounds of low income. See also
in the UK for 6 months and have the relevant care/       page 49.
mobility needs.
                                                         eea and Swiss Students and nHS charges
                                                         There are reciprocal arrangements for health costs
            A2 AND A8 CoUNtRIES                          between EEA countries. You should have taken out
                                                         a European Health Card, EH1C, before coming to
If you are from A2 and A8 countries you are not          the UK to ensure full NHS services are available
normally entitled to benefits unless you are lawfully    without cost.
working in the UK or are self-employed, in which
case you may be eligible for CTC, WTC and Child          international Students
Benefit.                                                 You and your dependants qualify for free NHS
                                                         treatment. This only covers medical treatment and
If you are on a low income (and otherwise eligible)      none of the consequential costs of falling ill, such as
you can also claim Housing Benefit and Council           having to go home or repeat a period of study while
Tax Benefit. If you stop working within the first 12     having to pay extra fees for that repeat study. It may
months you will lose your rights to these benefits. If   be worthwhile considering insurance to cover for
you start working again, a new 12 month qualifying       these extra costs.
period will start. See section on Benefits (pages
18-20) or contact ISAS for an appointment on 229         It is also important for International/Non-UK
8791.                                                    students to register with a doctor and dentist. See
                                                         pages 49.

          INtERNAtIoNAL StUDENtS
              EMERGENCY FUND                                If you think you may be eligible to claim a
                                                            benefit you should seek further advice by
This small fund is administered by the University’s         contacting ISAS on 229 8791.
Student Support Services. The fund may assist you
if you encounter a temporary financial crisis, arising
from an emergency only. Students in need should
contact Student Support Services for details (455
2929 /

     Absence / Healthcare / Emergencies

        ABSENCE FRoM PRoGRAMME                          GPs cover primary health needs 24 hours a day,
                                                        seven days a week, and can be phoned at all times,
If due to illness you are absent from your course for   but calls may be transferred to another service
more than 2 days, but less than 5, you are required     outwith the surgery hours.
to complete a “statement of sickness” form on
the day you return to university. These forms are       Once you have registered you will be sent a medical
available from faculty/school offices or main campus    card with your NHS number. If you need or want to
receptions and the completed form should be             change practice you should fill in the appropriate
returned to the School Office. If due to illness you    part of the card and hand it in to the new GP.
are absent from your course for 5 days or more you
should obtain a medical certificate from your GP. If    If specialist medical help is required the GP will refer
you miss an examination or coursework deadline          you to a hospital. Except in the case of emergencies,
because of ill-health you must get a letter from your   patients do not go to hospitals without this GP
doctor and submit it together with an MC1 form. It is   referral.
very important that you consult your GP at the time
of your illness as the GP may be unwilling to provide
retrospective certification.                                              EMERGENCIES

Please see page 72 (MC1) as any illness or personal     Only in the case of an emergency (sudden and acute
problem that affects study should be submitted          need) is it necessary to attend the Accident and
on an MC1 form even if you were not absent from         Emergency Department of a local hospital. In
classes. If absence is as a result of an accident       Lothian, only the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, The
in the university, this should be reported to the       Sick Kids (for under 16s only) and St John’s
programme leader.                                       Livingston have emergency services. The Western
                                                        General has a Minor Injuries Unit (9am – 9pm only
                                                        7 days a week)
                                                        If an ambulance is required to take someone to
The National Health Service (NHS) provides              hospital in an emergency, dial 999.
professional health care for most people in the UK.
To access NHS services you should register with
a local General Practitioner (GP). The GP provides
primary healthcare and access to specialist services.                          NHS24
To register you need to visit your local GP Practice
or Health Centre, taking with you proof of your            A professionally staffed helpline is available
student status or an existing NHS number.                  at all times to give advice and information.
                                                           They can help you assess if the patient
GPs tend to work in group practices or health              needs to see a doctor immediately or if it can
centres and it is usual to attend one close to where       wait until the GP’s surgery is open.
you live. See www.nhslothian/our services to find          Call 08454 24 24 24.
the GPs (or dentist or optician) near you. Within
most practices there will be both men and women
doctors and it is possible to choose which to see.
Appointments are normally made through the

                                                                                                 HEALTH 49
           NHS Costs

                   NhS CoStS                            emergency dental treatment
                                                        Anyone who is not registered with a NHS dentist
Students (including International students) who are     can obtain emergency treatment at Chalmers Dental
studying full-time courses of any duration in           Centre, 3 Chalmers Street, Edinburgh, EH3 9EW,
Scotland are eligible for NHS treatment. This also      telephone number 0131 536 4800. The centre is
applies to spouses and children. If a GP has to refer   open Monday - Thursday, 9 am – 4.45 pm and
a patient to hospital for treatment, under the NHS      Friday 9 am – 4.15 pm. This is a walk-in service
they will receive free hospital treatment for           and it may involve a wait. The usual NHS dental
emergency and non-emergency care.                       charges apply.

Under the NHS you can visit the doctor for free. If
medication is prescribed by the GP, unless you are         hELP towARDS CERtAIN NhS CoStS
entitled to free prescriptions, you will need to pay
for it to be made up at the chemist’s. Prescription     Students (including International students) are
charges are currently £5 for each item. If you need     eligible to claim help towards certain NHS costs
at least 4 items in 4 months you should ask the         such as dental treatment and glasses on the
pharmacist for a prepayment certificate which costs     grounds of low income. The application form HC1
£17. For a year it costs £48.                           asks for details of income, and if you qualify for help
                                                        you will receive a voucher which will offset some,
                                                        but not all, of the costs. The voucher is valid for 6
             oPtICAL tREAtMENt                          months. If possible, you should apply before you
                                                        receive dental treatment, although if eligible for help,
If you think you need glasses, or have to replace       you can apply for a refund, receipts needed. You
your glasses, you will need to visit an optician. Eye   cannot however apply for a refund on the costs of
tests are free but you will have to cover the costs     glasses. Prescription charges are not covered.
of the glasses/contact lenses unless you qualify for
help on the grounds of low income. You can pick up
form HC1 from the NSA office to apply for financial                      PRESCRIPtIoNS
                                                        Under the NHS you can visit the doctor for free
                                                        but if you need to take any medicine that cannot
              DENtAL tREAtMENt                          be bought at the pharmacy, your GP will issue you
                                                        with a prescription. Some individuals qualify for free
You should register with a dentist as soon as           prescriptions on income grounds, or because the
possible. To find an NHS dentist (who still charge)     illness/condition is exempted from charges – ask the
see the following websites:                             pharmacist. Otherwise you will have to pay for your     prescription to be made up. Prescription charges
or                               are currently £5 for each item. See above regarding
                                                        pre-payment certificates.
There is a shortage of NHS dentists and it can be
difficult to find one willing to accept new patients.
The local Health Board should be able to help 0131
537 8444. You may be able to get help towards the
costs of NHS dental treatment on the grounds of
low income (by completeing a HC1 form).


                                                           Some of the main symptoms are:
This is rare disease, and the chances of contracting       •	 fever
it are very small, even when there has been contact        •	 vomiting
with someone who has developed the illness.                •	 unexplained drowsiness
However, it develops quickly and can kill, so any          •	 severe headache
symptoms must be taken seriously.                          •	 stiff neck
                                                           •	 joint pain
Meningitis is usually contracted through personal/         •	 aversion to light
intimate contact and those considered most at              •	 skin rash that doesn’t fade under pressure
risk of contracting meningitis are aged 16–25. It is
important that you are aware of the signs and              (not all symptoms need to be present at any
symptoms as it could save a life. Students under           one time)
the age of 25 can be vaccinated against Group
C meningitis through their local GP surgery. Initial
symptoms can be confused with the onset of flu, or      If you are worried about yourself or a friend you
even a bad hangover, but someone with meningitis        should call the Meningitis Trust 24hr Helpline on
deteriorates very quickly, so don’t leave a flat-mate   0845 6000 800 or check out their website:
you think may be suffering. Symptoms must be   Or call free NHS
recognised early and treated quickly.                   helpline 0800 22 44 88.

                                                                                               HEALTH 51
           Stress / Mental Health

   StRESS AND MENtAL hEALth ISSUES                        be a friend
                                                          It’s good to be a friend and notice if the people
For a lot of students being at university is a major      around you are showing signs of severe stress.
life change. Perhaps it is your first time away from      They may not realise their behaviour has changed
home, or you are coming into higher education after       and that they need help.
a long period away from the study environment, or
you have come half way round the world to be here
and you are missing home. Coping with changes in             Signs to look out for include:
culture, lifestyle, finances, as well as trying to keep      •	 not attending lectures
up with studies, can sometimes get stressful and             •	 being overly sensitive
there may be times when things feel a bit bleak or           •	 neglecting personal hygiene
scary. Hopefully a chat with friends will be enough          •	 displaying obsessive behaviour
to put life back into perspective, but there may be          •	 being moody
times when it’s not quite that simple.                       •	 being miserable
                                                             •	 being withdrawn

   there’s help available if you frequently:                 Be supportive but don’t neglect your own
   •	 feel depressed or worthless                            studies. Get your friend to seek help.
   •	 feel isolated
   •	 lack motivation or feel lethargic
   •	 find it hard to concentrate
   •	 have problems sleeping                                                  NIGhtLINE
   •	 eat too much or too little
   •	 have panic or anxiety attacks                       This is an anonymous, confidential listening service
   •	 depend on alcohol too much                          run by students in Edinburgh for students in
   •	 worry about drug use                                Edinburgh. It is a telephone service that provides a
   •	 hear voices                                         friendly “listening ear” for whatever callers may want
   •	 self-harm                                           to talk about. Callers will not be judged, or told what
                                                          to do, but will be allowed to talk in their own time
                                                          and in their own way to someone who will listen to
Making an appointment with a GP is a good start.          them in complete confidence. Call any night during
NSA’s advice service ISAS is a welfare rights and         term time on 557 4444.
education advice and information service and
student advisers can provide a “listening ear” to
talk something through in confidence. They can                           BREAthING SPACE
be contacted on 229 8791. The University has a
confidential Student Counselling Service, part of         Breathing Space is a free confidential listening
Student Support Services, available to all Napier         service which offers callers advice, guidance and
students. Professional counsellors can help you deal      support, underpinned by empathy and understanding.
with stress, depression, anxiety, exam pressures,         It is aimed at those (particularly, but not exclusively
relationship problems, personal worries. Phone SSS        young men) who are suffering from mental health
0131 455 2929 for details.                                problems and emotional distress. Phone 0800 83 85
                                                          87 - lines open every day from 6pm-2am. Check out
                                                          the website at


                       DRUGS                                   Some methods of drug taking are more
                                                               harmful than others. Here are a few
There is a myth that students spend a lot of their             important don’ts:
college days spaced out in a drugged up state. In              •	 Don’t inject drugs. The risks of injecting
fact, many students don’t touch drugs at all, some                insoluble impurities can make this lethal.
do ‘soft’ drugs occasionally and others experiment             •	 If injecting, don’t share needles. The risk of
with harder drugs. Students often have easy access                being infected with HIV or other infections
to the (illegal) drug scene, but it is important that you         is high.
don’t feel pressured into to taking anything you don’t         •	 Don’t do drugs alone. Only use in the
want to take. If you are tempted, you should find out             company of trusted friends who can help
all the facts first.                                              if things go wrong. This is especially
                                                                  important when taking something new.
All drugs – legal and illegal - will alter the normal          •	 Don’t mix drugs with alcohol. Interesting
functioning of the body and have unwanted side                    combinations may turn out to be lethal
effects, some worse than others. Some drugs are                   cocktails.
more habit forming and addictive, some are more                •	 Do not share equipment for “snorting”
difficult to get free of once a dependency has been               drugs (rolled bank notes, straws etc).
established. Recent research indicates a connection               Snorting drugs can cause nasal bleeding
between some drugs and mental health difficulties.                and sharing equipment can lead to
Remember that there are risks in all illegal drug                 transmission of Blood Borne Viruses,
taking. Possessing illegal drugs is a criminal offence,           such as HIV/ Hepatitis B and C.
which can lead to arrest, being fined, or even
imprisoned. Napier also has a very strict policy
on drug-taking while on University premises or in
University accommodation.                                              INFoRMAtIoN oN DRUGS

                                                            Some sources of information and advice:

                                                            national drugs Helpline - 0800 7766 00
                                                            Scotland helpline – 0800 587 5879
                                                            These are free help lines for anyone seeking
                                                            information or help. It is available to friends and
                                                            family seeking advice as well as those phoning on
                                                            their own account.

                                                            The local CREW 2000 is a drug information and
                                                            advice service that provides support to anyone
                                                            using drugs such as cannabis, speed, ecstasy or
                                                            cocaine. The trained volunteers are young people
                                                            who have a good knowledge and understanding of
                                                            the issues involved. CREW 2000 is at 32 Cockburn
                                                            Street, Edinburgh. Tel 0131 220 3404. There’s a
                                                            useful website at

                                                                                                     HEALTH 53
           Alcohol / Tobacco

                     ALCohoL                                          NICotINE/CIGAREttES

Many students enjoy a drink, but drinking to excess       Since March 2006 smoking has been banned in
can lead to all sorts of problems with health, studies,   enclosed public spaces such as workplaces,
money, and relationships. It is important to try to       restaurants and pubs in Scotland. Students are not
keep within the recommended safety limit, which           permitted to smoke on campus except in designated
is 3-4 units a day for men and 2-3 units a day for        outside shelters and the university is getting tougher
women (1 unit = a small glass of wine, a single           in enforcing this. Enforcement is also the job of
measure of spirits or a half-pint of beer – note that     Environmental Wardens – if you are caught throwing
wine glasses have increased in size in the last while).   away a cigarette butt it’s a £50 on the spot fine
These daily limits should not be consumed every           (ouch!)
day and there should be at least 2 alcohol-free days
in any week.                                              There are still student smokers, but some have given
                                                          up as a result of the ban on smoking in public places
Having a drink with friends can help the atmosphere       and because of their reluctance to brave the fierce
become more relaxed and sociable, but too much            Scottish elements in the middle of winter just to feed
alcohol can mean too few social inhibitions. People       their addiction. Some have been put off also by
say and do things to one another that, in their better    rising costs and others for health reasons.
judgement, they would not. Being drunk is to be
less aware and more vulnerable to accidents, being        If you want to become a non-smoker, there is
exploited by other people, having unwanted sex, or        support available from GPs’ surgeries/health
physical attack.                                          centres. If you are very physically dependent on
                                                          nicotine, a GP may prescribe nicotine replacement
                                                          therapy to help cut down the withdrawal symptoms
   if you are going out for a night where                 experienced when trying to stop smoking.
   you know a lot of alcohol will be
   consumed you should ensure that you:                   For more information look up the website
   •	 stay in a group with people you know/trust – a self help guide for people
   •	 don’t leave drinks unattended for any               thinking about stopping smoking. Advice and
      reason as they may be spiked                        support is also on offer from Smokeline Scotland
   •	 ideally keep enough money to get a cab              0800 848484. Freephone lines are available 12pm to
      home                                                12 midnight.
   •	 avoid walking home alone or with only one
      or two others
   •	 don’t leave with someone you don’t know
   •	 avoid short cuts across the Meadows and
      other wide open poorly-lit spaces
   •	 drink some water before you go to bed

Visit for more
info (0141 572 6700). There’s also advice, info and
counselling at Edinburgh and Lothian Council on
Alcohol 0131 337 8188 or Drinkline Scotland 0800
731 4314.

                                                                Sexual Health

                    SEXUALItY                                                PREGNANCY

Coming to university brings with it a sense of            If you suspect you might be pregnant you should
freedom and independence. It introduces new               have a pregnancy test. This can be done at a GP
challenges, new people, new social opportunities,         practice/health centre, any Family Planning Clinic, or
and for many, new sexual experiences. However if          with a pregnancy test kit bought over the counter at
you do not want to be sexually active, that’s fine.       the pharmacy. These are simple to use and generally
You should never feel pressured into having sex if        accurate. If the result is positive an appointment
you don’t want to.                                        should be made with a GP to have it confirmed.

For some, University can offer the opportunity to be      If you are pregnant you need to discuss your options
open about their sexuality. Some people have no           with a GP or Family Planning Clinic as soon as
doubts about whether they are attracted to people         possible to get the information and support you
of the opposite or same sex, or both. For others,         need. Deciding whether to go ahead with, or
discovering their sexuality can be a bit of trial and     terminate, a pregnancy can be a very difficult choice
error – sometimes a delightful revelation, and            to make and so it is important that you have the
sometimes a difficult and confusing time. If you feel     information to make the right choice.
the latter,you are not alone and there’s a lot of
support around.                                           useful contacts
                                                          Family Planning Clinic: Dean Terrace,
Edinburgh has a thriving gay, lesbian, bisexual, and      Edinburgh EH4 1NL. Tel 0131 332 7941
transsexual community with lots to offer from clubs,      Family Planning Clinics also at Craigmillar,
pubs and cafes, as well as from various support           Craigroyston, Sighthill, Wester Hailes, and
groups. University is probably one of the best places     health centres in West Lothian and Midlothian.
to come out and the LGBT Society (Napier Pride) is
there to give support to anyone who needs it. For         Dean Terrace also offers Well Woman services and
further info, or to be put in contact with Pride, phone   advice to both men and women.
NSA on 229 8791.
                                                          Lifeline Pregnancy Care offer practical support as
                                                          well as counselling – 24A Haddington Place, 0131
         C-CARDS - FREE CoNDoMS                           557 2060.

NSA is part of the C-Card Scheme. No contraceptive
is infallible but the condom offers the best protection           EMERGENCY CoNtRACEPtIoN
against sexually transmitted infection. Condoms
are easy to use, widely available, and free with a        The morning after pill can be taken up to 72 hours
C-Card. All you have do is register, by providing your    after unprotected sex but it is best taken sooner.
date of birth and first part of your postcode - no        A GP may also fit a coil within 5 days of having
other form of ID is required. You then get a card to      unprotected sex. The morning after pill is available
use every time you want free condoms. Condoms             on prescription from a GP or from Family Planning
and more info about the c-card scheme is available        Clinics or it may be bought over the counter from
at Freshers’ Fair. To register for a c-card, you should   a pharmacy. Some pharmacies in Edinburgh are
come to NSA offices, upstairs at 12 Merchiston            participating in the EC72 scheme, which issues
                                                                                                  continues >

                                                                                                  HEALTH 55
            Sexual Health
> continued
the morning after pill free without prescription to       preventing transmission of HIV during sex (provided
those aged under 25. You should ask at your local         the condom is used properly). Another means of
pharmacy or visit for a list      transmitting HIV is through intravenous drug use,
of participating pharmacies. Emergency                    so drug-users should ensure that they do not share
contraception is also available from Ward 210,            needles or snorting equipment.
Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, Old Dalkeith Road,
Edinburgh. EH16 4SA 0131 536 1000.
                                                                       ABUSE & CoERCIoN

                 SEXUAL hEALth                            Victims of sexual abuse or coercion have sources of
                                                          advice and support.
With the choice to become sexually active comes
a responsibility to ensure that sex is safe from
sexually transmitted infection and safe from
unwanted pregnancy. The most effective forms of                        USEFUL CONTACTS
contraception are the hormonal methods, pill, jag or
patch (although these provide no protection against          caledonia youth: 5 Castle Terrace,
sexually transmitted infection), the IUD or coil (again      Edinburgh EH 1 2DP. Tel 0131 229 3596
no protection against sexually transmitted infection),
and the condom (protects against both pregnancy              Provide free and confidential sexual health
and transmission of STIs if used properly). Brook,           advice to young people. The drop in centre
the charity that runs Advisory Centres for the under         (see website for times) provides clinical,
25s, has a lot of information on contraception and           educational and counselling services.
much more on
                                                             gum clinic: Lauriston Building, Lauriston
                                                             Place, Edinburgh EH3 9HA. Tel 0131 536
    SEXUALLY tRANSMIttED INFECtIoN                           2103 for an appointment – available to all.

Itching, any unusual discharge, swelling, rashes,            gay men clinic: 0131 536 4444
sores, or a burning pain when urinating, should
not be ignored as it may be an STI. If so it will not        Gay Men’s Health: 10a Union Street,
go away without treatment. A visit to the GP, or             Edinburgh, EH1 3LU. Tel 0131 558 9444
the GUM Clinic is essential – both for the person  
experiencing the symptoms and all her/his recent
sexual partners.                                             lgbt youthline Scotland: Tel 0845 113
                                                             0005 (Tues 7.30 – 9pm)

                   hIV AND AIDS                              Waverley care Solas: 2-4 Abbeymount,
                                                             Edinburgh EH8 8EJ. Tel 0131 661 0982
HIV is the virus that causes AIDS. To date there is          Supports the HIV and Hepatitits C
still no cure for AIDS, although medication is now           Community -
available to slow down the progression of HIV in
the body. Having unprotected sex is one of the               For lots more sexual health information visit
main ways in which HIV is spread. Always using a   
condom during sexual contact is the only way of

                                                             Healthy Living

                 hEALthY LIVING                           pizza and pies are big favourites; as are unhealthy
                                                          and expensive take-aways and ready-meals.
To get the best out of student life you need to look
after your body. Here are a few reminders.                The basis of a good diet should be starchy
                                                          carbo-hydrates: bread, rice, pasta, chapattis,
exercising more than the mind                             couscous, potatoes. Next comes fruit and veg: 5
Exercise is essential for a healthy human body and        portions a day is a minimum. Some dairy products
as a means of beating stress, so it should be built       are good: milk, yoghurt, cheese. A bit of protein is
into the daily routine. Health experts recommend          essential: meat, eggs and fish. Last and least comes
that everyone does at least 30 minutes of aerobic         the fatty and sugar-rich foods.
exercise at least 3 times per week. Taking exercise
is also important for concentration – whether exam        Loads of cheap foods are really healthy: bread
revision or working on an assignment. You can lead        (especially wholemeal), bananas, baked beans,
a very sedentary life sitting around lectures and         carrots, eggs, onions, cabbage. Over-priced and
libraries, in front of computers at the JKC, or lolling   nutritionally dubious take-aways and ready-meals
around the student flat, so a bit of self-motivation to   are a sure way to use up the food budget quickly
get moving is needed.                                     and leave less for fun things.

NSA has loads of sports clubs for you to join –
whether you want to play competitively or just for
recreation and fitness: there’s sport for everyone.          don’t get Food poisoning
Not all students like organised sports, so they swim,        •	 Food hygiene is a good idea. How food is
or they walk or cycle to classes, or go running. There          stored and handled is important.
are loads of ways to take exercise, and no excuses           •	 Keep fresh food in the fridge but cool it
for not doing so.                                               first. Putting warm food in raises the
                                                                temperature of the fridge and this may
Info on Napier Sports Clubs is available on                     allow bacteria to grow. For £10 you can                      •	 Ensure the fridge stays below 5oC. Never
purchase a Napier Sports Union card which allows                leave the door open even for short periods.
access to Edinburgh Leisure facilities at a discount         •	 Prepare and store raw and cooked food
and to Edinburgh University’s Pleasance facilities at           separately.
a reduced rate.                                              •	 Use different chopping boards and utensils
                                                                for raw (to be cooked) foods and ready-to-
                                                                be eaten ones.
eat Well                                                     •	 Always wash your hands thoroughly before
It’s easy to get cheap calories but the body needs              preparing food and between handling raw
more than just fuel: minerals and vitamins are es-              and cooked food.
sential. Vegans need to be especially careful to get         •	 Defrost (unless instructions state
minerals and vitamins into their diets. Basically there         otherwise) frozen food thoroughly before
are no bad foods, just bad diets, and the best diets            cooking.
have variety and balance between the main food               •	 If reheating food ensure that it is piping hot
groups. Students have a bit of reputation for eating            all the way through - hot enough for long
the same things a lot, because these are cheap to               enough to kill any bacteria.
buy and/or easy to prepare. Pasta and sauce, and

                                                                                                   HEALTH 57
            Personal Security

               StUDENt SAFEtY
                                                                      Top safety tips
crimes mostly affecting students are:                   Don’t be a statistic. Staying safe is all about
                                                        following a few common-sense guidelines.
•	   mugging	                                           Read the following tips, they could make all the
•	   vehicle-related	theft	                             difference:
•	   burglary	
                                                        •	 many burglaries happen when a door or
Students own more expensive consumer goods                 window has been left open - in a private
per head than the rest of the population, so it is         home or flat. Lock up at night and whenever
no surprise that 1 in 3 students becomes the               you go out, with deadbolts if you have them
victim of a crime each year. Young people (aged         •	 in flats or halls of residence, be careful who
16 to 24 years old) are around three times more            you let in or who follows you into the building
likely to be victims of burglary than people in other   •	 lock your bedroom door even if you are only
age groups, which makes students all the more              going down the corridor
vulnerable. But by taking a few simple precautions,     •	 clubbers are an easy target - walk in groups
you can help to make sure you don’t become a               at night, travel by taxi or stay over with
victim of crime.                                           friends, your safety is worth more than the
                                                           cab fare home
                                                        •	 if walking home, don’t take short-cuts across
                                                           poorly lit spaces, like the Meadows.
                                                        •	 if possible, use cash-machines during the
                                                           day - put your card and cash away and be
                                                           vigilant - never write down your PIN
                                                        •	 keep cards and cheque-books separately
                                                           - note down your card details so you can
                                                           cancel them quickly
                                                        •	 always lock your car and put valuables out
                                                           of sight - never leave the keys in the ignition
                                                           even when paying for petrol
                                                        •	 to prevent drink-spiking, never leave drinks
                                                        •	 be vigilant when using your mobile phone - if
                                                           your phone is stolen, call your network or
                                                           08701 123 123 to immobilise it
                                                        •	 protect yourself with insurance - keep lists of
                                                           the make, model and serial numbers of your
                                                           electronic items to help police track them
                                                           down if they are stolen. Remember your land-
                                                           lord is not responsible for your belongings
                                                        •	 mark your property with the initials of your
                                                           university and your student ID number. This
                                                           makes it harder for a burglar to sell on stolen
                                                           goods and can help the police to return items
                                                           to you.

                                                       Personal Security

     StAY SAFE oN PUBLIC tRANSPoRt                              StAY SAFE oN thE INtERNEt

Although no more likely to be a victim of crime on      Online etiquette is explained in detail in programme
public transport than anywhere else, there are a few    handbooks but keeping safe on line extends beyond
simple actions for staying safe:                        how to chat politely and not make social gaffes.
                                                        Online behaviour is covered by the law of the land
                                                        and comments in blogs or chat rooms can lead to
                                                        prosecution under defamation or harassment
   on the bus                                           legislation. So anyone who ever thought about
   •	 use a bus stop you know, or one that              putting just exactly what they thought of someone
      appears busy and well lit                         on MySpace, Bebo or Facebook should think again.
   •	 if going to an unfamiliar place, have friends
      meet you at your destination. Sit close to        There are issues too about identity theft and even
      the driver on your journey                        personal safety if you tend to include info about
                                                        your every day life and whereabouts in your blog.
   on the train                                         Basically someone you met in a chat room and
   •	 wait on a well lit section of platform, near      readers of your blog are strangers and students
      other people                                      should be wary. There are plenty of real social
   •	 sit in a busy compartment at the front of         experiences to be had at university - that’s what our
      the train                                         clubs and societies are for.
   •	 if you feel uncomfortable, consider getting
      out of your carriage and into another, or
      even getting off the train altogether

   taking a taxi
   •	 as often as possible, use a taxi company
      you know, or one recommended by family
      or friends
   •	 if you have booked a taxi over the phone,
      check that the driver knows your name
      and destination before you get into the taxi
      - to ensure s/he is genuine
   •	 have your money and keys ready so that
      you can get into your home quickly at the
      end of your journey
   •	 if you feel uncomfortable in a taxi, ask the
      driver to stop in a busy familiar place and
      get out of the cab

                                                                               PERSONAL SECURITY 59
           Nurses & Midwives

              FINANCIAL MAttERS                          childcare
                                                         Napier has a childcare fund that nursing and
Most trainee nurses and midwives receive a bursary.      midwifery students can apply to for help. See p10.
See Funding section p10. However students on
non-means tested bursaries are not eligible to apply
for Hardship Funding and less help is available if       benefits
finances get out of control.                             Like all full-time students nurses and midwives are
                                                         not entitled to means-tested benefits unless they
An additional contributory factor to financial           are single parents or disabled. See Benefits Section
difficulties for student nurses and midwives is the      pages 18 and 19.
absence of a long summer break. Students from
other schools of study often get to work full-time
during the summer which allows them to pay off           bursary during periods of illness or
debts and build up a reserve for the start of the new    caring responsibilities
session – student nurses and midwives don’t              If you need to take some time off programme
have this chance to catch up with their finances.        because of illness or caring responsibilities, you
                                                         may be able to continue to receive your bursary
This means that you need to keep on top of your          during this time. You should speak to your year
budget from Day One. If you have concerns about          leader or make an appointment to see an ISAS
balancing income/expenditure, you are advised            Adviser, phone 229 8791.
to make an appointment to see an ISAS adviser,
telephone 229 8791 for info and advice on how to
maximise income and budget effectively.                  extensions of bursary
                                                         The funding system for nurses and midwives allows
                                                         for the university to apply to SAAS to get you an
disabled Students allowance                              extension of your bursary. The university is unlikely
Like other students nurses and midwives are              to do this unless you have valid mitigating
entitled to apply for Disabled Students Allowance.       circumstances that contributed to your need for
This is financial help to covered additional study       them to extend your programme.
costs incurred because of a disability. Student
Support Services will advise you on your entitle-
ment for DSA and also assist with applications for
it. See page 15. If you believe that you may have a
disability: unseen health problems, dyslexia or other
learning difficulties as well as the more historically
recognised problems; you should discuss this with
Student Support Services, ISAS or your personal

bank overdraft
Student nurses and midwives can open a bank
account like any other student (see page 22).
The overdraft facility, usually free, should help
manage the cash flow crises.

                                                  Nurses & Midwives

        MItIGAtING CIRCUMStANCES                        are on placement, even where you are
                                                        super-numery and under the guidance of a mentor.
It is essential that you submit an MC1 form (see
p72) whenever you consider your work might have         The programme handbook provides a lot of
been affected by personal difficulties. An MC1 is       information about placements and what is
not just for missing an exam or failing to meet an      expected of students. It is important that you make
assessment deadline but for any time you believe        yourself aware of professional conduct standards
your work has been adversely affected. Evidence of      as well as academic requirements. If you fail on
these circumstances is required. It’s usually easier    professional standards of behaviour while on
to find or acquire suitable confirmatory                placement you not only face failing that placement,
paperwork at the time problems occur rather             but may also face disciplinary action under the
than weeks or months later when the results get         University’s Student Disciplinary Regulations see
published. Help to complete MC1 forms is available      p74.
from ISAS on 229 8791.
                                                        Should things go wrong it is important for you to
If you have experienced difficulty meeting an           seek help before attending a meeting regarding any
assessment deadline, it is essential that you contact   disciplinary matter. Disciplinary offences can have
your module leader immediately. If he/she is            serious implications for your ‘fitness to practice’.
satisfied with the evidence of a problem he/she may     ISAS is well placed to help and can accompany you
agree to extend the deadline or to mark your work       to hearings.
even although it is late.

Routine extensions are not granted after the                         UNIoN MEMBERShIP
submission deadline.
                                                        Student nurses and midwives are Napier
                                                        students, and as such automatically members of
     PRoFESSIoNAL CoDE oF CoNDUCt                       Napier Students’ Association and entitled to use its
                                                        services – such as ISAS, which offers free,
The education and training of student nurses            professional, confidential advice and support.
and midwives is overseen by the Nursing and
Midwifery Council. The NMC was set up by                You may also consider joining a professional trade
Parliament to protect the public, ensuring that the     union and are likely to meet representatives of these
public could have confidence in the professionalism     unions at NSA’s Freshers’ Fair. Before joining a trade
of NMC registered staff. To become registered with      union, you should ask around to see which offers
the Council and be allowed to practice, you must        you the services you are most likely to use. Consult
fulfil the NMC’s requirements as well as those of the   their web sites:,
university. This puts greater demands upon student      and
nurses and midwives than are placed on most other
students. See                           The Royal College of Nurses and the Royal College
                                                        of Midwives are exclusively for nurses and midwives
Suitability for professional registration is being      and have some expertise on matters such as
assessed at all times and while you are not             placements and codes of conduct. Many nurses
accountable for your professional actions in the        and midwives are also members of Unison.
way you will be once registered, professional con-
duct is expected. This is particularly true when you

                                                                                NURSES & MIDWIVES 61
           Nurses & Midwives

             FItNESS to PRACtICE                            ASSESSMENt & PRoGRESSIoN ISSUES

To become registered with the NMC students need           Programmes for nurses and midwives are scheduled
to make a declaration of their ‘fitness to practice’ in   over all three trimesters of the academic year.
terms of their health and character and the university    Assessment takes place in all trimesters and each
also makes a declaration. The university personnel        trimester is regarded as a stage of study with a
who put their names to this declaration take this         meeting of the Programme Board of Examiners
responsibility very seriously because by declaring        taking place at the end of each one. Most other
you fit to practice for registration purposes, they are   undergraduates only have assessment results
effectively endorsing you as a suitable character to      considered by Programme Boards once or at most
be put into a position of trust on the wards or in the    twice each academic year. This means that the
community, looking after patients, treating their         University Regulation B6.3: that students cannot
confidential medical details professionally and           progress to the next stage of study carrying failures
otherwise behaving appropriately.                         in more than 30 credits; has consequences for
                                                          student nurses and midwives that they must be
                                                          aware of.
                                                          If you have more than two modules outstanding at
Students’ health and disabilities will have been          any one time you will go onto a period of non-
assessed before they join the programme to                progression (standstill) until you have passed these
ensure they are suitable. It is your responsibility       modules. During this period you will not receive your
to keep your personal tutor or year leader informed       bursary unless the failure was connected with valid
of any changes in your health or disability status        mitigating circumstances. For more information on
so that you can be reassessed for your fitness to         submitting an MC1 see p72. University Regulations
remain on the programme. This is in addition to any       also do not permit nurses, midwives or veterinary
MC1 form you might submit.                                nurses to progress to the next stage with more than
                                                          one placement outstanding.

                                                             compensatory passes
The health section deals with University procedures          In common with many other students on
for absence from programme see p49. If you are               programmes that lead to professional
unable to attend a placement you must inform the             qualifications students are not able to gain
placement area as soon as possible. This means               a compensatory pass in any unit of
at the start of the shift and not later in the day. You      assessment.
must also inform your personal development tutor if
the absence is greater than 30 hours. No matter the
reason for the absence, failure to follow the policy
on reporting absences from placements may mean
failure of the placement. If you are absent from
your programme for longer periods you must keep
in touch with University staff. Failure to do so may
mean being withdrawn from the Programme.

           Education and Programme Info

There are a range of reasons for coming to                        PRoGRAMME hANDBooKS
university, but the main goal is to obtain a higher
education qualification. Hopefully you will find your   You should get a handbook during induction
programme stimulating and your studies useful for       week – if you do not receive a copy, it is important
your future career prospects, but if you experience     that you ask your Personal Development Tutor/
problems it’s important that you know where to get      Programme Leader for one. The handbook contains
help.                                                   useful information about the programme: what it
                                                        covers, how it is taught and assessed, as well as
For independent education advice, contact ISAS on       extracts from regulations and information about
229-8791.                                               procedures. Handbooks usually get updated
                                                        annually to take account of any change in regulations
                                                        or any part of teaching, learning and assessment.
  PERSoNAL DEVELoPMENt tUtoR (PDt)                      You should ensure that you have an up to date
                                                        copy. Sometimes updated handbooks are put on
Every student is allocated a PDT, who is one of the     the public folder for you to download rather than
main points of contact for students within the          printed off and given to you personally. You should
University. You should see your PDT regularly           keep hold of all your handbooks because they are
throughout the year to discuss your academic            the nearest thing you have to a written learning
progress and to identify any steps which may need       contract.
to be taken to rectify difficulties or problems.

             PRoGRAMME LEADER
                                                        At matriculation students become members of
Every programme has a programme leader who              the academic community at Napier University and
should be able to advise you on all aspects of your     Napier Students’ Association (NSA). This means
programme. Most programme leaders, and other            that, along with all other staff and students, you are
academic staff, use an appointment or ‘office hour’     expected to abide by university policies, regulations
(when you can just drop in) system. This is when you    and procedures. Some university rules are common
can be guaranteed that your PL is a available to talk   sense and straightforward, some are peculiarly
things over with you. In addition minor enquiries can   academic, but the act of matriculation indicates
often be best dealt with using the email system.        your acceptance of them.

If you experience personal difficulties which may
affect your studies, then you should ask to speak                     StUDENt ChARtER
to your PDT or programme leader in confidence.
PLs and PDTs will advise on academic matters and        Although it doesn’t have the status of a contract, the
refer you to other sources of help and support if       Student Charter sets out the level of service that can
appropriate.                                            be expected from the University and what the
                                                        University expects of its students in return. The
                                                        Charter covers all aspects of education and support
                                                        service provision from application to graduation. A
                                                        copy of this should be issued at matriculation.

                                           University Regulations

    UNIVERSItY REGULAtIoNS, PoLICIES                       mental Health policy
           AND PRoCEDURES                                  The policy is based on an inclusive definition of
                                                           mental health and is concerned as much to promote
Napier has a range of policies that affect students        positive mental health as to prevent or ameliorate
such as: Health and Safety, Mental Health,                 mental health distress. This policy is currently in
Harassment and Bullying, Anonymous Marking,                draft form but copies are available from ISAS.
Disability and Special Needs, Equal Opportunities,
Student Discipline, Complaints, Mitigating Circum-         Harassment and bullying
stances, Academic Appeals, Accommodation. Many             Napier University does not tolerate harassment and
of these can be found on the Napier Registry               bullying of its students or staff – whether that’s of
Webpage or accessed through the Student Portal.            students by staff or other students, or of staff by
                                                           students or other staff. The student/staff discipline
It isn’t possible to cover all the policies in detail in   procedure may be used to investigate allegations
this guide, but it’s important that you are aware of       and, where proven, impose penalties.
their existence and the basics of what they cover.
In the rundown that follows we have highlighted the        anonymous marking
key points of the policies we believe to be the most       Anonymous marking reduces the risk of unintentional
important.                                                 discrimination or bias on the part of a lecturer or
                                                           marker. The University has a system of anonymous
ISAS advisers are happy to discuss with you the            marking for examinations and, in some cases,
details of these policies and their implications in        has extended this policy to written assignments.
individual circumstances.                                  Exam scripts require you to write your name and
                                                           programme of study in the top right hand corner and
equality, diversity and                                    then cover this over using an adhesive flap which
inclusion/equal opportunities                              will not be opened until after the script has been
The University is committed to a diverse and               marked. The only identifying information the marker
inclusive environment whereby all students and staff       will have is the matriculation number.
are able to achieve their academic and professional
potential within an environment which is positive,         tuition Fees
safe and without discrimination based on sex,              The University has a very strict policy on the
race or ethnicity, disability, age, sexual orientation,    payment of tuition fees and can impose very severe
religious or political beliefs.                            penalties for the non-payment of fees, see page
                                                           27. The Fee policy can be accessed via the Napier
Napier’s Equal Opportunities Policy can be found on        Registry Webpage. Tuition Fee Waiver forms can be
the Napier Human Resources webpage.                        obtained from the student portal webpage.

disability Statement                                       accommodation
Napier is committed to helping students with               The University has developed a code of conduct
disabilities and special needs to achieve their            for students living in University flats. Tenants are
potential. The statement can be accessed via the           expected to comply with this and failure to do so
student portal under the ‘Personal Support’                could result in you being given a notice to quit. In
section. See pages 77-78 for more information on           the most serious cases, action could be taken under
support for students with disabilities and special         the student discipline procedure, see page 74.
                                                           Napier’s Accommodation Code of Conduct can be
                                                           found at:

                                                                                              EDUCATION 65
           University Regulations

data protection
The University’s data protection policy can be found       important note: you must put your
at:            mitigating circumstances form (MC1) in by
DataProtection.pdf                                         the deadlines required. If you do not do this
                                                           and then try to appeal for reasons relating to
intellectual property                                      mitigating circumstances it is possible that
The University’s intellectual property policy can be       your appeal will be rejected on the grounds
found at:         that you could have submitted an MC1 at an
Business+Appraisal+Office/Documents/Intellectual/          earlier stage.

computer regulations                                    Student discipline including code of conduct
A lot of course work will be done on computers          on plagiarism
and involve web access, but there are legal and         Disciplinary action can be taken by the University
university restrictions on what you can access.         against students who breach University regulations
Some actions are inadvisable, especially if using a     or bring the University into disrepute. The
computer in a Napier Computer Suite. Breaking           Disciplinary Regulations can be applied to a range
university regulations may result in disciplinary       of academic and non-academic issues and can be
action and breaking the law could be even more          found on the Student Affairs webpage. The Code
serious.                                                of Conduct on Plagiarism can be accessed via
                                                        the student portal. See pages 74 and 75 for more
Information on ‘Staying Out of Trouble When Using       information on Plagiarism and Academic
a PC’, Information Security Policy and Computer         Misconduct. The plagiarism guide for students can
Suite Acceptable Use Policy can be found at the         be found at:
C&IT webpage, via the student portal under ‘Study       plagiarismguide2007.pdf
                                                        Student complaints
library regulations                                     Most problems can best be resolved informally at
For all the regulations on accessing/borrowing and      the lowest level, but there will be some instances
returning texts, books, journals and other materials,   where the seriousness of the issue or the timescales
see            involved make this inappropriate or impossible. The
LibraryServices/                                        University has a procedure for formal complaints
                                                        which can be found under the ‘Forms’ section of the
mitigating circumstances procedure and                  student portal. For more information see page 76.
academic appeal regulations
These procedures are laid down by the University
so that factors adversely affecting academic               important note: before submitting a formal
performance can be taken into account when results         complaint you are strongly advised to obtain
and progression are being discussed. Procedures            independent advice from ISAS.
and forms are available on the Registry webpage,
from the student portal, from NSA offices or under ‘links’. Also see
pages 72 and 73.

                                         Transferring / Quitting

  tRANSFERRING/QUIttING PRoGRAMME                         If tuition fees are paid by SAAS or an LEA then you
                                                          should also inform them of your withdrawal date in
Every year some students decide that they are on          writing.
the wrong programme, wish to study something
else, or somewhere else; or change their mind about       If you receive a student loan, you should inform the
being at University altogether. If you find yourself in   SLC in writing of your withdrawal date so that it
this position it’s important to obtain advice at the      does not affect future funding.
earliest opportunity. You could contact your
Personal Development Tutor (PDT), programme
leader, Student Support Services or ISAS to discuss          important note: you may have some
your academic options as there may be other                  tuition fee liability if you withdraw from your
programmes at Napier more suited to your                     programme after the cut off date which is
capabilities and aspirations. There are different            24th October 08.
ways of studying and it may be that part-time study,
flexible or distance learning is more suited to your
                                                          transferring/Quitting –
There is a small window of opportunity to transfer at     university accommodation/council tax
the beginning of the programme, assuming you have         If you are living in university accommodation you
the relevant qualifications and there are places          must contact the Accommodation Service to
available, otherwise you may have to withdraw and         terminate your tenancy and agree a departure date.
re-apply for the next academic session. You could         You will usually be given a week or so to make
also consider other Universities and the programmes       arrangements to move out. Your deposit and any
they have to offer. It may be possible and worthwhile     rent paid in advance will normally be refunded to
to complete year 1 at Napier and apply as a direct        you. When you quit university you will become liable
entrant into year 2 of another programme at Napier        for Council Tax.
or elsewhere. This is because most Universities will
give students credit for the work they have done
and sometimes it is possible to transfer this credit to   transferring/Quitting – international Students
other programmes.                                         International Students will have Visa and Immigration
                                                          issues to consider when transferring/quitting a
Katrina Castle is employed by Napier specifically to      programme. You are strongly advised to contact
advise and support students who are thinking about        Napier’s International Office (0131 455 4701)
transferring or quitting programme. She can be            email: or ISAS
contacted via Student Affairs by calling 455 2929. about this before making a
                                                          decision. See section on International Students
transferring/Quitting – registry, Funding & Fees          (from page 42). The international office is Room 1/37
If you are considering transferring or quitting your      at Craiglockhart.
programme you should make an appointment with
ISAS to discuss your funding/fee position as this
may be affected by withdrawing/transferring.

If you decide to withdraw it is very important that
your programme leader completes a withdrawal
form, giving a withdrawal date, which s/he needs to
send to Registry.

                                                                                              EDUCATION 67
           Personal Support

         PERSoNAL SUPPoRt wIthIN                         contact Student Affairs. An initial session lasts 20
              thE UNIVERSItY                             minutes and after this you will be offered a number
                                                         of 1 hour sessions with a counsellor.
Student Health and Well being
In addition to the Independent Student Advice            Counsellors can also provide supporting letters for
Service (ISAS) which is part of Napier Students’         Mitigating Circumstances and Academic Appeal
Association, the University has a number of              submissions. See pages 70-73.
complementary services that come under the
umbrella of the Student Affairs Department.              The counselling service offers specialised services
                                                         for couples, international students and minority
Student Affairs offers a range of services including     ethnic women. A range of self-help materials are
Multi-Faith Chaplaincy Services, Counselling,            also available via the Student Affairs webpage or
Special Needs and Disabilities and administration        through the student portal.
of Student Funding, most of which are based in
B40, Merchiston campus, through the double doors         Student Funding/discretionary Funding office
beyond the Apex Café. Tel: 455 2929 / E-mail:            The Student Funding Office provides information on                                     and access to the various sources of funding
                                                         available and administers/allocates discretionary
multi-Faith chaplaincy Services                          funding to students who qualify for support.
Napier University welcomes and supports students         Application forms are available from receptions,
from all faiths. The chaplaincy team is based within     Student Affairs and NSA/ISAS. For more information
churches and faith communities but can be                on student funding see from page 4. Information on
accessed via Student Services at Napier. It provides     student funding can also be obtained from the
individual guidance sessions with Chaplaincy staff       student portal.
to anyone associated with Napier. The service is
confidential and offers non-judgmental support for       disability and Special needs
anyone going through a troubling time. It also has       Please refer to the section on Disabled Students on
access to a broad network of support agencies and        page 77-78.
groups in the wider community to which it can refer
students if appropriate. It has a 24 hour helpline       Student Support adviser
on 0131 455 2926 and also a website at                   The University has an adviser who helps to facilitate                                 changing programmes. Katrina Castle is based in
                                                         SHWB T: 455 2917
Quiet/reflection rooms
These are available at Merchiston (G4) and               international office
Craiglockhart (04/32) and may be used by students        The International Office welcomes new students to
for religious or spiritual purposes. Details can be      the city and helps them get settled in addition to
obtained from Student Affairs.                           providing advice on immigration and visa issues.
                                                         Telephone: 0131 455 4701
counselling                                              Email:
While ISAS provides rights-based practical advice,
the University’s counselling service exists to support
students who have personal issues worrying them
or when they are emotionally upset. If you want to
talk in confidence to a counsellor, students should

                                                          Study Support

                StUDY SUPPoRt                         learning information Service
                                                      Napier University Learning Information Service
personal development tutors                           holds a great deal of on-line information relating to
All students are allocated a PDT. The PDT is one of   effective study skills including: IT skills, Presentation
your main points of contact within the University.    Skills, Writing Skills, Grammar Guides, Literature
You should see your PDT regularly throughout the      Searching, Survey Methods, Referencing and
year to discuss your academic progress and identify   Plagiarism. This information can be accessed via
any steps which may need to be taken to rectify       the following webpage:
difficulties or problems.                   

academic Support advisers                             Staff in the University libraries are also very helpful
Academic Support Advisers offer support either on a   and periodically offer a range of training sessions for
one-to-one basis or through study skills workshops.   students.
They can help you identify your learning strengths
and weaknesses and give practical advice to allow     language Support
you to make the most of your study time.              Napier recruits a significant number of students
                                                      for whom English is not their first language. The
Areas covered usually include understanding           Centre for Business Languages offers a number of
assignment tasks, reading and note-taking,            programmes, some prior to courses starting and
structuring essays and reports, referencing, exam     others as support during your time here at Napier.
techniques as well as oral presentation skills.       Details can be found on the Napier Business School
                                                      webpage under info for International Students. For
                                                      more info contact Sheila Shea,
                                                      T: 455 4331.
                                                      maths plus
   •	 Wider Access: Anne Chirnside                    If you require help with Maths or Statistics then
      T: 455 2975            weekly sessions are available during term time and
   •	 Health, Life and Social Sciences:               also for a period during the summer vacation.
      Daphne Loads.                                   Information about the sessions can be obtained
      T: 455 5331                from the Learning Resource Centres (Libraries) or
   •	 Engineering, Computing and Creative             from the Study Skills section of
      Industries: Kendall Richards.                   depts/lls/wideraccess/.
      T: 455 2659
   •	 Business School: Helen Godfrey.                 communication plus
      T: 455 4328              If you require help with written or oral communication,
                                                      preparing presentations and essay/report writing,
                                                      then sessions are available during term time.
                                                      Information about the sessions can be obtained
                                                      from the Libraries or from the Study Skills section of

                                                                                                 continues >

                                                                                           EDUCATION 69
           Problems Affecting Performance

> continued                                                  PRoBLEMS AFFECtING ACADEMIC
Mentors are students at Napier who have been            Occasionally students are unable to complete
trained to provide one-to-one peer support to other     assignments on time or sit examinations, or more
students. Their role is to help new students settle     generally they not able to achieve the standard of
in and learn more effectively. They can help new        work they know they are capable of.
students make the most of IT facilities, access
information in the Learning Centres, find the best      This could be for a range of reasons including illness,
times and places to study on campus, advise on          bereavement, relationship difficulties, looking after
how to research and structure essays, how to            dependants, family problems, financial worries,
prepare for presentations and provide general tips      housing problems. Things can become particularly
on how to manage student life. If you are interested    difficult when several problems occur around the
in being mentored you should contact Caroline           same time. If you are experiencing difficulties it is
Moffat, Lifelong Learning,        advisable for you to take action as soon as possible
T: 455 6216.    by accessing the support services available (see
or email                  ISAS/Student Health and Well Being Department)
                                                        and speaking to your PDT.

School provision                                        You should also submit a Mitigating Circumstances
The university is organised into Schools of study.      Form (MC1) details of which are on page 72.
Some Schools have staff dedicated to support
students who are experiencing difficulties or who
have particular needs. You should speak to your         assessments and extensions
Personal Development Tutor to find out what             During the course of a programme of study students
support is available at School level. See also the      will be required to complete a range of assessments
section on Disabilities and Special Needs pages         from class tests, to coursework, practicals, group
77-78.                                                  projects, presentations, dissertations, lab work,
                                                        placement learning objectives and examinations.
                                                        The University is strict about deadlines, so you must
credit for previous learning                            organise your time efficiently to ensure that you
Schools within the University provide a route to        submit assessed work on time. It’s important for you
allow students to obtain credit for previous learning   to understand that if you miss deadlines, you must
and this may result in exemptions from some             have a legitimate reason for this, or marks are likely
modules. If you think this could apply to you then      to be deducted.
speak to your Personal Development Tutor or
Programme Leader.                                       It’s important for you to obtain a pre-agreed
                                                        extension with your module or programme leader
                                                        if you need to submit work late. Extensions are not
                                                        automatically granted. You will have to demonstrate
                                                        good reason for any deadline extension (such as
                                                        illness) and ideally you should provide professional
                                                        confirmation of this such as a letter from your GP. If,
                                                        for any reason, you fall behind with your work and
                                                        are struggling to cope with your studies, then you

              Problems Affecting Performance

are advised to make an appointment with an ISAS           Students with Disabilities and Special Needs should
education adviser or your PDT/programme leader to         also refer to the section on ‘Special Examination
discuss your options and a catching up strategy.          Arrangements’ on page 78 as it is not normally
                                                          necessary to submit an MC1 if you have an ongoing
ISAS can assist you to request extensions, submit         disability.
MC1 forms or Academic Appeals, help you liaise
with academic and support staff, advise on re-sits
and assessments, and any funding or immigration           absence from the programme
issues arising from extending your period of study.       If, due to illness, you are absent from your course for
                                                          more than 2 days, but less than 5, you are required
                                                          to complete a “statement of sickness” form on the
examinations                                              day you return to university. These forms are
If you are unable to sit an exam or complete a formal     available from faculty/school offices or main campus
assignment due to illness, you will need to produce       receptions and the completed form should be
a doctor’s medical certificate and submit an MC1          returned to the school office. The absence
form to the University. It is very important that you     procedure should be included in all programme
consult your doctor at the time of your illness as        handbooks.
many doctors are unwilling to provide retrospective
certification. Please see page 72.                        If, due to illness, you are absent from your course
                                                          for 5 days or more, you should obtain a medical
If you simply fail to turn up to an exam the University   certificate from your doctor.
will count this as a failed attempt and will automati-
cally cap the marks on any re-sit offered. If you are     If your absence is as a result of an accident while on
in your third/fourth year and the honours part of a       University premises, you should inform the Head of
programme, this could affect your overall award           Facility Services.
classification. You cannot postpone sitting your
exams without good reason for doing so and you            There are particular rules relating to student nurses
should first obtain advice from your programme            and midwives regarding absence from programmes
leader/PDT or ISAS.                                       and placements. See pages 60-62.

If you believe that your preparation or performance       For all absences affecting coursework submissions
for examinations, placements or assessments has           or examinations you should also submit an MC1.
been affected by personal circumstances then              See page 72.
you must submit a Mitigating Circumstances Form
(MC1) by the deadline required and include,
wherever possible, confirmation from a professional
such as a GP, Counsellor or ISAS adviser. Even
if you have kept your PDT, Programme leader or
ISAS informed all along about problems you may
be experiencing, the only official means of notifying
the University of these problems so that they can be
taken into account when assessing your work, is by
submitting an MC1 to the Faculty Manager.

                                                                                             EDUCATION 71
           Academic Performance (MC1)

        MItIGAtING CIRCUMStANCES                          hospital, or looking after sick dependants; or you
               FoRM (MC1)                                 may not have been able to study because you were
                                                          on strong medication or were in distress for some
If you believe that there are factors that have           reason.
affected your academic performance in, or
preparation for, assessments or examinations then         The MC1 form should be submitted to the Faculty
you should submit an MC1 form.                            Manager and it will then be considered by the
                                                          Mitigating Circumstances Board (MCB) at its next
You may also wish to inform your Programme                meeting. You will not get to make a personal
Leader or Personal Development Tutor if there are         appearance to explain things to the Board, so it is
issues affecting your academic work. However, the         very important that you include as much detail, and
only way you can officially notify the university,        make things as clear as possible, on the MC1 form.
so that it can take these circumstances into              The MCB decides whether or not to uphold student
consideration, is to submit an MC1 form to the            claims of mitigating circumstances. If it agrees
Faculty Manager.                                          that there were mitigating circumstances, it
                                                          communicates this to the Exam Board to make a
MC1 forms can be obtained from Registry’s website         decision on the most appropriate course of action.
which also gives details on procedure and time-
scales. Forms are also available from ISAS offices.       The information you submit on an MC1 is held
ISAS advisers can help students complete the form         in confidence. It is not passed to any of the
and students are strongly advised to contact an           programme teaching staff.
adviser prior to submission.
                                                          Even if mitigating circumstances are upheld by
MC1 forms should be submitted at the earliest             the Board, you will still be required to achieve the
opportunity and must be submitted within 5 days of        academic standard to pass the modules.
the end of the examination diet/end of the trimester
in which you were affected. The deadlines are on the
Napier Registry webpage. Forms are available via             Note: getting an MC1 completed properly
the student portal. It is best, if you are experiencing      and submitting it on time, to the right person,
problems, to submit an MC1 at the time and not               is YOUR responsibility.
leave it until the actual deadline.

If problems are ongoing, you should submit a new
MC1 form for every semester that has been affected
(unless you have an ongoing registered disability,
please see page 77). If possible you should obtain
confirmation of your difficulties from a health
professional or ISAS.

You should explain on the form, or in a covering
letter, the nature of the problems experienced, which
exams/assessments were affected and how the
problems impacted on academic performance. For
example, you may not have had access to resource
materials for a period of time because you were in

                                        Exam Boards / Appeals

                MoDULE BoARDS                            Academic appeals may not be accepted where it
                                                         is clear that information regarding mitigating
Module Boards ensure that the marks awarded for          circumstances could have been submitted via an
individual modules are consistent and appropriate.       MC1 (see page 72) at an earlier opportunity.

                                                         Academic appeal forms (AP1) are downloadable
            EXAMINAtIoN BoARDS                           from the Student Affairs website or the student
                                                         portal under ‘forms’ or from NSA’s website
Examination Boards confirm the decisions of              ( and you have 10 working
the Module Boards and make decisions on                  days from the formal publication of results in which
reassessments and progression issues, including          to submit an appeal. It is rare for the University to
degree classifications. The Board examines each          accept a late appeal unless there are very good
individual student’s overall academic performance.       reasons for doing so. The website also gives
If the Mitigating Circumstances Board has decided        guidance on the grounds for appeal and the appeal
that you have mitigating circumstances, the Exam         procedure.
Board will take this into account. In doing so the
Board is able to use its discretion and make an          An academic appeal is a formal process and you are
academic decision which it believes to be in your        strongly advised to contact ISAS before submitting
best interest.                                           an AP1. Advisers can provide information about
                                                         the procedure, help you draft your appeals and, if
It is important to note that each case is taken on its   necessary, accompany you to meetings with the
individual merits and that you do not have the right     Appeal Panel.
to insist that a different academic decision is made
by Exam Boards. If you are dissatisfied with your
mark/grade or concerned about the decisions made            note: getting an AP1 completed properly,
by the Examination Board you may wish to consider           and submitting it on time, to the right person,
an academic appeal, but the grounds on which you            is YOUR responsibility.
can appeal are fairly limited.

              ACADEMIC APPEALS

An academic appeal is essentially a request for the
decision of an Examination Board to be reviewed.
There are limited grounds for appeal and deadlines

Academic appeals will not be accepted where
you are disputing the academic or professional
judgement of staff in relation to marks, grades,
progression or awards. If you wish to challenge
decisions on these grounds it is more likely that you
will have to register an official complaint. You are
advised to consult an ISAS adviser before making
an academic appeal or registering a complaint.

                                                                                            EDUCATION 73
            Discipline / Plagiarism & Cheating

              StUDENt DISCIPLINE                                    PLAGIARISM AND ChEAtING

As members of the University, students are required        Exams and assessments are integral to University
to adhere to certain rules and regulations governing       education. They are designed to test academic
a range of aspects of University life. These range         ability and progress. Exam and assessment grades
from appropriate use of computing facilities, to           are important in relation to students continuing on
conduct and behaviour in University accommodation          course, their final qualification and their career
and while on University premises, to plagiarism,           prospects as a graduate. Therefore cheating in
drug use, theft, bullying, harassment, racism etc.         exams and plagiarism are offences which the
If it is felt that you have breached a University          University takes very seriously and if proven will
regulation, then you may be subject to disciplinary        almost certainly result in disciplinary action being
action.                                                    taken against the offenders.

Disciplinary action can be taken on a number of            Even so, some students are so desperate to
different ‘levels’ within the University, depending        succeed/desperate not to fail that they are prepared
upon the seriousness of the alleged offence. If            to take the risk of cheating in the hope that they
the case is found against you, then the penalties          won’t be found out. In recent years, however, new
can range from written warnings to, in the worst           technology has helped teaching staff pick up the
case scenario, expulsion from the University. It is        cheats and the number of cases where ISAS is
extremely important therefore that if you are asked        asked to represent students at plagiarism/cheating
to attend a disciplinary hearing, you take it seriously,   investigations has risen.
and obtain independent advice and information.
                                                           If you are charged with committing an offence
Information, advice and representation can be              of cheating or plagiarism, the allegation will be
obtained from ISAS, or workplace trade unions (for         investigated by an Academic Conduct Officer and
student nurses and midwives, postgraduate                  if it is felt that there is a case to answer, you will be
employees of Napier University only). If the alleged       required to attend a hearing. You have the right to be
conduct being considered for disciplinary action           accompanied by ISAS or a friend.
also involves a breach in the law, the University
reserves the right to refer the case to the Police.        If it is determined that you have cheated or
                                                           plagiarised, the hearing will establish whether this
                                                           constitutes negligence, malpractice or misconduct.
                                                           The penalties depend upon which category of
                                                           offence you are found guilty of and include
                                                           admonishment, verbal warning, written warning,
                                                           reduction of marks for the exam/assignment,
                                                           lowering of degree classification, failure of degree
                                                           and expulsion from the University.

                                                           If you find yourself being investigated or asked
                                                           to a formal hearing, you are strongly advised to
                                                           contact an ISAS Adviser at the earliest opportunity
                                                           (Telephone 0131 229 8791). More information on
                                                           plagiarism is available from the student portal.

                                        Plagiarism & Cheating

What behaviour denotes cheating                            else getting caught submitting a piece of work
or plagiarism?                                             copied from her/his work - no matter that the
Any attempt to gain an unfair advantage in an              original work was completed entirely legitimately),
assessment or exam by trying to gain credit for            or copying the work of another student with or
someone else’s work, or by using material to which         without her/his permission.
the person being assessed does not have legitimate      •	 assuming the identity of another student, or
access.                                                    allowing another student to assume your identity,
                                                           for the purposes of examination (e.g. getting
At its most obvious, it’s students downloading or          someone else to sit your exams for you or you
even buying other peoples’ work from the net and           sitting someone else’s exam).
trying to pass it off as their own, but it can also     •	 unauthorised communication with other students
extend to students who have produced work by fair          during an exam.
means but lend it to someone else to copy and try
to pass off as their own.                               There are also rules about “collusion” on work with
                                                        other students. This can be especially problematic
cheating or plagiarism are:                             when students do group projects, so it is important
•	 copying from, or communicating about, an             to get clear academic guidance from your
   assessment with another student while under test     Programme Leader from the outset on what is and
   or exam conditions, or collaborating with another    is not acceptable when working as part of a team.
   student on a piece of work that is supposed to be
   completed unaided.
•	 submitting a piece of work that has been copied                 AVOIDING PLAGIARISM
   substantially, and presenting it for assessment as          there are steps that can be taken:
   “all your own work”.                                    •	 avoid indulging in any of the things above
•	 summarising, paraphrasing or “lifting” blocks of        •	 seek advice from teaching staff, the
   text, without changing it substantively (perhaps           programme handbook and the student
   only re-ordering bits and changing words here              portal
   and there) and not accrediting it.                      •	 remember that, even among 1st years,
•	 extensive use of another person’s material,                ignorance is no excuse, so take responsi-
   including quotations and ideas, without                    bility for accrediting work appropriately
   reference/acknowledgement to their originator.          •	 be clear about sources and if using others’
•	 gaining unfair advantage in an assessment by               ideas, quotations or work – credit them,
   getting prior access to an “unseen” exam paper,            including group work
   or confidential notes on the assessment of the          •	 reference credits carefully - check with the
   exam, or other unauthorised material.                      programme handbook on how to reference
•	 bringing any unauthorised materials or                     properly and be sure to follow the rules set
   information into an exam or test (whether this             out. If you don’t understand these, or they
   takes the form of notes, books, bits of paper,             are unclear, ask a member of the teaching
   things written on your ruler or person, or                 staff to explain them. An honest mistake
   electronically stored, on a calculator, personal           caused by poor referencing could be
   organiser, a disc, or unauthorised access to               construed as plagiarism
   the internet).
•	 permitting another student to copy a piece of
   work that s/he intends passing off as her/his        Further information on plagiarism can be obtained
   own (ie a student may be punished for someone        from the student portal.

                                                                                           EDUCATION 75
           Student Complaints

            StUDENt CoMPLAINtS                                    PRoBLEM-SoLVING oPtIoNS

Inevitably some students will be dissatisfied with       Much depends on whether the complaint relates to
some aspects of their educational provision while        you as an individual or the majority of the class. If it’s
at Napier. This could relate to the standard and         the class, then the route to complaint resolution
availability of resources and facilities, class sizes,   usually lies through collective representation and
rent levels set for University accommodation, class      starts with speaking to the student programme reps.
and examination timetabling, to the standard of          If the complaint relates to you as an individual, then
teaching on the course or the relative ease/difficulty   it is probably best to make an appointment with
of academic assignments.                                 ISAS.

The University has set out the standards students        collective: programme reps/nSa officers
can expect in its Student Charter document, but this     If a concern/complaint affects the majority of a
can only serve as an initial reference point, you then   class, this can be raised through the elected student
need to be clear about who to speak to and how           programme rep. S/he should be in a position to
best to progress your concerns/complaint. The            evaluate and present the collective student view to
University expects that you will have exhausted          the appropriate authorities.
all the available options before utilising the formal
student Complaints Procedure. The complaints             If reps believe that the problem applies to more
procedure can be accessed via the student portal or      than their class – perhaps to the School, Faculty or
obtained from ISAS.                                      students generally, the issue can be raised with the
                                                         student Faculty Rep or the Campaigns and
The difficulty in making a complaint can often be        Representation Officer, Yvette Brough, who acts
deciding where best to start. The general advice of      as the main point of contact for programme reps
ISAS is for you to start small and informally, at the    across the university.
lowest possible level, or where the problem actually
originates. You must decide on the seriousness and       individual: iSaS complaints negotiation
urgency of the situation though because this may         If, on the other hand, the issue of concern/complaint
affect the route to take.                                only affects you as an individual student, or a small
                                                         group of students, or if most people in the class do
Often a chat with your programme leader/tutor can        not wish to air their views on the issue; then you
lead to a quick and effective solution. Failing this     should consider making an appointment to see an
you could decide to speak to your programme rep          ISAS adviser. Advisers can discuss with you the
or an ISAS adviser. Apart from your programme rep        options available based upon her knowledge of the
and ISAS, there are a number of other departments/       education system at Napier and university rules and
people within the University who may be able to          regulations.
help, particularly Student Support Services, Special
Needs & Disability and the University Registry.          ISAS advisers also have good working relationships
                                                         with academic and University staff and usually are
                                                         able to negotiate a reasonable solution on students’
                                                         behalf. In a minority of cases it may ultimately
                                                         be necessary to utilise the Student Complaints
                                                         Procedure, but this can be lengthy, formal and more
                                                         difficult to negotiate. Students are strongly advised
                                                         to take advice before initiating this course of action.

                                  Disabled Student Support

        DISABLED StUDENt SUPPoRt                           european and international Students
                                                           The University is legally required to respond equally
See also the section on Student Support Services           to the disability and special needs requirements of
on page 68, and the section on Funding, page 15.           all students. Even though European and International
                                                           students cannot claim Disabled Student Allowances
Following the introduction of the Disability               they are still entitled to the same level of provision
Discrimination Act the University has a responsibility     from the University and in some cases the University
to anticipate the needs of prospective students and        will have to bear the costs of any adjustments that
to make reasonable adjustments for students                must be made. If you experience any difficulties
currently on a programme of study.                         obtaining the support you require you should
                                                           contact ISAS for independent education advice.
If you have a disability or special needs which could
affect your ability to study it is advisable to disclose
this to the University at the earliest opportunity. In     Special needs team
this way the University can ensure that learning           Special needs and disability support at Napier
support requirements are in place for the duration of      operates as a two tier system: the Central Special
your programme.                                            Needs Team and the Disability Contact Staff.

You will be asked to disclose your disability prior to     The Disabilities and Special Needs team consists
entry and at matriculation but support arrangements        of a co-ordinator who advises the University on its
will not be put in place automatically. You must still     legal obligations, supervises the work of the Special
make an appointment with the Student Support               Needs Team and advises individual students. Call
Services to discuss your needs when you arrive (call       455 2929.
455 2929).

If you experience difficulties obtaining the support       disabled Students’ allowance (dSa)
that you require you should make an appointment            If you have a disability you may be able to get extra
with an ISAS adviser for confidential and independ-        funding from the DSA. This allowance is intended
ent advice and support.                                    to cover any extra costs associated with studying
                                                           which arise because of a disability.
You will not be discriminated against on the
grounds of your disability.                                dSa is made up of 3 parts:
                                                           Equipment Allowance: up to a maximum of £5030
                                                           for the whole of the course;
                                                           Non-medical Helpers Allowance: up to a
                                                           maximum of £20,000 per year of the course;
                                                           Basic allowance: up to a maximum of £1,680 per

                                                           Application forms are available from Student
                                                           Support Services. Tel: 455 2929

                                                                        DISABLED STUDENT SUPPORT 77
           Disabled Student Support

dyslexia                                                library Staff
Monica Gribben supports students with dyslexia          Library staff are happy to help support students
by providing an informal evaluation and where           with disabilities and request that you make an
necessary referring students for a full dyslexia        appointment to discuss your requirements in
assessment. She also liaises with staff providing       advance so arrangements can be put in place.
information, support and guidance to students on an
individual basis.                                       Staff can provide a range of services including
                                                        checking reading lists and fetching books, assisting
The external assessment is free (£50 refundable         with photcopying, authorising longer loans of books/
deposit) and it usually takes about 2 weeks to obtain   materials, transferring books and materials to the
an appointment. When the report is returned Monica      most appropriate campus. Campus libraries also
will meet you to establish your needs and send a        run help sessions in study skills, communications,
support profile to your School.                         maths etc – see page 69.

Drop in sessions are available throughout the
academic year, or students can make a prior             Special examination arrangements
appointment - telephone 455 2951 or e-mail              All disabled/special needs students who have                                 been allocated special exam requirements by
                                                        Student Support Services will receive a letter from
                                                        Registry Services informing them of arrangements.
adaptive technology centre                              This will include a form which you must complete
The ATC contains a wide range of equipment and          and return to Registry.
software technology to support students with
special needs and disabilities. Students can use        If you have special requirements and have not
the centre on a regular basis to complete their         received a letter from Registry you should call them
assessments, or “try before they buy” for students      on 455 2535. Alternatively you should contact
who are entitled to Disabled Students Allowance, or     Student Support Services. Requests for special
to borrow equipment.                                    exam arrangements must be made by the end of
                                                        week 10.
Andy Lees advises on the specialist technology
available within the Adaptive Technology Centre         If you have a temporary need for special
which is based in Merchiston Library. He can be         arrangements to be made for your examinations
contacted on 455 2279 or or         which are not related to a disability, e.g. a broken
455 2916.                                               wrist, then you should contact your School
                                                        Office and not Student Services or Registry.

learning Support                                        If you are unable to sit your examinations you must
Academic Support tutors also provide general            contact Registry as failure to do so may result in
learning support – see page 69.                         the withdrawal of special allowances in the future.
                                                        Please see also the section on Examinations, page

                                                    Useful Contacts                                    isas
                                                                                                         independent student
                                                                                                                               advice service

•	 napier Students’ association (and iSaS).                        USEFUL wEBSItES
   12 Merchiston Place, EH10 4NR.
   Tel 0131 229 8791.                               •	 napier Students’ association
•	 napier university.                        
   Tel 0131 444 2266 or 08452 60 60 40              •	 SaaS
•	 citizens advice bureau.                   
   58 Dundas Street, EH3 6QZ. Tel 0131 557 1500.    •	 dFeS
•	 advice Shop.                              
   South Bridge, Edinburgh. Tel 0131 225 1255.      •	 Student loan company
•	 edinburgh Shelter Housing aid centre.     
   Kittle Yards, Causewayside. Tel 08445 152 400.   •	 Home office – to download forms e.g. FLR[S]
•	 Scottish gas.                             
   Enquiries - 0845 600 05 60.                      •	 uKcoSa – info for international students
   24 hour emergency - 0800 111 999.         
•	 Scottish power.                                  •	 british council
   Enquiries - 0845 273 44 44.               
   24 hour emergency - 0845 272 79 99.              •	 SKill – Info for students with disabilities
•	 Student awards agency Scotland (SaaS).    
   Gyleview House, 3 Redheughs Rigg EH12 9HH.       •	 namSS – useful info for students
   Tel 0845 111 1711.                        
•	 Student loans company ltd.                       •	 prospects – info for postgraduate students
   100 Bothwell Street, Glasgow G2 7JD.      
   Tel 0800 40 50 10.                               •	 national debtline – advice for dealing with debt
•	 income tax enquiry office.                
   Elgin House, 20 Haymarket Yards, EH12 4WS        •	 FSa – useful info on bank accounts
   Tel 0131 473 4000.                        
   Paye Centre, Tel 0845 070 37 03.                 •	 tv licensing – all you need to know
•	 council tax offices (edinburgh).          
   Tel 0131 200 2000.                               •	 nHS lothian
•	 uKcoSa (council for int. education).      
   Tel 020 7107 9922.                               •	 Working in Scotland
•	 police - West end police Station.         
   Tel 0131 229 2323.                               •	 lothian buses
•	 royal infirmary - lothian Hospitals       
   Little France, Old Dalkeith Rd,
   Tel 0131 536 1000.
•	 city cabs. Tel 228 1211.                            acKnoWledgementS:
•	 central taxis. Tel 229 2468.
•	 nightline. Tel 557 4444.                            Layout & Design: Craig Reid
•	 Samaritans. Tel 0845 790 90 90.                     Contributors: Maxine Wood, Kirsteen Kershaw,
•	 nHS lothian. Tel 0131 537 84 88.                    Cath Norman, Gabriella de Prez, Ann Whannell.
•	 nHS 24 (when gp closed). Tel 0845 24 24 24.         Printed by: Stevens & George Print Group.
•	 Job centre plus - national insurance                Please note: Every reasonable care has been
   Tel 0845 6000 643.                                  taken to ensure that the information in this publi-
                                                       cation is accurate and up-to-date. However some
                                                       info may change after we have gone to print.

                                                                                USEFUL CONTACTS 79

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