Parents’ Survival Guide
We understand that for new students, coming to
university can be an exciting and nerve wracking time.
Edinburgh Napier University aims to provide support and
guidance to all new students, but we also realise that
parents may find this period equally as nerve wracking!
This publication explains the main aspects of choosing
and applying to university from a parent’s point of view.
We hope it answers all your questions, but we are
always available if you need further assistance.
08452 60 60 40
Why Higher Education?
Students choose to go to university for Even if a job doesn’t specifically ask for
many different reasons, but these can a degree graduates may benefit from:
be generally classified as: • Faster career promotion
• Financial • Greater responsibility within their
• Career development / Enhancement chosen job
• Social / Personal • More choices when it comes to future jobs
• Greater earning potential!
Going to university can increase a student’s Social / Personal
earning potential. Recent studies have shown Going to university allows students to:
that a university graduate is likely to earn
• Study a certain subject area in detail
£160,000 more over their lifetime compared
and become an expert in their chosen field
to a non graduate (The economic benefits
of a degree, 2007). • Make new friends from a variety of
cultural and social backgrounds
• Increase confidence and develop
Career development /
a sense of independence
• Improve employability prospects
Students flicking through any jobs section
will find that more and more employers are
asking candidates to have a degree. By having
students build on their existing Higher or
A Level qualifications they could be just four
years away from having an honours degree.
Why Edinburgh Napier?
We are Edinburgh’s professional We serve over 14,000 students from over
University – committed to giving our 80 countries worldwide and each student
students the right mix of personal receives one-to-one support from their
and professional skills for a successful dedicated personal development tutor.
career in today’s global market. They also have access to comprehensive
careers support and advice.
Everything we do is focussed on helping
our students get to where they want to As a contemporary university,
go. As we have close links with business our facilities include:
and industry, our graduates are more • More than 1,250 PCs (up to 500
than prepared to hit the ground running available 24/7) and 150 Macs
in their chosen career. • Free Wi-Fi connections at main locations
and secure access to online services
• Seven libraries – each stocked to suit
We offer over 125 highly relevant courses,
the particular needs of students
which have been developed in close
at that campus
collaboration with business and industry.
• Around 25 student clubs and societies
These span three faculties (or disciplines):
• The Business School
Students who study at Edinburgh Napier say
• Health, Life & Social Sciences
it’s an excellent place to study: it is a very
• Engineering, Computing
supportive, enthusiastic forward-thinking
& Creative Industries
university that always puts its students first
and provides the best possible launch pad
Our courses are designed to offer real
for their careers.
skills which our students can take into
the workplace, including:
• opportunities for work placements
• professional accreditation from the
relevant industry bodies
• a unique programme of personal and
professional skill development
• a truly international perspective with
options to study abroad or do overseas
Doing the research With over 50,000 undergraduate courses
Even before applying, Edinburgh Napier available within the UK, choosing a course
works with potential students so that we can seem like a daunting prospect for
can assist and guide them in both their students. It is important to do some research
research and choice of course at university. into the different courses available before
making a final choice.
Although we concentrate our efforts in the
local schools and colleges we also visit and The best way to research is to look at
deliver activities throughout the UK. university websites and prospectuses
(these are free publications produced by
Relationship Building with Schools Project universities detailing all the courses they
have to offer).
“In addition to all our other recruitment work,
I visited 75 secondary schools during the All universities hold Open Days which are
the 2009/10 academic year, to specifically an excellent opportunity to visit and tour
improve and strengthen relationships, their campuses, facilities and even their
within the Fife, Lothian and Borders areas. accommodation. It is also a good chance
to meet lecturers and teaching staff
Going forward, our relationship building
who will be delivering courses and ask
will bring long term benefits for both the
them any specific questions you have.
University and the schools we work
These events will probably be the most
alongside. This will enable students to
beneficial when students are choosing
make well-informed choices for their
which university and course to study.
They will also provide the student with
We believe that our joint work will also a good insight into the style and ethos
benefit parents and teachers by highlighting of the institution.
just what Edinburgh Napier has to offer,
raise awareness of our key industry links
and ensure our students are well prepared
Sarah Bailey – Schools Liaison Project Officer
‘Auld Reekie’ or ‘the Athens of the north’ Hogmanay is Scotland’s world famous New
– Edinburgh has many names, but for the Year’s celebration with Edinburgh the focal
time our students are here we hope they point. Each year over 100,000 revellers enjoy
will call it home. With four universities a street-party and fireworks display from
attracting around 100,000 students, the the ramparts of Edinburgh Castle – this is
city has its own unique buzz and has been definitely number one on the ‘to do’ list
voted one of the most student friendly for any student!
cities in the UK.
It’s easy and safe to get around the
The city manages to fuse an ancient past city. There are hundreds of cafés, bars
with a modern and sustainable future. and restaurants to choose from and
New developments merge and contrast accommodation, both private and university
with cobbled streets and medieval backdrops, owned, is central and plentiful. Escaping the
making it Scotland’s inspiring capital. daily bustle of the city is easy – Edinburgh
has over 112 public parks and more trees
Home to many international businesses, per person than any other British city.
Edinburgh is the fifth largest financial centre
in Europe. Scotland has had its own devolved Edinburgh provides an excellent learning
government since 1999 and there are 129 environment. With over 100,000 students
MSPs housed in the award-winning Scottish studying here, life is lively and student
parliament building at Holyrood, Edinburgh. focused. University isn’t just about academic
learning, it’s about students becoming
In August the city hosts the largest, equipped with life skills, meeting new
most influential arts festival in the world. friends and becoming more independent.
International sporting events, world class What better place to do all this
theatre productions and art galleries than in Edinburgh?
ensure that there is always something
happening in Edinburgh.
Edinburgh Napier University continuously Canaan Lane*
strives to provide state-of-the-art facilities The Canaan Lane Campus is situated
for our students and we are currently in within the grounds of the Astley Ainslie
the latest phase of our £100m estate Hospital in Morningside and currently hosts
strategy. We have many different teaching a large part of the Faculty of Health, Life &
facilities around Edinburgh – these are Social Sciences as home to the School of
called campuses and are detailed below: Nursing, Midwifery and Social Care.
The school provides courses in Adult
Craiglockhart Nursing, Child Health Nursing, Learning
Home to The Business School, Craiglockhart Disabilities Nursing, Mental Health Nursing
recently reopened after extensive and Midwifery and Social Care. It is a
refurbishment resulting in a stunning pleasant, modern and well-equipped site
building and state-of-the-art facilities. This and home to the nursing clinical skills labs.
includes two large lecture theatres, a cyber
café, language labs and computing facilities. Comely Bank*
An additional base for our range of health
Merchiston courses is Comely Bank Campus, next to
Located in the lively Bruntsfield area, the Western General Hospital in the north
Merchiston Campus is a unique blend of the of the city. This campus is home to part of
past and present. It is home to the award the School of Nursing, Midwifery and
winning 500-seater Jack Kilby Computing Social Care.
Centre, open 24 hours a day and also
to the 13th century Napier Tower where Sighthill
John Napier was born in 1550. The Faculty We are currently redeveloping our Sighthill
of Engineering, Computing & Creative Campus, which will become home to the
Industries, and the School of Life Sciences Faculty of Health, Life & Social Sciences
can be found here. as well as some professional service
departments, and will provide a sustainable
Craighouse state-of-the-art building with premier
A fabulous set of Grade A-listed buildings teaching and learning facilities. Have a look
in the charming district of Morningside. at our Estate Strategy web pages for more
Craighouse Campus, set in serene info and video fly-through of what the
woodlands, provides an attractive learning campus will look like.
environment resourced to meet the needs
of the students based here. Craighouse Outside Edinburgh
currently houses part of the School of We also have smaller campuses outside
Creative Industries with Communication Arts the city in Livingston and Melrose.
and Music courses based here. The campus
is also home to many service departments
including the Principal’s Office.
*Please note that students based at Comely
Bank and Canaan Lane will move to the new
Sighthill Campus in January 2011.
What is an
Undergraduate courses are designed for An Honours degree is awarded in one of
students who have completed secondary four classes, depending on marks gained in
school or further education studies assessments and exams. The top students
but have not yet received a degree. are awarded a first class degree; the next
If students are coming straight from best is an upper second class (normally
school or college then they will be called a 2:1); then, a lower second class
studying for an undergraduate degree. (2:2); and finally a third class degree.
Postgraduate degrees are generally, An Ordinary degree (without the ‘(Hons)’
but not exclusively, for those people after the title) may be awarded if a student
who already have a degree. has completed three years of study, or the
full honours degree course but obtained a
Once students enrol at university, they lower pass mark than required for a third
will become an undergraduate student. class honours degree.
It normally takes four years as a full-time
student to achieve an Honours degree.
Edinburgh Napier recognises that coming to university is both an exciting and
daunting prospect for new students and that’s why we are here to help establish
a ‘home from home’.
We feel that it is important to give students
who are new to university life and to
Edinburgh the best possible start to their
university career, and a suitable and safe
place to live. We provide accommodation
to over 900 students in the form of
self-catering flats across five centrally-
We also find that a number of our students
choose to stay at home and benefit from
cheap digs and a lot of home comforts.
Other students may decide to rent private Additional student accommodation is
accommodation in the city centre with friends available to all university students through
or siblings. The choice is an individual one companies such as iQ and UNITE. You can
and we will support all our students with visit their websites for further details.
practical advice and guidance.
We also provide Wardens (older Edinburgh
Living in university flats is a great way Napier students) at each development to
to get to know other students when first check that everything is running smoothly
coming to Edinburgh. We provide both throughout the year. New students can
single and mixed gender flats and will do contact Wardens if they have any problems.
our best to cater to specific preferences
on application. We also guarantee first year Accommodation has been adapted for
accommodation to all our students living wheelchair users and people with mobility
outside Edinburgh who do not have an difficulties. We ask that students note their
EH postcode! requirements on the application form.
Our flats are competitively priced. Limited car parking is available at all
For 2010/11, the rent will be between £89 developments and is allocated on a ‘first
– £94 per week and this will probably come first served’ basis. As space is at a
increase slightly for 2011/12. This price premium in Edinburgh and the bus services
includes utility bills for each flat. Each are readily available we do not recommend
flat consists of four to five single study that students keep a car.
bedrooms with a shared kitchen, living
area, toilet and bathroom with shower. “Living in student accommodation is the
Each flat is fully furnished, with central best way to make friends and meet new
heating and is equipped with a telephone people. The flats are in a great location,
intercom entry system for added security. really handy for uni, shops and
Edinburgh’s nightlife.” Kelly, 19
Some students can find the jump from school to university a daunting prospect.
We understand that there is a transition period and as such, Edinburgh Napier has
substantial support provision on offer. We will help and support students from their
initial application, while they are a student here and after they graduate. Our support
is available to you in a number of different ways.
Academic support Our undergraduate workshops are
Coming to university can be a challenging based around different themes - Self
time so Edinburgh Napier has created Awareness, Empowering Attitudes and
a number of academic support systems Building Relationships. Confident Futures
designed to ease students into their is supported by a variety of high-profile
studies. These include: individuals and companies and helps our
students develop the graduate attributes
• study skills sessions; and
demanded by employers.
• workshops on referencing,
essay writing etc.
Students will find that Edinburgh Napier
Non-academic support has a range of student support services
Not everyone coming to Edinburgh Napier that can provide help and advice on a
is looking for academic support but it is range of topics, including:
good to know it is there in case you ever
have to use it. Many students also like the • Career Guidance
fact that Edinburgh Napier offers a range • Money matters
of non-academic support. The most popular • Accommodation
of these is our Student Mentor programme, • Counselling
which matches individuals up with a senior
student who will meet with them whenever • Special needs and disabilities
required. The mentor is there to provide
support and offer invaluable advice, Napier Students’ Association (NSA)
having already gone through the same NSA is run by current Edinburgh Napier
experiences themselves. students and is there to support students
in a number of ways, including arranging
fun, social activities, such as Freshers’
Week (this is the first week of university),
Confident Futures is an innovative
and running sports clubs and societies.
programme of personal development
NSA also offers advice and representation
unique to Higher Education and to
to students when things don’t go to plan.
Edinburgh Napier University. It has been
designed to enable students to take
No matter what students need help with,
responsibility for their personal and
we are able to give advice and support or
professional development, engage with
at least point them in the right direction.
their programme and relate to their career
All they need to do is ask!
and future aspirations. Our Confident
Futures team run a variety of events for
students and staff members alike, including
interactive workshops and lectures.
Often parents and guardians are unsure of Parental contributions
the idea of their child becoming financially Both the Student Loan and YSB are
independent. There is a lot of financial means tested which means that SAAS
support available to students these days will take into account family household
and this short guide will give you some income before calculating how much
brief details to set your mind at ease. each student will be entitled to. SAAS
may also recommend that parents/carers
Tuition Fees should contribute to their child’s income.
Scottish students coming to Edinburgh This amount will, again, be dependent on
Napier to study a full time course who household income, and does not have to
haven’t done a degree before do not have be paid as cash. Financial support can take
to pay tuition fees. The Students Awards many forms, including grocery shopping,
Agency for Scotland (SAAS) will pay these assistance with rent etc.
directly to the university. If students do
not qualify for free tuition fees, these will Nursing and Midwifery courses
generally be charged at £1,820 per year Students thinking of applying for a nursing
(for 2010/11 and may be subject to change), or midwifery course can apply for an NHS
although some courses may charge more, bursary of £6,578. This bursary is applied
such as medicine. for annually but does not need to be repaid
Sources of Funding
Student loans and bursaries are paid
Student Loan directly into the student’s bank account
As well as getting any fees paid, students in monthly instalments. There may be
may also be eligible to apply for a student additional supplementary grants available
loan of up to £5,067 per year. The student for students depending on their personal
loan is means-tested and dependent on circumstances, for further information on
students’ personal circumstances. Student these contact SAAS.
loans are only paid back after students
graduate and earn over £15,000. This type All applications for financial support
of loan is not like a bank loan and has a should be made to SAAS; this can be done
low interest rate (which is charged in line online. Applications should be made well
with inflation). in advance of the course start date and can
be made during or after April of each year.
Young Students’ Bursary (YSB)
Scottish students who are under the age of (Figures are sourced from SAAS and may
25 when they start their course are eligible to vary from year to year – please check
apply for a Young Students Bursary up to the their website at: www.saas.co.uk)
value of £2,640 per year. This is also means-
tested and subject to personal circumstances.
The YSB is money that you are awarded that
you do not need to pay back.
Other sources of income Rent £300
Many students choose to take on a part- Food £120
time job during their studies and Edinburgh Gas/electricity £80
Napier University’s Career Service is on Landline/internet/mobile £60
hand to help students find term-time jobs. Contents insurance £8
Travel expenses £50
We strongly recommend that students do Social/Sports £100
not over commit to term time-jobs and Toiletries/Haircuts £35
work a maximum of 16 hours per week. Clothing £35
Term-time holidays (eg summer and TV licence £11
Christmas) are also excellent opportunities Average monthly costs £799
for students to supplement their income.
The majority of our courses allow for Advice on preparing a realistic budget and
students to undertake work placements all other aspects of money management
within industry. These are a good source and debt counselling is available from the
of income and can last for one week Independent Student Advice Service (ISAS)
to a year, dependent on course and at Napier Students’ Association.
Typical student budgets
Students who have never lived away from
home before may be unsure of budgeting
or unrealistic in their expected living costs.
The table above is intended to give you a
breakdown of monthly living costs. This is
only intended as a guide as costs will vary
according to lifestyle choices.
Help available from Other Information
Edinburgh Napier Students normally resident
Trust Funds & Scholarships in England and Wales
Degree structures are different in England.
Trust Funds are sums of money set
A Scottish degree typically takes four years
aside by individuals or organisations
to complete, although tuition fees are a lot
to help specific groups of people,
less. For more information and details on
how to apply contact the Student Loans
Help is usually given in the form of a grant
or loan. Generally the amount of money is
on a small scale to assist with living costs, Students normally resident
fees, course equipment, travel, childcare, in Northern Ireland
etc. There are thousands of trust funds, so For more information and details on how to
it’s important to find the ones that match apply contact your Education Library Board
specific personal circumstances. The at www.delni.gov.uk/studentfinance
Careers Service at Edinburgh Napier has
further information on scholarships.
For various reasons, students may find
themselves in financial difficulty during
their time at university. Discretionary
Funds are a source of funding administered
by the University to assist students who
are experiencing particular financial
difficulty. These funds can be granted to
assist with general living, accommodation,
travel and course costs. Discretionary
Funds are not intended to be a primary
source of income and students are
expected to have exhausted all other
sources of finance available before
applying. It is possible to apply to the
Discretinary Fund at any time of the
academic year, and to apply more than
once in any academic year if necessary.
How to Apply Q A I
How do students apply? The Universities and Colleges Admissions
Service (UCAS) is a centralised body that
Fill out a UCAS application form online manages all undergraduate applications to
for all full-time UG degrees UK universities and colleges.
Where do students get an application form? All UCAS applications must be
Online at: www.ucas.com
How many courses can students apply to? If students choose to apply to more than
one course they do not need to list them
Students can select a maximum of five in any particular order.
courses on their application.
Will it cost anything to apply?
Yes. Applying to just one course, the
UCAS fee is £11. If applying for more than
one course, the UCAS fee is £21.
What’s the deadline?
For 2010/11 applications the closing date
is 15 January 2011.
Are there any exceptions?
Applications for medicine, dentistry, and
veterinary medicine/nursing or for any
course at either Oxford University or the
University of Cambridge have an early
closing date of 15 October 2010.
What happens then? UCAS passes all applications to the chosen
universities simultaneously and students
Students can ‘track’ the progress of their will receive correspondence directly from
application online at www.ucas.com each institution. Further details will be
provided to students when they apply
What will the universities do? Tariff points are a UCAS system
giving qualifications and grades
Institutions will usually reply with one of the three a numerical value. Students
following offers: can add up their tariff points to
Conditional offer – students are offered a place see if they meet the conditions.
if they meet certain conditions, usually based on Some institutions may ask for
upcoming exam results. They may be asked to other evidence of ability, such
achieve certain grades in named subjects or to as an interview or audition.
achieve specific tariff points.
Unconditional offer – the student meets all the If an application is unsuccessful,
university’s entry requirements and they are happy the university may offer an
to accept the application for their course. alternative course. Guidance
Unsuccessful application – the university will not teachers and careers advisers
offer the student a place. This could be for many can talk students through their
reasons, such as not having the required grades or options if this occurs.
subjects for the course.
What do students have to do then?
They’ll have time to consider their offers and decide their next course of action.
They can reply in one of three ways:
Firm acceptance – this means that this is the student’s preferred first choice.
This reply can only be made once.
• By accepting an unconditional offer, the student is confirming that they will attend
this university and must decline all other offers.
• By accepting a conditional offer, the student is confirming that they will attend this
university if they meet the university’s conditions. They can accept another offer
as an insurance choice.
Insurance acceptance – students can accept an offer as an insurance choice if
they have firmly accepted a conditional offer. Insurance choices can be conditional
or unconditional and are intended to act as a back-up. If students do not meet the
conditions of their firm choice but do meet the conditions of their insurance choice,
they are committed to that course.
Decline – once the student has decided which offer to firmly accept and which to accept
as an insurance, they must decline all other offers. If they achieve better grades than
required for the firmly accepted offer, they may look for an alternative course that has
places available while holding the original choice. This option will be available after
exam results have been published.
Where can we find out more?
For further information on the UCAS process, visit their website: www.ucas.co.uk
For any queries about applying for Edinburgh Napier courses call us on 08452 60 60 40.
Partner organisations Important dates
Edinburgh Napier University works with The majority of our courses are taught
many partner organisations to promote in sessions called ‘trimesters’, which
the benefits of higher education, and to generally run from September to
encourage young people from all social December and January to May with
and ethnic backgrounds to access breaks at Easter and Christmas. Some
higher education. of our courses run into a third trimester
and a small selection of courses start
There are programmes throughout in January. Trimester, exam and main
Scotland which aim to promote social holiday dates for 2010/11 and 2011/12
inclusion by encouraging pupils with are detailed below:
the academic ability to choose higher
education. One such programme is Trimester dates 2010/11
Lothian Equal Access Programme for Trimester 1 6 September – 18 December
Schools (LEAPS), which is a partnership Trimester 2 10 January – 21 April
of the higher education institutions and Trimester 3 16 May – 27 August
councils in Edinburgh and the Lothians,
including Careers Scotland. Holiday dates 2010/11
Christmas break 20 December – 31 December
LEAPS offers a variety of services Inter-trimester week 3 January – 9 January
to students and works closely with Easter break 22 April – 6 May
colleagues from each of the partner Inter-trimester week 9 – 15 May
organisations, including teachers,
careers advisers, academic and Assessment dates 2010/11
administrative staff and managers. Trimester 1 6 – 18 December
Trimester 2 11 – 21 April
For further information on LEAPS check Trimester 3 15 – 27 August
out their website at www.leapsonline.org
and to find a wider access programme in Trimester dates 2011/12
your area check out the links below: Trimester 1 5 September – 17 December
Trimester 2 16 January – 12 May
South East Scotland: Trimester 3 21 May – 1 September
Holiday dates 2011/12
Fife and Tayside: Christmas break 26 December – 6 January
www.fifeandtaysideforum.org.uk Inter-trimester week 9 – 15 January
Easter break 6 – 20 April
Inter-trimester week 14 – 20 May
West Scotland: Assessment dates 2011/12
www.westforum.org.uk Trimester 1 5 – 17 December
Trimester 2 30 April – 12 May
Trimester 3 20 August – 1 September
We understand that students will probably graduating, and our unique Confident
have a lot of questions about university; Futures programme will help students
here are a few of the usual questions develop the graduate attributes
we receive. employers are looking for.
Are all university requirements the same?
Entry requirements for similar courses at How safe is Edinburgh?
different universities may not be the same, Edinburgh is one of the most student
so students should always check in advance. friendly cities in the UK, and is regularly
At Edinburgh Napier the entry requirements voted one of the most desirable places
for each course are detailed in our prospectus to live in the world. There are no ‘no-go’
and online. You can also download many areas in the city, and it is both easy and
of our publications from our website. safe to get around on public transport.
What if they don’t meet the What will they do in their spare time?
entry requirements? Edinburgh has a lot to offer students,
If students have applied to university but so there is never a dull moment. Napier
haven’t got the expected grades we may still Students’ Association (NSA) has lots of clubs
be able to help. Call us on 08452 60 60 40 and societies on offer so every student can
to see what we can do to assist! get involved. Check out their website to find
out what’s on: www.napierstudents.com
Do you have support for dyslexia?
Our Special Needs & Diversity team offers Can parents/guardians visit?
advice and support for students and staff We strongly recommend that parents,
on a range of disability and special needs guardians and friends visit students when
related issues. they come to Edinburgh Napier – it’s a
great way of keeping in touch and reduces
What if they are not enjoying their course? any homesickness. We do not offer guest
As well as being able to access support accommodation, but Edinburgh has plenty
from course leaders and the student’s of guesthouses, hotels and B&B’s on offer.
own personal tutor, our team of Academic
Support Advisers offer an informal and How do I contact Edinburgh Napier?
confidential service to help students sort out You can contact Edinburgh Napier
priorities, assess strengths and weakness, University by phone: 08452 60 60 40
and consider all of the options available. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Will they get a job after graduating?
Edinburgh Napier University graduates are
well placed within the graduate job market.
Edinburgh Napier has a team of careers
advisers who can provide tailored advice
and support with finding a job after
to visit our
Thursday 25 August 2011
Saturday 1 October 2011
For details on venue
and times please visit:
Job Ref: 1417. July 2010 18
Edinburgh Napier University is a registered Scottish charity. Registration number SC018373.
Useful Contacts / Websites
These are the main points of contact
which may come in handy:
Course you can
Learning Teaching Scotland
National Bureau for Students with Disabilities
NHS Education for Scotland
Tel: 0845 111 1711
Student Loan Company