Here You Go! Your Top 5 Questions About Our School Answered


During the just concluded Innovative learning Week (ILW), I was on the virtual student panel where incoming students were able to ask current students questions about Geosciences. I did this twice; on Tuesday and Thursday, and each time we had different students from around the world asking questions on everything Edinburgh.

So, if you missed the session, I’ve put together the top 5 FAQs.

1. I have a purely science background. Will I struggle in social science classes?

The short answer is NO. I got this question specifically for my Environment and Development programme but other students from across the college echoed the same response. If you’re considering any of the GeoSciences programs that are more social science oriented, do not fear. Often, teachers and programme directors will ask information about academic backgrounds at the start of the programme to get an idea of who’s in the class. Nonetheless, many of these programmes are filled with students of all kinds of background and are often multidisciplinary.

If you’re concerned about the details of each programme, visit this page for more information.

2. How many contact hours is normal with tutors?

However many you need. For clarity, a tutor is the US equivalent of an advisor. In addition, each course has a programme secretary who is all the administrative help you need for your programme. So for tutors, they run office hours during which they are available to meet with students in their offices do discuss programme specifics and make clarifications on the programme. I’ve also found that tutors are often willing to meet outside of office hours or over Skype if a student cannot make the office hours. The same goes for lecturers. Your tutor does not replace your lecturers but is of great help for your overall programme.

3. Is Edinburgh an expensive city to live in?

I’ve found Edinburgh to be more expensive on average than Colorado and Lagos, but less expensive than London. What does this mean? Nothing, really because ‘expensive’ and ‘affordable’ are such relative terms. However, Edinburgh, like any other major city, has a rent option for every budget. There are all sorts of accommodation options from university housing to private landlords and private student flats. You’ll find shared options for 60 Pounds a week and studios for up to 200 Pounds a week. It is advisable to make a budget as a student and stick with it. Students don’t often live lavishly but if you’re a good money manager, you could live healthy and well in a safe environment and still travel to a few places around the UK or Europe before you graduate.

4. How do students often move around in Edinburgh?

The last thing you need in Edinburgh is a car, which is great! The buses run very efficiently and a good number of people ride their bicycles around the city. If you’re traveling out of town, grab a coach or train. If it’s really far away, grab a plane. Everything is easily accessible from Edinburgh. The way most students travel, however, is by foot. Chances are that you would live close enough to your department, with shops all around. So, if it’s not a ridiculous distance to travel, Edinburgh is safe for walking. In fact, I highly encourage walking because there is always something fascinating to see, such as 15th century cafés and 1000-year old alleyways

5. Is there a separate study space for postgraduate students?

Missed my post on study spaces? Check it out here. There are several study spot options across the city from the traditional library to independent cafés across the city.

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