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Student Support

Supervisor sat with Student looking over work.

Personal Tutor

At the beginning of your studies you will have been assigned a member of the academic staff as a personal tutors. You can contact your tutor about any academic or personal matter that may be causing you concern and which may have a bearing on your studies, e.g. emotional, sexual, social, accommodation and financial. Your Personal Tutor is always ready to help with any matter, however serious or trivial it may seem to you. You can, of course, approach another member of staff if you so wish or the Senior Tutor. Anything you discuss with your Personal Tutor or another member of staff is treated confidentially. Student counsellors (Dean of Students Office), who are trained professionals, can also help you with any serious problems.


As a first year you will be given a ‘Buddy’ who will be another student from the second or third year. The idea is that they will help your transition into student life making it more enjoyable and effective. Buddies should be able to offer you worldly advice on aspects of life as a student in Cardiff, as well as pearls of wisdom gained from experience regarding the course and the academic staff. The Buddy Scheme aims to integrate you better into the Optometry student experience and to give you the opportunity of getting to know your fellow students, in all years.

As a second or third year student, you will be asked to act as a Buddy to a 1st year. Please do your best to help them in the way you were/would have liked so that the scheme can flourish!

University Student Services

Cardiff University offers various types of support to students, see the link

Registration with a Doctor

You need to register with a local General Practitioner (GP) when you arrive in Cardiff. Although the University has its own Health Service that provides advice on health matters and treatment for minor ailments, this service is only available during normal working hours. By registering with a GP you will ensure that you have medical cover 24 hours of every day. A list of local GP’s is available from the Health Centre (47 Park Place) should you have misplaced the one you received at central enrolment. Bring your NHS card with you when you first come to the University Registration so that you can register with a doctor. Registration card may also be needed if you attend a dental surgeon or optician.


You should also take out an insurance policy to at least cover the contents of your university address. The Students Union Advice Office may be able to guide you on suitable insurance and insurers.

"However, most students are probably covered by their parent’s home contents policy. A quick call to insurers will clarify whether possessions taken to University are classed as ‘temporarily removed’ from home and still covered. Even expensive items, such as mountain bikes or personal computers, could be covered as long as they are insured separately. You must also inform the insurer of your change of address. The Association of British Insurers recommends that students stay under parental policies wherever possible"

The Times, Saturday 15 May 1999

Bank Account

It is important that you arrange a bank account, cheque guarantee card and chequebook. This is because, in your first few weeks at University, you will need to pay for all sorts of things, for example sporting and social societies. You will often find that only cheques, not cash, are accepted. It is also inadvisable to carry large amounts of cash with you.