UCL Department of Geography


Experiencing Difficulties

For most students their undergraduate years are enjoyable and rewarding. From time to time, however, you may experience problems of some sort whilst at UCL.

Most are easily dealt with, but sometimes it is useful to know where you can go for help if you need it.  If you are experiencing personal, financial, academic or any other kind of difficulty, however small, it can be important to talk to someone.  This may be another student, perhaps a member of your tutor group.  It could also be your Personal Tutor, who may refer you to the Undergraduate Tutor for further advice.  Please also feel free to come in and chat with the administrative staff in the Department Office.  If the problems you are experiencing are affecting your work or attendance, it is very important to let your Tutor, Undergraduate Tutor, or Department Administrative Staff aware, and you are advised to complete an Extenuating Circumstances Form.

It is very important to get help and support as soon as possible. Very few problems are insurmountable, even if they seem overwhelming at the time, and the quicker you talk to someone about your problem, the sooner we will be able to help you.

UCL support services

The University also offers a wide range of health and welfare facilities, which are free to undergraduates:

  • UCL Student Psychological Service is based at 4 Taviton Street and students can make an appointment to discuss any problems in the strictest confidence, such as relationships, domestic problems, problems with study and examinations.  Their telephone number is 020 7679 1487.
  • Nightline is a service run by students for students.  Open every night of term from 6pm to 8am, it offers a confidential listening service on all aspects of student life from law to transport and entertainment.  Their number is 020 7631 0101.
  • The UCL Union Rights and Advice Centre offers independent, non-judgmental, confidential information and practical support to students.  We have found them particularly helpful for students with problems with their LEA grants.  Their telephone numbers are 020 7679 2998.
Access to Learning Funds

UCL has an allocation of money to support students with financial difficulties. Full-time home students are eligible to apply.  It is administered in two rounds, at the end of the first and second terms, but most people are only eligible to apply once. The allocation of funds is decided by a UCL Committee.  It is advisable to apply in the first term rather than to leave applications until the second term.

You must have applied for a student loan before receiving Access Funds.  For further details and an application form contact the Student Funding Team, located in the Registry, room G19 in South Wing.  If you are struggling financially in any way you should make an application.

If you need any help completing your form do contact the Departmental Office in person. You must ensure that all the required information (e.g. proof that a student loan has been applied for, rent book/rent agreement etc.) is attached with your application when you submit it.

See their website for further details:
UCL Bursaries


If you are dyslexic you must contact the Dyslexia Centre and be assessed by them. This is the only way your dyslexia or another learning difficulty can be taken into account.  Please also inform your personal tutor - so that appropriate help can be given on all your courses.

If you have never been assessed for dyslexia before but think you may be dyslexic please contact the Disability Centre for an appointment for an appraisal of your dyslexia. They can also organise a free Chartered Psychologists Report if you do not already have one. Because the number of free reports that are available is very limited you need to see someone in the Disability Centre as early in the term as possible - and by the end of the first term at the latest.  They can also help you apply for a special grant for a computer, and other special equipment and training.

They will submit an application on your behalf to the University Dyslexia Committee once they have your Chartered Psychologist Report. The Committee can, for example, give you extra time in your examinations or a note on your examination scripts informing examiners about your dyslexia.

Student grievances

If you feel that you have been unfairly treated, in any way, by a member of staff or another student, please raise it first with that member of staff or the student. If that is embarrassing, or inappropriate, you could try talking to your Personal Tutor or arrange to see the Undergraduate or Joint Degree Tutor. The Department will not tolerate bullying of its students by other students in the Department or in other departments at UCL and will support students in making formal complaints to the University if necessary.

Each department at UCL has an Equal Opportunities Liaison Officer, who should be contacted if you feel that you (or someone else) have experienced, or might experience, any form of discrimination on the basis of gender, religion, sexual orientation and ethnic origin.