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Frequently Asked Questions

Our Service//

Visit About ASK for more information about our service!

Full information about how to get advice, including a link to our booking form, is on our 'Get Advice' page.

You can contact us for email advice by emailing su.ask@keele.ac.uk. You can also book an appointment to speak to an adviser by using our booking form - you can choose to have your appointment over telephone, Teams with camera, or Teams without camera.

Please don't message or call individual advisers on Teams.

If you wish to make a complaint about our service, please read our Complaints Procedure.

ASK advises all current students, except in cases of conflict of interest (please see our policies section in About ASK) or where we have previously withdrawn service from that individual. Where alternative sources of assistance are necessary or recommended, ASK will assist in finding appropriate agencies.

We will also advise potential students and recent leavers in matters relating to the University and their course, such as accommodation, complaints, and appeals.

We can advise members of staff as long as the issue doesn't involve a student. You can also seek advice from other organisations, such Citizens Advice, Union representatives, solicitors, or the ASK Legal Surgery.

Please note we do not advise landlords, including student landlords.

We can support you in University meetings, such as academic misconduct, disciplinaries and Fitness to Practise. We can also go with you to less formal meetings with staff where needed. If you would like our support it's really important that you give us plenty of notice or we might not be available.
 

Any information you tell us is treated in complete confidence and is not disclosed to anyone outside our Confidentiality Policy without your express permission. Please see our Confidentiality Policy for details on the very exceptional occasions where we may need to breach confidentiality and the process we would follow.

 

Academic//

Visit our Academic section for more advice!

You're not alone! The room numbers are confusing at first but once you understand them and get used to the building names you will find it easier.

The letters at the start tell you which building to go to, for example DH means Dorothy Hodgkin, HNB means Hornbeam and LJ means Lennard-Jones. The Chancellors Building is split into three blocks (A, B and C) so they are a bit different - their building letters start with CB then have the block letter, so you will see CBA, CBB and CBC.

The first number will tell you which floor of the building. 0 is ground floor, 1 is first floor, 2 is second floor etc. Remember that the university uses the British numbering system, which is different to some other countries because it includes the ground floor - you will need to go up one floor to get to the first floor and up two floors to get to the second!

The next numbers (after the dot) tell you which room to go to on that floor. For example, CBC2.002 would mean it's in Chancellors Building (block C), second floor, room 2.

You can see a full list of building codes on the University's website.

If something is happening in your personal life that means you're struggling with an assignment, you can submit an Exceptional Circumstances claim to ask for an extension or further assessment attempt. Make sure you submit a claim before a written assignment is due, or by the deadline your School has set for exam periods. More information is on our Exceptional Circumstances page.

We have advice here on how to prepare for the different types of misconduct cases.

If you're not sure what has gone wrong, read through your essay with the Turnitin report, which you will usually have been sent, and think about whether
you have referenced properly and used your own words. Think about areas where you may have forgotten to reference.

Get in touch with ASK if you are struggling to understand what might be wrong and we can work through this with you.

We know your end-of-year results can be confusing, so we've tried to put the essential information on our Progression page to help you understand the university's decision.
 

All students who need to repeat and haven’t already repeated will be given the option of Repeat Full-Time or Repeat Modular in their progression email. Some may also have the option to take a reassessment year.

You must tell Student Services which repeat option you’re choosing within 10 days of the email.  Your email will advise you to discuss your options with the School and support services before making a decision. It's for you to decide which option is best for you, but we've included a brief description of the differences and how they could impact you.

 

Repeat Full-Time

You will retake the entire year, studying the full 120 credits again.

The marks you achieved this year will be wiped clean and you will start again with first attempts – this means all the marks in your repeat year will be uncapped.

If you choose this option there will be no need to take summer reassessments.

All students get an extra 'gift' year of funding in case they need to repeat, but if you have any previous years of study or have already repeated you will not have enough funding. You may be able to claim Compelling Personal Reasons to get an extra year of funding; see our 'Compelling Personal Reasons' section.

 

Repeat Modular

You will only repeat the failed modules, attending classes and taking assessments.  You will start the modules again with first attempts so all marks in the repeat modules will be uncapped.

If you are choosing this option the university advises that you can still take any remaining assessment attempts over the summer, which could mean you have fewer modules to take next year.

Please note that you will be classed as a part-time student.  This means you will not need to pay the full year’s tuition fee but this could affect your Student Finance maintenance loan.  If you’d like to talk to someone about the impact of going part-time please contact ASK.

As with full repeats you will have enough funding for the tuition fees because of your 'gift' year, but if you have any previous years of study or have already repeated you will not have enough funding. You may be able to claim Compelling Personal Reasons to get an extra year of funding; see our 'Compelling Personal Reasons' section.

If you are an international student this option could have an effect on your visa, – please contact visa@keele.ac.uk for more information.

 

Reassessment Year

If you have attempts remaining in all your failed modules you may be offered a reassessment year in which to take them. You would not be attending any classes during that academic year; you would only take your remaining reassessments. Your marks would be capped, unless you have first attempts granted through ECs

A reassessment year does not count as a year of study for Student Finance funding as it is treated as taking a year out. You will not be charged any tuition fees but you also won't get any maintenance loan from Student Finance.

We know that degree classifications can be confusing. In short, you need to have all your credits to graduate and your average module marks for your second and third years will determine which degree class you'll get.  We've written a guide on our Degree Classifications page to help you understand.

The University has an appeals process, but appeals can only be made on the grounds of exceptional circumstances or procedural irregularity. Unfortunately, it is not possible to appeal against academic judgement or to ask for a remark without solid evidence that there has been a procedural irregularity.

Appeals must be made within 10 days of results being published, unless you have a good reason for being late, and you must use the official appeal form. We have an appeals guide to appealing to help you get started.

If you submitted an appeal against your results, or a university decision, and you're not satisfied with the outcome you may be able to take your case further.

The university has one final process you can try, called a grievance. Information about grievances is on the University website and ASK can help you with the process.

You must submit a grievance on the official form within 14 calendar days of the appeal outcome. You will need to look at the reason your appeal was rejected and think about whether the university was wrong to reject it or if there is anything you can add to your case. Look over your appeal form again to see if there's anything that might have been misunderstood or ignored by the committee.

If you decide to submit a grievance, remember to focus on why your appeal was rejected - don't just repeat your appeal or say you don't like the outcome!

 

Housing//

Visit our Housing section for more advice!

We have a House Hunting page with information on where to look and what to consider.

Remember - a tenancy is likely to be one of the most expensive purchases you ever make, so think very carefully about whether it is right for you and whether you need to sign up for anywhere now! It is a myth that all the best properties will be gone if you don’t sign up before Christmas.

We have a guide to tenancy agreements that includes common issues to look out for before you sign, as well as information on your rights under different types of tenancies.

In ASK we get many enquiries from students who want to leave their tenancies early and some who have changed their minds before they've even moved in. On very rare occasions a tenancy agreement may have a clause allowing you to serve notice to leave early, but if yours doesn't have one you can normally only be released or have the terms of the tenancy varied if the landlord agrees to it. This is still the case, even if you never moved in.

We advise students to talk to their landlord about why they want to leave and see if the landlord is willing to negotiate. Most landlords will only agree to end the tenancy early if there is a replacement tenant to take over from you - you can try advertising to students on Facebook groups, like Keele Student Life, and the Keele Studentpad message board.

The University sends a list of full-time students to the local councils of Newcastle-under-Lyme, Stoke-on-Trent and Cheshire East. However, we still advise contacting your local council to tell them your name is on the list and to make sure they don't send you a bill. If you're living in another council area or if there are any problems with the list you can send them a student status letter - you can find this by logging into eVision, clicking on the 'Common Actions' button on the home page, then selecting the 'My Status Letter' button. 

It is very important that you don't ignore correspondence from the council as they will keep pursuing you for council tax until they've confirmed your student status and you could still be liable for any costs the council has incurred, such as debt collectors and court fees, in spite of your council tax exemption. Make sure you contact the council as soon as possible and if you need any help you can contact ASK.

More information about council tax is on our Council Tax page.

If your house is in disrepair and it's the landlord's responsibility, you should inform your landlord as soon as possible. We do not advise you to just stop paying rent - you would be in breach of contract and the landlord can take you to court to claim the rent due to the end of the fixed term, along with interest and any costs they incurred while pursuing you. 

If your landlord isn't responding or is refusing to fix the problem, you can visit our Disrepair page for advice on further letters you can send and who you can contact. You can also read more about repairs on Shelter's website.

Most private landlords must register your deposit with a deposit protection scheme and send you information about the scheme within 30 days. This is a law created to make sure landlords don’t unfairly keep your money. After protecting the deposit, the landlord must also send you details of the deposit protection scheme they have used.

If your landlord isn't returning your deposit or wants to make unfair deductions, you can use the deposit protection scheme's dispute resolution service. Don’t wait too long - you can only use the scheme for 3 months after your tenancy ends.

If your landlord was legally required to protect your deposit and failed to do so, you could take them to court to claim 1-3 times the worth of your deposit. This could be useful to use against your landlord, as they may be willing to pay you back the deposit in exchange for you not taking court action.

If you were a lodger, the landlord didn't need to protect your deposit. You can write formal letters to the landlord requesting the return of your deposit and, ultimately, you may want to consider legal action to get it back.

Shelter has great, easy to read information about deposits on their website to help you, including template letters.

 

Money//

Visit our Money section for more advice!

Get in touch with the Income Office to explain what's happened and ask for more time. They are used to students having delays with their loans and are usually willing to give extensions, but they need to hear from you!

You may be able to get the basic loan payment from Student Finance while you're waiting for your income to be assessed. Ask Student Finance if you can get the non-assessed part of your loan.

You can also talk to Student Services about an emergency loan.

You can call Student Finance to find out more information, or if you set up a consent to share for us to call on your behalf we can use the practitioners' line.

If you still believe there has been a mistake you can appeal to ask for them to reconsider. Information about appealing Student Finance decisions is in this leaflet.

Having a budget can help you manage your spending by encouraging you to set aside the money you need to cover essentials like rent, whilst showing you the amount you have leftover to spend on other things on a day-to-day basis. Visit our Budgeting page for tips.

The university has a hardship fund that you can apply to if you are in financial hardship. There is an application form to fill in and you need to show your bank accounts as evidence.

There are also smaller emergency loans available, but you would have to pay those back. The fund and loans are administered by Student Services and you can visit their page for more information.

More information about alternative income sources is on our Charities and Grants page.

 

Wellbeing//

Visit our Wellbeing section for more advice!

GPs and Emergency Treatment

A GP (general practitioner) is a local, family doctor who provides the main point of contact for general healthcare. If you're living away from home during term, we would advise registering with a local GP so you can access health care quickly while at Keele. You can find local GPs by using the NHS 'Find a GP' search. Consider how far away the GP is, how easily you can get there, and their opening hours. You may prefer to use Keele Practice, which is situated on campus in the Horwood area. This is the nearest practice for those living on campus and their GPs are used to seeing students and writing letters for the University.

If you become unwell  and you're not registered locally, you can still contact your nearest practice to ask for emergency treatment for 14 days - after that you will have to register as a temporary resident or permanent patient. You can read about registering for temporary medical care here. 

You can also visit an NHS urgent treatment centre for minor injuries and illnesses. You can find your local centre using this NHS search.

 

Dentists

You don’t have to register with a dentist in the same way as a GP, you can just contact a dental practice to check if you can make an appointment, However, if you would like to receive treatment on the NHS you will need to check if the dental practice is taking on new NHS patients - you may need to join a waiting list or pay for private treatment.

You can search for a local dentist on the NHS website.

Keele Practice is the nearest GP surgery for those living on campus. It is situated in the Horwood area.

Well Pharmacy is in the row of shops outside the Students' Union building and can also provide some medical advice as well as filling your prescriptions.

Keele students can now access the Health Assured Student Assistance Programme (SAP). This service offers students access to support via a 24 hour confidential helpline, the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app, and online portal too. The services include mental health support from trained counsellors and advisors who are ready to listen and provide help on issues including emotional and physical health, mental health, counselling, relationships, managing stress and anxiety, money issues, and legal information. More information about Health Assured is on the Keele website.

More information about mental health support is on our 'Mental Health' page.

The University has a free counselling service on campus, which is still operating remotely. Counselling also runs 'SPACE'  support group during term time for students who intentionally harm themselves. You can visit the Counselling webpage for information about their service, how to contact them, and for some great self-help resources. 

Keele students can now access the Health Assured Student Assistance Programme (SAP). This service offers students access to support via a 24 hour confidential helpline, the ‘My Healthy Advantage’ app, and online portal too. The services include mental health support from trained counsellors and advisors who are ready to listen and provide help on issues including emotional and physical health, mental health, counselling, relationships, managing stress and anxiety, money issues, and legal information. More information about Health Assured is on the Keele website.

Keele Student Minds is an awareness and signposting service for Keele students.

You can also talk to your GP to discuss support, which could include accessing NHS mental health services or trying medication.

 

Keele Start to Success Project

Start to Success is a two-year project which aims to develop a whole community approach to support the mental health and wellbeing of students, led by Keele and Staffordshire University. The region’s universities, colleges, local authorities, police and NHS providers have come together with a common purpose to remove barriers, improve support and services, and enable student success.

Samaritans

Talk to them anytime you like, in your own way, and off the record – about whatever’s getting to you. 

 

PAPYRUS - Prevention of young suicide

Provides confidential help and advice to young people and anyone worried about a young person

Tel: 0800 068 41 41

 

Staffordshire Mental Health Helpline

Weekdays 7pm - 2am Weekends 2pm-2am by phone 08088 002234 and by email staffordshire.helpline@brighter-futures.org.uk

 

North Staffordshire Wellbeing Service 

01782 711651

 

Beat - Beating Eating Disorders

Providing helplines, support & a network of UK self-help groups to help people in the UK beat their eating disorders. Tel: 0845 634 1414.

 

MindLine Trans+

Specific mental health helpline for trans+, A gender, gender fluid and non-binary /people wanting to talk about their gender identity for the whole of the UK.

 

The Dove Service

After someone dies, you may experience natural feelings of numbness, sadness, anger or feeling unable to cope.  It is also common to have difficulties with eating, sleeping, poor concentration, headaches and other physical symptoms. If you have suffered from a bereavement and feel the need to talk to someone about how you feel, Dove is a local organisation based in Hanley that can help. You can go to their website for more information and contact details.

For some people moving to University will feel exciting, but for many it can be overwhelming at first. University life is a big change - give yourself time to adjust and remember that other people will be having similar feelings to you even if they seem like they're having a great time. Try not to put too much pressure on yourself!

If you're feeling homesick it can be tempting to shut yourself away but this can leave you feeling more isolated. If you're not clicking with your neighbours you may find that you have more in common with people from your course. Joining a society or team will introduce you to people with a shared interest and there are also volunteering opportunities and activities such as Crafternoons you can take part in to help you meet people.