Student Essentials - what you need to know

Student Essentials - what you need to know

When you start at Hallam you will be told a lot of useful information!

From our experience in the Student Advice Centre, these are some of the key things we think you need to know.

University support services

My Hallam, Hallam Help and My Student Record

  • MyHallam is your student portal and gives you access to all the information you need about Sheffield Hallam, as well as access to tools like Blackboard, email, My Student Record and your timetable.
  • My Student Record (MSR) is used by students to enrol online, select modules, view results and book graduation ceremony tickets. You can also print letters for Council Tax exemption.
  • Hallam Help is Hallam's first line support service. You can contact them to find answers to common questions and book sessions with specialist advisers.
  • On arrival to Sheffield Hallam, you are allocated a named Student Support Adviser (SSA) who will work closely with your Academic Adviser and Employability Adviser to support you. If you are not sure who your named advisers are, contact Hallam Help.

Student Wellbeing, Campus GP and Disabled Student Support

  • The Student Wellbeing service offers a range of different types of wellbeing support depending on your needs, e.g., self-help information, group workshops, individual counselling, and mental health support. To access individual support you need to register for an initial Wellbeing appointment.
  • Campus GP surgery - if you can't access your GP at home, i.e., you're not still living in your family home whilst at university, then Hallam has a Campus GP surgery which you can register with whilst you are in Sheffield. You should do this as soon as possible - don't wait until you're unwell! A&E is not suitable for everyday health issues.
  • Disabled Student Support - this service has disability specialists who can answer all types of enquiries relating to studying with a disability, specific learning difference or long-term medical condition. They assess support needs and provide support packages. They provide support and guidance for all students with a disability and/or medical conditions that have lasted, or are likely to last, for 12 months or more.

International Student support

International students - the International Experience Team (IET) can help international students to access support on arrival and during their course, including welcoming services, social transition support, visa advice, and specialist guidance about resolving financial and other serious issues.


Settling in support

As an international student starting at Sheffield Hallam, you may feel overwhelmed at times, especially as there is often extra administration to sort out and you may need to get accustomed to the different practises in the UK. Also, you may feel homesick or lonely (though you may not!)


The International Experience Team recommends that you:

  • attend the fortnightly Conversation Club to make friends
  • get yourself a student mentor - join Culture Connect
  • find out what social events are on offer


Information about all of the above support services can be found via My Hallam.

Academic/study issues

Help with academic work

If you feel you are struggling academically, or you want to improve your techniques (e.g., how to structure an essay) - or would just like to know what support may be available to you - speak to the Skills Centre.


The Skills Centre offers a wide range of academic support through online group sessions, small seminars, drop-ins and 1-1 appointments, and covers topics including assignment planning, presentation skills, time management and many more.


There are Skills Centres at both City Campus and Collegiate Campus libraries, and you can also book appointments and sessions online through their website.


If you are unsure about a particular assignment or module, then you can speak to your module leader about any questions you may have, or your Student Support Adviser to discuss the range of support available to you.

Academic conduct

The University expects students to carry out their studies with honesty and academic integrity. This means referencing correctly and ensuring that the work you submit is all your own work. This is known as good academic conduct.


If you are accused of academic misconduct, the University will contact you to invite you to a meeting to discuss the allegation. Academic misconduct covers many things including plagiarism / self-plagiarism, cheating in exams, falsifying research data, and collusion.


There are different levels of meetings that you can be invited to, including Academic Concern Meetings and Academic Conduct Panel meetings for more serious issues. You may also be asked to attend an informal preliminary meeting to discuss the University's concerns.


If you are invited to any of these meetings then please contact us as soon as possible and we can talk you through the process, help you prepare and may be able to attend the meeting with you. It's really important to engage in these processes and to ensure that you're well prepared for any meeting you are invited to, as the potential outcomes can be very serious for your studies.


Similarly, if you are contacted about Fitness to Practise or a Disciplinary allegation, seek advice.

Personal circumstances affecting your studies

If you are unwell or you feel that personal circumstances are affecting your studies, it's important to let the University know so they can discuss support options with you. The best person to speak to is your Student Support Adviser, who can be contacted through Hallam Help.


If you have an unexpected situation that you think will be resolved quickly (such as a short-term illness), but which means you can't hand in a piece of work by the deadline, you can apply for an extension to your submission deadline. Extensions can be requested through My Student Record and must be requested at least 24 hours before the deadline.


If a short extension is unlikely to be enough, or your circumstances have affected an exam, you will need to submit a RRAA (Request to Repeat an Assessment Attempt).


RRAA's must be submitted through My Student Record within 5 working days of the assignment deadline or exam date, explaining how your personal circumstances affected your ability to engage with your academic work.


It's important to provide evidence with your RRAA (such as medical evidence) to show the difficult circumstances you have been experiencing. If you can't get evidence straight away, submit the RRAA and provide it within 10 working days.


If your RRAA is accepted, you will be given a further attempt at the exam or assignment in question.

If you're unhappy with the course or a university service

The University has a complaints process for students who wish to raise issues regarding any aspect of their course or studies.


You can complain about any aspect of university life, such as teaching or supervision, or a service provided by the University. You can also complain about the behaviour of staff or other students (this is done in a slightly different way). You will need to be specific and provide evidence of the issues you have faced.


Initially you should raise your complaints through the informal Early Resolutions complaints process. If the issue cannot be addressed through this, then there is a two stage formal complaints process, and the option to raise the complaint with an independent body called the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA) following this.


You will need to be specific about what the issues are and how they are affecting you, and it's important to provide evidence to support your complaint and demonstrate the impact of the issues you are raising.


There is a lot more information regarding the complaints process on our website, and you can contact us directly for support with submitting your complaint, and throughout the process.


View further guidance on issues relating to your academic experience.

Housing issues

Finding somewhere to live

Snug - Snug is an award-winning student accommodation scheme in Sheffield.


Snug was set up to ensure that students get high quality, properly managed accommodation, so that their time in Sheffield is both safe and enjoyable.


You can find out more on our website or from the University Accommodation Service, which only advertises Snug properties.


Our website also offers guides on:

  • Sheffield housing area guides
  • House hunting tips
  • Checklists of things to look out for when housing-hunting
  • Guides on moving in

Signing a Tenancy Agreement (housing contract)

When you agree to rent a property from a landlord, you will enter a housing contract, usually known as a tenancy agreement. This is a legally binding agreement, and once you have signed a tenancy agreement it can be very difficult to get out of it.


Don't sign tenancy agreements for more than one property at a time - if you're not happy in your accommodation, seek advice before acting.


Take your time and don't sign too early. You (and your guarantor, if applicable) should be sure you know what you are agreeing to and that you (or someone you will be living with) isn't going to change their mind!


The Student Advice Centre offers:

  • Online guides - to help you navigate the legal complexities
  • Tenancy checks - an adviser to check over your tenancy agreement before you sign
  • Support if things go wrong - we can book you an appointment with an adviser for advice and guidance if you don't know what to do

When things go wrong with your accommodation

Sometimes things go wrong. This might be because you are struggling with rent, there is damage or disrepair to the property, or you have a problem with your landlord.


Usually, you have legal rights which need to be protected.


Our advisers and online guides help with:

  • Getting evicted / ending your tenancy
  • What to do if there is mould / pests / damage ('disrepair')
  • What to do if your housemate leaves early
  • Getting your housing deposit back from your landlord
  • Difficulties paying rent and bills


View further guidance on housing issues and finding accommodation.

Funding and Finance

Tuition Fees

  • If you're Student Finance England (SFE) funded, make sure your application is submitted and approved before you enrol on your course or on to the next academic year. This is especially important if you have had previous study at that level or if you are not sure whether you will be eligible for finance, e.g., because of your immigration status or residence in the UK. Also, don't delay in reapplying for your funding each year.
  • Postgraduate loan - the way this is paid to you by Student Finance may not match the way you are charged fees by the University. Also, it will not be enough to cover all your living costs too. It is important to know how you will fund the extra amounts needed.
  • If you are self-funded, make sure you are aware of the dates you need to pay your fees, and how much to pay. You'll be issued with an invoice, and it's important you know how you will pay and to pay on time, or the University may take action.
  • If you're sponsored by an employer or sponsor, make sure you send the University this information so they can invoice them.

Extra Student Finance funding

  • Sometimes you may need to repeat a year, or part of a year, of your course.
  • This could be due to illness, bereavement or a range of extenuating circumstances
  • You may be able to get more funding from Student Finance through their 'Compelling Personal Reasons' process - an adviser can help you with this
  • If you have studied previously, or if you decide to take a break in study, these things can affect your funding now and in the future. Seek advice before making decisions.
  • If you're not sure whether you can get funding or want to make sure you are getting the right amount, come to us for a Funding Check.

Financial difficulties

Lots of students each year experience financial difficulties during their studies, and we can help you look at the financial support available to you, such as:

  • University Scholarships and Bursaries
  • The Hallam Hardship Fund
  • Extra funds for certain students, e.g., NHS Learner Support Fund
  • Charity grants
  • Welfare benefits


We can also advise you if you have debts that you can't manage.


View further guidance on student funding and financial support.

Self-help information and guides

We have a range of resources on our website to help you with any issues you may be experiencing, and we are adding to these all the time.

View self-help resources

If you can't find the answer you're looking for, please get in touch.

Useful Contacts

Students' Union Student Advice Centrewww.hallamstudentsunion.com/advicecentre

University support services - via My Hallam, click on 'University Life' tab at the top

University Health Service (GP) - https://www.studenthealthatshu.co.uk/index.aspx

University Accommodation Service - https://www.shu.ac.uk/study-here/accommodation/

Hallam Help