Introduction and acknowledgements

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This handbook has been compiled with the help of several serving departmental tutors in the School, the Student Services Centre and the Teaching and Learning Centre. It acknowledges that practices may differ between departments and that the size of the department, along with the extent of administrative support available, will greatly impact on the nature of the departmental tutor's role, as well as responsibilities of academic advisers.

However, there are core duties associated with these roles and there are also many similarities between departments, as shown in the section called 'a year in the life of a departmental tutor and academic adviser'.

The handbook is not meant to be prescriptive and is considered to be a living document that should be added to and developed by departmental tutors, academic advisers and those involved in supporting them. Its purpose is rather to help all those new to these roles to understand the job the School asks of them and to provide a common point of reference for departments through which issues can be highlighted and good practice shared.

Many of the formal procedures in this handbook are primarily relevant to work with undergraduate students. The Teaching and Learning Centre is in the process of developing guidance for faculty working with masters students. There is a separate handbook for PhD supervisors. That said much of sections 5 and 7 provide advice relevant to working with all students.

This handbook includes details about LSE100 The LSE Course: Understanding the causes of things| which has been a compulsory course for incoming first year undergraduates from the 2010/11 year. LSE100 is an innovative course that introduces first and second year undergraduates to the fundamental elements of thinking like a social scientist exploring the great intellectual debates of our time from the perspectives of different disciplines. Support from students' academic departments and in particular from departmental tutors and academic advisers has been crucial to the successful implementation of this course. We hope the 'At a glance' section at Appendix 9 will be useful to you and we welcome feedback on the guidance provided. 

To improve findability, some of the policy related documents that are referred to in this handbook are currently being migrated to the Policies and procedures| section of the School's intranet. Please therefore check there where you can look for the document you want using the search of A-Z list functions.


Special thanks to Dr Kate Exley, Consultant in Higher Educational Development, who was the primary author of this handbook when it was first published.

Many thanks also to those departmental tutors who gave their time and experience in compiling and editing the first edition, especially:

  • Dr Alan Marin (Economics)
  • Professor Jan Van den Heuvel (Mathematics)
  • Dr Roman Frigg (Philosophy)
  • Dr Elisabetta Bertero (Accounting and Finance)
  • Dr Michael Mason (Geography and Environment)

and to Mark Hoffman and Mark Maloney.

Thanks also to the many departmental tutors, student services colleagues, past and present undergraduate deans and Teaching and Learning Centre colleagues who have been active in developing and updating this handbook. We continue to welcome new ideas and contributions from all those who it.