Who Does What? Titles at Postgraduate Level

Regardless of what university you choose or what postgraduate course you decide to pick, this will take some time to adapt and get used to. But that’s okay! It is perfectly understandable to feel nervous and apprehensive. But don’t worry because this article explains the Titles at Postgraduate Level that you as a master’s student are likely to come across in the UK. You will know exactly where to go if you ever do need help. Roles in academia vary from school to school but this list should give you a basic overview of what you are likely to encounter.

Titles at Postgraduate Level


Course Unit Tutors: They are the academic staff who oversee the teaching of the individual training units. They oversee the individual papers assigned to students as well as schedule the seminars, grade work and tutorials during your stay in a unit. They usually correct your assignments as well as provide a group or one-to-one tutorial classes while you are studying in the university. 

Dissertation Supervisor: Once you choose a topic for your dissertation you will be assigned a Dissertation Supervisor. You will usually get assigned a supervisor after you have chosen the dissertation topic. You will have the academic with the most expertise in the field. They will support you as you work on your project. 

Personal Tutor: This person is assigned to you to ensure your personal and academic well-being. They will also mark your assignments and give you advice on how to improve elements such as your writing style. They will guide you throughout the course. You can usually contact them if you have any course-related questions or issues. Just send them an email and they will normally get back to you very quickly. 

Postgraduate Tutor: This position only exists if there are several master’s programmes in a single department and deals with the welfare and academic studies of postgraduate students. Even though you may only meet him/her occasionally, you will more than likely need to speak to them if you have a particular issue or problem concerning your welfare or academia. 

Programme Leader: Each programme will have an academic who is the overall leader and responsible for organising it. You will meet them at several key times during the programme, especially at the beginning of a course. You will be able to talk with them and they can answer any questions or help to address any issues you may need to discuss. 


Accommodation Office: It can sometimes be a challenge to find a place to live. The Accommodation Office offers guidance and advice to both prospective as well as existing students regarding a variety of accommodation issues, including rent arrears, allocations and accommodation options as well as making referrals where possible. They liaise with institutional and internal partners to provide proactive and useful accommodation services. 

Careers Service: If you plan to leave the academic world when your Master’s Degree is completed, career services can be your greatest asset. They try to give you the right advice and support for your own interests and goals. You will have access to a myriad of workshops as well as personal appointments. They try to instil the skills in you so that when you do graduate you will be ready to enter the world of job hunting!

Counselling Service: Counsellors are trained and provide support by listening and helping with strategies to handle the issues or suggest further support when necessary. This office is free to visit for all students and is completely confidential. There are also other services, such as Nightline, Frank and the Samaritans, who can provide counselling services to students. It can give students a better understanding about their life to date and their choices now. Counselling services can schedule offerings such as relaxation sessions, groups/workshops, well-being initiatives, self-help ideas, management training and meetings with the NHS. 

Disability Service: This is a vital service to those students who need it. They work with a relevant office providing students with full access to facilities. It is usually advisable for students to contact their school office before applying to figure out how their needs will be met. They will work with students and coordinate any necessary study-related support. They will establish evidence of disability to meet university guidelines and ensure that colleagues in the relevant departments are aware of the adjustments needed ahead of a student’s arrival on campus. 

Doctor: Most schools are linked with their local GP and provide details on how to register after your induction. They are there to provide medical care for students and deal with any problems or issues that young people will face. 

Hospital: It is usually a good practice to make note of your nearest hospital’s phone number.

IT Office: They are very helpful for those who are not savvy with technologies, such as computers. They will help you with your technology-related issues – if you have problems connecting to the University’s WIFI for example or if your computer is not working. They may be able to provide you with the loan of a laptop. 

Libraries: There will likely be a number of these in your school depending on the number of faculties. They are a key resource for students. There are also interlibrary loans, which allow students to access books from other schools in both the UK and abroad. You will also have access to printing services in a university library. The people working at the desks in the libraries are willing to help you with any issues, such as how to locate a historical source on the library website or if you are unable to connect your computer to the printer. 

Safety Bus: Most universities use this service, although the name may be different depending on the area. This scheme was designed to bring students home safely at night from campus. You can normally buy a safety bus card from most Student Unions for £5 and that covers you for six trips. It runs from Monday to Friday.   

Student Union: They are usually present at most universities and provide welfare facilities for their students. There is also a special office for Postgrad students. Immediately after you register to be made a part of the university you are considered a member of the Student Union. They usually represent the concerns and views of all sections of the student body.  

Study Support: They provide guidance on how to study as well as provide an insight on the best ways to take tests and to take notes at lectures. They can also support your academic skills development as well as identify areas of the university you may not have been initially aware of. 

Postgrad.co.uk provides information about postgraduate courses and study in the UK. We list thousands of postgraduate courses from universities and colleges in the UK so you can search for the course of your choice.

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