Advice & Support


Guild Advice offers free, impartial and confidential advice to all Birmingham students. They can help with advice and support on specific issues relating to your time at Birmingham as a postgraduate student.

Whether you are a taught or research student, Guild Advice can offer you support on:

  • Academic issues, including
    • Discipline & misconduct
    • Supervisor issues
    • Extenuating Circumstances
    • Exam conduct
    • Plagiarism
    • Making a complaint
  • Finance
  • Immigration
  • Housing
  • Employment

Like the Citizens Advice Bureau, they give practical advice on all kinds of subjects relating to student life. They are always on hand if you need someone to talk to - Just come and visit them on the Ground Floor of the Guild of Students in their drop-in hours of 12-2pm every week day during term time or email

Guild Advice logo


Postgraduate study can put a strain on your mental and physical health as well as your relationships – which, in turn can have an effect on your academic work. Every school has one or more Welfare Tutors who are able to provide practical support for students who are experiencing personal problems that interfere with academic work and we encourage students to access their tutor at the first sign of any difficulties. You can find your Welfare Tutor [here]

The university has all sorts of support services for students, from disability to financial, to spiritual support, find more about services here [ ] As well as this, the [Counselling and Wellbeing service]  is open to any student seeking psychological, emotional and practical support during their studies


A person is a mature student if they start their undergraduate course over the age of 21 or their postgraduate course over the age of 25.  The majority of events held by the Guild for postgraduates will be open to mature undergraduates – it’s always worth asking!

The PGMSA is open to all postgraduate and mature students so all events provided by them are open to mature students. We also have a Mature & Part Time Students’ Officer, find them here.

There is also academic skills support for mature undergraduates through the Library, to support you if you’re returning to study after a break. Find out more here.


If you are undertaking your studies alongside work or other commitments, balancing your time may seem like a daunting prospect! Here are some tips for managing your time effectively…

  • If you are employed try to make sure you have regular shifts so that you can plan your week in advance.
  • If you commute by train or bus, can you do essential reading during this time?
  • Make sure your university outlook calendar is on your smartphone or laptop so that you can keep it up to date. If you are traditional and like a paper diary, make sure you keep it with you so that you can update it on the go.
  • Make sure you know when your important academic deadlines are so that you can plan ahead.
  • Find out if your lectures are recorded, as this can be a great tool when work and study commitments clash.
  • If you need any help or advice during your time at University get in touch with Guild Advice. Our advisers will offer you free, independent and confidential support.
  • Make sure you have time to unwind and relax! It may seem like a luxury but it is definitely a necessity. Taking some time off will help you energise and refocus! Sometimes it’s easiest to book “me time” in your diary so that you commit it.



If you have any problems with your supervisor or supervisors, it is important to address them with your department as soon as you can.

The Graduate School provides guidance on the responsibilities of Supervisors and Mentors, setting out both your responsibilities and those of your Supervisor, co-Supervisor and Mentor. If you feel that these responsibilities have not been met, then you may have grounds to make a complaint or switch supervisor.

It is possible to change supervisors, though you should be aware that there may not be another suitable person in your department. There may only be a limited pool of supervisors with the necessary expertise in your area and changing your supervisor can also affect your funding.

It’s important to raise an issue as soon as it arises with your department. If you do this and still don’t find the answer you’re looking for, you can find information about formal complaints here.

You are always welcome to come to Guild Advice or your Postgraduate Officer to discuss your options further.


If you self-define into a liberation group, you can find your community through the Guild’s Liberation Associations.

The Guild of Students has four Liberation Associations and Liberation Officers representing oppressed groups within society. These student-led groups provide a safe and supportive space for self-defining students through regular social events, whilst also representing them and leading on relevant campaign work and raising awareness on campus.

The four liberation groups are:

BEMA (Black and Ethnic Minorities Association)

DAMSA (Disability and Mental Health Student Association)

LGBTQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Trans & Queer Association)

Women’s Association (for women and non-binary students)


The University’s multi faith chaplaincy is located next to the Guild of Students. We invite students and staff of all faiths and none to our varied programme of worship, social events and other activities. Find out more about the Chaplaincy here.

There are also over 20 student faith groups at Birmingham which you can find out more about here.