When you arrive in the School for the first time, you should report to the reception or directly to the Research Students Administrator in room UG45. If you arrive on the very first day of the Autumn term, you will attend an induction session with the other arriving research students. If you arrive at other times of the year, you will meet with the Research Students Tutor separately for an induction a few days later.
Recording your address
You must give the School Office your addresses (at home and in Birmingham) and phone numbers. If you change your address or phone number, you must tell the School immediately and also notify the University's Student Records Office.
Your University identity card will give you entry to the School's building.
You will receive from the School:
- a key to your office;
- a key to your desk pedestal.
As a research student on any of the schools research courses (PhD, MRes etc) you'll be allocated a computer and a desk in an office shared with other research students. Each office is slightly different but they vary between about six and twelve people in size. Your desk is for your use so feel free to use the drawers etc. and make the space your own. A good way to get settled in is to introduce yourself to your new officemates and find out a little about their research topics and interests.
Make a habit of keeping your valuable personal belongings locked away when you are away from your desk and locking your office if you are leaving it empty. Many people use the School's building each day and sometimes thieves come in - especially at the start of each academic year when there are so many new faces.
If you have problems with your desk, chair or filing cabinet or you need special furniture (eg an orthopaedic chair), you should discuss your problem with the Head of School's PA.
Don't behave in a way that disturbs your office mates unduly. We have drawn up some guidelines for sharing offices.
Phones, faxes, post
Each research student office has a phone. Research students have access to the outgoing fax machine in room 105. To send faxes, insert paper (face down), key in the fax number (prefixed with the number with 9 to get an outside line). Eg if the full fax number you want to send the fax to is:
* +44 (0) 1234 750852 (which is in Bath), dial:
* 9 0 1234 750852
For international numbers, prefix the country code with the international dialing code 00, eg:
* 9 00 1 xxx xxx-xxxx for a number in the US
* 9 00 216 x xxx-xxx for a number in Tunisia,
There are pigeonholes in Reception for incoming post for staff and research students. You share a pigeonhole with the others in your office.
There is a tray there for outgoing post including internal post to the rest of the university. If you leave private mail there to be posted, then obviously you are expected to put a stamp on it.
Coffee room, kitchens, toilets
The coffee room is on the first floor (room 123) and is for use by all staff and research students.
There are toilets on every floor of the Computer Science building (towards the rear stair-wells) and kitchens on the first and second floors. Kitchens are for use by staff and research students, so feel free to make yourself a drink or warm up food in the microwaves. The school provides tea bags and milk. Although there are some mugs and cutlery in each kitchen, it's a really good idea to bring in your own. This means that there will always be enough mugs for visitors and you'll always know where yours is when you want it.
Whenever you use one of the kitchens, please clear up immediately and leave it the way you would like to find it. For more details on how things are done, please read our guidelines for using the kitchens.
Health & Safety
The main School website has some information about health & safety.
You will be given an account on the School's computer network. You also have a second account (with the same username) for University services, which you will typically already have in advance of arriving at the university.
See this page for more information about computing resources and getting support.
You will want to contact your supervisor very soon after you have arrived (if you haven't already done so). The best method is probably to go to their office. Your supervisor may not be able to talk to your immediately because of other commitments, but they will be able to arrange a time to see you. If your supervisor is not in their office, try sending an email telling them that you have arrived.
In the first meeting, you will probably want to discuss at least the following:
- How frequently you will meet your supervisor. (The University code of practice says at least once a month for full-time students, but in Computer Science a supervision every week or two is more normal.)
- What you will be doing in the first few days of your research.
- Your thesis group.
- What seminars you should be going to, and whether you need to go on any training courses. (See skills development.)
- Any demonstrating you can undertake.
It is a good idea to take a list of things you want to discuss to your meetings with your supervisor.
Living in Birmingham
The University has provided some general advice about becoming a student at Birmingham, and one most important piece of advice there is to make sure you are registered with a doctor. The University has its own medical practice or you can find a full list of local surgeries on the NHS website.
The University's International Student Advisory Service (ISAS) has also provided special advice for international students including guidance on healthcare. Even for international students, medical care in the UK is free (though dental treatment is not). You must consult ISAS if you have any questions about your visa.