Your welfare as an undergraduate student is important to us. Studying at university can be a challenge, but we have a host of people available to support you.

All undergraduate and postgraduate students have a Personal Tutor and you will have regular meetings with your Personal Tutor throughout your course. It is a good idea to get to know your Personal Tutor and to keep them updated with how you are getting on. They will usually be the person who writes your academic references when you apply for internships, placements, graduate jobs or future study.

We also have three Senior Tutors within the Department, who have overall responsibility for academic and pastoral care of students within the Department.

Senior Tutors

Dr Maria Valera

Senior Tutor - Undergraduate Students

Huxley Room 373

Dr Thomas Lancaster Senior Tutor - Postgraduate Taught (MSc Students)

Huxley Room 305

Dr Nicolas Wu Senior Tutor - PhD Students

Huxley Room 374

Dr Lancaster is also the Deputy Senior Tutor for Undergraduate Students for when Dr Valera is unavailable
Summary of the table's contents

If you have personal difficulties or need advice, please contact your Personal Tutor first. They will try to help. If you need further support or the matter is confidential, please do contact the Senior Tutor. In some cases, the Senior Tutor may direct you to other services within the College.

We have a Student Wellbeing Advisor within the Department, Caroline Gilchrist. Caroline is based in Huxley 304a and can provide you with confidential support and advice on accommodation, exercise, food and nutrition, sleep, identity, mental health, stress, anxiety and general Wellbeing. Caroline does not teach courses in the Department and you can speak to her in confidence. There is more information here about student wellbeing.

If you have a disability or impairment and feel you would benefit from exam support or other reasonable adjustments, we encourage you to discuss this with the Disability Advisory Service as early as possible. Within the Department, we have a Department Disability Officer, Dr Thomas Lancaster, who is the link between the department and the Disability Advisory Service. You are also welcome to discuss issues directly with him. You can read more information about the Department's support for students with disabilities and impairments here.

Our Expectations of You

We are an international community with students from multiple ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. We tolerate and respect each other’s views and beliefs even if we do not agree with them. If you feel that you have been offended or insulted in any way by another member of the college, please speak to the appropriate Senior Tutor to discuss it. 

We also ask that you always read and respond to email sent to your college account. Sometimes messages can be sent at short notice.

Exams & Mitigating Circumstances

Please visit our Exams & Mitigating Circumstances webpage for the latest information.

Welfare Services


All cases are dealt with in confidence.  However, it is often necessary to inform Personal Tutors and sometimes other relevant people.  We will normally specify who this would be.  Please make it clear if there is anyone whom you would not wish to be informed or involved.

In addition to support within the Department, it is possible to consult other advisors elsewhere in the College.  These include Faculty Senior Tutors, the College Student Counsellors and your Hall Warden.  Full information is available on the College's welfare and advice webpage.


The Student Counselling Service on Level 4 of the Sherfield Building is independent of the College academic structure.  Counselling is available free of charge to any student registered with the College, about any personal issue.  Visit their website or to arrange an appointment you can email or telephone 020-7594 9637.

Health Centre

The Health Centre, housed in 40 Prince’s Gardens, across Exhibition Road, has drop-in consultations most mornings and offers exam stress counselling amongst many other services.  You can ring them on 020-7584 6301, or check their website for further information.  It is recommended that you register with the Health Centre if you are staying in a Hall of Residence.

Personal Tutors

Personal Tutors provide a source of support to their tutees, both pastoral and academic. Personal Tutors have an important role in encouraging students to seek opportunities and make choices that develop them academically, personally and professionally. Personal Tutors should be in regular contact with tutees throughout their time at College.

Student Support Funds

It is likely that your time at Imperial College will be the first occasion on which you have had almost complete control over your finances and it is well known that this is not always easy.  If financial disaster, not of your own making, strikes, the College has hardship funds for home and overseas students.  Your Personal Tutor or the Senior Tutor is the first point of contact in these circumstances, and the earlier you address your problems, the greater the chance of finding a solution. Please visit Student Finance to find out more about the fund.

Student Wellbeing Advisor FAQ

What is a Student Wellbeing Advisor?

Student Wellbeing Advisors can offer practical and emotional support to students experiencing a wide variety of problems that are affecting their studies and/or mental health and wellbeing. Wellbeing Advisors are members of Professional Services Staff. They are not students, nor are they teaching or academic staff. They work within departments but are independent of teaching and assessments. Wellbeing advisors may come from varied backgrounds within supporting professions but will be trained and experienced in providing pastoral care. Wellbeing advisors undergo regular professional development to ensure they have up-to-date knowledge of wellbeing issues and support and are carrying out best practice.

What can a Wellbeing Advisor help with?

The Wellbeing Advisor can help with anything that is affecting a student’s wellbeing. This might include settling into university, stress, anxiety, panic, time management, sleep problems, low mood, relationship issues, family issues, problems in accommodation, nutrition, lifestyle, homesickness, loneliness, bereavement, and addiction. Of course, this is not an exhaustive list. The Wellbeing Advisor can also offer support if you are concerned about another person such as a fellow student.  

How long will I have to wait to speak to the Wellbeing Advisor?

The Wellbeing Advisor can usually arrange to see students within 1 or 2 working days. They typically work Monday-Friday from 9 AM to 5 PM.  

What can I expect from a wellbeing session?

Wellbeing appointments can take place in person, in a private room, or online. They typically last between 15 and 45 minutes. Wellbeing appointments are safe, confidential, non-judgemental spaces where students can freely disclose anything that is affecting their wellbeing. The Wellbeing Advisor will listen and discuss the issues with the student. Sometimes, talking a problem through is enough.  The Wellbeing Advisor may signpost to other services or share useful resources with the student to help them move forward. They might develop a wellbeing plan with the student containing agreed strategies and actions.  

What if I don’t want anyone else to know I have seen the Wellbeing Advisor?

The Wellbeing Advisor will not disclose this information nor anything you discuss in the appointment unless there is as serious risk of harm to yourself or another person. You can read our Confidentiality Policy here:  The Wellbeing Advisor doesn't even have to acknowledge you if they see you on campus. If you would prefer your SWA not to acknowledge you around campus, please let them know.

How is wellbeing support different to counselling?

Counselling is a talking therapy that involves a trained therapist listening to you and helping you find ways to deal with emotional issues. The therapist can help you gain a better understanding of your feelings and thought processes, and find your own solutions to problems. But they will not usually give advice or tell you what to do. You will likely explore issues at a deeper level and there will often be an emphasis on understanding thought patterns and the beliefs and assumptions that underpin them.

College and NHS Counselling are usually limited to 5 or 6 sessions whereas wellbeing support can be ongoing. There is often a waiting time before counselling can be accessed.

If you aren’t sure whether counselling is the right option for you, you can discuss this with the Wellbeing Advisor. In some cases, counselling might be suitable, but the timing might not be ideal as counselling can sometimes bring up deep emotions that will need to be processed. It may be better to allow some time to elapse before counselling will be effective, such as following bereavement, That doesn’t mean that talking won’t be beneficial and the Wellbeing Advisor can still support you until therapy becomes available or is appropriate.    

How many times can I see the Wellbeing Advisor?

Some students will only see the Wellbeing Advisor once to get the support they need. Others will see them sporadically during the course of their studies. Some students will see the Wellbeing Advisor regularly. The benefit of having a Wellbeing Advisor in the department is that the support can be flexible and tailored to the student’s needs.   

What if I don’t feel comfortable disclosing/talking about my issues?

It can sometimes be difficult to open up, especially if you aren’t used to talking about emotions or personal issues. The Wellbeing Advisor is aware of this and will do their best to put you at ease, but you don’t have to disclose anything you are not comfortable sharing. Sometimes a student may need a few sessions before they can open up, and that’s fine. 

If the Wellbeing Advisor is from a different culture or background to mine, how will they understand me?

Although the Wellbeing Advisor may not share the same culture, background, gender, faith position, ethnic origin, sexuality or a student, they have been trained to respect equality and diversity and not to make assumptions. They will listen to you non-judgementally and withhold applying their own frame of reference to your situation. 

However, if you do wish to speak to someone who is more likely to share your frame of reference, the Wellbeing Advisor can help you to find this support either within or outside of the College.

What if the Wellbeing Advisor cannot help me?

If anything comes up that the Wellbeing Advisor doesn’t feel able to support you with, they will always strive to find appropriate resources and alternative support for you.

Who is the Wellbeing Advisor in Computing?

The Wellbeing Advisor in Computing is Caroline Gilchrist. Caroline has worked in education for many years in both teaching and pastoral roles. Caroline has qualifications in Counselling Skills, Coaching, Advice, Mental Health First Aid, and Trauma-Informed Practice, and is due to complete an MSc in the Psychology of Mental Health and Wellbeing in the near future.

Caroline is based in Huxley 304a.

If you would like to speak to Caroline you can e-mail directly at

You can book online appointments using this link: