New Year New Start: The KCLSU Advice Service

NYNS_Materials_WebpageFooter (007)We hope that you’re enjoying New Year New Start!  If you’ve been to one of the chill-out zones, you might have noticed that one of the KCLSU Academic Advisors was on hand to deal with exam-related queries and concerns. 

This blog entry comes from Adina Bernstein, Advice and Support Outreach Coordinator for KCLSU who fills us in on how their advisors can help with academic concerns and even shares how she looks after her own wellbeing at busy times of year. 

A day in the life of KCLSU Academic Advice

KCLSU Advice supports more than 1,300 students each year, many at exam time. We provide confidential, independent, impartial advice for all King’s students on plagiarism, exam misconduct, complaints, appeals, and when their fitness to practice is called into question.

Here’s what a typical day might look like in our office:

 I get to the office at 8.30am and log on to my emails straight away to check the Academic Advice inbox. Things can get quite busy during the exam period as we aim to get back to every student within two working days; this can be an anxious time for students one of the best things about the job is being able to reassure people at a difficult time.

 Most of the people who get in touch during exams have some sort of Mitigating Circumstances (or “mit circs” as we usually call them) which affect their ability to study and sit exams. Mental and physical health really affect students’ ability to study, as do family and personal circumstances. If there was one thing I could tell students it’s that we really do welcome them contacting us even if they’re not sure whether they have mit circs. We will never judge you or tell you what to do and can advise by email, phone, and Skype as well as face-to-face.


 When a student comes to me with mitigating circumstances, I usually help them by going through the form they have to fill in and letting them know what evidence they need, such as a note from a doctor. This is usually a simple process once you know how to ask for it, and we can empower students with the knowledge and confidence to ask for what they need. It’s really positive to know I can help students get their mitigating circumstances granted at this stage as this usually means they won’t have to go through an appeal.

The  exam period is certainly one of our busiest times, and one of our most rewarding in terms of the work we do with students, but all of our other work still continues at the same time.  It’s really important for me to take care of my own wellbeing at this point in the academic year, so I work hard to balance new and existing cases and remind myself to take the advice I give my students and take a break!

You can speak to one of the KCLSU academic Advisors this week at the New Year New Start chill-out zones.  More information here

They are also contactable all year round in term time by telephone and email.  More information here

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