SSPS PGT Peer Mentoring Scheme
What the scheme does
The peer support scheme for postgraduate taught (PGT) MSc students in the School of Social and Political Science (SSPS) was created to facilitate greater interaction between, and integration of, the taught and research communities, and for peer-led guidance and support throughout the duration of study at the University of Edinburgh. The scheme matches a small group of MSc students with current doctoral researchers who will act as mentors throughout the academic year. The mentors provide support on a range of topics: settling into life in Edinburgh; adjusting to the Scottish education system; making the most out of a degree programme; the dissertation writing process; and plans for beyond the MSc. Meetings are held once or twice per semester depending on student demand, and extra sessions will be organised near the start of the summer term, when MSc students usually begin to work on their dissertations.
At the beginning of each academic year, a welcome mixer will be arranged for interested students to meet each other as well as potential mentors and to sign up to peer support groups. If you are unable to attend the initial mixer (usually held in the first few weeks of the autumn semester), you can get in touch with one of the programme organisers at firstname.lastname@example.org to register your interest. Students can sign up at any stage during their MSc experience.
Becoming a PhD-mentor
PhD students interested in becoming mentors should register their interest at any time of the year by contacting the programme organisers at email@example.com. All mentors are expected to attend an initial training session, facilitated by the Students’ Association (formerly EUSA); the training is intended to introduce mentors to the ideas and techniques of peer-mentoring. A catch-up training session may also be held at the beginning of the second semester for those hoping to join the scheme later in the academic year. Involvement with MSc students outside regularly scheduled peer support group meetings is up to the individual mentor to decide.
What the scheme does not do
This scheme is not intended to replicate or replace academic, emotional or other forms of support provided to PGT students at the University of Edinburgh. Nonetheless, mentors are able to point students to relevant guidance and resources throughout SSPS and the University of Edinburgh. All academic queries should, in the first instance, be addressed to students’ programme directors or dissertation supervisors, depending on the nature of the query; support for personal matters is also widely available through the Students’ Association, the Chaplaincy, Career Services and many other offices around campus. Rather, the peer support programme aims to guide incoming MSc students throughout their time in Edinburgh to maximise the benefits of their education here and to engage in the wider SSPS postgraduate community.
To find out more about the scheme or to register your interest as a mentor or mentee, feel free to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
The peer support scheme organising committee is currently led by Deanna Soloninka and Laura Volkmer.