Advice and Support
Funding for an SpLD assessment
Can a student be referred for a Specific Learning Differences (SpLD) support with a Specialist teacher through the University?
Birkbeck offer funding for an SPlD assessment with an Educational Psychologist which will give the student a full diagnostic assessment. Funding for this is based on a student’s income. All students with an SPlD can access support through our Learning Development team and, where, eligible, can apply for the Disabled Student’s Allowance support.
Disability Adviser available
Are there specialist staff available to talk to within the service? Is there a disability officer or a disability adviser for students to talk to?
Birkbeck has both a Disability and Dyslexia Service and a Mental Health Advisory Service with specialist advisors trained in supporting students. When a student enrols at Birkbeck they will be allocated a specific advisor who will support them throughout their course for any of their study support needs.
Support from academic staff
Is advice and support available from academic staff within the faculties of the University? How do students access this advice and support?
The majority of departments in Birkbeck have a Disability Lead or Learning Support Officer who can support students with study strategies and subject specific help. Students are also allocated an academic from their Department as a Personal Tutor who supports them throughout their course.
Staff continuity and understanding individual needs
Are the specialist disability staff in the team able to offer a personalised, bespoke response to a student’s needs? Where possible, is continuity provided for the student in meeting the same Disability Adviser and/or mentor so the student can get to know them over time?
A student will be allocated a Mental Health or Disability Advisor who will support them throughout their course. This advisor will be allocated based on both the student’s specific needs (i.e. their condition) and what subject they are studying. This ensures they are able to build a relationship with their advisor who specialises in providing bespoke and personalised adjustments. Students can discuss their needs and be provided with adjustments to their studies through the Study Support Plan.
One to one mentoring support
Are there any additional services available such as mentoring, counselling services or a buddy scheme to help a new student to settle in if needed?
Birkbeck has a Counselling Service which provides students with up to six sessions of therapeutic counselling each academic year. Birkbeck also offers a range of support schemes including Unibuddy where students can speak with student ambassadors, BBKchat, a first year buddy scheme where new students are matched with those in their final year, and Mentoring Pathways, a professional career supporting scheme.
One to one / group study skills
Does the institution provide support with arranging One to one/Group study skills sessions?
Subject-specific learning development tutors and co-ordinators are available to provide students with additional study skills guidance and support in their subject area. There is also a central study skills team who provide study skills workshops and one to one appointments, specialising in areas such as inclusive technology and academic writing styles.
Social and Peer Support
Adapted accommodation in halls
Is adapted accommodation and specialist equipment available in halls of residence?
Birkbeck students can access places in partner halls. Free professional advice is available from the University of London Housing Services. A number of accessible rooms are available in intercollegiate and independent halls.
Does the institution offer a standard level of assistive technology to disabled students?
Birkbeck offers a wide range of assistive technology and services specifically for disabled, mental health conditions and dyslexic students. There are offers accessible study spaces in the library, assistive software on all Birkbeck computers and equipment hire. The Library Disability team offers a range of support including face to face inductions, help accessing study materials and Sensus Access; a document conversion service.
How has your Disability Support offer changed in light of the Coronavirus pandemic? Are in person appointments currently suspended? If prospective applicants would like to register with the Disability Service, how do they go about doing this currently?
Birkbeck offers a warm welcome to disabled students. In the current Covid-19 environment, the college is focusing on a high-quality blended learning approach to facilitate learning and ensure all government guidelines are followed. Large lectures and seminars may be conducted online.
For students with disabilities or a specific learning difficulty, this creates an exciting opportunity to learn in a way that supports a student’s needs through a flexible and individual approach.
The Wellbeing Service is on hand to support students and provides both an in-person and a remote service (via telephone or video). Please contact the Wellbeing Services directly via email or telephone for more information.