There are several different channels through which you will communicate with the department. Choosing the right channel and using it appropriately gets your message across clearly, and just as importantly ensures that you receive the information you need in a timely way.
Email is one of the most important ways to communicate with the Department. Each Friday you will receive a email from the Year Tutor containing lots of useful information on upcoming events and deadlines, and things that you generally need to know at each time point during the term.
Often you will meet staff as part of a scheduled activity such as a seminar, lecture or supervisory meeting, but at times you may want to talk to your lecturer, personal supervisor, project or literature survey supervisor or other member of staff outside these timetabled slots. We pride ourselves on being a friendly department and it should be possible to have such meetings, but you will usually need to arrange an appointment via e-mail.
Members of teaching staff also have responsibilities for research and for administration. They have their own busy timetables that frequently take them away from the office or from the campus. Teaching is usually done in lecture theatres or seminar rooms, and administrative committees may meet in Heslington Hall or elsewhere. Administration can also mean involvement in organisations such as one of the national Research Councils, the British Psychological Society, or an academic journal. This type of work can involve meetings outside York. Some of the research done by the Department is not done in the Department. Research interests of members of staff can mean that they are scanning volunteers at the imaging centre, out visiting patients in hospitals or children in schools as part of their working day.
For such reasons it is not always possible to find your lecturer or supervisor in their office if you arrive without having scheduled an appointment at an agreed time; if they are in, many staff will be happy to speak with you in such circumstances, but of course they may be meeting other students or have other pressing work that prevents them from seeing you right away. The best way to arrange a meeting is to contact staff is by email in the first instance. Please suggest some alternative times when you will be available on campus during working hours.
When you have arranged an appointment, please try to keep it. We provide a staff telephone list, which also identifies staff offices.
The VLE is used to provide up-to-date information about the modules you are currently taking. It is important to log in regularly as the VLE is the place where your lecturers and module organisers will give detailed information on lectures, seminars, tutorials, readings as well as tests and quizzes that may help you consolidate your knowledge and prepare for your exams. The VLE provides some facilities for two-way communications such as discussion boards. These are very useful when you have a query about the content or organisation of a teaching block or module. Other students may have the same or related issues, so it is useful to share both questions and answers with other members of the class. Staff will answer sensible queries, but will also be keen to avoid what might be seen as "inside tips" via one-to-one emails.
The departmental website provides a very brief overview of our degree structure and information about staff and their research interests (which can be helpful, for example, when identifying potential project supervisors).
The most up-to-date and detailed overview of the course is provided through this student documentation wiki (including the official 'handbook' you're looking at, together with additional information for current students). Unlike the VLE, this information is available to all students (and other visitors) whether or not they are enrolled on a particular module. This wiki-based handbook also contains useful and important information about University rules and procedures. The wiki system allows us to add to and improve our documentation, and if you have any suggestions for such improvements you should contact Paul Bishop (firstname.lastname@example.org) or Sally Quinn (email@example.com).