Planning Welcome Week department events

Departments are encouraged to run a series of events during Welcome Week that provide students with the opportunity to:

  • get to know other new students
  • meet their personal tutor
  • meet their peer mentor
  • meet their departmental administrators

Students have fed back that relationships with people in their department are crucial throughout their studies. Fostering these relationships during Welcome Week should help new students to start to engage with their course while also helping them to build confidence to try out at least one other event being run by the University and Students’ Union throughout the week.

Communicating with students about events

Department information sent to new students should help them:

  • know that each department event is compulsory
  • know the benefits of attending

All undergraduate peer mentors will also be prompted by the Undergraduate Peer Mentor Team to send personalised emails to their mentees, inviting them to attend their Welcome Events (reminding them of the date and the time). Departments might want to contribute to the content of those messages.

Checklist for each event

Each event should be:

  • interactive and informal
  • structured to facilitate interaction, eg. ice-breakers
  • helps students to get to know other students
  • helps students to get to know at least one staff member
  • helps students to know the role of personal tutors, peer mentors, and others who provide key support within the department
  • has a clear focus; not a stand-around event that requires staff and students to make small talk with people that they haven’t met beforehand
  • provides students with the opportunity to ask questions in a non-threatening environment

Example session plans

The following example session plans are designed to show how to meet the criteria:

More ideas

You could design your programme as a conference event held on one day during the week rather than spread across the week, see Department of Psychology’s example (.pdf).

Your tutor group could be part of a department-wide activity that requires them to compete against other tutor groups. This might be loosely based around a theme that is related to the discipline.

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