sounds like a fun course.
The angular head thing seems familiar to me. perhaps i just watched too much red dwarf when i was wee.
if you are not animating anything and its just a turntable. I would not bother fixing any of the mesh problems. controversial i know, but what is the point? if it renders fine go for it. you said you have only just started so i wouldn't get too bogged down fixing things before you have a finished model. you don't want to lose momentum and enthusiasm for the project.
the top lip may be protruding too much if i was going to crit anything.