Personal Tutoring replaces the previous Academic Advising process.
All students are assigned a Personal Tutor at the start of their course. All Undergraduate and Taught Postgraduate students will have a named Personal Tutor who is a member of academic staff from their department, and who has knowledge of their programme. For postgraduate research students the role is undertaken by their research supervisor, coordinated by the Graduate School and a network of departmental postgraduate research tutors.
Personal Tutoring is not just about giving students the opportunity to talk if they have a problem; it is intended to help students reflect on their progress and develop personal, academic and professional skills. Students should meet with their Personal Tutor two to three times a year to discuss their academic studies, co-curricular activities that enhance their profile, and to reflect on any issues that may impact on their overall performance at university. Personal Tutoring meetings will help students to develop skills that can improve their academic performance and help them identify areas for professional and personal growth and development. Personal Tutors can help students navigate through assessment feedback and can work with them to produce academic development plans which can help improve their record of academic attainment. In addition, these meetings can provide an opportunity to discuss career planning and employability.
Personal Tutoring meetings may take different formats (face to face, telephone, skype) and may sometimes be organised as group sessions (for example during induction week and at the beginning of subsequent years).
Personal Tutors have primary responsibility for developing and maintaining regular contact with all their allocated Tutees to provide support and guidance on academic and non-academic matters, as well as the student’s personal development.
The role of the Personal Tutor includes:
- Becoming familiar with all Tutees assigned to them.
- Identifying and communicating regular weekly office hours/when available for Personal Tutoring.
- Supporting Tutees in becoming independent learners by encouraging student reflection on their academic progress; skills development and career aspirations.
- Discussing assessment feedback and providing guidance on how to improve assessment performance and where to get further support (such as the Learning Development Centre; Library Services and any individualised support schemes running in Departments/Schools).
- Referring students experiencing difficulty with the subject-specific content of a particular module to the appropriate module leader for academic guidance.
- Offering advice and guidance on the expectations of the University and Programme and demystifying University processes.
- Offering advice on and signposting to sources of academic support such as the Learning Development Centre; Library Services; and on-line learning resources.
- Raising student awareness of development opportunities available to them such as those in the Students Association; Work Experience Hub; Mentorship Programme; Student Ambassadors; Sports Clubs; Volunteering; Placements; and Student Leaders Programme.
- Referring Tutees experiencing welfare/personal difficulties to the Student Wellbeing Team; Students Association or Campus Life, as appropriate.
- Seeking advice from the Programme Leader when dealing with complex issues or in clarifying process.
- Engaging with the Mitigating Circumstances processes, if necessary, to provide advice and guidance on these processes to Tutees.
- Encouraging Tutees to make use of Personal Development Plans (PDP).
- Supporting Tutees with career development and encouraging their regular engagement with the Careers Service.
- Keeping meeting records using the Personal Tutoring Meeting Record template or spreadsheet (see below).
- Writing references for Tutees if appropriate.
Overall Personal Tutoring arrangements for individual programmes remain the responsibility of the Head of Department in liaison with the Programme Leader; ensuring that all students are assigned a Personal Tutor and that all Personal Tutors on a programme receive appropriate and consistent guidance; are kept informed of changes to University Policies; and have the opportunity to further develop their Tutoring skills through CPD. In addition, Heads of Department and Programme Leaders should provide support and advice to Personal Tutors for situations that are unfamiliar or less straightforward.
Heads of Department should monitor the operational effectiveness of Personal Tutoring in their Programme, e.g. to ensure that Personal Tutors are meeting regularly with their Tutees. The overall effectiveness of Personal Tutoring should be reported at the Programme Board and through Annual Programme Analysis. Programme co-ordinators should maintain a list of tutors and their tutees for reference.
A record of all Personal Tutoring Meetings should be kept. For some meetings, a simple contact record in a Personal Tutoring Spreadsheet kept for all your tutees will be sufficient. For more formal meetings, you may wish to complete (with your Personal Tutee), a Personal Tutoring Meeting Record . The form provides a record of the meeting, highlighting any actions that emerge from it