“What do I say after I say hello…?”

Whilst it is understood that the content herein will be obvious to tutors already experienced in offering support to students, it is felt that it will be of use to those new to tutoring. The content below does not relate to curricula choice, but as Personal Tutors with a pastoral role. You are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings and, although not obligatory, you may wish to make a record of your meetings. You can use this  pro forma (or in Word format).

Level 3 September

Level 3: September Initial welcome, feedback and co-curriculum

(to be scheduled in Induction Week centrally by InfoHub Coordinators, or soon thereafter by individual PTs)

  • What the Personal Tutor System (PTS) is, and what it is not.
  • Direct them to Registry Officers or InfoHub staff with general course queries - queries relating to specific courses should be directed to the relevant Course Co-ordinator or Degree Programme Co-ordinator.
  • Reflect on the previous year.
  • This will be the final year for some students - how are they going to make the most of it?
    It will be the start of Honours for others – highlight that the 1st year of Honours can be reasonably unstructured with autonomous work, before finals in the subsequent year.
  • Ask them to think about learning strategies to cope with changes, and signpost SLS courses to support them.
  • At this group meeting, talk generally about problems that they may be facing and encourage them to make individual appointments with you if they feel it is necessary.
  • At individual appointments you can discuss particular circumstances – resits, learning strategies, signpost services etc. Explore ways in which they might tackle their problems – ask the student to reflect on their experience/failure/disappointment and then it should become more obvious where they can be referred to for additional support.
  • Orientation – perhaps set tasks to link to meeting topics outlined for October and February. Give them links to online resources for these topics. This will generate student-led input into the subsequent meetings.
  • Feedback logs on MyAberdeen – encourage them to complete feedback and share with PTs at later meetings if relevant.
  • Talk about co-curricular activities - what are the involved with; what else could they consider?
  • Highlight internships – what they are, how they apply, when deadlines come up.
  • Highlight how to contact you – what your office hours are, how to contact you, and what the response time will be – recommended 3 day turn around on email contact (see FAQs).

Suggested questions to explore:

How would you identify and articulate your development of Graduate Attributes to potential placement/internship providers and employers?

How could you evidence or provide examples to support what you say? Remember that the Graduate Attributes will be developed and enhanced through both the curriculum and the co-curriculum.

Suggested activity:

Repeat the DIAMOND NINE exercise.  Have your priorities changed since Year 1? If so, why?

Level 3 January

Level 3 - January meeting

Focus on exam reflections and feedback and any relevant school deadlines.

Resources for exam reflection


Suggested questions for group reflection on exam preparation:

  • How did you go about preparing for your exams? When did you start? Was this early enough, do you think?
  • Did you sit with your lecture notes and read and re-read them over and over again? This ‘passive’ learning activity is generally shown to be unproductive.
  • Did you do any active learning, reconstructing the material into a different form when revising? This is generally shown to promote greater understanding and deeper learning.
  • Did you test yourself: use online tests/quizzes, brainstorm with friends, use quizzes in textbooks etc? These, too, are active learning activities.
  • Did you access past exam papers (through the Library database) and practise timed answers? The Library has an online guide for students on accessing past exam papers

Suggested questions for group reflection on the exams:

  • How was your time management?
  • Do you think you allowed yourself time to read through the instructions and the questions on the paper thoroughly?
  • Did you struggle in the exam to show what you know while still answering the question?
  • Did you move beyond just reciting your notes?
  • Were there parts of the exams that you found easy? Which bits were difficult? Why was this?
  • How can you improve in the areas you found tricky? (eg: Did you find essays more difficult than Multiple Choice Questions (MCQs)?)


  • Did you think you show understanding and thought as well as knowledge?
  • Do you think you showed what your ideas were building on?
  • Did you acknowledge the critical work of others?


Some questions to consider on receiving the exam results:

  • Are your results as you expected?
  • Are your results as good as you had hoped for?
  • Do you think your results are a fair reflection of the effort you put in?
  • What techniques did you use?
  • How do you think you could improve?

What can I do to improve?

Level 3 March

Please download this employability resource for Level 3 March

You could start by asking students to complete the ISS/NSS student surveys which are advertised now - incentives may apply!

Level 3 - Employability: A Quick Guide for Personal Tutors

This ‘at a glance guide’ has been designed to provide Personal Tutors with the key information needed to support and signpost their tutees to relevant career planning support to enhance their employability.

The ‘Quick Guide’ is not meant to be prescriptive; it is designed to provide a source of information on the topic of employability along with a series of prompts which might be useful when interacting with your tutees.

For students to be ready to enter the current competitive graduate recruitment market your tutees should have already started to think about their skills development, career planning or postgraduate study options. To enhance their employability in third year encourage your tutees to attend careers fairs, register for email vacancy alerts through the Careers Service, (highly recommended!) and take part in employer networking opportunities. Students are also encouraged to make appointments to help them start their career planning or to discuss their career options with the designated Careers Adviser for their degree subject.

At this stage, students also should start to think what appears or could appear on their Enhanced Transcript. The transcript records students’ courses and grades as well as co-curricular activities. It has impact on students’ employability as it functions as evidence for recruiters and helps students to identify and make the most of their skills.

What is employability?

The University uses the term ‘employability’ to describe the set of skills and attributes that make graduates likely to gain employment and be successful on their chosen career path.

How do your tutees access support for their employability and career planning?

The Careers Service provides information, advice and guidance to support students with career decisions and career planning. The Service is located on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building, and is available to all students at the University of Aberdeen and this is also extended to recent graduates and alumni. The Careers Service provision includes:

Appendix A: Careers Service Provision

  • One-to-One Careers Guidance: 
    including 15 minute discussions with the Duty Adviser (bookable online from the day before) and 30 minute careers guidance appointments. During term-time there are extended opening hours on Tuesdays with appointments available until 7.30pm. In addition, on Thursday mornings during term-time there are 30 minute appointments available at Foresterhill. Students should visit the About Us section of the Careers Service website for full details.
  • Work Placements: 
    There is a dedicated Work Placement Team that sources local and national paid internships, summer placements, year-long placements and co-ordinates the Aberdeen Internship Programme.
  • Vacancies: 
    The Careers Service participates in a shared vacancy service with most other HE institutions in Scotland. This service ensures students have access to a wide range of vacancies (internships, placements and graduate positions). In the first instance students need to visit the jobs & events service and follow the short registration process. Registration will allow students to receive regular email alerts of opportunities relevant to them. The Service advertises approximately 5,000 vacancies each academic year. Additional information and advice on finding graduate employmentis also available.
  • Employer Presentations: 
    A wide range of organisations visit campus throughout the academic year. Students can sign-up for these events through the jobs & events service.
  • Self-employment Advice:
    A range of support is available to students who are interested in starting their own business, in conjunction with organisations such as the Scottish Institute for Enterprise and Business Gateway.
  • Further Study and Funding Advice:
    Support and informationfor making applications to taught and research postgraduate courses and other further study options.
  • Recruitment/Employer Fairs: 
    These are held annually and include the Law Fair, the Engineering and Technology Fair and the North of Scotland Graduate Recruitment Fair.
  • Making Effective Applications:
    Support regarding CV writing, covering letters, preparing for interviews, free online psychometric tests and assessment centres.
  • Virtual Careers Adviser Service: 
    This service offers online CV and application form checks, career planning advice and online career discussions.
  • Information: 
    The Careers Service has a well-stocked library within its open plan area on the 2nd Floor of the Students' Union Building. Students can find information on occupations, further study, work experience and making effective job applications. This is complemented by comprehensive online resources including researching career options and ideas, statistics on graduate first destinations and current labour market trends.

The simplest way for your tutees to keep up-to-date with Careers Service events, news, competitions and much more is via the MyAberdeen careers tab.


Level 3 Personal Tutor Meeting: Employability - March

Suggested meeting agenda:

  • Encourage students to use the employability timeline resource (available via the online site ACHIEVE) to map their engagement with career and personal development opportunities.
  • Encourage students to explore their career ideas by undertaking some work experience. Experiences from university, co-curricular activities or a part-time job can often help inform decisions about their future.
  • Remind students of the importance of starting their career planning early. If your tutees are keen to generate some careers ideas. Prospects Planner, an online career planning tool will help your tutees start thinking about options. Students need to register with an email address, registration is free. Encourage students to discuss their results with a Careers Adviser.
  • Remind students about the importance of participating in employability events (e.g. careers fairs, employer workshops etc) offered centrally through the Careers Service as well as those offered through their academic School(s) or taught courses.

Suggested questions to use at your meeting:

  • How have you made use of the Careers Service this year?
  • What careers or postgraduate options interest you? What do you know about the careers or postgraduate options that interest you? What ways can the Careers Service help with your career planning?
  • How can you complete your CV to enhance your employment or further study prospects? Who can help you with this?
  • What are your plans for the upcoming summer vacation? Have you managed to secure a work placement, internship or some form of work experience?

Focus on aspects of employability

Suggested reminder question that could be part of this discussion:

  • In what ways could you identify and articulate your development of Graduate Attributes to potential placement/internship providers and employers?