Welcome to the UoA Pastoral & Guidance Support System
The University has several systems which provide pastoral and guidance support to all students throughout their studies. Colleagues will encourage students to reflect on their progress, to take advantage of the opportunities available to them during their studies and more widely in the University, and direct students to more specialist support if this would be helpful.
If you have queries, please feel free to contact Professor Abbe Brown, Dean for Student Support.
On-Demand Online Study
Our first class support structure will ensure that our students aren’t alone in their studies. They will have contact with their tutors via MyAberdeen and email. They can use social media and discussion boards to chat with fellow students too. Wherever they are in the world, they'll be part of our very special Aberdeen learning community.
Discover https://on.abdn.ac.uk/discover/ and
onboarding pages https://on.abdn.ac.uk/onboarding/
How can your Personal Tutor help you?
The aim of the Personal Tutor system is to provide you with a member of academic staff who will be available to you for support and guidance throughout your studies. They will encourage you to reflect on your progress and to take advantage of the opportunities available to you during your studies to enable you to best prepare for future employment or further study.
New students will be assigned to a tutor who matches their degree, and in some schools, their discipline. For the first year, students who are identified as having a tutor who does not match their degree/school, will be reassigned automatically, thereafter, students can change their PT on request by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Your Personal Tutor will provide general pastoral support and will also meet with you during your studies to encourage you to reflect on your progress. They will advise as to where to get support with regard to curricular choice.
Your Personal Tutor will welcome you to the University community and you will meet with them at key points in the year, either one-to-one or as part of a group, to discuss your experiences as a student.
These meetings will focus on topics such as employability, the Graduate Attribute scheme, and provide an opportunity for you to discuss, for example, the feedback you have received in your studies. Your Personal Tutor will be a facilitator; providing a point of contact should you wish to speak to someone; signposting personal support services and academic skills support across the University, as necessary.
If, as a Gaelic-speaking student, you wish to have a Gaelic-speaking personal tutor, that request should be sent to email@example.com for consideration. Priority will be given firstly to students in Gaelic Studies or Gaelic Initial Teacher Training programmes.
- What Your Personal Tutor Can Do
Your Personal Tutor can:
- help you to settle into University
- answer your queries or direct you to the most appropriate source of advice
- help you to address any concerns or problems that might affect your studies
- point you in the direction of the appropriate University support service if you are needing advice
- meet with you on a regular basis during your studies (either individually or on a group basis) and will also if required meet with you on request
- respond to your queries within three working days in term-time and one week outwith term-time (unless another timescale or alternative route to deal with queries has been advised)
- provide opportunities for you to reflect on how your learning can help you to pursue your future development
- provide a reference for a future employer or for postgraduate study
- provide help to you in reviewing your feedback log and identifying general areas for development
- help you to make the most of the opportunities available at the University to enable you to support your personal development and employability
- help you to manage your evaluation and achievement of the Graduate Attributes
- What You Need to Do
In order to gain the maximum benefit from your contact with your Personal Tutor, it is your responsibility to:
- Participate actively in scheduled meetings with your Personal Tutor and in group meetings. Participation in such meetings will be monitored and non-engagement is likely to mean that you will not know your Personal Tutor well enough at the end of your studies for them to be able to provide you with a meaningful reference.
- Ensure your details are up-to-date on your Student Hub.
- Keep a record of activities and reflections on your progress, performance, and the longer-term aspirations associated with these activities (e.g. through use of the ACHIEVE website and Feedback logs).
- Inform your Personal Tutor of any circumstances which may be affecting your academic performance and so that effective support can be offered.
- Ask your Personal Tutor, if you wish, to act as one of your referees for internships, job applications or further study.
While we expect Personal Tutors and Tutees to put effort into building a constructive relationship, if you feel this relationship is not working, you should contact the Senior Personal Tutor in your School to discuss what might be done to resolve the situation. In cases where it is clear that there is a strong reason for changing a Personal Tutor, this can also be facilitated.
- Preparing for your Meeting
Your Personal Tutor* will be your main point of contact regarding any concerns and queries you have as a student. He or she will welcome you to the University community if you have just arrived, and you will meet with them either in groups or individually at key points in the year to discuss your experiences as a student.
Your Personal Tutor will facilitate discussion based on recommended subjects at key contact times throughout your studies; and will be able to advise you on issues such as employability, the Graduate Attributes, and also provide an opportunity for you to discuss, for example, the feedback you have received for your academic work. He or she will highlight the support services available at the University, as well as being a key point of contact should you wish to speak to someone. Additional meetings can be arranged beyond the published schedule.
Your Personal Tutor may set specific tasks for these meetings (asking you, for example, how you might develop your co-curricular activities). Do not hesitate to ask your Personal Tutor if you are not sure how best to prepare for a meeting, how much time to spend on preparation, or if you have anything else you wish to raise.
Based on discussions in these meetings, your Personal Tutor will hope to help you focus sharply and reflect constructively on your overall progress and development (academic and extra-curricular); and will also be able to act as a knowledgeable referee for when it is time for you to move on from University.
Please email firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or if you have any questions about this scheme.
* For MBChB, BDS and PA students based up at Foresterhill, personal tutoring is run as part of the established Regent Scheme and is guided by similar principles as the Personal Tutor System. Further information on the regent scheme can be found on the home page of your MyMBChB or MyBDS website.
- How it Will Work in Your School
Each School has developed a Personal Tutoring Statement identifying how the system will operate in that area.
Please select your School from the list below:
- Business School
- School of Biological Sciences
- School of Divinity, History and Philosophy
- School of Education
- School of Engineering
- School of Geosciences
- School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture
- School of Law
- School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition
- School of Natural and Computing Sciences
- School of Psychology
- School of Social Science
- Senior Personal Tutors
For all queries regarding your Personal Tutor, please either email email@example.com or contact the Senior Personal Tutor for your School as detailed below:
- Biological Sciences: Dr Martin Barker
- Business School: Mr William Cooper
- Divinity, History and Philosophy: Rev Dr Kenneth Jeffrey
- Education: Mr George Drew
- Engineering: Dr John Cavanagh
- Geosciences: Dr Charlotta Hillerdal
- Language, Literature, Music & Visual Culture: Mrs Anna Bokedal
- Law: Dr Zeray Yihdego
- Medical Sciences: Dr Alison Jack & Dr Isabel Crane
- Natural and Computing Sciences: Dr Peter Henderson
- Psychology: Dr Rachel Swainson
- Social Science: Dr Martin Mills