The aim of the Personal Tutor system is to provide you with a member of academic staff who will be available to you for general pastoral support and guidance throughout your studies.

They will:

  • welcome you to the University and provide a first port of call to discuss any issues which arise  
  • encourage you to reflect on your progress in your studies and  guide you on where to get detailed advice regarding your studies
  • encourage you to take advantage of the opportunities available to you during and outside your studies to enable you to make the most of your time at the University and be best prepared for future employment or further study  
  • guide you to more specialist support if this would help

New students will be assigned to a tutor who matches their degree, and in some schools, their discipline.  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. The Personal Tutor will continue to operate while the University is delivering a blended experience. Your meetings will take place by video calls, probably Microsoft TEAMs or Blackboard Collaborate.   

If, as a Gaelic-speaking student, you wish to have a Gaelic-speaking personal tutor, that request should be sent to infohub@abdn.ac.uk for consideration.  Priority will be given firstly to students in Gaelic Studies or Gaelic Initial Teacher Training programmes.

Your Personal Tutor will 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)

Your Personal Tutor will not share information about you with a family member without your prior written consent.

What else does the Personal Tutor System Provide?

Your Personal Tutor will be a facilitator, providing a point of contact should you wish to speak to someone about anything at all, They will signpost personal support services and academic skills support across the University, as necessary. Within this structure, the Personal Tutor will explore some specific issues with you, and these are explored below.

  • Your Personal Tutor will 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
  • Your Personal Tutor will provide help to you in reviewing your feedback log and identifying general areas for development
  • Your Personal Tutor will help you to make the most of the opportunities available at the University to enable you to support your personal development and employability
  • Your Personal Tutor will help you to manage your evaluation and achievement of the Graduate Attributes
  • Your Personal Tutor will contact you to offer support if your engagement with your studies or other factors suggest that you may be in difficulty
  • Your Personal Tutor will provide, through Group Meetings, an opportunity to form part of a wider community within the University
How can I make it work best for me?

In order to gain the maximum benefit from your contact with your Personal Tutor, you should:

  • Attend and participate actively in scheduled meetings with your Personal Tutor and in group meetings. Your Personal Tutor will be concerned if they do not see or hear from you – so do keep in touch.
  • Engage fully with the meetings, so that you can get to know  your Personal Tutor - this will mean they are well placed to  provide you with a meaningful reference.
  • 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. Remember also that the main aim of the meetings is to be in touch.  
  • 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).
  • Please do share with your Personal Tutor any circumstances which may be affecting your academic performance or your experience at the University. Your tutor will be able to arrange the provision of effective support. Students often wait, feel that they should just soldier on, that it is “just” a personal matter or that the Personal Tutor will not be able to help. There is, however, flexibility in the University from an academic point of view in appropriate cases and there is also significant specialist expertise within the University. Just getting in touch is the most first important step.    
  • Ensure your details are up-to-date on your Student Hub.

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.

How will it work in my School?

The Personal Tutor system as discussed in these pages applies across the University.  Reflecting the different natures of the Schools and the student experiences there, however, each School has their own policies on the details of delivery. 

Some more information on suggested topics for discussion and issues you might want to explore with your tutor can be found on our Meeting Preparation page.

Senior Personal Tutors

For all queries regarding your Personal Tutor, please either email personaltutor@abdn.ac.uk or contact the Senior Personal Tutor for your School as detailed below:

Personal Tutoring School Policies

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:

Personal Tutoring School Policies

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

Your Personal Tutor Cares

Your Personal Tutor (henceforth, PT) will help you to:

  • Develop a range of key skills and competencies required for success during your time at university.
  • Reflect upon your progress at key junctures and suggest ways in which you can actively improve your performance.
  • Navigate the services that have been put in place to support you whilst at university.

Your Evolving Relationship With Your Personal Tutor

Your PT will be allocated to you before you arrive at the University of Aberdeen. If you have any questions before your arrival, please feel free to send your PT an email. Your PT will be allocated to you based on your own degree discipline and will provide you with support for the duration of your studies.

As an undergraduate student within the University of Aberdeen Business School you will have at least two meetings with your PT per academic year. Additional meetings can be arranged by emailing your PT.

First Year

In the first instance, you will get to know your PT by meeting her/him for about 30-45 minutes at start of the first half-session in a relaxing environment.

During the first half-session, you will also attend Key Skills Sessions to prepare you to:

  • Write essays
  • Think critically
  • Work with spreadsheets
  • Prepare for exams
  • Reflect upon exams

You can also choose to receive feedback from your assignments from your PT.

Your second meeting will be held at the start of the second half-session and will last for around 15 – 20 minutes. You will reflect upon your academic experiences within the first half-session and discuss strategies to improve your performance.

Second and Third Year

Your first meeting with your PT at the start of the first half-session will enable you to review your performance, reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses and consider key skill development opportunities.

Your second meeting with your PT will enable you to review your performance within the first halfsession and further consider key skill development opportunities.

Fourth Year

Your first meeting with your PT at the start of the first half-session will enable you to review your performance, reflect upon your strengths and weaknesses and consider key skill development opportunities.

Your second meeting with your PT will enable you to review your performance within the first halfsession and consider the skills required in order to move into a world of employment.

Key Contacts

Senior Personal Tutor - Dr William Cooper (william.cooper@abdn.ac.uk) 

School Administrative Officer – Mrs Fiona Ritchie (f.ritchie@abdn.ac.uk)

School of Biological Sciences - Students

Summary: What is the personal tutor system?

  • Each student has a personal tutor allocated to them. Your tutor will be one of 41 academic members of staff.
  • Each tutor group usually consists of about 9 students, often from different disciplines and from various stages (Levels 1—4+) within SBS.
  • Your tutor will arrange to meet you at least twice a year (individually or in a group):

The main schedule for meetings, and suggested discussion topics. However, you/your tutor may want to focus on other topics.

  • You can ask for a meeting at other times as well as/instead of the main meetings. You can also contact your tutor whenever you want (see below).
  • Engagement with your tutor is important, and this can involve e-mail as well as meetings.

 

Your personal tutor can be you first point of call when you have a query or want advice

 

What your personal tutor can do for you

  • Help you settle into the University of Aberdeen (or become re-settled after an upset).
  • Be a human interface, to help you understand the complexities of university life.
  • Get to know you, so that they can provide a reference for you when you apply for internships, voluntary placements, employment, or a higher degree.
  • Encourage you to consider ways in which to develop your graduate attributes, and to be a confident and effective student.
  • Give you advice on preparing for assessments (e.g. exams) and reflecting on feedback.
  • Provide contact information to help with your academic programme, including:
    • Contact with those who can help with curriculum choices
    • Contact with your degree programme coordinator or your course coordinator
    • Contact with admin staff, to help you to resolve any difficulties involving attendance or poor performance
    • Contact with those who organise ‘Go Aboard’
  • Provide contact information to help with co-curriculum opportunities, including:
    • Internships, mentoring, voluntary placements, expeditions
    • Clubs, societies, sports, AUSA
    • Recognition of achievements (e.g. STAR awards)
  • Provide contact information for a range of support services, including:
  • Note that to be able to help you, your tutor will need to meet you or at least communicate effectively with you. If your personal tutor does not respond to your enquiries within 3 working days:
    • Send a polite follow-up message (your tutor may be busy, but they should let you know if this is the case)
    • If there is still no reply, please contact the Senior Personal Tutor and/or the admin team (details below)

 

What you can do for yourself

  • Respond to invitations to meetings with your personal tutor
  • Maintain effective communications with your personal tutor
  • Make the most of your time at university. Exploit opportunities, both within the curriculum and beyond it
  • If you are experiencing any difficulties with the personal tutoring system in SBS, please let us know (see contacts below)! The tutoring system exists for your benefit, so we want you to use it in a way that works for you.

 

What we are planning for personal tutoring the future, in SBS

Within the School of Biological Sciences, we recognise the value of the personal tutoring system. Within the next two years, we are planning some changes. These will affect new students, and some may affect you if you are currently in Levels 1—3:

  • Increased allocation of students to tutors who are in the same discipline. This should make it easier for tutors to give advice on professional networks and employability. Our main discipline areas are:
    • Biology
    • Conservation and Ecology
    • Plant, Soil, Environment and Forestry
    • Marine Biology
    • Zoology and Behavioural Biology
  • SBS staff (including personal tutors) will be more active in alerting students to co-curriculum opportunities

Contact information on personal tutoring, School of Biological Sciences

 

Senior Personal Tutor 

Dr Martin Barker 

m.barker@abdn.ac.uk

Personal Tutor Admin

Mrs Amie Connolly 

sbsteaching@abdn.ac.uk

Head of School  

Prof Graeme Paton

g.i.paton@abdn.ac.uk

Director of Teaching

Prof Michelle Pinard

m.a.pinard@abdn.ac.uk

 

School of Biological Sciences - Personal Tutors and Other Staff

This guide is intended to summarise the personal tutoring system in SBS, in terms of both where it is now and a how we see it evolving.

 

Summary

  • We recognise the actual and potential value of the personal tutoring system (PTS) within the School of Biological Sciences (SBS) and understand the ultimate aim is to enhance student experience.
  • We have found the most effective use of the tutoring, by both students and tutors, involves a flexible approach that recognises the range of needs and demands of students; we believe further increases in the flexibility of provision would be beneficial.
  • We emphasise the principle that the PTS is student-led. This means that whatever service we provide, it should be in response to student needs and student demand.
  • We would like to see the PT system rolled out to PGT students, where PGT programme coordinators have their allocation of UG tutees adjusted to accommodate the PGT students.
  • The involvement of the SBS administration team has been crucial to the organisation, optimisation and monitoring of our tutoring.
  • Increasingly, PTs are organising meetings in response to student demand rather than simply following a prescribed programme.
  • We have identified a series of immediate and longer-term priorities for improvement.
  • We welcome the discipline-based allocation of students to tutors, where possible.
  • We will continue to collect and disseminate insights gained from PTs to share and celebrate good practise.

 

Current status of personal tutoring within SBS

  • We believe that the personal tutoring system (PTS) has an important role to play in the lives of students in the School of Biological Sciences (SBS). This role is not always recognised or understood by students or even some tutors.
  • We have a diverse range of disciplines in both students and tutors (see Appendices A, B) which can be a challenge but also can provide numerous useful insights, which we can use to enhance our provision.
  • We recognise that students often find their own solutions to problems (e.g. from peers, informal contact with staff, Support Services).
  • We sometimes organise meetings (within some courses and tutor groups) for students across years, so that more junior students can gain valuable insights from more experienced students.
  • Aspects of tutoring that seem to have worked well in SBS include:
    • proactive contact with students
    • resolving issues quickly
    • being flexible in the way that we offer meetings (e.g. grouping students, timing, duration, location, content).
    • strong input from secretariat including, for the September/January meetings, issuing Outlook invitations to tutors and running a Help Desk.
    • organising temporary ‘cover’ for absent tutors, for the September/January meetings so that students (returning and, especially, new) do not feel ‘neglected’.
    • admin staff making a record of meetings to allow tracking.
    • providing ideas/resources/informal training/briefing sessions for tutors, especially those who might lack confidence in their role (e.g. Appendix C). regular reports on personal tutoring provided by the SPT via staff meetings, teaching committees, and via e-mail bulletins.
  • We regularly remind our tutors that meetings are only part of their role; we encourage tutors to value a role involving other forms of communication with, and support for, students in their personal tutor group.
  • PTs in SBS are generally adept at either answering tutee questions directly or passing it on to colleagues (e.g. SPT, DoT, and secretariat). We believe that most issues are resolved quickly and satisfactorily, but we don’t use a system for tracking them.
  • We recognise that some PTs would prefer to be allocated tutees with a similar/same discipline. This is to provide curriculum advice and to help students recognise academic affinity with their tutor, and to benefit from tutor’s professional networks and awareness of employability.
  • As a school, we value the autonomy that we have been given. We seek to expand this (next section) while remaining faithful to the ethos of the PTS.

 

Proposed changes to personal tutoring within SBS

All of the proposed changes are intended to promote staff-student engagement and a sense of purpose and belonging. For those students who feel marginalised, neglected or ignored, the personal tutoring system can create important connections. Under the right conditions, the PT involvement could increase the likelihood of students being retained.

  • We will use an informal consultation process among our PTs (which has already begun) to gather insights about good practise and also where there are unused opportunities.
  • Adopt a more focussed approach to organising September/January meetings. The preferred model is:
  • New students, by year (i.e. Level 1 and direct entrants): Meeting slots previously ‘held’ by Outlook Calendar invitations. September meetings linked with induction events. September meetings mostly held in central location, where generic support for PTs is available for curriculum issues, etc.
  • Returning students: PTs given the responsibility to set up own meetings (individual or group). These meetings monitored by SBS admin/SPT.
  • Meeting students in groups, but always with the option of meeting students individually, as require. Each has advantages:

Individual meetings

  • Privacy, especially for sensitive issues
  • Works better for students who are awkward/intimidated in groups
  • More flexible in scheduling
  • Opportunity to discuss more specific issues, which might be irrelevant to others
  • Students who want a group meeting can request a that instead/ as well

 

Group meetings

  • Tutors are less likely to have down time
  • Total time for meetings is shorter for tutors
  • Discussion dynamic may be easier if students meet in a group
  • Opportunity for more senior students to help their peers
  • Students who want an individual meeting can request a that instead/ as well

 

Other immediate priorities for PTS in SBS are as follows:

What needs to be done How we propose to do it
Raising the profile of the tutoring system in SBS. Increasing attendance at meetings, e-mail engagement, and inter-staff communication Promoting positive experiences of PTS in SSLCs, Teaching Committees, and via SBS Facebook groups.
More proactive role for PT, especially with: a. students who are struggling or b. who are given positive recognition (e.g. prizes)

a. PTs alerted (e.g. via student monitoring and Retention Centre) when their tutees encounter a difficulty (e.g. C6, C7, course failure). Possible role in attending meetings related to this, if student requests this.

b. PT congratulate students on achievements

Develop a more consistent method for recording engagement of tutees (e.g. attendance, communication); currently, this is rather haphazard SPT/SBS secretaries to continue to encourage tutees to record meeting attendance (and e-mail contact) via admin team
Explore the feasibility of using a more consistent method for tracking issues raised by tutees If used, SPT/SBS secretaries would maintain a record of issues raised by students and their resolution.
Increase awareness in, and uptake of, co-curricular opportunities (e.g. STAR, internships) among SBS tutees Regularly remind tutors in SBS that students should actively consider involvement cocurriculum. Promote information sharing.
Increase awareness in, and uptake of, skills workshops among SBS tutees Regularly remind tutors in SBS that students should actively consider ways to enhance skills. Promote information sharing.
Recognise the potential role of PTs with PGT students. Look for more continuity between UG/PGT experience Explore the possibility of having some PTs to be given a PGT allocation (and reducing their UG allocation). SPT has raised the issue in central committees.
Promote PDP in one-to-one meetings, for those tutees who are receptive While seeking to avoid imposing 1-on-1 meetings on unreceptive students, promote the opportunities for such meetings.
Promote employability awareness among SBS tutees Seek ways to further embed work-centered learning within courses. Raise profile of existing events (e.g. careers evenings, workshops).
Prepare/disseminate an annual verbal report on our PTS performance SPT, with admin and DoT, to prepare a summary of our PTS activity for the Student Experience Committee

 

 

Aspirations for the longer-term future include:

What needs to be done How we propose to do it
Promote the use of virtual meetings, if needed (e.g. using Blackboard Collaborate of Skype). This could allow meetings to occur when tutors are off campus Admin can provide assistance/training for those tutors who want to use video conferencing, if necessary
Ask non-SBS students if they want to transfer to another PT in their own school (from 2016--2017) SPT to consult students individually
For all new intake, try to allocate primarily to PTs with same/similar discipline within SBS SPT and DoT/HoS to consider how to match ratios of students : staff disciplines, while ensuring that all PTs (1 FTE) have similar sized groups

Contact information

Senior Personal Tutor   

 Dr Martin Barker 

 m.barker@abdn.ac.uk

Personal Tutor Admin  

 Mrs Amie Connolly

 sbsteaching@abdn.ac.uk

Head of School

 Prof Graeme Paton 

 g.i.paton@abdn.ac.uk

Director of Teaching

 Prof Michelle Pinard 

 m.a.pinard@abdn.ac.uk

                 

 

APPENDICES

 

A. Students with personal tutors in SBS

  • Currently, we have 461 undergraduates with PTs in SBS; 96.5% are SBS students.
  • Currently we have 12 degrees, dispersed among 5 disciplines:
  • biology
  • conservation and ecology
  • plant, soil, environment and forest management
  • marine
  • zoology and behavioural biology
  • The distribution of SBS (+non-SBS) students within SBS tutor groups is currently:
    • Level 1: 118 (+1)
      •  
    • Level 2: 96 (+7)
    • Level 3: 138 (+1)
    • Level 4: 91 (+6)
    • Level 5: 2 (+1)
    • TOTAL: 445 (+16)
  • All SBS students have PTs in SBS

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

B. Personal tutors in SBS

  • Currently, we have 41 personal tutors based within SBS.
  • 85.4% of our PTs are on 1 FTE contracts.

The mean size of their tutor groups is 8.9 students

…………………………………………………………………………………………………

C. Personal tutor meeting themes

In personal tutor meetings, we suggest that each student be allowed to ‘set the agenda’, depending on their priorities; the whole personal tutoring scheme is intended to be student led. University suggestions for meeting themes.

However, if more ideas are needed you could use the information in two ways:

  • Personal tutor: follow the links
  • Student: tutor could demonstrate links, or e-mail links to student

Below are just some suggestions. Please feel free to send further ideas to m.barker@abdn.ac.uk to add to this list for the next update.

Possible themes

Some options for the themes

Initial welcome

‘Welcome’ resources

 

Level 1 (+Level 2 direct entry): welcome to university. Everything OK? How personal tutoring works Level 1: Welcome session for all SBS students to be announced Aberdeen orientation:

 

Levels 2—4 (5): Welcome back. Vacation? Plans for this year. Any concerns?

General discussion

  • Student’s aspirations and concerns for the coming term
  • Any unfinished business from last term
  • Possible/probable date of next tutor group meeting
  • Reminder that you can be contacted between meetings

Introduce/remind students about Graduate Attributes

Could discuss which of the 19 graduate attributes the student is particularly keen to develop. See also Graduate Attributes resource

Could discuss the co- curricular opportunities

University is now using Enhanced Transcripts, so approved activities can be made more visible to future employers. Note that SBS students often do not engage with the co- curriculum:

  • Class reps
  • Climate Change Project
  • AberGreen
  • AUSA sports
  • AUSA societies
  • Student media: Gaudie
  • Student media: radio
  • STAR Award
  • S4S mentoring

Volunteering

  • University of Aberdeen internships
  • AUSA volunteering
  • University Careers Service work experience Volunteering in Cruickshank Gardens
  • Volunteering in local wildlife groups
  • Volunteering in museums
  • Aberdeen charities

Overseas expeditions

Look out for announcements in SBS Facebook and on noticeboards

Pastoral advice

Student Advice Centre

Semester / Year abroad

‘Go Aboard’ Contact: Cath Dennis

Communications

SBS Facebook accounts for each year group: contact Martin Barker

Disability support

Cassie Scott | Martin Barker + http://www.abdn.ac.uk/disability/students/index.shtml

 

Curriculum questions

General questions about curriculum

Course specific questions

Course coordinators are given in the course catalogue: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/registry/courses/undergraduate

List of undergraduate degrees

http://www.abdn.ac.uk/study/courses/undergraduate/?as

Study support

UoA: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/infohub/support/study-support.php

AUSA: https://www.ausa.org.uk/ausaadvice /

 

Programme specific questions

Programme

Programme coordinator (or those who should be able help)

BSc Animal Behaviour

Lesley Lancaster

BSc Behavioural Biology

Lesley Lancaster

BSc Biological Sciences

John Baird & Sam Martin

BSc Biology

John Baird

BSc Conservation Biology

Clare Trinder

BSc Ecology

Clare Trinder

BSc Environmental Science

Gareth Norton

BSc Environmental and Forest Management

Louise Page (withdrawn in 2018-19)

BSc Marine Biology

Paul Fernandes

BSc Plant and Soil Sciences

Martin Barker

BSc Zoology

Alan Bowman

Master in Science in Biological Sciences

John Baird & Sam Martin

 

Communications

  • SBS Facebook accounts for each year group:
  • contact Martin Barker

Disability support

School of Divinity, History, Philosophy and Art History

Purpose

Your Personal Tutor is a member of academic staff who will support you in your studies and help you reflect on your journey through University in preparation for the world beyond. You will be assigned to a tutor when you begin University, and in normal circumstances you will retain that tutor for the majority of your time at Aberdeen.

Your tutor can:

  • help you reflect on your academic progress in your time at University and offer you advice and support in setting your academic goals and developing as an active learner.
  • help you to develop skills and attributes required for success at University and beyond.
  • be your guide to a wide variety of University, School and Discipline level activities and services put in place to support you during your time at University.

Delivery

Students will meet with their tutors at least twice a year. First years will have meetings with their tutors early in the first half session, again in November and in January. All other students will have meetings in September and January.

Wherever possible, you will be assigned a Personal Tutor from your own Degree discipline. And even if you are not, he/she will be a member of staff familiar with your general area of study and the expectations of academic work in your discipline.

The subjects covered in meetings will differ depending on the needs and aims of the student, and can be agreed between student and tutor at the first meeting of the year. Topics may include: degree structure and curricular choice, how to develop basic academic skills, the effective use of feedback on assessment, reflection on grades and a plan of action for the coming semester/year, developing skills and attributes via study and extra-curricular activities, and planning for your career after your degree. Many of these topics will also be covered by events and courses organised by the School, the Student Learning Service, and the University Career Service, and you can discuss further issues raises at such events with your tutor.

Key Contacts

You will allocated a Personal Tutor at the beginning of your first year, and will normally retain that tutor throughout you degree. You will find the contact details of your Personal Tutor on MyAberdeen, under ‘My Organisations’.

The School Senior Personal Tutor is Rev Dr Ken Jeffrey. If you have any queries about the Personal Tutoring system, or you cannot contact your own tutor, please email him.

School of Education

Introduction

An effective and supportive Personal Tutor system for students in the School of Education at the University of Aberdeen is a key priority. Tutors aim

  • to help students to settle into University
  • to help students become and active and confident learners
  • to support students through their studies to achieve success in obtaining their chosen degree
  • to allow students to review and reflect upon their personal, academic and career development at regular intervals
  • to develop knowledge and understanding of the support services that are available to all students while at University.

The Personal Tutor is the first point of contact, for students, although other members of staff may also assist. There will also be support from Administrative Staff in the School of Education.

The Senior Personal Tutor in 2019/20 is Mrs Katrina Foy. The Senior Personal Tutor should be the first point of contact for all PT related enquiries.

Approach and Relationship

Where possible, students will be allocated the same Personal Tutor throughout their studies. This Personal Tutor will be an academic member of staff in the School of Education. Personal Tutors meet with students either individually or in groups throughout each session. Meetings will be arranged by the Personal Tutor at their convenience. All students may request additional meetings with their Personal Tutor as and when necessary.

The format of the meeting is at the discretion of the Personal Tutor. New students will be allocated to their tutor and alerted to the timing of their first meeting as early as possible prior to the start of the first semester. If students have any questions before arrival, they may contact their Personal Tutor via email.

Suggested topics which may be discussed at meetings reflect the key issues which a student might wish to discuss or be reminded of:

  • Approaches to learning, assessment preparation and feedback
  • Graduate attributes
  • Volunteering
  • Pastoral Advice

The focus of these will vary from student to student and the year of study. Other topics and resources are available on the Personal Tutor website.

Meetings should allow relationships to be built between the Tutor and the Tutee, so that if any problem arises, the student is aware of who they can contact in the first instance. Personal Tutors are part of a support network within the University which includes InfoHub, Student Support Service, Counselling, Student Learning Service, Disability Advice, Careers, etc. Tutors are expected to provide academic and personal references for students.

Additional Information

The Senior Personal Tutor offers support at the beginning of each academic year for all Personal Tutors, and opportunities are taken to include Personal Tutor System issues at School of Education Staff Meetings and Fora. This aims to ensure consistency and quality delivery of the system.

More extensive details of all aspects of the Personal Tutor System can be found via the University website, and in particular, for students in ’Student Help Guide’.

The Personal Tutor will aim to respond to Tutee queries within three working days in term time.

Individual meetings will be confidential, but a record will be kept by the Personal Tutor.

School of Engineering

Welcome

Welcome to the School of Engineering at the University of Aberdeen.

It is important that you enjoy your time here but it is also essential that you make the most of this time as preparation for employment, further study or whatever else your future holds.

We aim to support you on this journey and to this end we will be assigning you a personal tutor who will normally be a member of the school’s academic staff via your Student Portal in the exams and appointments section.

Personal tutoring

Your personal tutor will try to help you settle in by answering your questions or pointing you in the right direction if unable to do so. You will normally retain the same personal tutor throughout your studies.

Your personal tutor is here to provide support including advice on developing the broader competencies, or as the university likes to call them ‘Graduate Attributes’, which can improve your employability and ability to deal with life after graduation. You can find out more about Graduate Attributes via the following link https://www.abdn.ac.uk/graduateattributes/

Your tutor is probably not in the best position to advise you in your choice of optional courses or how your choices will impact your ability to switch between disciplines at a later date. Your personal tutor will however be able to direct you to someone who can help with this and may in some cases be able to offer their opinion about choices which are unrelated to your discipline.

You can find out more about the role of the personal tutor at University of Aberdeen’s Personal tutoring website via the following link http://www.abdn.ac.uk/infohub/support/personal-tutors.php

Meeting your tutor

You are strongly advised to meet with your personal tutor at the start of each half-session even if you don’t feel that you have any specific issues to discuss. Your personal tutor will normally be willing to provide a reference for employment or postgraduate study. They will be in a much better position to provide you with a meaningful reference if they know something about you which is one of the reasons why it is important for you to meet with them on a fairly regular basis.

Your personal tutor will normally arrange to meet groups of tutees from the same level in the week prior to the start of teaching but you can request a ‘one to one’ meeting should you feel this more appropriate or have something of a confidential nature to discuss. If you cannot make an agreed meeting it is important that you contact your tutor to let them know at the earliest opportunity. This is not just about good manners it is about being professional which is important for all engineers.

Requesting a change in personal tutor

Whilst the vast majority of students stick with the same personal tutor throughout their studies there are occasionally times when the interactions don’t go as well as you might have hoped for. Building any relationship takes time, openness and effort from both sides and developing good working relationships is a key skill within engineering. As a future professional engineer you are encouraged to work with your personal tutor to resolve any issues as and when they arise. If it is not possible to do so you should email Infohub@abdn.ac.uk to request a change.

Contacts

Senior Personal Tutor: Mr John Cavanagh; tel: +44 (0)1224 272294; email: j.cavanagh@abdn.ac.uk

A complete list of staff within the School of Engineering, including their contact details is available via the following link:

https://www.abdn.ac.uk/engineering/people/index.php

Useful Links

School of Engineering Website: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/engineering/

Support Services: http://www.abdn.ac.uk/infohub/support/

Careers Service: https://www.abdn.ac.uk/careers/

School of Geosciences

Your Personal Tutor will support you with your studies and will be able to direct you to any other support you might need during your time at University. He/she will be a member of staff familiar with your general area of study and the expectations of academic work in your discipline.

Working in partnership with your Personal Tutor will help you to:

  • Settle in to University and become an active learner
  • Become a more confident learner in your discipline and play an active part in your academic community
  • Reflect on your academic progress and make the most effective use of your academic feedback
  • Develop the range of skills and attributes required for success at University and beyond

As an undergraduate student you will meet your Personal Tutor at the start of each half[1]session either individually or in groups (in September and January). You will also be free to schedule meetings with your Personal Tutor at any stage during the academic year. The content of the meetings will vary and will be entirely flexible. For example in Year 1 and 2 meetings may focus on developing your study skills, and in your honours years they may focus more on research skills.

You may contact your Personal Tutor via email to request additional meetings to discuss anything you wish. For any urgent matters affecting your ability to attend class or complete assessments please contact your Student Support Coordinator.

Face-to-face meetings are preferred but if you are not on campus you may use Blackboard Collaborate as a ‘virtual meeting room’. To use this service you will need to have access to a webcam or mobile device.

Support Contacts

All taught students have a Personal Tutor and within each School there is a Senior Personal Tutor, and a Student Support Coordinator. The first point of contact for students is your Student Support Coordinator who is responsible for all aspects of pastoral care:

Student Support Coordinator: TBC

Senior Personal Tutor: Dr Charlotta Hillerdal, St Mary’s, Room 204, 01224 272332, c.hillerdal@abdn.ac.uk

Our Personal Tutors aim to reply to your emails within three working days, however, there are times when Personal Tutors may be on fieldwork. In these cases, an alternative contact will be given to deal with your inquiry.

Your Student Support Coordinator is available by drop-in or appointment requested via email, and can assist you with a number of matters, including:

  • Direct you to your relevant Year Tutor, if you seek guidance on degree regulations and requirements
  • Direct you to the School Disabilities Officer, if you wish to make a request for Special Circumstances for degree course work or exams
  • Procedures for applying to study abroad
  • UK Border Agency or other visa issues (where applicable)
  • Advice on support for personal, health issues and accommodation problems
  • Assisting Personal Tutors in organising and planning individual, group and additional meetings

To request a change of Personal Tutor please contact your Student support Coordinator who can discuss your options with you.

School of Language, Literature, Music and Visual Culture

Dear Student,

All undergraduate students are assigned an academic member of staff as their personal tutor (PT). Where possible, your PT will be from the discipline you are studying, but this is not always possible. The aim is to provide you with a personal contact in our School, a contact which can hopefully follow you through your years here. Your PT will be a first point of contact if you have any queries but will also be able to provide pastoral care and support both your academic and personal development.

You will be invited to regular meetings with your PT every year; often once each half-session. The meetings are intended to provide you with the opportunity to work in partnership to develop your academic and personal skills and qualities. Your PT will arrange to meet you in groups or individually for the regular meetings, but you are welcome to request a one-to-one meeting or contact your PT throughout the year whenever there is something you wish to discuss, or if you just need to talk to someone.

Your PT will help you to:

  • settle in at University and make the most of your time here, both academically and socially.
  • reflect on your progress and make changes as necessary.
  • develop a range of skills and attributes for success during your time at University and afterwards.
  • find the appropriate source of help if he/she is unable to assist.
  • or just be there if you need to talk.

Additional information:

  • The content of your meetings with your PT is confidential although a record is kept so that the PT can continue to monitor your progress.
  • Your PT will normally reply to any query you email him/her about within 3 working days during term time.
  • You should consider your PT to be the first point of call if you wish to discuss anything that is causing you concern. This might be an academic, personal, social or financial issue. If your PT believes there is someone else within the University who can offer better assistance, you will be referred to that person.
  • Your PT may not always be able to help with academic queries. In such cases, you will be referred to another member of academic staff who will be able to assist.
  • Your PT may contact you if he/she has concerns about your welfare.
  • Your PT does not have counselling expertise.
  • You should be able to keep the same PT for the duration of your studies although sometimes circumstances mean that you are allocated to a new PT. We will let you know as soon as possible if that is the case. If your PT is on research or other leave, you will be allocated to a temporary tutor.
  • Should you be dissatisfied with your PT, you may request a change by contacting the Senior PT for this School who is Mrs Anna Bokedal (email: a.bokedal@abdn.ac.uk)
  • More extensive details on all aspects of the PTing system, as well as other sources of support within the University, can be found via the Support & Wellbeing section of our website, where you can also find contact details for many key support services.
School of Law

Overview

Delivering an effective and supportive Personal Tutor service for students is a key priority of the School of Law at the University of Aberdeen. Personal Tutors support students through their academic journey to their degree and in their full student experience. The tutor should be the first point of contact for students, however other members of staff will also be willing to assist.

The Senior Personal Tutor in 2019 is Dr Burcu Yüksel Ripley. Administrative support is provided by the School Administrative Officer. The Senior Personal Tutor should be the first point of contact on all PT related queries.

Delivery of Personal Tutoring

The Law School prioritises that all LLB students have Personal Tutors from within the law staff. Where possible, and subject to research leave etc., students will be allocated the same tutor throughout their studies. Personal Tutor allocation and re[1]allocation will be subject to consultation with the Senior Personal Tutor.

Personal Tutors meet with students on an individual basis in the tutor’s office in the first few weeks of each half session. Personal tutors also meet with first year students in November before their first set of summative assessments, and will meet with all students in March or April. All meetings will be arranged by tutors. The format of the meeting is at the discretion of the tutor. New students will be made aware of their tutor and the timing of their first meeting as early as possible prior to the start of the semester.

Suggested topics which might be discussed at these meetings reflect the key issues which a student might wish to discuss (or be reminded of): approaches to learning, exam preparation and feedback, co-curriculum, career planning and employability and graduate attributes. The focus on these will vary from student to student and the stage of study. More details of possible topics, together with resources, are available on the University Personal Tutor website.

In many cases, tutors meet with tutees on an individual basis; on some issues, however, such as exam preparation and career planning, it might be useful for students to meet as a group (Personal Tutors in the School of Law will each have a spread of students from years 1-4). Where appropriate meetings might take place across years to enable informal peer mentoring, and for the student be part of a wider group which can also provide support.

At all meetings, students should also feel free to raise any other issue which they would like to discuss. The main aim of the meetings is to build a link between the tutor and the tutee so that if any problem, of whatever nature, should arise, the student is aware of who they can contact in the first instance and has developed a relationship with their tutor. Tutors are normally expected to provide academic and personal references for students, though this does not preclude students from contacting other staff members.

Other support

Tutors are briefed at the start of every academic year on academic issues and processes by the Law School the Student Progress Convenor, to be able to provide support to complement that provided by MyCurriculum. and MyTimetable. Further, each year group in the Law School has a co-ordinator. They hold an induction meeting for student year groups at the start of the academic year, when they discuss the structure of the year, any particular academic issues or choices which need to be made in that year and the impact of these choices on students’ degrees and future careers, and assessment deadlines. Further sessions and support are provided for first year students. The year co-ordinator also reviews course handouts and assessments for all courses relevant to the year to ensure consistency and to avoid clashes. In induction week Law School hoodies, and relevant information, are available in an open drop in basis in the School Office. The School Office is also a very useful source of support and should be able to direct you to others, to complement the information available on MyCurriculum and MyTimetable.

The tutor is informed if a student has an extension of time for a piece of assessment, is issued with a C6/C7 (for example, from missing tutorials), or has failed several courses, and may contact students to offer support and establish if there is a wider issue. Special attempts will be made to contact students who may be perceived to be particularly at risk of deciding to withdraw from the University or who it might appear would benefit from additional assistance to enhance their student experience (including referral to other University services such as counselling). Other Law School activities which aim to provide timely intervention, a supportive environment and a sense of belonging, for all students, are the active student body with its activities throughout the year, the Taylor Law library and the First Year Matriculation dinner which is supported by members of the legal profession.

Tutors are briefed regularly on wider opportunities to enhance employability and will encourage students to pursue them: the careers service, the Law mentoring system and events organised by the Law School Employers’ Liaison Committee.

The Senior Personal Tutor holds an annual briefing at the start of each academic year for all personal tutors, and personal tutoring is a standing agenda item at Law School meetings (which student reps attend) and Law School Staff meetings. This aims to ensure consistency and quality delivery and ongoing discussion between staff and students on this important issue. The Senior Personal Tutor personally meets with all new academic staff in the school to introduce them to the personal tutoring system.

School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

Dear Student,

As a valued member of our School community, we very much hope you enjoy your studies with us and our Personal Tutoring system is in place to help with that. The document below explains how Personal Tutoring will work for you. It is designed to support you during your years of study with us, providing a single point of contact and someone you can get to know who will be able to provide help and support (either directly or by directing you to an appropriate person) and provide references for employment applications etc.

If you have any queries or suggestions relating to the Personal Tutor system feel free to contact your Senior Personal Tutors Dr Isabel Crane and Dr Ann Rajnicek and we will do our best to help.

Wishing you a successful and happy time with us

Isabel and Ann

The Benefits of the Personal Tutor system

By working in partnership with your Personal Tutor you will:

  • Get the most out of your time at Aberdeen University and take an active part in our community
  • Reflect on your academic progress, make effective use of academic feedback and become a confident learner
  • Develop the range of skills and attributes required for success at university and beyond and move towards fulfilling your career aspirations

Your Personal Tutor can:

  • help you to settle into the University and your School
  • answer your queries and help you to address any concerns or problems that might affect your studies or direct you to the most appropriate source of advice or support
  • provide opportunities for you to reflect on feedback and your learning progress and development
  • help you to make the most of the opportunities available at the University and in the School to enable you to support your personal development and employability and achieve the University’s ‘Graduate Attributes’
  • provide a reference for a future employer or for postgraduate study

Your Personal Tutor is part of a support network at the University which includes:

  • Student Advice and Support
  • Counselling Service
  • Study support
  • Teaching Staff
  • Students4Students
  • Careers Service

More extensive details on all aspects of the Personal Tutoring system, as well as other sources of support within the University, can be found via the Support & Wellbeing section of our website, where you can also find contact details for many key support services.

Personal Tutoring in the School of Medicine, Medical Sciences and Nutrition

When you first arrive at the University we will let you know who your personal tutor is and a meeting will be scheduled for you with them so that you can start to get to know each other. They will be able to help you settle in and will build a rapport with you which will become stronger over the years.

They will meet with you on a regular basis at key times of the year, for example at the start of each semester. These meetings may be one-to-one meetings or group meetings where you can share experiences or discuss general considerations such exam preparation strategies. Your tutor will also contact you by email from time to time to check all is OK. However, you can approach your personal tutor with a query or meeting request whenever you would like any help or advice throughout your time at the University. They will be pleased to help so don’t feel reluctant to ask.

Developing a good relationship with your tutor will be a great advantage to you. Please always reply to your tutor’s emails even if you do not want to meet up and let them know if you cannot make an arranged meeting.

Additional Information

  • Your tutor will aim to respond to your queries within 3 working days in term-time.
  • Individual meetings with your personal tutor will be confidential. Your personal tutor may make a record of meetings but it will be kept confidential.
  • Meetings may take place on the Old Aberdeen Campus or the Foresterhill Health Campus. A shuttle bus is available if your meeting is in Foresterhill.
  • If you are not on campus (e.g. studying abroad for a period, or on placement) your personal tutor will contact you by email and your meetings may take place by telephone or online.
  • Your personal tutor may not be from the discipline you are studying (although they will be from the same school). As such they will not always be able to help you with academic queries but should be able to direct you to someone who can.
  • We hope that you will be able to keep the same Personal Tutor for the duration of your studies. However, sometimes circumstances mean that you are allocated a new personal tutor and we will let you know as soon as possible if that is the case.
  • Your Senior Personal Tutors are Dr Isabel Crane and Dr Ann Rajnicek. They are happy to deal with any queries about the system that you may have.
School of Natural and Computing Sciences

Welcome

Welcome to the School of Natural and Computing Sciences.

It is important that you enjoy your time here, and it is essential that you make the most of this time as preparation for employment, further study or whatever else your future holds. You will be assigned a Personal Tutor to help support you in your transition into University and throughout your studies.

More extensive details on all aspects of the Personal Tutoring system, as well as other sources of support within the University, can be found via the Support & Wellbeing section of our website, where you can also find contact details for many key support services.

Overview

The role of the Personal Tutor is to allow students the opportunity to review their personal, academic and career development at regular intervals. The Tutor’s role in this will be to help students develop personally and professionally, help students understand the skills necessary to improve their performance and achieve their goals both within and outside of their programme of study as well as provide encouragement and support as appropriate.

Operation of Personal Tutoring system

The Tutor and Tutee will as far as reasonably possible be within the same discipline for their major component of their degree (for example a Physics or Physics with Geology student, the Tutor would be a physicist). Where a degree contains equal components (for example Physics and Maths), the assignment of a Tutor will be either in Physics or Maths at the discretion of the Head of School /SPT and most probably to on the basis of evenness of Tutee load. Where a Tutee’s degree is divided equally between different schools we propose that the assignment should be according to which school bears the least Tutee load.

Retention and academic success

  • The Tutor will be able to offer advice on course selection to the student ensuring that their choice is sensible and so maximizing their chances of success and degree flexibility.
  • The student will gain a feeling of their discipline being their “home” where they come regularly to meet with their Tutor and lecturers and will have done this for from their first week of University.
  • The Tutor will be able to identify and offer help on academic issues that are blocking the progress of the student.
  • The Tutor (being a lecturer of the student and in constant contact with other lecturers of the student) will be in a better position to identify students with poor attendance or other issues and so take appropriate remedial action.

Engendering a sense of belonging has been identified by accrediting bodies such as the Institute of Physics as being of high importance in terms of retention, academic performance and general wellbeing.

In terms of employability, the Tutor will:

have a greater knowledge of the job market available to the student and be able to offer the student real and substantive information on how increase and enhance their employability.

the ability to offer the student ways of increasing their employability through extracurricular employability enhancement activities, enhance their personal development within the context of likely future employment and be familiar with how graduate attributes are already developed within the programme of study.

be in a better position to write references requiring detailed academic achievement information.

You can find out more about Graduate Attributes here.

Purpose and timing of meetings

There will continue to be three scheduled meetings offered to students each year for years 2, 3 and 4 with one extra meeting offered to 1st year students before their first set of exams in December (to offer advice on revision and exam technique). The three main meetings will occur at the beginning of the first term, the beginning of the second term and in March. The purpose of the meetings will continue to be those outlined on the PT web page “Preparing for your Meetings”. However, in line with the statement above, they may contain a higher academic content. This would mean for example that the Tutor would be more likely to discuss with the student their particular choice of courses in the September meeting, or discuss in more detail any particular problems the student was facing in exam preparation in the December meeting. These meetings will for the most part be one to one meetings, unless the Tutor decides to organize a group meeting.

It is important that students respond to emails about meetings, and attend the scheduled meetings. You can of course contact your Personal Tutor at any time should you have an issue you need to discuss.

Key Contacts within the School

Every student will have a Personal Tutor assigned to them who they should contact in the first instance. For all queries regarding your Personal Tutor you should contact the School’s Senior Personal Tutor, Dr Peter Henderson. Other points of contact are the Head of School Professor, Pete Edwards, and the Director of Teaching, Professor Bill Harrison.

The SPT will liaise with heads of discipline and staff seeking information on the success of the PT system by means of informal feedback from Tutors in terms of Tutor appointment attendance rates, from formal channels such as the staff student liaison committees. Annually, the SPT, heads of discipline and Head of school will identify strengths and weaknesses in the system in meeting the University expectations and develop ways in which it might evolve to meet any shortcomings or implement other good practice identified from other schools. The SPT will report on these various issues to the Student Experience Committee.

School of Psychology

All undergraduate students are assigned an academic member of staff as their Personal Tutor. The aim of Personal Tutoring Service is to provide pastoral care to allow you to develop academically and personally. You will be invited to meetings with your Personal Tutor in each semester. The meetings are intended to provide you with the opportunity to work in partnership with your Personal Tutor to develop your academic and personal skills. Should a personal tutor be unable to assist, they will refer you to the Senior Personal Tutor or other University Services that can help you. Your Personal Tutor will arrange to meet you in groups or individually at the beginning of each semester. However you will be able to contact your Personal Tutor throughout the year and request a one-to-one meeting if you have something to discuss. By attending and actively contributing to the meetings you will:

  • Become knowledgeable about how to succeed in the School of Psychology
  • Be confident in your engagement with staff members and peers
  • Be able to reflect constructively on your academic progress and respond effectively to feedback
  • Develop the academic skills and graduate attributes required to succeed locally and internationally
  • Reflect on your academic progress and discuss future aspirations and prospects
  • Discuss any concerns you may have about your progress
  • Be provided with appropriate guidance and information should problems arise
  • Contribute insights about your experience in the school and at the University

We aim to provide you with the same Personal Tutor for the duration of your studies although due to some circumstances (such as staff departures), you may be allocated to a new Personal Tutor. Should you be dissatisfied with your Personal Tutor, you may request a change by contacting the Senior Personal Tutor for the School of Psychology. The Senior Personal Tutor for Psychology is Dr Rachel Swainson.

Peer Support

There are also student-led sources of support available to you during your studies, including:

  • Peer Assisted Learning (PAL): Academic support is provided by students to students across all undergraduate levels within the School of Psychology.
  • Students4Students (S4S): Student Mentors are available to new undergraduate students. Sign up to request a mentor.
School of Social Science

The primary purpose of the Personal Tutor is to provide guidance and advice for the student as they progress into and through their studies, and as they then make decisions about the world of employment afterwards. The Personal Tutor thus has three goals:

  • To orient their Personal Tutees as to the requirements of university study;
  • To oversee and provide support to their Personal Tutees in the progress of their studies;
  • To support their Personal Tutees in their ongoing employment choices.

The Personal Tutoring System in the School of Social Science is three level:

The Senior Personal Tutor (SPT) of the School, who answers to the Head of School and SEC. The SPT’s responsibilities are:

  • Report bi-annually to the Head of School and SEC on Personal Tutor matters.
  • To liaise with Registry with regards to matters of PT co-ordination and University policy.
  • To organise information sessions for staff on course choice, study skills, disability and employability issues.
  • To organise information sessions for students on issues of course choice, study skills and employability issues.
  • To act as second port of call for queries and complaints either with reference to the PT system as it is employed within the School, or which cannot be resolved by individual Personal Tutors.

Personal Tutors (PTs) within the School, who answer in the first case to the SPT, and then to the Head of School. PTs’ responsibilities include:

  • To meet with Personal Tutees twice a year by appointment, and thence in response to requests from their Personal Tutees.
  • To discuss with students their views on their course choices, and to aid the student in ensuring that those choices are appropriate for the tutees’ study, employment and life goals.
  • To identify issues and challenges regarding disabilities and study skills, and work with the student to resolve them through the course of their studies.
  • To liaise with Registry, Student Support and Counselling services to provide support for individual Personal Tutees.
  • To provide employment and study references for Personal Tutees as required.

The end-run ability to provide a comprehensive and knowledgeable reference for a Personal Tutee is the hallmark of properly structured supervision by a Personal Tutor.

Personal Tutees within the School. Their responsibilities include:

  • To attend at least two meetings with their Personal Tutor per academic year.
  • To liaise with their Personal Tutor on matters that might effect their studies as a whole.

Personal Tutoring Statement for Social Science Students

Dear Student,

As a valued member of our School community, we very much hope you enjoy your studies with us and our Personal Tutoring system is in place to help with that. The document below explains how Personal Tutoring will work for you. It is designed to support you during your years of study with us, providing a single point of contact and someone you can get to know who will be able to provide help and support (either directly or by directing you to an appropriate person) and provide references for employment applications etc.

If you have any queries or suggestions relating to the Personal Tutor system feel free to contact your Senior Personal Tutor Dr Martin Mills and I will do my best to help.

Wishing you a successful and happy time with us,

Martin Mills

The Benefits of the Personal Tutor system

By working in partnership with your Personal Tutor you will:

  • Get the most out of your time at Aberdeen University and take an active part in our community
  • Reflect on your academic progress, make effective use of academic feedback and become a confident learner
  • Develop the range of skills and attributes required for success at university and beyond and move towards fulfilling your career aspirations

Your Personal Tutor can:

  • help you to settle into the University and your School
  • answer your queries and help you to address any concerns or problems that might affect your studies or direct you to the most appropriate source of advice or support
  • provide opportunities for you to reflect on feedback and your learning progress and development
  • help you to make the most of the opportunities available at the University and in the School to enable you to support your personal development and employability and achieve the University’s ‘Graduate Attributes’
  • provide a reference for a future employer or for postgraduate study

Your Personal Tutor is part of a support network at the University which includes:

  • Student Advice and Support
  • Counselling Service
  • Study support
  • Teaching Staff
  • Students4Students
  • Careers Service

More extensive details on all aspects of the PTing system, as well as other sources of support within the University, can be found via the Support & Wellbeing section of our website, where you can also find contact details for many key support services.

Personal Tutoring in the School of Social Science

When you first arrive at the University we will let you know who your personal tutor is and a meeting will be scheduled for you with them so that you can start to get to know each other. They will be able to help you settle in and will build a rapport with you which will become stronger over the years.

They will meet with you on a regular basis at key times of the year, for example at the start of each semester. These meetings may be one-to-one meetings or group meetings and information sessions, where you can share experiences or discuss general considerations such exam preparation strategies. Your tutor will also contact you by email from time to time to check all is OK. However, you can approach your personal tutor with a query or meeting request whenever you would like any help or advice throughout your time at the University. They will be pleased to help so don’t feel reluctant to ask.

Developing a good relationship with your tutor will be a great advantage to you. Please always reply to your tutor’s emails even if you do not want to meet up and let them know if you cannot make an arranged meeting.

The Personal Tutor System at the School of Social Science is co-ordinated by the School’s Senior Personal Tutor, Dr Martin Mills. Throughout the academic year, the Senior Personal Tutor will organise information sessions for students to provide guidance and advice on matters such as exam revision, study skills and CV preparation. These will be voluntary for you, and if you or those around you would like a particular area of guidance to be addressed through the year, please discuss the matter with the Senior Personal Tutor.

Additional Information

  • Your tutor will aim to respond to your queries within 3 working days in term-time.
  • Individual meetings with your personal tutor will be confidential. Your personal tutor may make a record of meetings but it will be kept confidential.
  • Meetings will usually take place in your Tutor’s office at the Edward Wright Building.
  • If you are not on campus (e.g. studying abroad for a period, or on placement) your personal tutor will contact you by email and your meetings may take place by telephone, live internet call or a web conferencing application.
  • We hope that you will be able to keep the same Personal Tutor for the duration of your studies. However sometimes circumstances mean that you are allocated a new personal tutor and we will let you know as soon as possible if that is the case.