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Student FAQs

What is a personal tutor?

The role of a personal tutor is to help students feel part of the University community.  They are a specific and consistent source of guidance, information and support for students throughout their studies.  The tutor should be the student’s first formal point of contact for general academic guidance and pastoral support.

Why has the personal tutor scheme been implemented?

To promote student engagement and build a strong sense of community between members of the University. The introduction of personal tutors for all students will enable a greater degree of engagement between academic staff and students.

What should I expect from my personal tutor?

  • Help the student settle into the University.
  • Where possible, answer queries or direct the student to the most appropriate source of advice.
  • Address any concerns or problems that may affect the student’s studies.
  • Help the student to make the most of the opportunities available at the University and support their personal development and employability.
  • Work with the student to find appropriate pathways to resolve difficulties.
  • Direct the student to other sources of academic guidance (eg. adviser of studies).
  • Provide advice on the availability of sources of personal or welfare support such as help with studying, employability, financial matters and counselling.
  • Follow up students who are not making satisfactory progress.
  • Respond as promptly as possible to a request for contact, and in no more than three working days
  • Provide a safety net for students who may be experiencing physical, mental or emotional issues by acting as a point of referral to avert a crisis.
  • Keep up to date with the University’s policies and procedures relating to the provision of academic and personal support.
  • For students on professional programmes provide advice on professional registration and professional codes of practice.

How is my personal tutor allocated?

Each degree programme has an owning school and the Faculty who owns the programme will be responsible for allocating personal tutors.

How do I find out the name of personal tutor and their room number?

You will find your personal tutor from your academic history on your Portal Homepage, click the link “View Personal Student Tutor/Supervisor(s) Information”.

Can I change my personal tutor?

In the unlikely event that the relationship between the personal tutor and student breaks down irrevocably the Faculty Manager should be contacted to request that the Faculty reallocate the student to an alternative tutor.

It will be possible for a student to change their personal tutor in certain circumstances through discussion with the Faculty.  For example, if the student prefers a same-sex tutor this can be arranged through the Faculty.

What happens if I have problems with or want to make a complaint about my personal tutor?

You should contact the Faculty Manager. Your school/divisional contacts can be found here.

How often do I meet my personal tutor?

Students are actively encouraged to view their personal tutor as someone who can advise and support students across a wide range of issues and not someone whom they should only see when they have a problem.  Meeting dates are agreed between the personal tutor and tutee.

Do I have to meet my personal tutor or can I call/email?

Students who are studying part-time, off campus or online will be allocated a personal tutor but it is expected that the contact between the tutor and student will be appropriate to the context of their study. 

How long will a meeting last?

Meeting times will vary depending on the nature of your discussion. 

Are meetings with the personal tutor confidential?

Conversations with students should normally be confidential. Problems raised should not be discussed with anyone else without their permission. Normally any issues should be discussed first with the student and with their agreement these should be brought to the attention of other relevant colleagues.

However, there are occasions when it would be inappropriate to maintain confidentiality, such as the disclosure of illegal activity or activity that may lead to harm for the student or others. In these circumstances it would be appropriate for an adviser to discuss their concerns with other colleagues.

Will other staff know who my personal tutor is?

Only those members of staff who have access to student records through the Portal.

What happens if I miss an appointment with my personal tutor?

You should contact your personal tutor to explain why you have missed the appointment and to arrange another meeting date.

I am a distance learner; will I still be allocated a tutor?

Yes, you will be allocated a personal tutor.

I am an exchange student; will I be allocated a tutor?

Yes, you will be allocated a personal tutor.

How many students will a tutor have?

The maximum number of tutees a tutor will be assigned is 40 students.

Who is responsible for arranging meetings?

It is the responsibility of the tutor to establish contact with the student and to arrange meetings. Tutors should encourage students to attend meetings and make reasonable efforts to contact their students.  However, ultimately it is the student’s responsibility to attend meetings and they cannot be forced to attend.  If the tutor suspects there may be a reason for non-attendance this should be reported to the Faculty Manager in the first instance.

Students are actively encouraged to view their personal tutor as someone who can advise and support students across a wide range of issues and not someone whom they should only see when they have a problem.

Will I still have access to a personal tutor on placement?

Yes, you will still have access to a personal tutor on placement.

How is a personal tutor different to the adviser of studies?

Whilst personal tutors can be approached about any issues a student has relating to their time at University, the tutor may not be able to provide specific guidance on academic studies or the choices that have to be made.  In these circumstances a personal tutor may refer matters relating to a student’s academic programme or module choices to an adviser of studies in the first instance.

Will I have the same tutor throughout my studies?

Students will normally retain the same personal tutor throughout their studies whilst enrolled on that programme. However, during periods when a personal tutor is absent from the University for a significant period students will be allocated an alternative tutor.

What can my personal tutor help me with?

The personal tutoring system has a vital role to play in enhancing students’ academic and personal development and is essential in ensuring students make the most of their time at university.

What can my personal tutor not help me with?

A personal tutor will not be expected to:

  • Give specific guidance on any modules students are studying out with their subject area.
  • Approve module or programme changes (students should contact the appropriate adviser of studies).
  • Provide counselling but will ensure that students are signposted to the relevant professional services.
  • Provide immigration or financial advice but will ensure that students are directed to the appropriate contacts.
  • To answer every question that a student may have but should know where to go or who to contact to get the answer.

Where else can I go for more advice?

There are a range of support services able to provide more specialist advice to support your studies and information. Your school/division can direct you.

Have tutors received any specific training for their role?

Training will be available annually for personal tutors.  A rolling programme of specialist training events will also be scheduled throughout the year.  This training will be provided by Human Resource and Organisational Development.

Is a record kept of meetings with the personal tutor?

Tutors are encouraged to take a note of attendance at meetings and, although not obligatory, they may wish to make a record of the meeting.

I need a reference; can my personal tutor provide me with one?

Yes, you can ask your personal tutor to provide you with a reference.

If I defer my studies will I be allocated the same personal tutor on my return?

Your personal tutor would not normally be changed if you are on a leave of absence.

My personal tutor is not from the same department as the programme I study, why is this?

This is because you are on a combined degree programme and your personal tutor is a member of teaching staff on this programme.

What happens if my personal tutor is absent or leaves the university?

Students will normally retain the same personal tutor throughout their studies whilst enrolled on that programme. However, during periods when a personal tutor is absent from the University for a significant period students will be allocated an alternative tutor.

If your personal tutor leaves the university you will be allocated a new personal tutor by the Faculty.

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