Frequently asked questions
I am finding academic work difficult- can my personal tutor help?
Yes. Your personal tutor won’t be able to work with you one-to-one to complete an assignment, but they can provide you with the opportunity to talk about what you are finding difficult to explore how you can improve or seek further help. If, for example, you are struggling with academic writing, they may be able to help you understand feedback that you have received, or they may provide general guidance on academic practice in their discipline. They may also direct you to support from Student Learning Services.
I am having personal difficulties- do I have to tell my personal tutor?
It’s your decision. If you are having personal difficulties that are likely to affect your studies then you are strongly encouraged to discuss these with your personal tutor. How much you choose to tell them is up to you. Your tutor will treat these discussions as confidential unless they feel that there is a risk to you or others, or if they need to share information with another service in order to access further support for you. It is especially important that you consider discussing difficulties that are affecting your studies if you have an assessment coming up so that you understand your options.
Everything is OK - Should I still arrange to see my personal tutor?
Yes. It’s a good opportunity to reflect on your progress and help to identify further opportunities for you to consider such as study abroad or co-curricular activities. Remember, if you build up a relationship now, then if times get tough it will be easier to ask for help if you have a good relationship established.
I am disabled - does my personal tutor need to know?
It's up to you. You can decide if it is relevant. If you require adjustments to support your learning, or your disability or disabilities are having an impact on your studies, then you are encouraged to seek specialist support at the university through the Accessibility and Inclusion Team and to consider sharing this information with your tutor so they are aware of your needs within the department. Any information you share with your tutor will be treated sensitively and will not be shared with others without first seeking your consent.
I need a reference- can my personal tutor write one?
Yes, but only if you have got to know each other! This is another reason why it is important to meet with your personal tutor and build a professional relationship with them. Your tutor will be able to write an academic reference for you so long as they have access to further relevant information, such as your CV, job description or any other application criteria – remember to send these to your tutor along with any reference request. Good reference protocol would be to ask your personal tutor if they are willing to be an academic reference in advance and to check that they can provide a reference within the necessary timescale. Asking for a reference with less than two week’s notice may mean that your tutor cannot provide one for you in time – so plan ahead and give as much notice as possible to your tutor.