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Personal tutoring

What to expect from personal tutoring as a new or returning taught student

Role of a personal tutor

When you join the University, you are assigned a Personal Tutor who is a member of academic staff. They will act as a personalised point of contact within your department, supporting your academic and personal development. This might include:

  • discussing with you matters like unit choices, placement opportunities and future career plans
  • discussing your transition into the University community and your academic studies and progression, including signposting to additional academic advice
  • providing you with a reference for work experience, internships, your placement, further studies, or career
  • guiding you to sources of support with any personal matters or situations involving your health and wellbeing

Your tutor is not a counsellor and will not know all the answers to your queries, but they can listen and advise you on where to go in the university to receive additional advice and support.

If you need to talk to somebody urgently about your, or a friend's or student's wellbeing call the support helplines which are open 24 hours a day, every day: Urgent or emergency wellbeing support.

Meeting with your tutor

If you are a new student (UG and PGT), your Personal Tutor will arrange to meet with you during induction week or the first week of teaching (in-person or via Teams), and on at least two more occasions during your first semester. They will offer at least one meeting per semester on an ongoing basis for the remainder of your studies. This includes when away on placement or study year abroad.

Your Personal Tutor may increase the number of meetings depending on your circumstances, for example they may request to meet on your return from placement, study year abroad or a period of suspense. You can also request additional meetings by emailing your tutor or going along to their ‘office hours’ (if applicable).

Academic departments run personal tutoring in different ways. Your Personal Tutor might meet with you in a group with other students (in-person or via Teams) but should also offer you the opportunity to arrange a one-to-one meeting. Your tutor might set pre-work or activities to prepare for the tutorial, or it might be more informal. It is a good idea to think in advance about some topics you want to discuss with your tutor so the time together is helpful and constructive, e.g. reflect on your learning and/or personal needs and goals and discuss these in the meeting.

It is recommended you read through the Statement of Expectations for Personal Tutoring ahead of your first tutorial. It might also be useful to go through it with your tutor at your first meeting as it outlines the expectations and responsibilities of tutor and tutee.

You are responsible for attending meetings with your Personal Tutor, and for communicating with them if for any reason they are unable to attend. Your tutor will keep a record of your meetings, including non-attendance.

Discussions with your tutor are confidential except in situations where your tutor suspects you or someone else may be unsafe.

The importance of personal tutoring

It is important to engage and meet with your tutor as outlined above. Personal tutoring can benefit you and the tutor:

  • your tutor is familiar with your department and can help you navigate your academic journey (if they are new too then you can learn together)
  • personal tutoring forms part of a wider support network for taught students at the University. They can signpost or link you in with the additional advice and support when required
  • your tutor will provide references for a placement or other career opportunities in the future, so it is important to get to know each other
  • you can exchange insights on what it is like as a student or staff member and so build a understanding of the wider community at Bath

What to do if things go wrong

If you have not heard from, or find you want to change your Personal Tutor, contact your Director of Studies to discuss it further. If you would like support and advice from someone outside of your academic department then you can also contact:

Further guidance on personal tutoring

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