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IntroductionQuote from the Learning and Teaching Strategy 2011-16


As a member of academic staff, you play a variety of roles, providing support for the academic and personal development of students. While the academic role is the most familiar, you also have a role in the welfare of your students — at least in your ability to direct students to the appropriate service for support. So while a Personal and Academic Support Tutor will be up-to-date on a student’s general progress and can offer guidance on, for example, module choices and assessed work, it is important to know of the other sources available to students in terms of academic and personal support.

A clear understanding of the parameters and expectations of your role can alleviate some of the overlap that exists between the role of a module tutor, a Personal and Academic Support Tutor and the role of the departmental administrator in terms of provision of personal and academic support. Sharing this information with students can also help ensure that students know where to direct questions.

Top tips

  • Supporting students through academic transitions and integration is not just about Level 1 students. Keep in mind support needed by students experiencing other transitions, e.g. students moving between levels. See Induction session for returning Level 2 and 3 students.
  • As a Personal and Academic Support Tutor, think about the timing of discussions on matters such as Personal Development Planning and careers as well as academic issues. Consider adapting the Department of Psychology’s Roadmap for Personal Tutorials.
  • As well as helping students connect, some topics (e.g. taking notes, revision, preparing for exams) may be easier to address in a group tutorial as they concern all students. See Group Personal Tutor Meetings.
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Comments or suggestions - contact: lets@sheffield.ac.uk