Information for Personal Tutors

University policy states that post-graduate students should be allocated a named academic as their personal tutor (or mentor) at the beginning of the course. The tutors have two roles. The first is to guide and facilitate the learning of their tutees through Personal Development Planning, Their other role is to act as first point of contact for pastoral support.

Structure of the Tutoring scheme

The personal tutoring scheme is lead by the Deputy Course Leader, Dr Jon Shaw.

Students are allocated a personal tutor, or advisor, early in the course. The role of the tutor is to provide guidance on their tutee's professional development and also to be their first point of contact should a problem arise.  Students have the same personal tutor throughout the course, unless a student is allocated a research project offered by their tutor.

There are three scheduled meetings in December, February and May. The last meeting will focus on the progress of the research project.

Tutors should be available to answer informal queries from their tutees by email and for informal meetings with them if necessary.

Personal Development planning (PDP)

Personal Development Planning is a process through which tutors will help their tutees in identifying their areas of strengths and weaknesses relative to the course objectives and their future career plans. Personal Development planning in this course is organised around three review meetings between tutor and tutee. An informal social event is held in October when tutors can meet their tutees over refreshments.  The formal review meetings are scheduled at key stages in the course curriculum, in February and May. 

The first meeting will be to help your tutee identify areas of the course for which they may need to work particularly hard, based on their previous experience and career plans after the MSc.

The second meeting will review the studentĀ“s progress on the course and help them address possible problems or weaknesses and will focus on the progress of the research project and the acquisition of lab-related skills after the first 6 weeks of laboratory work.

The documents produced by the student through Personal Development Planning should be kept by the Tutors and form the basis for the writing of informed reference.

Academic support

If a student is underperforming or in danger of failing the course, tutors should notify the Postgraduate Teaching Administrator. Support and advice for the student will be provided through support meetings involving the personal tutor and, if necessary, the Deputy Course Leader or relevant Module Leader.

Pastoral Care

If a non-academic problems arise, tutors should meet with the student to understand what the problem is, The personal tutor should then direct the student to an appropriate support or advice structure provided by the University (see following section) and inform the Postgraduate Teaching Administrator.

Support services

The list of support services available to the students can be obtained from the Students Service and Information desk, or SSiD.

Student Services Information Desk (SSiD)