Benefits of PASS


You can gain HEAR Recognition for attending PASS sessions. 

There have been numerous studies both in the UK and internationally to research the impact of PASS/SI on participants. A range of benefits have been identified including:

  • supporting the transition into study within higher education

  • correlation between more regular attendance and increased academic attainment

  • supporting the development of essential study skills e.g. communication, teamwork and time management

  • creating a social and highly interactive learning environment which encourages communication between students in different levels of study

  • encouraging greater ownership of the learning experience

The impact of PASS/SI on student attainment

A number of studies have investigated the link between attendance at PASS sessions and increased academic attainment. For example, the study by Carey and Fostier (2007) aimed to use a control group to investigate the impact of PASS on academic attainment for a group of 480 1st year Bioscience students at The University of Manchester. It was found that there was a strong correlation between regular attendance at PASS (4+ sessions) and higher attainment on the module. They also identified a significantly lower failure rate among students who had attended PASS in comparison to those students in the control group where PASS was not offered.

The PASS Team are undertaking evaluation of the PASS schemes currently in operation and will be reporting on this at the end of the 2016/17 academic year.

What have past PASS participants said?

It has relaxed me and made me more confident that I am capable of achieving good grades

The ability to talk to 2nd years about what’s coming up and their experience in the 1st year is amazingly helpful

I like being in a smaller learning environment and being able to ask lots of questions

You meet people, so you make friends

The PASS leadears were all very helpful and made us feel more confident about applying our knowledge to new problems

I was able to consolidate or revise points that we studied a while ago in the module or that I was unsure about, which gave me more confidence for the assessments and exams.

PASS Leaders

Skills Development

Research shows that PASS Leaders benefit greatly from their experience as a leader - their confidence grows, key skills are strengthened, and their own academic understanding is deepened. PASS Leaders at Sheffield have reported developing confidence across numerous skill areas, including:

  • Time management 
  • Communication 
  • Group working
  • Leadership
  • Group facilitation

Academic Attainment

PASS Leaders often reflect on the benefits of re-visiting earlier academic materials through PASS - consolidating their own knowledge alongside supporting the PASS participants.


All PASS Leaders are invited to take part in a Reflection Workshop delivered by the University Careers Service - this workshop enables the participants to critically reflect upon their experience as a PASS Leader and understand how to articulate and market the skills that they have developed to future employers.


There are numerous ways in which the PASS Leaders can gain recognition for the role they play in the PASS scheme

Higher Education Achievement Report

The role of PASS Leader is a demanding extra-curricular activity recognised by HEAR, which provides a comprehensive record of university achievements.

Professional recognition

As part of a new pilot initiative, PASS Leaders have been invited to take part in the Learning and Teaching Profession Recognition Scheme (LTPRS), which could lead to the award of Associate Fellowship of the Higher Education Academy (HEA). Three PASS Leaders have already achieved recognition as Associate Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (AFHEA).

Opportunities for progression

There are several opportunities for progression in the role of PASS Leader. This includes becoming a Senior PASS Leader with additional coaching responsibilities or becoming a PASS Leader Coordinator, overseeing a PASS scheme and carrying out session observation and feedback sessions. Additional training is provided to PASS Leaders who take on these roles.

What have PASS Leaders said about the role?

PASS Group Image

"Really building my confidence in a leadership role, gaining a lot of transferable skills that will be useful to me in the future"

"I’ve met new people on my course and have become much more organised as a result of being a PASS Leader"

Module Leader & Department

PASS runs successfully in many universities throughout the UK. There are a number of benefits and rewards that PASS can bring to the module leader and the department.

  • Allows for a deeper understanding of course content by encouraging frequent review of course material.
  • Allows students to develop confidence in their academic abilities, potentially increasing academic attainment
  • Regular debrief sessions with the PASS Leaders provide the module leader with an additional channel of feedback
  • Supplements support from academic staff

What have module leaders said about PASS?

This is a win-win scheme. The PASS Leaders gain invaluable experience and develop before our eyes; the Level 1 participants have extra help from students who have recently and successfully passed the year; why wouldn’t you get involved?"

It is a good opportunity for the students to learn in a different, and more informal way

I firmly believe that the sessions will benefit the students attending by giving them practical examples of how to solve engineering problems.