Personal and Academic Support

When you arrive at the University of Sheffield you will be allocated a member of academic staff from your department who will be your key point of contact for academic and personal support. You will have regular, scheduled meetings with this member of staff, who will work with you to achieve the best you can during your time at this University.

You can expect a scheduled meeting at the start of your first year, and then at least once every semester. There will be other opportunities to meet as well, during advertised drop-in sessions. Some sessions may be group tutorials; others will be 1-1s. Please note that these sessions will provide general guidance on academic matters. For issues that relate specifically to a particular module, you should seek help from the module tutor.

Where necessary, your academic and personal support tutor will be able to direct you to more specialist support, either personal, academic or more general.

Your responsibilities

To get the best from this partnership, you will need to:
• attend scheduled meetings punctually;
• keep your tutor informed of any problems that affect your university work;
• talk to them about your academic progress - they will be able to offer an informed overview and if necessary, suggest places to find more help;
• become an 'active learner' - reflect on the feedback you get from assignments and discuss this with your tutor to help improve your performance;
• discuss future planning and personal development;
• get to know the member of staff, and let them get to know you - they will be writing your references in future and need to do this accurately.

Staff responsibilities

Your personal and academic support tutor (the name may differ across departments) is your guide and mentor. In that role, they should:
• act as your key point of contact;
• provide timely and useful academic guidance appropriate to your stage in your academic progression;
• offer personal support and act as a gateway to a wide range of other services;
• help you think ‘beyond the course’;
• be available for scheduled meetings;
• publicise other regular 'drop-in' sessions at times that are convenient for you;
• be friendly and approachable, and help you to feel part of the learning community;
• stay in touch.

Departmental responsibilities

The department is responsible for:
• providing you with a dedicated member of staff who will give you personal support and academic guidance;
• making sure you know who this is, and informing you of any changes that may happen owing to staff study leave or other absence;
• scheduling regular meetings (once per semester) and clearly advertising them;
• publicising ‘drop-in’ sessions with all tutors, set at times that are accessible for students.

You should inform your department if a staff member is not available during their advertised sessions.