How and when will I find out who my tutees are?
You are allocated academic tutees by your School or Department. You can find your list of academic tutees on RISIS – look under Student Administration and click on “My Students”.
How many tutees should I be responsible for?
There is no fixed number and this will vary depending on the size of your School/Department. If you have concerns speak to your SDAT
or Head of School.
How often should I meet my tutees?
You should invite students to meet at least once a term (plus the Welcome Week meeting in Part 1).
Where should we meet?
It is most common to meet in your office, although if you share an office or are holding a group tutorial you may need to book a meeting room. Other locations may be suitable, but use your common sense and professional judgement.
Meetings can be over the phone or via Skype if it is difficult to meet face to face.
What should we discuss in our meetings?
Please see the section on the website about your role as a tutor
, and the sections on meetings
for ideas on what should be discussed. You can also use the outline meeting agendas
to give you ideas.
Will the tutee be aware of what my role is?
The Essentials webpages
give students information about the role of their Academic Tutor, what to expect from their tutor, and how to get the most out of tutor meetings.
In the first meeting you have with your tutees in Welcome Week it’s a good idea talk about your role, what you expect of your tutees and vice versa, and how you plan to run meetings in the future.
Can I meet my tutees as a group?
Academic Tutors may arrange to meet with tutees individually or in groups but students should have the opportunity to have an individual meeting if they would prefer, and be encouraged to contact their academic tutor for individual discussions at other times if necessary.
Many topics lend themselves well to group meetings. Please see the page on group meetings for suggestions.
Do I need to keep a record of what we discuss in meetings?
The minimum information you should record is whether or not you met with the student. This can be recorded on RISIS. It is good practice to keep a record of what was discussed, but this does not need to be detailed. These notes should be agreed with the student, and will be visible to you, the student, your SDAT/DDAT, the School/Department DTL, the Head of School and Head of Department, and the SIS team. There is now a tool on RISIS that allows you to record tutorial attendance in bulk, rather than for each student individually. Click here
for instructions on how to use it.
What if my student does not respond to emails or turn up to meetings?
It is a good idea to send a follow-up email if a student does not respond the first time, or misses a meeting, but you are not expected to continually chase students. If you have concerns about a particular student, based on their non-attendance and other information you might hold (e.g. from the RISIS Tutor card) then you should speak to your SDAT
or to the Student Welfare Team
, or complete a Notification of Concern form
What do I do if I am unable to answer some of the questions my tutees ask?
As an Academic Tutor you are not expected to know everything!
There are many other support services available (see the flowchart here) to answer students’ questions about e.g. housing, finance, visas, and to support them with issues around welfare, mental health and disabilities. If a student has questions about their programme, timetable, module choices etc then you can direct them to the Support Centres, the Programme/Student Support Administrators (in HBS), or the Admin Office (in ISLI).
If a student’s questions are about their subject, and it is outside your own area of expertise, then you can direct them to appropriate resources or other academic colleagues.
What if my tutee asks for a different Academic Tutor?
Students are advised that it is usually beneficial for them to continue with the same Academic Tutor throughout their time at the University, but if there is a genuine reason for them wanting to change Tutor, you or they should discuss this with your SDAT
What happens if I feel the student has an issue that is too serious for me to deal with?
Obviously it depends what the issue is, but you can direct them to any of the other available support services
, and/or talk to your SDAT
or the Student Welfare Team
about the best course of action. You can also fill in a Notification of Concern form
which will go to the SWT.
What if my tutee is not experiencing any problems?
The relationship between an Academic Tutor and a tutee should be proactive, and students don’t need to be experiencing any problems in order to attend and benefit from Academic Tutor meetings. A large part of the Academic Tutor role is to assist students with their academic and professional development, so for example, you can discuss progress on their course, module options, feedback from assessments, CVs, work experience and placements. You can use the outline meeting agendas
, or ideas on the Meetings
pages to help structure your meetings.
Can I receive any training on how to be a good Academic Tutor if I feel I need it?
The CQSD T&L Programme
includes sessions that will be of use to Academic Tutors, and other briefings/training may be organised by SDATs in Schools/Departments.
Can I speak to someone if I find my role difficult or upsetting?
is there to support you if you need to talk to someone. You can also speak to a member of the Student Welfare Team for advice.
What do I do if I feel that my tutee is struggling with their work?
Depending on what the issue is you might suggest that they talk to the Programme Director, or a specific Module Convenor, about any problems they are having with the content. If the Peer Assisted Learning
scheme is running in their modules that could also provide support for them. You may also want to direct them to Study Advice
, Maths Support
, the Life Tools
programme or the Academic Liaison Librarians
If you or your tutee feel that the fact they are struggling might be due to a disability or mental health issue then you could recommend that they visit the Disabilty Advisory Service or the Student Welfare Team to talk through their problems. These services can also refer students on to Counselling & Wellbeing if necessary.
What other support services are available to students?
Please see the Student Support flowchart
for an overview of the services available, and the Supporting Students
section of the website for more details.
What is the difference between Counselling & Wellbeing, and the Student Welfare Team? How do I know which to refer my student to?
Counselling & Wellbeing
provide specialist support for specific areas of emotional or mental health difficulties. Students should be referred to C&W when issues are previously diagnosed or appear to have a long term impact, or if they are complex and require looking into personal history to assess and develop different behaviours.
The Student Welfare Team provide specialist advice, guidance and signposting for students who are experiencing difficulties outside their studies. Students should be referred to the SWT when they are seeking practical guidance relating to a specific incident or problem, often which has just arisen (e.g. homesickness, issues with house-mates/friends, family crisis etc).
In practice the two teams work closely together so if you’re not sure which is the right service for your student the best thing would be to talk to the SWT for advice.
Is there an academic tutoring policy?
Yes, the Academic Tutor System policy
was approved by the University Board for Teaching, Learning and Student Experience in October 2018, and revised in January 2020 . The Policy is published in the Guide to Policies and Procedures for Teaching and Learning.
Further FAQs about the implementation of the ATS project can be found in this document.