As an Academic Tutor, your role includes supporting student professional development. This involves:

  • Encouraging students to be curious and positively engage with opportunities to develop their career identities so they become increasingly aware of their career aspirations.
  • Motivating them to establish and work towards clear goals so they can realise those aspirations.
  • Signposting them towards the array of opportunities available to help them develop.
  • Helping students to identify and overcome any barriers to planning their professional development through referral to a Careers Consultant or perhaps to counselling and well-being.
  • Reflecting with them on their progress in order to build their motivation and resilience.
  • Writing references for them when requested.

There are a number of resources available that can assist you in this but as ever, don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Careers Consultant for your School should you need further support.

For tips on what you could/should be talking to your students about at different stages of their degree please see the critical careers intervention points document.

Supporting Student Professional Development: Academic Tutors

This 14 minute video provides an overview of how you can support the professional development of your students. It provides advice in the context of the Academic Tutor role, defines what we mean by employability and career identity and establishes various ways you can engage in professional development conversations and activities with tutees including helping hard to reach students.

This screencast is of a webinar titled “Supporting your Tutees with their Career and Professional Development”, by Graham Philpott (Head of Careers Consultancy).

Careers Litmus Test

This worksheet can form the basis for a one-to-one conversation with a student. On one side it asks students to intuitively assess their professional development against nine indicators. On the other, each indicator has a set of links associated with it that you can share with the student to encourage them to take action. The document can be used hardcopy or shared on screen in an online meeting.  You may want to do this each year with your students to build up a picture of progress over time.

Careers and Employability Timeline

This summarises the different activities we recommend that students can take part in during their degree. Of course students have varying needs, so this is just a guide about what opportunities there are and when best to undertake them.

Work Experience Framework

This is an interactive document which summarises all of the University led schemes and opportunities students can consider alongside their potential development benefits and links to further information. You can share this link with your students.

Supporting Students with Professional Development: Ideas for Academic Tutors

This guide provides various ideas for Academic Tutors to promote students’ professional development. It identifies ten key tips for bringing career learning and student professional development into tutorials. It also includes the above timeline and work experience framework alongside a glossary of terms. The ideas presented cover topics such as challenging myths, spotting and challenging barriers to development, building the 4C’s: courage, curiosity, clarity and competency, ‘think social diversity’ and scaffold reflexivity and establishing goals as well as the careers and employability ‘litmus test’ with referral links for tutors mentioned above.

Useful links:


Erasmus and Study Abroad

Undergraduate Research Opportunities Programme (UROP)

Reading Experience & Development (RED) award

Reading Internship Scheme (RIS)

Campus jobs

My Jobs Online

Thrive mentoring