School of Social and Political Science

Skills Coaching


What is Coaching

Our coaching programme aims to support your personal and professional development during your time as a student. Our coaches will work with you to identify the right skills for development, including long-term goals and follow-on actions.

Your coach will spend more time listening than talking, supporting you to explore your chosen skill(s). Your coach will ask questions to understand your current situation and approach to development. This guided conversation will give you space to identify, and reflect on, the key aspects of your studies that you would like to improve.

How to prepare for coaching 

You should come to your session prepared to reflect and talk about your development goals.

Your coach will ask questions to help you plan the next steps of your development journey. Your coach will not tell you what to do, but will listen, question and summarise as you discuss your goals. 

Coaching sessions build on the rapport between coach and coachee. To make the most of your session, it's worth identifying in advance the aspects of skills development that you want to focus on.  

Please note that coaches:

  • cannot provide academic guidance or comment on pieces of academic work.
  • do not provide direct advice.
  • may share other resources with you.


SDO Approach - You at the Centre

All students in SSPS are eligible for 1-1 skills coaching.  Our coaching model features 'you at the centre' and we place your development at the heart of each session. Coaches are trained to listen and observe, asking questions to encourage strategic thinking.

Students registered on our SSPS Edinburgh Awards are eligible for coaching (either 1-1 or group coaching).  Coaches will be assigned by the SDO at the start of the Award process.

Students not enrolled on the Edinburgh Award can book one-off sessions focussed on specific skills (sessions will be advertised and must be booked in advance).

Current skills:

  • Time Management
  • Critical Thinking 
  • Essay Writing
  • The Dissertation
  • Preparing for exams


What to expect at a coaching session (1 hr)

Your coach will explain the SDO coaching approach in detail and check that you are happy to continue. They will invite you to share information about your motivations for attending coaching and will ask questions to further understand your development priorities. As you discuss the different skills for development, your coach will encourage you to identify actions for change. At the end of the session, you will take away a list of activities to implement. 

‘I have managed to secure an internship and have achieved better marks this year at university, both of which have definitely been influenced by coaching and the Edinburgh award’  - Anonymous


Book your appointment

Complete our Coaching Interest Form and a member of our team will be in touch to schedule your appointment. (Please note: Students participating on the SPS Edinburgh Awards will receive a separate link)

If you have questions about coaching, feel free to get in touch with the SDO: 

Student category
Development Hub