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Personal Tutoring Statement 2019/20
Your Personal Tutor will be a member of staff familiar with your general area of study and the expectations of academic work in your discipline.
They will have a clear understanding of their role in supporting your studies and how to direct you to any other support you might need during your time at the University.
- How can my Personal Tutor help?
Your Personal Tutor will:
- help you to review your academic progress and performance regularly
- help you to think about your learning, how it contributes to your future development, prepares you for your time at university and your career
- help you to become a confident, active member of a community of learners
- help you to deal with any concerns or problems that might affect your studies and refer you to other staff in the School and support services as appropriate
More extensive details on all aspects of the Personal Tutoring system, as well as other sources of support at the University, can be found on the University's My Personal Tutor page.
Discussions between you and your Personal Tutor will be confidential, but any notes of the meeting will be available to a small core group of staff who are responsible for supporting you.
Further information on this is available on your Personal Tutor area of MyEd.
- The Personal Tutors in the School of Social and Political Science
For Taught Masters Students, Programme Directors typically act as Personal Tutors for student studying on the relevant PG degree programme. This staff member will be in charge of the academic content and student experience for this degree.
Some larger programmes (such as the Master in Social Work) have one or more Personal Tutors instead of (or in addition to) the Programme Director.
For simplicity’s sake, this statement uses the single term Programme Director to describe the role.
- One-to-one meetings
As a Taught Masters student, you will have at least two individual meetings with your Programme Director in the taught part of your degree programme and one individual meeting in the research part (the dissertation writing phase).
During Semester 1, the meeting will usually take place in Welcome Week (Week 0) or Week 1 of the semester. It generally occurs after a group meeting introducing the content and structure of the degree programme.
The meeting will ensure you are aware of the responsibilities and opportunities available under the Personal Tutoring system, including the chance for individual guidance, reflection, information on extra-curricular activities, or to develop academic skills.
You will have a further one-to-one meeting in Semester 2. This meeting will typically be used to review academic progress during the first semester.
You may request additional meetings with your Programme Director at any time either via your MyEd page or directly via email.
- Distance learning students
If you are not on campus, for example you are studying abroad, on placement, or studying an Online Learning degree, then meetings may take place by telephone, live internet call, or a web conferencing application.
Email exchanges are not considered as meetings unless they take place within a pre-agreed timeframe to enable a conversation.
- Group meetings
Each year you will be involved in group meetings and other activities designed to support your development as a member of the academic community.
You will generally have two group meetings with your Programme Director over the course of the academic year.
There is no fixed theme or approach for these meetings; the Programme Director will try to respond to student suggestions.
Group meeting purposes
The meetings serve three broad purposes:
The first is to allow Programme Directors to communicate the programme content and expectations, for example detail of course structure and dissertation supervision.
The second is to allow you to engage with others in the same degree programme and to share experiences.
Thirdly, these meetings will be used to provide information about opportunities to enhance your learning experience, and develop non-academic skills while at university.
Content will vary depending on the degree programme but could include:
talks from the careers service discussion of opportunities to study overseas details of internships volunteer opportunities
Who to contact for support
As an MSc student, you are supported by your Programme Director and a Student Support Officer. You can find out who your Programme Director is through MyEd.
- Programme Directors
Programme Directors can advise on academic issues relating to your degree programme, for instance, study skills courses and opportunities for further study.
They also offer generic advice on improving academic performance, for instance, if you keep receiving similar feedback from different courses. Advice on specific feedback should always be sought from the course course organiser.
You should ensure your Programme Director is aware of any issues that may adversely affect your studies.
Programme Directors are also able to advise on University procedures for dealing with difficulties, and refer you to support services available throughout the University.
- How to contact my Programme Director
You can contact your Programme Director via MyEd or email.
All Programme Directors also hold Guidance and Feedback hours at least once a week during semester time. You can visit these Guidance and Feedback hours without an appointment.
Details of staff availability will be available on their staff webpage, and will also be displayed on their office door.
When contacting your Programme Director, you should normally expect to receive a response within three working days.
Please take note of any automated out of office messages and turn to your Student Support Officer if your Programme Director is out of their office for a significant amount of time.
- Student Support Officer
Each Programme also has a dedicated Student Support Officer.
Student Support Officers can deal with routine issues, such as applying for Course Extensions without you needing to arrange a meeting with your Programme Director.
The Student Support Officer is located on the ground floor of the Chrystal Macmillan Building (CMB) behind the main reception desk
- School Reception
If for any reason neither the Student Support Officer or Programme Director are unavailable, please speak to reception who will be able to assist with your enquiry.
- Additional support
Additional academic support is available from the Senior Personal Tutor and Director of the Postgraduate Teaching.
- Director of Postgraduate Teaching
The Director of Postgraduate Teaching can also advise you if you have fundamental problems with your learning experience or Programme Director.