Getting Started

If you’re new to Personal Academic Tutoring, you might be wondering what support you can expect. The good news is that there’s plenty of help available – from colleagues as well as here on this website and through the links to central departments. Indeed the wealth of information can feel a little daunting.  Here are some initial tips below to help you get started.

  • Make sure you know what is (and is not) expected of Personal Academic Tutors here at Brighton

The term personal tutor means different things in different institutions so check this out  before you start.  The University-wide Policy on Personal Academic Tutoring outlines key expectations for staff and students, while the School-specific Guidelines on Personal Academic Tutoring give more detail on how this works locally to fit with subject-specific teaching patterns. You can download both the institutional and School policies from the Policies  section of this site. See also the University information for students on how the PAT system works, including a video introduction from two experienced tutors talking about what students can expect and how we have made the move to online tutorials. We have a link to that video in the sidebar here along with other interviews with staff and students.

  • Check out the advice and guidance available to Personal Academic Tutors to help you develop your tutorial skills

The Guidance for Tutors  page includes an introduction to the role and links to more detailed advice on conducting tutorials (f2f or online), dealing with common issues, and information about supporting particular needs.

  • Familiarise yourself with the Student Lookup tool

The Student Lookup tool allows Personal Academic Tutors and Course Leaders to look up the student record details for students they are responsible for.

  •  Familiarise yourself with the resources available to help your students develop their academic skills

From the Helping Students to Learn page you can find links to some resources to use with your students, for example to help them with time management and organisation and to central services and resources for students to use independently.

  • Check out the very comprehensive support and guidance offered by University central departments to all students as well as sources of specialist advice

Your role as a Personal Academic Tutor is not to provide counselling or other specialist advice that is outside your professional remit. That would not be in the best interests of you or your students. Instead, be aware of what is provided by the university to support students’ physical and mental wellbeing, and understand how and when to signpost students to these resources. Your  School Student Support & Guidance Tutor is also a key contact here. Other relevant links are on the Student Wellbeing page

Staff and Student Videos
You may also find it helpful to watch the short video interviews in the sidebar. A group of students talk about their experience of Personal Academic Tutoring at the University of Brighton, while  individual personal tutors discuss the role from the staff perspective. They offer advice and tips on best practice, particularly for those new to the role, covering a number of topics, including how often they see their tutees, how they understand their role as a Tutor, what kind of things tutees discuss with them, what resources they signposts tutees toward, and what preparation they ask tutees to do for sessions.


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