Guidance for Tutors

This section of the site contains some general advice followed by links to subsidiary pages dealing with different aspects of the tutorial role

General Guidance

This downloadable guide, which should be read in conjunction with the more detailed advice and links on this site, provides a brief introduction to the role, including advice on:

    • managing expectations
    • running initial meetings,
    • questioning & listening skills,
    • dealing with common concerns
    • referring students to specialist support.

Please note that the guide was written before the move to online tutoring due to Covid-19. Some advice on conducting remote tutorials can be found at the Teaching Contingency website which also includes a wealth of practical advice for all aspects of remote teaching.

Tutorial Techniques

Listening & questioning

Discussion Prompts

Working with specific groups

  • First tutorial discussion prompts
    This documents contains a number of discussion prompts for your first tutorial with your tutee(s), covering areas such as getting to know your tutees, helping them understand their course and assessments, supporting tutees with Learning Support Plans, time management, services available to them at the university, accommodation, and any other issues they may wish to raise.
  • Setting Boundaries
    This resource offers advice on setting necessary boundaries between yourself, as the personal tutor, and students. It identifies different boundaries to be set – expertise, time, behavioural, and peer – and offers practical activities to develop skills in setting them.
  • One to one conversations and coaching
    This resource has a number of tips for one to one conversations with tutees, as well as practical examples to work through to help develop skills in solution-focused tutoring.
  • Mid semester 1 discussion prompts
    This document contains a number of discussion prompts for mid-semester 1 tutorials, which can assist you in beginning discussions with your tutees across academic years about their personal and academic development. The discussion prompts also provide links to services in the university that may be useful to your tutee, depending on how the discussion unfolds.
  • Supporting ‘at risk’ and ‘vulnerable’ students
    This resource offers advice on identifying ‘at risk’ and ‘vulnerable’ students, as well as tips for ensuring they are appropriately supported.
  • 6 tips for supporting BME Student Success with Personal Academic Tutoring
    This document offers tutors advice on working with and supporting Black and Minority Ethnic students. This advice includes guidance on: the importance of learning students’ names; the importance of assessing one’s own biases; the importance of being aware of microaggressions and stereotype threat; remembering to consider opportunities for students to work with BME role models; the importance of making your availability as a tutor clear; and the value of finding informal ways to catch up with students.
  • Re-engaging disengaged students
    This resource is designed to help you understand what ‘disengagement’ is, as well as offering advice for conducting conversations with disengaged students as well as advice on supporting them to re-engage with their studies.
  • Estranged students
    If a student doesn’t have the same support from their family network as other students, they could be eligible for support as part of the university’s commitment to help estranged students. You can find out more information on the university’s page about support for estranged students.


Assessments and academic work

  • In Year Module Retrieval
    Further information about In Year Module Retrieval.
  • Student Lookup
    The Student Lookup tool allows Personal Academic Tutors and Course Leaders to look up the student record details for students they are responsible for.
  • Study skills
    Study skills support is available to all Brighton students. Services are available to support students with assignments, research and library skills, digital skills, academic writing, maths and statistics, language development, giving presentations, and with group work.


Guides to university services

  • Signposting Guide
    The signposting guide breaks the university’s support services down by section (academic, mental and physical health, financial and so on), and provides easy links to them. You may find that a tutee comes to you with an issue – personal, academic, financial, or otherwise – that it is beyond your capacity to resolve. The signposting guide highlights services in the university that you can direct your tutees to for relevant support.
  • Student Life Connector
    Similar to the signposting guide, the Student Life Connector also provides links to a number of university services, and is particularly useful for accessing information and services to support students with questions around housing and finances.
  • Mentoring Information Pack
    The Mentoring Information Pack contains information about the mentoring services available at the university, as well as details of the support infrastructure that is available to students and advice about how to engage with the services. It also includes a series of tools and resources that can be used to support discussions between students and mentors.
  • Students’ Union
    The Students’ Union is an independent organisation that it set up to represent and support all the students at University of Brighton. BSU’s mission is to make student life better and this is done through providing a number of services and activities. You can find more information about these services and activities in the documents below:
    1. Introduction to Brighton Students’ Union
    2. Advice and Support
    3. Societies
    4. Student Voice

With thanks to the University of Lincoln, from whom some of these resources have been drawn, specifically its HEFCE funded Intervention for Success project. You can find out more about the project here.

Dr Bhavik Patel discusses his understanding of the role of a Personal Academic Tutor

Students discuss the preparation they are asked to do for tutorials


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