UCL Personal and Professional Development

Personal Tutors

Personal Learning from Personal Tutors

Who are Personal Tutors?

Every student at UCL is provided with a Personal Tutor (a supervisor in research degrees), who will normally be a member of teaching staff but not necessarily teaching courses taken by their tutees.

What sort of things can you discuss with your Personal Tutor?

Personal tutorial sessions should be scheduled in both small group and one-to-one formats to support tutees' learning and development, as well as considering personal welfare where needed.

This will include:

  • facilitating personal and professional development in all years of study
  • identifying any personal difficulties prevailing and advising or making referrals to
  • advise on course progression and options
  • general career advice
  • recommendations for further study

Getting to know a member of academic staff

Since you will normally have the same Personal Tutor as you progress through your degree programme, it is common to ask them to provide a personal reference around the time you are graduating. If you have engaged with them consistently across the years, they should know you quite well both academically and personally.

Arrangements for personal tutorials

Detailed arrangements vary from department to department, but the baseline minimum standards are that you should have five scheduled personal tutorial sessions in the first year, of which three are one-to-one, and three in every subsequent year. Tutors usually also publicise 'office hours', when they are available for consultation on a drop-in basis. If your Personal Tutor is away for a significant length of time, alternative arrangements should be available for the duration. The person overseeing tutoring arrangements in each department is the Departmental Tutor, so they would be the person to call on if problems arise.

The more you put into it, the more you will get out


Your Personal Tutor has a wide range of professional and academic responsibilities and may be busy at certain times of year, sometimes unexpectedly. Don't let this discourage you from seeing them however - the personal contact and mutual commitment is a vital part of learning at UCL. By the same token, be conscious of how you use the time in tutorials and informal meetings and use it well. If you take on board the advice given and realise its benefits in practice, it is time well spent for both parties. Your Personal Tutor can offer guidance on your personal and professional development, via the planning and progress logging tools in Portico as described elsewhere in this site. This will provide a meaningful standing agenda item for each personal tutorial and a thread of continuity between them, particularly for the majority of times when there are no significant difficulties arising which might require welfare advice and guidance.

Page last modified on 23 sep 13 15:23