Tutorials and supervision - published for 2023-24
9.1 What students can expect in terms of academic and personal tutoring
Academic and Personal Tutoring
UCL is committed to providing all students with the academic guidance and personal support that they need to flourish as members of our active learning and research community. As part of the wider support infrastructure provided by a programme, every undergraduate or taught postgraduate student will be assigned a member of staff who can provide constructive academic and personal development guidance and support.
At the start of the year, students will be provided with the name of their personal tutor, and information about how meetings will work. Students are encouraged to be proactive in engaging with their Personal Tutor: make sure you reply to emails from your personal tutor in a timely manner and always let them know if you can’t attend a meeting. It’s important to build a relationship with your tutor so that you feel comfortable approaching them, should problems arise. Your personal tutor can also provide academic references for you, which is an important reason to build a professional relationship with them.
The IoA’s Tutorial Systems
The IoA employs a tiered tutorial system to monitor the progress of each student, as well as advise students on academic and pastoral issues. Each student has a Personal Tutor, and each undergraduate year group (First, Second and Third) has a Tutor. Each Masters degree programme, and the Graduate Diploma has a Degree Coordinator who also serves as Personal Tutor to all students in the group. The Departmental Tutor has overall responsibility for all undergraduates and the Masters Tutor has overall responsibility for all postgraduate taught students. In general, the Personal Tutors are there to be familiar with each student, whereas the Year and Degree Tutors take overall responsibility for the year group or degree programme. The Departmental Tutor and Masters Tutor are familiar with IoA and UCL administrative structures, and how these can help students. In addition, the Academic Administrator, Judy Medrington, and her assistant, can provide practical advice on degrees, modules, and all administrative matters, and can recommend students to specific Tutors, Advisors, and support within the Institute and UCL, for more specialised advice.
All students are assigned a Personal Tutor, and should see them at the start of term, after which they should make contact regularly with their Tutor throughout the year. Students must see their Personal Tutor at least once a Term for a progress meeting, and must bring to that meeting a completed Progress Form. If, for any reason, students wish to change their Personal Tutor, they should contact Judy Medrington who will make the necessary arrangements.
Personal Tutors are expected to:
- Meet their tutees in the first week of term, or make alternative arrangements, to ensure that students are settling in, and to discuss accommodation and finances if the student wishes to do so.
- Meet their Tutees during the week preceding the Reading Week of Term I, the week preceding the Reading Week of Term II and the start of Term III to check that modules are going well, and that deadlines for assessed work are manageable. Students should bring their completed Progress Form with them. Follow-up meetings may be arranged by either the student or the Tutor, if there are any concerns which needed to be followed up, and for a general update on how modules are going.
- Advise students on their module options and choices for the following year, ensuring that they satisfy their degree requirements and that their programme of study is coherent.
- Advise on fieldwork and dissertation plans.
- Advise on career planning. Students should provide their Tutor with a CV, which they can advise on, and which they will retain if they need to write a reference for the student, for employment or to take part in fieldwork.
- Be available to discuss problems, concerns or general progress.
- Report on the student's progress to Student Progress Meetings and advise on any grounds that individual Module Co-ordinators or Tutors may have for concern.
- Liaise on the student's behalf with the Departmental Tutor, Academic Administrator and Year Tutors over any significant problems.
The Year Tutors specialise in different areas which are of particular concern to students in that year of their programme, and organise Weekly Review sessions for the cohort. The First-Year Tutors help students cope with induction, settle in to university life, and become familiar with the study skills appropriate to academic work. The Second-Year Tutor advises students who are considering shifting their focus by transferring between degrees. The Third-Year Tutor is particularly closely tied to students' dissertation work (as Dissertation Co-ordinator), but also advises on any problems involved in completion of degrees. All are there to advise on financial matters, module and degree changes, difficulties keeping-up with academic work, and personal difficulties.
Departmental and Masters Tutor
The Departmental Tutor and Masters Tutor have overall responsibility for all IoA undergraduates and postgraduate taught students, undertaking administrative liaison with the Faculty and College on their behalf. They work closely with the Year Tutors and Degree Co-ordinators and the Academic Administrator, and provide backup for Personal Tutors and other tutors in helping students deal with any problems that arise.
Student Progress Meetings
Module Co-ordinators and Tutors meet in Terms I, II and III to discuss the progress of all students, and to identify students who may be in difficulty and need advice or assistance.
9.2 Transition Mentors
9.2.1 Transition Mentors
The UCL Transition Programme supports new first-year students at UCL, helping them to settle in quickly and achieve their potential. Each first-year student is assigned a Transition Mentor for their first term. Transition mentors are later-year students within each department who work with small groups of students on a weekly basis to help them settle in to UCL and London as well as focussing on academic issues and topics specific to their degree programme. First-year students meet their Transition Mentor during the first week of term at their department’s ‘Meet your Mentor’ session.
Please note that the 2023 Transition Mentoring Programme will be delivered in person.