UCL Medical School


Your Personal Tutor

Navigating your way through Medical School can be tough no matter which year you’re in; whether you’re making the leap up from A-Levels or taking your first steps into the clinical years. It can be an exciting but daunting time and it is important that you feel you're supported.

Every student in the Medical School has access to a Personal Tutor to help get you from doctor in training to your graduation (and beyond!), so it’s important you know what they can do and how to access their help. While the majority of students cope well with the demands of university life, it is inevitable that you will likely encounter some tough times and come across some difficult situations that you may wish to speak to someone about. UCL has a range of resources for students to access when seeking further support and the Personal Tutor is an important part of this system.

Below is everything you need to know about the Personal Tutor scheme, but if you do still have questions, click on the FAQs in the menu or email the Personal Tutors inbox.

What is a Personal Tutor? 

The purpose of a Personal Tutor is to offer students personal guidance, support with academic progress, pastoral care and support towards their general wellbeing. They are recruited from within the Medical School faculty, within the UCL Medical School campuses (Bloomsbury, Whittington, Royal Free) and linked GP practices.

The Personal Tutor’s role is also to aid in the personal and professional development of students, to provide support with academic progress, and to offer advice where necessary and signpost students to further sources of support. They have access to their tutees’ academic record including exam results using the UCLMS Academic Student Record (ASR) platform and have a good knowledge of the MBBS programme and assessments, as well as an have an overview of the GMC's guidance. They will record contact with their tutees, although this will not be shared without express permission (except in exceptional circumstances). 

A PT is also able to refer students on to other resources for support where needed, such as the Divisional Tutor's Office.


Your Role

As an adult learner it is up to you to take responsibility for your relationship with your PT. They will initiate contact with you at the beginning of the year, but thereafter it is your responsibility to ask to arrange meetings and proactively work on building a good professional relationship with your tutor. You should feel able to talk openly and freely with your tutor about both achievements and any difficulties you are facing, whether they are related to the course or if you are facing issues in your personal life.

Contact is recorded on ASR, but the meetings themselves are largely confidential except where students consent to the sharing of information, such as with Student Support, or if there is a significant concern regarding fitness to practice, health or wellbeing. 


Preparing for your meeting

Your first meeting may well be in a group with your tutor’s other tutees (most likely via video call or telephone). Thereafter, contact will be one on one and will take place in person, over video call, telephone, or email – it is up to you and your tutor to decide what suits you best.

You should bring with you any concerns you may have and/or any achievements you’d like to share. You can discuss with your tutor anything that may be troubling you, whether personally or professionally. Your meeting is solely about you and is your chance to raise any issues you may have. 


The PT’s Role

Your PT is there to act as a source of advice and communication about your medical studies.They'll regularly review your progress and achievements, and work to support your studies by giving advice on study skills, student wellbeing, and more. Your PT is here to check that you're happy and engaging with the programme.

Their role is also to provide pastoral support and refer you on to additional support and guidance where necessary, such as:

Useful Resources

Tutors are required to undertake training for the PT role.

Your PT should not be expected to have all the answers, but they are there to offer someone to talk to and will sign post students to where you can seek additional support where needed.


What can your PT do?

Your PT will be able to advise you on general personal and wellbeing issues, and academic problems you may be facing. Where your concerns fall outside of their remit, they will be able to refer you on to other resources as mentioned above - such as the Divisional Tutor's Office. You may also call upon your PT for references, provided you have kept in regular contact with them.