UCL Personal and Professional Development


Personal Tutors

Personal Tutoring and Academic Mentoring at UCL

Every student in a taught programme at UCL has a personal tutor or academic mentor who will support and advise on academic progress and on ways to access the full range of academic and wellbeing services available at UCL. The detailed arrangements will be different in different faculties and departments and will be clearly communicated early in the academic year. 

“A refreshed approach to personal tutoring/academic mentoring is central to our plans for the Connected Curriculum and enhancing the student experience at UCL.  I want all students to know there is a member of staff they can turn to discuss their progress and get advice on their module choices along with signposting to careers advice and other support services. The new Moodle dashboard is just one of a range of resources to help tutors.”

Professor Anthony Smith, Vice-Provost (Education & Student Affairs)

Principles of Personal Tutoring

1. Be approachable – it can be helpful to both students and tutors to establish when are good times and how to arrange meetings.

2. Listen – the tutor can’t be expected to solve all problems, but sometimes students need a listening ear and to make someone aware of issues they are dealing with.

3. Understand the issue – tutors need to be able to form a judgement as to the seriousness and extent of issues and may need to  inquire carefully to be confident they’ve understood as well as possible.

4. Empower the student – students often need some help in articulating their issues and exploring the options open to them but it is ultimately their own responsibility to decide on a course of action.

5. Know when to refer – personal tutors are not, usually, experts in providing specialist support for matters that are not directly related to study.  However, they should be able to help a tutee find and access the wide range of services offered by UCL.

What can you expect?

Students can expect….

Tutors can expect…..

Support to understand their own feedback and overall progress and agree actions to take in response to feedback Students to reflect on their performance and progress and come prepared to discuss academic progress and areas of concern
Support to understand how the Connected Curriculum applies to their course and the opportunities it presents Students to engage with the dimensions of the Connected Curriculum and to take opportunities to make connections for learning through research and enquiry
Tutors to be able to direct you to resources and support across UCL Students to seek advice and support if they feel they are getting into difficulties, whether academic or personal
Encouragement in becoming a member of your discipline’s academic community Students to consult and use the tutor as an academic ‘sounding board’
Help with academic decisions at key points such as choosing modules, research projects and future plans. Students to be proactive in exploring options and planning ahead

Sharing expectations

It’s really important that you both agree how the relationship is likely to work best.