Teaching & Learning


Initiatives and resources supporting the objectives of UCL's Education Strategy 2016-21


Personal tutoring

Personal tutoring is about supporting students' learning during their time at UCL. UCL Arena Centre can support you in your personal tutoring role through professional development and resources.

Every UCL student has access to a range of support to maximise the outcomes of their time learning with us.  

Sometimes they may be looking for a general chat to make sure they are on track with their studies, while at other times they may be facing a difficulty that they need help with.

In these situations, their first port of call is often the people they know in their department or programme, including their personal tutor who is the key ‘go-to’ person. 

The nature of the relationship means that personal tutors will deal with a range of situations requiring a sensitive and informed approach. 

Any local support offered by personal tutors and departments is reinforced by a wide infrastructure of support services available across UCL.

Personal tutors should feel confident to refer and signpost to this support as appropriate.

How personal tutoring is arranged at UCL  

Each programme must ensure that every taught student is assigned a personal tutor. They must be available to provide regular and personalised support and guidance.  

Departments should decide how best to provide support to their students. UCL does not promote a one-size-fits-all approach.  

There are many different models that can be implemented and departments should consider: 

  • type of course
  • size of the student cohort 
  • number of staff available  
  • location of students 

It is essential that every programme provides every student with information on how to access personal guidance and support relating to: 

  • academic progress and associated development of academic and research skills 
  • careers and personal professional development 
  • general well-being 

The support available should be clearly communicated so that students know where to get support when they need it, and staff understand the nature of their role. 

Training for personal tutors  

Personal tutoring is a core academic responsibility.

UCL aims to provide personal tutoring of the highest quality and, to enable this, there is training available for all staff who carry out the role. Current training includes: 

Online course for personal tutors *NEW* 

This online course is recommended all members of academic staff appointed as personal tutors at UCL, including new members of academic staff with experience of personal tutoring at other institutions.  

Experienced UCL personal tutors are also encouraged to work through the course as a refresher and central resource containing information, guidance and links to relevant policies and materials. 

The course will take approximately 3-4 hours to complete, depending on how much time you spend exploring the resources. You can work at your own pace, return to the course at any time, and access the materials in any order.  

On completion of the course, you will be able to download a certificate of completion. 

How to join the online course: UCL Personal Tutoring 

  • Go to UCL eXtend - do not enter your email and password on this page, select the option 'UCL log in'.  
  • Then log in using your UCL credentials (username and password). 
  • Accept the terms and conditions
  • Once logged into UCL eXtend, click on (or copy and paste into your browser) the link to the course: https://extend.ucl.ac.uk/course/view.php?id=578 
  • If you have any trouble accessing the course, email arenacentre@ucl.ac.uk

Personal tutoring: an introduction 

Join a termly workshop offered by UCL Arena Centre, which focuses on the main purposes of personal tutoring and how to provide effective support. It also:  

  • reviews the main purposes of a personal tutor  
  • discusses ways you can be an effective personal tutor 
  • provides an opportunity to answer any concerns you may have 
  • looks at real scenarios and explore suitable responses and; 
  • introduces resources available to you 

Search for personal tutoring in the UCL Arena events calendar for available training (tick the ‘personal tutoring’ option in the Subject filter). 

Resources for personal tutors 

  • All useful information, including support and wellbeing, can be found on the current student webpage. These pages provide a vital resource for all personal tutors and should be your ‘go-to’ port of call for information. 
  • Print and digital guides for staff and students can be found on the teaching resources webpage.  
  • What you need to succeed - setting out the scope and purpose of personal tutoring
  • Things To Talk About handbook - containing suggested topics for conversations between tutors and tutees, ordered to reflect the individual student’s changing priorities as they progress on their academic journey
  • E-learning package - designed to give non-specialist staff the skills, knowledge and confidence to offer first line of support to students who may have mental health issues

Download/order print of personal tutoring, student opportunities and assessment guides

Get in touch 

Email arenacentre@ucl.ac.uk if you have any questions, or would like to share your experience of personal tutoring with others through a case study or UCL Arena session.