Personal tutors

Academic Personal Tutors are members of academic staff. Their role is to help you to get the most out of your studies, and provide academic support during your time at university.

Support a personal tutor can provide

Personal tutors can: 

  • help you to reflect on your academic experience, skills, progress, and ambitions
  • offer advice on programme and unit study choices
  • listen, and where appropriate, signpost to support services. 

This will help you to: 

  • self-reflect, build resilience and autonomy
  • transition into, through, and out of university
  • develop a sense of belonging in your academic discipline and University
  • be aware of the support services available and how to access them.

Find out who your personal tutor is

All students on taught programmes are assigned a personal tutor. Your school will inform you of who they are are, and you usually meet them in the first week of term.

If you are not sure who your personal tutor is, you can find out by signing in to the University of Bristol app and and selecting the ‘my details" tile.

You can download the app from the Google Play or the App Store.

If you are a PGT student in a school with a large student cohort, you may be assigned a team of personal tutors. Your school will make you aware of the names and contact details of all team members if this applies. 

All schools have at least one Senior Tutor, who oversees the school's personal tutoring provision and can act as another point of contact. Your school will let you know the name of your Senior Tutor and how to contact them.

What your personal tutor expects of you 

They expect you to:

  • ensure you understand the role of your personal tutor
  • be proactive in seeking support form your personal tutor when required 
  • reflect on your academic progress and be aware of your skills development needs
  • respond promptly to any communication from your tutor
  • attend and prepare for all meetings with your personal tutor (both in-person or online)
  • participate in the meetings with your personal tutor (both in-person or online) and consider the advice and feedback they offer
  • tell your personal tutor if you are unable to attend a scheduled meeting for good reason and arrange an alternative meeting if appropriate
  • inform your personal tutor promptly of any circumstances (such as illness, anxiety, bereavement) which may affect your academic work.

When you will meet with your personal tutor

Your school will let you know how their personal tutoring system works. Usually, schools will arrange a schedule of personal tutorials. These may be small group or one-to-one meetings (or a mixture of the two), depending on your course of study. 

You can expect:

Undergraduate students:

  • at least three contact points to be scheduled in each teaching block during your first year
  • at least two contact points to be scheduled in each teaching block in later years of study
  • at least one of these contact points each year to be a one-to-one session.

Postgraduate taught students:

  • at least three points of contact over the two teaching blocks at main points of transition, by personal tutors or tutor teams. 

You can also contact your personal tutor at any time, outside of the scheduled contact times.

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