One of the most important people you will meet while you are a student at Southampton is your Personal Academic Tutor, who will be allocated to you for your arrival at the University and who is normally a member of academic staff in your own or a closely related subject area. Your Personal Academic Tutor will offer one-to-one support and advice throughout your time at the University, and will support you in your studies or with other issues you may have.
What is the Role of my Personal Academic Tutor?
Your Personal Academic Tutor will:
In addition, s/he will normally provide you with references to support you in seeking future employment or application for further study.
When will I see my Personal Academic Tutor?
Obviously this relationship relies upon regular contact and the building of mutual trust between you and your Personal Academic Tutor. You should see your Personal Academic Tutor at least once a semester at a time agreed with him/her. But you should also take the initiative to contact your Personal Academic Tutor when you have something you would like to talk over. Your Personal Academic Tutor will be able to give you better advice if he or she has the opportunity to get to know you. Make sure that your Personal Academic Tutor knows about your achievements and skills, particularly those outside the immediate programme curriculum.
What issues can I raise with my Personal Academic Tutor?
Your Personal Academic Tutor will help you with academic matters - choices of options for your programme, reviewing assessment outcomes and progress over your time at the University, for instance. You may also sometimes need to share personal issues or problems with your Personal Academic Tutor, in particular those which impact on your study. S/he will not be an expert on all areas that you need help with (you may for example have health worries, or financial problems), but may be your first point of contact for such issues, and will be able to signpost you to the Senior Tutor and/or other appropriate support available in the University and work with you to find appropriate pathways to resolve difficulties.
If it doesn't work out...
It could be that you find your relationship with your allocated Personal Academic Tutor is not working as it should. This happens very rarely, but in that case, either party can request a re-allocation. You should always discuss this with your Senior Tutor in the first instance.
The role of Senior Tutor
You will also have access to a 'Senior Tutor' or equivalent for your discipline or Faculty. You will need to find out from your Faculty who these are and how to contact them. The Senior Tutor is another experienced member of academic staff who offers an additional layer of support for you as a student. Depending on what faculty you are in, you may find that the role of the Senior Tutor is at faculty, campus, year of study, Academic Unit or other level as decided by that faculty. While your Personal Academic Tutor should always be your primary point of contact, you may also arrange to meet with your Senior Tutor to discuss any matter which may be affecting your academic progress. The Senior Tutor will be able to offer general advice and information relating to further sources of assistance.
How can I work best with my Personal Academic Tutor?
The most successful relationship with a Personal Academic Tutor will be a two-way one, in which you as a student can also have an active role. Your part in the relationship will involve: