Personal & Academic Tutors
Your Personal & Academic Tutor is the member of staff assigned to you to oversee your pastoral care and academic progress. Your Personal & Academic Tutor is available throughout the year, and should be your first point of contact for all advice, information or assistance of an academic or non-academic nature.
Director of Personal & Academic Tutoring
If you have an academic or personal problem which could affect your performance on the course, e.g. health, family, relationship, you should make sure your Personal & Academic Tutor knows about it. It is sensible to make an appointment since all staff have commitments that do not appear on the timetable, but if you think the matter is urgent please approach us at any time.
If you are unsure about who to approach, in the first instance try to see or e-mail your Personal & Academic Tutor, or if they are not available, you can contact David Benbow (for undergraduate students) or Nicholas Tsagourias (for postgraduate taught students). If they are not available, please contact the Law Student Experience Office.
Who is my Personal and Academic Tutor?
You will be informed who your Personal & Academic Tutor is. Your Personal & Academic Tutor will have two designated feedback & consultation hours each week during the Semester which you will be advised of once term is underway. You will be able to book into for a one to one meeting about anything you wish to discuss with them (usually via google appointments).
What does a Personal & Academic Tutor do?
Your Personal & Academic Tutor can help you in many ways including but not limited to the explanations below. Click on the icons to find out more about the functions of a Personal & Academic Tutor.
- group teaching through the CLASS module
- taking an interest in your motivation and goals
- explaining academic processes, expectations and values
- providing generic academic advice and feedback
- module choice advice
- reviewing how to improve performance
- encouraging you to reflect on learning outcomes of completed modules and to articulate what you have learnt.
- encouraging you to reflect on learning across different modules within your programme of study
- encouraging you to reflect on legal skills
- encouraging you to participate in the research culture of the school, eg to attend research seminars
- encouraging you to participate in wider scholarly and professional communities
- encouraging you to get involved in encounters with other disciplines, eg going to events organised by other departments in the faculty and encouraging you to engage with Sheffield Volunteering or work experience opportunities
- (if you are an undergraduate) discussing HEAR-able activities, such as the Sheffield Graduate Award
- Personal & Academic Tutor are not counsellors or medically trained, however they can listen to any issues that are worrying you and signpost you to additional help within the faculty or the wider university
- this does not have to be related to “problems”, for example, it might be discussing the transition from school to university, between years and between university and employment
Your Personal & Academic Tutor is the person who should be named as your key academic referee. It is therefore in your interests to get to know him or her. S/he will make requests to see you throughout your studies – make sure you keep these appointments. The better your Personal & Academic Tutor knows you, the better equipped they will be to give you a meaningful reference when the time comes. The following points are suggested as good manners and good practice when asking members of staff (or indeed, anyone) for references. The School of Law would like all students to follow this guide.
- Provide your Personal & Academic Tutor with your current CV.
- Keep your Personal & Academic Tutor well-informed about the jobs that you have applied for (provide a job description if possible) – if you would like your Personal & Academic Tutor to provide a reference please advise them of the details of the position you have applied for.
- Ideally provide a copy of any application to your Personal & Academic Tutor.
- Keep your Personal & Academic Tutor up-to-date with your progress, especially where a job has been offered or accepted.
Please Note: We require your permission to release information about you within references.
Find Your PAT in myRecord
select the “myRecord” tab
scroll down the the “myRecord” sub-heading
look for the text “Check and amend your student details, including course information, U-card pin and address here“
click the word “here” to open the myRecord system
select “Course Information” from the left hand menu to view details, including the name of your Personal Tutor