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Neglect of work

The role of Tutors Book spine

The role of Tutors in relation to neglect of work, unsatisfactory progress and discipline is set out in the Regulations for Conduct (to be found in the University Calendar) in the following terms:

'The conduct and progress of students is the concern of the following members of the Academic Staff:

(a) The Tutors who have direct responsibility for the academic progress of students and, in consultation with Wardens of Halls and others, for the conduct and well-being of those students allotted to them.' (Clause 4)

Tutors are generally responsible for any initial and informal moves to help a student who is neglecting their work or is making unsatisfactory progress. The task initially is to help the student to sort out any personal problems that may underlie the academic ones, to instil an element of time management and to investigate any academic difficulties there may be.

A referral to support services including Counselling, Study Advice or the Medical Practice may be appropriate.

If, however, such efforts bring no improvement, formal warnings will need to be given that persistent neglect of work will lead to discontinuation of the student's programme. Tutors are not responsible for formal warnings but they do have a role both in bringing the problem to the attention of those with that responsibility and in continuing to offer support to the student.


The student will in the first instance be warned at School level, either by the School Director of Teaching and Learning or the Head of School. If there is no improvement the student will normally be given a second warning by the Faculty Director of Teaching and Learning. If the warnings fail to produce the improvement required, the Faculty Director of Teaching and Learning may refer the case to the University Board for Teaching and Learning Sub-Committee on Neglect of Work and Unsatisfactory Progress.

By far the best advice in such circumstances is to try to get to the bottom of the issue before more formal intervention is set in motion. In the majority of cases, talking to the student, perhaps with the Senior tutor present, may offer solutions that prevent the need for further action.

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