The most beneficial relationship with your Academic Tutor will be a two-way one, where you work in partnership with them to support your own academic, personal and professional development.
Your Academic Tutor may have specific things to discuss with you, but these meetings are also a valuable opportunity for you to set the agenda – to talk about your interests, share your concerns, and to ask any questions which you may have.
While the main focus of these meetings will be your academic progress and development, your Academic Tutor can help to connect you with the University’s specialist support services to provide further information and support in other areas.
When to meet
You should meet your Academic Tutor at least once a term at a time agreed with them. Your Tutor will often be busy teaching, marking or conducting research and might not be available at short notice, so try to meet with them during their office hours or contact them to schedule your meeting a few weeks in advance.
Suggested meetings times:
- At the start of the academic year – to help give you a direction for the year ahead.
- During week 6 - to catch up mid-way through the term before you submit assignments.
- After receiving assessment feedback or when making decisions in relation to your course - your Academic Tutor can help you to reflect on your academic progress and make decisions in relation to your studies.
- Before the end of the summer term – to reflect on the year and set learning and development goals for the year ahead.
Remember, you don’t have to wait for your Academic Tutor to contact you first. If there is something you would like to speak to them about you should contact them and make arrangements to meet.
What to talk about
When you first meet with your Academic Tutor, they will usually explain the types of things they are able to assist you with and how they plan to run future meetings, for example meeting with Tutees individually or as a group.
If you’re not sure what to talk to your Academic Tutor about or how they can help you, here are some suggestions of topics you might want to discuss:
- Settling in to your course and University-level study
- Reviewing the term/year and setting goals
- Managing your time and workload
- Taking part in co- and extra-curricular activities
- Working with others on group assignments
- Reviewing the term and reflecting on your development
- Choosing your optional modules
- Academic writing and referencing
- Revision techniques
- Preparing for assessments
- Understanding assessment marks/feedback
- Any potential barriers to your academic progress
- Promoting relevant development opportunities
- Setting goals
- Recognising strengths and achievements
- Guidance on career/further study options
Your Academic Tutor will be able to give you better advice and guidance the more they get to know you, so make sure you let them know about your achievements, skills, and any co- or extra-curricular activities.
Tips from current students
Here’s some tips from Reading students on how to make the most of your Academic Tutor:
“I would recommend building up a good rapport with your Academic Tutor, and an honest relationship, because there is nothing worse than bottling things up. You shouldn’t be embarrassed to say you’re struggling - your Tutor is there to help.”
Alexander, Theatre Arts, Education and Deaf Studies
“If you can, speak to your Academic Tutor before you submit your optional modules. Luckily my Academic Tutor had taught part of the module I was interested in, and was able to give me lots of information on what it was all about.”
Lucy, Italian studies