You should expect to meet your personal tutor within the first week or so of starting at Portsmouth and it’s really important from the offset to build up a rapport with your personal tutor. It takes a little time and effort to build a good relationship with your personal tutor, but it’s worth it! Your personal tutor can direct you to the right wellbeing services and supports your academic progress. They may be able to give academic advice for certain aspects of your course in addition to writing you a reference and discussing career options. Personal tutors are often well-connected, with internal links to other departments and external links to professionals. These qualities should enable you to feel at home in your department and lead to your growth and fulfillment.
When will I meet my personal tutor and what will we talk about?
When you arrive at Uni, either your department administrator or your personal tutor will send you an email to arrange a first meeting. Many departments will also hold welcome events where you may be able to meet your tutor informally, too. If you are not contacted by your department administrator or personal tutor within the first week of arriving, you are advised to email your tutor yourself to say hello and ask to meet with them. If you are emailing your tutor to arrange a meeting, it is always a good idea to suggest a few times that would be possible for you to meet them – that way they can respond with a mutually suitable appointment.
Alternatively, check their office hours and drop in to see them at this time. Once you meet with your personal tutor each term, or perhaps more frequently if you are experiencing difficulties that are impacting on your studies.
Conversations will focus around how you are adjusting to life at Portsmouth, your academic progress, and goals, any difficulties that you might be experiencing and how they are affecting your studies, and what opportunities you are taking up. You might also talk about your results and your feedback generally – perhaps identify themes that are cropping up in your feedback or to talk about areas of strength and weakness in your academic subjects.
What if my personal tutor isn’t available?
If you have tried to meet your personal tutor and you discover that they are not available then you should contact the senior tutor in your department. Senior tutors oversee personal tutoring in each department and will be able to help you connect with your tutor, or will identify an alternative tutor if that is required.