Faculty of Arts

Personal tutors

Starting university can be daunting. It's big, full of new experiences and can be academically challenging. That's why it's useful to have someone to support you. Someone who knows how things work, knows what's expected and knows how to get extra support if it's needed. That someone is your personal tutor.

What is a personal tutor?

An academic from your department. They keep an eye on your academic progress and look out for your welfare and development.

What do they do?

They will meet with you to talk about your academic and personal progress, offer guidance and signpost you to opportunities and support if needed.

What will we talk about?

That depends on what's happening with you. Your personal tutor is definitely going to want to talk about your academic progress. How are you finding your course? Are modules going ok? If you want to improve assessment marks how might you do that?

But they'll also want to see how you're feeling about being at university generally. Do you feel settled and that you belong here? Are there any issues that might be affecting your wellbeing?

If you do have any wellbeing issues your personal tutor may not be the person who can sort them out. But they can point you in the right direction and help you access the wide range of support services at Nottingham.

Your meetings aren't just one way though. You'll be able to ask any questions you want - whether it's study abroad opportunities, work experience, careers advice or anything else.

Portrait of Gaby Neher gesturing with hands

As a personal tutor, I work with you on your academic progress, but I also have a pastoral role with regards to your well-being. I see how you get on across all your modules, which enables discussions about you as an individual.

Dr Gabriele Neher


How often will we meet?

You'll have three individual meetings every year, usually at the start of each term.

In your first year you may also have a group meeting with the other people your academic is personal tutor for. This is so they can explain generally about how the system works and what other support is there if you need it.

You're not restricted to these scheduled meetings though. You can contact them at any other time for support and guidance.

For a more detailed outline of the structure of the scheduled meetings see our Tutoring Plan guide.

Will my personal tutor stay the same through my entire degree?

That's the plan. However, sometimes a tutor might change jobs or roles or go on research leave. In that case we'll make sure someone else takes over as your personal tutor so you always have someone to turn to.

The relationship you build with your personal tutor is important so that you feel comfortable approaching them for academic advice, supporting statements or if problems arise. If your tutor is not available or if you need to change tutors, please  contact your school or department's senior tutor who will see what they can do to help (you'll find their details on your moodle community hub).

What's a joint honours advisor?

If you are doing a joint honours degree you'll also have a joint honours advisor. They are an academic from the department that looks after the subject your personal tutor isn't an expert in. They'll support you with any academic issues that involve that side of your degree.

Maddi Maya sitting smiling in a stone alcove

Joe Jackson was my personal tutor and he’s always been incredibly supportive. He’s good at telling me to calm down a bit when I’m jumping the gun! When I was thinking about masters last September, he was like ‘Just calm down a bit, you’ve got time’, which I think it’s good to hear sometimes. It’s good to be encouraged but also sometimes you need to slow down and appreciate where you’re at.

Maddi Maya, English BA


Faculty of Arts

University of Nottingham
University Park
Nottingham, NG7 2RD

For course and admissions enquiries see our enquiry page

For Faculty administrative enquiries:
telephone: +44 (0) 115 846 8502
email: AR-Arts-Admin@nottingham.ac.uk