Information for Prospective Academic Support Workers

This is a brief guide for prospective Academic Support Workers; our training courses will provide much more detailed information.

The Support Worker Service co-ordinates a pool of trained graduate support workers who provide a range of services for disabled students.

The majority of Academic Support Work takes the form of Note-Taking in taught classes.  It also covers the roles of Examination Support Worker (Exam Mentor, Exam Reader, Exam Scribe) and Study Assistant (Mentor, Non-Exam Reader, Non-Exam Scribe, Practical Support Assistant and Sighted Guide).  It does not include personal care.

It is necessary to submit a note-taking application to be considered for any of the Support Worker roles.  Note-taking is a responsible role and students rely on the professionalism of their Support workers for good quality notes, as well as a confidential and reliable service.  This is reflected in the selection and training process.  If you are interested in applying, please follow the guidance below.

Please select the relevant option to answer any queries you may have about the process.

Can I be an Academic Support Worker?

Yes, if:

  • You are a graduate.
  • Your own lecture notes are full and capture at least 75% of the information provided.
  • Your written English, spelling and grammar is of a high standard.
  • Other people can easily read and understand your notes.
  • You can provide a reliable service.
  • You are discreet and can maintain confidentiality.
  • You communicate well with other people.
  • You are prepared to commit to a regular number of hours for a student or students for at least one semester.


What does the Academic Support Worker role involve?

  • Attendance at the next available course.
  • Attendance at all lectures, seminars and tutorials as arranged with the Support Worker Service, for at least one academic semester.
  • Provision of clear, well structured notes to a suitable standard and within the specified time.
  • Provision as required of handwritten or typed notes.
  • A minimum of two weeks' notice if you are no longer able to provide support for the student, or a month for students who would be particularly disadvantaged by losing this support.


How many hours can I work?

The course includes sitting a demanding note-taking assessment.  In the event that your assessed notes do not meet the standard required we will not be able to offer you a support work role.

Attendance and successful completion of the course does not guarantee we will offer you support work hours.  We cannot guarantee x amount of hours as this does depend on student demand in various subjects.  Support hours are not usually available in large blocks of hours on single days but spread over a week and usually limited to teaching weeks in term-time.  Hours can also be lost during a term if a student is absent, withdraws or there is a difficulty with the support work provided.  It is thus not recommended relying on support work as a sole source of income.

Current postgraduates of the University of Nottingham should ensure that any paid employment [] does not interfere with your ability to attend or engage with your course or have a negative impact on your ability to carry out the required private study.  In addition, full-time research students must seek permission from their school before undertaking any paid employment.  This is explained in Section 3 of the PhD and MPhil Regulations:



How much will I be paid?

Pay rates are available on application to the Support Worker Service.



How do I apply?

Step 1

You need to provide us with an example of your note-taking:

Choose any radio or television news broadcast and make notes on the headlines and main news stories.  These should be typed up and when typed need to fill one full A4 side of paper in a 12pt font without large spaces on the page.

Step 2

Complete the Personal Details Form.

Step 3

E-mail the note-taking example and personal details form to:



What will happen next?

We will look at the notes you have sent us and, if they are satisfactory, you will be invited to attend the next Support Worker Training and Disability Awareness course.  If they do not meet our required standards, we will let you know.

On successful completion of a demanding assessment you will be paid at the trained note-taker rate.

Your personal details will be held on a confidential database and used to match you with student requests for support.  Matching is done on the basis of subject areas and availability.

Please note that if you are interested in roles other than note-taking, you must still complete the note-taking assessment in order to be considered.  You would then be asked to perform note-taking duties as required.




woman helping a female student study

Training course dates

To be confirmed

(likely to be September 2018)