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Teaching and Learning Support Office

Advising Taught Students Toolkit

This Toolkit is a signposting tool to assist Advisors in their role, and which underpins the Policy on Advising Taught Students. More detailed information on the role and expectations of Advisors can be found in the Policy, which was approved by Senate in April 2015. Implementation was from September 2015.

The purpose of the Policy is to ensure that all students are provided with high-quality pastoral and academic support through a proactive academic partnership with mutual expectations (the Advising role).

The Academic Advising Model

The Academic Advising Model has been developed to assist Advisors in their support of their advisees. It aims to generate a constructive conversation which motivates and directs students to take action and encourages reflection on their development.

The Model and supporting documents (including information on 'making the most of the Model', a guide to completing a student reflection sheet and a student action sheet) can be found below:

Academic Advising model image

Definition of an Advisor

An Advisor is an appropriately trained member of academic staff. They will be a student's first port of call for advice or direction to further support on academic and pastoral matters.

What does the role of an Advisor encompass?

  • Academic support: e.g., reviewing a student’s assessments and achievements across their programme of study and giving guidance on where and how to improve;
  • Pastoral support: e.g., identifying ways in which the University can support students with particular needs; providing a point of contact and gateway to appropriate services for students experiencing personal difficulties;
  • Preparation for careers and life after graduation: e.g., helping students reflect on the skills they have developed and their experiences whilst at Manchester; highlighting appropriate resources and opportunities for the student’s chosen career; writing references;
  • Aspects specific to any clinical training requirements.

Roles and responsibilities

For details of the respective roles and responsibilities outlined within the Policy on Advising Taught Students, please see the roles and responsibilities section. This provides details of each of the following:

  • The role of the Academic Advisor
  • The role of the Personal Advisor
  • The role of Students
  • The role of Senior Advisors
  • The role of the School
  • The role of the Head of School
  • The role of the Faculty
  • The role of the University

Signposting to Student Support and Services areas

The following sections provide links to information that Advisors may either find of direct relevance in their discussions with students,  or which they may advise their students to refer to themselves. Links have been provided to various internal (and a small number of external) webpages which Advisors may find useful. These have been separated into the following broad areas which can be found in the boxes below:

  • General resources
  • Academic and regulatory
  • Pastoral/practical
  • Employability and further study
  • Library and student development

Library and student development

The following resources are available from the University of Manchester Library:

Other specific areas of support from the Library are listed within the separate sections of this Toolkit.

Student development

Academic and regulatory

This area provides links to information concerning academic and regulatory issues, including academic malpractice, complaints and appeals, attendance, further study and research, and study skills:

Pastoral / practical

The following section provides links to areas of support in relation to pastoral and practical issues which students may approach Advisors with queries about. These include accommodation, careers, counselling, bullying, harassment, health (including mental health) and international programmes:

Employability and further study

Information and guidance relating to employability, careers, volunteering and postgraduate study can be found in this section. In addition, there is now a link to the 'HEA Academic Advising for Employability toolkit' that was developed at Manchester:

General resources

This section provides links to areas of general information and support, which Advisors may find useful in their communication with students. These include links to IT support, Student Services Centre, Students' Union and the Atrium.