Your departmental role
You might be an academic, graduate teaching assistant or volunteer, or you may be in one of the roles
offering specific support within your department. In any of these roles you may come into contact with
students needing information, advice or support. The guidance on these pages aims to help you assist
and refer students effectively.
Roles offering specific support within the department
If you’d like further advice about supporting individual students, please contact the Student Services Hub.
Our Personal Tutor system has been designed to enhance students’ experience at Essex by providing
a structure to support them in their academic journey. At Essex all undergraduate and taught postgraduate
students are allocated a Personal Tutor. Although research students are not allocated a Personal Tutor,
supervisors are likely to be a main departmental contact for research students. Students can see the name
of their Personal Tutor by logging in to MyEssex.
You will need to provide general and academic support to a small group of students, offering opportunities
to discuss their academic progress, their transition between years and their progression into the world beyond
You will work with your department to provide your tutees with essential information and when necessary
referral to specialist central support. All Personal Tutors are supported by a Senior Tutor who you can
contact for further advice, information and training.
Your role involves:
- advising your tutees and referring to specialist support services when appropriate
- maintaining regular contact with your tutees (at least three times per year)
- writing personal references for tutees seeking further academic study or employment
Senior Tutors are responsible for monitoring and coordinating the delivery of their department’s
Personal Tutor system. They provide backup to Personal Tutors, oversee peer mentoring arrangements,
liaise with the mentoring scheme co-ordinator and act as a link between your department and Support
Services. Senior Tutors will also act as the under-18s coordinator for the department and respond to
requests from students to change their Personal Tutor.
Senior Tutors are all members of an email group email@example.com which
can be used to ask questions or seek peer support.
Departmental Disability Liaison Officer
Your role is as a link between Support Services, your academic department and students with additional support
requirements due to a disability, medical condition or mental health issues, to ensure we meet our obligations under
the Equality Act 2010.
Responsibilities of a DDLO
- you have an awareness of disability issues and reasonable adjustments which may be required under the Equality Act
- you have a knowledge of the subject area and the structure of the department
- you can provide advice about the University’s specialist support services
- you can act as a link between the department and disability services
- you can liaise with lecturers about disability related difficulties if students would prefer this
- you can assist if students feel the reasonable adjustments recommended are not being implemented by the department
- you are a person that students can contact if they are experiencing problems with academic progress as a result of a
permanent or temporary disability, medical condition or specific learning difficulty and who will be able to find out
about the options available
- you will listen to concerns confidentially
Contact details for each DDLO.
Departmental Peer Mentor Co-ordinators
A peer mentor co-ordinator is a staff member responsible for overseeing undergraduate peer mentoring arrangements
within your department, school or centre. Each scheme operates slightly differently and co-ordinators oversee:
- how mentors are allocated to mentees
- rules about whether to meet individually, in pairs or small groups
- what you need to do if you or your mentee want to swap
- how many times you are expected to meet with or contact your mentee(s) throughout the year
- how you are expected to make contact with your mentee(s)
- 'who's who' in your peer mentor scheme and/or departmental support arrangements
- what requirements there might be for record keeping
Contact your department's peer mentor co-ordinator or email
firstname.lastname@example.org for further details.