Your personal tutor
All undergraduate and taught postgraduate students are allocated a personal tutor. Your personal tutor will be a member of staff from your department. If
you are a postgraduate research student your research supervisor will take on this role.
Your personal tutor is there to help you feel connected to your department, school or centre and is someone you can talk to if you have questions about
your course or encounter any difficulties which affect your studies. Your personal tutor can also recommend other support services on campus that might be able to help.
Finding out who your personal tutor is
You can find the name of your personal tutor by logging in to your My Essex student portal. Click on
the ‘Education’ tab at the top and your personal tutor will be listed under the ‘Courses’ section. Alternatively, you can ask your departmental administrators.
Support your personal tutor can provide
Your personal tutor can:
- answer your queries or direct you to the most appropriate source of advice
- support you with any difficulties you may experience which affect your studies or recommend other University support services that can help
- help you to make the most of the opportunities available at the University
- help you to understand your feedback from assignments and discuss your academic progress
- provide guidance and advice about choosing modules
- provide guidance on what you can do with your degree after graduating
- provide a reference for you for further academic study or employment
Support your personal tutor can't provide
Your personal tutor can’t:
- provide specialist advice regarding: disability, funding, accommodation or immigration
- provide ongoing emotional support, counselling or wellbeing/health advice
However your personal tutor can recommend other University support services that can help you.
Meeting your personal tutor
You will first have the opportunity to meet with your personal tutor during the first few weeks of term. Your personal tutor or department will let
you know when this will take place. Your personal tutor may offer you the opportunity to meet at other times during the year and you are encouraged to
Your personal tutor can advise and support you across a wide range of issues and is not someone you should only see when you have a problem.
You can contact your personal tutor to arrange an individual meeting if there is anything you would like to discuss with him/her.
Contacting your personal tutor
You can contact your personal tutor by email or visit in person during his/her office hours.
Changing your personal tutor
If you would like to discuss changing your personal tutor you will need to speak with the senior tutor in your department.
If your personal tutor is also your senior tutor, you can speak with your departmental administrators instead.
If your personal tutor goes on research leave or leaves the University
If your personal tutor goes on a period of research leave or leaves the University you will be assigned a new personal tutor.
Obtaining a reference from your personal tutor
One of the advantages of developing a good relationship with your personal tutor during your studies is so he or she can provide you with a
reference for future study or employment.
Our guides summarise this all in one place for you.
What students say
Andra explains the importance of the support she received from her personal tutor during the first few weeks of her studies.
Madalina explains how her personal tutor helped show her the different options available when planning her year abroad.
“My personal tutor has been very helpful when I have had difficulty in understanding a topic on the course.
He is always very approachable and easy to talk to.”
Postgraduate (taught) student, Health and Human Sciences