Best Universities for Personal Tutor 2022
Forming a good relationship with your personal tutor at university really can make the difference in getting the most out of your university student experience. We saw a huge rise in the value of personal tutors in the student reviews that were left during the pandemic and we believe that the provision of a good tutor is an important aspect of student life. That's why this university league table for personal tutors is so important!
What does a university personal tutor do?
The majority of students in the UK get assigned a personal tutor as soon as they arrive at university. There are two main types of tutor: academic and personal.
Academic tutors are usually members of academic staff and tend to be specialists in their areas of study, meaning they can provide specialist support for certain courses. They naturally focus on students’ academic development and track their progress on their course.
A personal tutor tends to be more focused on students personally: how they are transitioning to university, their access to support services and helping them find opportunities to thrive beyond their course work.
In reality, most personal tutors do a bit of both types of support unless you are on a specialised course. Sheffield Hallam University (#20) takes this one step further, with all their students benefiting from three different tutors for student support, academic and employability advice!
Sometimes, international students and exchange students will have a tutor specifically trained to support students transitioning into university life in the UK.
Making the most of your personal tutor
Every university runs their personal tutoring scheme slightly differently. Many more universities are offering both face-to-face and online meetings with a tutor, but whatever the method, the most important thing is that students meet with their personal tutor as soon as possible.
It’s a good idea for students to ask tutors for advice on study choices and get in touch with them as soon as they run into trouble academically. Students should keep in mind that their tutors are going to be the main person who writes a reference for jobs after uni, so make sure they know who you are and how you stand out. The University of Birmingham (#19) provides additional support through the creation of an online portfolio that students build during their time at uni with guidance from their personal tutors.
Lots of our reviews talk about the difference tutors can make to your time at university, with institutions like the University of Warwick (#9) celebrating the commitment of the personal tutors through their own awards for personal tutoring.
How is our top 20 worked out?
So who are the best UK universities for personal tutors in 2022?! Well, we’ve turned to 15,781 student reviews submitted on StudentCrowd between June 2020 and May 2022 to reveal this top 20 league table of the best universities for personal tutors. Our university rankings are based 100% on students leaving authentic university reviews, so you know you’re hearing straight from the experts, students!
Find out more…
Find out about the rest of StudentCrowd’s Best UK Universities 2022 to see which unis are ranked top across categories like value for money, course content, job prospects, campus and facilities and more!
The Top 20 UK Universities for Personal Tutor
“Tutors are amazing!...”
It is easy to see why Liverpool Hope University is deserving of our number one spot. They offer a great blend of academic and learning support, supplying a team of subject tutors as well as a team of personal academic support tutors based within each of their faculties. Hope’s extensive induction programme ensures students meet with their tutors as early as possible to make sure they receive all the support they need.
“I have learned useful skills and teachers and my tutor are willing to help me with their effort.”
Students at the University of Sheffield are fortunate to have a mix of both personal and academic tutors. Many departments also have senior tutors who make sure all of their students are accessing the support they need. Tutors meet with their students at several points in the year to make sure they are on track, both personally and academically. Students have praised the helpful support they have received from tutors and the wider staff in reviews.
“Love my course so much - it’s crazy hectic, but the tutors are great & so much support”
St Andrews University’s 'Centre for Educational Enhancement and Development' (CEED) offers an outstanding level of personal and academic support to all students. From study skills, to maths and statistics, they have it covered. Students can book one-to-one sessions for individual support or join in with larger seminars covering a wide range of core topics. Additionally, each department also has its own 'Academic Skills Project' to help students develop the bespoke skills necessary for their chosen discipline.
“The lecturers are nice and glad to help. There are also seminars and tutorials to assist your learning”
Imperial College London knows that the transition to university can be hard. That's why every student is allocated a personal tutor from day one, so students can be fully supported both academically and personally. Tutors work with their students to keep them on track and help them plan their academic pathway.
“... the tutors are everything you'd ever need, being helpful, critical and no bs people you gain the most from your experience there...”
"Tutors are everything you’d ever need"! Students at NUA are vocal in their praise of their tutors who are available, helpful and knowledgeable. With the majority of the staff at NUA having industry experience, tutors can guide their students both academically and professionally, meaning they are work-ready right from the point of graduating.
“I really like my course and the teaching is amazing especially my personal tutor [***]! She is always very helpful and knowledgeable...”
The University of Greenwich is a member of the 'UK Advising and Tutoring Association' (UKAT), the only UK organisation to offer professional recognition qualifications for personal tutors. This means that key members of their staff are professionally trained to support and advise students. Tutors are the key point of contact throughout a Greenwich student's life at university and are there to advise on academic study as well as the wider student experience.
“...Supportive staff, especially my personal tutor, my saving grace this last year!...”
The University of the Arts runs a wide range of student support initiatives across its colleges under its academic support department. This department supports students' academic and professional development through tutorials, seminars and online forums. The department has a specific focus on helping students thrive and learn in a creative environment and support is at hand across all levels of academic study from foundation to doctoral.
“...My personal tutor was really great, she pushed me to succeed in my work. I got a 1st in my degree, which I attribute to the eagerness of the lecturers to help their students...”
At Bangor University, a personal tutor forms an important part of the university experience. Personal tutors are specialists in their students' areas of study so they can benefit from expert help with any academic problem. But it’s not all about work. If students are experiencing problems with stress, homesickness or any other personal issues, they can also contact their tutor for help. Each department has a senior tutor to make sure no student slips through the net.
“...our tutors were supporting us greatly, making sure we understand everything that is being transmitted. To my surprise, they were even making sure that our mental health is good, by offering 1-to-1 tutorials...”
Students studying at the University of Warwick benefit from the support of their personal tutor throughout their time at university. Each department runs their personal tutoring slightly differently depending on the type of course they run. Every student is encouraged to develop their own personal development plan in partnership with their personal tutor. Warwick also recognises the work of their personal tutors through their 'Warwick Awards for Personal Tutoring Excellence' scheme.
“This course gave me chance to find jobs quite easily, the tutors always challenge you in the course of your studies, it is a hard course [...] but my tutors helped me achieving the best of my abilities”
Cardiff University has developed its own training programme for all its personal tutors, recognising the importance of this role in their students’ lives. Its code of practice sets out what students can expect from their department and tutors. There is even a requirement for Welsh-speaking students to have a Welsh-speaking tutor! Personal tutors can give advice and feedback on academic progress, discuss future career plans and promote professional development.
“...My personal tutor has been very helpful especially during this pandemic through our regular meetings”
The University of Reading redesigned its academic tutoring system in 2018. This means every student is assigned an academic tutor from within the student's academic department. The tutor's goal is to support their student's academic and professional development. This helps students achieve the most out of their degree either through modules choices, reflecting on progress, looking at ways to improve or making the most of the opportunities university presents.
“High-quality course and the tutors are very reliable and give me a lot of help with my study”
Personal tutors are a core element of Durham University’s collegiate system. Every college has a dedicated staff member to support student wellbeing but also their personal development. On top of that, each college has its own academic tutors who are fundamental to developing academic skills and ensuring students thrive in their degree. Through the Student Pledge, students are encouraged to act as good citizens by contributing to the life of their college and making the most of their academic experience.
“... My personal tutor is a literal saint. [...] she also answers her emails so quickly and sorted out some emergencies for me...”
It is clear that University of Liverpool students hold their personal tutors in high regard, and this was also true through the pandemic. The personal tutoring system varies between facilities and types of degree and is tailored to the needs of the course and students. Academic tutors are assigned based on the student's chosen discipline which ensures they are obtaining the most out of their degree.
“Amazing tutors who are very friendly and fully nurture the students...”
Personal tutors at the University of Southampton are there to transition students into university life, keep track on academic progress and help students make the most of the university experience. Students have commented on their dedication and helpfulness in StudentCrowd reviews! Each department has a senior tutor to add an additional layer of support to tutors, as well as students.
“...The tutors are the highlight for me as besides being great at what they do, theyre compassionate and treat you with respect as a peer not just a student...”
Ulster University 'Advisers of Studies' are there to guide students in all sorts of different areas affecting their course, including the choice of optional modules, curriculum content, assessment, progress, and study and examination skills. The University of Ulster clearly puts a high value on tutoring as it offers its own 'Tutoring in School' scheme, where students are equipped to tutor school-aged children!
“...Personal tutors are great, eager to help and to learn with you...”
The personal tutoring system at the University of Plymouth is designed to support the university's aims to "promote achievement and life-long learning and to help ensure that each individual student is known and valued and that their needs are recognised and supported." Feedback from StudentCrowd reviews shows they are doing just that. Plymouth has developed its own guidance to ensure students get the same level of support no matter what course they are on.
“...The tutors are always ready to help and go beyond expectation to help you. Also, always feel free to reach out to RGU respective teams for anything you need guidance in, you will get the best advice.”
The core aim of personal tutoring at Robert Gordon University is to help create an environment where every student can further their personal, social and academic development. Tutors provide the individual support and encouragement students need in their academic progress through university. This includes regular one-to-one sessions to help students reflect on their progress and make the most of uni life.
“The supportive personal tutor we have makes it the critical reason to stay here and enjoy our student life!”
The University of Bristol have created their own unique approach to helping students make the most of their time. Each student is encouraged to create their own personal development plan, helping students identify the skills they are expected to develop at uni, as well as examples of opportunities to develop them. This is just one of the ways in which the University of Bristol is striving to help their students develop their full potential and be work-ready.
“The personal tutor was very responsible and answered our questions clearly and in detail, and the professors were surprisingly quick to reply to our emails.”
Personal academic tutors play a crucial role in supporting students throughout their time at the University of Birmingham. Students use Paddlepad, an interactive online portfolio, to capture their development and progress as they go through uni life. The university has created a set of core activities to guide students’ reflections on their learning and assessment as well as their future career. All of this is accessible after students leave university to help them in their future career planning.
“... I found all the tutors very welcoming from the start to the end. [...] By the end I was able to contact teachers and my tutor for any extra help that was needed in 1-1. All in all achieving the highest of my potential.”
Every student at Sheffield Hallam University has access to three dedicated advisors which form the student support triangle: a student support advisor, an academic advisor and an employability advisor. Students, therefore, have specialist advice on hand for all of the important areas of university life. Academic tutors use ‘The Next Steps Tool’ to direct the academic and professional development of their students and to help them make the most of their time at uni.