35.   Student Support

35.1   The policy applies to the support of postgraduate taught programmes. There is variance in the type and cohort size of these programmes, including those covering distance and blended learning, and so the mechanisms for support will differ at the local level. This policy however sets out the overarching principles for that support, which should be normalised and developmental. The aim is to assist students in reaching their potential. It is acknowledged that while students studying at this level may have their own alternative support networks, they should also have access to appropriate support from the University.  Postgraduate taught students are here for a relatively short period and it is crucial that they are aware of the support available to them in a timely manner.

35.2   The aim of the University’s model for postgraduate taught student support has the same basis as the undergraduate framework: it is to provide students with a productive, predictable and meaningful support experience, which also allows for the distinctive disciplinary traditions in the University to provide this support in a manner appropriate to their discipline. Support structures can have a level of flexibility for postgraduate taught programmes, but they must meet these key principles:

35.3   That support is provided by those colleagues and in those forms which are best suited for their purpose;

35.4   The University, through its schools, specialist central services, the Students’ Union and student representatives, will provide postgraduate taught students with an overall framework of support throughout their University lives. The particular structure will be determined by local requirements and will be proportionate to needs, but will include tutoring and welfare support. Heads of Schools are responsible for the process and the quality of the support provided.

35.5   Schools will ensure that there is a multi-level approach that provides a flexible and transparent network of support for postgraduate taught students. This network of support must be clearly articulated. The different elements of the network should work holistically to ensure that appropriate and meaningful support is sustained.

35.6   In the case of students who may find it inappropriate or uncomfortable sharing problems with individuals they feel may be assessing their work or forming academic judgements of them, Schools will ensure that students are aware of alternative pathways for advice that offer students a choice of how to raise and discuss personal issues, such as: a member of academic staff not involved in assessing their work; a designated member or members of support staff within the School; the Students’ Union Advice Centre; and/or one of the University’s central Student Support services.

35.7   Schools will ensure that its model of student support is visible and that students are fully aware of the support opportunities that are available to them, particularly during their transition to the University and at the key points during their programme of study. A system of recording the meetings between Tutors and tutees should be established.

35.8   The University will ensure that students are aware of and have access to the support opportunities that are available, but the onus is on the student to engage with these opportunities as necessary.