Counsellors, tutors, mentors – who’s who?


You’ve just started university and you’re feeling that typical uncertainty and shyness during the first few days, something that everyone goes through. There are hundreds of questions running through your head: what will the lectures, assignments and placements be like? Will I fit straight into university life?  Will I get on with my new flatmates? Will I like my new city? All this can make you feel anxious, as you want to find out all the answers straight away.

Three university students talking at an event.

Well, relax: this is how everyone feels at the start of this adventure. You are about to start the journey to becoming a fully-fledged professional and that can be a scary thing to think about at the beginning. So, it’s important to know that there are people at the University who are there to support and guide you through this process: your guidance counsellor, your personal tutor, your group coordinator and, if you want, your mentor.

And, of course, now you’re thinking “who’s who?”, “what do they do?” and “how do I get in touch with them?” Here are some answers.

Who can help you?

Four people discussing material on a whiteboard during a meeting.

Your guidance counsellor: he or she can give you some advice about how to tackle your academic and personal challenges. Our guidance counsellors are all educational psychologists who can give personalized and confidential advice and support to enable you to meet these challenges head on.

A young man and woman working together on a computer.

Your personal tutor: during your first year at the University, one of your lecturers will be your personal tutor and he or she will help you to adapt to your new surroundings. He or she will be the key person to go to if you’re unsure about the way in which your degree or the University works.

You can find the contact details for your personal tutor on the intranet.

A coordinator gives a talk in front of a large class.

Group coordinator: this person will be available to you throughout the year, to deal with the needs of the group you form part of or any individual needs you may have.

You can find thecontactdetails of your group coordinator on the intranet.

Students at an event holding pink balloons.

Mentor: students from the second to fourth years of their degrees take time out from their studies to help first-year students like you to adapt to your new life. Your mentor can explain to you how lectures and practicals work and give you advice on issues like food shopping or public transport. It’s a great way to integrate into university life and make friends from the very first day.


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