Learning and teaching

Signposting and referring

Discover key support services and resources for effectively signposting and referring tutees.

Signposting and Referring

As a personal tutor you are not expected to be an expert on every aspect of the university. This is particularly important regarding support and health services. No personal tutor is expected to be a trained counsellor or student visa expert, or to know all about the intricacies of student finance or have expert knowledge of specific learning differences/difficulties (SpLDD). A good, effective personal tutor is one that is approachable, interested and caring, and one that can communicate and listen effectively. The aim of personal tutoring is to build a personal, supportive relationship to help students develop and find the answers they need, so that they become increasingly independent. Only once a positive, trusting rapport and relationship is established, is a tutee likely to really open up about any issues or concerns.

All personal tutors will have a faculty DSE as well as local colleague(s) (e.g. Programme Leader) to talk to should any issues come up with a tutee that you are unsure of how best to deal with. Local guidance will be provided for all personal tutors. If in doubt, ask. If you are confident to do so, you can also signpost tutees to specific student support services if their query or issue is not within your immediate area of expertise. Referring a tutee to someone else does not have to be an emergency response. In most tutorial situations the personal tutor has a key role to play in listening sympathetically to student concerns. However, it is important to be able to identify students or situations where specialist professional help is needed, and to know how to refer the student elsewhere.

Some guidelines for personal tutors:

  • Always seek advice if you do not know how to proceed.
  • Remember that one of your key roles as a personal tutor is to signpost and refer, particularly on personal and welfare issues, not to be a source of expert advice yourself.
  • Know who to go to in your area for support (your line manager, Head of Department, DSE etc.).
  • If you need to talk to a colleague about a particular tutee or concern you have, you are advised to keep the identity of the tutee anonymous.
  • Maintain confidentiality but understand its limits. You can find out more about the University's Confidentiality policy here.
  • Make sure tutees know who to go to if you are absent.
  • Keep notes of tutorial meetings, and make sure you understand and follow university regulations about records and data.

Key support services

You may wish or need to contact or refer your tutees to one of the following support services:

Accommodation Services

Information about accommodation for new and continuing students.

Employability and Careers Service

Information about the services and resources available to students.

Greenwich Students' Union

The GSU University staff hub acts as a central hub of knowledge that is beneficial for University staff seeking to engage with Greenwich Students' Union (GSU) and their activities.

GSU's Advice Service is free, confidential and independent from the University. It is available to students who require help with either an academic or welfare issue that may be affecting their ability to progress with their studies.

GKSU is a dedicated and tailored students' union service for Greenwich and Kent students studying at Medway. Their GKSU Advice service also offers independent advice to Kent and Greenwich students.

International Student Advice Service

The International Student Advice Service provides free and confidential immigration advice to students.

  • Visa Applications
  • Visa Refusals and Administrative Reviews
  • Police Registration
  • ATAS
  • Lost Passports and Biometric Residence Permits (BRP's)
  • Short-Term Study Visas
  • Changes to your studies
  • Post-study work options
  • Schengen Visas
Library Services

More information on:

  • Opening hours and service points
  • Finding materials and borrowing rights
  • Accessing online resources
  • Placing and collecting reservations
  • Information and study skills
Academic Support

Tutees will find a number of useful online resources to help them with their studies from managing their time, improving note-taking and preparing and delivering a presentation to student wellbeing and maths support.

Expert librarians and academic skills tutors can support tutees with their studies. Tutees have 24/7 access to the e-resources collection available via My Learning page in the University Portal.

Tutees can enhance their information skills and academic skills by attending workshops or a 1-2-1 tutorial. Tutees can book a session via the online booking service.

Sports Facilities

Each campus at the University has its own fully equipped student gym.

Student Centres

Student Centres have a base on each campus and are there to help provide information, advice and guidance:

  • Registration
  • Issuing Greenwich Gateway cards
  • Producing student status and bank letters
  • Producing council tax exemption certificates
  • Enhanced Disclosure Barring Service information and identity check
  • Supporting Occupational Health checks for students on regulated degree programmes
  • Student record queries
  • Initial student visa queries and signposting for renewals
  • Information and approval of eligible applications for student Oyster cards and other appropriate travel discounts
  • Informal complaints advice and guidance
Student Fees and Funding

The Student Fees and Funding Team provides advice and guidance on all student finance and funding matters. This includes:

  • Student Finance and Government Funding
  • Paying for fees
  • Scholarships and bursaries
  • Financial hardship
Student Wellbeing Service

The Student Wellbeing Service provides a range of professional and specialist support, guidance and information to students who have a disability, long term medical condition, specific learning difficulties or mental health difficulties. The service includes the provision of counselling services, mental health advice, disability and dyslexia advice, support and information.

Other useful policies and resources for Personal Tutors