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What academic support is available to me?

In this video, students from the University of York tell you how to get support for your academic skills development.
So my favourite type of academic support at the university is my supervisor. He is fantastic. He will listen to whatever issues I might have about the department, of learning, or university life in general. The one I have used the most is contacting my supervisor or contacting lecturers directly. If I have any general questions, I go to my supervisor and he’s absolutely fantastic. I really enjoy having someone who I can sort of go to when I know it’s them I need to go to if there’s any sort of query. And lecturers are fantastic, they’re really quick at responding to emails so if you have any questions you can just email your lecturers as well.
A big aspect of the academic support that I’ve taken advantage of is going to see the module tutors so going to see the person that teaches us. Just asking general questions that I have about the module and just checking in to make sure that I’m on the right lines. It can be really important to make sure you don’t feel like a number in the system and I can at York you definitely don’t feel like that because everyone is more than willing to meet up with you.
Because I do two subjects, politics and economics, my academic tutor was a bridge between the two so I really had to learn how to adapt my writing styles and techniques in either subject and so my academic tutor definitely helped me there. They’re not only is there really overarching support structures, like the university have regular academic support sessions so in the library, there are writing skills centres and mathematical skills centres, and the student union is also there to support people academically, especially if They’ve got any concerns about anything more important than just their course, but also everyone has an academic supervisor, so everyone has that point of contact with a member of staff that they can go and talk to their concerns or go and ask for advice or anything, you can go and ask for their assistance but also we are all a team of peers, A team of students and community of people a community of academics, we’re all there to support each other so it’s not just ‘oh, I’m struggling.
I need to go to the university for help’ but you can also get a lot of support and advice from the people around you.

Many students worry about coping with the demands of academic work. Rest assured – university is all about finding your way but that doesn’t mean that you have to go it alone. You are joining a community and the academic support on offer will be plentiful.

Although this does present a challenge… where to start?

One of your first priorities should be to meet your academic supervisor (sometimes known as personal supervisors or tutors). Their job is to help you to get the most out of your time at university by:

  • Providing advice on and support for your academic progress
  • Supporting your personal development and acquisition of academic and employability skills
  • Providing general pastoral guidance, assisting you to identify appropriate specialist support should you require it.

Module tutors teach on your modules and are available to answer your specific, subject -related questions. It’s important to engage with your teaching as module tutors will set, mark and provide feedback on your assessments. They may also share additional resources and links (via email or a virtual learning environment) to support and enhance your learning.

Seminar leaders will facilitate your learning through activities and discussion in small groups. Seminars provide you with the perfect opportunity to ask questions and explore a wider range of ideas.

Additional support

There may be times during your study, where you could benefit from additional support. Your supervisor can signpost you to a range of central support services designed to help you by tailoring support for your needs:

  • Writing skills support is available to help you improve your academic writing and referencing skills.

  • Language skills support will help you develop your language skills to a higher standard.

  • Maths skills support is often offered to complement departmental provision. You may need to seek guidance on a concept or the wider content of a specific module.

These services can include drop-in sessions, group sessions, workshops, one-to-one support and online resources.

Peer support

You may come across schemes such as Peer-Assisted Learning (PAL) which aim to enrich your learning experience through small collaborative study groups. The sessions are led by students from your department, and focus on content from lectures or recommended reading and include activities to develop your learning strategies.

More informally, don’t forget about your fellow students as a source of support in your academic journey! Here is a Padlet with comments from some of our current students on how the wider learning community has supported their own transition to higher education.

Here at York

Here at York you will have access to the Writing and Language Skills Centre and Maths Skills Centre.

These services are free to access and offer a range of support, advice, workshops and help you to explore online resources.

Whatever your academic support needs, you won’t have to look far to find the help you need. You can always check-in with your supervisor so they can point you in the right direction.

What types of academic support do you envisage being the most useful for you? Feel free to share your opinions or concerns in the Comments as usual.

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