Content for tutorials - an indicative Academic Advising curriculum

Since the university has a wide variety of student cohorts, subject disciplines and programmes, the content that you cover in tutorials will vary.The goal is that each tutorial should meet the needs of your students. 

The following indicative tutorial content covers themes that you can adapt to reflect your discipline.These themes can be delivered through individual or group tutorials as guided by your faculty or department. The timings of these themes are recommendations across the student journey, but do what works best for your programme. For example, if students have a placement year, you may focus on employment before they go out on those placements. Use these suggestions in conjunction with any tutorial content that your faculty or programme may have already set.

We are currently developing some generic sample session plans for use in Year 1, Year 2 and Year 3 Advising sessions.

An indicative Academic Advising curriculum

Journey PointThemeAimsOutcomesActivities
Pre-arrivalGetting to know you

Building relationships

Easing transition to university

Identifying ‘at risk’ students

Know who their tutor is and how to contact them

Outline goals for time at university

Identify issues and areas of concern, moving to University
 (Video) messaging or with tutor via email social media or virtual learning environment.
Complete pre-entry survey.
Level 4, semester 1,
First 4 weeks
Getting Connected

Informing themselves

Developing relationships

Social integration

Settling in

Have familiarised themselves with: 

  • the institution; 
  • the campus;
  • their timetable;
  • the location of programme information; 
  • tutorial policies, purposes and values;
  • student voice and representation.

Ice-breakers and team building

Passport with details of support services details and have to get each stamped before their next tutorial.

Note taking and library skills

Level 4,
semester 1,
Week 5

Preparing for Success

Establishing rhythm of the year

Support preparation for assessments

Study skills assessment

Be familiar with communications processes, complaints procedures, info systems, absence and attendance processes

Successful coursework submission

Effective exam prep
Planning and writing assignments, referencing and plagiarism

Revision guidance and exam technique

Study skills self assessment
Level 4,
semester 2
Making the most of University
Action planning and using feedback

Establish independent learning

Engaging with
extra-curricular opportunities

Reflect on feedback and use to plan future work

Know how to be independent, take responsibility and time manage

Understand extra- curricular opportunities available

Reflective learning and action planning

Time management, independent learning exercises

Exploring extra-curricular opportunities
Level 5,
semester 1
Refreshing, reflecting and developingReview Level 4
tutorial content

Review paid work/study/life balance

Further action planning
Reflect on level 4 to inform future action plans.

Ensure support is in place for level 5
Return to feedback and connect to upcoming assessments.

Action plan including ongoing review.
Level 5,
semester 2
(including any time spent on work placement)
Enhancing your Future


Developing graduate attributes

Linking module and pathway selection to careers

Understand how to develop graduate attributes

Develop CV and covering letter

Understand job or future study application process

Engage with the Careers service

CV and job application exercise

Career choice exploration and/or presentation

Module/pathway selection guidance
Level 6,
semester 1
Becoming a Professional

Reflect on any work placements

Planning for the future

Selling yourself/ your skills

Action plan for intentions after graduation

Have a professional online profile and effective CV

Provided tutor with info to tutor to facilitate effective references

Employability audit – to identify students for interventions

Mock interview and assessment day exercises with careers

Reflection activities on work placements

Set SMART targets for post graduation
Level 6
semester 2
Moving on

Transition out of university 

Staying connected

Providing feedback

Understand the graduation process

Appreciate the importance of providing feedback on their student experience
Explaining graduation and opportunities for remaining connected to and supported by the institution as Alumni

An overview of indicative Academic Advising content in an academic year

Duration, content and mode (group or one to one) is flexible and at the discretion of Faculty according to cohort size and type. The below table suggests a standard model and standard content for an academic year.

TutorialWhenIndicative themesMode
1Semester 1
(week 0 or 1)

Introduction to Academic Advising

  • Welcome meeting with your Advisees.
  • This is what you can expect from Academic Advising and the  year ahead.
  • Introduce study plan 
  • Agree goals/targets the student can use to review their progress

one to one or group
2Semester 1
(week - to be determined by programme to have greatest impact, perhaps linked to key assessment)
Check on academic and personal progress
  • Raise awareness of available academic and personal development/support
  • Prepare for assessment

one to one
3Semester 2
(week 1 & 2)

Reflection on Semester 1, grades and academic development plans for Semester 2

  • Institution wide “development weeks”, timetabled week for all UG and PG programmes.
  • Teaching continues, but a timetabled meeting is booked into the student's calendar.
  • Use of pro-forma (akin to staff PDRs) to include how the student progressing, how did semester 1 go, What can they do to improve for semester 2?
one to one
4Semester 2
(week - to be determined by programme to have greatest possible impact, perhaps linked to key assessment)

Preparing for Assessment/Professional Development

How the student can best prepare for their upcoming assessments etc or a focus on employability.

one to one or group
(to be determined by programme)
Drop-in hours

In addition to the 4 Tutorials.
Individually tailored to student/s self-identified need.
Clearly communicated so students know how they can book a Drop-in slot

one to one or
small groups