Student stories

Personal tutors are an important part of your learning experience at Heriot-Watt. This is how some students have described their experiences of personal tutoring at Heriot-Watt:

"The relationship between personal tutor and tutee is paramount to the student experience, if only to have someone there to turn to if you're stressed. They are a great port of call, no matter what the issue and 9 times out of 10 can give you stellar advice on all topics. Also, if they don't know the solution, they'll do their absolute best to find it for you."
Final year student

Your personal tutor can help you adjust to University-life and how to ensure your learning experience is supported by the University:

"My personal tutor gave me tips on how to manage my time effectively in terms of ensuring I organise and set times to go through my notes and utilise the support available for my dyslexia."

You can ask your personal tutor about a range of issues, both academic and non-academic, who can help you throughout your time at Heriot-Watt:

"I have been given support in so many different areas, from help arranging my placement year abroad to what to do when experiments in the lab don't quite go according to plan and, of course, careers advice."
Year 5 Chemistry student

"Being able to sit down with an academic professional to ask any advice was very helpful. Small questions like exam etiquette, questions about timetables, change of course, appropriate referencing techniques, are all answers I found from my personal tutor"
Year 3, Quantity Surveying student

Personal tutors are there for every student and can be contacted throughout your degree:

"I found out in 2nd and 3rd year that the service that personal tutors provide is invaluable. It is definitely worth maintaining a relationship with your personal tutor, even if you initially think the service isn't directed towards you, because you can never anticipate when they might needed throughout your degree"
(Year 4 Psychology student).

Personal tutors are not there to make your decisions or do your thinking for you, but they can help you find solutions to issues that you face:

"…my personal tutor challenged my way of thinking and I had a whole new perspective on things. I finally felt there was a reason for me to be at University'"
(Year 3 Psychology student).

The personal tutoring system at Heriot-Watt is supported by the Student Induction and Transition Office, and effective personal tutoring can have benefits for both the student and the personal tutor:

Your personal tutor is a named “first point of contact” for you throughout your university career. Students can face challenges while studying, sometimes quite unexpected ones, and we are aware of many students for whom meeting with their personal tutor had a tremendous positive impact on their university experience. Personal tutors can provide expert advice on issues relating to your studies and on the University's regulations, and if you need other specialist advice, guidance or support, then your personal tutor can explain to you exactly where to locate it. We have met many personal tutors who are committed to helping students succeed and who are able to share the benefits of their expertise and experience with their mentees.

Make use of your personal tutor if you need some help or are not sure of what to do about any issue. Try not to put off seeking help from your personal tutor if you think you need it, contact them and arrange a meeting as soon as you can. Remember, if you need help, just ask.

Key information

Keith MacAskill

Job title
Student Experience Manager