Personal Tutor sessions are scheduled at the start of the 1st year (during week 1) and during the mid-term reading weeks during years 1 and 2. These provide an opportunity for students to discuss their examination performance and address time-management issues.
Students will often be proactive in seeking support and will enter this part of the system by several routes, including directly contacting the Senior Tutor or the DUGS or via the Academic Administrator. Feedback on the performance of Personal Tutors is gathered by the College via the Tutorial Online Evaluation system (TOLE) – the results of which are discussed at the Student Staff Committee meetings.
The Department is committed to the maintenance of small group Academic Tutorials. This is different to the practice in many Chemistry departments. Students are allocated into groups of around 6 to 8 and are assigned three tutors, one of whom will also be their Personal Tutor (who fulfils a pastoral role).
An academic tutorial is held every week covering one of the main branches of chemistry: Inorganic, Organic and Physical for the first two years of study, providing a continuity of learning and ensuring integration of material. In tutorials students can deepen their understanding of subject matter delivered in the lectures. They also provide an opportunity to cover difficult concepts from more than one perspective, fitting best with the individual needs of the students. The tutorial offers a regular student feedback mechanism.
The tutorial system is organised by the Senior Tutor.