SOAS University of London

Staff Development

Role of Adviser

The role of a Personal Adviser is to:

  • take an active part in helping new students to settle into the School;
  • meet students at regular intervals throughout the academic year either as a group or individually
  • remind continuing students at the beginning of each year of your interest and availability for meetings/consultations;
  • assist with any personal matters that may arise and act as first point of referral to Student Support Services available in the School;
  • provide continuity of pastoral and general support and guidance;
  • monitor student’s personal and professional development;
  • contribute toward the compilation of the student's reference, if appropriate;
  • inform the Faculty Student Support Office of any student giving ‘cause for care and concern’ so that any problems may be addressed.

If you are concerned about your advisee, talk to them and try to gather some information about their circumstances, and if necessary, refer the student to the people/services listed below (or seek advice from them).

As a personal adviser you will need to maintain regular contact with your advisees and have regular (real or virtual) scheduled meetings (individual and/or group) tutorials. This may well differ widely from student to student, but you should at least:

  • introduce yourself to new advisees as early as possible in the academic session;
  • provide details of how the student can make contact (e-mail address, extension number, office hours);
  • make contact with students and offer individual appointments at least once a term

You are not expected to:

  • provide specialist academic guidance on all aspects of a student's study, but you will be able to advise each student on how to obtain such guidance;
  • solve all problems, but rather offer a basic level of advice and the steps that should be taken to obtain appropriate professional guidance of a non-academic kind;
  • act as a trained counsellor / careers adviser, but you will be able to refer students to the appropriate services.