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Advice for Academic Advisors. Anna Goatman Manchester B usiness School. Academic advising is intended to stimulate a learning culture that enables students to achieve their full potential and result in graduates who will be highly competitive in the knowledge economy.

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advice for academic advisors

Advice for Academic Advisors

Anna Goatman

Manchester Business School


Academic advising is intended to stimulate a learning culture that enables students to achieve their full potential and result in graduates who will be highly competitive in the knowledge economy.

Faculty of Humanities, University of Manchester


Academic Advisor


Personal Tutor

what academic advisors are not
What academic advisors are not
  • Personal counsellors
  • A replacement for course coordinators
  • A proof reading service
  • A 24/7 emergency service
what academic advising covers

Submission of coursework

What academic advising covers

Obtaining feedback

Mitigating circumstances


Plagiarism and academic malpractice

Course unit selection

University and programme degree regulations

Appeals & complaints procedures

Interruptions and Withdrawals

Personal Development


Guidance on academic choice

Availability of options

“I didn’t know which courses to choose, so I looked online at the course coordinators pictures to see who looked the most friendly.” (Second year student)

Deadlines for option choices

Sources of information


Implications of choice

target setting
Target setting

Aims for university

Academic achievement

Identification of opportunities

Gaining experience

monitoring performance and engagement
Monitoring performance and engagement

Reviewing exam performance

Reviewing coursework performance

Discussing attendance, preparation and participation

Explaining the academic marking system


“I cried all night, I don’t know how I’m going to tell my parents, I only got an average of 68%” (First year student)

encourage reflection
Encourage reflection

Personal development plan (PDP)/ Portfolio

Encourages students to take responsibility

for their own development

Helps identify strengths, weakness and opportunities

Good preparation for job applications


“I’m not very good at accounting and finance, but my Dad really wants me to do it.” (Second year student)


“I need to leave. This course really isn’t for me. The careers teacher at school told me to do it. I wanted to do an art degree, but she said I’d never get a job in art, so I should do management instead”. (First year student)


Academic advising is a two-way process

Some students (and staff) engage more than others

useful resources
Useful resources
  • Academic Advisor Toolkit
  • Faculty of humanities study skills website
  • University language centre
  • Counselling service
  • Disability Support Office (DSO)
  • Students’ Union
  • Careers service
  • My Manchester (the student system can be accessed here)
benefits of being and academic advisor
Benefits of being and Academic Advisor
  • The opportunity to work with individuals and small groups
  • A chance to get to know the students and build a relationship that will last for the duration of their degree programme
  • A reminder about what it is like to be a student.

Being an academic advisor may formally end at graduation. However, some students need you most once they have left.


Success is the ability to go from one failure to another with no loss of enthusiasm